Caliber: ............... 5.56 NATO (Std) Barrel: ................ 16.5" Coated Hammer Forged (10.5", 14.5", and 18" Available) Rate of Twist: .... 1:9 or 1:7 Capacity: ............ 30 Rounds Mag Type: ........... M16 Magazines (PMAG OK) Sights: ................. Magpul MBUS Bushmaster, working in conjunction with Magpul, has finally released their SCAR-L contender on the US market and guns are on shelves across the country. The gun itself is a gas piston operated carbine chambered in 5.56x45 NATO and derives aspects of it's design from generations of guns that predate it like the AK47, G3, and of course the M16 family. So what makes this gun special? First and foremost it offers a completely modular system unseen in a widely marketed platform. The stock, which adjusts for comb and length (on the higher end version), can be interchanged by simply removing the two rear cross pins and sliding the replacement in. The gas system is a two position turn key that is plainly marked 'S' for suppressed and 'U' for unsuppressed, making it simple for those that intend on using suppressors. In saving the best for last the gun can be quickly re-chambered in several different calibers, including the popular 6.8 SPC, in a minute or less using no tools. The collaboration with Magpul is seen in nearly every aspect of the gun. The grip is a MOE grip molded into the lower which allows you to store many useful things like batteries, springs, ear plugs, firing pins, etc. Magpul offers many different inserts to secure the items in the grip to prevent them from rattling around. The handguards are an adapted MOE setup which gives a good purchase on the gun without the blistering heat you get from shooting a gun in a desert (or in Texas) with metal handguards. The higher end FR model offers a railed aluminum handguard system for those seeking to install lights and other tactical goodies. The stock on the SS model is similar to the Magpul MOE stock, but with the added adjustable comb riser for usage with high mounted optics, and on the FR model it gets the 6-position UBR style stock, again with the riser. Getting into the operation of the gun, it is not symmetrical with the M16/M4 family of weapons. Operators will feel somewhat on a learning curve as controls have been moved to improve total overall effectiveness. The bolt release is ambidextrous and is moved to the bottom of the magwell which reduces overall movement required to execute a mag change. The non-reciprocating charging handle has been moved forward similar to the HK family of long guns. While this represents probably the biggest learning curve on the gun, it offers far superior malfunction clearing ability by giving you a direct asset to ram into a nearby object to provide a good jolt to the carrier assembly. Gone are the days of disassembly via brute force to sort out a blown out primer that wedged over the bolt carrier. Lastly, the magazine release and selector switch are in their familiar position and are also ambidextrous. The Quick-Change Barrel Design. Bolt Carrier Designated 'Multi-Cal' Gas Key - Unsuppressed and Suppressed in a Second. Shooting Impressions The gun is smooth, similar to the Sig 556 in terms of feel. This is mostly due to the weight of the gun and it's method of operation. I was shooting the gun suppressed, on the 'S' gas position, and in a relatively dirty state and it ran without a hitch, as I would expect from a next generation platform. Using just a simple hold over I was able to engage targets between 100 and 440 yards with relative ease. In short, about the only thing this gun really needs is a better trigger, but let's face it ... it's a mass-production combat rifle, not a purpose built marksman platform. Getting onto the gun is easy, and with the adjustable comb riser it feels much more natural with optics than the majority of the AR15 platforms out there. Overall the gun is just better refined than the standard M4 carbine. Here's a video of the gun in action.