DBoys SOF Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR-L)
14 Jul 2009
According to Wikipedia, “The SOF Combat Assault Rifle, or SCAR, is a modular rifle made by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FNH) for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to satisfy the requirements of the SCAR competition. This family of rifles consist of two main types. The SCAR-L, for light, is chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H, for heavy, fires 7.62x51mm NATO ammunition. Both are available in further variants such as marksman or CQC (Close Quarters Combat).”
The SCAR is available in two calibers, and in versions for short and long range combat. It emerged as the winner of a US SOCOM competition to find a new rifle for Special Forces begun in 2003. Other competitors included entries by Colt and the Robinson Arms XCR. Heckler & Koch had submitted the XM8 as a general issue replacement for the M4 and M16 for the US Army, but the program was canceled.
The SCAR is manufactured in two main versions; Light (SCAR-L, Mk 16 Mod 0) and Heavy (SCAR-H, Mk 17 Mod 0). The L version fires 5.56x45mm NATO using improved M16 rifle magazines. The H fires the more powerful 7.62x51mm NATO from a newly designed 20-round magazine (this full-sized cartridge makes the SCAR-H a battle rifle). Different length barrels will be available for close quarters battle and for longer-range engagements. The initial solicitation indicated that the SCAR-H would also be chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 cartridge.
The SCAR features an integral, uninterrupted Picatinny rail on the top of the aluminum receiver, two removable side rails and a bottom one that can mount any MIL-STD-1913 compliant accessories. It has a polymer lower receiver with an M16 compatible pistol grip, flared magazine well, and raised area around magazine and bolt release buttons. The front sight flips down for unobstructed use of optics and accessories. The rifle uses a 'tappet' type of closed gas system much like the M1 Carbine while the bolt carrier otherwise resembles the Stoner 63 or Heckler & Koch G36.
The SCAR will be built at the FN Manufacturing LLC, plant in Columbia, South Carolina. Fabrique Nationale announced plans to introduce (around 2008) a semi-automatic version of the SCAR modular rifle system, designed for the law enforcement and commercial markets.”
The FN SCAR Airsoft Rifle
With the release of the news regarding the replacement of the ever-popular M4 assault rifle with a newly manufactured rifle has caused a big stir within the airsoft manufacturing community. And at around the early part of 2007 came the first airsoft version of the FN SCAR-L released by JLS then followed by Classic Army. More news came out that other high-end airsoft manufacturers would be jumping on the SCAR bandwagon as well. Manufacturers like STAR, VFC and G&G releasing news that they too will have their own versions of the SCAR. Well, they all did and STAR have actually just released their own versions with the STAR coming with its own EGLM.
With today’s trend in the airsoft market, we have all been aware that where there’s a high-end version, another ACM (all-Chinese-made) version is not far away. The first ACM, the JLS version, proved a bit disappointing to budget airsofters waiting for this moment to come.
Then like a ray of sunshine coming through a cloudy sky came the news that DBoys or BOYI, one of the top ACM manufacturers, is releasing their own ACM version of the FN SCAR. And even before this news found its way down the airsoft community grapevine, Hong Kong retailers suddenly posted the product at their websites and started taking orders. Being a DBoys product, most ACM users believed that this would be in a different league compared to the first ACM SCAR from JLS. And we shall find out, as we were able to get our hands on one ahead of the UK market.
The version that we received was the SC-01 (OEM) version that does not have the “MK16 MOD 0” markings on the receiver. The packaging was a very simple foam box with a brown cardboard lid with a sticky label “SC-01” on the top of the lid. This is one of the first batches that came out. The batches that followed contained these markings and at little bit priced higher. On the inside you will find the rifle, a vertical fore grip, a 300 rd hi-cap M4 type magazine in tan color, a barrel extension, and the usual ACM accessories like the battery, charger and cleaning rod.
The color looked a bit off for me when I first looked at this rifle as the upper receiver somewhat has a flat dark tan almost greenish metallic color although some players say that it is much like the VFC version when it comes to the color.
Despite of this, this airsoft rifle probably has the best external quality that I have ever seen on an ACM. The over all built is solid. There is no barrel wobble what so ever. And there is no movement between the upper and lower receiver.
When you take the rifle out of the box, you will find that it has a very short barrel, which will be great for close quarter battles (CQB). If like me you find this too short, the rifle comes with a metal barrel extension. All you need to do is unscrew the M4 style flash hider clockwise, screw the extension in and add then replace the flash hider. Note that there is no inners barrel extension so extending the outer barrel is purely for aesthetic purposes only and will not affect the performance of the AEG in any way. The front folding metal sight is held on top of the gas tube and not on the receiver. It can be folded forward be pressing a button on the left side of its base.
As with the real SCAR, this one features a long uninterrupted Picatinny rail on top of the aluminum receiver. There are two shorter rails on each side of the rifle and are removable and a longer rail at the bottom. The removable rails are metal and are firmly screwed to the receiver. The charging handle is ambidextrous as it can be placed from either side by simply unscrewing it from one side and transferring it to the other. Pulling the charging handle will retract the dust cover on the ejection port to reveal the hop-up, which is a vertical dial similar to that found on the TM P90 and TM M14. Pulling the charging handle felt a bit rough and adjusting the hop-up felt heavy but nothing that can’t be fixed with a little spray of silicone oil. At the top end of the receiver you will find the removable metal folding rear sight. The sight is fully adjustable, height and windage. On the left side of the receiver, you will find the markings “FN HERSTAL BELGIUM” with the serial number “B0897” below it. Just below this marking, you will find “CAL. 5.56 MM.” and another serial number, this one “0010693”.painted in white. At this moment in time, I have no information if these serial numbers are unique to each DBoys SCAR, which I highly doubt although I would like to be proven wrong. There are no markings on the right side of the upper receiver.
The lower receiver is made of ABS material. It is finished very smoothly but not without its imperfections. The magazine release catch is ambidextrous and can be accessed from either side of the rifle. Similar to this, the fire selector switch is also ambidextrous which is handy for left handed shooters. The markings on the fire selector are engraved into the lower receiver with the markings “S” for Safety, “1” for Single Fire and “A” for Automatic Fire. The switch is well placed. No wobble and goes through the three modes smoothly. The trigger is metal and has a crisp solid feel when pulled. The magazine well takes in the stock magazine in smoothly, not too tight and not too loose.
The magazine nicely drops out on its own when the release catch is pressed. TM hi-cap mags also fit into it without any problem. The handgrip is ABS and is the normal M4/M16 style handgrip. One thing that is not lacking in this rifle is a sling point. In fact there are 4 sling points, 2 at the front of the receiver and 2 between the receiver and the stock.
Now we get to what I think is the most complicated part of the rifle, the stock. It is made of ABS material and is attached directly to the upper and lower receiver. The stock folds towards the right of the rifle and clips in place, again, this is solidly built and snaps back and forth without any difficulty. The adjustable cheek piece also serves as an access for the battery compartment and unlike other more expensive versions, placing the battery in this one is a piece of cake. In fact it is the easiest one I have ever encountered on any type of AEG. All you need to do is press the button used to raise the cheek piece up. Pull the check piece until its front end disconnects from the stock and there you have it, the battery compartment. The space is good enough to hold a mini 8.4 volts battery without any problem with storing back the wires. The plastic used for the cheek piece looks of low quality and appears brittle. The end part of the stock is retractable in 3 positions and is clearly marked with the numbers 1,2and 3. And again, on top end of the stock is yet another sling point. The stock also has a rubberized butt plate, which makes it more comfortable to shoulder. The rubber but plate is held by grooves that run along the butt stock and can easily be peeled off giving it the chance to fall off during a game. Therefore it is probably a good idea to glue it in place permanently.
The takedown procedure of the DBoys SCAR is not as straightforward as your normal ordinary M4. The first thing is to disconnect the stock. To do this, fold the stock and remove the two screws on the part that is attached to the end of the receiver. Then put the stock back at its proper position, at each side of the end of the top receiver you will find three allen screws, remove the ones nearest to the end of the receiver. Lastly, flip the rear sight up and remove the screw lying underneath when the sight is flipped downwards. Once this is done, you should be able to pull the stock out. Detach the top receiver by removing the front receiver pin.
With the top receiver detached, you will now be able to access the barrel and hop-up assembly. The inner barrel is approximately 10.5 inches in length with an inner barrel diameter of 6.03 mm. The hop-up assembly is plastic and is, as mentioned earlier, a vertical dial system. Removing the handgrip, which houses the motor is the typical M4 handgrip disassembly procedure. The motor is branded or labeled as “CHAOLI MICRO-MOTOR MACHINERY CO LTD”. I visited their website and it seems like DBoys have contracted a micro-motor company to supply them of their motors. This is the first time I’ve seen this label as most of the ACMs that I have reviewed have unbranded motors.
The tricky bit with the takedown is detaching the gearbox from the lower receiver. First remove the two pins as you would on an M4. This would be the rear lower receiver pin and the pin located just above the trigger. As with the CA SCAR, the ambidextrous fire selector switch is made possible by using gears on both sides of the rifle and another gear attached to each fire selector switch. Two ways to do this is one by prying the lower receiver open to detach the gears or by trying to find the correct angle on how the gears are connected together and pulling the gearbox at this angle forward and up. It is actually possible to do this without removing the external fire selector switches.
Once the gearbox is out, you can now see the assembly, which, as far as I can see, is a copy of the CA SCAR gearbox. The gearbox housing is black. The fire selector plate is different from the usual M4. One thing that is very obvious at first glance are the plastic bushings which DBoys still use. A bit disappointing as other ACMs have now started using metal or aluminum bushings. If you have seen a DBoys M4 internals before, this one is quite the same, Aside from the XYT branded gears and what I would say an M120 equivalent spring, most of the internals are plastic. These include the piston, air-nozzle and spring guide. Lubrication of the gears is pretty decent. And the wiring connections look good.
As an airsoft player, I have always found it awkward and quite uneasy when shouldering the SCAR. Not only with the DBoys version but also with the CA. I find the shape a bit too slim and without the cheek piece. aiming from the sights is somewhat uncomfortable. I would like to know if this is the same reason why FN placed a cheek piece when they designed the real SCAR. But that is the only thing I can complain about with this rifle and that goes with any brand.
Rate of Fire is very good even with only a mini 8.4v battery powering the motor. Range is decent at around 30 meters and the hop-up unit works well. I did not weigh the rifle but it is very light compared to its M4 counterpart.
Overall, the DBoys SCAR is a very well made and solid SCAR-L version. Very good performance and light weight which is good for those lengthy tactical skirmish games. This will definitely give the high-end brands a run for their money
I would highly recommend this rifle to all SCAR fans on a budget.
Special thanks to Sir Albert of FILCOMBAT and STAG-UK for helping me with the gearbox takedown.
Our thanks to RSOV.com for providing the unit for review.