View Full Version : Which rifle?

January 2, 2011, 12:07 AM
Sorry I know there are a ton of these threads but I have read many of them, done a ton of research, and in the light of some price drops need some opinions.

I'm trying to decide between a SCAR and an ACR "OMG we have heard this a million times". Yeah I know but please don't stop reading yet. Like I said, I have done a bunch of reading and research and I want to get some feed back that is a little more organized and constructive than pretty much every other ACR vs SCAR thread.

Getting down to business:

-1:7 twist is better for stabilizing heavier .223 bullets and is designed to shoot 5.56 NATO. However, it looks like most of the bullets I'm going to buy (cheap ones) are the lighter 55 grains and aren't 5.56 NATO. So these two things don't mean much to me other than the fact that the SCAR is capable and more suited to firing NATO and heavier (more accurate) ammo whenever I do get around to buying those rounds for whatever reason. Does anyone know if the civilian SCAR has a true NATO barrel better suited for the 5.56 NATO's leade or a regular .223 barrel? If it does have a true NATO barrel then it would be more accurate with 5.56 NATO rounds.

-The SCAR isn't truly fully-ambidextrous. I'm a lefty so I noticed this flaw when I was fondling this one at my local range. The bolt catch is only on the right-handed side. Now I'm aware that the charging handle is reversible and therefore I can chamber a round either like an AK or an M1A depending which hand I am using. But I would really rather prefer a bolt catch to be ambidextrous because I'm a lefty and I'm tired of using right-hand biased designs.

-While we are talking about the charging handle I would like to point out that isn't a non-reciprocating charging handle. I don't know if this is a big deal or not. I really don't care unless someone can point out an advantage or disadvantage either way.

-I really like the SCAR's safety being a 45 degree throw. But I find it hard to use left-handed because the left-handed (right side) safety lever is shorter than the right-handed (left side) safety lever. I looked at it and it looks like you can uncrew the levers and switch which side they are on but I'm not sure. Does anyone know if that is possible?

-The SCAR seems to be reported to be a 1 MOA rifle. Which is really cool. But pretty much mandatory for a $2300 dollar rifle.

-The SCAR is also supposed to hold zero when you do a barrel change. Sounds cool but it doesn't look like there are any barrels to swap yours with in the first place sooo that doesn't really matter. And it requires a tool and good chunk of time to change barrels/calibers even if there were other barrel lengths and calibers available for civilians.


-It is cheaper than the SCAR. I saw the Enhanced version for ~$1850 literally $500 less than the SCAR.

-The ACR has a 1:9 twist which is actually better than a 1:7 twist for the light (and cheap) 55 grain bullets that I, personally, am going to firing more often. But I don't have the option of utilizing the heavier, harder-hitting .223 rounds on the market as well as the SCAR. A big negative is that the ACR says 5.56 NATO on the barrel and according to several youtube videos it is not capable of firing 5.56 NATO without jamming. This is a youtube video that shows this problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fL0-bQA5iw8. Jdelusia has several of these videos and it turns out that he had to send it back to Bushmaster several times before they finally "fixed it". They gave him a redesigned gas regulator to permit the rifle to fire 5.56 NATO rounds (video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXcteqHaM_o&feature=channel). However the rifle clearly doesn't seem to be designed to fire 5.56 NATO rounds at all. So unless I want to buy an ACR and argue with Bushmaster for a while to get a gas regulator to permit me to fire 5.56 NATO it doesn't look like I will be able to fire 5.56 NATO rounds out of the ACR. But, like I said, that isn't too big of a deal because 5.56 NATO rounds are a little more expensive than the regular stuff that I'm probably going to buy and shoot at the range. Also since it doesn't seem to be designed to shoot 5.56 NATO that probably means it will be more accurate when it shoots regular .223 ammo (the stuff I will be shooting) because it probably doesn't have a NATO barrel to properly accommodate the 5.56 NATO round's longer leade.

-The ACR is fully-ambidextrous. It has a reversible, non-reciprocating charging handle so you can put it in either left or right-side configuration just like the SCAR. I'm still not sure why it would be better to have a charging handle that is reciprocating or non-reciprocating. But the bolt catch is located forward of the trigger guard and can be used by your trigger finger whether you are left or right-handed (a definite design win in my book).

-The ACR safety sucks in my opinion. When I was handling one at my local range it wasn't nearly as positive as the SCAR safety (it was easy to move and didn't click into one position or the other as definitively as the SCAR's safety). The throw was a full 90 degrees and it got in the way of your hand whether you used it left or right handed. However, it is a little more usable than the SCAR because the SCAR doesn't have the same length lever on both sides of the safety. More or less the safety sucks on both the SCAR and the ACR. The ACR should have a 45 degree throw like the SCAR and not get in the way of your strong hand. The SCAR should just have equal length safety levers on both sides of the gun and it would be pretty much perfect.

-The ACR seems to be a 1.5 MOA gun which isn't bad if it weren't for the fact that there are cheaper guns that are more accurate than that. But I mean they don't have all of the ambidextrous features of the SCAR or the ACR so I guess I kinda have to factor that into the equation.

-The ACR changes barrels and calibers faster than the SCAR without a tool. I don't believe it holds zero after barrel change even though it is a tool-less, faster barrel change. I also think the accuracy relies on how good of a job you do cranking the barrel into place. That kinda makes me think it can shoot itself into being less and less "locked-in" over time. But I don't have extensive trigger time with the SCAR or the ACR to really know. Please let me know if you know any different one way or the other. Once again this nifty little feature doesn't seem to matter because I don't see any caliber or barrel length conversions available for purchase on the market yet. But I heard (point the way if you know something different) that the ACR is closer than the SCAR to getting said caliber and barrel conversions on the civilian market.

Finally, I would really appreciate it if someone could help persuade me to buy one rifle over the other with all of these things considered. I thank you all for bearing with my long-winded question (post?). Thanks for your time and replies in advance.

January 2, 2011, 12:20 AM
get the acr!
you save money on both the gun and ammo.
you will shoot it more.
therefore you will be awesome at the acr!

however, if money is no issue i personally like the scar more.

January 2, 2011, 12:21 AM
I would say get the SCAR 17 (7.62/ 308). I mainly say that because I would be really jealous. Other than that, get which ever one feels better to you. They are both good guns. Heck, get all three of them.

January 2, 2011, 12:56 AM
I really think you are making this way more technical and in-depth than you need to. And I say that because I'm commonly guilty of the exact same thing. Don't get bogged down with every nitty-gritty detail. They are helpful, but only until they quit being helpful.. :)

I would point out that heavier bullets don't necessarily mean more accurate. If you are shooting at unknown distances, you may actually benefit from the flatter shooting lighter bullets. Yes the heavier bullets are better for those longer shots, but if you are going to be commonly needing great accuracy at 4, 500 yards I would submit neither is probably the best option.

Unless you are considering the SCAR purely because you just have always wanted one and won't be happy with anything unless it is a SCAR, go with the ACR and put the extra money towards a nice optic.

David Hineline
January 2, 2011, 01:16 AM
Considering all Bushmaster ACRs were recalled, and now Bushmaster is closing, I would wait to see if the product is viable long term.


January 2, 2011, 01:32 AM
The Bushmaster brand and products remain key strategic assets within the Freedom Group portfolio.

The move will have no impact on customers or the existing supply base.

Saying Bushmaster is closing is a stretch... closing one factory, yes. But not closing.

January 2, 2011, 03:10 AM
@brandondferrier- But why do you like the SCAR more? lol

@dawico- I do like the idea of getting a 7.62x51 weapon... but I think the 16 inch barrel is wasting the potential of the 7.62x51 round. The ammo is also more expensive and heavier. Basically... it isn't what I want. I do really want a .308 rifle. I haven't narrowed down which one of those I want either.

@ndking1126- Yeah you are right. Heavier (assuming same velocity) just means more powerful which might be something I would want in the future. I do like the SCAR. I am a little bit of an FN fan boy because I'm a lefty and I really enjoy my FNP-45 Tactical and my FNX-9. They are some of the first handguns that are actually fully ambidextrous. I am a sad panda that they didn't make the bolt catch on both sides of the SCAR even though their other ambi designs are truly ambi. However I will buy what will give me the most bang for my buck.

@DavidHineline- I'm not worried about one factory closing. I just want the best bang for my buck. If the free market forces them to close a factory and lower the prices on over-priced guns then great. I just want to get the most for my money.

January 2, 2011, 09:16 AM
Hmmm... I'd rather have the SCAR. But I want mine in 7.62.