The M249 light machine gun, also known as the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon), was developed by FN as the FN Minimi and adopted by the U.S. military in 1988, two years after the ban on registering new civilian machine guns. As a result, fully transferable M249s are non-existent.

FN, however, has introduced a semi-automatic, civilian-legal version as part of its Collector Series. Now Americans can own a real FN-made M249 SAW with no more paperwork than buying any rifle. Besides being semi-automatic, this rifle also fires from the closed-bolt position, otherwise it is almost entirely identical to the military version, including the 17-pound weight.

The M249S is chambered in 5.56mm NATO and will fire using linked ammunition or a standard 30-round AR magazine. This rifle also features a chrome-lined, cold-hammer-forged, 20.5-inch barrel with a conical flash suppressor.

Other standard features include an integral folding/collapsing bipod that fits into the handguard, a carry handle and a fixed stock with a hinged shoulder plate.

For more information on the M249S and other products from FN, please visit

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