AR15.Com Archives
 SCAR 17S vs M1A?
ACR223  [Member]
9/28/2011 3:54:38 PM EST
I am debating about which is going to be my next rifle to fill the .308 slot. I have always liked the look and feel of the M1A.
My plan would be to scope out the M1A and use it as my long range rifle. I would use whatever platform I decide on out to at least 600 yds.
I know I need a heavier round and i like the idea of a semi-auto over a bolt gun at this point. I know the M1A can reliably engage targets at those types of distances.
I have only handled a SCAR 16 in my local shop and it felt good and light.
So I really need to way the pro's and con's for both platforms.

Cost equipped?
Weight?
Maintenance?
Accuracy?
Reliability?
Shooting supressed?
Shooting in a match?
Could you use a SCAR as a service rifle since it is used by the US military?

Thanks for any input
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REM40X  [Team Member]
9/28/2011 4:30:12 PM EST
Traded my M1A (SA Loaded - stainless- with a bunch of accuracy upgrades) for a Scar 17. . . . And never looked back. Better accuracy, lighter, easier to disassemble, NO GREASE needed, put the charging handle on either side, better stock, better rails, quick change barrels, and the list goes on. And, by the way, it will probably replace whatever M14's are still being used by the military. Hands down a much better battle rifle. . . In my humble opinion.
Friendly_Crusader  [Team Member]
9/28/2011 5:01:23 PM EST
I agree with the above.. Eventually, heavier profile barrels will come out that will even further increase the range on the scar 17

I shot a springfield socom and a SCAR 17s side by side and the SCAR is just more pleasant to hold, shoot and operate, not even considering the other positives
cetane  [Member]
9/28/2011 5:35:36 PM EST
Your major con for the SCAR 17 is no parts available or the ones that are cost more than a new rifle.
fmiq  [Team Member]
9/28/2011 7:42:24 PM EST
I have owned or still own many of the major battle rifles of the last 60 years. Trained with the M14 and have a M1A that I don't shoot but I do shoot my SCAR17s every chance I get. This is my goto rtifle. Get one, you won't be sorry!
Gamma762  [Team Member]
9/28/2011 8:48:06 PM EST
You should really take a look over in Rogue4's thread and compare the current real world performance of the two rifles.
Strider47  [Member]
9/29/2011 7:40:59 AM EST
Originally Posted By REM40X:
Traded my M1A (SA Loaded - stainless- with a bunch of accuracy upgrades) for a Scar 17. . . . And never looked back. Better accuracy, lighter, easier to disassemble, NO GREASE needed, put the charging handle on either side, better stock, better rails, quick change barrels, and the list goes on. And, by the way, it will probably replace whatever M14's are still being used by the military. Hands down a much better battle rifle. . . In my humble opinion.


Same here, except I had the parkerized barrel. The M1A is an antiquated POS with horrible ergonomics.
JYogi  [Team Member]
9/29/2011 9:34:32 AM EST
I have a shorter LOP and just can't get comfortable with the M1.

I like to be able to adjust the stock......

The SCAR is MILES ahead.....

M4A1  [Team Member]
9/29/2011 6:40:28 PM EST
What profile barrel does the Scar 17 have now? I only have a 16, and it's a pencil barrel.
freewilly  [Member]
9/29/2011 6:48:42 PM EST
I shudder when I think back on the huge money pit my M1A was. Never before or since have I fucked off so much money for so little return. The SCAR 17 kicks the M1A's ass in so many ways. No amount of stroking by the media etc. can make the M1A better then it is. Unfortunately, with so much bull shit out and about, one almost has to buy one to find out the hard way that it is what it is. = A fine old battle rifle that works great with iron sights, and sucks with a scope compared to the SCAR. Sure, throw a bunch of moola at the M14 and it will equal the SCAR 17. Just add a few more pounds and deal with the inferior ergonomics. After I scoped my M1A and found out it jammed by throwing empties up against the scope mount, then they bounced back into the bolt as it was on it's way forward, then adding a uber tall cheek rest so I could see the scope, then finding out I had better drink a beer as I waited for the scope to come down off of recoil. Bullshit. And no, I am not going to buy a fucking SAGE or anything else for the motherfucker. It can stay in my gunsafe and rot for all I care, and when I want to shoot a great iron sighted battle rifle, I take out my Garand, and when I want to shoot the finest battle rifle made, I shoot my SCAR 17.
M4A1  [Team Member]
9/29/2011 10:52:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By freewilly:
I shudder when I think back on the huge money pit my M1A was. Never before or since have I fucked off so much money for so little return. The SCAR 17 kicks the M1A's ass in so many ways. No amount of stroking by the media etc. can make the M1A better then it is. Unfortunately, with so much bull shit out and about, one almost has to buy one to find out the hard way that it is what it is. = A fine old battle rifle that works great with iron sights, and sucks with a scope compared to the SCAR. Sure, throw a bunch of moola at the M14 and it will equal the SCAR 17. Just add a few more pounds and deal with the inferior ergonomics. After I scoped my M1A and found out it jammed by throwing empties up against the scope mount, then they bounced back into the bolt as it was on it's way forward, then adding a uber tall cheek rest so I could see the scope, then finding out I had better drink a beer as I waited for the scope to come down off of recoil. Bullshit. And no, I am not going to buy a fucking SAGE or anything else for the motherfucker. It can stay in my gunsafe and rot for all I care, and when I want to shoot a great iron sighted battle rifle, I take out my Garand, and when I want to shoot the finest battle rifle made, I shoot my SCAR 17.


Wow, I thought I was the only one. I sold my M1A for all the reasons you listed..... Your enitre post nailed it, perfectly.
M1A4ME  [Team Member]
9/30/2011 1:18:18 AM EST
M1A's are funny beasts. Some are really accurate. Some just never seem to get the issues worked out.

Mine is okay accurate but not to the level I always wanted. I get a kick out of all the "want" for a tack driving battle rifle. Most folks can't use the accuracy potential of standard battle rifle. They want to buy the high dollar/big name rifles/accessories and then brag about how much money they spent. What they need to do is start spending money on ammo and training/practice and learn to shoot what they've got. If I had dollar for everytime I've seen someone take a raggedy looking rifle to the range and outshoot the whiz kid/guy with the rifle/scope that costs more than some of my cars I'd go out to dinner tonight with my wife.

Shooting off a bench at a known distance at a big paper target doesn't prove much. Get down in the dirt, find a target out there at a distance you're estimating based on training/experience, read the wind and put a bullet through it. If you can't do that then all that money and all those big names and all that talk while sitting at the bench on a 100 yd. shooting range won't mean much if you have to use that rifle for the purpose it was designed/built for.

M1A/M1 not ergonomic? A broom stick will fit your hands if you use it enough. Its what your body gets used to through frequent use. My M1A has and old scope/scope mount on it and I finally put a cheek rest on it and that helped. if I was doing it today I'd put a barrel mounted scope on it (like an Ameaga Ranges mount or those like it). Gets your head way down on the rifle stock vs. the standard M1A scope mount.

Good thing everyone like's something different. Even better is we still live in a country/time where we can buy something different - and shoot it.
ShamusMcOI  [Team Member]
9/30/2011 2:31:04 AM EST
having owned several M1A's and just recently been able to get behind the SCAR, I can hands down say i'd take the SCAR. the SCAR is just an amazing gun, all around. and i was really impressed with it's accuracy, even with surplus ammo out to close to 300m. was never very impressed with the accuracy on any of my M1A's..........my FAL's usually shot better........
mstennes  [Member]
9/30/2011 4:22:41 AM EST
SCAR 17 hands down! Had the M1A's, they have been replaced by a MWS with a 20" for long range shooting, and for everything else my 17 does much better than I imganined it would.
USSA-1  [Member]
9/30/2011 5:16:48 AM EST
While I love the feel of the M1A, especially if I want to shoot iron sights.. it's just not practical to scope.

SCAR-17 all the way.

USSA-1
kelone  [Member]
9/30/2011 6:54:57 AM EST
I've been thinking hard about a 308 semi-auto, and I think this thread just pushed me away from the M1A.
The question I have about the SCAR 17 is, I've read that 16" is too short 308?

I guess "too short" as in significantly sub-optimal. Is that a serious issue?

Is there going to be 18" SCAR 17 in the near future?
The other rifle I was considering is the Kel-tec RFB - I know, apples to cucumbers, but I love bullpups.

An important consideration for me is getting a rifle that is <=30" - in michigan it is considered a pistol and I can CCW it - at least in terms of having it in the car without any bullshit rules on it being in a case in the trunk, not loaded, etc.
SCAR counts since the length in question is the minimum length (folded), and from what I can tell an 18" barrel would still be <=30"

JYogi  [Team Member]
9/30/2011 7:28:44 AM EST
The SCAR can reach serious distance with the 16" barrel and do serious damage.
Can it shoot out as far and accurately as a Remington 700 tuned up or something along those lines
no but it can handle any distance you would realistically be using it.

If the barrel does go to 18 in (unlikely) it will take the rifle over the 30 inches and it will no longer
likely be a pistol in Michigan.

ETA The SCAR H folded is 721 millimeters = 28.3858268 inches so make it an 18 in barrel and you
are past Michigan "pistol" territory.
freewilly  [Member]
9/30/2011 8:46:55 AM EST
In fairness to my M1A, if I had to go to war with only an iron sighted .308, I would look hard at my M1A. It is a fine example of it's type that is fifty years + old. It has all G.I. parts but for the receiver, and it is a tack driver with a scope and handloads, but it jams with a scope, and I spent a lot of time, money, and ammo to find this out. The machine was never really designed for a scope, and I know that now. I sold the scope to a friend, and my M1A resides in my gun safe for the most part. Because I can still shoot irons well, I take it out on occasion and punch targets with it, clean the rifle good and put it back away. I still view it with disgust when I first see it in the safe, but after I get passed reminiscing, (and my disgust) I still enjoy shooting it. For some reason, my Garand is actually easier for me to shoot well, so naturally I like to shoot it more then the M1A. By the way, with irons, the SCAR 17 is superb, and with a good scope, (I use a Leupold MK4 2.5x8), it is the best one of them all. No matter what surplus ball or handloads I run through the SCAR, it is consistantly accurate. From the first shot through to a very hot barrel, it just keeps making very small groups.
freewilly  [Member]
9/30/2011 9:04:28 AM EST
Kelone, the 16 inch barrel on the SCAR causes few issues. Our range here in the NV desert goes past 1500 yards, and the hits are easy to see because of the dust. I have some set targets (rocks, bushes) that we have lasered out to 1430 yards. With ball ammo, the Leupold MK4 2.5x8 scopes elevation cranked all the way up, and using the mil-dots raised to the max, 1000 yard hits can be made with ease on some pretty small targets. (two feet in diameter). An issue, if it can be called that, is learning how to deal with wind. Nevada winds blow constantly, and the slower the bullet goes, the more it is blown around, and the more the shooter has to compensate for it. Hitting under these conditions takes practice, but with practice, and accepting the fact that the wind will always blow, hitting long range targets with the SCAR is not a problem. I would love to have a nice 20 inch barrel for mine, but this ain't gonna happen anytime soon, so I am content with what I have.
Johnny_Reb  [Member]
9/30/2011 3:30:03 PM EST
Don't have a M1A, but I really like my M14. Accurate and beautiful...

I haven't shot my SCAR 17 yet, but if its anything like my SCAR 16 I'm gonna LOVE it.
Fly-n-hitch-hiker  [Team Member]
9/30/2011 5:53:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By M4A1:
Originally Posted By freewilly:
I shudder when I think back on the huge money pit my M1A was. Never before or since have I fucked off so much money for so little return. The SCAR 17 kicks the M1A's ass in so many ways. No amount of stroking by the media etc. can make the M1A better then it is. Unfortunately, with so much bull shit out and about, one almost has to buy one to find out the hard way that it is what it is. = A fine old battle rifle that works great with iron sights, and sucks with a scope compared to the SCAR. Sure, throw a bunch of moola at the M14 and it will equal the SCAR 17. Just add a few more pounds and deal with the inferior ergonomics. After I scoped my M1A and found out it jammed by throwing empties up against the scope mount, then they bounced back into the bolt as it was on it's way forward, then adding a uber tall cheek rest so I could see the scope, then finding out I had better drink a beer as I waited for the scope to come down off of recoil. Bullshit. And no, I am not going to buy a fucking SAGE or anything else for the motherfucker. It can stay in my gunsafe and rot for all I care, and when I want to shoot a great iron sighted battle rifle, I take out my Garand, and when I want to shoot the finest battle rifle made, I shoot my SCAR 17.


Wow, I thought I was the only one. I sold my M1A for all the reasons you listed..... Your enitre post nailed it, perfectly.


Man, I could've written that exact same commentary too.
I've wanted an M1A ever since I qualified with the M14 while in ROTC "summer" camp at Fort Dix in 1968.

Finally bought a Springfield Armory Nat'l. Match rifle in 1987.
After 24 years, a Brookfield Precision mount, S.A. scope that cost almost as much as the rifle, and a set of cheek-pieces so I could actually see through the scope, I still can't hit crap with the damn thing.
AND, I've never been able to find ammo that would function consistantly in it.

Gave up and bought a Scar17 a couple months ago and I couldn't be happier with it
Beautiful rifle and 100% reliable.

The M1A?
Safe-queen-showboat.
cemac  [Member]
10/3/2011 2:53:00 PM EST
got both and like both, that's all I got to say about that....
ronin556  [Member]
10/3/2011 7:09:57 PM EST
I agree with everyone else

The M1A is just not as accurate or as easy to fit you as a SCAR 17s

also, less recoil, by a small margin
Macumazahn  [Team Member]
10/3/2011 7:35:47 PM EST
What about a FAL vs a SCAR 17? is that a closer comparison?
Zamo  [Member]
10/3/2011 8:42:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By Macumazahn:
What about a FAL vs a SCAR 17? is that a closer comparison?


Perhaps...They're made by the same company, and the mags look like they came off the same presses...but that's about where the similarity ends. I have had four or five FAL's, and three M1A's, I don't own any of them now. I own a SCAR17s, and while I like FAL's and M14's for nostalgia and general gun collectability, the SCAR runs circles around both for real world practical carbine use.

I have about 3000 rounds through my SCAR with ONE stopage, which was crazy, old CAVIM surplus crap I've had lying around that never worked in anything. After the one stoppage, I put the rest back into the bucket where it's all been for the last dozen years or more...but I just had to test it

The SCAR wins by being good enough at everything, and excellent at most (important) things. Reliability is excellent. Weight and recoil are excellent. Ergonomics are Excellent. Accuracy is excellent (for what it is, a 16" lightweight carbine). Durability so far has been good enough (no issues, but I am still leary of the stock). I have read people complaining about the trigger pull being gritty, so I'll call that "good enough" even though mine is fine. Certainly not precision match rifle, but it isn't supposed to be either. Mag availability, barrel optiions, spare parts, and initial price is where the SCAR takes most of it's critical hits, but I haven't found any to be a show stopper. I have six FN mags, and keep telling myself I'm going to try Wagnasty's Magpul conversion, but haven't ever gotten around to it. I have done one successful FAL mag conversion, but don't trust it. Cost wasn't too bad when I bought the rifle, and I had lots of money to burn having sold my M1A and FAL.
More mags, parts and barrels WILL be available. Just you wait and see.

YMMV. Buy both, check 'em out, sell the one you don't care for and call the depreciation "cost of education". I love my SCAR and in two weeks it's going to Deer Camp with me. Then, not being an "operator", I will finally get to see how it REALLY really works.
freewilly  [Member]
10/4/2011 9:47:18 AM EST
Concerning FAL's, I have several, and if a person cannot afford a SCAR, the FAL makes a fine substitute. A good FAL will weigh more, but it does every thing very very well, just not quite as good as the SCAR. Compared to an M1A, the FAL is the better choice. Contrary to popular internet rumors, the FAL is super easy to scope using a top cover/ mount, and the FAL with it's adjustable gas system, can digest any .308 ammo made. The FAL has AK reliability also, easily as good as the M1A and SCAR. Remember, the FAL is still in use all over the world, and in it's heyday over 90 countries used it with great success.
Zamo  [Member]
10/4/2011 9:40:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By freewilly:
The FAL has AK reliability also, easily as good as the M1A and SCAR.


Not my experiance. I've had stopages in all the FAL's I've owned. Not many, but more than in any of the AK's I've owned or the SCAR I own. In fact, thus far, the SCAR EXCEEDS AK reliability in my experience. I've had one non-ammo related stoppage in an AK, and zero non-ammo related in my SCAR. Though I will also qualify that by saying I had one AK that had over 10,000 rounds with no stoppages, and I haven't reached that point with my SCAR yet.
FAL's I had were three DSA's, one home built, and two Century's (which hardly count)

The FAL was a great weapon 40 years ago. It's still a good weapon. But so is the Garand.

freewilly  [Member]
10/5/2011 8:12:53 AM EST
Ok, you got me there. The FAL jams whenever I am setting the gas system for the rounds I am going to shoot. However, it is part of the process. Take one lot of one thousand rounds say of South African ball. Back off the gas until it won't lock the bolt back on an empty mag. The FAL will jam also at this setting. What it does is try to eject the red hot brass, but the bolt won't come far enough back for the brass to hit the ejector. The bolt then will chamber the red hot brass, and this is the famous 'stuck case in da FAL' syndrome. Then when the gas system is cranked up so that the bolt will lock back on an empty mag, turn the gas up two more clicks and you are ready to go. The FAL will fire all one thousand rounds without fail, unless you run across a bad round. Let me add that many kit FAL's have been well used, and the gas hole in the barrel often needs cleaning out. Cleaning the gas hole in the FAL barrel requires the removal of the front sight, and because of the nature of the adjustable system, it most likely has never been done. So to get a FAL's gas system back as close to factory as possible, considering that the entire system is also worn, take the time to clean out your gas hole. An AK, bless their little commie innards, uses three times the gas that it needs to function, on purpose. Thus the slam/bang action, and forty foot ejections. A FAL could be turned all the way up, and it would also run everything, although there would be more wear and tear on the rifle, and the FAL was not designed to be used like that, so the FAL gives the user the option to adjust the gas system. FN, in it's wisdom, decided to simplify the gas system on the SCAR, so less training is needed to adjust it. I admire the way the FN engineers thought outside of the box so to speak by making the carrier movement longer and with so much less friction then most other rifles, by virtue of fewer bearing surfaces and the brilliant hammer design that uses a small tail to cock the hammer rather then the entire hammer face. All this allows the sweet little gas tappet system to work everything smoothly through all conditions. I have noticed that the gas system uses replaceable jets in the barrel, similar to main jets in carburetors, in order to tune the rifle at the factory. Just another reason that the SCAR is the most superior system made at this time, but again, the FAL is next in line, in my humble opinion.
ARmory04  [Member]
10/7/2011 8:04:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
You should really take a look over in Rogue4's thread and compare the current real world performance of the two rifles.


He deleted his posts............
SilentREAPER  [Member]
10/8/2011 5:34:25 PM EST
http://www.socnet.com/showthread.php?t=104622

Love My M1A
Interested in a SCAR 17
It has bugs that need worked out.
I'll wait a little while.
The link on top, is a little info from Real SEALS not posers
HDBob  [Member]
12/6/2011 5:12:45 PM EST
M1a getting a bad rap... Great rifle for its time. depends on what you want to do with it. its like trying to compare the m1 garand against a m16.


Originally Posted By freewilly:
In fairness to my M1A, if I had to go to war with only an iron sighted .308, I would look hard at my M1A. It is a fine example of it's type that is fifty years + old. It has all G.I. parts but for the receiver, and it is a tack driver with a scope and handloads, but it jams with a scope, and I spent a lot of time, money, and ammo to find this out. The machine was never really designed for a scope, and I know that now. I sold the scope to a friend, and my M1A resides in my gun safe for the most part. Because I can still shoot irons well, I take it out on occasion and punch targets with it, clean the rifle good and put it back away. I still view it with disgust when I first see it in the safe, but after I get passed reminiscing, (and my disgust) I still enjoy shooting it. For some reason, my Garand is actually easier for me to shoot well, so naturally I like to shoot it more then the M1A. By the way, with irons, the SCAR 17 is superb, and with a good scope, (I use a Leupold MK4 2.5x8), it is the best one of them all. No matter what surplus ball or handloads I run through the SCAR, it is consistantly accurate. From the first shot through to a very hot barrel, it just keeps making very small groups.


Augee  [Team Member]
12/7/2011 5:11:33 AM EST
I think freewilly has it basically covered.

Fine as a step up from the M1 Garand using detachable box magazines.

As a modern, optics equipped combat rifle, it's day never came. The multiple and several "enhancements" like SAGE and Troy stocks, scope mounts, scout mounts, ect. ect. have all been bandaids to mark time until the wider availability of platforms like the MK17 and M110.

The M14 was never designed to be a DMR - the role which it has been used for in recent years, and functions poorly in that role, but at the time, it was free and it was available, and it was better than nothing. Buying a new weapon requires not only platform costs, but competition and downselect costs - buying accessories for existing weapon systems is much easier to do, even if you're sinking more than the per-platform cost into the weapon, because you've got more flexible contracting requirements.

Now that whole process has been gone through, and while some folks complain about the M110, I doubt there are many folks out there who would rather be requipped with any kind of modified M14.

As others have mentioned, the M14 is expensive and finicky to make reliable and accurate, and only some of them will ever make decent DMRs. Kudos if you get one. You'll be hating life if you don't. When the M21 and M25 programs were active, it wasn't too difficult to cherry pick from new or almost new production weapons, and the number of people with an operational need for them was very small. You could make sure you only got the good ones and didn't waste effort. Forty odd years later when you have to break them out of mothballs to issue them pretty widely when they're asked for, and are cannibalizing them to fix other ones, you have a lot less leeway to hand-select them.

Most troops today that I've talked to about the M14 have reported numerous problems and headaches associated with them, ranging from poor reliability to scope mounts that (as others have mentioned) deflect spent cases right back into the action.

Thanks for the service - but M14, it's time for you to go back into retirement.

~Augee
Strider47  [Member]
12/11/2011 11:57:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By cetane:
Your major con for the SCAR 17 is no parts available or the ones that are cost more than a new rifle.


USGI parts for an M1A aren't exactly on the rack at every gun store (or cheap) and many of them have to be fitted to the gun.
Strongbow  [Team Member]
12/11/2011 12:47:54 PM EST
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
You should really take a look over in Rogue4's thread and compare the current real world performance of the two rifles.


Sadly, Rogue 4 got fed up with some of the BS there and deleted all his comments. Too bad. He provided some great info.

As i recall, he preferred the SCAR 17 over the M14. He did like the Mk11 rifle though. But I'm scraping memory here...
scoutfsu99  [Team Member]
12/12/2011 3:21:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By Strongbow:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
You should really take a look over in Rogue4's thread and compare the current real world performance of the two rifles.

Sadly, Rogue 4 got fed up with some of the BS there and deleted all his comments. Too bad. He provided some great info.
As i recall, he preferred the SCAR 17 over the M14. He did like the Mk11 rifle though. But I'm scraping memory here...


Wow, I'm surprised he pulled a Trident and went back to delete all his comments. Sucks, that was a good thread for a while.
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