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Vega Force Company FN SCAR Light Gen. III Complete Review
#1
Vega Force Company FN SCAR Light Gen. III Complete Review

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The team at [url="http://www.gb-tech.com.tw/_newsite/eng/VFC_EN_main.htm"]V.F.C[/url] was kind enough to send us one of the first VFC FN SCAR Light Gen III’s off the production line for review. Not only that but they sent us the DX version to boot and we took no time at all running this thing through its pace.

Now before I start I would like to point out that this is, in fact the first VFC complete weapon I have seen up close. Normally VFC products are sold as kits in Japan to get around the copyright laws held by Tokyo Marui on certain gear box features.

Also in true VFC tradition this replica is not only an almost perfect replica of the FN SCAR Light Gen. III but also pushes the boundaries and current technologies currently found in Airsoft replicas.

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For any one who has either been living in a cave for the past year or has this very moment started the sport the SCAR in all its variants has been anticipated for some time, especially the VFC version. For those not in the know here is some more information on the FN SCAR and its development:

[size="1"]
Quote:The SOF Combat Assault Rifle, or SCAR, is a modular rifle made by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FNH) for the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to satisfy the requirements of the SCAR competition. This family of rifles consists of two main types. The SCAR-L, for light, is chambered in the 5.56 mm NATO cartridge and the SCAR-H, for heavy, fires 7.62 mm NATO ammunition. Both are available in further variants such as sniper or CQC (Close Quarters Combat). The FN SCAR system completed low rate initial production testing in June 2007 and is scheduled for limited fielding in the fall.

The SCAR is available in two calibers, and in versions for short and long range combat. It emerged as the winner of a US SOCOM competition to find a new rifle for Special Forces begun in 2003. Other competitors included entries by Colt and the Robinson Arms XCR. Heckler & Koch had submitted XM8 as a general issue replacement for the M4 and M16 for the US Army, but the program was canceled.

The SCAR is manufactured in two main versions; Light (SCAR-L (Mk 16)) and Heavy (SCAR-H (Mk 17)). The L version fires 5.56x45mm NATO using improved M16 rifle magazines. The H fires the more powerful 7.62x51mm NATO from a newly designed 20-round magazine. Different length barrels will be available for close quarter’s battle and for longer-range engagements. The SCAR-L can also be chambered for the 6.8 mm Remington SPC cartridge, and the initial solicitation indicated that the SCAR-H would also be chambered for the 7.62 x 39mm M43 cartridge. However, FN is not currently offering those calibers.

Barrels for the Mk 16 will be manufactured in three different lengths: 253 millimeter (9.96 inch), 351 millimeter (13.82 inch) and 457 millimeters (18 inches). For the Mk 17 barrels will be 330 millimeter (13 inch), 400 millimeter (15.75 inch) and 500 millimeters (19.68 inches). The Mk 16 will be replacing the M4A1, the Mk 18 Close Quarters Battle Rifle (CQBR) and the Mk 12 SPR currently in SOCOM service. The Mk 17 will replace the M14 and Mk 11 sniper rifles.

The SCAR features an integral, uninterrupted Picatinny rails on the top of the aluminum receiver, two removable side rails and a bottom one that can mount any MIL-STD-1913 compliant accessories. It has a polymer lower receiver with an M16 compatible pistol grip, flared magazine well, and raised area around magazine and bolt release buttons. The front sight flips down for unobstructed use of optics and accessories. The rifle uses a 'tappet' type of closed gas system much like the M1 Carbine while the bolt carrier otherwise resembles the Stoner 63 or Heckler & Koch G36.

The SCAR will be built at the FN Manufacturing LLC, plant in Columbia, South Carolina. Fabrique Nationale Herstal announced plans to introduce (around 2008) a semi-automatic version of the SCAR modular rifle system, designed for the law enforcement and commercial markets.

In July 2007, the US Army announced a limited competition between the M4 carbine, FN SCAR, HK416, and the previously-shelved HK XM8. Ten examples of each of the four competitors will be involved. Each weapon will fire 6,000 rounds in an "extreme dust environment." The purpose of the shoot off is for assessing future needs, not to select a replacement for the M4.
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So is the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III the perfectionist’s choice that everyone has been waiting for? The answer is yes and the following review is more of a declaration of why it’s the only choice when it comes to the buying a SCAR!

The Box.

I was very surprised when Joy at VFC headquarters announced that they would be more than happy to send us a review sample of the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III and even more so when I decided to push my luck and asked if it was possible to have a Tan version.

So thank you Joy!

The box arrived and I was a little alarmed to see that it had been posted in a standard box with no protection packaging, now I’m used to the Royal Mail and their amazing capacity of breaking things and even after 7 years living in Japan I haven’t got used to the almost maternal ways that packages are treated here. So I was holding my breath when I cut open the box.

Now I have to say that I had no idea that VFC had sent us the “Deluxe Edition” which comes in a very nice vinyl hard case, now this is a godsend in its own right. End users of products from STAR who ordered products that came in those beautiful Pelican style Cases will no all about the horrific shipping fees incurred due to the extra weight of the case, well never fear the case that the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III is shipped in is light as well as durable and will not cause your shipping fees to cost more than the weapon.

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The case is beautifully molded to look just like a weapons shipping case and has four inter locking clasps along the side. These although not designed to be dropped out of aircraft or low flying helicopters will have no problems enduring the rugged abuse associated with filling your vehicle with gear for a weekend of skirmishing.

On the top of the box is a beautifully embossed VFC crest announcing to the world that the weapon inside is one of the best replicated and produced on the market.

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Upon opening the box you will be very shocked to see the huge amount of unused space inside, never fear though the R&D Team are ahead of themselves on this and the extra space is designated for the EGLM , grenades and other additional add-ons that VFC plan to release in the future.

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What You Get.

Now obviously you will get the VFC SCAR GEN. III but we will go into that later on in the review. But there are some other additional items that you will get in the box.

The first thing that jumps out at you is the manual packaging; the package contains the manual, 275mm CQC barrel and washer all sealed in a polythene bag.

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Also attached to this is an owner’s card this is a nice little feature that gives the whole packaging that little extra, special finish.

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The serial number on the card is actually the same serial number that is on the weapon. An excellent feature for identifying your weapon if other members of your team own one or if you are unfortunate to have yours stolen.

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Also included is a VFC 300 rd. high capacity magazine in flat dark earth, this match very well to the ABS parts on the weapon but is not the same colouring as other dark earth magazines on the market such as the King Arms 120 rd. magazines.

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The design of the VFC magazine is slightly different to the generic Tokyo Marui magazines. The first is that there is a notch protruding from the magazine locking port where the magazine latch engages.

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The second is the base plate on the magazine, there is a vent on the magazine which is designed to allow you to lubricate the internal mechanism without disassembly and also the shape does not allow you to slide the plate out.

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Overall, you cannot help but feel this whole package is very professionally done, however the vast amount of vacant space in the box begs to be filled with all the upgrades that are advertised in the manual…this could get expensive!

The VFC SCAR LIGHT Gen. III.

The VFC SCAR Gen. III comes in three variants, the CQC (Close Quarter Combat) version, STD (Standard version) and the SV (Sniper Version). Currently only the CQC and the STD versions are available as complete weapons. While the SV variant is an optional upgrade that must be purchased separately.

This review will cover both variants, as the VFC was kind enough to send us the “Deluxe” version.

Straight away, you can see the amount of work and engineering that has gone in to the VFC SCAR Gen. III. The feel and weight is noticeable as soon as you pick it up. One of the biggest things that you will notice is the two-tone colouring of the weapon, do not worry this is normal and is the same on the real steel weapon.

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The reason for this is that the upper receiver of the SCAR is made of metal, in the case of the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III, 6061 Aluminum. The lower half is made of glass-filled nylon, which is use on the real steel. Due to the difficulties in anodizing, you will never match the two colours thus the difference in shades. Compared to other brands of SCAR on the market VFC has truly gone out of there way to match up the colours as close as possible. According to colour charts, it is only 3 to 4 shades out of a perfect match.

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The weapon is very solid with absolutely no wobble, creeks or loose bits. Having gone over the whole gun, not one piece was loose; everything was bolted down securely, ready to be used straight out the box, which unsurprisingly is what VFC stake their reputation on.

Now it is very hard to know where to begin with this replica, there are too many features to choose from so I am going to start at the front and work my back.

The flash hider is an A2 Bird cage flash hider with a custom notch that is seen on most generic M4’s and is attached to the barrel using a 14mm counter clockwise thread.

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Directly behind this is a crush washer specifically designed for the SCAR that gives a nice tapered finish from the flash hider to the barrel. Now one of the reasons why VFC is so respected in the market is because they do not cut corners and understand the effects of long-term wear and tear associated with the sport.

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Therefore, directly after the thread on the barrel they have attached a rubber O-ring that prevents over tightening of the flash hider to the outer barrel. Not only that but they have cut a grove behind the thread to hold the O-ring

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Now the outer barrel on the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III is made from steel but is not a one-piece barrel that runs the entire length, but is separated in to two pieces before it enters the chamber. The first break is at the gas block and locked into position by a grub screw located underneath the gas regulator. The second break in the barrel is at the hop chamber but we will look at that later.

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The markings on the barrel are a perfect match to the ones found on the real steel FN SCAR and are actually stamped on using the same technique, this leads to a very unique finish with small irregularities that are found on real steel rifles.

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The gas block is cast from one piece of steel using centrifugal lost-wax casting process
and has some very cool features; the first is the gas regulator switch. This is not just for looks but actually has a purpose, to remove the regulator the operator will need to turn it clockwise, it will then disengage from the gas block.

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You will notice that attached to the end a piece of plastic. (If it’s not there take a look inside the port as it might have come off as you pulled it out) It’s purpose is to adjust the hop-unit.

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Any one familiar with any variant of M16 or M4 will know just how fiddly it is to get at the dial, this tool now enables the operator to adjust the dial without having to remove gloves or fiddle around trying to make slight adjustments.

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The hop adjustment tool is removed from the gas regulator to reveal anther useful tool. Located beneath the hop adjustment tool is a Torx wrench. This is the exact size required to disassemble the VFC SCAR Light Gen.III and is one of the small extras that makes VFC products stand out from the competition.

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Attached to the top of the gas block is a removable flip-up iron sight. This is locked into either the upright battle ready position or the folded reserve sight position by a pin. To disengage the lock, the operator only needs to push it and hold while flipping the sight into the required position.

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The upper receiver is made from one piece of 6061 Aluminum that is CNC machined, giving the VFC SCAR a very stable and strong foundation to assemble the rest of the weapon on to. Each vent, hole and opening is perfectly milled and edged creating one of the nicest finishes I have seen in a long time.

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The rail is 20mm and will enable the operator to mount both airsoft replica part and real-steel accessories to the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III. The rail also features alternately numbered depressions to allow the operator to keep track of where certain multiweapon accessories are mounted.

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The rear sights come attached to the receiver and the finish and quality of this iron sight are outstanding. With all features 100% operational, the user will have no difficulty adjusting for windage and elevation.

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To change the elevation, the operator only needs to turn the dial found on the shaft of the eye relief to the required number. The greater the number, the higher the elevation.

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On either side of the iron side another dial is found this is twisted clockwise or anti clockwise to adjust the windage. The whole process will take you about 5 minutes to zero in the rifle.

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The cocking handle on the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III is very sturdy and this is another of many features that makes VFC products stand out above the rest. If you are handling the weapon for the first time and cock the weapon, you will be a little alarmed to find that the cocking handle stays in the cocked position.

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Not to worry as this is deliberate and is a very useful feature, especially when you are tuning in the hop-unit for the first time or when you change to lighter or heavier BB’s and need to fine tune the weapon again. The bolt is easily released by pressing the bolt release catch. That is right the VFC SCAR has a functioning bolt.

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Now, do not get overly excited, the VFC does not have a blow back gear box but it is still a nice little feature that puts it a head of the competition. But as you can see from the video it’s a very cool feature non the less.

[youtube]xSg90wipqko[/youtube]

The front of the upper receiver sports two picattinny mounted on either side of the weapon. These again a very well finished and are able to carry both real steel accessories as well as 3rd party manufactured parts.

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The trademarks and serial numbers on the receiver are exceptionally done and really finish off the look of the receiver. As I mentioned before the serial numbers on the VFC SCAR are unique to each rifle. The trades and serial numbers are laser etched on to the surface then are coated to give that distinctive white finish.

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The lower receiver set is broken into two sections, fore and aft. The aft section is very similar to that of a standard M4 lower receiver but there are some major changes, the main one being materials. The VFC SCAR Light Gen.III has a glass filled nylon lower receiver

Secondly, the shape of the back end is cut off when compared to that of the standard M4/M16 receiver and that the trigger guard is fully incorporated in to the design very similar to that of the G36/MP5.

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The selector is ambidextrous and can be manipulated with either the thumb or trigger finger depending on which side of the receiver you flip the selector. The selector is again made from steel making for a very tough finish.

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One of the standard features of the SCAR’s lower receiver is the ambidextrous magazine release catch. Just like the original catch being able to be released with the trigger finger you can also use the thumb to hit the catch on the left side of the receiver, releasing the magazine.

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The grip of the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III is the same as standard M4 variants and makes for a very familiar ergonomic grip. Players wishing to switch over to grips that are more ergonomic will need to take into account the fact that the back of the SCAR’s receiver is slightly different and thus the grips with beaver tails would require slight modifications to fit.

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The bolt catch is similar to that of standard M4’s and will feel very familiar to the operator, especially those with long term use of M4’s and M16’s as it is located exactly the same distance from the trigger as the original. As mentioned before this is an operational bolt catch.

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The trigger assembly is different to that of standard M4’s in looks but the feel is familiar and the trigger pull is very positive allowing the operator to actually feel when the shot will be fired. As mentioned before the trigger guard area is actually part of the receiver, at first I thought it would interfere with cold weather clothing such as thick gloves but having tried the weapon while using thick winter gloves I found that the guard was no hindrance.

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The fore part of the lower receiver is part of the barrel assembly; it is made from one piece of CNC machined 6061 anodized aluminum. Being part of the barrel assembly and interlocking with the upper and lower receiver sets adds to the rigidity of the rifle and prevents the notorious barrel wobble. The unit has an integrated picatinny rail that runs its entire length allowing the operator to attach accessories underneath the weapon.

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Moving to the rear of the rifle, we have the 6x3 position folding stock and this in its own right deserves a review all on its own.

Mounted and integrated into the top of the stock is a 3 positional cheek rest that allows the operator to adjust the stock to fit their ergonomics more closely, players that move from CQC to open environments will appreciate the ability to rest the cheek while using magnified optical devices or when taking shots at longer range.

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Another feature is the six position telescopic stock; this operates in exactly the same way as any other craned stock. To extend or collapse the stock the operator depresses the black button located on the side and adjusts the stock to the required length.

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One thing to point out is that due to the stock being made of glass-filled nylon the two sections of the stock are very tight fitting; therefore, it will take a little breaking in before the action is smooth.

The last feature is that the stock has the ability to fold in half, although this is not really a break though in the industry, there is one thing that makes the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III stock very different from the rest and that is the lack of wires from the stock to the receiver.

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The VFC SCAR Light Gen. III uses a very innovative design in its hinge system. The wires from the battery compartment in the stock terminate at a terminal built into the hinge. On the hinge joint that is joined to the receiver, another terminal is installed that overlaps the one in the stock, thus allowing the two terminals to pivot on each other. This maintains the circuit and hiding those unsightly wires when the stock is folded.

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Over all the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III is another example of VFC commitment to producing the highest quality replicas on the market. The whole weapon is excellent. With so many little features, it is hard to put a finger on what is the defining point of this weapon. Players looking for a complete package or the best SCAR replica on the market need not look anywhere else as VFC have raised the benchmark yet again for excellence.

Break Down.

However, VFC is not done with us yet, one off the features that all the retailers proclaim is the realistic break down of this weapon.

Many of us that tinker with our guns know just how important it is for a weapon to be broken down easily is and having a replica that is exact not only in its appearance but also in, its breakdown will appreciate any company that sets its R&D department on the task of replicating it.

So just how easy is it to break down the VFC SCAR Light Gen. III?

Well for one, you already have all the tools required to strip down the VFC SCAR in the gas block. To begin with, you will need to punch out the receiver pin located at the front of the lower receiver.

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The lower receiver can then be pulled down and out at an angle to detach it from the upper receiver. That is it! To get at the gearbox and hop unit that is the only procedure you need to follow. The first few times the receiver will require a little strength to detach, but after 3 or 4 attempts the receiver came apart very easily.

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I am going to stop the break down review and go over one of the other amazing innovative designs found in the VFC SCAR Light Gen.III. I spoke about the wireless connection on the folding stock and this applies to how the gearbox receives its power.

The mount where the folding stock connects to the upper receiver has two pin terminals that look very similar to a bathroom power socket.

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On the back of the lower receiver, you will notice to small prongs, this is basically a plug that will now plug into the terminals on the stock mount. No more trapped wires, wires getting pull out of their sockets as you pull the lower receiver from the upper. Genius!

[Image: prongsmediumgw5.jpg]

Next, you will need to loosen all of the Torx bolts on the receiver. These are located on the left and right picatinny rails here:

[Image: torxpiccitinnymediumru7.jpg]

The other Torx bolts holding the barrel assembly in place are located on the two brackets located on either side of the receiver here:

[Image: torxmountsmediumlm7.jpg]

You will then be able to slide out the whole barrel assembly and the fore part of the lower receiver from the upper receiver. As you pull the barrel out you will notice two gaps in the rail that the barrel slides onto, this is where the hop unit block will come away from the upper receiver.

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Next is the stock, this requires no loosening or removal of any bolts or screws and a few knocks with the palm of your hand on the cheek rest will be enough to dislodge the stock. You should then be able to pull the stock off the back of the upper receiver.

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With the stock removed, this will now enable you to remove the bolt assembly. First you will need to remove the recoil buffer spring and spring guide.

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This will then allow you to pull the bolt assembly all the way back, the cocking handle will then just come out as the only thing holding it in place is the guide cut into the upper receiver.

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This will finally allow you to slide the remainder of the bolt assembly out of the back of the upper receiver. You have now fully striped the VCF SCAR Light Gen.III. To put it back together just follow the review in reverse.

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If you are a little unsure or skeptical on just how easy this rifle is to strip then check out this video:

[youtube]TSaovos6W-M[/youtube]

The hop-unit and inner barrel assembly will require a hex-wrench (Allen key) as the unit is locked in place by two grub screws positioned on either side of it. These grub screws do not need to be fully removed, but retracted enough for the hop-unit and barrel to slide out of its housing.

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The inner barrel looks like a generic barrel, but the inner diameter of the barrel is 6.05 mm negating the need for a 3rd party tight bore barrel, unless you want a 6.01 or 6.03mm but for an assault rifle your not going to really need it.

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[size="4"]Conclusion.[/SIZE]

The VFC SCAR Light Gen.III really does not disappoint, it is perfect and I was hard pressed to find anything wrong with this weapon in fact the things I marked it down for would seem very petty to some.

One thing to note is that because the SCAR is so good, players that like to upgrade or accessorize are going to be very hard pressed to add anything but the EGLM or an Eotech to this weapon.

The two things that did strike me as odd and were the cause of the point deductions was firstly, If you are going to release a “Deluxe Version” that’s the CQC and the standard versions together, then surely they should include the CQC flash hider as part of the package so that the operator has both true models.

The second thing is that they supply you with the shorter barrel, but what would have been good is if they had supplied the complete hop-unit with it allowing the operator to quickly switch between barrel lengths in the field rather than having to break down the hop-unit and rebuild it around the shorter barrel.

Two small things that could have made a great package an amazing one!

[size="4"]Pro’s[/SIZE]

• Complete Package.
• The best SCAR Light Gen.III replica on the market.
• Excellent range for a sub-1 joule weapon.
• Excellent internals.
• Innovative design that is way ahead of the competition.
• Comes with strong lightweight carry case.

[size="4"]Con’s[/SIZE]

• Not everyone’s cup of tea (But your all screaming for innovation!)
• A complete package, not for players that want to tweak or accessorize.
• Deluxe version really should come with CQC Flash hider and extra hop-unit as without the CQC Flash hider is not really a CQC version.

[size="3"]Score[/SIZE]

Well, like I said it is very hard to mark down the VFC SCAR Light Gen.III and the two things it looses out on are just those two little things that would have really made the “Deluxe” version deluxe.

[size="3"]9/10[/SIZE]

But if you have purchased the CQC version or the plain STD version this weapon is perfect and would score:

[size="3"]10/10[/SIZE]

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