AR15 vs SCAR-H MK17S Speed Test

I ran an informal test with fellow competitive shooter, Karl, to see how fast the SCAR-H MK17S handles at close range compared to our AR15 carbines.  We expected the SCAR-H to be slower as it is in 7.62mm NATO and the AR15s are in 5.56mm NATO, the idea was to see if a shooter using a SCAR-H for better terminal performance at long range was giving up much at close ranges.

Equipment used:

My AR15
Mid-length gas, Spike’s heavy buffer, Hogan MFG 4.5# trigger, PWS FSC556 brake
Aimpoint M4S 2MOA, 3x Magnifier flipped to side.

Karl’s AR15
Carbine gas, RRA 2 Stage, Spike’s heavy buffer, A2 flash hider
Leupold CQT on 1X

MK17S
Stock trigger, stock PWS .308 brake
Aimpoint M4 2MOA, 3x Magnifier flipped to side

We ran 2 series of drills both with our respective AR15s, and with the MK17S.  The first drill was double taps on three paper targets spaced about 6 feet apart at 10 yards.  The second drill was a triple threat; single paper target at 7 yards; 3 shots to center of mass, one head shot, one pelvis shot.

As you can see from the data below, the difference between the AR15s and the MK17S was marginal.  The most obvious difference to the shooters was firing 3 rapid shots on the triple threat drill; the recoil was harder to manage proportionately than double taps and the group opened up more with the MK17S.  The split times shot to shot were slower, but not by much, this could be from the factory trigger vs match triggers as much as increased recoil.  The recoil from the MK17S is very manageable, but noticeably more than the AR15.  While our results in speed and accuracy (we punched out the A zones of the targets) were similar between platforms we both felt the MK17S required more “work” (using more muscle strength to control the gun during the recoil cycle).  More testing, and more ammo, would be required to see how long it would take for fatigue to become a factor using the MK17S vs the AR15

It is interesting to note that my first shots fired with the MK17s were consistently faster due to the ambidextrous controls given that I am a lefty.  On the extreme side I was 0.30 seconds faster with the first shot with the MK17S than with the AR15 as sweeping off the selector with my trigger finger and acquiring the grip takes longer than merely using my thumb with the SCAR.  Testing on the clock answered the question of whether or not I should switch to ambi selectors on my ARs; every little bit of time saved counts whether your opponents are other competitors at a match or bad people intending you harm.

In conclusion, the MK17S SCAR-H does not appear to be significantly slower in operation at close distances than the AR15 and should not weigh heavily to the user analyzing the costs and benefits of one system vs the other.

Russell-AR15 3x Double Tap
First target Split Second Target Split Third target Split Total
String 1 1.04 0.14 0.55 0.17 0.62 0.15 2.67
String 2 1.02 0.14 0.59 0.16 0.56 0.16 2.63
String 3 1.09 0.15 0.59 0.16 0.57 0.17 2.73
Average 1.05 0.14 0.58 0.16 0.58 0.16 2.68
Russell-MK17S
First target Split Second Target Split Third target Split Total
String 1 1.2 0.2 0.59 0.19 0.58 0.18 2.74
String 2 0.93 0.18 0.6 0.18 0.6 0.18 2.67
String 3 0.95 0.22 0.56 0.2 0.55 0.2 2.68
Average 1.03 0.2 0.58 0.19 0.58 0.19 2.7
Karl-AR15 3X Double Tap
First target Split Second Target Split Third target Split Total
String 1 0.7 0.15 0.32 0.12 0.33 0.15 1.77
String 2 0.68 0.14 0.52 0.15 0.55 0.13 2.17
String 3 0.76 0.14 0.34 0.15 0.33 0.13 1.85
Average 0.71 0.14 0.39 0.14 0.4 0.14 1.93
Karl-MK17S 3X Double Tap
First target Split Second Target Split Third target Split Total
String 1 0.69 0.18 0.42 0.18 0.33 0.17 1.97
String 2 0.66 0.18 0.37 0.17 0.35 0.18 1.91
String 3 0.64 0.16 0.4 0.15 0.44 0.17 1.96
Average 0.66 0.17 0.4 0.17 0.37 0.17 1.95
Russell-AR15 Triple Threat
First Shot Split Split Head Pelvis Total
String 1 1.25 0.15 0.15 0.52 0.5 2.57
String 2 1.1 0.14 0.14 0.49 0.51 2.38
String 3 1.15 0.13 0.14 0.4 0.48 2.3
Average 1.17 0.14 0.14 0.47 0.5 2.42
Russell-MK17S Triple Threat
First Shot Split Split Head Pelvis Total
String 1 0.96 0.18 0.14 0.53 0.53 2.34
String 2 1.1 0.19 0.18 0.56 0.58 2.61
String 3 0.94 0.19 0.16 0.47 0.65 2.41
Average 1 0.19 0.16 0.52 0.59 2.45
Karl-AR15
First Shot Split Split Head Pelvis Total
String 1 0.66 0.16 0.14 0.31 0.34 1.61
String 2 0.72 0.15 0.1 0.35 0.5 1.82
String 3 0.7 0.16 0.12 0.47 0.49 1.94
Average 0.69 0.16 0.12 0.38 0.44 1.79
KARL MK17S
First Shot Split Split Head Pelvis Total
String 1 0.68 0.18 0.18 0.47 0.42 1.93
String 2 0.66 0.29 0.21 0.43 0.5 2.09
String 3 0.62 0.22 0.25 0.4 0.53 2.02
Average 0.65 0.23 0.21 0.43 0.48 2.01
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About SinistralRifleman

I've been competing in the action shooting sports since 2002. I believe competition shooting to be an excellent way to build gun handling and marksmanship skills and encourage all gun owners to seek out some form of competition shooting. Anyone can become reasonably good at it if they devote the time and resources to do so. Winning, while nice, need not be your goal; bettering yourself through the pursuit of excellence is something we all can achieve.
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One Response to AR15 vs SCAR-H MK17S Speed Test

  1. Pingback: SCAR 17S as a CQ Carbine

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