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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/19/2005 2:54:19 PM EDT
August 18, 2005: The fighting in Iraq is taking a toll on the assault rifles and light machine-guns that do most of the shooting. So the U.S. Department of Defense has ordered another 50,881 M-4 assault rifles, at $1,042 each, and another M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) 5.56-mm light machine guns, at $667 each. The M-4 is a short barrel M-16, which makes it easier to use from inside a vehicle, or when fighting inside a building. The M249 is basically an M-16 design modified with a heavier (and easy to change) barrel, and the ability to use belted ammunition. The M249 provides most of the firepower for the infantry, with each fire team of 4-5 troops having one M249, over a thousand rounds of belted ammo and one or two additional barrels (when the M249 barrel gets overheated from firing too many rounds too quickly, a fresh one can be installed within seconds.) The U.S. Army wants a new design for their light machine-gun, partly because the M249 (introduced in the early 1980s) was wearing out. But the heavy use of M249s in Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in a need for new weapons, before a new design can be agreed on and put into production.

Is something wrong with this picture? Are the prices reversed or do the M4 packages include optics? This is from Strategy Page and I've never seen a technical mistake in one of their articles before.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 6:43:12 AM EDT
That price definetly looks wrong. M4's cost like 600 bucks for the Marine Corps. The SAW 2,653 each.
Optics come seperately.


Max
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 1:23:47 PM EDT
M249s wearing out huh... they should be they are one of the largest casualtiy inflicters.

I carried one while in Iraq .... wouldnt say its like an M16 in any way except it fires 5.56X45 rounds. Can be a little fussy but they are hell when they are well. M249s are not as expensive (unit replacement price) as I thought but $600 is way the hell off like Maxell said.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 2:49:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2005 2:49:49 PM EDT by jquillen1985]

Originally Posted By Nasty_Nate:
M249s wearing out huh... they should be they are one of the largest casualtiy inflicters.

I carried one while in Iraq .... wouldnt say its like an M16 in any way except it fires 5.56X45 rounds. Can be a little fussy but they are hell when they are well. M249s are not as expensive (unit replacement price) as I thought but $600 is way the hell off like Maxell said.



Do you know the price? Is it closer to a thousand bucks like the article might have meant?
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:36:12 PM EDT
A little worn out is an understatement.



Mine had pretty much zero finish left on the reciever and any other exposed metal, although it did function fine.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 4:01:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/20/2005 4:05:05 PM EDT by Dawg180]
My guess would be that the M4's had rail systems and/or optics and optics mounts. i would also guess that the figure on the M249 is wrong, unless it was some sort of loss-leader contract the FN had negotiated, or was part of a larger purchase and someone had to break out costs. Note that it doesn't mention the number of M249's either.

[ETA] My understanding is that the average M249 is well past its expected service life. I remember reading on of the big after-action reports on here and spares for a lot of things on the M249 were really hard to come by, i.e. takedown pins and the like. Quite a few guys wre using zip ties to hold them together.

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