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The M249 light machine gun (LMG), previously designated the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), and formally written as Light Machine Gun, 5.56 mm, M249, is the American adaptation of the Belgian FN Minimi, a light machine gun manufactured by the Belgian company FN Herstal (FN). The M249 is manufactured in the United States by the local subsidiary FN Manufacturing LLC in South Carolina and is widely used in the U.S. Armed Forces. The weapon was introduced in 1984 after being judged the most effective of a number of candidate weapons to address the lack of automatic firepower in small units. The M249 provides infantry squads with the heavy volume of fire of a machine gun combined with accuracy and portability approaching that of a rifle.
|Weight||7.5 kg (17 lb) empty,
10 kg (22 lb) loaded
|Length||40.75 in (1,035 mm)|
|Barrel length||465 mm (18 in)|
|Cartridge||5.56×45 mm NATO|
|Action||Gas-operated, open bolt|
|Rate of fire||Sustained rate of fire: 50 RPM
Rapid rate of fire: 100 RPM
Cyclic rate of fire: 775 RPM
|Muzzle velocity||915 m/s (3,000 ft/s)|
|Effective range||800 m (870 yd) (point target)
3,600 m (3,940 yd) (maximum range)
|Feed system||M27 linked belt, STANAG magazine|
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