TFB Collab: M249 SAW with 1911 Syndicate

    M249 SAW

    TFB Collab: M249 SAW with 1911 Syndicate Photo Credit: David Boyd

    The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon or SAW is one of the most iconic crew-served weapons in current use.  Designed in 1976 by FN Herstal, the M249 SAW has seen use in the Gulf War, Somalia, and the current War on Terror.  The design has been modified slightly over the years to include mission-specific variants like the 249 Para, and Mk46.  Thanks to an invite from Jake at 1911 Syndicate I was able to shoot this classic crew-served weapon, but with a new SAW-specific silencer.

    M249 SAW @ TFB:

    TFB Collab: M249 SAW with 1911 Syndicate

    M249 SAW

    TFB Collab: M249 SAW with 1911 Syndicate. Photo Credit: David Boyd

    I’ve been fortunate enough to shoot both suppressed and unsuppressed 249’s in the past, but this particular one is the nicest to shoot suppressed version I’ve ever fired, hands down.  Attached up front was a CGS Helios QD suppressor that’s specifically designed to reduce backpressure on, you guessed it, the M249 and MK46.  As you can see in the below video, we weren’t lingering in a toxic gas cloud while firing and this made for a very pleasant shooting experience.

    NOTE: The video contains some NSFW language.

    In case I missed or messed up a product spec, here’s the full rundown from FN.


    • CALIBER: 5.56x45mm
    • OPERATION: Open-bolt
    • WEIGHT: 17 lb.
    • BARREL LENGTH: 20.5”
    • OVERALL LENGTH: 40.75”
    • OVERALL HEIGHT: 9.5”
    • RATE OF FIRE: 775 RPM
    • EFFECTIVE RANGE: 800m, point target
    • MAXIMUM RANGE: 3600m, maximum range
    • TWIST RATE: 1:7″ RH
    • TRIGGER PULL: 7.9 – 15.7 lb.
    • COLOR: Matte black non-reflective finish

    Below is the full product description from FN America:

    The FN® M249 SAW (also known as the FN MINIMI®) has been a mainstay throughout the U.S. military since 1986 and is currently in service in more than 30 countries. The M249 SAW is designed to be used on the front lines where it really matters, providing crucial support at the infantry squad/fire team level by providing highly accurate fire plus the maneuverability to take the objective. The ergonomically shaped polymer buttstock contains a hydraulic buffer that allows SAW gunners to maintain a high rate of fire with accuracy and effect.

    For more info on the M249 SAW head on over to FN America’s product page.  Special thank you as always to Jake and Chris from 1911 Syndicate for having me on their channel, and a big thank you to SK Arms for bringing this all the way up from Texas.

    For more info on the CGS Helios, check out the below Silencer Saturday article from our editor Pete.

    SILENCER SATURDAY #168: The CGS HELIOS QD Suppressor Kit


    Austin R

    The author is a military contractor who enjoys conducting independent firearms research and reloading. Article inquiries and suggestions are welcome at austinjrex at