Last year some of the most-talked-about guns were the three in FN’s new Military Collector Series, and the darling of the trio was the M249S civilian SAW. For 2017, FN is expanding the line to include the FN M249S Para, the SAW designed for paratroopers.
In military use, the Para model SAW has become increasingly popular as troops are spending more and more time riding in and jumping out of vehicles. Combat ops in built-up areas usually occur at shorter ranges where the shorter barrel of the para isn’t much of a detriment to accuracy.
With the success of the civilian model of the standard M249, it was a no-brainer to build a civilian para model. Like its long-barreled brother, the M249S Para is a semi-auto that fires from closed bolt but is otherwise a near-copy of the government model.
It has a machine gun grade 16.1-inch barrel, flip-up feed tray, integrated bipod, and the adjustable telescoping and rotating buttstock. It has an overall length of 31.5 inches to 37 inches and weighs in at a hefty 16 pounds, slightly lighter than the FN M249S Standard. It can use linked ammunition or a standard magazine.
Like the M249S Standard, the M249S Para has a top cover with an integrated MIL-STD-1913 rail for optics or other accessories, a folding carrying handle, crossbolt safety, non-reciprocationg charging handle, and quick-change barrel capability.
The FN M249S Para has an MSRP of $8,799 in black and $9,199 in flat dark earth.