The M249 SAW is a belt fed light machine gun, available in the app for free. It is one of the most widely popular light machine guns of all time, due to it's high fire rate, and be lightweight when compared to heavier machine guns, such as the M60 or FN MAG. The M249 is still in use today, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and many more.
The M249 SAW started life first as the FN Minimi design. The Minimi was first produced in 1974, by the Belgian company FN Herstal. It was designed mainly as a smaller, lighter variant of FN's previous design, the FN MAG, designed in 1958. In 1984, the US Military adopted the Minimi design and designated it as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). The US has used SAWs since the days of World War I, with the first practical light magine gun, the Chauchat, and later, the more reliable BAR. The M249 SAW would replace the earlier M60 machine gun, praised for it's firepower, but critized for it's weight, and controlability. First impressions were mixed, while praised for it's lightweight, firepower, and durability, the M249 SAW was limited to firing whilst in the prone position. While entirely possible of firing it from the shoulder, the M249 SAW proved troublesome when doing so, due to the high rate of fire. In 1993, the M249 SAW began to see extensive use, such as in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. While praised for it's immense power, some soldiers said that they were not confident in their weapon's performance. As of 2010, the United States are currently looking to replace the M249 SAW. Most recently was H&K's heavier barreled variant of the the HK416 rifle, designated the M27 by the United States Marine Corp. The M27 is currently out to replace around 4,000 SAW's, whilst 6,000 will remain in service. Nevertheless, the M249 SAW's capability of providing mass amounts of firepower, in a relatively small package, makes the gun a terror on the battlefield.