Starting a long range / DMR project.

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I recently got a hair up my backside to do a long range / DMR type rifle. It'll never replace my bolt guns, but an auto loader does have its advantages.

Over the years I've toyed with this before. Multiple iterations of an M1a, ranging from cheap polytech to not so cheap Fulton Armory. Several different Psl-54, from stock to built. Couple of different Ar-10 platforms, from basic to a KC-110 clone. Then a few different Fn-fal setups.

With the M1a, Psl, & Fn-fal platforms I just never got the accuracy that I wanted for the monies involved. I'm not a fan of the Ar-10 platform at all. Parts availability & interchangeability kill it for me.

But the itch has still been in need of scratching. So I started researching what's out there now & settled on the FN Scar 20s in 7.62x51mm for reasons.

1. It's from FN. Proven quality time & again.
2. Designed from the ground up for this role. I'm not trying to repurpose a service rifle.
3. Modularity & support. Good aftermarket support & parts availability. If on the pricey side of things.
4. I know the caliber well & already have several good loadings I reload in it.
5. There is a 6.5 barrel. Need I say more.

It did take a bit to come up with a black rifle. The sorta FDE version is readily available. But its ugly as fuck. They cant even settle for one shade of fde, there's like 4 on one rifle. It's looks like a barf run at Oktoberfest. Spray paint would fix it, but I um really dont care to spay paint a rifle that's cost $4k.

This will be a ongoing discussion. I kinda blew the initial budget on the rifle. The rest is going to be part by part. I'll plan on doing a running review of things as I go. Giving a run down of how whatever affects the platform & performance. From ammo to optics & accessories (primarily bipods). This wont be a quick process. I ain't rich & quality costs.

For now I'm sticking with the factory 10 round mags. Reasons 1: its paid for. Extras are painfully expensive. 2: these are real close in size to a M1a of Fn-fal mag. With a 29 or 30 round mag, getting a good prone shooting position can be a pain for me. 3: this is about accuracy of aimed fire, not volume of lead down range. Fewer shots available = better aim (in my mind at least)

I dont have a quality scope currently & I flat refuse to put a walmart scope on a rifle of this level. So its gonna sort a mid range Hawke Endurance red dot for now. This is pertty much gonna limit me to 100yd shooting for the time being. Will update the specs on this once I get it on or I'll do my civic duty and help stimulate the economy with so stimulus money. Depending upon what the Misses let's me get away with. Shes not thrilled about this one.

No bipod as yet either. Will be shooting from a bag.


I've got no plans for upgrading the trigger. It comes with a Giessele Super Scar trigger. I'm not sure if there is a better trigger system for the platform. The factory stock is also wonderful. Adjustable for LOP & has an adjustable comb. Is very ridged as well.

That's it for the moment. Hope y'all enjoy, this aughta be fun.
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Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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Got some glass & a bipod on order for this pea shooter. Couple of blasted 20 round mags as well. The 10 round mags are practically unobtainium. Such is life.

For glass I'm going with a Trijicon Ta55a red chevron. 308 retical 5.5x50. I'm a fan of fixed power optics. Simple & fewer things to go wrong. Since I'm not planning to shoot past 600yd, the 5.5 power should be plenty. I've also always been happy with an acog, except for the short ass eye relief. This fortunately has better eye relief than the Ta31 models I'm used to. I also very comfortable with the retical & much prefer the 2 eye shooting.

Got an Accu-Tac fc-4 g2 bipod coming. I know essentially nothing about bipods. I had a Harris once many many years ago. I asked around town with the "high speed operator wannabe types" for recommendations. This is what was recommended. Looks like something out of batman. For the pricetag, I hope the dang thing is good.

But I'm getting rather excited about this. I'm truly loving the adjustability of the stock. It feels great. I did swap the charging handle to the righthand side.
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Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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I just about got a Robinson M96 instead of the scar as I think its probably the best of the Stoner designs. But ended up wanting something more "modern". Even if the scar still scream "updated Fn-fa paral" to me most of the time. That & I've read horror stories about customer service / support out of Robinson. Course that seem to be all gun companies these days. Dont know it it's true or not. Probably just internet commandos who've never even touch one.

I do have a friend with an XCR who swears by it & the guy really has been there & do that. So they're probably good guns. I've never fired his.
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Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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Yeah I have heard about the customer service issues but I am taking it with a grain of salt. I take it that gun customers are a difficult crowd. I think it’s cool that the company deals directly with the consumer, allowing for a lot of customization, rather than dealing through distributors. Now I just need to wait for the build to be completed and hope that Congress does not outlaw this gun before I get it.

Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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mattgunguy wrote: Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:25 pm Twas Christmas in March today.

Definitely looks like it's out of a video game. Hopefully I can scrounge up some ammo and get it zeroed this weekend for a range report. Weighs in at about 15 pounds as pictured.
(pssst, I found some at Freedom Munitions, but don't tell anybody! I have some .308 on the way. I don't have experience with them so hope it's good.)

Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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I honestly thought that Freedom Munitions was out of business. I used to buy a crap ton of ammo from them. If I recall correctly, it wasnt bad ammo, nothing stellar match grade . But was reliable and consistently went bang.

Must look into this. Until components come down in price, I'm not reloading much past 45-70.
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Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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Groovy. Let me know how it shoots. I was always pleased with their products back when & wouldn't mind returning to the relationship.

Alrighty, some reviews. This has not been a cheap rifle to get into, & is definitely not for the faint of heart.

New in the box everything & prices reflect that. I'm not including the price of ammo in this.

Fn Scar 20s 7.62x51mm. $4,020 out the door (is actually not a terrible price for one of these).
Trijicon Ta55a. $1,500 on sale at Optics Planet.
Accu-Tac Fc-4 G2 bipod. $375on sale at Optics Planet.
Fn Sacr 17s / 20s factory 20 round mags. $50 per mag x 4 mags for $200. Actually got lucky on these. Found at a semi local store under a layer of dust. Usually they're $60 & up online.
Pelican im3200 storm case. $275 on sale. I think.

We're pushing a $6400 dollar rifle. The Giessele Super Scar trigger that came in it saved about $500. So I'm not complaining about that one.

What you get for an at least $4000 investment, 11.6 pounds of awesome. 16.4 pounds after glass, bipod, & mag.

I've shot & handled many high end & well built precision rifles over there year (got some friends who are huge in this field), this Scar is by far one of the nicest & most comfortable to shoot that I've ever dealt with.

What I do like. ​
The upper is a monolithic aluminum extrusion. One piece from the front to the butt stock. Its not gonna move on you & change your point of impact. Unlike most an Ar15/Ar10. The upper receiver just feels beefy.
The stuck is a 2 pound beast. I'm not sure if its a forging or billet, but either way its easily the most robust detachable stock I've ever personally seen. Come from the factory with adjustable length of pull & comb. Has a 1913 picatinny rail on bottom for a monopod or slider.
The lower receiver is made of a polymer of some sort. Light but still very ridged. Came with a Houge grip that is surprisingly comfortable & I'm not a fan of Houge products in general. Also came with the aforementioned Giessele Super Scar trigger which is seriously nice & saved me around $500. Consistantly breaks at 3.7 pounds.
The barrel is a heavy profile, cold hammer forged, chrome lined, 1 in 10 twist, 20 inch precision instrument. Topped off with a Surefire muzzle noise amplifier. Its loud.

What I'm not really stoked about.
The price tag for starters. I'm not as yet sure this rifle justifies the cost of entry. Only time can figure this one out.
The controls are essentially all ambidextrous & will be intuitivefor the regular Ar15 shooter. But the fucking selector lever just sucks. Its too small in my opinion. I've got large hands andam right handed, & its easier to take my thumb from a shooting position and reach it back around the grip to work the selector lever from the right hand side of the rifle. I find this to be a poor design choice.
The mags, proprietary FN products. This is stupidity at its finest. There are unreliable aftermarket products, but a SR-25 compatible system would have been amazing.
It should have come with BUIS. In a pinch this rifle could double as a battle rifle. But no back up irons and most optics are gonna be to much optic at close ranges. This much money, Fn could have done something.
Fn factory QC was lacking. There's 6 proprietary (fn likes proprietary) bolt holding the barrel in, 5 were not torqued to factory specs. Not even close. So another $50 for a good torque wrench.

All in all, its a fine rifle. My wife's decided it needs a camo job, so that's coming up soon & I'm looking forward to more time behind it.

Will discuss the accessories once the pelican case shows up in a day or 3.
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Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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mattgunguy wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:53 pm Groovy. Let me know how it shoots. I was always pleased with their products back when & wouldn't mind returning to the relationship.
Well, it, and/or me, did not shoot all that well. Then again, I was filming and testing combinations of the four top ports on my brake, so was distracted. I've ordered a bit of half a dozen different brands and will dedicate a range trip to carefully trying them out.

As for the brake test.... not definitive. In fact, that thing is so loud and concussive that I've decided to try shooting without it.

Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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I've been using the Christensen Arms Side Baffle Brake. Came with my MPR. My execution of the test was faulty, I needed to use a longer lens and back the camera away. Too much vibration at the camera. My bad, I was trying to stay self contained on one bench. I ordered some crush washers and a thread protector yesterday to try and shoot without it. It will force me to work on my technique, and that's a good thing.

As far as the ammunition I don't think it was a fair test. I'll try again soon. One thing I'm curious about is, they sell both new and reloaded rounds. I bought new, but a lot of the cases are pretty discolored. I'm going to send them this picture and ask if that makes sense, or perhaps these were reloads in the wrong box. The three on the left are theirs, the three on the right are some new Hornady as a comparison since that's what I'm used to seeing from new product.

Your project looks like it's coming along nicely!
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Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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DavidS wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:01 am I've been using the Christensen Arms Side Baffle Brake. Came with my MPR. My execution of the test was faulty, I needed to use a longer lens and back the camera away. Too much vibration at the camera. My bad, I was trying to stay self contained on one bench. I ordered some crush washers and a thread protector yesterday to try and shoot without it. It will force me to work on my technique, and that's a good thing.

As far as the ammunition I don't think it was a fair test. I'll try again soon. One thing I'm curious about is, they sell both new and reloaded rounds. I bought new, but a lot of the cases are pretty discolored. I'm going to send them this picture and ask if that makes sense, or perhaps these were reloads in the wrong box. The three on the left are theirs, the three on the right are some new Hornady as a comparison since that's what I'm used to seeing from new product.

Your project looks like it's coming along nicely!
That coloring just left over from the case annealing process; Hornady probably tumble polishes their brass afterwards where the smaller company doesn’t. No big deal.

Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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The discoloration looks like where the case mouths were annealed. If its military brass, I'd just about bet money on it. Military doesn't really care about the discoloration. Commercial companies clean everything.

I know for a fact that back when, the difference between new & reloaded at Freedom Munitions ment reused pulled projectiles or new manufacture projectiles. The strictly used range brass for cases (check your headstamps). I had a several hour phone call with one of the sales people.

The 5.56 green tip is 2020 IMI made milspec. I opened the box for the picture. The round next to it is new made PMC bronze commercial .223 rem.

I'd bet that Freedom isn't cleaning cases as well as they could, to get product out the door.
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Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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I'm surprised at the weight of the 20S, I have an FN Scar 17S with a Trijicon TA11, Ching Sling and with a full 20 mag it comes in that 11 lbs even. 3 inches of extra heavy barrel and the multi-adjustment stock get you to 11.6 lbs, but with the TA55, Bi-pod and full mag at 16.4 lbs you're solidly in HK PSG1 territory.
I'm definitely in awe/jealous of your setup but if I ever went Yeti hunting with it, I'd have to hire an extra Sherpa to carry it!
Keep updating... I have a feeling you're going to have some serious fun.
I: ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED
II: NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO DESTROY
III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET
IV: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT'S BEHIND IT

Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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PerfectTommy wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:46 am
That coloring just left over from the case annealing process; Hornady probably tumble polishes their brass afterwards where the smaller company doesn’t. No big deal.
mattgunguy wrote: Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:52 am The discoloration looks like where the case mouths were annealed. If its military brass, I'd just about bet money on it. Military doesn't really care about the discoloration. Commercial companies clean everything.

I know for a fact that back when, the difference between new & reloaded at Freedom Munitions ment reused pulled projectiles or new manufacture projectiles. The strictly used range brass for cases (check your headstamps). I had a several hour phone call with one of the sales people.

The 5.56 green tip is 2020 IMI made milspec. I opened the box for the picture. The round next to it is new made PMC bronze commercial .223 rem.

I'd bet that Freedom isn't cleaning cases as well as they could, to get product out the door.
Thank you both, good to know and makes perfect sense. I'll leave them alone so they can concentrate on getting more product out the door.

Re: Starting a long range / DMR project.

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Tedzilla wrote: Mon Apr 05, 2021 12:21 am I'm surprised at the weight of the 20S, I have an FN Scar 17S with a Trijicon TA11, Ching Sling and with a full 20 mag it comes in that 11 lbs even. 3 inches of extra heavy barrel and the multi-adjustment stock get you to 11.6 lbs, but with the TA55, Bi-pod and full mag at 16.4 lbs you're solidly in HK PSG1 territory.
I'm definitely in awe/jealous of your setup but if I ever went Yeti hunting with it, I'd have to hire an extra Sherpa to carry it!
Keep updating... I have a feeling you're going to have some serious fun.

I need to get a second scale to confirm the weight. More for my own OCD than anything. I had delusions of being able to use it as a tactical to if the need ever arises, but with it being the big kid at camp. That ain't happening.
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