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View Full Version : M249 SAW: Your Experiences


Tucker 1371
February 17, 2011, 04:28 PM
Looking for anyone, civilian or military, who has had some time behind the weapon. Feel free to share your experiences. I'll go first,

So far I've put about 600 rounds through it, 500 being at last month's drill in Ft. Knox. The SAW next to me was finicky the whole day, heard a lot of "GUN DOWN" coming from my left. Mine ran great... until the bolt snapped... yes snapped, as in more than one piece... had to bring another up and I finished my last 100 rounds.

I was pretty lethal with it out to what I estimate was around 500 to 600 yards on some steel popper targets. I was told I was one of the best on the SAW that day so I came away with an overall good feeling about it. Still not sure I trust it yet.

One thought I came away with was that it definitely needs an optic and an adjustable cheek piece. Had to stick my hand on the stock under my cheek to get decent sight alignment (all our SAWs have an M4 style telescoping stock) and it took me a little longer to acquire targets with the iron sights than I would like.

SPEMack618
February 17, 2011, 04:52 PM
From what I recall, all of the SAWs we went down range with had either an ACOG or a CQO on them. My experience with them is limited to basic qualification, ~500 rounds, which was a blast, but other than that, all I can say is that the shortened "paratrooper" variant is about useless past ~175 meters.

MadHatter1
February 17, 2011, 05:20 PM
I've used the M249 for years. All in all, a good weapon. I prefer the paratrooper stock v. the M4 or fixed types. An optic of choice can be mounted. I've never heard of a bolt snapping in two. My guess is the weapons you were using belonged to a training unit rather than a line unit, and probably had millions or rounds through them with minimal -if any- maintanance. Like any machine, they do require proper lube and cleaning, and run reliably if taken care of

glockcompact
February 17, 2011, 05:27 PM
I agree with Madhatter1. Most likely the ones being used for training already were in action. I'm former 0311 myself. But to be honest didn't spen a whole lot of time behind the 249 personally. Night shoots with tracer rounds are a blast to watch. Good luck

Tucker 1371
February 18, 2011, 12:33 AM
SPEMack618 From what I recall, all of the SAWs we went down range with had either an ACOG or a CQO on them.

I've been told we will get either an RCO (ACOG) or an ELCAN on our SAWs when we deploy but we will get issued weapons from the inventory of the grunts we are being attached to, just hoping we don't get their beater guns. I didn't notice a huge difference with the para barrel but the M4 style stock in the middle position was just right for me.

kenno
February 18, 2011, 01:07 AM
Sorry; I'm Old School
M-60
M-2HB
We still rock, (ask my wife)

Maximus856
February 18, 2011, 05:52 AM
With a good TL/Spotter, proper positioning, and the right maintenance the SAW is a fine weapon. I've found that SAW's are like women when it comes to maintenance. If you go to much or to less on the cleaning and it won't run right. The furthest I've fired was about 800-1000 yards on area targets and with a little bit of guidance was on target. It would be really beneficial for you to sit down and fully familiarize yourself with the weapon. Each one is usually a little different and kind of becomes like a dog to it's master..It may haves its quirks every now and then but treat it right and it'll run great. And please don't do super short 1-2 rounds bursts. The one's I've used prefer to be drawn out a bit and will start to jam when not fired correctly.

-Max

EDIT: Perhaps I should clarify..The woman analogy would substitute the word cleaning for something else ;)

wyobohunter
February 18, 2011, 10:25 AM
Of the many thousands of rounds I've fired (almost all through the same M249) I had only one or two minor problems. Can't remember any specific details but my impression was that the SAW was a great little machine gun. If I could afford to own and feed one I'd have one just for the heck of it.

Rob228
February 18, 2011, 10:58 AM
My 2nd tour was with a 249 with an EoTech. What you saw on the firing line was typical of older SAW's that have seen too much use and not enough maintenance. Keep it clean and lubed and it will work wonderfully for you. I only lightly lubed the rails while on patrol, but carried a spray can of Hoppes lubricating oil where I could get to it easily. If you are able, during a belt change, give the guts a spray.

SDC
February 18, 2011, 04:37 PM
I've fired the Canadian version (called the C9) and was pleasantly surprised, but I have a real hard time seeing how useful the mag-fed feature would actually be in combat; the pre-loaded belt-carriers don't take up much room to begin with. Other than that, they were pleasant and accurate to fire, and they can lay a hammering on any infantry out in the open.

Tucker 1371
February 18, 2011, 05:32 PM
And please don't do super short 1-2 rounds bursts. The one's I've used prefer to be drawn out a bit and will start to jam when not fired correctly.

Yeah, I figured that out on the range. I'm also a whole lot more accurate/effective if I fire at least a 6 round or so burst.

My 2nd tour was with a 249 with an EoTech. What you saw on the firing line was typical of older SAW's that have seen too much use and not enough maintenance. Keep it clean and lubed and it will work wonderfully for you. I only lightly lubed the rails while on patrol, but carried a spray can of Hoppes lubricating oil where I could get to it easily. If you are able, during a belt change, give the guts a spray.


How did you like the EoTech on it? If I can find out before I go how my SAW is going to be set up then I may buy something like that for my personal guns and take it over there with me for my SAW.

How about Miltech 1 Dry Lube? I just got 5 bottles in a predeployment care package, figured I wanted something that wouldn't attract sand. Anyone have experience with it? I may start a separate thread about it here in a minute.

wyobohunter
February 18, 2011, 08:23 PM
I can find out before I go how my SAW is going to be set up then I may buy something like that for my personal guns and take it over there with me for my SAW.

Are the ACOG type sights seen on infantry weapons bought by the individual infantryman? That would be a shame.

I never heard of ACOG's etc. while I was in. Not sure if they weren't invented yet or we just didn't get them because of the $$$. I never had actual real bullets fired at me... just the pretendy type:) Maybe that's why we only got iron sighted stuff?

Semper Fidelis

Rob228
February 18, 2011, 10:58 PM
I was issued the EoTech, if they are issuing ELCAN's or RCO's go with that so you aren't spending your own money. I did love the EoTech on it, very fast to acquire and never shifted the zero.

I can't say either way about the dry lube as I never tried it out. If you get another range session prior to deploying give it a shot, just make sure it isn't already dripping with CLP. I know guys who love dry lubes and those who hate them, however I know the Hoppes worked so I stuck with it, and a daily cleaning took care of any sand it attracted.

Tucker 1371
February 19, 2011, 10:40 PM
wyobohunter Are the ACOG type sights seen on infantry weapons bought by the individual infantryman? That would be a shame.

Negative, they are serialized gear though, lose it and you're up poo creek.

Rob228 I can't say either way about the dry lube as I never tried it out. If you get another range session prior to deploying give it a shot, just make sure it isn't already dripping with CLP. I know guys who love dry lubes and those who hate them, however I know the Hoppes worked so I stuck with it, and a daily cleaning took care of any sand it attracted.

Roger, I've got loads of both CLP and Dry Lube so I'll make it work.