The FN SCAR is a popular and versatile weapon. Built for rough conditions on the battlefield, the SCAR 17 works well for military and law enforcement applications. However, the SCAR 17 is also a favorite among civilian tactical enthusiasts.
Finding the best SCAR 17 optics can be a difficult and confusing task. Not all optics are created equal. You’ll need a rugged and durable optic capable of enhancing the SCAR 17’s natural capabilities.
If you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. We’ve done most of the hard work for you. We’ll walk you through the types of optics that work best with this versatile workhorse. We even share some of the best optics for SCAR 17 available to modern shooters.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated optic for Scar 17:
- Trijicon ACOG TA11 3.5×35
- Trijicon 1-6×24 VCOG Riflescope
- Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24
- Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24
- Elcan SpecterDR Dual Role 1-4x
- NightForce NX8 1-8×24 F1
- EOTech 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
- Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic Red Dot
- Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot
- Holosun HS503CU Circle Red Dot Sight
Table of Contents
- What is the SCAR 17?
- What Optic Works Best for a SCAR 17?
- Best Optics for SCAR 17 on the Market Reviews
- 1 Trijicon ACOG TA11 3.5×35
- 2 Trijicon 1-6×24 VCOG Riflescope
- 3 Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24
- 4 Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24
- 5 Elcan SpecterDR Dual Role 1-4x
- 6 NightForce NX8 1-8×24 F1
- 7 EOTech 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
- 8 Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic Red Dot
- 9 Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot
- 10 Holosun HS503CU Circle Red Dot Sight
- Final Thoughts
What is the SCAR 17?
SCAR stands for Special Operations Combat Assault Rifle, so it’s easy to understand that this weapon is built for battle. However, there are plenty of civilian uses for the SCAR 17. You’ll often find this versatile rifle used for home defense, 3-Gun competition, and hog hunting.
Designed by French firearms manufacturer, Fabrique Nationale Herstal (better known as simply “FN”), the SCAR 17 is a rifle chambered in hard-hitting 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester. The cartridge is known for its long-range capabilities. In fact, the .308 sniper rifle has been used by numerous military and law enforcement snipers since its release in 1952. Unlike the classic bolt-action sniper rifle, the SCAR 17 uses a semi-automatic action and a compact carbine-length design to maximize maneuverability.
The SCAR 17 uses a gas-operated, short-stroke piston system that is highly reliable and requires minimal maintenance.
What Optic Works Best for a SCAR 17?
The SCAR 17 has an integrated optical rail on the upper receiver, plus three accessory rails. This design provides mounting options for a wide variety of scopes, optics, lights, and lasers.
The SCAR 17 has a rough reputation when it comes to optics. It is known to eat cheap scopes for breakfast. The weapon has some unique recoil characteristics, and some finer, high-end riflescopes just aren’t up to the task. There is a fair amount of flex in the upper receiver during discharge. Since most optics are mounted on the integrated rail, the SCAR 17 gives them a pretty wild ride. That recoil flex, especially during rapid fire, can play havoc with delicate precision riflescopes.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t many fine options that partner well with the SCAR 17. You’ll just need to look for a durable, rock-solid optic – preferably one designed for tough tactical shooting.
Reflex sights, red dots, and holo sights work well for close-quarters shooting with the SCAR 17. This makes them a smart choice for some multi gun competitions.
If you prefer a magnified scope, an LPVO (low power variable optic) works for most of the SCAR 17’s effective range.
The SCAR 17 isn’t designed for precision long-range shooting. However, with the right magnified scope and some basic shooting skills, you can use it to ping steel at some pretty impressive ranges.
Best Optics for SCAR 17 on the Market Reviews
Here are a few of our favorite optics to pair with the SCAR 17. We’ve tried to include something for every application and every budget.
1 Trijicon ACOG TA11 3.5×35
When it comes to battle-proven optics, it doesn’t get any better than the Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight). The ACOG has proven its worth in combat zones around the globe. One of the toughest optics on the market today, the Trijicon ACOG is literally bombproof.
The ACOG features a unique, battery-free illuminated reticle. Powered with fiber optics by day and a tritium-phosphor lamp by night, the reticle is reliable and highly visible in any shooting condition.
Perfect for CQB engagement, the ACOG is designed around the Bindon Aiming Concept. The concept allows the shooter to keep both eyes open and maintain situational awareness on the battlefield.
The ACOG TA11 is available in several reticle designs. For the SCAR 17, we highly recommend the TA11H-308. This model features a horseshoe ranging reticle and hash marks calibrated for 7.62/.308 loads out to 1200 meters.
Although the Trijicon ACOG is a relatively expensive optic, it is hard to beat its durability and performance. If you want the best of the best, this is it. Just be prepared to put down some cold hard cash.
2 Trijicon 1-6×24 VCOG Riflescope
If you want a little more magnification to reach out and touch distance targets, the Trijicon VCOG is the perfect tool for the job. This variable power 1-6x optic is just as durable as the ACOG. In fact, the VCOG (Variable Combat Optical Gunsight) was designed by Tijicon in response to military demand for a variable optic comparable to their insanely popular (and capable) ACOG.
The VCOG is just as suitable for CQB as it is for long-range shooting. It features a highly versatile, illuminated BDC reticle. The reticle is located on the first focal plane (FFP), which means the BDC marks maintain perspective with the target through the whole magnification range.
Not only is the VCOG impressively durable, it also has impressive optical quality. The scope is made with premium glass and multi-coated lenses. The result is a crisp, bright sight picture, even in low light conditions.
3 Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8×24
If you don’t have a ton of cash to drop on an optic, don’t despair. There are plenty of high-quality options that are also affordable, like the Vortex Strike Eagle.
This is a simple scope, but it does its job well. The Strike Eagle is designed for close- to mid-range shooting.
It has a compact, lightweight design that won’t unbalance your rifle. If you need to maneuver around obstacles or shoot from behind barricades, this is a great tool to get it done.
The Strike Eagle is rugged and tough, just like the SCAR 17. Made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, this optic was built for durability. The 30mm tube is nitrogen purged and o-ring sealed, providing reliable fogproof, waterproof, shockproof performance.
Tactical and 3-Gun shooters will love the Strike Eagle’s BDC3 reticle. Although the reticle provides info for long-range precision, it also features 16.625 MOA broken circle surrounding the center aiming point. The design guides the eye to the center of the sight picture for fast target acquisition, especially on moving targets.
4 Zeiss Conquest V4 1-4×24
Zeiss is known for superior optical quality, and their Conquest V4 does not disappoint. Made with high definition glass that is fully multi-coated, the Conquest V4 delivers 90 percent light transmission. The result is impressive brightness and clarity, even in low light.
This 1-4x LPVO is compact (just over 10 inches long) and lightweight (16 ounces), making it perfect for maneuvering around obstacles, barriers, and walls.
The scope also features a generous eyebox and exit pupil, which allows for a fast, intuitive view of the reticle. If you want to run your SCAR 17 on a 3-Gun course, this optic will help improve your scores.
Also a great option for tactical environments, the Conquest V4 is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. The lenses also feature Zeiss’s patented Lotutec Hydrophobic Coating to ensure you have a clear view of your target, even in the wettest weather conditions.
Hunters and tactical shooters alike will appreciate the Conquest V4’s ZQAR reticle. The illuminated reticle has hash marks for easy elevation compensation out to 700 yards.
5 Elcan SpecterDR Dual Role 1-4x
The SCAR 17 is used by elite military fighting forces around the world. If you want to run your SCAR 17 like America’s Navy SEALS or Green Berets, this is the optic you’ll want mounted on your rail. The Elcan SpecterDR has charged into battle on top of Mark 17s (the military version of the SCAR 17) the world over.
The SpecterDR is a compact, lightweight optic. However, you shouldn’t be fooled by this scope’s size. It is tougher than a tank and ready for combat. The SpecterDR is impact and corrosion resistant. It is constructed from hard-anodized aluminum and o-ring sealed to prevent internal fogging and resist the shock of recoil and impact.
With a simple design, you can easily switch from true 1x to 4x magnification. Some shooters may lament the optic’s inability to zoom in and out. However, in a high-adrenaline situation, the optic’s simplicity is a godsend.
6 NightForce NX8 1-8×24 F1
NightForce is famous for their tough-as-nails tactical optics. The NX8 has a minimalistic design (it measures less than 9 inches and weighs just 17 ounces), but it definitely lives up to the NightForce name.
The NX8 has a competent 1-8x magnification range. However, its knock-your-socks-off image quality makes it easy to discern fine target details. Dial the scope up to 8x and you’ll feel like you’re using a precision long-range optic.
With a built-in throw lever for quick, easy magnification changes, the NX8 is perfect for tactical use. It also features a handy ZeroStop function, so you can return to your zero with a flick of a switch, no matter how many adjustments you’ve made.
The NX8 has a highly versatile FFP (first focal plane) reticle that features a daylight bright dot for close-range targets and BDC marks for tack-driving precision on targets at distance.
7 EOTech 512 Holographic Weapon Sight
A holo sight is another great option for the SCAR 17, and EOTech is the undisputed king of holographic sights. The Model 512 is EOTech’s most popular (and most affordable) offering.
Compared to some of EOTech’s other holo sights, the 512 has few bells and whistles. However, it is a highly capable optic and is one of the toughest on our list.
The EOTech 512 holo sight continues to function (and hold its zero) even if the front glass is busted. It also works reliably if the glass becomes partially obscured by mud, dirt, or debris. It is water resistant to 10 feet, which means you could drag this optic through a swamp and it would still work when you reach the other side.
8 Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic Red Dot
When it comes to red dots, the Aimpoint PRO (Patrol Rifle Optic) is the cream of the crop. This optic is built for gritty conditions and it feels right at home on top of a SCAR 17.
The Aimpoint PRO has a tough aircraft-grade aluminum housing with a hard-anodized exterior finish. It is waterproof to a depth of 150 feet, and has a reliable operating range of -49 degrees to 160 degrees Fehrenheit.
The PRO has a crisp, easy-to-use 2 MOA red dot that promotes rapid target acquisition at close-range. It also provides a precision aiming point for targets at longer distances. With 6 daylight brightness settings and 4 night vision compatible settings, the PRO works reliably in any shooting condition on the face of the planet.
9 Vortex Optics Crossfire Red Dot
It doesn’t get much more affordable than this no-nonsense red dot optic from Vortex. Priced well under $200, this is the perfect option for SCAR 17 shooters on a shoestring budget.
The Crossfire provides a 2 MOA dot with 11 brightness settings. Ideal for CQB, the Crossfire has unlimited eye relief and simple controls.
Despite the Crossfire’s simplicity, it is incredibly rugged. Made from durable, aircraft-grade aluminum, the exterior is treated with a hard-coat anodization that reduces glare and increases toughness.
10 Holosun HS503CU Circle Red Dot Sight
This low profile red dot from Holosun allows for easy co-witnessing of your iron sights. With a parallax-free design and unlimited eye relief, the HS503CU is perfect for high-adrenaline situations.
Although the HS503CU is technically a red dot, it offers a detailed reticle similar to a holo sight. Featuring a 2 MOA red dot and a 65 MOA circle reticle, this is a highly versatile optic.
The HS503CU features “Shake Awake” technology that automatically shuts the device off during periods of inactivity. It also comes with a Solar Failsafe that not only adjusts reticle brightness to match ambient light, but also continues to power the optic if the batteries fail.
Although you could get by using only iron sights, the SCAR 17 looks lost without an optic. All of the options on our list of best SCAR 17 optics will serve you well.
However, the best optic for SCAR 17 shooting largely depends on how you use your rifle. If you’ll be using it mostly for close-quarters shooting, a red dot or holo sight is perfect. If you want to milk the .308/7.62 NATO cartridge for its long-range capabilities, a magnified scope will help you do it.