Have you ever shot Fabrique Nationale’s M249 belt fed machine gun and wished you could own one at home? Well not you can own a civilian legal FN M249 if you live in what we like to call a “Free State”. There is only one or two major issues that will stop people from saving up and owning this 22 lb beast….#1 It’s only available in semi automatic configuration and #2 it will set you back a cool $8799.00 if you want it in black and $9199 for one delivered in flat dark earth. Yes you read that correctly.
According to FN North America’s Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing, John Keppeler the company wanted to create a semi automatic civilian legal copy of the M249 that is as near to the fully automatic military version as legally possible. The company said it had to reengineer a portion of the firing mechanism and bolt in order to make the new rifle fire from a closed bolt configuration. As readers may know the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives severely restricts new weapons from firing from an open bolt position, with a few exceptions. This isn’t likely to change in the foreseeable future.
Manufacturer: FN North America
Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm
Barrel Length: 16.1″
Overall Length: 31.5″ – 37″ depending on stock
- Loaded: 22lbs
- Unloaded: 17.5 lbs
Capacity: 200 round belt or 30 round magazine
Colors Available: Black or Flat Dark Earth
Twist Rate: 1:7″ RH
- Black: $8799.00
- Flat Dark Earth: $9199.00
WHY on earth would Fabrique Nationale do this ?
I wish I had a reasonable answer to this question, because I’ve been asking myself it over and over for months. Now I get the allure of owning something that is completely awesome that none of your friends might own. I also completely understand that owning weird guns is generally expensive yet somehow worth it in the long run, but the projected cost of this new M249 is absurd to me. In fact a person who wanted too could conceivably go and purchase some models of actual legal to own select fire machine guns. The whole thing is mind boggling to many of us in the firearms industry.
I’ve been guilty of buying or building several different semi automatic short barreled rifles just for fun, and even entertained getting a semi automatic Russian inspired DSArms RPD rifle. The RPD would have set me back nearly $1700 at the time and I had to ask myself if a fake belt fed was worth it to me and my wallet, the eventual answer was no. As much as I just seemingly trashed the new semi automatic FN M249, I have no doubt it is heavy as hell and built to an amazing standard.
This gun will appeal to a very certain audience, and that audience has a lot more expendable income than I presumably ever will have. The rifle features the reliable M249 flip up feed tray, an steel bipod and the M249S model will feature a telescoping rotating stock. One feature that FN North America was certain to mention often in their press releases was the “machine gun grade” cold hammer forged chrome lined 16.1″ barrel that comes standard with both the M249 and M249S rifles. It is unknown if any of the M249 rifles comes with the 200 round belt that makes up the heart of the rifle.
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
What do you think of the Fabrique Nationale FNM249 semi automatic rifle ? We want to hear your thoughts on the rifle…Good , Bad, or Indifferent, we want to know if you think this rifle will ever sell in any great quantity. We might see if we can find one at SHOT Show 2017, who knows maybe one will be at Industry Day at the Range. I promise if it’s there I will shoot it and try to capture it on video.