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The M249 Light Machine Gun, formerly designated as the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, is the US-produced version of the Belgian-made FN Minimi. The M249 is a light machine gun manufactured by FN Herstal that chambers the 5.56x45mm NATO round.

There are two other variants of the M249, the M249 SPW and the M249 Paratrooper.

  • The SPW is an M249 designed to meet USSOCOM special forces requirements, sacrificing the barrel changing handle, magazine insertion well and vehicle mounting lug, while adding a Picatinny rail on the bottom, a detachable bipod and a lightweight barrel that is longer than an M249 Paratrooper's.
  • The Paratrooper is a compact version of the M249 with a shorter barrel and sliding aluminum buttstock based on that of the Minimi Para, so-called because of its intended use by airborne troops. It is much shorter and considerably lighter than the regular M249 at 893 mm (35 in) long and 7.1 kg (16 lb) in weight.

The M249 is categorized as a light machine gun in the Rainbow Six universe.



M249 SPW

M249 Paratrooper


Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Lockdown

  • The M249 SPW in-game has a magazine insertion well that is located below the belt feed, which is impossible as a real SPW lacks such a well.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 1 and 2.

  • In Vegas 1, the M249 SPW is Kan's signature weapon.
  • The sights are incorrectly misaligned in-game. In reality, if the sights were misaligned in this way, the shots would be above the point of aim.
  • The M249 in-game has an E2-style butt-stock. A real M249 SPW has a Para-type collapsible stock, which this version lacks. Interestingly, the weapon select screen shows the correct para-type collapsible stock.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege

  • The M249 in reality fires in an open bolt configuration, meaning that one in the chamber would be impossible, unlike the in-game counterpart, which originally held one in the chamber. This error was shared with other guns with an open-bolt configuration. This was later fixed, although the additional bullet remained in reserve.


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