Part two of the FN America factory tour in Columbia, South Carolina would be the fun guns. The Columbia factory is where they make the M249SAW, M240B, and the MK19. As we walked throughout the factory floor, we could see batches of machine gun parts everywhere.
They have a table with samples of the parts that they make in the factory. You will recognize a few of them.
Throughout the factory there are large shadow boxes displaying more samples. The pride of their products is everywhere.
Below is a a bin of operating rods for the 240B.
240B side plates.
240B hanging after assembly.
Need some M249 barrels?
We walked by this table. On it are the steel blocks that are machined into the MK19 bolt. The block of steel is about the size of a loaf of bread and weighs about 80 lbs.
249 receivers after welding assembly.
As a fan of the SCAR weapon system I was elated to see anything regarding the SCAR. Below is the bolt carrier group for the SCAR. It is manufactured here for 922R compliance. The SCAR barrels are also manufactured here.
Racks of SCAR MK17s ready for shipping.
These brown boxes are what the Belgian SCARs are shipped in when they are imported into the US.
Edit: When the SCARs are imported into the US they have a temporary stock and pistol grip. The stock and grip are removed and sent back to FN Herstal in Belgium for the next shipment. The Stock and grip are then replaced with US made components to satisfy 922R compliance.
I caught a glimpse of the CSAR-20/MK20 upper receiver just laying around.
Here are the extruded upper receivers.
Kristina and JP took us to the Gun Room.
This old Mauser is what started FN Herstal. According to Kristina, it is the lowest serial number they have found. They have even checked firearm museums in Belgium to be sure.
FN Pistols are on display next to a select fire P90.
The heavy machine guns are more interesting of course. All of which were made in Columbia.
Here are the light machine guns such as the MK46 and MK48.
In the center of the room is their MK19 grenade launching machine gun.
At Big 3 East, I got a chance to get some trigger time on the M249S civilian version of the M249 Saw.
Alex of SB Tactical brought down his M249SAW machine gun for us to play with as well. I mounted my Surefire Hellfighter on it or fun.
The M249SAW ejects shells at an alarming velocity. It has enough force to cause brass to lodge themselves into the wood floor.
Alex only had one belt. So for others to shoot it they had to re-link ammo or use magazines. Alex never tried shooting the SAW with a magazine before. Luckily Chase from ZQI ammo was accustomed to the M249SAW from his days in the Army. We loaded up my Magpul D60 drum and let loose.
The civilian M249S will retail for $7499. There is a commemorative edition that comes in a hard case, spare barrel, cleaning kit, links, box for links, and dog tags. This version retails for $10k.