One of the biggest questions we get asked is ‘is XYZ gun any good?’, and rightly so – our customers want to make sure they’re getting the best bang for their buck. With that in mind, over the next few months we’re going to be taking a look at some of the most popular airsoft guns searches on our website and asking the question – is it any good? This month we look at the FN Herstal M249 Para Featherweight AEG.
WHAT IS THE M249?
The M249 light machine gun (LMG), also known as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW), is the American adaptation of the Belgian FN Minimi. The weapon was introduced in 1984 after being judged the most effective of a number of candidate weapons to address the lack of automatic firepower in small units. The M249 provides infantry squads with the high rate of fire of a machine gun combined with accuracy and portability approaching that of a rifle.
The M249 is gas operated and air-cooled. It has a quick-change barrel, allowing the gunner to rapidly replace an overheated or jammed barrel. A folding bipod is attached near the front of the gun, though an M192 LGM tripod is available. It can be fed from both linked ammunition and STANAG magazines, like those used in the M16 and M4. This allows the SAW gunner to use rifle magazines as a source of ammunition in case they run out of belts. However, rifle magazines should only be used in emergencies due to their high malfunction rate.
WHO ARE FN?
FN Herstal, a subsidiary of the Belgian-based Herstal Group, designs, develops, manufactures and sells a complete range of state-of-the-art, groundbreaking solutions developed around small caliber firearms and associated ammunition. These are deployed by military, security and special forces worldwide.
FN Herstal’s portfolio includes portable firearms, less lethal systems, an FN® e-novation line, integrated weapon systems for air, land and sea applications, remote weapon stations, small caliber ammunition, as well as modern and cutting-edge solutions to enhance firearms capabilities.
Since its inception in 1889, the company has been based in Herstal, close to Liege in Belgium, at the heart of Europe, the European Union and NATO.
THE FN M249 PARA FEATHERWEIGHT
Light machine guns, like the FN M249, have been a vital asset on the field for years. Usually, the job of lugging one of these bad boys around falls on the shoulders of the strongest person on the team, but today that all changes. This FN Licensed M249 Para “Featherweight” Airsoft Machine Gun solves all the woes of wanting an LMG on the field, but not having the strength and/or willingness to carry it around all day. This M249 weighs in at a reasonable 8lbs, shedding almost 50% of the weight compared to its full metal counterpart! Fear not though, just because it’s lightweight doesn’t mean it’s weak and flimsy. The receiver and chassis are made from a fibre-reinforced nylon polymer that’s constructed in a super high strength design, making this featherweight option extremely durable.
The FN M249 Featherweight has also shed some pounds by discarding the original brick-heavy standard M249 gearbox design in favour of a lighter weight souped-up Version 2 gearbox. Full specs of the gearbox internals can be found below.
This outstanding airsoft gun is complete with a fabric covered 1500 round box magazine.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
So, the question to likely be on your lips if you’re reading this blog is – is it any good? And the answer is most definitely, the FN M249 Para Featherweight airsoft gun is good. Very good in fact.
Before even looking at the platform itself, I think it’s important to mention how cheap the FN M249 Para Featherweight is. Available directly from our store, you can pick up the FN M249 Para Featherweight for $289.99. Yes, that’s right… you can now pick up a support weapon for shy of $300, opening up a whole new world to a number of airsofters who simply couldn’t afford to purchase a support weapon in the past. For the price point alone, the FN M249 Para Featherweight is a good purchase.
It gets better though. You’re not getting an entry-level item here for your price – instead, you’re getting a very well put together support weapon that will stand the test of time. Constructed from a high strength, fibre-reinforced nylon polymer, the FN M249 Para Featherweight is extremely durable. Furthermore, due to the material choice, the FN M249 Para Featherweight is extremely lightweight – something most other support weapons do not offer. Now that’s not to say that you won’t be able to lug a heavier variant around, we’re not questioning your masculinity or strength – but having lugged a full metal constructed M249 around for a weekend MILSIM event, you’re going to appreciate the lightness of the FN offering.
More importantly, though, the FN M249 Para Featherweight offers brilliant suppressive fire capabilities – clocking in at around 2,500 rounds per minute. Furthermore, it does this accurately, with various YouTube videos and our own testing showing incredibly tight grouping for something that spurts out so many BBs.
Internally the FN M249 Para Featherweight a very well put together Version 2 gearbox, meaning it is heavily upgradable should you choose to do so. However honestly, we’re not sure you’re going to need to do much if anything to get the performance you want. At most, we would suggest a new tight bore barrel to improve the accuracy further. The FN M249 Para Featherweight does offer some cool quality of life features as well such as the barrel and hop-up being easily accessible and the spring being changeable without having to remove the gearbox.
Overall, the FN M249 Para Featherweight is a cracking piece of kit and well worth a look should you be looking to move over to the world of support weapons. You can get more information on the platform here (www.just-airsoftguns.com/fn-herstal-aeg-m249-para-airsoft-gun) and do not be afraid to get in touch should you have any questions!
You can see our full range of airsoft guns, airsoft rifles or airsoft pistols on the Just Airsoft Guns category product pages. We also have a large number of BBs and airsoft accessories all at great low prices.
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