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Manong0369
05-06-2009, 8:24 PM
Just wanted to know your opinion on the four candidates that will replace the M249 SAW within the Infantry squad and LAR scouts teams in the Marine Corps. This was from the February edition of the Marine Corps Times. The switch is to try and make the automatic rifleman within the squad more mobile with a "smaller, more accurate, easier to employ" weapon.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/02/marine_newsaw_020109w/


http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/xml/news/2009/02/marine_newsaw_020109w/020109mc_saw_graphic.JPG

Requiem
05-06-2009, 8:30 PM
I think the best candidates are the cheaper ones... IE not the HK and not the FNH
;)

tyrist
05-06-2009, 9:01 PM
Not exactly sure how any of those replace a SAW. Basically using an automatic rifle as a light machine gun.

armygunsmith
05-06-2009, 9:03 PM
I don't think it will happen any time soon unless a better belt fed comes along. I'm a big fan of the SAW, except when I got stuck with it on a hump. Make it better by changing caliber or making it ligher or both.

Manong0369
05-06-2009, 9:10 PM
Not exactly sure how any of those replace a SAW. Basically using an automatic rifle as a light machine gun.

The SAW is classified as light machine gun. I the thinking behind replacing the M249 allows the automatic rifleman, who would use the M249, the ability to move with the fire team/squad on an assault. The M249 was harder to haul while you bounded during the movement, making the weapon unwieldy.

uzigalil
05-06-2009, 9:11 PM
The idea is so the Saw gunner is no longer targeted by the enemy.

kermit315
05-06-2009, 9:23 PM
whats the difference between the above and a standard M16A4 except for the rails and colors.

Seems they just want to get rid of the SAW. I dont see those as any different than the standard M16 except, as I mentioned, the colors and rails.

Manong0369
05-06-2009, 9:25 PM
I don't think it will happen any time soon unless a better belt fed comes along. I'm a big fan of the SAW, except when I got stuck with it on a hump. Make it better by changing caliber or making it ligher or both.

I hated hiking the SAW. Got better as I picked up rank/billet though. One of the reasons that the M60 was replaced was due to the caliber issue. Having the same caliber within the squad makes it easier to keep the SAW UP and running. Not to say that using M16 mags worked all that will. The SAW will not be taken out of service completely, but just given to those in other MOS's.

Manong0369
05-06-2009, 9:34 PM
I am one of those that like the amount of fire that the SAW can lay down. It feels good to have "talking guns" supporting your movement on an objective. However, I remember getting to the objective dragging a##.

mattman
05-06-2009, 10:16 PM
What about the spare barrel? I don't see how the heat sink is gonna dump all that heat.

Maddog5150
05-06-2009, 11:05 PM
Why replace something belt fed? I thought the idea of the saw was to lay scunion down in a cone of death with belt fed action. Something mag fed with only 30 rounds wouldnt give as much suppression fire. two belts with the SAW is 400 rounds. A serviceman would have to carry over 13 mags for the equivilent.

Requiem
05-06-2009, 11:25 PM
Why replace something belt fed? I thought the idea of the saw was to lay scunion down in a cone of death with belt fed action. Something mag fed with only 30 rounds wouldnt give as much suppression fire. two belts with the SAW is 400 rounds. A serviceman would have to carry over 13 mags for the equivilent.

That ain't so absurd. Some SOF units' SOP is in that number area. Then again... that's not the point.

UncleSamsMisguidedChild
05-07-2009, 3:43 AM
I thought I heard that they already replaced the SAW with a HK48 that fired 7.62 because it has more stopping power and penetration than the 5.56. Infantry guys were complaining that the SAW would only knock the enemy down, but would get back up and run off so they went with the larger caliber. Also dont we still use the 240G?

Requiem
05-07-2009, 8:35 AM
Also dont we still use the 240G?

Yes. usually mounted. I'm not sure if 11's carry it, but I'm pretty sure 31's do.

Manong0369
05-07-2009, 9:04 AM
One of the reasons that we switched from the M60 to the SAW was to keep the same caliber within the squad. Remember that the SAW can also be fired using regular GI M16 mags. The use of a M16-like automatic rifle makes the movement of the fire teams more fluid and less restrictive. You have probably used a SAW other in ITB or MCT and you know how hard it is to do individual rushes without passing out. Range 400 at CAX was murderer on my SAW gunners.

joeyriv
05-07-2009, 10:16 AM
I agree with Maddog, in that the advantages of a belt-fed weapon cannot be overlooked. Imagine how many freakin' mags the gunner/A-gunner/ other FT members will have to carry.
Then there's always the FPF scenario.

MustangO4
05-07-2009, 10:41 AM
I just want to see the flood of surplus SAW parts kits and demilled recievers hit the market! Come to papa!!!! ;)

Manong0369
05-07-2009, 10:41 AM
I agree with Maddog, in that the advantages of a belt-fed weapon cannot be overlooked. Imagine how many freakin' mags the gunner/A-gunner/ other FT members will have to carry.
Then there's always the FPF scenario.

I love the sound of "talking guns" as we rushed towards the objective. It was definitely an assuring thing. According to Leatherneck magazine, April issue '09, "the Marine rifle company will retain six SAWs as organizational equipment, a Commander's discretionary weapon." I believe that the new thinking is that they would use the 240G for support and keep the squad intact. When I was a team leader, it sucked when we had two man teams taking the objective while my automatic rifleman/assistant team leader was used for support. I think that we would still use belt fed weapons, like the 240G, for suppressive fire. Of course there would be big changes in infantry doctrine and you know how we grunts love change.:rolleyes:

Maddog5150
05-08-2009, 11:02 AM
The equivilent to the SAW would be a 200 round MAG. Beta mags hardly feed without malfuntion half the time on a semi, I wouldnt trust it on a full auto firearm.
Even with a higher capacity mag a belt fed has a greater advantage.

mattman
05-08-2009, 12:25 PM
Some officer sitting on his high horse probably just whats to crap all over whatever his predecessor doctrine established so he can leave his mark.

MustangO4
05-08-2009, 12:38 PM
Some officer sitting on his high horse probably just whats to crap all over whatever his predecessor doctrine established so he can leave his mark.

Scumbags! ;)

kermit315
05-08-2009, 1:08 PM
Like I said, I think the above options arent much different from the standard M16A4. If you are going to replace the saw, at least replace it with something in the same class.

kalguns
05-08-2009, 2:05 PM
Any one of the Colts

Flogger23m
05-08-2009, 2:13 PM
Why not convert them to M249 paras? They are shorter and should be a lot lighter as well.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/16/CSA-2006-01-12-095303_M249SAW.jpg/773px-CSA-2006-01-12-095303_M249SAW.jpg

To further save weight, issue the soft pack 100 round belts instead of the 200 round boxes. Maybe they can make a soft pack 200 round one as well.

http://fragcdo.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/ak-m249para-l.jpg

chris
05-08-2009, 2:28 PM
the Marines may have a better chance of change weapons systems. those of us in the Army are stuck with what we have.

AYEAREFIFTEEN
05-08-2009, 3:07 PM
Why not convert them to M249 paras? They are shorter and should be a lot lighter as well.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/16/CSA-2006-01-12-095303_M249SAW.jpg/773px-CSA-2006-01-12-095303_M249SAW.jpg

To further save weight, issue the soft pack 100 round belts instead of the 200 round boxes. Maybe they can make a soft pack 200 round one as well.

http://fragcdo.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/ak-m249para-l.jpg

^
This

FN also makes a slightly lighter mod without the magazine well. Pair that with the 100 round nutsacks and it should be a much lighter weapon.

l_Z_l
05-08-2009, 3:48 PM
is it just me or does it not make sense to switch a belt fed weapon w/ a magazine fed weapon?

Requiem
05-08-2009, 4:29 PM
is it just me or does it not make sense to switch a belt fed weapon w/ a magazine fed weapon?

Beta Mags? :D

HotRails
05-08-2009, 4:56 PM
I just want to see the flood of surplus SAW parts kits and demilled recievers hit the market! Come to papa!!!! ;)


Oooooh yeah SAW build party!!

l_Z_l
05-08-2009, 5:10 PM
Beta Mags? :D

weren't there reliability issues the Beta Mags, especially full atuo...maybe i don't have all the info

Maddog5150
05-08-2009, 6:02 PM
weren't there reliability issues the Beta Mags, especially full atuo...maybe i don't have all the info

They worked flawlessley in the second blade movie ;)

sb_pete
05-08-2009, 6:14 PM
Wow, lot of missing info here.
The Marines are looking to retire 2,000 out of 10,000 SAW's and replace them with 4000 IAR weapons. There will still be plenty of SAWs, and plenty of fireteams will still have M249s. I am guessing this will probably end up playing out more like two IAR fireteams in a squad and one M249 or Mk48 fireteam instead of three M249 fireteams. We'll see, and that is a total uneducated wild-a** f'n guess, but the Marines have never been talking about replacing all SAWs with the new IAR or replacing all fireteams' SAW's with IAR's

There were many other contenders for the IAR, these are the four finalists as of now. Also in the running was:
- a new variant of the GE/Chartered Industries of Singapore Ultimax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimax)
- The very cool LWRC IAR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LWRC_Infantry_Automatic_Rifle)
- The Patriot Ordinance entry (http://www.pof-usa.com/gallery/IAR13a.jpg) (more pics here (http://www.pof-usa.com/gallery/photos.htm))
- I think some others as well

Here is a wikipedia entry on the IAR program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infantry_Automatic_Rifle). The basic idea was/is to have a rifle which can perform the light machine gun role to some degree, while allowing the operator to function at the front of the stack when clearing a room. IIRC, the Marine requirements were:
1. Able to fire from a closed bolt
2. Magazine fed with a reliable 100rd magazine option
3. Quick changeable barrel
4. less than ~10lbs unloaded (IIRC, not sure here, and yes I know most of them came in over that number *shrug*)

All of the designs are either closed bolt, or Open/closed bolt. The FN design actually fires from a closed bolt until it gets hot at which point it mechanically switches to open bolt. I think the design was something about a piece of metal expanding under heat causing it to be open bolt when hot and closed bolt when cool. The LWRC design fired closed bolt in semi, open bolt in what it called OBA (Open Bolt Automatic). What this meant was that you could close the bolt and the gun would fire from a closed bolt, but all subsequent rounds would be OB and when you let off the trigger, the bolt would remain open. You could then manually close the bolt and do it all again if you wanted to. The upper would fit on std M16/AR15 lowers. The bbl also had cool looking radial fluting like an old-school Thompson.

The Beta C mags do have reliability issues. There are many new drum mags being played around with though. We'll see if any of them work out. Even if they do, they will take up ALOT more space and a little more weight than a 100rd pack of linked 5.56.

TheFirearmBlog (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/) has been covering (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/21/marine-infantry-automatic-rifle-iar-program/)the story pretty well:
Colt IAR story #1 (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/22/colt-infantry-automatic-rifle-iar/), #2 (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/11/28/has-colt-chosen-the-mwg-90-round-magazine-for-the-iar/), #3 (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/09/11/150-round-ar-cl-mag/);
Ultimax entry (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/22/ultimax-100-mk5-general-dynamics-iar/);
The FN entry (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/12/23/fn-iar/)

Hope that clears it up some,
-Pete

Manong0369
05-08-2009, 6:47 PM
The M249 SAW will not disappear from the Marine Corps inventory for some time. The SAW will still be used for other support units. However, the plan would be having the infantry squad's automatic rifleman( Assitant Fire Team Leader) use the IARs instead of the SAW. This is not to say that the SAW will not be used for suppressive fire. In fact, for suppression during an attack on an objective will fall to M240Gs and a few M249 SAWs. I'm not sure, but I think the MK48 is a bigger version of the SAW but in a 7.62 NATO variant. +1 on the added info.

Wombat25
05-08-2009, 8:03 PM
Wow, lot of missing info here.
The Marines are looking to retire 2,000 out of 10,000 SAW's and replace them with 4000 IAR weapons. There will still be plenty of SAWs, and plenty of fireteams will still have M249s. I am guessing this will probably end up playing out more like two IAR fireteams in a squad and one M249 or Mk48 fireteam instead of three M249 fireteams. We'll see, and that is a total uneducated wild-a** f'n guess, but the Marines have never been talking about replacing all SAWs with the new IAR or replacing all fireteams' SAW's with IAR's

There were many other contenders for the IAR, these are the four finalists as of now. Also in the running was:
- a new variant of the GE/Chartered Industries of Singapore Ultimax (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimax)
- The very cool LWRC IAR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LWRC_Infantry_Automatic_Rifle)
- The Patriot Ordinance entry (http://www.pof-usa.com/gallery/IAR13a.jpg) (more pics here (http://www.pof-usa.com/gallery/photos.htm))
- I think some others as well

Here is a wikipedia entry on the IAR program (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infantry_Automatic_Rifle). The basic idea was/is to have a rifle which can perform the light machine gun role to some degree, while allowing the operator to function at the front of the stack when clearing a room. IIRC, the Marine requirements were:
1. Able to fire from a closed bolt
2. Magazine fed with a reliable 100rd magazine option
3. Quick changeable barrel
4. less than ~10lbs unloaded (IIRC, not sure here, and yes I know most of them came in over that number *shrug*)

All of the designs are either closed bolt, or Open/closed bolt. The FN design actually fires from a closed bolt until it gets hot at which point it mechanically switches to open bolt. I think the design was something about a piece of metal expanding under heat causing it to be open bolt when hot and closed bolt when cool. The LWRC design fired closed bolt in semi, open bolt in what it called OBA (Open Bolt Automatic). What this meant was that you could close the bolt and the gun would fire from a closed bolt, but all subsequent rounds would be OB and when you let off the trigger, the bolt would remain open. You could then manually close the bolt and do it all again if you wanted to. The upper would fit on std M16/AR15 lowers. The bbl also had cool looking radial fluting like an old-school Thompson.

The Beta C mags do have reliability issues. There are many new drum mags being played around with though. We'll see if any of them work out. Even if they do, they will take up ALOT more space and a little more weight than a 100rd pack of linked 5.56.

TheFirearmBlog (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/) has been covering (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/21/marine-infantry-automatic-rifle-iar-program/)the story pretty well:
Colt IAR story #1 (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/22/colt-infantry-automatic-rifle-iar/), #2 (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/11/28/has-colt-chosen-the-mwg-90-round-magazine-for-the-iar/), #3 (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/09/11/150-round-ar-cl-mag/);
Ultimax entry (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/10/22/ultimax-100-mk5-general-dynamics-iar/);
The FN entry (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2008/12/23/fn-iar/)

Hope that clears it up some,
-Pete

Not much more to say. This is a fantastic post. Good work and kudos to you, Pete. :thumbsup:

dwa
05-08-2009, 8:38 PM
theyre playing with the idea of mobility over firepower. its an interesting experiment but im more in the firepower camp in this one. im not really a fan of the 249 but it should be replaced by a belt fed if replaced. the para 249 is only a different buttstock and a short barrel, the army has been using them for years i would assume the marines have as well. the weight savings and mobility gained will need to outweigh the loss of firepower transitioning from a belt fed true light machine to a select fire rifle for this to a success. i preferred the ultimax as it is proven and from all accounts ive heard well liked. my money for the next big thing is a spinout of this http://www.defensereview.com/aai-lightweight-small-arms-technologies-lsat-prototype-on-display-at-ausa/

Tillers_Rule
05-08-2009, 10:37 PM
My opinion none of those are a suitable replacement for the SAW. I know everyone likes to have toys and the military is no exception, but is it really necessary right now?

Requiem
05-08-2009, 11:31 PM
My opinion none of those are a suitable replacement for the SAW. I know everyone likes to have toys and the military is no exception, but is it really necessary right now?

not with the DOD's recent budget cuts...

Flogger23m
05-09-2009, 9:50 AM
theyre playing with the idea of mobility over firepower.

This is true, but I still think a M249 para would be a better option. Does anyone know how much it weighs?

Requiem
05-09-2009, 10:30 AM
This is true, but I still think a M249 para would be a better option. Does anyone know how much it weighs?

I've heard there isn't that much of a difference in weight actually. Maybe a few ounces or a pound or so.

Manong0369
05-09-2009, 11:59 AM
The new belief is that the squad needs to able to place well fired shots at the enemy instead of just "spray and pray" fire. Even the automatic rifle can shot more accurately with the IAR. Training, going back to Field Weapons Training Battalion in boot camp, we were taught that rushes should not take longer than 3 to 5 seconds or "I'm up, he sees me, I'm down." Doing this with a saw and getting effective hits well be difficult. While a direct attack, there are three sections that is provided. One to block the position, support the attack and the attack section itself. Before, we would take one or two SAWs out of the assault section to bolster the support section, making it harder to have a full element for the attack.

dwa
05-09-2009, 12:51 PM
This is true, but I still think a M249 para would be a better option. Does anyone know how much it weighs?

not much less
I've heard there isn't that much of a difference in weight actually. Maybe a few ounces or a pound or so.

you are correct the difference is negilible. the gain is ergonomic
the collapsible butt stock probably weighs more it just folds and the new thing as of 2006/2007 was an m4 type butt stock but metal. then there's the short barrel. the term para saw is kinda comical because you can convert between one and the other in seconds. its simply a short quick change barrel and a butt stock.

dwa
05-09-2009, 1:03 PM
The new belief is that the squad needs to able to place well fired shots at the enemy instead of just "spray and pray" fire. Even the automatic rifle can shot more accurately with the IAR. Training, going back to Field Weapons Training Battalion in boot camp, we were taught that rushes should not take longer than 3 to 5 seconds or "I'm up, he sees me, I'm down." Doing this with a saw and getting effective hits well be difficult. While a direct attack, there are three sections that is provided. One to block the position, support the attack and the attack section itself. Before, we would take one or two SAWs out of the assault section to bolster the support section, making it harder to have a full element for the attack.

i think the iar will be really popular in movements and light contact and will face its real test when a squad armed with them needs to gain fire superiority.
there's a difference in spray and pray and fire superiority volume of fire and suppressive fire. the brits tried something like this with this http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=207 a stoner lmg is beltfed and also weights about as much as the other entries do http://www.knightarmco.com/lmg.html

Tillers_Rule
05-09-2009, 4:34 PM
Looking at those new rifles, if they're going to *downsize* to what is essentially an M16 with a 30 round magazine, why not just issue the M16's to everyone. What's the benefit of having these new, slightly different in the cosmetic and ergonomics department rifles? Is automatic fire the only real difference, and if so, why couldn't a new selector switch be installed in the existing M16, make it an A5 or something?

Manong0369
05-09-2009, 11:31 PM
i think the iar will be really popular in movements and light contact and will face its real test when a squad armed with them needs to gain fire superiority.
there's a difference in spray and pray and fire superiority volume of fire and suppressive fire. the brits tried something like this with this http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=207 a stoner lmg is beltfed and also weights about as much as the other entries do http://www.knightarmco.com/lmg.html


Good point on the British military using the Enfield L86A1 LSW (Light Support Weapon). I think that is the way that the Marine Corps is headed. I am a big fan of the feld fed weapon. I carried the M60 in the CA National Guard as an 11B and the SAW as a Marine rifleman and loved the amount of fire that it can bring to the fight. As a unit leader, "talking guns" were a reasuring sound during a direct/deliberate assault. Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "spray and pray." It was just a phrased that I used for having fire that is not very accurate. IIRC the SAW is more an area weapon than a point weapon. That said, the need for accurate fire from the Marines that are firing while the rest are rushing should be more precise. I understand that contact during a patrol is totally different in having a "support section." The unit in contact relies on fire and movement learned through Immediate Action drills. The Stoner LMG looks sweet. IMHO, this would have been a better choice for the automatic role than the M249.

dwa
05-10-2009, 12:21 AM
Good point on the British military using the Enfield L86A1 LSW (Light Support Weapon). I think that is the way that the Marine Corps is headed. I am a big fan of the feld fed weapon. I carried the M60 in the CA National Guard as an 11B and the SAW as a Marine rifleman and loved the amount of fire that it can bring to the fight. As a unit leader, "talking guns" were a reasuring sound during a direct/deliberate assault. Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "spray and pray." It was just a phrased that I used for having fire that is not very accurate. IIRC the SAW is more an area weapon than a point weapon. That said, the need for accurate fire from the Marines that are firing while the rest are rushing should be more precise. I understand that contact during a patrol is totally different in having a "support section." The unit in contact relies on fire and movement learned through Immediate Action drills. The Stoner LMG looks sweet. IMHO, this would have been a better choice for the automatic role than the M249.

the 249 is both a point an area effect weapon. im doubting the ability of a mag fed rifle creating much of a beaten zone. a mag fed base of fire for the fire team is somewhat of a step backward there was the bar and hbar m14 previously and the 249 was the improvement the brits also dumped the lsw for the minimi (saw) in the base of fire role. my squad in iraq went only m4s but we were doing mostly entries and it worked fine. with the loss in firepower it will make it difficult for fireteams to bound and be mutually supportive. im curious to see how the iar pans out but it goes against everything ive been taught.

Manong0369
05-10-2009, 1:07 AM
the 249 is both a point an area effect weapon. im doubting the ability of a mag fed rifle creating much of a beaten zone. a mag fed base of fire for the fire team is somewhat of a step backward there was the bar and hbar m14 previously and the 249 was the improvement the brits also dumped the lsw for the minimi (saw) in the base of fire role. my squad in iraq went only m4s but we were doing mostly entries and it worked fine. with the loss in firepower it will make it difficult for fireteams to bound and be mutually supportive. im curious to see how the iar pans out but it goes against everything ive been taught.

Agreed. I, too, was trained with the same doctrine as you were. It's going to be interesting in how the Marines will like the change. I also agree that the SAW can be used as a point target weapon, but we used it more as an area target weapon. When I was in Aghanistan, the SAW was an important part of my platoon due to the open terrain and I would not have it any other way. My opinion of the IAR is one of doubt but change will come no matter what is said or done. I guess I'm trying to justify the higher ups decision so I can feel comfortable that the troops get the best equipment for the job.

Pryde
05-10-2009, 1:32 AM
This was discussed on AR15.com recently
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=441034&page=1

Notice in the thread I posted, not a single person, not even the Marines.

This is just another example of the Corps' bullsh*t "one shot, one kill, every marine a rifleman, yut" being taken too far. Sure that crap helps people develop confidence in their marksmanship in boot camp, but in reality, the more rounds going downrange the better.

sb_pete
05-10-2009, 3:10 AM
This is true, but I still think a M249 para would be a better option. Does anyone know how much it weighs?

According to the Wikipedia article on the M249 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M249)
(Empty weights)
M249 - 17 lbs
M249 Para - 16 lbs
M249 SPW - 13 lbs
Mk46 - ?
Mk 48 mod0 - 18.5lbs
Mk48 Mod1 - 18.37lbs

According to the Wikipedia page on the FN Minimi (non-us versions) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FN_Minimi)
Minimi std - 15.1 lbs
Minimi Para - 14.5 lbs
Minimi Vehicle - 11.7 lbs
Minimi 7.62 fixed stock - 18lbs
Minimi 7.62 telescoping stock - 19lbs

According to Worldguns.ru ("Modern Firearms") (http://world.guns.ru/machine/mg17-e.htm)
M249 std - 7.1kg
M249 Para - 7.1kg (typo?)
Mk46 Mod0 - 5.75kg
Mk48 Mod0 - 8.2kg

According to the Official FN website:
M249 SAW (http://www.fnhusa.com/mil/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF014&gid=FNG008&mid=FNM0041) - 16.5 lbs
M249 PARA (http://www.fnhusa.com/mil/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF014&gid=FNG008&mid=FNM0040) - 15.95 lbs
Mk46 Mod1 (http://www.fnhusa.com/mil/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF059&gid=FNG008&mid=FNM0039) - 12.6 lbs
Mk48 Mod1 (http://www.fnhusa.com/mil/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF060&gid=FNG008&mid=FNM0042) - 18.64lbs

One would think the FN website would be the authoritative source, but then again, according to them we should be issuing all troops the FN LWRS (Light remotely-operated Weapon Station) systems (http://www.fnhusa.com/mil/products/firearms/model.asp?fid=FNF061&gid=FNG008&mid=FNM0152) as those apparantly weigh zero pounds :p

Bottom line is that the Para doesn't weigh much less, but it is handier. The Mk46 otoh, is 1-2lbs heavier than the IAR systems being proposed, but it does away with the STANAG mag well (of dubious use anyway), the carry handle (*shrug*), and vehicle mounting lugs (*shrug*). One is left with the fact that those 100rd and 200 rd assault packs are significantly lighter, more compact, and more reliable than any magazine based equivalent, but they are slower to load and the minimi designs cannot fire from a closed bolt.

Personally, I think it is an interesting idea to bring back the automatic rifle, but as has been said by many, it is NOT a replacement for the LMG, just an augmentation and a shift in the firepower breakdown of a squad. I think a more interesting change is what appears to be a coming shift from M60 and M240B/G GPMG's to the MUCH MUCH lighter Mk48 designs.

If you replaced every M60 or M240B/G and every third SAW with Mk48's, then replaced the other two SAW's with IAR's, you would end up with a different, but possibly more effective set up. I say possibly because the point is obviously very arguable. That said, the MK48 is an obvious replacement for the heavy a** M240B's and G's and is lighter and demonstrably more reliable than M60 based designs. Having the closed bolt or Closed/Open Bolt design of the IAR's would allow for more snap shots (I'm up, he sees me, I'm down) and the ability to take position at the front of the stack when clearing rooms. Further, the IAR would actually work reliably with STANAG mags rather than being there as an untrustworthy last-ditch option as it de facto ends up as with the M249. If they go through with this, it looks like one or two M249's per squad (out of three - USMC TO&E - each squad consisting of squad leader and 3 fireteams of 4 Marines including one automatic rifleman per fire team) will be replaced by IAR's. The remaining one or two M249's might remain M249's, or they might eventually become Mk46's or Mk48's. If each squad had two IAR fire teams where the automatic rifleman had an IAR which shared mags with the riflemen, then one fireteam had a Mk48 with more firepower than the M249 and shared ammo with the weapons platoon guys, it might actually end up a more efficient and effective setup, or maybe not *shrug*

I don't have a horse in this race, but it is interesting to see it shaping up. As to the thought of whether we can afford to do this now, or whether it is worth bothering with. Well, I don't know, but alot of those M249's are getting towards replacement time (or here you go reservists time) and the brass are seeing alot more MOUT operations on the horizon than they are Russkie divisions streaming through the Fulda Gap or CHiCom human waves across the Yalu, so maybe it ain't a terrible idea to shift the balance of firepower around a little bit :shrug:
-Pete

sb_pete
05-10-2009, 3:34 AM
Looking at those new rifles, if they're going to *downsize* to what is essentially an M16 with a 30 round magazine, why not just issue the M16's to everyone. What's the benefit of having these new, slightly different in the cosmetic and ergonomics department rifles? Is automatic fire the only real difference, and if so, why couldn't a new selector switch be installed in the existing M16, make it an A5 or something?

Three primary reasons:
1: You need a heavier barrel (preferably with thicker chrome lining in the bbl like the M249 has) to handle sustained auto fire
2. You really really really want quick swapable bbls (again for heat issues) which are not possible with the std M16/AR15 gas system
3. You want an Open Bolt or Open/Closed Bolt system to prevent cook-offs and to let the bbl cool off in between strings of fire.

The big problem with the mag-fed designs (esp. in mag-from-the-bottom spring pressure only as opposed to mag from the top with gravity assist designs a la WWII designs) is that the spring pressure tends not to be able to keep up with the gun and they tend to jam as a result. Also, drum mags are notoriously unreliable for their entire almost 100year history and you can't practically make a box mag much bigger than 40rds or so.

The Stoner LMG looks sweet. IMHO, this would have been a better choice for the automatic role than the M249.
IIRC, when they went head to head in the 80's, the Stoner had teething problems and KAC bowed out to FN. I completely agree that it looks bad a** on paper and I hear that some contractors are happily using them. Back when the choice was made though, the Stoner lost fair and square *shrug*

-Pete

Manong0369
05-10-2009, 10:28 AM
This was discussed on AR15.com recently
http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=441034&page=1

Notice in the thread I posted, not a single person, not even the Marines.

This is just another example of the Corps' bullsh*t "one shot, one kill, every marine a rifleman, yut" being taken too far. Sure that crap helps people develop confidence in their marksmanship in boot camp, but in reality, the more rounds going downrange the better.

Thank you. I DIDN'T see the one you did on AR15.com. I brought up the issue here after reading in Leatherneck magazine. The mentality of Marines as one shoot one call can't be faulted for anything. I'm sure Marines aren't stupid enough to "take a breath, relax and pull the trigger" during an ambush or contact. During any contact I was involved, we used whatever we could to put more lead down range against a target. I am not saying that we think that we are snipers . In the ARMY, basic training for was a week long and my having my DS telling me to aim lower at the target. I shoot 39 out 40, taking home the Best Marksman for my platoon.

Thank you and sd_pete for the information. I, for one, will come out of this with more knowledge and understand from the other that posted in this thread.

ST5MF
05-11-2009, 8:40 PM
Just wanted to know your opinion on the four candidates that will replace the M249 SAW within the Infantry squad and LAR scouts teams in the Marine Corps. This was from the February edition of the Marine Corps Times. The switch is to try and make the automatic rifleman within the squad more mobile with a "smaller, more accurate, easier to employ" weapon.

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/02/marine_newsaw_020109w/


http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/xml/news/2009/02/marine_newsaw_020109w/020109mc_saw_graphic.JPG

FN Makes both the MK46 and the MK 48 with titanium receivers too. The MK 46 Ti is easy to tote. I have done 10+ click patrols with it and a full load out with no issues. The MK48 titanium is not much heaver but the lighter weight makes it less stable; especially firing off hand.

Replacing a belt fed machine-gun with a magazine fed one is just stupid. Not even the same animal really.

dwa
05-11-2009, 10:35 PM
FN Makes both the MK46 and the MK 48 with titanium receivers too. The MK 46 Ti is easy to tote. I have done 10+ click patrols with it and a full load out with no issues. The MK48 titanium is not much heaver but the lighter weight makes it less stable; especially firing off hand.

Replacing a belt fed machine-gun with a magazine fed one is just stupid. Not even the same animal really.

not a fan of the amerikanski RPK? :)

Dooly
04-17-2010, 11:12 PM
Knowing Marine Corps, they are going to use whatever is the cheapest and most efficient. After all, out of all the military branch, they are the poorest

andrewj
04-17-2010, 11:27 PM
Knowing Marine Corps, they are going to use whatever is the cheapest and most efficient. After all, out of all the military branch, they are the poorest

:eek: Talk about a necro post

5-11-2009 ---> 4-17-2010

Marine oifvet
04-18-2010, 7:15 PM
I carried one for a year and a half in the Marines, and in Iraq. While it does get heavy with six plus 200 rd drum, ex-barrel, and the weapon. I dont think that it can or should be replaced by anything other than a full auto belt fed weapon. The M249 is a life saver in most sit.

socalblue
04-18-2010, 11:12 PM
Per my nephew (USMC armorer) one of the big issue is spare parts. M249 is out of production & keeping enough guns up is starting to become difficult (All the good ones & spares are going to the combat zones, what little is left).

haiedras
04-18-2010, 11:26 PM
Whoa, that is a total necropost. That being said, this thread I was following was a pretty good conceptual discussion of why the Corps is looking at supplementing, but not replacing the SAW:
http://lightfighter.net/eve/forums?a=tpc&f=7206084761&m=251108494

Not enough time to read the previous posts, but it's a conceptual issue. The SAW is really more of an LMG than a squad automatic weapon ala the BAR. The IAW is supposed to be a rifle platform that just happens to have automatic capability. No one's saying that the SAW totally goes away, but to take a look at whether you're bringing the appropriate tools to the fight.

patriot_man
05-02-2010, 6:25 PM
H&K has won.

Tintreach
05-17-2010, 11:32 PM
This is the best version. The flash suppressor is vented on the end, so when you fire the recoil is near nil. I had one of these back in 05 for about 3-4 months. You have a strong back and able to haul to carry a combat load though. But replacing a belt fed weapon would be a faux pas. The SAW is 5.56 and seeing as how you have 600rnds readily available and another 600 in your pack or vehicle. (that was my combat load 1200) I think you can be very effective with 5.56 minus the penetration or over penetration. Oh and btw the aluminum milspec mags will fail in any weapon if you don't unload your mags and stretch out the springs every so often and SPORTS should be second nature. lol

Now for Afghan or long humps they should swap out the SAW for a M21E or something similar with a drum. Lay long range suppression or pinpoint shots. The 240B is a hell of a sniper weapon if you have the trigger manipulation but the flat trajectory of the 5.56 or the 7.62 both have more advantages then not. Different instruments different jobs or go modular. I am more interested in the evolution of modular configurations via Eugene Stoner. Just change the material or design to address flaws

If the USMC is seriously thinking to "upgrade the arsenal" then they need to stick with what works and turn to the squibs for guidance. My choice would be a Mark 46/48. (didn't see this was mentioned above) +10 for titanium receivers. lol If S&W can do it with revolvers, why can't FN with machineguns?



Why not convert them to M249 paras? They are shorter and should be a lot lighter as well.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/16/CSA-2006-01-12-095303_M249SAW.jpg/773px-CSA-2006-01-12-095303_M249SAW.jpg

To further save weight, issue the soft pack 100 round belts instead of the 200 round boxes. Maybe they can make a soft pack 200 round one as well.

http://fragcdo.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/ak-m249para-l.jpg

Funbaby
06-01-2010, 3:29 PM
Good point on the British military using the Enfield L86A1 LSW (Light Support Weapon). I think that is the way that the Marine Corps is headed. I am a big fan of the feld fed weapon. I carried the M60 in the CA National Guard as an 11B and the SAW as a Marine rifleman and loved the amount of fire that it can bring to the fight. As a unit leader, "talking guns" were a reasuring sound during a direct/deliberate assault. Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "spray and pray." It was just a phrased that I used for having fire that is not very accurate. IIRC the SAW is more an area weapon than a point weapon. That said, the need for accurate fire from the Marines that are firing while the rest are rushing should be more precise. I understand that contact during a patrol is totally different in having a "support section." The unit in contact relies on fire and movement learned through Immediate Action drills. The Stoner LMG looks sweet. IMHO, this would have been a better choice for the automatic role than the M249.


Interesting thread.

I remember the change over in the British Army when a infantry section was equipped with SLRs (FALs to you guys) and a 7.62 GPMG (M240) to the SA80 and 2 Light support weapons make up (both mag fed 5.56). It blew because a section lost a huge amount of firepower, no-one liked it. Eventually over time the LSWs were replaced with GPMGs and M249s, which was much better.

buffybuster
06-01-2010, 5:20 PM
My opinion they should look at refining this:

"Ultimax 100 light machine gun

The Ultimax 100 is the world’s lightest 5.56mm light machine gun with the lowest recoil. Combined with its compact size, it is highly accurate and controllable, delivering significant advantage in firepower."

Th Ultimax was designed by L. James Sullivan. He was also the lead engineer with Armalite to downscale Stoner's AR10 design to the 5.56 cartridge (AR15). He also did basically the same thing for Ruger with the Mini14.

M249 SAW's being belt-fed is it's biggest advantage (sustained firepower) and also it's biggest weakness (easy entry of grit/dirt/sand into the chamber and weight of links).

JDay
06-02-2010, 12:48 AM
Not exactly sure how any of those replace a SAW. Basically using an automatic rifle as a light machine gun.

That's pretty much what the SAW is, it fires the same 5.56mm round that the M16A2 and M4 use only at a higher rate.

develown
06-02-2010, 1:10 PM
Interesting thread.

I remember the change over in the British Army when a infantry section was equipped with SLRs (FALs to you guys) and a 7.62 GPMG (M240) to the SA80 and 2 Light support weapons make up (both mag fed 5.56). It blew because a section lost a huge amount of firepower, no-one liked it. Eventually over time the LSWs were replaced with GPMGs and M249s, which was much better.

The Brits still use LSWs. Their LSWs take the place of our saw and is basically just a full auto 5.56 L85. The LSW is a good weapon, but it has the same problem that all these saw replacements have, they are magazine fed.
Furthermore, They still have the 7.62 GPMG which acts as their 240.

Personally I don't see a need to replace the saw just yet, its actually a pretty good weapon in my opinion. Furthermore, i don't think its going to be replaced any time soon. The government would rather spend the money on buying fighter planes and air craft carriers. Small arms are usually last on their list of things to upgrade.