One of my favourite parts of getting a new AEG is setting up the externals to suit my needs. With the TM SCAR-H, I wanted to go for an issued MK17 look, with a couple of small adjustments to personalize it to my tastes (and suit what I had lying around).
Tons more pretty pics and descriptions of all the stuff I’ve bolted on to this thing after the break.
The first and most obvious change would I guess be the longer barrel length. I like the look of the longer barrel on the SCAR-H and the longer 407mm Prometheus barrel I installed gave me an excuse to use the outer barrel extension that TM included in the box. I can still use the short CQB barrel length if I really wanted to, but the inner barrel would be visible through the three pronged flash suppressor. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have that option.
I added a Beta Project PEQ-15 battery box on there, purely for looks as the thing is rear-wired anyway. PEQ-15s are commonly seen on Mk17s mounted on the 12 o’clock rail in a forward position, so that’s where I stuck mine on. If it were real, I could have manual control over it with my thumb. But it’s not, and is really just there to look pretty.
With some clever use of LaRue index clips and random ladder rail covers I had lying around, I was able to rout the pressure pad to sit between the 3 and 6 o’clock rails – in a perfect position for the index finger of my support hand to press when needed, whilst minimizing the chance of unintentional activation.
With a bulkier rifle like the SCAR it helps to have a larger foregrip up front to control all that mass. My foregrip of choice is an Element TD QD foregrip. Not only is it a decent replica of the real steel TD foregrip issued with the Mk17, but it’s also very sturdy, mounts tightly to the rail, and cost me $10. What’s not to love?
And now for the centrepiece of my SCAR-H externals – a Novel Arms Tac-One compact scope, which is a replica of the Nightforce NXS compact scope commonly seen in pictures of the Mk17 with various SOCOM units. I’ve mounted it to an ARES SR-25 dual scope mount, itself a replica of the mount usually seen used with the Nightforce NXS. Many, many thanks goes to Stealth of Airsoftstore.ca for selling me this scope from his personal collection, saving me from having to hunt down this relatively rare item from Japan.
To be honest, the Tac-One isn’t my favourite compact scope – I actually prefer my old Vision King 1.25-5x compact scope, with its longer eye relief and slightly wider field of vision. The Tac-One also has a more difficult to adjust magnification adjuster – it’s kind of difficult to find when there are a set of ridges right next to it that aren’t the adjustment dials. I could attach a real steel throw lever on there to make adjustment of magnification much easier, but at $70 a pop for the real deal I’m not sure if it’s worth it. If anyone knows of any replica throw levers available, please let me know in the comments below.
On top of the difficulty of magnification adjustment, the scope turrets on the Tac-One are exposed, meaning accidental brushing against your gear or an obstacle could throw your dope completely off. These flaws are more to do with Nightforce’s design, though, and not so much with Novel Arms’ admittedly faithful recreation of their scope.
Nonetheless, it’s still more than capable of being an airsoft scope used for skirmish purposes. I like the Tac-One’s standard crosshair reticle over the donut the VisionKing has, and I must admit it certainly looks the part for a Mk17 impression gun. I’m more than happy with it and will keep it on the SCAR for a very long time.
Next are a couple of stickers – yes, stickers. These Emerson Mk17 QR Stickers are meant to mimic the real life barcodes and QR codes found on issued rifles that I presume are meant for armoury tracking and identification of individual rifles as they are issued. It’s a tiny detail that most people will never see (being on the left side of the rifle means it’ll be facing my chest most of the time) but hey, it’s all about the little details, right?
The final bits I’ve added are sling attachment points – a Magpul RSA on the 9 o’clock rail and a big fat regular keychain at one of the rear sling mounts. One of the universal complaints about the SCAR platform has been its sling mounting hardware, which is too damn small for anything but a paracord sling to use. This is solved with the RSA and giant keychain I’ve stuck on there which facilitates the use of my Magpul MS3. I’d still like to see FN make a change to any further iterations of the SCAR to fix this problem, but hey, I’m just a lowly airsofter…
In my opinion, the SCAR is a gorgeous rifle – perhaps my favourite looking rifle overall. Not everyone shares that opinion, distracted as they are by the bulky and stupid looking stock, the mismatched shades of FDE, the bulkiness of the thing. But I think those things add to its charm. It grows on you. There are times when I sit there and just stare at the thing.
It’s big, it’s bulky, it tires you out after carrying it around for a day – but such is the price you pay for carrying around a work of art.