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Alright so I don't expect this thread to earn me any "thanks" and that's entirely the point. I happen to feel like FNForum often suffers from group think and becomes an echo chamber for itself sometimes regarding many issues. We all like SCAR's, and we all like each other (well, mostly)... so seldom do I ever see any brutally honest critiquing take place that would otherwise contribute meaningful content to the forums and benefit everyone involved through learning. Hopefully this thread will provide an avenue to counteract that:

I want to hear your opinions that don't fall in line with the lock step mantra you read on FNF every day. The things you might have commented to someone but held your tongue to avoid stirring the pot. I want to hear the things you know others will disagree with and I will start by sharing some of my own. If you have thin skin or consider your weapons an investment in your own personal ego this is not the thread for you. But if you'd like to challenge some of your own positions - either to reassert them or learn something new- then carry on, and let's have an enlightening debate.


Without further adieu , the following are my submissions to the "unpopular opinions" category:

1. The Elcan Specter DR isn't all that great.

Sure, it's cool looking. The employment by SOCOM adds to that all important CDI factor. Unfortunately for those of us not being issued SOPMOD equipment, the Specter is a $2000 brick. There's nothing it does that a modern variable power 1-6/8x or magnified optic with offset reflex doesn't do better and cheaper. If you want to see what's coming down the pipe for widespread military adoption, first look to see what the world class competitive shooters are doing. I could be wrong, but I hadn't noticed any of them using Specters. In those competitions, speed and accuracy are king - just as they are on the battlefield. Canting your rifle 45 degrees to engage a close up threat utilizing an offset red dot or iron sight is unquestionably faster than taking your support hand out of position to reach back and flip a mechanical lever.

That lever, mind you, that adds unnecessary complexity and more weight to the entire package. Then you have the dubious quality of the A.R.M.S. mounts, questionable reliability of exposed adjustments and finally the Elcan's spotty record of zero shifting and windage drifting that plagued early models of the sight. I'll be the first to admit the improvements made to the later generations seemed to clear up previous issues, and the overall housing is built like a tank. But the simple fact remains; you can obtain scopes with the same capability and then some for less cost and overall weight.

Anytime someone asks for recommendations on a suitable 1-4x power optic without hesitation the first response is nearly always someone shouting "Elcan!" No doubt it's a good sight, I've owned two of them and they were a pleasure to shoot. The best choice or option available however they are not.


2. The factory OEM charging handle is near perfection.

Why fix what's not broken? The SCAR charging handle seems to be the point of contempt for many of you. I have never personally experienced any of the espoused issues with the design, though I certainly did think it could be improved upon. With that in mind I set out to find a better mousetrap and before long had accumulated a pile of aftermarket attempts at reinventing the wheel. I've shot or owned nearly all of them. Every time I came crawling back to the tried and true FN charging handle: It's strong and lightweight. Small enough to be unobtrusive yet large enough to gain a comfortable purchase on. It's not so thin as to be agitating when manipulated. It's not so pronounced as to be a snag hazard catching on yourself or gear. It is simply perfection, or as close to it as I've yet to experience in my hands.

For issues with your optic of choice or mounting base causing interference, the solution is quite simple: use a different optic or mount. You know where the charging handle is, you know where your optic goes... It's not that hard to take the reciprocating nature of the charging handle's path of motion into account when choosing what and where to place accessories on your 12 o'clock.

What it comes down to is merely this: all angled charging handles sacrifice something in order to work around an issue that could be entirely remedied by alternate means.


3. Some SCAR setups are really dumb.

Thought I'd save the best (or most controversial maybe) for last. It's actually a pretty broad assessment with too many individual items to list - at least initially. I'm talking everything from magwell mounted AFG grips, to Chinese lasers, flashlights and compasses hanging off every rail. And while I'm on my elitist pedestal I might as well harp on cheap accessories. You paid $3K for your rifle, could you spare a little change on something other than UTG rail covers and Barska scopes?

I fully understand and appreciate the reality that people must chose the equipment that best suits their mission requirements within their personal budgetary constraints. I'm just saying a little consideration on the matter would go a long way towards preventing such top shelf rifles being adorned with bottom rung accessories. If that's your thing though, drive on and don't let me slow you down.



As much as I could drone on about these subjects I'd rather hear what you have to say. Take issue with anything I've said or have your own personal frustrations to contribute? Let's hear them. Surely we all can't agree on everything.
 

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I think the board is very open and straight forward. If someone has a opinion they share it here without busting balls, opinions are just stated in a nicer way than other forums.

Many people have stated their dislikes for Elcans.

The charging handle is fine for some others love Sarge's.

I would never insult someones set up.

This is just a civilized forum, most of the time.
 
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It's ok buddy I'm upset the niners lost yesterday too. No but I hear ya there is a positive fuzzy feel to the site but I don't feel people are purposefully agreeing with everyone else or avoiding any real confrontation. This is a fun site compared to some others. Total blindside on the charging handle. I will agree that topic does get hammered into the dirt here for what it is and does. As far as setups, yeah some are borderline ludacrous but are you really gonna tell some new excited member their setup sucks and they should bury their head in shame. Too each his own I guess. Money and personal taste define everyone's setup.
 

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I agree with you on all 3 of your points.

I have never been interested in the Elcan, not even for a minute.

The fanboyism for charging handles is palpable here and yeah I get it, but at the end of the day the factory CH works, simple as that, they all perform the same function.

I agree completely!!! I have seen some SCAR's that are just flat out silly, WHY? that is my only question to some that I see. I always laugh as well when I see a $50 optic on a $2500 SCAR. I only put on mine what I use, a vertical grip and an optic that's it.

I appreciate you making this topic.
 

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I've seen your set ups - nice job.

1. If the Elcan were 800$, had a better eye relief and didn't weigh so much- it would be perfect. LOL - there is no such thing as the perfect optic, and I don't disagree - there are less expensive options. It's not an aimpoint at 1x, but what is? I own one, and still feel it was better option than aimpoint/eotech mag combo, or Trijicon ACOG/RMR combo. The glass is very good, and it will compete with any "scope" at 4x IMHO. Plus it looks badass! I bought mine off amazon with AMEX pts, and I have to say I wouldn't shell out 2 g for another one.

2. I have Earl Campbell sausage digits, and when I was running my aimpoint pro with its ridiculous mounting knob I constantly busted my knuckle on it when racking the bolt. I like the larger EACH, but there are other options . If you don't feel the need - good for you.

3. I agree, sometimes less is better. Just because it has 4 rails doesn't mean you have to fill em up.
 

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1. The Elcan Specter DR isn't all that great.

I agree with this statement only as it applies to the weight and maybe the expense. There are always tradeoffs. Yes the Elcan is heavy. Yes it is expensive - but you did buy an expensive rifle, after all. You mention some problems that have been resolved on the current generation Elcan's so I don't think it is worth going over that or bringing it up as it doesn't have any relevancy anymore (unless you're stuck with an older gen Elcan.)

You lost me when you mentioned that world class competitive shooters do not use Elcans. Obviously this is true - and for a reason. I fall in the camp that disregards competitive shooting as having much validity when it comes to personal defense or combative use. Plain and simple: they're gun games. They are going to use the tools that give them a gamers edge. Just like a hardcore competitive X-Box or PlayStation gamer is going to buy an air-cooled controller with fast-twitch response thumb sticks and eye-fatigue reducing yellow-tint glasses. I was a gun gamer once myself, and I can say without a doubt that a lot of the gear used would not hold up to the rigors of combat (obvious exceptions being items that have trickled down the civilian world from combat use etc.) I will also say that in FOF, gun game tactics and strategy largely go out the window.

Now on the other hand, how you set up your weapon is a personal matter, and the mission drives the gear. If you're going to compete in gun games with it, then I would say yeah, the Elcan isn't going to be the best option because it's going to fall behind in the speed factor. If you're going to war with it, then I'd say the Elcan is going to be a good choice because it's built like a tank and gives you flexibility. It's a good general-purpose optic. So too would be any of the ACOG's.

2. The factory OEM charging handle is near perfection.

I actually agree with you here. I've tried every single aftermarket charging handle out there, and I switched back the the factory FN in the end. I didn't see much advantage, especially with my setup and how it didn't interfere with the optics. Moreover, I never felt any of the aftermarket options offered much in the way of substantial improvements or ergonomic feel. Granted, the factory handle isn't perfect either, but it gets the job done with little fuss and no more expense than you've already spent on the rifle.

3. Some SCAR setups are really dumb.

Yes, we've all seen that one setup that looks like a SCAR bred with a Hi-Point carbine. There are a lot of goofy looking SCAR's out there. Personally, I don't like SCAR setups with extended rails. I don't really see the point. I also agree that bolting on Tapco crap onto a fine weapon like the SCAR is tantamount to committing a grievous crime. All the same, I'm not going to go out of my way to knock these setups or chew out the owner because he or she obviously set it up to their personal preference.In the end, it's all about personal preference and mission driving the gear. If they ask me what I think, I might tell them my brutally honest opinion, however:wink:
 

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I think there is always room for well-reasoned and well-stated opinions. (We don't want to live with our own special kind of political correctness, do we?) I, for one, do not want to exist solely on a diet of conventional and popular opinion. That said,


  • I'm really glad to hear someone say that I don't *need* an Elcan. Of course, I'm still running my 16S on just iron sights, 'cuz I'm not doing any CQB or uber-long-range target shooting.
  • And I'm still using the factory charging handle.
  • And lastly, my poor little 16S is nearly naked compared to most, with the only additions being a sling and sling mounts. And a nice case. I only posted a picture of it once but was embarrassed to do it because it was so ... unimpressively stock.
Just foregoing the expense of a megadollar optic on a weapon that I use mostly just for fun has allowed me to buy a huge amount of ammo for it.

But I'm thinking that a quality trigger upgrade might still be useful.

That's just my humble opinion. At least until I hear something else that makes sense to me.
 

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1. I went back and forth on the Elcan for a while, but after trying my ACOG...I dunno. I got a good deal on it during the last Amazon sale. I'm not an "operator", so I don't really feel the need to shell out quite that much on an Elcan. Now that being said, I never anticipated owning a ACOG either. lol. It really just comes down to individual preference.

2. Charging handles...still using the original with the occasional racked knuckles reminding me to pay attention. Might try sarges someday...will see.

3. It's kind of a gradual situation that creeps up on you... People start out with their new rifle - add something, and then more, just a little bit more, then realize their awesome lightweight rifle now requires training wheels to tow behind their truck....then they remove a little, take a little more off...until a comfortable median is reached.
 

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1. I had the Elcan and sold it after a few months.
My eyes didn't work with the reticle, way to heavy for only 4x, I was very disappointed. It looked damn good on the SCAR however.

LOVE my NF 2.5-10x32. I hung an Aimpoint T1 at 1 o'clock and have never looked back.
I did gain about 6oz's over the Elcan Dr but got 10x and a red dot. Everything is QD (ADM Delta Mount, Larue Offset Aimpoint Mount, Atlas Bipod....), as the mission changes, I pull the right pieces out of my back pack and on we go!

2. Charging handle's are a matter of preference and function. If your scope/mount combo is a knuckle buster, there some good options like Sarge's charging handle. For me, I stayed stock. It suits my needs well.

3. Finally, I just won't buy something to buy it. I'd rather invest in items of higher quality to slap on my rig. That said, there some very high quality scopes at budget prices (burris, weaver and a few others) that will perform very well.

3.
 

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My opinion is that this place is one dinner pic away from becoming the AR-15 forum.

The search function should just be removed. People are so concerned with being the first to post
info that they just rush to post it without checking if it has been posted before.

I think the shotgun postings here have caused this forum to drift away from what made it a great place.
Posts that were informative and had more to do with FN products. Now it seems like every five minutes
something ridiculous is copied and pasted here from the AR forum.
 

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Its nice to see debates in threads when it comes to optics, grips, slings, etc. I hope that we can see more and more companies come out with new after market products for the SCAR platform as time goes on. I also hope that this forum will allow those new vendors to introduce their products on the forum; without having to "pay to play". No one should have to pay to contribute ideas to a forum and the evolution of the weapons we all have come to love so much. Nothing personal, but I think its silly to not give the forum members here a chance to be the first to see the new products available for the SCAR. But what do I know, this post will probably get deleted too. ;)
 

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Its nice to see debates in threads when it comes to optics, grips, slings, etc. I hope that we can see more and more companies come out with new after market products for the SCAR platform as time goes on. I also hope that this forum will allow those new vendors to introduce their products on the forum; without having to "pay to play". No one should have to pay to contribute ideas to a forum and the evolution of the weapons we all have come to love so much. Nothing personal, but I think its silly to not give the forum members here a chance to be the first to see the new products available for the SCAR. But what do I know, this post will probably get deleted too. ;)
i 110% agree Kev! Hopefully things will change
 

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I agree with #1 and #3, but for #2 it's much more of a hassle to trying to fit a mount or optic that doesn't get in the way of the CH than it is getting a CH that universally work with all mounts or optics.

Its nice to see debates in threads when it comes to optics, grips, slings, etc. I hope that we can see more and more companies come out with new after market products for the SCAR platform as time goes on. I also hope that this forum will allow those new vendors to introduce their products on the forum; without having to "pay to play". No one should have to pay to contribute ideas to a forum and the evolution of the weapons we all have come to love so much. Nothing personal, but I think its silly to not give the forum members here a chance to be the first to see the new products available for the SCAR. But what do I know, this post will probably get deleted too. ;)
I agree wholeheartedly. It's especially petty that user reviews are taken down because the products didn't have "FNF sponsor" stamps on them. Granted, I get that the admin is trying to be fair to the sponsors by providing them some sort of incentive to pay for sponsorship but why stop the community from having a say in whether the product is good or not? Maybe I'm wrong here but I thought this forum is meant for community of FN users and not a place for advertisers to push their products? It's especially frustrating when that particular rule isn't evenly administered, admins seems to love to target products that are specifically designed for FN guns.
 
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I agree with #1 and #3, but for #2 it's much more of a hassle to trying to fit a mount or optic that doesn't get in the way of the CH than it is getting a CH that universally work with all mounts or optics.


I agree wholeheartedly. It's especially petty that user reviews are taken down because the products didn't have "FNF sponsor" stamps on them. Granted, I get that the admin is trying to be fair to the sponsors by providing them some sort of incentive to pay for sponsorship but why stop the community from having a say in whether the product is good or not? Maybe I'm wrong here but I thought this forum is meant for community of FN users and not a place for advertisers to push their products? It's especially frustrating when that particular rule isn't evenly administered, admins seems to love to target products that are specifically designed for FN guns.
I guess the Benjamin's from supporting members aren't enough, even though the people that run this forum also run several others like HKPRO
 

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I know nothing is free in this life but what sponsors get charged is pretty high which makes it almost impossible for small time guys with new ideas to be apart
 

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I guess the Benjamin's from supporting members aren't enough, even though the people that run this forum also run several others like HKPRO
That I didn't know; interesting... Thanks for the revelation.
 

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Kalmar,

This thread reeks of disdain.

Taking indirect cheap shots at members choices of gear is particularly insulting to every member who doesn't kit up their SCAR like yours, bro.

I've never felt I should hold my fingers from the keyboard when somebody who got butt hurt over something trivial (Who knows what is was...) feels the need to let that inconsequential moment in his life fester until he feels the impulse to publicly whine about it.

Man up, before I lose all respect I have for you.

-SS
 
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