M249 SAW May Receive Upgrades


The video is from FN in Belgium, the text is in French. Sorry no subtitles but probably they are not needed.FN Herstal (FNH) has announced an update of the FN MINIMI, better known to users in the US military as the M249 SAW (Squad Automatic Weapon) with the designation of FN MINIMI Mk3. The M249 SAW has been in the US arsenal for 30 years and the author carried one as an Automatic Rifleman in the USMC. The most significant change to the new platform is the announced chambering of the light machinegun in 7.62 NATO round in addition to the original chambering of 5.56 NATO. If the new version in the 7.62 NATO caliber is adopted by the US military, it could have severe implications for its role in the Marine Corps rifle squad at the platoon level due to its caliber change. However, if the new versions are retained in 5.56 NATO, it will hopefully make for a better ergonomically designed light machinegun. The FN MINIMI Mk3 replaces the old fixed stock with a 5-position adjustable stock that has a 4 position adjustable cheek piece (two positions for use with iron sights and two for use with optics). The new stock integrates what is said to be a superior shoulder rest and hydraulic buffer. The forend, front rail and bipod have been upgraded and the folding bipod is now more compact and will not get in the way of accessories mounted on the picatinny rails. The top cover and feed tray have been upgraded for easier one-handed reloading. The cocking handle is more ergonomic and easier to operate with either the strong or weak hand. A new heat shield will be offered as an optional accessory.


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