« The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon is a fully-automatic, gas-operated, magazine or belt-fed individual weapon. It is the standard US Army light machine gun based on the Belgian FN Minimi, featuring a 200 round plastic magazine box. The bipod can be collapsed and the weapon can be fired from the hands. The M249 SAW provides the squad with the accurate and sustained fire required to suppress and destroy enemy targets.
Armoury Description

M249 SAW 5.56 mm
Faction USMC
Type Light Machine Gun / SAW
Caliber 5.56×45 mm NATO
Variants M249 Para
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The M249 SAW is a 5.56 mm light machine gun that is primarily used by the USMC in ArmA 2.

Overview Edit

The M249 is a gas operated light machine gun with an open bolt design that is chambered to fire the 5.56×45 mm NATO round.

It is primarily designed to load from 200 round belts stored in plastic boxes, though it can also (optionally) load 100 belts stored in cloth bags as well. The M249 can attain a fire rate of up to 857 rounds per minute, with a muzzle velocity of 915 m/s. The M249 features a (non-functional) integrated bipod but does not support being fitted with any optical sights or side rail accessories, nor can it be suppressed.


U.S. Army fireteam. Note the SAW gunner in the foreground.

The M249 served as the standard issue SAW of USMC automatic riflemen operating in Chernarus. Arguably the best light machine gun in-game, the M249 boasts the ability to load 200 round belt boxes which is double the amount of all its counterparts (XM8/MG36) while retaining good accuracy and the ability to use standard 5.56 mm rifle magazines.

Its only real drawbacks are its lack of magnified optics and usage of 5.56 mm ammunition, which has a significant damage drop-off the further the round travels. These two factors combined limits the M249's effective range to just under 800 metres as opposed to 7.62 mm medium machine guns like the M240, which can not only reach targets that are further out but are better at retaining the energy of their rounds over long distances.

Variants Edit

M249 Para Edit

M249 Para 5.56 mm
Faction - U.S. Army
Type Light Machine Gun / SAW
Caliber 5.56×45 mm NATO
Variants M249 SAW

The M249 Para is a 5.56 mm light machine gun sub-variant of the baseline M249 SAW that is exclusively used by both U.S. Army and Czech military forces in ArmA 2. It was added with the release of the Operation Arrowhead expansion pack.

Unlike its parent weapon, the M249 Para has a few variants that are fitted with either the M145 telescopic sight or the TWS thermal scope. All variants also feature laser pointers for use in night-time operations. Though the M249 Para can use the same 200 round plastic boxes, it mainly uses 100 round cloth pouches instead.

Other than the inclusion of the new optics however, the changes from the regular M249 SAW in ArmA 2 to Operation Arrowhead are mostly cosmetic, with the M249 Para simply fitted with more rails from which it can mount the sights and accessories.

Trivia Edit

  • The in-game M249 variants used by U.S. Army's feature "TangoDown" vertical foregrips, but are merely cosmetic and do not affect the M249's handling in any way.

Gallery Edit

External links Edit

See also Edit

Weapons of comparable role and configuration Edit