Gunsite’s Battle Rifle class is one of the most mentally and physically challenging classes offered by the school—and this is one of the reasons I chose to take it again. This thinking-man’s course teaches students to use the 7.62x51mm NATO (.308) semi-automatic rifle. Note that battle rifles are accurate at long distance, hit hard and are heavy, demanding physical stamina from the operator. I highly recommend you condition yourself before taking the class with jogging and light weight-training.

Gearing Up

I have owned several .30-caliber semi-auto battle rifles in my search for the “perfect” one. Each has its weaknesses, but I’ve found that the FN SCAR 17S possesses the best marriage of accuracy, ergonomics and reliability that I have ever seen in this class of weapons. Out to 750 yards, the SCAR is as accurate as a precision rifle. The SCAR 17S is relatively light, offers low recoil, is easy to manipulate and accepts a variety of accessories. Its collapsible/folding stock makes it adjustable to all physiques and for vehicle operations. The cheekpiece can be raised or lowered for different positions and facial topographies. It is also ambidextrous and breaks down neatly for cleaning and maintenance. If there’s a negative, it is that the bolt handle of SCAR weapons reciprocates with the bolt and can hit the support-side thumb with considerable force. So far, I have learned five times to keep my thumb down. You can relocate the bolt handle to the other side of the rifle, but I prefer to retain the handle on the port side, keep my thumb down and wear gloves.

Learn more about Black Guns at

Up Next

AR Tactical Reloads

Gunsite’s Battle Rifle class is one of the most mentally and physically challenging classes…