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SAW M249 – 5.56 NATO Semi Auto Belt Fed Civilian Model

(1 customer review)
5 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating

$7,999.99

SAW M249 has arrived at FN57SALE! Be one of the first to own one of the coolest machine guns ever made!

SAW M249 Semi Auto Belt Fed 5.56×45 NATO

saw m249

 

SAW M249, a semi-automatic version of the M249 SAW light machinegun, was originally developed by FN Herstal as the FN MINIMI® and adopted by the U.S. Military in 1988. The rifle features the signature 20.5-inch FN cold hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel and operates from a closed bolt position. Chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO, the rifle will accept both magazine and 200 round linked ammunition belt and offers a 4.0-6.5 pound trigger pull out-of-the-box.

The military typically uses an Elcan Specter DR on this platform Particularly the Elcan 1.5-6x or Elcan 1-3-9.

Available on backorder

Add Military Grade Optics

FN Scar opticsFN Scar opticselcan-specter-optic

SAW M249 has arrived at FN57SALE! Be one of the first to own one of the coolest machine guns ever made!

SAW M249 Semi Auto Belt Fed 5.56×45 NATO

saw m249

The FN SAW M249, a semi-automatic version of the SAW M249 light machine gun, was originally developed by FN Herstal as the FN MINIMI® and adopted by the U.S. Military in 1988. The rifle features the signature 20.5-inch FN cold hammer-forged, chrome-lined barrel and operates from a closed bolt position. Chambered in 5.56x45mm NATO, the rifle will accept both magazine and linked ammunition belt and offers a 4.0-6.5 pound trigger pull out-of-the-box.

Check out the snippet below of the full review from: Guns America’s Review of SAW M249 by: 

This gun is serious business. From what I can tell this gun is built every bit as solidly, part-for-part, as the military machine gun. The only difference I can find is the engineering that went into making it civilian legal. They use the same hammer-forged barrel. All of the external parts, bipod, sights and feeding mechanisms are identical. This gun is not some bantamweight—this is in the heavyweight category.  I was struck by how aesthetically pleasing this gun is. There are plenty of great guns out there that are ugly as hell—this is one that can be appreciated at face value.

When I went through all of the components that came with the gun, the only add-on that I could conceivably come up with was some type of optic. The military typically uses either an Elcan or a Trijicon on this platform.

PREPPING A BELT-FED GUN SAW M249

saw m249

SAW M249 ON THE RANGE

The first thing I wanted to try out at the range was the 30 round magazine. I had heard stories about these guns being finicky when running from a magazine and then going to a belt. There were also tales of the magazines being eaten in the process of emptying them. One thing I would point out: all magazine guns should have a magazine cover door like this one that, in the default position, is self-closing (this is the equivalent of a toilet seat that will put itself down). Simply push the magazine through the closed door, snap it in place and you’re good to go. I flipped the bipod to the down position and settled in behind the gun. I wanted to run the 249 with the traditional covered notch at the front and ghost ring in the rear, as they were easy to acquire and afforded a good cheek weld.

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The M249S magazine port features a self-closing dustcover/door that closes when a magazine is not inserted.

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The magazine port is located just below the port for the belt feed of ammunition.

 The first thing that you notice when firing this gun is that the trigger is fantastic. The only machine gun trigger that I have ever operated that was better than this one was the electric switch on a GE. The trigger of the SAW M249 is about 4½ pounds, with a reasonable amount of take-up and a pull as smooth as silk. The engineers at FN have done an incredible job of making this user-friendly.

With the bipod providing stability in the front, the well-engineered buttstock in the rear, and the pistol grip in hand, it is 100% controllable no matter how fast you fire. Firing faster gave me just a slight push to the rear without any shaking or fidgeting.

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The rear sight of the SAW M249 is a rock-solid and sturdy winged assembly with an adjustable peep unit.

Most semi-automatic .223 rifles eject brass like a push mower without the safety guard in place. The SAW M249 just neatly deposited the rounds out of the downward-facing ejection chute to the right of the gun. Ejecting the spent magazine is simple; just push in the lever on the magazine well cover and it pops right out. After running several full magazines through the gun, I inspected the feed lips. There was some paint scratching, but no signs of damage or what I would interpret as abuse.

The moment of truth had arrived, and it was time to put the box on and let this thing eat. The box has a male clip that slides into the female portion mounted to the gun. There is no way to put a magazine and a box of belted ammunition on at the same time. The belt feeding mechanism is exposed by pinching the two clips behind the top cover. Half of this mechanism is in the top cover, and the other half is on the receiver. Once the belt is lain in, you lock it in by pinching those same pins together again. Then you pull the charging handle to the rear and let it fly home. Laying the belt correctly is the most difficult part of this. As my first attempt demonstrated, you must lay the first loaded round in the center of the belt feed mechanism. Otherwise you get a click instead of a bang.

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The SAW M249 rifle features a self-regulating gas system unit.

Once I had corrected my error, the gun came to life. At first I was cautious and observed the gun showering from the bottom of the gun a chorus of belt links and brass that I had so diligently put together the night before. This lasted for about 10 rounds, and then it was time to open her up. As I began to work the trigger faster and faster, I was rewarded with both center mass hits on the target and piles of brass and links at my feet. I then made a quick adjustment on the sights and moved the target out to the available hundred yards. My shot timer told me that I was delivering about 200+ rounds per minute of dead-on fire at 100 yards. I’m not aware of any other semi-automatic .223 rifle that can deliver 200 rounds on target in a minute. I even went so far as to put a second target up and work transitions, being careful not to sling rounds between targets. This only slightly diminished the rate of fire.

This gun ran perfect. The only issue that I encountered was the smoke coming off of the barrel. I don’t believe that I could damage this barrel short of buying several thousand links and running them all together. This gun is purpose-built for this kind of action, and performs as such.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This gun is everything I hoped it would be and frankly, for the price, it should be. The SAW M249 put a smile on my face every time I shot it. I took it out to a different range later and fired off of a tower with multiple targets, and everyone at the range was eager to join in. I encourage you to take a turn on this gun if you’re given the opportunity; you will not be disappointed. You may knock this gun on practicality, but you will not knock it on function, reliability or authenticity.

I try to put my biases aside when I review a gun, but I’ll admit that I’m a fan boy of this platform. And there are a few things you need to be aware of; it’s not all fun and games. This gun is heavy and has its own manual of arms that you must respect. This is not a gun that you’re going to pick up and immediately take to the range to shoot. You will have to invest some effort into the aforementioned learning curve to be successful. But, trust me, it is well worth the effort!

With the bipod providing stability in the front, the well-engineered SAW M249 buttstock in the rear, and the pistol grip in hand, it is 100% controllable no matter how fast you fire. Firing faster gave me just a slight push to the rear without any shaking or fidgeting.

Weight 25 lbs
Ammunition

will accept both magazine and linked ammunition belt
Caliber: 5.56x45mm NATO

Barrel

20.5″, Changeable barrel, Cold hammer-forged steel, Hard chrome-plated bore and chamber

Operation

Closed-bolt Semi Automatic

Overall Length

40.75″

Twist Rate

1:7″ RH

Weight

17.0 lbs. (empty)

Trigger Pull

4.0-6.5 pound trigger pull out-of-the-box.

1 review for SAW M249 – 5.56 NATO Semi Auto Belt Fed Civilian Model

  1. Greg
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    Got one…it’s fun, it works…did I mention it’s fun? FM recommends just using the 556 NATO…the gun isn’t happy with .223 when using a belt. It also doesn’t really like Magpul mags…which is fine. Stick in a AR-15 metal mag and it works beautifully with .223. Easier running just the bolt and not hauling a belt up I guess. Use the NATO for the belt for sure.

    It also fits on a Browning 30 cal tripod which is handy when letting kids shoot it (I paid $55 for the pintle and the T&E fitting). Just plug everything in, adjust the back T&E and it’ll put everything in the same spot over and over….kids love it and cheaper than shooting the .308.

    Expensive? You betcha’. So is a fancy shotgun, a 4×4 Polaris and a kid’s school tuition…I work hard for my money, I enjoy my toys. Piss off a liberal, enjoy yourself!

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