FNH USA recently released details on its eagerly-awaited Military Collector Series, which includes semiautomatic versions of the iconic M16, M4, and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. The gun maker first teased prospective customers back in April at the NRA Annual Meeting, where pictures of the FN M249S quickly appeared online and drummed up interest in the company’s military reproduction line.
“This new line of products allows us to showcase FN’s battle-proven legacy of producing firearms for militaries world-wide and passing this technology on to our commercial customers,” said Mark Cherpes, President and CEO for FN America in a press release. “We’re excited to bring these semi-automatic versions of the world’s most iconic products to America’s gun owners.”
Military history buffs may recall that the original M249 was adapted from the Belgian FN Minimi, which was developed by FN Herstal in 1974. Weighing in at a hefty 22 pounds loaded and chambered in 5.56x45mm, the M249 has remained the US Army’s default light machine gun since 1984. Variants of the FN Minimi are currently in service in over 75 countries worldwide.
FNH USA’s semiauto reproduction is believed to be the first time the firearm has been offered to the general public by a major manufacturer.
Gun writer Nick Leghorn of the popular blog The Truth About Guns was able to spend some time with the firearm in April and noted that it was comparable to the military version.
“The overall design of the rifle is identical in every way to the original M249, with the exception of the innards,” he wrote. “There are some extra bits that have been welded into the receiver to keep the full-auto parts from fitting in the gun, and the moving pieces are similar in construction to the originals but re-designed to use a moving firing pin instead of the fixed firing pin of the open-bolt full auto gun. The trigger pack has also been re-designed to use a hammer instead of the usual bolt release at the end of the trigger mechanism, but the trigger itself is the exact same as the original.”
You can see a teaser for the firearm below:
#NewProductAlert | Introducing the FN M249S™, the semi-automatic version of the U.S. Military’s M249 SAW that you can take home. Read more here: www.fnhusa.com/FNM249S
Posted by FNH USA on Friday, April 10, 2015
Other prospective customers are more excited about the semiauto reproductions of the M4 and M16, which come with Knights Armament RAS Adapter rails. FNH USA said it plans on shipping the firearms to distributors this winter and they will be available to customers starting early next year. The gun maker also indicated that it will be offering additional firearms as part of the series, but details have yet to be revealed.