SOCOM adopting new rifle

The US Special Forces are going to be fielding two new variants of the venerable M16 platform, the Mark-16 and Mark-17 (Mk16/Mk17), respectively. Correction – they’re getting the FN SCAR rifle.

From this story on CNN, the detail that will probably interest the most people here is that the Mk17 is a 7.62 NATO rifle.

The Mk17 fires a larger 7.62 mm round that is used in some U.S. military machine guns,

If you read the actual article from CNN, it’s almost funny; they talk about the relatively modular nature of the M-16 platform of rifles as if it’s a brand new concept, which to anyone who has ever swapped an upper to change the caliber of his AR – it isn’t.

Every since we started up with the War on Terror, there has been something of an outcry for a round with better terminal ballistics than the 5.56, and since SOCOM get what SOCOM want, they’re now going to be fielding new rifles (not 30 year old beat up M-14s) chambered in7.62.


  1. It will be interesting to see how many of the 7.62 Mk17s are used compared to the 5.56 Mk16, and if they’re used as standard rifles or mostly for sharpshooting and support-type roles.

  2. The complaint about wounding may be somewhat exaggerated (or some experts on wounding tell me), but it certainly lacks punch when passing through wood or concrete.

    What, no AR-10s?

  3. A clarification to your correction: The Mk16 and Mk17 is the military designation for the FN SCAR-L and SCAR-H. They’re not variants of M-16s, but otherwise you had it right.

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