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Posted: 5/19/2002 5:12:49 PM EDT
I have some questions for you. Aguy on another sight and I are talking about the 249 and he said this.

"Actually the M-249 SAW has a regulator for selecting either 750 rounds per minute or a maximum 1,000 rounds per minute rate of fire.

Apparently, under current training "rules", the maximum rate of fire is authorized only if the weapon's firing rate slows under adverse conditions, no matter if you are using the magazines or pre-loaded 200 round belts."

To which I replied "What is meant by adverse conditions? A dirty weapon that becomes sluggish due to outside debri or carbon and powder residue?

What you described sounds like an adjustable gas system that is meant to be altered once the weapon gets dirty enough to gum up the action and slow down the RPM. Opening it up farther lets more gas operate agianst the piston to bring the RPM and reliability back. Both the FAL and FN MAG have this as well. It could, I suppose, increase the normal RPM higher in a clean weapon if turned up.

So what is the deal with this? I have not heard of a rate selector on the 249.


Link Posted: 5/19/2002 5:25:24 PM EDT
The normal and adverse selector were eliminated in the PIP SAW, now the ROF is locked at around 750 RPMs
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 5:47:30 PM EDT
But is the lever to actually select a rate of fire or simply to increase reliability like the FALs and MAGs?

Also will the 249 fire faster when using mags rather than belts?

Link Posted: 5/19/2002 6:08:49 PM EDT
The M249 that I had, as well as the others in my unit, would not feed from magazines reliably.  Worked great with a belt, much more reliable than an M60.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 6:19:46 PM EDT
When i carried one i encountered some problems when using mags.  Only 1 with live rounds, but when using blank rounds with mags it was a lose lose situation. Every 4 or 5 rounds would result in a jam, with one blank round being bent in a "U" shape and causing me to waste one minute fiddling with it trying to pop out the round.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 8:49:39 PM EDT
The rate of fire for a magazine fed SAW is , I believe, around 15-20 rpm. It's that bad. But belt-fed it zips thru a belt pretty fast.  On the earlier ones the gas regulator was used as a ROF adjuster, but it is now used for dirty and sluggish weapons,IIRC.
Link Posted: 5/19/2002 9:30:53 PM EDT
There were only 2 or 3 people in all my units that liked the SAW at all and that was only because they were lazy young scrawny sissies that liked it because it was lighter than the M-60. I would take my M-60 over a SAW any day. We never had probs with our M-60's unless they were very very neglected and they operator was an idiot basically but then you should be using alternating fire patterns so that if there is a malfunction you can correct it on one weapon and still provide fire cover with another no matter what the weapon. Nothing quite like sitting ontop of a hill raining down ammo on a target with an M-60 with several hundred rounds linked up together cherrying the barrel out.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 1:36:04 AM EDT
The selector lever on the gas system was never meant as a ROF adjustment device.  It was set at either normal or adverse (sluggish gun).  It was eliminated because troops would take any time they were outside of the armory as "adverse" and placed the gas selector in the adverse setting, causing a lot of premature wear on the weapons.

The issue of the magazine reliability was looked at around 1993-4 by the Marines.  The magazine spring on the M16 magazine was less powerful than needed for the M249.  A orlite type magazine was tested and was found to increase the reliability of the SAW with magazines.  But the test magazines caused stoppages in the M16, so it was wisely decided to not make a SAW magazine since it was an emergency feature and the magazines didn't work well in the M16.  One technique to increase reliability in the SAW with the magazine is to grab the bottom from of the magazine and pull back slightly.  I have been able to do that and shoot multiple magazines with out a stoppage.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 5:31:54 AM EDT
I still carry the SAW as part of my advance team. Everything said about the selector being used when under adverse conditions is true. In the Army we treat the SAW about the same as a 16 in support role. Only difference is we range card it with a greater field of fire. Still is a better weapon overall the an M16A2 but needs to have more belts around than whats recommended. I like to carry 5 and have my barrel carrier hold a spare 2. Like was said before firing blanks is where you can encounter stoppages the worst.

With the proper training this weapon needs little attention and fires for a long time without any special attention. Just get her real clean after a FTX or range day and dont drag the belts in the dirt!
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 8:50:02 AM EDT
JohnM said:  Just get her real clean after a FTX or range day and dont drag the belts in the dirt!

I thought SAW ammo came linked inside those plastic containers which attached to the weapon.  Is there a reason you removed the belts from these containers?      
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 9:07:39 AM EDT
The green boxes are idealy the way to keep your ammo contained. However when you carry a bunch of linked ammo you only need a couple of the ammo boxes. One on the weapon and usualy the guy carrying the spare barrel. The rest goes into a belt sack or is draped around your neck. Like I said, I carry more than the recommended normal load. Anyway, during a lull or when you get a guy to help you (they are supposed to be crew served, yeah right!) then you feed the belts back into the empty boxe. Unfortunately it seems every time we do training we are always advancing or moving position. Meaning that the linked ammo not in the box gets grubby. The field is not a clean environment.
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 10:00:27 AM EDT
Thanks guys.

One question still to be answered though:

Does the SAW have a faster cyclic rate when using mags than belts? It seems logical and I have found one written source that confirms it. After all less energy is expended to drag in a heavy belt than to strip of rounds out of a M16 mag freeing up energy for action cycling.

Link Posted: 5/20/2002 1:09:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 2:16:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 5/20/2002 3:32:25 PM EDT
I cannot remember in which manual I read it in, or it may be a figure of my imagination, but I remember some that the ROF increased 55 RPMs when using the magazine,
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