But in .308 (though two versions are offered in .300WSM), it has all the makings of a great deer rifle. The SPR line (which encompasses seven models) is built on a pre-’64 Winchester-design action that uses the time-tested Controlled Round Feed. Features include hammer-forged match barrels with chrome-lined bores, 1 MOA (or better) accuracy and a McMillan fiberglass tactical stock.
DeMilt believes the association with Belgian-based Herstal is a significant asset, because it allows the U.S. subsidiary to tap into great engineering talent. “In the States, if you go to MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], you’re not going into the gun business,” he said. “In Europe, it’s different. Herstal is getting top talent.”
And that allows FN to innovate. “No one is investing in general arms for the long term like FN. We’re not reinventing old technology, we’re inventing new technology.”
A born salesman, DeMilt says, “In order to sell, you better know the competition and you better know your products.”
And FN has, without doubt, some cool products. I’ve shot the SPR, and it is, indeed, as accurate as DeMilt claims. I also had to opportunity to sample FN’s new Special Combat Automatic Rifle (SCAR), which has been chosen by the U.S. Special Operations Command as its next-generation modular assault-rifle system. The selective-fire SCAR-Light is available in .223 Rem (5.56x45mm NATO); the SCAR-Heavy is a .308 Win. (7.62x51mm NATO).
A strong selling point for the military is the rifle’s versatility: the operator can choose among three interchangeable barrels that can be switched in less than 5 minutes without the loss of previously established zero. The SCAR also features a free-floating barrel, multiple integral MIL-STD 1913 mounting rails and a telescoping, folding stock assembly with adjustable cheekpiece and ambidextrous controls.
For obvious reasons, sales of the SCAR are restricted to law enforcement agencies and the military. But if you want to get an idea of the precision of FN’s product line, sample the SPR. It’s a shooter.