The history of SR25 magazine pattern SCAR trigger modules
In late 2012 Alan Handl produced the first 7075 T6 aluminum SCAR25’s. These trigger modules allowed the SCAR to use standard M110 and the gen2 308 Pmags that were prevalent at the time. What had started in July of 2011 became a reality about a year later. What Alan set out to do was provide the FN SCAR a greater compatibility in the market place. He also saw that a very light 7.62×51 caliber rifle would benefit from extra rigidity in the system. The SCAR was at the beginning of its development cycle and not much was known of the gun outside of FN Herstal, NSWC Crane, and the USMC testing facilities.
Geissele, Timney, VLTOR, AAC, Surefire and few other companies began development of products oriented to the platform. With a SOCOM specific DoD application, improvement funds sitting in USSOCOM, GWOT in full swing, the SCAR looked like it might well be the future. Handl Defense developed a full package for the SCAR that included optics, lasers, suppressors, caliber conversion kits that was cost neutral per SFODA after just one JCET.
As Handl Defense grew in capability the products evolved. Products became refined as machining processes advanced. In house inspection equipment and QA processes furthered this evolution. But the very first trigger modules is where it all started. Since there are a few variations
SCAR 25 early Gen 1 (2012-2013)
The SCAR 25 trigger modules that first came off the production line had very smooth features. It was intended to look as much like the OEM trigger module as possible. What helps to identify the early Gen 1 SCAR 25’s is the horizontally flat trigger guard. Also very smooth bevels on the magazine well and the radius above the trigger guard. The Magazine well is spec’d to Gen 2 7.62×51 PMAGs and M110 magazines. Of note these were produced before the Official NSW test of 2013. Geissele triggers may not have enough clearance on the bottom to be fully smooth.
SCAR 25 late Gen 1 (2013-2014)
This trigger module incorporates all input from the official NSW test in 2013. The only way to accurately identify the late Gen 1 SCAR 25 (or SCAR 25 Mod2) is the tool pathways around the bolt catch are smoother. The script on the magazine well and selector settings is deeper cut and better defined. These are the last of press fit trigger modules. Originally the SCAR 25 was intended to have lubricant put on the male end of the tab where the trigger module enters the backplate. It was then to be mated into place with a rubber mallet. Then no less than 100 rounds were intended to be shot through the gun. This would allow for the extra rigidity in the alloy trigger module to provide more rigidity to the system. To this day the Gen 1 press fit trigger modules have the best secondary recoil impulse reduction of all aftermarket trigger modules on our accelerometer.
Around this time Magpul released the Gen 3 of 7.62×51 PMAG. Of Note: there is no STANAG for 7.62×51 magazines, specifications vary greatly. Additionally X-Products and Handl Defense co branded a package including their drums and Handl Defense trigger modules. X-Products had multiple variations of their 50 round drum. Both companies felt it best to let X-Products move forward with their own trigger module. The late Gen 1 SCAR 25 is the TDP the X-Products Trigger Module as well as all other SR25 pattern SCAR trigger modules are derived from. Handl Defense is proud to know that others in the industry relied on our work to help move the platform forward.
SCAR 25 early Gen 2 SCAR 25 (2014-2015)
When Magpul released the Gen 3 7.62×51 PMAG there changed to the exterior of that magazine that made it tight in some of the SCAR trigger modules. In particular there are two lower angled tabs that can rub on the inside of the trigger module. Also the angle of the horizontal bevel on the Gen 3 PMAG is also sharper than the Gen 2 PMAG. This can cause seating issues in some Gen 1 SCAR 25s. To compensate for this changes were made to the SCAR 25. The angle of the trigger guard is now angled. The early Gen 2 SCAR 25 can be Identified by very pronounced machine marks on the magazine well and radius on the rear of the trigger module.
SCAR 25 late Gen 2 (2015)
These trigger modules were incorporated after I became an owner of Handl Defense. New inspection procedures and equipment was purchased. New production staff was hired. In order to identify those changes other subtle changes were made to make identification easy. The machining marks were made much smaller. Also the script was changed ever so slightly.
FN Herstal was engaged in a legal battle of the name “SCAR” in 2015. FN reached out to us and asked us to change the name of the product. As the new CEO, I felt it was a good time to make other alterations to help truly set the Mk.17 apart from the SCAR 25. Other than nomenclature, we changed some of the detailed features. For example the top of the trigger module now has an edge trim.
By this time there were several commercial market advances in accessories. For example Giessele Triggers started OEM’ing trigger for our complete trigger modules. By this time we able to make complete trigger modules with all parts in house. One of these after market accessories, the PMM magazine release, required changes to the guard around the magazine release. At the time were supplying PMM with our extra OEM 6 o’clock rails. It seemed natural to make changes to allow the PMM magazine release to fit. You can see the shorter guard and top trim on the Mk.17-M110 in the rear.
With thousands of these trigger modules in circulation, they do come up on the market as used. Unfortunately some buyers will not follow directions and damaged the trigger module during installation. Gunsmith is a very broad term with out clear definition. Be mindful of deep scrapes and other non CNC tool marks. Often in Gen 1 trigger modules the rear was not lubricated, press fit with a rubber mallet, and then broken in as per the directions. Be sure to inspect the rear of the male portion of the trigger module for damage. Now you can clearly identify which generation of trigger module that you are dealing with. Normally we do not have customers reselling trigger modules, but if you find one Handl Defense is available to answer your questions.