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Gallery of Guns TV Cool To Own – FN M249S

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The Gallery of Gun presents the FN M249S in its “Cool to Own” segment, hosted by Aaron Gallagher.

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He begins by asking who among us wouldn’t want to own a belt-fed machine gun, and remarks that while they’re out there, they cost as much as the down payment on a house. FN has come up with a way for civilians to enjoy belt-fed firing without having to shell out an arm and a leg, bringing everything except the full auto.

The FN M249S is a semi-auto version of the M249 light machine gun, chambered in 5.56 NATO/.223, that has served the US Armed Forces for more than 30 years, fighting in wars from Panama to Afghanistan. It’s made in the same FN factory in North Carolina that builds the military M249 guns. Except for some receiver changes required to prevent conversion to full auto, it’s identical to the M249 in the hands of US troops.

It also fires from a closed bolt and has a different fire control system. The M249 is a gas-operated gun, firing the same 5.56 cartridges used in the M16 rifle and M4 carbine. It can be fired with both belt-fed ammunition and with the M16 box magazine. The belt can also be carried in a hard-ammo box or a soft bag. It has an interchangeable barrel system that lets you remove a hot barrel, and replace it with a cool one, which you won’t need when firing semi-auto, because of its closed-bolt system. It doesn’t hurt to be able to change the barrel when shooting, but it’s retained for authenticity.

The 18 ½  inch barrel is changed using the carrying handle, which is also useful when dealing with the 17-pound M249. The chrome-lined barrel has a one and sevenths twist that will let you fire the heaviest ammunition accurately. The front and rear sights are adjustable, and there’s a 1913 rail for scopes and nigh vision devices.

The bipod is necessary in a gun this heavy, and it can be folded and stowed into the bottom of the forearm. The command height of the bipod is adjustable to compensate for different firing conditions. The inject-molded pistol grip and butt stock resists wear and the elements, and the butt stock is shaped so the non-firing hand can help aim the gun. Sling swivels on top allow comfortable patrol carry.

The FN M249S is a belt-fed gun you can own and shoot, making it cool to own.


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