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Combat Rifle

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Scarw 2
Combat Rifle
Hud icon Scar invert 
Weapon Type Assault
Main weapon
Capacity 60
Carry Capacity 360
Damage per Shot 44
Rate of Fire 502.3/minute
Damage per Second 368.4
Damage per Magazine 2640
Total Damage 18480

"This big rifle is now mine."
"Ah hell. Gonna set some things right with this shit."

The Combat Rifle (also referred to as the Desert Rifle) is a Tier 2 Assault Rifle variant that has a capacity of 60 rounds per magazine. Unlike the other assault rifles, it fires a three-round burst. Holding down the trigger button will continually fire three-round bursts, unlike burst rifles in most games, where the trigger must be pulled every time a burst is fired. Sustained bursts make for a more accurate spread of fire than the Assault Rifle.

Official Description

Similar in firepower to the M16 , the Desert Rifle boasts a three-round burst from a single pull of the trigger. Sustained bursts make for a more accurate spread of fire than the M16, with improved ammo conservation. [1]


  • The Combat Rifle is a little more accurate than the Assault Rifle, and fires set three-round bursts. It works very well for picking off Special Infected at a distance.
  • The Combat Rifle's ability to continually fire bursts as long as the trigger is held down makes it an effective weapon for taking down Hordes, but melee weapons are recommended, as ammo can quickly become scarce this way.
  • A total of 420 ammo translates to 140 shots, so be sure to watch your ammunition count and use your secondary weapon when appropriate.
  • The reload speed on the Combat Rifle is slower than the other assault rifles, so be sure to reload only when you find a suitable interlude.
  • Very effective on the run due to high accuracy when moving.
  • The Combat Rifle is incredibly useful for taking down groups of Infected. A single shot will result in three bullets, so make sure you add a bit of spread to your shooting.
  • The Combat Rifle has the highest ammo capacity compared to the other assault rifles, allowing you to shoot for a while before having to reload. Because of the high ammo capacity, you will get a lot of ammo to use for Explosive Ammunition and Incendiary Ammunition. However you cannot shoot one bullet like other Assault Rifles, so if you are inaccurate, you will waste 3 instead of just 1 bullet.

Pros and Cons


  • Best accuracy out of all assault rifle weapons, particularly on the run and when being attacked.
  • Three-round burst helps experienced players conserve ammo and regain accuracy (the crosshair will tighten back between bursts).
  • Highest Damage Per Magazine when compared to other Assault Rifles.
  • Good at taking down Hordes when continually firing.
  • Fairly high accuracy when running.
  • Works well with a Laser Sight.
  • Quite powerful at taking down Special Infected and very effective when it comes to dealing with the Tank.
  • Works well with Explosive Ammunition and Incendiary Ammunition.
  • Can help save teammates with ease.
  • Has an AoE effect on Commons, even if you miss shooting them in the head, body, arms, or legs.


  • Longest reloading time for an assault rifle-type weapon.
  • If you continually fire, you will find yourself running low on ammo quite often.
  • Slightly lower DPS than the Assault Rifle.
  • When surrounded, the burst shot makes it more difficult to clear away enemies as opposed to the full-automatic rifles.
  • Can deplete ammo faster than the other assault rifles when facing small numbers of Infected. While they can be used to pick off Infected at a distance with one shot (and careful timing of the fire button), the Combat Rifle will always fire three shots, regardless of how quickly the button is pressed. This can be bypassed with a carefully timed melee shove during a burst, which will stop said burst in between shots. It may be advised to switch to the secondary weapon for removing single Common Infected.


The Combat Rifle fires in three-round bursts as opposed to full-automatic, which translates the 60-round magazine to 20 shots. The individual bursts are highly accurate, and the weapon is still greatly accurate when running or being hit by Infected. DPS is higher than the Assault Rifle, but lower than the AK-47, and the reload time is the longest of the assault rifles; it takes a little over three seconds to reload.


Scar 2

Nick holding the Combat Rifle.

  • The Combat Rifle is modeled after the FN SCAR-L, while the model texture lists it as a SCAR-H. The flashlight is mounted via cable ties, although the real-life counterpart features a handguard mounted RIS rail for just that purpose. There is some implied nature of desperation in Left 4 Dead 2, and it was most likely a decision made to show that people were making do with what they had. However, it may also be that whoever owned the rifle previously lacked the proper mount to put a flashlight on the gun, as putting accessories on rails requires a mount designed to fit them if they do not have one built in and the flashlight on the gun does not have a built-in rail mount.
    • Noting the markings on the side of the gun, it seems to list itself as both variants: the markings mention both "Mk 17 Mod 3" (SCAR-H) and "Cal 5.56mm" (SCAR-L).
      • The SCAR-L in the game is actually modeled after the FN SCAR 16S, a civilian version of the SCAR-L with a 16.25" barrel and a M16A2 flash-hider.
  • The FN SCAR stands for "Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle" and is used primarily by the U.S. Special Operation Command, indicating the possible presence of U.S. Special Forces.
  • The in-game commentary states that the rifles were diverted from the Middle East and shipped back home to control the Infection.
  • However, it should be noted that the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, conveniently based in Georgia, had SCARs issued to them in real life several months before the events of the games take place, also giving a valid excuse canon-wise for their lack of appearance in Left 4 Dead.
  • The Combat Rifle was rated 5th in the Left 4 Dead 2 Top 10 FTW Weapons on Machinima.
  • The reload animation in-game is unnecessary. When the SCAR is depleted of ammunition, the bolt automatically locks back, allowing the user to rapidly replace the magazine and press the bolt-release.
  • In real life, the FN SCAR-L shares ammo with the M16 and uses 30-round magazines, rather than the 60- (SCAR) and 50- (M16) round magazines in-game. However, 45 and 60 round magazines do exist, but they're less common. Also, drum magazines can be used and can hold up to 100 rounds.
  • In real life, the FN SCAR Mk 16 only has the option to fire in semi-auto or full-auto; it does not have the three-round burst option as depicted in game
  • The three-round burst can be interrupted in numerous ways: melee attacking, switching weapons, or being hit by a Special Infected such as the Hunter or Charger in the middle of a burst.
  • When firing and shifting aim at the same time, three individual shots can be spread over a distance, making it possible to shoot three different targets at the same time.
  • The rifle is referred to as "rifle_desert" in the developer's console.
  • In the Dead Center Atrium survival, the magazine of the model at the spawn point is a bright tan, but when picked up, the magazine is dark tan on the first-person model.
  • The Combat Rifle's world model has no ejection port.
  • During the beta version of Left 4 Dead 2, the Combat Rifle was fully automatic, but then changed to three-round burst due to balancing reasons.



External Links

Combat Rifle in action:


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