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July Military Weapon of the Month - M249 SAW

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  • July Military Weapon of the Month - M249 SAW

    During the late 1970's and early '80's the USArmy conducted trials for a new squad automatic weapon. One of the weapons entered was the minimi from the Belgian firearms manufacturer Fabrique Nationale, (FN). The M249 is a slightly different configuration of the minimi and is produced by FNH USA. The M249 was officially adoptedin February 1982. However, it had a delayed introduction with fielding not starting in earnest until the late 1980s.

    The M249 is an air-cooled, gas operated, fully-automaticweaponthat fires from anopen-boltposition. It can acceptbelts of linked5.56mmammunition through the top-mounted feed tray orM16 magazinesthrough the side-mounted port. Linked ammunition can be fed from either a loose belt or from a plastic box (or cloth pouch) for 200 rounds, clipped under the receiver.The M249 features a built-inbipod and a tripod-mounting lug for supported fire, as well as a quick changebarrel that helps prevent overheating during sustained fire.Weight is approximately 16 lbs, overall length is 41" with 18" barrel.

    The ammunition used is M855 ball and M856 tracer. Cartridgebelts normally have four rounds of ball followed by one round of tracer. The tracer round has an impressive 900 meter burn-out. A SAW gunner carries a minimum of 600 rounds of linked ammo.

    Effective ranges include 600 meters for a point target, 800 meters for an area target, and 1,000 meters for suppression.The advised rates of fire are 85 rounds per minute (rpm) with no barrel changes. With a barrel change every two minutes, this increases to 200 rpm. For a barrel change every minute, the rate of fire can go up to 850 rpm, which is approximately equal to the cyclic rate of fire, at about 850 to 900 rpm.

    There areafewvariants of the basic SAW.The M249E4 has a shorter barrel, Picatinny rails on the feed cover and handguard for mounting optical sights or accessories, and a retractable stock. This model does not have the magazine feed port, tripod mount or bipod. TheMk 46 Mod 0 is similar to the E4 whilehaving an improved rail handguard andfixed buttstock.Both models serve well in airborne or special operations units.

    Many of the standard M249's have been updated or modified, either through the Armys Product-Improvement-Project or by units in the field. These modifications are usually to add the Picatinny rails or change the buttstock to a different style.

    Combining excellent firepower with fairly light weightthe SAW has been aneffective weapon in the hands of US military forces.


    "Get off your computer and go load some ammo"

    Welcome to California. Press 2 for English.

  • #2


    Seeing as how the M249 has been in service for a while I'm sure many of our military members have put it to use. If you'd like to share your personal experiences or opinionsabout this weapon please do.
    "Get off your computer and go load some ammo"

    Welcome to California. Press 2 for English.

    Comment


    • #3


      Gunrunner wrote:
      Seeing as how the M249 has been in service for a while I'm sure many of our military members have put it to use. If you'd like to share your personal experiences or opinionsabout this weapon please do.



      IT SUCKS!(so does the 240B)



      The PIG will always reign supreme, LONG LIVE THE PIG!!


      You will know me by the scars I bear, you will know me by the hate I swear.
      -OTEP

      RLTW

      Comment


      • #4


        Hey Black

        Please tell us un-informed what the PIG might be?

        Gunrunner,

        From your writing i gather the M249 is fully-automatic only?



        All the best


        Grey Smoke

        "A fanatic is one who can\'t change his mind and won\'t change the subject."

        -Winston Churchill

        Comment


        • #5


          greysmoke wrote:
          Hey Black

          Please tell us un-informed what the PIG might be?

          Gunrunner,

          From your writing i gather the M249 is fully-automatic only?



          All the best




          ROGER, it is full auto, however the cyclic rate is slow enouugh (725 on belt, 1000 on M-16 mag) toeasily pop one at a time (NOT RECOMENDED- 3RND BURST MIN).





          PIG= M60Full Auto Machine Gun with a 550 round cyclic rate of pure, 7.62x51mm, gonna mess your day up, FMJ goodness. (As opposed to the wimpy 5.56mm 249).
          You will know me by the scars I bear, you will know me by the hate I swear.
          -OTEP

          RLTW

          Comment


          • #6


            hey Black

            Does sound like a bussiness like weapon.....



            Thanks for the info:thumbs:
            Grey Smoke

            "A fanatic is one who can\'t change his mind and won\'t change the subject."

            -Winston Churchill

            Comment


            • #7


              Ohhh the saw, good weapon but can be finicky at times while operating, as with the m16/m4 if not well maintained will jam like a SOB. now the 240B love the lead it puts downrange never had issues either with jamming. Heavy as hell, glad I never had to hump that or the Ole pig (small perk of being the medic)
              "A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of \'up to and including my life.\'

              Comment


              • #8


                Ait Force (National Guard) Security Police/Forces, 1996 'till I retired (1988-2008). SP became SF while I was there.
                Humped them all I think (except the M240).

                The beloved Pig, the M249 Saw, several incarnations of M-16/M4 (with and without grenade launcher).

                I had no "problems" with the Saw, I shot it "acceptably". Virtually zero recoil means I would "lighten up" on it after a bit and that would result in "spraying the range" untill I bore down on it again.
                You had to "wrestle the pig" every round through it's twisting and bucking 7.62 recoil, and WE just seemed to get along much better for it.
                I was a much more accurate gunner with The Pig than I was with the SAW.
                Worst part of the saw was/is scraping the gilding metal out of the gas system, off the piston's recessed face. Never have I ever seen another weapon do that. Fail to scrape it clean every so often, you will go to jam-city, and be very unhappy. It is NOT EASY to scrape out of there.

                My unit's SAW-gunner loadout was same as the 60-gunner's, 800 rounds and spare barrel, MAYBE an assitant gunner to help ya haul, maybe not.
                I don\'t always venture out into the sub-freezing darkness, but when I do, it is hunting season, and I carry a Browning. Stay hungry my friends.

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