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WhiskeyTango
08-17-2010, 02:15 PM
I found an older blog post on a pretty cool military blog site called Kit Up! And I wanted to share it. Now this is a real steal M249 modified to half the weight, and looks like an M4 for the most part. But I also wanted to share it for any of you custom replica smiths out there; maybe this will inspire you to design something similar for airsoft purposes. Enjoy the read!
http://kitup.military.com/2010/07/a-saw-at-half-the-weight-its-for-real.html

Mir
08-17-2010, 03:06 PM
They have had this for a few years now. First started with a new backplate to accept M4 style stocks instead of para-stocks and a shorter barrel (Image (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/71/Soldier_M249_Iraq.JPG/220px-Soldier_M249_Iraq.JPG))

They then did the same thing and made a Mk-46 (5.56) and Mk-48 (7.62) with new parts and even lighter components.

Mk 46 (http://www.fnmfg.com/products/m249fam/mk46mod1.htm)
Mk 48 (http://www.fnmfg.com/products/m249fam/mk48mod1.htm)

They work great, have used them in real life, but are limited in numbers to certain units in certain environments which warrant them since the originals still work great.

The main issue though is ammo weight. Especially for the M240B. When you stack 200-400 rounds of 7.62 on a soldier you add a immense amount that a 3 pound lighter weapon system really does nothing to compensate for. I was a grenadier with 12+ HE grenades (m203) and 200x7.62 rounds not including all the other crap like water, food, batteries. It adds up. Ounces equal pounds, so for the last 2 years the army has been looking to lighten every single piece of equipment. One reason PMAGs are issued to units is b/c the .2 ounces lighter they are then USGI.

WhiskeyTango
08-17-2010, 03:29 PM
They have had this for a few years now. First started with a new backplate to accept M4 style stocks instead of para-stocks and a shorter barrel (Image (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/71/Soldier_M249_Iraq.JPG/220px-Soldier_M249_Iraq.JPG))

They then did the same thing and made a Mk-46 (5.56) and Mk-48 (7.62) with new parts and even lighter components.

Mk 46 (http://www.fnmfg.com/products/m249fam/mk46mod1.htm)
Mk 48 (http://www.fnmfg.com/products/m249fam/mk48mod1.htm)

They work great, have used them in real life, but are limited in numbers to certain units in certain environments which warrant them since the originals still work great.

The main issue though is ammo weight. Especially for the M240B. When you stack 200-400 rounds of 7.62 on a soldier you add a immense amount that a 3 pound lighter weapon system really does nothing to compensate for. I was a grenadier with 12+ HE grenades (m203) and 200x7.62 rounds not including all the other crap like water, food, batteries. It adds up. Ounces equal pounds, so for the last 2 years the army has been looking to lighten every single piece of equipment. One reason PMAGs are issued to units is b/c the .2 ounces lighter they are then USGI.

Well hopefully they will engineer the telescopic ammo and caseless ammo to become affordable and stable to help guys like you out in the field.:usa:

jeremywills
08-17-2010, 06:08 PM
Tallk to Blackhorse (aka Dismount) as he currently humps the M249. He said on this latest deployment they had the newer 249s not the ones you referenced but ones like Mir suggested with slightly modded stocks, front ends etc.... Like Mir suggested, he said even a pound here or there shaved off a full combat load was a welcomed addition. He said those M4 type stocked M249s are not only lighter weighted, but more comfy to operate as well when you are all gear laden.

Will be interesting to see if the caseless ammo concept ever matures into a functional stable platform. The benefit of not having to police brass from a enviromental standpoint is one huge positive. The option of less physical evidence "you were there" on the ground is another.

Mir
08-17-2010, 08:36 PM
Tallk to Blackhorse (aka Dismount) as he currently humps the M249. He said on this latest deployment they had the newer 249s not the ones you referenced but ones like Mir suggested with slightly modded stocks, front ends etc.... Like Mir suggested, he said even a pound here or there shaved off a full combat load was a welcomed addition. He said those M4 type stocked M249s are not only lighter weighted, but more comfy to operate as well when you are all gear laden.
Will be interesting to see if the caseless ammo concept ever matures into a functional stable platform. The benefit of not having to police brass from a enviromental standpoint is one huge positive. The option of less physical evidence "you were there" on the ground is another.

Unless they can get those rounds to .40 cents or less per round I doubt it will be changing any time soon. Just the way it works. Saving money.

WhiskeyTango
08-18-2010, 10:35 AM
Unless they can get those rounds to .40 cents or less per round I doubt it will be changing any time soon. Just the way it works. Saving money.

Yet they will spend billions in R&D to design new camouflage patterns, when the Marpat and Multicam are there for the buying. Tax dollars working hard to not work at all. :cheers:

The 13th Exile
08-19-2010, 06:17 PM
Is it just me or are these newer versions of the 249 starting to look an awful lot like the Stoner LMG?

Just my .2 grams,
Exile