The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) is the fireteam's automatic weapon, providing Marines with the ability to quickly gain and maintain fire superiority. The M249 is counted on to provide the bulk of each Marine fire team's firepower, yet it isn't so heavy that it sacrifices maneuverability.
Ammunition: 5.56X45mm NATO-standard ammunition
Weight: 17 pounds with bipod and tools
Length: 41 inches
Maximum effective range: 1000 meters
Maximum range: 3600 meters
Rate of fire: 85 rounds/minute sustained, 725-850 rounds/minute cyclic
Capacity: Ammunition comes in 100- or 200-round belts. The SAW can also accept the standard 30-round M16 magazine
- Air-cooled, gas-operated
- Built-in bipod and separate tripod-mount for supported fire
- Quick-change barrel that helps prevent overheating during sustained fire
- Can be used as a vehicle-mounted weapon
Though the M249 (SAW) is the primary responsibility of the Automatic Rifleman, all members of a Marine fire team must be a proficient operator of the automatic weapon. This includes the Team Leader, Assistant Automatic Rifleman and the Rifleman.
Learn more about Marine Infantry roles.