AUSA12: New Photos of FN’s Advanced Carbine

FNH USA finally decided to display its new Advanced Carbine that it submitted to the Army’s Improved Carbine competition. It caught my eye as I walked by FN’s booth at the Association of the United States Army’s 2012 meeting and exposition in Washington, D.C.

Yes, the FNAC looks very much like the 5.56mm MK 16 Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle or SCAR, but there are a few differences.

  It features a non-reciprocating charging handle and is slightly lighter than the MK16, weighing in at 7.95 pounds with a loaded 30 round magazine – a key requirement in the carbine competition. It’s equipped with a 14-inch hammer-forged barrel.

Here are a few photos:

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox has been a defense reporter since 1998 and is an associate editor for He traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times from 2002 to 2008, covering infantry units in combat. Matthew was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

54 Comments on "AUSA12: New Photos of FN’s Advanced Carbine"

  1. its nice but the Army and Marines better get used to the idea of at best product improved M4's and M-16's. budget won't allow for them to buy all the armored vehicles desired and a new rifle…especially when its not much of an improvement over current models.

  2. Why review a weapon that is illegal to own without special permits. The barrel is
    too short for most civilians.

  3. ICC isn't going to well M-4 PIP despite the BCG being deleted is doing better. My friend Joshua also says test have shown PIPs doing just as good if not better than FNs product.

    Overall the Mk-16 and this weapon never made a BIG impression on Solders Mk-16 no longer bought The H made the BIG gains but ICC doe not have a multibarrel and caliber requirement So in the end makes no sense to goto another 5.56mm carbine since the M-4A1 and PIP do the job well.

    Im sure all the SCAR lovers will cherish this post so it is a nice weapon to own, enjoy the pics.

  4. I keep hearing the oft-repeated line that the SCAR series wasn't much of an improvement over the existing carbines. That's true, but that also applies to every wondergun being thrown out there now that still relies on legacy ammunition.

    There were 9 companies with 12 weapons in the SCAR competition. Robinson Arms was disqualified because it didn't have blank firing adapters available. HK was disqualified because their entry was a railed version of the XM8. Excluding FN, that leaves six companies with mystery guns.

    KAC, LMT, Diemaco, Cobb and Colt with 3 entries participated. Daniel defense has been cited by one person as a competitor, but as they would have been only a few years old I wonder if that was a mistake. Either way. That's 7 of the 9 guns, and those companies all specialize in making the AR.

    Looking over the SCAR requirements there was no requirement for a gas piston, and FN's was the only entry to pass all of the GO/NO-GO criteria. So somewhere in the pack of requirements for the SCAR program all the ARs fell short. Robinson arms and HK can consider themselves lucky in this case. Because they were disqualified they can still shill their entries without saying they lost to FN. Everyone else has been real quiet about it. NDA would explain that, but then why is Robinson exempt?

    As for the cancellation of the Mk16, Brett Westcott, the guy running the SCAR program until 2010 said budget cuts came down in early 2009 and told to add additional personnel.

    The blogs that reported the cancellation pared down SOCOM's statement until it became: "The SCAR does not show enough of an improvement to warrant replacement of existing systems given SOCOM's… limited funds…". None of the blogs mentioned that SOCOM's budget had been slashed by 15% and told to stand up an extra battalion at every group. So the focus shifted from "limited funds" to "does not show enough of an improvement"…. and then the fanboys took it from there.

  5. The Army ditched the three prong flash suppressor because it grabbed branches in the jungle; why go back? Other than paying three times as much as for an M16/AR, why not get one? Well, other than the M855 drops below 2700 fps from a 14.5" barrel at less than 100 meters and the eggheads say it doesn't reliably fragment under 2700 fps…and fragmentation is what makes the 5.56 so lethal. Other than that, bring on the trolls!

  6. Good point a mid length gas system in test is better than carbine system or the 416 and Ruger's SR 556 shown to delete the problem. You also right the USMC said it will NOT and never goto a IC carbine and will upgrade in several year the M-16A4 to A5. Like M-4 PIP a FF assembly and a adjustable stock will be added. Magpul fixed both durability and siz adjust ment in fixed vs collapsible argument with its new Battle stock strong like the fixed but slightly adjustable. Possibly new flash hider too. Bet the Marines will look at Magpul. Its a ways off since almost all marines have a high satisfaction with the current A4 rifle.

    Strange I call some on here and other places SCAR lovers Sol. They bought a expensive gun and or tactic cool loves plastic mind set and will hound you saying SCAR is perfect and your AR sucks. Ignore them. I goto and talk to people or visit offical SOF people and websites. all the time who are in SOF in the Marines and possibly army. Most carry M-4A1 or Navy case Mk-18s. M-14 EBR and SCAR Hs are the 2nd place in seen weapons they use most say. Looks at MARSOC pics recently.

    Im with you and back your ideas 100%. Overall we agree the Army is stay with the M-4 anyway so all of this page is hype.

  7. 416 blows

  8. I strongly disagree with multiple points. The 416 has no more superior odds of being adopted by big army than the SCAR.

    The only thing I will agree is that the M4 PiP will undoubtedly be adopted and not a completely new rifle. Is it right in my opinion? No. In fact, the Army rarely adopts the best product. Sequestration will undoubtedly affect any future acquisition of a new rifle.

    I would also argue that the 416 is "more accurate" simply because of the differences in the two gas systems. The SCAR's heavy bolt mitigates recoil significantly. HK 416s are known for their sharper recoil impulses.

    The Army would have no advantage or reason to adopt the 416 but advantages and reasons to adopt the FN AC.

    For one, the FN AC was designed from the bottom up with its gas system. The 416? It is a improved M4-type carbine retrofitted with a gas piston system. You dont have to be a gunsmith to know which one would be more characteristically reliable.

    For another, there is compatibility with parts between the different SCAR rifles. The 416? not so much.

    Finally, costs DO matter. Especially in the age of sequestration.

    I wouldnt use the M27 as a shining example of a impartial trial. I believe the acquisition showed favoritism towards H&K, though that is my personal opinion.

    France's next rifle? no american knows anything. citations please.

  9. Not necessarily You did prove my point the M-4 isnt going away. But the HK 416 also has advantages like other services have them and they share some parts with regular M-4s cutting cost in training and repair over a plastic foreign system like the SCAR. SCARs have hardly any parts commonality with current M-4s 416s do in the lower receiver. The SCAR suffers from bad plastic stock and some parts. SOCOM operatives had machined there own parts made of metal and on the H ditch crappy FAL mags for AR-10 mags.

    But we do agree this is hype nothing really going to change for Infantry.

  10. Hay Joshua you shot both in your opinion do you like the M-4A1 the 416 or something else overall almost every one here agrees this is hype the army is staying with current platforms for infantry.

  11. Lance, if you do it here, it will be the same result. Stop with the speculation and bad information.
    The SCAR doesn't have bad plastic. Also, no one ditched the FAL mags because the SCAR doesn't use FAL mags. That has been a myth spread about by the errornet. I would be interested in talking to the operators about their AR10 mags especially since the SCAR doesn't use them. Hhhmmmm…….

  12. If "Army infantry ruined" means ruining the current system of garrison **** **** games, ironed uniforms, pretty white glove weapons, and PT belts, then I hope the Army Infantry gets "ruined", having those demerits replaced with the versatility, superior training, superior gear, impeccable fieldcraft, and emphasis on substance rather than image modeled after SF. Bring on the ruination LOL. Also current wars favor a more flexible and versatile infantry MOS; were not exactly fighting zee germans anymore.

    I love the M16A4. It is a fine weapon system. Equipping it with a collapsable butt stock and free float hand guard would have been a sensible solution, though the M4 was adopted by big army. Its not a terrible weapon system, and its improvements from SOPMOD Block 2 make it a awesome platform. The idea, though, that big army adopted it to "look like SF" is insanely asinine in my opinion.

    "I think many mistake what SOF do and the mission infantry do two very very different things period."

    But you have to admit, this doesnt excuse the stupidity of the current system our infantry are stuck with, especially since counter-insurgencies had infantry and scout MOS's typically perform more SOF-style operations than any other time in history.

    This also doesn't mean our infantry shouldnt be equipped with practical equipment, uniforms that are actually effective, emphasize training and fieldcraft instead of garrison stupidity, and, of course, wield modular and effective weapons.

    "While the M-4A1 will be a good upgrade for the infantry over current M-4s other SOF weapons really are not need for infantry. Mixed types of pistols ultra light MG and caliber change weapons wont be used in infantry fighting so no not every thing SF use is needed for the regular army."

    I disagree. A weapon like the FN AC IS needed by the infantry, especially one platform that shares components between different niche firearms in the SCAR family. Exchangeable parts are essential for the 21st century battlefield and continuing to do the same thing over again is reckless. If you dont like the SCAR for whatever reason, then a modular rifle needs to be developed by somebody. I guess since FN is the only one that took this leap of faith, that is why it is succeeding.

    I think formersfmedic was emphasizing the superior fieldcraft and soldier proficiency for combat operations rather than business as usual. If he means this, then I agree with him strongly.

  13. Why is liking the SCAR (more like "liking" the flexibility of the platform) somehow a bad thing???

  14. Aww my friends the SCAR lover attack. The SCAR did have a crappy stock and I didn't say the H was ditched the L is not being bought now. The Hs in SOCOM have been modified to take AR-10 mags. The SCAR would be horrible for weak stocks over complicated gas system and no real iron sights. Its fine in 7.62 NATO for SOCOM NOT for grunts who need a stronger simpler system. Some lairs here want to goto personal attack already proves they are fake and making crap up. Strange have just as many who back me here. So save your breath SCARlovers and go drool on your scars than spew crap online.

  15. So Josh and Sol some here keep saying your M-16 and M-4 suck and SCAR are perfect w/o no problem so perfect every one should give your M-4 up for one. As two infantrymen what to you say to these SCAR lover attacks???

  16. "Not necessarily You did prove my point the M-4 isnt going away."

    and it probably wont. sad, but true.

    "But the HK 416 also has advantages like other services have them and they share some parts with regular M-4s cutting cost in training and repair over a plastic foreign system like the SCAR."

    I know of two USSOCOM units that supposedly have them and thats it. I know certain federal defense department agencies also use them. The 416 also has unique parts different than the M4. The parts that do break the most (the gas system) is completely incompatible with the M4.

    "SCARs have hardly any parts commonality with current M-4s 416s do in the lower receiver."

    The SCAR DOESNT need compatibility with the M4 since the L, H, Mk20, and IAR all have some degree of parts commonality in their own family. From a practical perspective, this is a unique advantage over the M4, which has zilch as far as parts compatibility with other platforms used by the army (i.e. M14, M110, etc). If commonality with a whole family of weapons is possible, while negating M4 compatibility as a necessity, then that is a decisive advantage.

    "The SCAR suffers from bad plastic stock and some parts."

    I dont agree. Since the SCAR is a new rifle, a new rifle having only problems with the butt stock is a godsend. Didnt the M16 have more problems than that when it was introduced?

    "SOCOM operatives had machined there own parts made of metal and on the H ditch crappy FAL mags for AR-10 mags."

    ***!?!?!?!? really!?

    I find that hard to believe. I know that there is a product called the Handl Defense SCAR25 lower, which is aluminum and uses Sr25 mags, though im remain extremely dubious of such SOCOM modifications. Source?

    "But we do agree this is hype nothing really going to change for Infantry."

    I dont agree that its merely "hype". I think it could make our infantry more effective. Will the Army do it? that is a entirely different story. They arent well-renowned for their superior decision making abilities.

  17. WLCE

    I said some problems ;like mags and somewhat the stock other fixed some SCARs use AR-10 mags far better. The SCAR wont make infantry more effective since the FN AC loses most MK-16 features for a fixed 5.56mm carbine no point or advantage over PIP M-4A1. If we stay with 5.56mm stay with the M-4 if we can goto 6.5mm or 6.8 you can make a better argument.

  18. Les than they just love SCAR they never admit a fault to it and no gund perfect. I do say has a place in SOF the H is in use but other SOF have M-4s and MK-18s also so they chose what they like.

  19. The big question is: Is this substantially better than the M4A1 the Army wants, and is it price comparable?

    Otherwise, I like the idea of adopting a new weapon that will accustom troops to the SCAR…..

  20. Most after market check ret fit M-4 stocks ACR or other new weapons would mean solder have to get new ones more money blown.

  21. Try not to throw my name around all the time. The M4 PiP will happen no matter what happens to the IC. The Army is planning on going the PiP route for reserves and units such as that(the guys who generally have old M16's) IF the IC happens which will go to the standard Army. I am also told the Marines are pretty dead set on a M16 PiP because no matter the IC results they cannot afford them. They originally looked at adopting the M27 fleetwide but said it would cost to much and take 15+ years for HK to replace every rifle thy have. a PiP gets then 85% of the M27 at 25% of the cost.

    Generally my info is good, this one I am not 100% sure of but I will mention it but DO NOT quote me on this.

    Apparently there is far more rifles in the IC than we know of and apparently one is far exceeding the others and it is a DI rifle. Info supposedly will be out some times in November.

    Thats all I can mention, but from the hints I got if this all ends up being true we may get a new rifle because of what this entrant offers in parts life.

  22. From what I understand the Colt entrants did well until the OTB part which they failed.

  23. Attack all you want SCAR lover I got my sources and you can hug your SCAR if you want. And the Infantry dose NOT use SOPMOD. It lost alot to order thousands for infantry. It seems the only reason you attack is that your afraid your fav SCAR wont replace everything in inventory. Its not going to happen. fact too is that even a gun same barrel length has different bullet characteristics SO they may need new scopes with anew gun.

    From rumors a either IC is dead or a DI weapon none piston is doing the best. So your scar loving is illrelivent. Your too bias for the SCAR and have no fair saying on any gun you love your scar. So most of what tyou say is crap bias for the scar.

  24. Actually there are many states that permit the private ownership or SBR's, suppressors and machine guns with the appropriate documentation. In addition since this website is geared towards military personnel and this weapon could be a future issue, it makes sense that they would discuss it here.

  25. Lance,

    Are you some 16 year old living in your moms' basement? I am willing to bet that SFMedic may be a little more in tune to this subject than you are. But, that is just a guess.

  26. The HK is not sure at all to be adopted in France. After the test the Special forces of the 11th Airborne brigade chose to order FN SCAR……

  27. Here ya go:

    Check out the piece of crap HK 416 bending and flexing due to the abortion scabbed on top of it. You keep a similarly configured M16 well lubricated (contrary to historical military doctrine) and it will do anything a 416 will do at a lighter weight, better inherent accuracy, fewer parts, and less cost.

    WLCE, calling the HK an "improved" M4 is a matter of opinion I suppose, but wholly inaccurate the way I see it. It is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

  28. Lance don't get me started on the IAR. The HK entrant won because it had the lowest cookoff rate, but it had them because the entrants with an open bolt design were forced to be tested for cook offs with the bolt closed. It was not a very fair trial IMO.

    Also when the HKM27 entered service it had incredibly poor performance, it was averaging 300 MRBS, so HK had to do some mods to the rifle to increase reliability. It now has 900MRBS, but I wonder what would have happened had the SCAR entrant been selected? It probably would have performed better and had it been tested on its open bolt feature it never would have experienced a cook off.

  29. "WLCE, calling the HK an “improved” M4 is a matter of opinion I suppose, but wholly inaccurate the way I see it. It is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist"

    Improved means heavier, free-float barrel, which is a improvement to me. The gas system is just a characteristic rather than a "improvement", though I would have to say I agree with you Johnny.

    If any rifle should not be adopted, it is the 416. I dont know anything about the ICC contender 416, though it is anything like its older brother, there is little gain for the rise in costs and more mechanical complexity. A gas system built from the ground up is a far more superior approach.

  30. Im not saying the HK 416 is a improved M-4 its not its a evolution of the Stoner rifle. I know some get made but the USMC did like htem the IAR is doing well. And it beat FN like it or not.

  31. Every time I read something posted by Lance, that "traing" (cough# propaganda* cough) video from ww2, about the mg34 and mg42 comes to mind. " so it does have a high rate of fire, but is it better then ours?"
    Comedy pure gold.

  32. I love getting online reading my favorite blog,scrolling through the comments and laughing my *** off at the comedy relief that Lance provides. And to whoever said the M4 doesnt provide a significant reduction in size and weight….all I have to say is that person hasnt done a 7hr combat patrol in the green zone of Sangin or probably anywhere for that matter. Ounces = pounds, & Pounds = pain.

  33. WLCE –

    “Not necessarily You did prove my point the M-4 isnt going away.”

    and it probably wont. sad, but true.

    Please explain that statement.

  34. "Please explain that statement."

    IF there is something out there thats better all around, then our troops need it. Settling for the M4 if there is something better is making compromises to a infantryman's equipment that has no business being compromised in the first place. Dont even get me started on the billions wasted that could be used R&D, test, and field a rifle that is better, even if it is another theoretical DI rifle based off the M4. Its time to cut the favoritism, bull manure, and emotional arguments and stick to the facts.

    Only if this new rifle proves itself measurably better all around to justify the money and time spent to replace the M4…if the M4 is still just as good, **** it, keep it until pulse rifles are fielded.

    That statement, however, wasn't implying in any way that the M4 is a bad rifle. On the contrary, I believe it is just as accurate, modular, and reliable (oh gasp!? did i go there!?) as other fielded 5.56mm carbines in its class.

    Filthy 14 anyone??? SOPMOD Block II? Noveske? Larue? Do I need to mention more and more drastic improvements to the platform? I think educated people get the idea.

  35. Lance

    *** are you even in the Army or Marine Infantry? I wouldn't be surprised if you were some POG like a cook or a 19D wannabe. All you ever talk about is "SCAR lovers" when nobody is even talking about it?? Please explain to us what it is that you do for a living. And if you can't tell by the name, FormerSFMedic probably knows more than you ever will about this kind of stuff.

  36. Do we really gain anything significant performance-wise without going to a different caliber? I thought everyone had agreed we needed a middleweight round.

    I mean, I get the fact that we need new guns and that they're accurate, reliable, lighter, and have less recoil…but also cost significantly more.

    Dollar per dollar spent, I would think new ammunition gets us more than new rifles.

  37. it can share flashhiders….. roflol yeah, thats a cost cut that will surely make them choose a 416 over anything else. hahaha

  38. Would like to see the ACR adopted,but dont think rhat will happen.

  39. The 416 is an overprice POS. At least the SCAR is a new design with benefits over the M4. Not an M4 with a piston slapped on it for an extra $3k like the 416. In A-stan I had the option to try out both and I found the SCAR to be a much better weapon. But opinions are like Lances.

  40. Lance,

    Do yourself a favor and get s spellchecker or a dictionary. Not only are you screwing up the English language with your incoherent ramblings, but any perceived credibility that you thought you had goes out the window with every stroke of the keyboard.

    I suggest you get a full load out of gear and a weapon (M16Aforgery) and then go put around a few miles with it. Then move in and out of some buildings and vehicle and let us know how it works for you. The M4A1 allows for lightweight and more mobility and movement especially in urban environments. It is also accurate enough when coupled with good ammo such as MK 262 MOD1 or similar to reach out and touch people. Combine that with a good optic and you are more than prepared for combat.

    What I would truly like to see is better ammo made available to the troops on the front lines.

  41. Someone find Lance a hobby. Preferably something that doesn't require much in the smarts department.

  42. Your personal attack only show your ignorance and shows how shaky your logic is. fact is Mathew Cox agreed with me on most issue from past post he did so go ahead say what your want the army is not following your lead.

  43. geez. some people should have a nice tall glass of ****.

  44. Lance, just shut the **** up. seriously. your posts have irritated me enough to where i have justified a response. I am sick and tired of your BS.

    you are deserving of a McUzi level insult. I wish the worst upon you.

  45. SEBR

    Your stupidity and meanness and your attacks shows your sides weakness. I wont shut up never so you just shut up.

  46. How is it and evolution of the Stoner rifle? Because somebody thinks it needs a op-rod scabbed on top? A solution to a problem that doesn't exist? It is in fact, an abortion, and the HK416 leads the pack.

    Gene Stoner designed it the way he did, sans an op-rod, for a purpose, or two.

    Some claim that a 416 in a 10.5" version performs better than a MK18. It may in some respects, but who wants a 10" M16 anyway. I suppose because they are available? Add another inch to a DI gun and you gain a 40% increase in dwell time over the 10.3". 11.5 inches is plenty short and anyone, and I mean anyone, that claims there is a measurable (noticeable) difference in 'handling' between a 10.5" and 11.5" carbine is being somewhat disingenuous shall we say. Except of course when the 10.5" version is a heavier and bulkier HK416.

    I prefer a 12.5" DI personally.

    Go view the slow mo video here of the 416 and a DI weapon. You tell me what you

  47. wow, so they forced the SCAR IAR to operate outside its mechanical limitations? unbelievable.

    I read somewhere that the SCAR IAR was also open/closed bolt, meaning it self-adjusted to open bolt mode when the weapon heated up.

    I do know that the IAR had initial issues with reliability and still has a lower MRBF than the M16A4 (which blows my mind away).

  48. The SCAR entrant would switch over to open bolt dependent on temps in the chamber, when that would happen they would close the bolt to test its cook of ability, well with its barrel profile of course it failed. The Marines viewed an open bolt feature a liability to untrained soldiers who might pick up the rifle so they really did not want open bolt. The Colt entrant did icredibly well as well but it was 3lbs heavier than the HK entrant.

    The way HK gets such a high 36 round cook off for a carbine is a few things.
    1. They use a bull barrel(little over 1" diameter under handguards.)
    2. The barrel nut is a very large and long aluminum nut basically acting like a heatsink.
    3. The handguard also contacts alot of the barrel nut so its transfers to the handguard cooling the chamber.

    Thats how they do it but it does make a very heavy carbine. The M27 is basically a 10lb carbine.

    So in the end the HK won the IAR trials when it first came out and was field tested it had around 300 MRBS so HK had to make a few mods and now it has 900 MRBS, vs the 700MRBS of the M4 and the 1100MRBS of the M16.

  49. fascinating! you learn something new every day

  50. Mike, and everyone else here too, I got to take a look at the ACR IC rifle today along with most of the other guns as well. I can't say much regarding which guns are still competing but I'm pretty impressed the ACR candidate.

    I've always liked the ACR concept and I'm actually more fond of the ACR than the SCAR. However, after testing a number of Remington ACR's, I was left shaking my head at all the problems it had. But today I my faith in the gun was renewed. The ACR IC has a really good quick change barrel system and a much more ergonomic forend. It's still pretty heavy but lighter than ACR's I played with prior. The gun ran well with no problems but I did only get to shoot a little bit. The magazine issues SEEM TO BE fixed but only time will tell.

    All in all, it might just be worth it.

  51. I have yet to see any "scar lovers", nor have I seen anyone attack the M4 or call it a POS.

    I personally feel the SCAR offers very little over an M4A1 with the SOPMOD package but everyone is entitled to their opinion. No one has said the AR-15 system is a POS, it's actually been quite the opposite.

    While some people on some forums to say the SCAR is perfect its generally trying to justify their purchase but I have not seen that hear.

    Things would be easier here for you Lance if you relaxed on the hateraide type comments.

  52. France's next rifle? The only testing needed for those cheese eating surrender monkies is the drop test.

  53. We something new to help. The M4 is not doing the job. At best we fought to a draw in Iraq and we lost and are retreating in Afghanistan. I used the MK17 in the sandbox and loved it. Will not go back to the M4.

  54. As someone that has fired both the M4a1 and the MK16 overseas the comparison are so different, that reading the army could not find differences is just makes me green. I got to witness a between soldiers field test. When an ODA decided to test the scar 16 against the m4a1 in an adverse environment. The Scar did not jam until it had gone through 3000 rounds, the m4a1 jammed after 420 rounds. Next test was water and mud the m4 fired one round and one round only, mk16 fired a mag. Accuracy between the two are the same for all tense and purposes. For the Army to say that all the New rifles failed the reliability test compared to the m4a1 and mk16 is funny since with my own two eyes I have seen it different when tested in the field.

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