Unleash the SAW! – Civilian M249 Now Available – Full Review

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the new 5.56 M249S from FN USA delivers a semi-auto version of the battle-proven M249 SAW light machine gun.

The new 5.56 M249S from FN delivers a semi-auto version of the battle-proven M249 SAW light machine gun.

For more information: FN M249S
To purchase on GunsAmerica.com, click this link: https://www.gunsamerica.com/Search.aspx?T=M249S

U.S. Army soldier fires the M249 squad automated weapon (SAW) during the Expert Infantryman Badge (EIB) testing on August 27, 2012 at Grafenwoehr, Germany Training Area. (U.S. Army Photo by Gertrud Zach/released)

U.S. Army soldier fires a full-auto variant of the M249 squad automatic weapon (SAW). (U.S. Army Photo by Gertrud Zach/released)

While at Shot Show, I had the opportunity to both shoot and handle the new FN Military Collector Series of guns from FN. With FN providing true military grade firearms like the M16, M4 Carbine and M249 SAW directly to the U.S. military, it is clear this is a company that knows how to produce true mil-spec hardware. The FN Military Collector Series provides civilian shooters with semi-automatic variants of these battle-proven firearms.

I quickly asked when I would be able to get demo guns and was promised a shot as soon as they were available. I received the M16 first, followed by the M4 Carbine. I continued to press for the M249S, a semi-automatic version of the M249 SAW, so hard that I knew I would eventually get one, or a restraining order. The day has finally arrived, and let me tell you upfront, this gun is amazing.

First Things First

I am going to go ahead and get a few things out of the way so you can enjoy reading the rest of the article. I will answer a few questions and save you from having to post them in the comments section.

  • “Who would want a gun that costs $8,000 or more? Would you have to have more money than sense to buy one of these things? You could buy like 15 ½ Glocks with that money.” I guess you should ask the people on the waiting list who would want one of these. I am just like you; I’m making payments to the orthodontist, but I have made some frugal life choices. I don’t own a motorcycle or a boat, and I don’t live in a palatial neighborhood. Comparing prices in this situation is sort of irrelevant—who needs 15 Glocks? Unless you can come up with a Glock 18 for me, I don’t need 15 more of the same.

Un-boxing

Usually, the box a gun ships in is fairly unremarkable. It is just a plain brown rectangular chunk of cardboard with some packing material in it. I was actually a little surprised when I picked this gun up from my FFL. The box is shorter than I had expected and it was definitely thicker and wider than any other gun I had received before. As I began the un-boxing process, there was an unmistakably utilitarian, industrial/military feel to everything. The components were all in giant sealed bags. The instructions were all laminated to stand up to soldiers who might not be the most delicate flowers.

The M249S can feed from a disintegrating belt system that hold the 5.56 NATO rounds.

The M249S can feed from a disintegrating belt system that holds the 5.56 NATO rounds.

The belt of ammunition is held inside a plastic box that is located under the gun.

The belt of ammunition is held inside a plastic box that is located under the gun.

The disintegrating links hold the 5.56 NATO rounds for feeding, but fall away as the rifle fires.

The receiver was in one giant bag and the barrel was inside a box within another bag. The ammunition box with 200 links was in its own nifty little compartment, along with the instructions and one 30-round metal FN magazine. I have never seen an M249 SAW shipped to a government depot, but I can imagine this is probably close to how she would look.

There were at least three warnings stating clearly that this does not operate like your daddy’s shotgun. As a matter of fact, the good folks at FN reached out to me via email and provided me with a link to instructional videos that forwent all of the nasty requirements of reading the instruction book. I wonder if they reached out to my wife—it was like they knew I wasn’t going to read that instruction manual. All jokes aside, I did watch all the videos in the series and found them to be very easy to follow. I even referred back to them as I assembled the gun, got my manual of arms together, and finally linked 200 rounds of .223.

The internal parts have been redesigned to comply with the ATF ruling on semi-auto versions of machine guns, changing it from an open-bolt design to a closed-bolt design. On the M249S, there have been some blocks put in place to make sure the full-auto parts will not “drop in.” In the new design, the firing pin is now a moving part versus the fixed one in the full-auto version. The trigger pack has been changed to use a hammer instead of the usual bolt release found on the end of the trigger assembly. This simply means this gun fires semi-auto only from a closed bolt.

The M249S has a top cover that can be opened to set up the feeding of the 5.56 NATO rounds into the rifle.

Once the rifle is set up for firing, the top cover (shown in the open position) can be closed down.

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In addition to feeding from a belt, the M249S can also feed from AR-15/M16 magazines. It is shown equipped with a 30-round Magpul unit.

In simple terms, the full-auto version of the M249 fires from the action being locked open. A pull of the trigger releases the action to feed a round and fire it with a fixed firing pin, over and over until the trigger is released. When the trigger is released, the action locks open again awaiting the next trigger pull. In the closed-bolt system, a round is first chambered and when the trigger is pulled a hammer is released to strike a moving firing pin. The case is ejected and new round is fed into the chamber, awaiting the trigger to be pulled for a follow-up shot.

A significant feature of the M249S (like its military sibling) is that the cold hammer forged barrel assembly (with the carry handle and heat shield) is removable by pressing down on the wire lever at the front top of the receiver. Then the barrel slides forward. The primary purpose is to install a fresh cold barrel after sustained fire. I found the primary benefit to be allowing the gun to fit into a much more compact footprint for both storage and transport.

SPECS

  • Chambering: 5.56 NATO
  • Barrel: 20.5 inch (removable)
  • OA Length: 40.5 inches
  • Weight: 17 pounds (empty)
  • Stock: Fixed
  • Sights: Ghost ring rear, post front
  • Action: Closed-bolt, semi-auto
  • Finish: Parkerized
  • Capacity: Belt- or magazine-fed
  • MSRP: $7,999

First Impressions

The best way I can describe this is that moment in the movie “Christmas Story” where the Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun makes its appearance. I immediately snapped a picture with the tagline “Anyone want to guess what I’m doing today” and posted it to Facebook.

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The M249S can be easily and quickly broken down into its primary components.

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It comes equipped with a rugged steel folding bipod assembly.

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. These descriptions make me feel like I’m describing some piece of farm equipment from Belarus; to the contrary, there is a certain elegance to the finish, fit and engineering that go into this rifle. As I was taking pictures, 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

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The linked ammunition feeds from the box to the rifle, but must be inserted correctly for proper functioning.

Remember those handy videos I mentioned earlier? Well I think I watched the one about linking the ammunition, getting it in the box and chambering the first round about 15 times. I’ve actually owned belt fed guns before, but my Browning 1919 featured a cloth belt. I knew in principle how the disintegrating belts worked and how the gun fed the ammunition. But as always, success is in the details.

Task A is developing a system for linking the ammunition. This involves un-boxing 200 rounds of 223 ammunition. Next is finding a nice, flat, clean work surface to begin the linking process. Once you figure out which side of the link is up and which side is down, you can begin laying them out and simply inserting the rounds. Once I figured out my system, it took about the same amount of time as I would normally have spent loading magazines.

The next couple of steps in this operation are a lot like giving an angry cat a bath in the bathroom sink: You know what’s supposed to happen, but the cat is not going to comply. Now that you have 200 rounds of ammunition linked, count out 15 and then fold over, then repeat. It’s like folding layers of dough over. Now, making sure that the end of the belt is in the proper position, pick up these rounds and begin feeding them into the ammunition box. Imagine being halfway through a game of Jenga on your kitchen table and deciding to pick it up and move it to a waterbed- it can be done, but probably not on the first try. Finally, once you have the rounds correctly inserted into the box and the end of the belt protruding correctly from the box, you get to tackle the task of snapping on the lid. The best way I can describe this challenge is putting a twin size fitted sheet on a queen-size bed. It’s not going to be a gentle process.

Okay, so I may have gone a little heavy on the exaggerated similes; the point is, there is a learning curve at play here. If you can work past the learning curve, you will reap big rewards at the shooting range.

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 FN249S 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 M249S 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 FN 249S 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 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 FN 249S 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!

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A simple yet effective cross bolt safety is located in the lower trigger housing assembly, just above the pistol grip.

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The buttstock sports a fold-up support that helps keep the M249S from sliding down off your shoulder under recoil.

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In addition to the standard M249S, FN has also released a limited edition of the rifle for an MSRP of $9,499. It comes with serialized ID tags, certificate of authenticity, spare barrel assembly and numerous accessories, all packed in a hard case. Image courtesy of FN.

{ 142 comments… add one }
  • James January 15, 2017, 1:11 pm

    So what happened to the initial $4500 projection that they were advertising a few years ago? It doubled wtf? I was very intrested because of all the extra SAW shit i have around 1000s of links, ammo boxes, 100rd soft droms, drum extenders, sling & experiance. I would drop $8500 on a M-240s no problem but with this doubled price im kind of thinking 1919 now or a belt fed AR Upper. I have received weapons systems from FN before and the packageing sounds to be very close to that of the 240s and ma-duce. But what the hell does packaging have to do with anytthing? Ive ran 249s, 240s B,C & L, M-60s, M-2s, MK-19s & have work with the GAU-8 plus M242, 25mm bushmaster and owed about every semi individual weapon I ever wanted, belts fguns are a ton of fun! Lets not forget the BFM-30

    • Isaac April 20, 2017, 12:36 am

      And it’s not worth the money, it is cool, but it is a semi version of the M249. I personally don’t want the weight and bulk when I could get the same firepower from my AR.

  • John December 18, 2016, 12:17 am

    This is torture I so want one but I don’t have $8k to throw around. I mean this is like an $8k carrot and I’m the donkey

  • X-95 December 12, 2016, 2:24 pm

    The M27 IAR sounds like a much better solution in every way possible. In fact, I rather would have one of those than a M4 or M16A2 and a few X-15 50 round drums to go with it.

  • SGT Mike December 5, 2016, 9:20 pm

    Talk about a neon sign for the feds to read, hey I bought I bought a machine gun!! .223/5.56 caliber isn’t the smartest round for semi auto. In Vietnam I had an M 60 to love and care for that was a potent round. In the Army I was a tanker and got to love the coaxial M 240 same round nicer design. I hope our incoming Sec Def will get things ironed out and stop this wasteful use of the peoples tax money.

  • ToddB December 5, 2016, 2:23 pm

    What wheres all the love for something so pointless? I carried a 249 in the marines, yea if you can pull the trigger and it will turn into a bullet hose, your onto something. A belt fed semiauto 5.56, why didnt they put on a bayonet lug while they were at it? Or a can opener? Why even include an extra barrel? You will get tired of pulling the trigger before it needs the barrel changed. Oh you can certainly get one hot in auto, but I have never known them to be reliable enough to make it thru an entire belt without stopping….several times. We learned real quick dont use 200rd belts, just wont feed reliably. There are no more tin cans from C rats to wire to the side of it like a 60 so they will feed better. And magazines, about the stupidest idea ever. ‘Oh but you can use your a gunners mags’. I guarantee by the time I went thru the 800rds I carried, my a gunner had already used his mags up. It was just a place for brass to end up and jam the gun. To make it thru a 30rd mag, just never happens. Maybe if you could get a slidefire stock, like they are gonna invest in designing one for the half dozen people willing to buy a semi auto M249.

    And what is it about FN weapons, are they made of moon rocks? If the US military can buy a full auto 249 for $5k, why the hell does it cost $3k more to make it semi auto, it should be cheaper, so people might actually buy them. I saw a FN made Ar 15, mil spec, $1700. What? You can buy a really seriously upgraded AR15 for $1700, you can build a really really bad ass one for $1700. I want run of the mil mil spec, they are $700 all friggin day. And FN probably sits around asking, why cant we move inventory? $8000 for a range toy, that will lose its amusement real quick, those belts are not fun to load I can assure you, not like you can buy them ready to go. Or $8000 for a Barret 50 cal. Or a whole pile of other guns, ammo, mags, etc. Not really much of a choice.

    • Dan December 7, 2016, 3:58 pm

      Thank you sarge. You have called it like I see it. I wouldn’t spend 8k on something unless I can tow it behind the car and live in it. I work for a contractor and carry a SAW and I can’t say much good about it either. You have to go digging the links out of the tray slots and action between EVERY belt. Could be kinda annoying when the show is on. I carried a 60 back in the day and don’t remember having to clean the links out once. They spit em out the side like a boss. Only thing I remember is the sears would wear and occasionally give you a runaway gun. Break the belt, no problem. Plus in my personal opinion that SAW has too high a rate of fire. Slow it down and make a more controllable gun and lessen the times you gotta dig them links out. All while achieving the same effect downrange. As for a semi….WTF? If someone gave me a ton of money and stipulated I had to spend it on something really stupid I still couldn’t make myself buy this thing. I’ve had no experience with the 240 but I’ve heard it runs better. But if I had to carry a pig I’d just assume make it a 60.

  • Billybob December 5, 2016, 12:18 pm

    United States M249 cost $4087 per unit ( bet they made money of that sale ) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEND OVER and get SCREWED for a SEMI AUTO M249S (s for SUCKER or SAP ) and pay almost DOUBLE FOR A SEMI $7,999

  • Don S. December 5, 2016, 11:20 am

    Regarding your description of the full-auto version using a fixed firing pin – I’m having trouble visualizing how the designer insures that the bolt has fully locked up before the firing pin hits the primer. In an AK or AR there is some kind of secondary release for the hammer after the bolt lockup is achieved, right? The fixed firing pin works great in a straight blow-back design but doesn’t the 5.56 round need to fire from a locked bolt due to it’s higher working pressure?
    Your write-up was well done enough to get me drooling, that’s for sure!

    • Billybob December 5, 2016, 11:59 am

      1918 BAR fires from and open Bolt / ZB26 fires from open bolt / Bren fires from an open bolt / M16 LMG fires from an open bolt ! Bolt has to lock before firing pin moves forward ! No Hammers !

  • Vincent Brennan December 5, 2016, 10:52 am

    Folrget the 249….I am NEVER going to watch another one of these stupid reviews if I am going to get screamed at in the beginning and the end!! Screw that! Screw that I, for one, do not need a head banger to scream at me to watch a gun video. I am making the assumption that the scream is some kind of “music” but I sounds like the author got his nuts snagged on a barbed wire fence!
    Grow up.

    • Todd December 5, 2016, 4:12 pm

      I too, can not stand that childish screaming at either end of the clips. Really puts me off from the very get-go!

      Todd.

  • mblack December 5, 2016, 10:38 am

    Cool Factor !00%. Kinda like a Mares leg, not practical but you still want one badly. I only have to save $7,398 and that baby is mine. Thanks!!!

  • Bob December 5, 2016, 10:03 am

    So $8,000 for a Semi-Auto 5.56 with a 200 round capacity that is Belt-Fed, which CAN NOT be converted to Full Auto for so many obvious reasons, is STUPID in my opinion…. I mean for a $140 you can buy a 100 round drum for your AR15 and I bet very few can squeeze the Trigger Fast enough, Long enough or Accurate enough and be able to empty the 100 drum without their Finger Failing first, right? The purpose of the M249 is to lay down Suppressive Fire for a Squad and you’ll NEVER do that with this Semiauto Version!

    • GRA December 5, 2016, 10:10 am

      Cannot agree with you more. Unless you’re a collector or just otherwise MUST have one of these it does no good to own one unless it’s full-auto. Sad. Cannot believe the guvmint hasn’t overturned the 1986 full auto ban yet. They are losing a LOT of money as full-autos would bring a minimum of $200.00 revenue per gun.

    • JoshO December 5, 2016, 11:02 am

      Yuuup. I’ve been scratching my head about this gun ever since it was announced. A semi-auto belt fed absolutely misses the point. Add to that the fact that few in the armed forces ever liked the SAW — the Marines are trying to phase it out with the M27 and most elements would rather have a 240 than 249 if they need a belt fed.

      For $8K? Dumb.

  • Bruce Dzamba December 5, 2016, 9:57 am

    A very expensive and heavy semi-automatic rifle!

  • Dash December 5, 2016, 9:00 am

    I dont really see the point, but to each their own, spend your money as you wish… at least FN put it out there.
    I’ll stick with AR10/15’s for obvious reasons. Should I ever have 8-large to burn on a single gun I’d likely be leaning into a Barrett 82 or a highend 338.

  • Cam December 5, 2016, 8:19 am

    I would rather buy 7 gold 1oz eagles. Best I would pay for that gun is $2,400

  • Billybob December 5, 2016, 6:27 am

    Well When Is The BUMPFIRE model coming out ?

  • Billybob December 5, 2016, 6:20 am

    8 AR\’s with 100 beta mags = 1 FN —————-By the time the 8th beta was unloaded the first gun would have cooled !

  • Dean December 5, 2016, 5:46 am

    I like the SAW……….But not for 8K, realistically these don’t have to be that costly. The military doesn’t pay that, and yes I know about the quantity purchased yada yada yada……….still however they have priced it out of the market, unless you want to talk about who now purchases all the machine legal machine guns………Dr’s and lawyers and maybe some high end tech guys………another for the wealthy………

  • Russ H. December 5, 2016, 5:35 am

    WOW! This thing is AWESOME, can’t wait to get one! $8,000? Hell, I’m going to spend $10,000 to install a supercharger for my Challenger! I can’t help but laugh at some of the ridiculous comments regarding how it’s not full-auto, it’s impractical, blah, blah blah. I don’t buy it for a minute – any of you own an AR15? Is it semi-auto and not full auto? Then why do you have it? It’s just a ripoff of an M16 or M4 right? What about every other semi-auto version of military full-auto or selective fire weapons? Why do you own them? Because they are cool, fun and… fun. Quit your BS negative comments – you know you’d love to have one of these – save your money and get one or at least admit this thing is VERY cool! I love the tripod idea BTW! Git some!

  • Devilnutz December 5, 2016, 5:22 am

    Carried one in the Corps. They’re terribly heavy, unreliable and can really serve a few purposes that are honestly being phased out of the military mission. I didn’t hate it, it was fun. I would not want to carry it in battle.
    But a semi auto version? Hahaha. For $8000? Wow, that’s a pathetic choice buying that. Or someone who has unlimited money… but still a tax stamp and a real automatic would be a better choice in that situation.

  • BOhio December 5, 2016, 4:23 am

    Author, you should get a competent editor to review and revise your copy before it’s published. Here’s your first paragraph (with apologies to readers who’ve already slogged through the content): “While at Shot Show, I had the opportunity to both shoot and handle the new FN Military Collector Series of guns from FN. With FN providing true military grade firearms like the M16, M4 Carbine and M249 SAW directly to the U.S. military, it is clear this is a company that knows how to produce true mil-spec hardware.”
    “… both shoot and handle…” When you use “and” in a sentence, you shouldn’t use “both” too; it’s redundant. Christmas is for children and adults. Hillary is a bi*tch and a liar. Orange and black are my favorite colors. See? Now your way: I have both a dog and a cat. I eat both mashed potatoes and gravy. Sigh… save the both for when it’s necessary.

    As to it being “clear that this is a company that knows how to produce true mil-spec hardware”, my reaction is “no sh*t, Sherlock”, FN has been in that very business for many DECADES”. May as well say “it is clear that Ford knows how to produce a truck” or “it is clear that Lego knows how to produce toys”.

    Say it simply, and say it well. A good editor could help you do BOTH. Your articles will be easier to read and shorter. Everybody wins, unless you’re being paid by the word.

  • Chuck November 6, 2016, 10:37 pm

    Maybe when you have worked your ass off 27 years as a self employed individual, plus being retired military, and you have not fucked up your life with bad decisions, you will financially be able to purchase a semi auto M249. That’s my situation and although I have not purchased one yet, in my opinion a lot of the negative comments are related to envy.

    • JoshO December 5, 2016, 11:06 am

      Some probably are. Others flow from an understanding of the weapon system and its purpose and the fact that making it semi-automatic pretty much neuters it to the point of uselessness. I could buy one cash right now but it would be idiotic to do so.

  • matt July 2, 2016, 2:15 am

    If anyone is looking for the SAW or any other FN Firearm, Fn57sale.com offers the best selection in the country.

    Check us out.

  • Jay Spill June 30, 2016, 11:53 am

    I see all this arguing amongst gun owners and I have to laugh. Some of you are just as bad as the people that want to take all your guns. If you don’t like it, don’t buy one. If you want one and can afford it, and you are legal to own a firearm, it’s noones business how you spend your money or on what. What a bunch of hypocrites. The anti gun lobby loves it when we argue amongst ourselves. If it offends you that much, don’t buy anything from FN. that’s your right, but don’t infringe on the rights of others. You’re either for the 2nd Amendment or against it. There is no in between.

    • David P October 8, 2016, 10:35 pm

      I own one. I also own an Ares MCR. Of course everyone would own a belt fed if they could afford it.

  • Paolo Nunchucks June 29, 2016, 9:32 pm

    Why is it called the SAW?

    • Rick June 30, 2016, 12:46 am

      SAW stands for Squad Automatic Weapon.

    • Jason June 30, 2016, 1:57 am

      Squad Automatic Weapon

      In the infantry there are usually 2 of these in a squad. They are the only fully automatic weapon that doesn’t require a team to pack around all the parts and pieces.

      • David P October 8, 2016, 10:35 pm

        3 per squad in the Marines.

        • Oster March 20, 2017, 9:59 pm

          “WE” DON’T USE A SAW M249 IN THE MARINES!

    • VaVet85 June 30, 2016, 5:57 am

      Squad Automatic Weapon

    • Carl June 30, 2016, 6:35 am

      Squad automatic weapon..

    • George June 30, 2016, 7:56 am

      SAW stands for squad automatic weapon.

    • Nik Hanuschak December 5, 2016, 4:34 am

      The S.A.W was a weapon built for squad combat in military operations, S, standing for squad. A, standing for automatic. W standing for weapon.. During My 2 tours in Iraq with the Marine corps I was honored to carry this weapon. Weapons maintanance is very important for this weapon.

  • Military June 29, 2016, 4:57 pm

    Used it pleanty in the army.. that thing is like a finiky old woman! Feeding from a mag if almost impossible (unless you put another half spring in it) and fireing 200 rounds through that barrel is not what it was designed for !!! RATE OF FIRE!!!! 3 to five round bursts for the auto version…. for that thing it means shoot 3 to five as fast as you want then count to 3 and repeat. And if its not auto then its more useless then the auto version. Just about everyone i know would rather run a 240 or mk48 all day before the saw. Want a semi auto 5.56mm just go get a standard rifle. Its lighter and more reliable and frankly easyer to shoot/maintain

    • Dean December 5, 2016, 5:42 am

      Completely accurate ………….well stated.

  • Kenny Mac June 28, 2016, 11:12 pm

    ….Buying a semi-auto version of a full auto gun is like going to a whorehouse with a fist full of $50’s and no boner…
    ….You can go through the motions, but at the end of the day, it’s just not the same as the real thing…

    82nd Airborne Division 78-81

    • Big P December 5, 2016, 3:32 pm

      Yeah, HOOAH!!! 88-93

  • John Dziki June 28, 2016, 5:12 pm

    What a bunch of cheapos. You know, $8,000 is bargain basement for target double barrel shotgun and is not as cool as this.

  • Kent June 28, 2016, 2:43 pm

    I was intrested until i seen it shoots 223. I have enough guns that have no knock down power. I will keep working towards the HCAR.

  • Matt June 28, 2016, 2:41 pm

    You can’t even take the bolt out???? Geez.. 15 minute video and you can’t even do a proper field strip?

  • Zipit June 28, 2016, 12:54 pm

    Yah talk too much like a group of old women at the market.

  • Mike June 28, 2016, 10:59 am

    I see a lot of comments about the cost and who would buy it. It’s not hard understand. Why do some people buy expensive cars when all they really to get around is Yugo? The answer is the same – because they like it and can afford it.

    • elgie June 30, 2016, 3:29 pm

      Mike….How to greatly increase the value of a Yugo?…….put GAS in it! (Yuk Yuk!)

  • Seamus MackKenzie June 28, 2016, 7:20 am

    For the crybabies pissing and moaning about this gun being available to enthusiasts I have some helpful instructions. Make a fist. Apply petroleium jelly to it liberally. Hold the fist in the air and make sure it is coated and glistening in the sun. Use your other hand to undo your belt and shimmy down your trousers. Now bend over and forefully go $%*() yourself in the @$$.

    • Hern Berferd June 28, 2016, 10:38 am

      Wow, you sure know how to stick a fist up your ass. You must have a lot of practice from all of those lonely nights you spend alone with your guns. My only question is, how do you manage to fire something without your stretched out butthole getting in the way?

  • Tarasdad June 28, 2016, 1:56 am

    I want to see how they manage a bullet button for those trapped in Commiefornia.

  • KW June 28, 2016, 12:26 am

    If you want it for the looks, just buy an airsoft one — which is full-auto, and a lot cheaper to shoot.

    If you want it for practical use, what practical use do you put an $8,000 .223 semi-auto to that you can’t handle with an $800 .223 semi-auto?

    If I ever see a guy at the range with one of these, I dunno if I would want to take a closer look, or stay far away from someone who would spend that kind of money for this kind of gun.

  • mike goehring June 27, 2016, 11:15 pm

    Screw that, for 8 grand I could buy a Barrett !!!

    • Greg July 25, 2016, 7:38 am

      Yep, you could buy a Barrett. I’ve got a Barrett and live on the East Coast. Try and find a range accepting 50 BMG guns or a nice looooong range to enjoy it. I rarely take it out. It’s fun, cheaper to shoot than my .338 Lapua and did I say it was fun…but it’s a very limited use rifle. A .223 you can take most anywhere and I have one of these 249’s on order. Expensive? Oh hell yes. I used an M60 in the Army (no Minimi back then) and hated it, crappy design.

  • Mark E Johnson June 27, 2016, 10:16 pm

    FNH has done it again. Their ability to put the fun in functional just keeps me smiling. I will never afford one of these, but my FS2000 makes me smile just as big. For those whining how the liberal left will respond, keep in mind they don’t want ANY guns in the hands of responsible citizens, whether they are big, expensive and manly like this one, or even a cute little pocket gun that can be concealed easily and be just as devastating to the nearby bad guy. Their concept of responsibility is to keep guns out of the hands of citizens unless those citizens are themselves (site Charlie Rangle). Thanks for the fun review!!!

  • Dan June 27, 2016, 9:44 pm

    I can think of a lot else I could do with 8k. I carry the full auto version of this every day on the job. You gotta sweep links out of the action. before every reload. I carried a 60 in the military and never had to do that. A better design that kept itself clear. 249 ain’t all that.

  • Norm Fishler June 27, 2016, 4:15 pm

    People will drop 8k on a firearm like this because they are desperately looking for a place they can invest their money and not have it devalue. This is also the type of rifle that gun shop commandos salivate over. Personally, I’ve never much cared for the AR-15 or any of its variants. I like the AK in 5.56 though and have yet to find anything I would trust to replace mine.

  • pete June 27, 2016, 3:36 pm

    This soon after Orlando? Well the cost and complexity should help keep it out the hands of poor ($) wackos and criminals, we hope. Truly a gun without a legitimate civilian purpose, other than LOTS OF FUN!

  • Randy McKnight June 27, 2016, 3:29 pm

    Why would anyone in their right mind want to pay $8K for a semi-auto M249S?

  • Tommy Barrios June 27, 2016, 2:19 pm

    Nice Expensive TOY!
    If I was going to spend that kind of money, I would just put it towards the FULL AUTO version and be done with it!
    Even IF I had to get a Class 3 FFL!

    • AnarchAK June 27, 2016, 5:03 pm

      Can’t really buy a FA version even with a Class III. 99%of all M-249s are post-ban and the ones you could buy would run you better than a hundred thousand dollars.

      • Mark June 27, 2016, 7:51 pm

        I’ve seen transferable M249’s and M60’s at SAR in Phoenix for $50K-60K. Of course there was a transferable complete M-134 for $325K as well…

        • Stargzer June 27, 2016, 9:53 pm

          Let’s see, $325K for the M-134, then you have to own an ammunition company to keep it fed. Like the old joke, if I had that kind of money I’d spend it on guns, wine, women, and song; the rest I’d spend foolishly.

  • Randall June 27, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Looks like a lot of fun to shoot, but, not at all practical to own. I would think some enterprising shooting range owner might invest in this weapon to rent out shooting time to patrons. I’m betting a long que would eagerly await their turn on this one.

    • Randy Griffin June 28, 2016, 12:41 pm

      Randall, I would have to agree with you on that. All kinds of guys wanting to shoot the FN 249S. But if I wanted to shoot one, I want the full auto version of the gun. Not play with a semi auto, since I have half a dozen AR10 and AR15 to go shoot. To me, a semi auto is a semi auto. I have shot full auto and that is really a blast to shoot.

  • LouisianaMan June 27, 2016, 12:18 pm

    Hey, I’m glad it operates well for you and you enjoy it! I just don’t get the nay-sayers who seem to feel like you must enjoy the hobby of guns and shooting the exact same way they enjoy it, and at the same prices to boot. There are a zillion ways to enjoy shooting, and this is America, where we have the freedom to do our own thing. So go for it, enjoy it, and I’m glad you’re happy with it. It sounds like a very nice piece of ordnance!

  • James M June 27, 2016, 12:16 pm

    Hey John, quick question. How in the WORLD were you able to make that video? I probably wouldn’t have been able to stand still long enough to make sentences that made sense. And probably would have taken a second loan on the house for more ammo. After this comment I’m going to figure out how to convince my wife that this is OUR next necessary purchase for OUR home defense plan. Wish me luck.

    • Mark E Johnson June 27, 2016, 10:03 pm

      Hear, hear! I can see this as a GREAT anniversary present. Convincing my wife, on the other hand…

      • Randy June 28, 2016, 12:44 pm

        I got shot down when I told the wife how much it cost..That didn’t fly at all…

  • Brett Bricker June 27, 2016, 12:09 pm

    I hate you. I wish it would have sucked. I wish FN would just mind their military business and stop dangling $9k carrots in front of my currently civilian drooling lips. How can i justify this to my broad half under any scenario? Why didn’t the U.S.M.C. just let me have one of theirs after boot camp? O the humanity of it all.

    BB
    Semper Fi

  • Bob June 27, 2016, 12:08 pm

    Ridiculous. Just the thing for the wanna be dress up mall ninja. No wonder the gun hating public is so angry. This firearm has no place in the civilian market.

    • Batman June 27, 2016, 2:07 pm

      Cost prohibitive for 99.9% of nut jobs. But I see your point in one regard, “Discretion is the better part of valor” The timing for the release of this firearm is horrible” Rags like the liberal New York Post & Daily news & CNN will have a field day with this one. I don’t believe these are for anybody- Serious collectors with deep pockets $.

    • Orville June 27, 2016, 2:39 pm

      Based on the buyer waiting list, it apparently does have a place in the civilian market. Although I enjoy many types of firearms, I would say ridiculous is a $5,000.00 shotgun with exotic wood stock, Gold inlay engraving, highly polished blue & other amenities that would reduce the joy of shooting it for fear of imparting a blemish. To each his own.

    • Joe June 27, 2016, 2:57 pm

      I agree if we don’t regulate ourselves then someone else will.
      Served for three years active in a hostile environment,yes great to shot a purpose specific arm.
      What is next ?

      • George June 27, 2016, 3:30 pm

        What a bunch of panty waisted miserable excuses for red blooded Americans you lot are. Waa, waa, it LOOKS evil, it looks terrible, it can fire 200 rounds without reloading. Dear God, can you please hand in your frigging man cards and form a nice line over by the re-education camp entrance. Are you really so STUPID to think that banning or “regulating” any gun based on LOOKS is going to satisfy Pelosi or any of the ardent idiot gun banners in DC and elsewhere?? They don’t give a crap about what it looks like or if you decide not to buy it; they just want to remove your 2nd Amendment rights PERIOD.

        (engage sarcasm filter here) The Barrett M107 et al look REALLY scary and can do a whole lot more damage because they fire a real man’s round, the .50 not the pimply little varmint round of .223. Are you gonna man up and tell Ronnie Barrett to his face that he shouldn’t sell it to civilians? Cuz you might just owned if you did. The SPAS 12 shotgun looks more like an M60 than a shotgun, as do the KSG and the DP12 etc but they are still just shotguns. This is STILL a semi-auto rifle and if you pukes knew ANYTHING about the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, you would know that the Founding Fathers intended that this kind of weapon should most certainly be available for the militia which is every stinking one of US. The only caveat would be that George Washington and the rest would want to know why it wasn’t available in the full auto version. No go wash that sand out of your mangina and get over your damn selves.

        • Pablo June 27, 2016, 6:31 pm

          Where are the “like” and “this review was helpful” buttons?

        • James M June 28, 2016, 2:19 am

          Preach it brother. I’m just waiting til Americans realize our 22nd amendment right were put in place to keep the field level (government/civilian). Waiting for the day aver@ge Joe can buy a F-35. Or any weapon on par 18th our military’s equipment.

        • Travis June 28, 2016, 2:39 am

          George, well said.
          Exactly what I was thinking and trying to figure out how to say it.

        • Chained June 28, 2016, 8:30 am

          Right on George, my thoughts exactly.

        • SsgLaw June 29, 2016, 10:19 am

          I’ve yet to see anyone volunteer to take a “pimple 223” to the chest. A hollow point at 600 yards will take em out of the fight

        • elgie June 30, 2016, 3:49 pm

          WHAT is WRONG with you, George ? Aim your ranting and raving at your Significant Other. We don’t need it.

    • Macten June 27, 2016, 3:50 pm

      The only thing ridiculous about this is the price. It is a heavy weapon so not so likely to be toted around by some ISIS lunatic. It is not for everyone, just your slightly eccentric, rich, law abiding gun enthusiast who likes to show off at the range. Since it is not FA it is perfect for the civilian market. Oh and by the way, the “gun hating public” is a very small group and is always angry, try to ignore them.

      • Rich Zellich June 27, 2016, 5:29 pm

        Personally, I figure this is the perfect “up yours” rifle for Connecticut 5.56mm fans – CT’s fancy new gun control law says they can’t have 20 or 30 round magazines but, AFAIK, it doesn’t say anything about 200 round belts.
        It might be worth the 8 grand just for that. 🙂
        And maybe FN will give you a discount for not shipping it with the magazine.

        Actually, it’s worth the $8K just for the ear-to-ear-to-ear grin on your face every time you shoot it.

    • Unlikely voice of reason June 27, 2016, 4:24 pm

      If some home grown jihadist buys one of these on a credit card and uses it, we can all say hello to the new 2016 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Guaranteed.No amount of posturing or manning up will prevent that.

    • joebob June 27, 2016, 8:48 pm

      Spoken like a slave.

    • Greg June 27, 2016, 9:21 pm

      Why say there is no civilian purpose? Does no one understand the 2nd amendment? It’s purpose is so states and citizens can defend themselves against their own government and the central government in particular. It also helps against foreign powers or domestic nuts. Civilians should be able to purchase whatever they can afford.

    • David June 30, 2016, 11:22 pm

      Shut up moron! If you don’t like it move to Canada where you can’t even take your gun to the shooting range unless you go to the police station and get a permit. Then it has to be locked in a case in your trunk. Then you can only take it to the range and back home in the same day only. You have to do this every time you want to go to the range and it has to be a certified gun range I might add you can’t go out in the bush and shoot it, you can’t hunt with it and you can’t shoot an intruder in your god damn house even if he’s raping and killing your wife, well I guess you could shoot him if you could get the lock of the trigger and get the lock off your ammo in time and of course you won’t have to mind going to jail for defending her from being murdered. That’s what happens when a holes like you are aloud to make the rules!

  • George June 27, 2016, 12:08 pm

    Neat toy and that’s all it is. Too heavy for a practical simi auto for civilian use. And you’ll NEVER carry that much ammo at one time. (Remember the links add weight too). Not while you carry your exhausted 4 year old, a ruck, water, weapons, etc, etc. The real thing is a great weapon for combat ground forces and the generous application of fire from a 249 has saved my butt, and that of my men, on several occasions; Especially useful for suppression of long-range incoming fire… firing full auto . Huge improvement over the M 60. However if you want an end of times go-to weapon, you’d be better off with a simi auto M 4 or M 1A (also a great weapon) . Use the balance of money you’ll save on stowable food, medical supplies, ammo, etc. And a gift for your very tolerant wife.

  • Evan June 27, 2016, 12:00 pm

    So basically, FN has suckered fools into paying $8000 for a gun that looks like a machine gun (a machine gun that is unpopular in the military), even though the design is actually entirely different. This monstrosity also weighs the same as the machine gun it’s based on, which is absurdly heavy for a 5.56 rifle that is useless for things like suppressing fire that its automatic counterpart was designed for. To further prove its worth, the gun comes with 200 links, because everyone wants to spend hours linking ammo before a trip to the range, and making sure to collect them afterwards (or just trying to find linked 5.56 at a gun show). Any advantage to accepting linked ammo, like possibly being a loophole around the idiotic laws in places like NY, are negated by the fact that it does accept STANAG magazines as well. I don’t know if it actually works reliably with these, the military version doesn’t though. So, yeah. If you buy one of these ridiculous things, you’re wrong. Just get an AR. It does everything this fake machine gun can do for 1/8 the price and a lot more conveniently.

  • BRASS June 27, 2016, 11:56 am

    At $8,000, it’s essentially a non -issue until some anti-gun twit finds out and then their heads will explode. This is what they think all AR are anyway, except fully automatic like the military uses.

  • Al June 27, 2016, 11:52 am

    To spend 8 grand on something that shoots 5.56 with just semi is a complete waste of money. Its impratical for it’s size and lack of range and buying a 200 round box can would be an ultimate tease. I’ll stick with an AR any day, but this is not it.

    • Rich Zellich June 27, 2016, 5:34 pm

      What “lack of range”? As far as size, remember it has a bipod. For the guys that enjoy long-distance prairie dog shooting, this should be great – haul it from your car to the shooting site on a $39 folding golf cart, put your shooting mat or tarp on the ground, lay down behind it, and shoot [at] pd’s until you’re empty or get too sunburned.

      It’s for fun, naysayers, and different people have different ideas of fun. “Celebrate diversity.”

  • Jeffrey L. Frischkorn June 27, 2016, 11:45 am

    An eight-thousand-dollar toy? I guess if a person has money to burn, but if anyone does buy one please let me know so I can buy shares in the various ammo makers.

  • Trae June 27, 2016, 11:30 am

    Well, I said it before but every time I see this stupidity I think, this is why the average citizen is all about banning our weapons. Why would I pay 8,000 for a single shot 17 lb without ammo machine-gun that belongs on the battlefield? Is this supposed to be fun to lug around to the range? A conversation piece perhaps over Tea at the range? This is for the guy who didn’t have the balls to join and hump one, but wants to make you tube videos on his acreage and dress all operator. Oh and good luck with the magazine. Ping,….Ping…Ping. Fuckin fan boys.

  • kari johnson June 27, 2016, 11:28 am

    First off, I love guns. Rifles (M16, M14, & M1’s in the army) and Glock & Walther handguns now. I love the idea of freedom and laws on our side to have one. Yet in this age of tons of liberals wanting to take away the guns we all have and or want someday, why would a company give them the excuse to tout this thing to the public? It’s nuts. 200 rounds? Two or three crazies with these in a public place would be like a Fallujah battle. Don’t get me wrong. It looks amazing. I would love to have one for protection if the world went down the crap hole. But there’s LOTS of other weapons that can get that protection job done. This just seems like it is playing with fire as a public relations instrument…against us.

    • loupgarous June 27, 2016, 11:29 pm

      Kari, when the Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed, the then BATF had a byzantine maze of regulations outlawing weapons we routinely regard as legal. Restrictions on guns that might be full-auto modifiable, might be too easy to buy for an entry-level mugger, might, might, might. It took a libertarian on guns like Ronald Reagan to reverse that, and a country of libertarians to push back against every gun grab since.

      This gun’s made to be legal. Fires from a closed bolt, would need a mil-spec M249 lower to fire full-auto. Only a suicidal masochist would wander into an active shooter with this gun to be taken out by a SWAT team carrying REAL full-auto weapons. It’s a collector piece. If we decry its existence, Gatlings are next, then Barrett light fifties, then big game rifles… the spiral of shame defines itself.

      To Hell with what the anti-gun lobby thinks of this weapon – they’re already trying very hard to restrict large-capacity mags and most semi-auto firearms. You can no more satisfy their appetite for our Constitutional rights once you throw them a bone than you can get a starving leopard to stop at tasting a crippled baby antelope. If you haven’t noticed, those people have declared war on us and our rights. We ought to respond, not with conciliation, but contempt.of and disdain for their opinions.

  • Terry June 27, 2016, 11:11 am

    I don’t see a need for this in anyone’s collect. Just adds more fuel to the fire for the anti gun movement. Yes you have a right to own it I’m 73 years old and have had guns all my life all I’m saying is the press will go nuts over this.

    • loupgarous June 27, 2016, 11:38 pm

      Of course they will, but that’s no reason to willingly enslave ourselves to their opinion of us and how we choose to express our civil rights. Their icons are paid by US through our Federal government to stand cruicifixes in glasses of urine and call it “art” (the price tag on that “sculpture” was about $15,000). The press basically defended the artist’s freedom of speech, and because the man had no shame about what he did, his “art” was exhibited af Federal expense throughout the country.

      We need to stop being ashamed when we do things the press might disapprove of, but which are entirely legal. That way lies slavery. We ought, instead, to dare them to speak about this weapon, then cite controlling Federal law, namely the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution which makes its possession and sale perfectly legal. When they lie about how dangerous it is, we ought to respond with logic mixed with contempt where it is deserved. If a reporter told me to shut up about this topic or threatened to defame me for speaking out as I am doing, I’d defy him in language too strong to print here.

      We cannot enslave ourselves to the opinions of others when those opinions are based on bigotry and misinformation.

    • David P October 8, 2016, 10:48 pm

      They’ll go ape-shit anyway. Who cares. Stand up like a man.

  • John R June 27, 2016, 11:06 am

    I’ve always stuck to one adage when it comes to buying firearms. If you can’t pay cash for it or trade an existing firearm plus some cash for it then you probably shouldn’t consider it especially if you have to borrow money for it.
    Save for it and chances are that by the time you do have sufficient funds some other sleek firearm will have your attention.
    I applaude FN on their innovation, and I know 8K is a drop in the bucket to some, but not many.
    I’ve trained on every conceivable machine gun the Army has, be it a squad weapon or mounted on a tank. The M-2 .50 cal was probably my favorite but they all have one thing in common, they are freaking heavy.
    Personally I’ll take my Sig, Bushmaster, and Colt AR’s over the FN Saw. If I have to carry weight and move rapidly I want it to be in ammo and supplies.
    If it’s a defensive position their are other alternatives in .308 for that.

  • Christian June 27, 2016, 10:54 am

    Hey guys, please forgive this stupid question from me, someone who lives in a country where you cannot even carry a concealed combat knife because if they find out they can arrest you (Germany). The article is very interesting and John Hodoway does, in my opinion, a great job in doing all the videos and articles as well, where he explains the guns he introduces. But here is the question I have for you:

    What the hell you need a machine gun for if this thing is just semi-automatic? When I saw John’s video about the FN Military Collector M16 series I understand that having an assault rifle firing in semi-automatic mode can maybe greatly increase accuracy (just my guess as I never fired a gun ever in life besides my “experience” from their virtual copies in games, sorry). But normally you need a good machine gun if, let’s say, 200 guys are coming towards you and they are just a few hundred meters away where you just have to “spray and pray” as shooters call it from what I’ve heard. I mean I saw the video and the semi-automatic mode John fired was still very fast in my eyes (you got a fast trigger finger John!) and it surely might come close to a real fully-automatic machine gun, as John sais in his video as well, and I do understand that your law got its hands on that if you can have a fully-automatic or not but spending 8.000 Dollar for a semi-automatic machine type gun is pretty steep in the eyes of a layman like me.

    But John, I have to thank you for one important info you gave about this gun. Now I finally know that this strange upper thing there is in fact just a carry handle! Yeah, I know you guys will laugh at me now but hey, in Germany we have no 2nd amendment to try these cool things out. Always when I was playing games like Far Cry 2 where this gun, as well as the FN FAL that got one too, are included, I was always wondering “What the hell is this strange looking thing on top of that gun!?”. Now I finally know, after years of wondering. Maybe I was lazy in searching about these things in the net but I always wanted to get these infos from real experts and not from wanna be politically correct pretend to be experts like the ones at Wikipedia. Now I finally found some good experts on Gunsamerica that explain these things and make this even understandable to a layman that never had a real gun in his hand! Thank you John and I hope you continue to make these interesting gun videos and articles. I really like to watch/read them!

    Greetings from Germany. Christian

    • loupgarous June 27, 2016, 11:54 pm

      Greetings, Christian!

      To answer your question, FN Herstal found that by systematically changing the action on their M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, they could create a belt-fed semiautomatic rifle with NO potential for full-auto operation, which was entirely legal to own without Federal paperwork yet attractive enough to some people that they’d pay about four times what an equivalent rifle that didn’t closely resenble an M249 would bring on the open market.

      It’s a collectible, and the emotions of people who collect rare things are only dimly understandable to the rest of us/ As the review indicates, it performs well on the rifle range, but is probably not going to be legal to hunt with owing to its prodigious ammunition capacity, and it’d be hard to imagine an scenario outside of an adventure book where this weapon would help someone protect himself frmo a sudden assault. You’d have to be sandbagged into a prepared position to take advantage of this weapon’s good points.

      Its other value’s as an acid test of our Constitutional rights. If our right to own this now-legal weapon is taken away arbitrarily, then Americans ought to realize ALL of their rights, not just their gun rights, are in trouble. The M249S is the canary in the coal mine of American freedom. It’s the sort of extreme exercise of legitimate civil rights that will draw the would-be tyrants out of the woodwork, where they themselves become vulnerable for speaking out against civil rights.

      • Christian June 28, 2016, 11:21 am

        Good day, loupgarous!

        At first, thank you very much for your nice respond and answer to my question! It’s good to see how nice the community on this website really is and even won’t mind outsiders asking questions. Completely the positive opposite than what I unfortunately had to experience on many other websites in the World Wide Web!

        Thanks to you I also finally know now what SAW really means! I always thought it is a cool name that really means “saw” because I’d suggest its rapid fire can bring down people what a good chainsaw can do to a tree. Yes, I know that this was maybe a violent suggestion from me but it was the only one I kept in my head for years when just reading that guns name, my bad.

        And yes, just like you and the others, from what I saw when browsing the surprisingly many comments here, I am also a bit confused of what to use this thing for and I do believe you’ve said it best and I also, as a layman, thought this way: It is only good when you are in a prepared position and obviously not for self-defense during a sudden attack by a criminal. And, as I wrote here in my main entry, in such a war-like situation I would rather use a full-auto gun. And I think it is too heavy and bulky to use this one for hunting, although I have to admit that I imagined this thing to be even bulkier than what I can see in this article. Very interesting!

        About your problem with defending your 2nd amendment I just can say that I also am one of the people that can imagine now that your government could totally freak out when they see this one legally in the hands of civilians, especially right now in the ongoing debate. But I also can imagine, like some other users here, that this is probably just more wood into the fire as well because they want to take the 2nd amendment away from you anyway, no matter if the gun is small or big although the bigger the gun the faster it gets into the eyes of the gun enemies so that they can freak out more rapidly, I would say.

        After all, I am very surprised about the huge debate by the users in this gun article and I am very interested if this one will be a financial success for FN, as many people right here in this blog seem to already be very suspicious and to be honest I’m also. Let’s see what the future will say.

      • David P October 8, 2016, 10:52 pm

        Well said.

        • Christian October 11, 2016, 10:43 am

          Hello David, I am not sure if you actually meant my words or the ones of loupgarous, but if you were responding to my post I just wanted to say: Thank you. 🙂

  • Mike Bolton June 27, 2016, 10:49 am

    I carried in the Corps. 1994
    .. it was awful… we called it the “Budda budda jam” you could fire about 6 rounds and jam consistently. And I had to keep it damn near soaking wet, to run, so it sucked cleaning it too. It actually did run decent with mags, but it emptied a mag in 3 to 4 trigger pulls. You couldn’t pay me to use one again.

    • Kevin Griffin June 27, 2016, 10:15 pm

      I’ m one of two SAW gunners in my squad at my unit and I just got in to an “argument” (if thats what you want to call it) with a civilian on how it’s not worth the money (being a semi- automatic and being heavy AF) and how it would be better and cheaper to buy a quality AR-15. I think it’s just the excitement of shooting and owning a “military type” (notice the quotation marks) weapon.

      • loupgarous June 28, 2016, 12:02 am

        That and the pleasure of seeing blood rush to the faces of the politically correct who would lecture me about my Remington WingStar pump-action riot gun. Something there is in a liberal which cannot tolerate the legitimate exercise of freedom, but insists on the rights of felons and terrorists being protected at every step.

  • Bob June 27, 2016, 10:07 am

    So when is slidefire making a stock for it? that would be epic. So do you now need to pick up your brass AND links?

    • Andrew June 27, 2016, 3:10 pm

      Magnet works for links…
      They’re steel.

  • Bruce June 27, 2016, 9:55 am

    A nice Colt AR15 with a Shrike belt-fed upper would cost less and they run real nice…….

  • Bruce June 27, 2016, 9:52 am

    Well, if Slide-Fire comes out with a stock for this gun, NOT! Very expensive, very heavy, semi-automatic rifle…..

  • Mark Are June 27, 2016, 9:42 am

    WOW! For about $8,000 – $10,000 each, I’ll be right in line for one! NOT! What a waste.

  • Chitty Bang June 27, 2016, 9:29 am

    What I want to know is: Does this thing shoot straight??? You have that nice pretty rail on top. why not bolt some good glass on there and poke some holes out to 1000yrds. I’ve never fired the 249, but I think mounted to a Suburban, it would make a fantastic prairie dog gun – IF it will group up.

  • ToddB June 27, 2016, 9:01 am

    Does it even work with the magazine? The mag well was just a place for a case to end up and jam the gun. Never carried one in the marines that would make it thru a mag without jamming several times. Always seemed to be a stupid idea to begin with, oh you can use the riflemans ammo, sure like he would have any ammo it got to that point.

    The old ones, I was in 88-92, were temperamental things. One might work fine with the gas regulator on slow, next one had to be on high to work. One would run semi dry, next one had to be wet. Not sure who thought a plastic bag would work to carry a spare barrel in, works ok for carrying it, but useless for a hot barrel. So you either got stuck carrying the hot barrel by the handle everywhere, or or just didnt change the barrel. We never really had enough ammo to melt a barrel off.

    FN is overly proud of everything they make, like they are forged out of moon rocks. A standard FN made AR15 was $1800, I really doubt its $1000 better than everything else on the market. And $8000 for a semi auto M249, only way it was really a practical weapon was auto. Yea there were the occasional times it would be nice if it was semi auto, but would suck being open bolt. Its a really expensive toy. For $8k you could go buy an AR15 and several 100rd mags, plus ammo.

  • Elnonio June 27, 2016, 8:37 am

    I’m still waiting for a naysayer to say you don’t NEED it either. That’d be funny…

    I’ve shot and carried the real thing. This is as close as most mere mortals will get to it. (warning, prepper/conspiracy sarcasm ahead) Until we establish martial law, then you can try to pry one from my cold dead hands! Bwahaahaahhaa! (end sarcasm)

    Enjoy it! If you managed to save 800,000 pennies, you deserve it.

  • Wake_Up_America June 27, 2016, 8:37 am

    Wow, all I can say is wow. Now, imho that is bad a$$!!

  • Jack D June 27, 2016, 8:14 am

    I guess I see little reason for me to own this beauty. And the cost is way out of line as compared to anything else on the market for the same caliber.

  • Park June 27, 2016, 8:04 am

    yup. Yer right. I ripped the top off of many plastic mags after the last round while using these in the Canadian Army. However this may not happen since this fires from the closed bolt or has been modified to the point that this may not happen. However the plastic mags on the Canadian Army were REALLY bad and would break feed lips if they were slammed into the C7 ( the M16).

    I’d still like one but $8k for me is too much and every range that I go to only allows 1 round per second or two. So might as well single load this as you really can’t cycle as quickly as possible.

  • Keith Zuehlke June 27, 2016, 7:55 am

    I carried an M-249 for a year in Iraq. If I had the money, you bet your ass I’d buy one of these! To fire it is to love it forever.

    Not having a Burst or Semi mode was my one and only complaint with the military model. In that respect, I think this model is superior. Getting “just” a 3-5 round burst out of the full-auto required some pretty fine trigger control. It’s a shame he didn’t let it breathe past 100 yards (?) in the video, much longer effective range than M-16 is one of the biggest benefits of the M-249. Just to qualify to carry it, you had to shoot out to 250m, if I remember…but that’s probably wrong.

    Couple more things….my military M-249 did NOT like to use the magazine feed. Good to see this one apparently does. It wasn’t discussed in the video, but that big hole on the fore end is a handy turret mount built-in 🙂 And lastly, to cut down on overall weight, there is a 100-round waterproof nylon “nutsack” you can attach in place of the 200-round plastic can.

    The SAW is an awesome weapon. I’d own one in a second if I could.

  • Wes June 27, 2016, 7:22 am

    Maybe for $4000.00 as an investment of Killarey gets
    Elected and then bans them. At that point the value would go way up.

    But $8000.00 is crazy high. How much do real class 3 full autos sell for?

    I heavy longer fluted barrel with a piston design from a quality company like lwrc could be had for less than $3,000 and provide the same or better semi auto heavy fire accuracy.

    • Tucker June 27, 2016, 7:55 am

      I’d get a Barrett BMG with the 10K before the hildebeast starts her banning.

    • Andrew June 27, 2016, 8:52 am

      One of the few “Transferrables” I saw for sale priced out at about $200.
      As, in, “$200,000”.
      The “registry” closed in 1986 so there aren’t many on The List.
      $8,000 for a “Semi” doesn’t sound quite as bad now does it?

      • Dave June 27, 2016, 7:31 pm

        Yes, it still does.

  • Pseudo June 27, 2016, 7:11 am

    It is hard to tell from photo but does a standard M7 bayonet fit properly? From the photographs it appears it would not fit. As an aside where did the vertical fire grip come from? If FN wants my dollars then make this model with the triangle fore grips and insure a bayonet will attach properly. Even though I have no intention of using with a bayonet I want accuracy.

    • BOhio December 5, 2016, 4:28 am

      Your concerned about a bayonet on a SAW? And what sort of “accuracy” are we talking about? Would you like to bring it to an F-Class match and compete in the F-TR division?

  • Robert Munn June 27, 2016, 6:42 am

    In my opinion, this gun is another worthless piece of junk on the market.

    • Mark June 27, 2016, 7:24 am

      Agree 100%. Just what we need—an 18 pound mouse gun.

      • perlcat June 27, 2016, 9:38 am

        I, for one, feel that a SAW would be an excellent weapon if you’re infested with 18 lb mice as the local fauna is probably also sized to match. Where you boys located at that you have such big varmints? Pripyat?

  • Pete June 27, 2016, 6:33 am

    This is not the first thing I’d spend a lot of money on, but I think it’s cool.

  • John Bsum June 27, 2016, 6:27 am

    Stewie Griffin: “I want it, I want it, I want it…eeeheeheee…” This thing is so much awesome.

  • Wplezotte June 27, 2016, 6:27 am

    WOW! 8K for any 5.56 is a RIP. I’ll take my 7.62 HK over that any day…..REST IN PEACE!

  • Scott Free June 27, 2016, 6:10 am

    Not impressed at all. Completely impractical in semi-auto, no collectable value. Just another range toy for adults who want to pretend they are soldiers. I’ll pass.

    • John Baum June 27, 2016, 6:33 am

      It’s all about shits and giggles. If you’ve got the coin, or even just the opportunity to use one, and you have a shitloada fun being a range warrior…what’s the problem? Isn’t having fun the objective? Practicality? Value? REALLY?

      • Bill Marks June 27, 2016, 7:22 am

        Agreed! If you have the buck, why not get the bang for it? Sure it\’s dated and impractical, but it has proven itself worthy of appreciation, particularly by those who\’ve used them while serving. I love my AR\’s, but like the fact that it\’s not just another version of one. Lets face it, if you have that kind of cash on hand, you likely already have multiple versions anyway. So why not?

      • Oldsmithy June 28, 2016, 3:28 pm

        I agree, if I had the money and a local site I would have one of these purely for the heck of it. Same way I would have a Winchester lever action, or a M1 Garand just for the pleasure of shooting. Not a range warrior or army want to be just enjoy firearms and shooting. Course with a lottery win it would be a real one on a huge plot of land, and tied in with a trip to the yearly meet in Arizona. Not everything needs a reason other than pleasure and fun

    • Chitty Bang June 27, 2016, 9:21 am

      What’s wrong with pretending to be a soldier? I’ve never served, but soldiers are some of the most honorable, brave and hard working people I have ever met. I wish more people tried to act like our service members. Our country would be better for it.

  • Billy Bob Jones June 27, 2016, 5:46 am

    buy a ar heavy barrel and lots of beta mags (Korean $100) or m11 with a Lage upper !

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