Top 20 Next-Gen Combat Rifles

Rounding up some of the most advanced fighting carbines and combat rifles for the 21st century!

FN FS2000 Tactical

FN FS2000 Tactical gen evergreen lead

FN FS2000 Tactical

Bullpup designs are not new, but the FN FS2000 series brings the bullpup concept to a new level. The FN FS2000 Tactical uses a gas-operated rotating bolt, and empty cases are ejected through a forward ejection port, away from the user.

VIDEO: FN FS2000 CQB 5.56

With the action and magazine located behind the firing grip and housed in a polymer stock, the FS2000 Tactical is a compact weapon with a 17.44-inch barrel, which is actually longer than that of many carbines. All of its controls are ambidextrous, and the exterior of the weapon is very smooth, so it is unlikely that it will get hung up on gear or the environment in which it is used. The FS2000 uses mil-spec AR magazines.

For more information, visit fnhusa.com or call 703-288-3500.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Barrel: 17.44 inches
  • OA Length: 29.29 inches
  • Weight: 7.86 pounds (empty)
  • Stock:  Synthetic
  • Sights: Adjustable, folding
  • Action: Piston-operated semi-auto
  • Finish: Matte black
  • Capacity: 30+1
  • MSRP: $2,779

 

FN SCAR 16S

FN SCAR 16S gen evergreen lead

FN SCAR 16S

The FN SCAR 16S is lightweight, handles with ease and is one of the few next-gen rifles to see use in its military form with USSOCOM. The SCAR 16S features a free-floated, cold-hammer-forged, mil-spec barrel that is chrome lined. Its ergonomic controls and collapsible, side-folding polymer stock mean that the SCAR 16S can be adapted to fit every operator, no matter their stature or the gear they’re carrying. It uses a short-stroke gas piston system with a rotating bolt. The receiver is hardcoat anodized aluminum. The only old-school thing about the SCAR 16S is the A2-style pistol grip.

For more information, visit fnhusa.com or call 703-288-3500.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 5.56mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16.25 inches
  • OA Length: 27.5-37.5 inches
  • Weight: 7.25 pounds (empty)
  • Stock:  Collapsible, folding
  • Sights: Adjustable, folding
  • Action: Piston-operated semi-auto
  • Finish: Matte black, Flat Dark Earth
  • Capacity: 30+1
  • MSRP: $2,995

 

FN SCAR 17S

FN SCAR 17S gen evergreen lead

FN SCAR 17S

The more-powerful FN SCAR 17S is similar to the SCAR 16S except it is chambered in the potent 7.62mm NATO. At only 8 pounds unloaded and an overall length of 28.5 inches with the stock collapsed, the SCAR 17S offers excellent maneuverability. The barrel is designed to be removed quickly by the operator via a small tool. The trigger module is made of composite polymer and offers an enlarged triggerguard for ease of use when wearing gloves. Like many next-gen combat rifles, the safety and magazine release are similar to an AR’s, minimizing transition training.

For more information, visit fnhusa.com or call 703-288-3500.

Specifications

  • Caliber: 7.62mm NATO
  • Barrel: 16.25 inches
  • OA Length: 28.5-38.5 inches
  • Weight: 8 pounds (empty)
  • Stock:  Collapsible, folding
  • Sights: Adjustable, folding
  • Action: Piston-operated semi-auto
  • Finish: Matte black, Flat Dark Earth
  • Capacity: 20+1
  • MSRP: $3,349

Load Comments
  • 12.7x99mmDaddy

    Fucking Keltec,, i wish this article had been written on paper so i could wipe my ass with it.

  • SansJeux

    What about the LWRC REPR???????????

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  • Acidfix

    Out of them all I like the IWI Tavor… Put a VCOG on it and call it a day.

  • k.h.

    Direct impingement is a flawed design, not a suitable system for a military rifle. AR-18 design was much more promising as a military rifle than a AR-15. G36 is a fine example of a AR-18 based system. Too bad it came too late.

  • Oak

    PTR-91? $2 mag, roller locker system, foward charging handle, low recoil… What’s not to love accurate, reliable, and the mags are $2

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  • Meow Man

    This idiot lists several bull pups without mentioning the best bull pup that is actually time tested and proven, the Steyr Aug. The Tavor is relatively new, along with the other bull pups on this list. The author is an ignorant mall ninja it seems, with little actual firearms experience or knowledge.

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  • Moronerator

    What exactly is the point to this article???
    (outside the criteria for picking up your paycheck that is..)

    It opens with the typical arrogance oriented perspective that everything in existence is automatically antiquated because it was not invented by the ‘next’ generation… then attempts to quantify the need and purpose for the ‘next-gen’ combat rifle by listing everything the current ‘granddaddy’s’ AR already provides… It does not stop there of course. To further reinforce the ignorance of whoever scribed this crap, it provides examples of weapons that not only fail to provide a single feature above what the ‘aging’ AR platform rifle originally provided back in the 60s, the examples fail to provide anything over the AR platform today. Then, as if it were possible to demonstrate any greater lack of perspective, it provides examples of some ‘next-gen’ rifles that do not provide a fraction of the reliability proven by the AR platform and do not even meet the feature criteria quantified at the beginning of the article.

    Thank you for providing your perspective and clarification of what the ‘next-gen’ weaponry fulfills, but more importantly thank you for demonstrating how a false sense of purpose, keyboard, and an internet connection can provide evidence of why we need combat rifles to begin with..

    • stupid makes me sleepy

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

  • gregory

    The Kel-tec RFB is a POS. Read KTOG, the things do not work. I almost made the mistake of a lifetime by selling my M1A SOCOM 16 to buy one. I changed my mind and decided to deal with the extra weight in exchange for a rifle that functions.

  • Anthony

    Can’t believe that Kel-tec and masterpiece arms are in this list. You may as well give Hi-point a spot also.

    • josh

      There were lots of rifles that should have been listed other than the Kel-tec and masterpiece arms such as LWRC’s PDW for example. And no knock against the M1A Socom II, I’d love to have one but I guess I just wasn’t expecting it on this list. I did notice there wasn’t a single AK variant on the list…

      • dev0311

        The us military will never use ak’s
        Thats why they weren’t on the list

        • josh

          Agreed that the US military would never use an AK, but I didn’t notice that this was specifically the top 20 for the US military.

  • dan

    What about Beretta ar160?

    • josh

      The civilian version AR100 was on the list as these were all civilian models.