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Old October 16, 2018, 10:29   #1
BarnOwlLover
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Best current era belt fed 5.56mm machine gun.

I have a busy time today, so I probably won't be able to respond until tomorrow, but I wanted to get this thread started while I have some time.

My top 3 are the FN Minimi/M249, the HK MG4, and the IWI Negev.

Feel free to discuss until I get back
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Old October 16, 2018, 23:54   #2
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No idea on best but I always wanted a Ameli
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Old October 17, 2018, 09:29   #3
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I got to play with a Negev. Apparently not so popular with the troops. But Israelis don't put much effort into PMCS.


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Old October 17, 2018, 09:47   #4
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The Daewoo K3 of course!

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Old October 17, 2018, 09:54   #5
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5.56 minigun...the rest are just snails...
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Old October 17, 2018, 10:46   #6
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Only one I every got to fire was a Saw at one of our machinegun shoots. Run a belt through it and loved it.
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Old October 17, 2018, 10:52   #7
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Isn't the K3 sort of a Minimi?

My opinions: The Minimi is the original and still one of the best.

The MG4 has some improvements over the Minimi, but isn't much of an improvement. Still a good weapon that stands toe to toe with the Minimi

The Negev seems to be pretty sealed up from dirt and dust, and is semi/full auto select fire, and the 5.56mm versions can fire rifle grenades for what's that worth.
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Old October 18, 2018, 17:11   #8
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I want the flight/lite upper but canít justify $4k for a rifle that has all kinds of unique parts with limited availability that are largely unproven.


Cool idea though, especially if you have a registered lower,DIAS or link.
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Old October 27, 2018, 09:53   #9
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I want the flight/lite upper but canít justify $4k for a rifle that has all kinds of unique parts with limited availability that are largely unproven.


Cool idea though, especially if you have a registered lower,DIAS or link.
I've got an MCR "lite" ... made under the name of Ares Defence, which I think is the same as flightlite ... the "lite" version is stripped down, I think I paid $2600 for the upper but then got a 12" barrel & mag adapter to hold nut sack's and 200 rnd ammo boxes ... and a full-auto bolt as I have an M16


Its been very reliable as long as you use a decent quality ammo ... it doesn't like the cheap, dirty, under-powered stuff like regular Wolf or WWB.

I've read online that some people have had problems using "used" links (but I've heard that about the new semi-SAW too) ... I have some links that I bought as "once fired" and have used them several times without issue, if fact they may run a little smoother than less used ones.
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Old November 20, 2018, 17:00   #10
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Only one I every got to fire was a Saw at one of our machinegun shoots. Run a belt through it and loved it.
My USMC unit had them in Desert Shield/Storm, and they didn't function very well in the desert.

Nine years later, I returned to the Middle East with the National Guard and so-called "improved" M249 SAWs. They didn't perform much better.
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Old November 21, 2018, 09:50   #11
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Its not belt fed... But I dont care.
By far the best lmg (5.56) out there is the ultimax 100.
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Old November 21, 2018, 14:58   #12
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My USMC unit had them in Desert Shield/Storm, and they didn't function very well in the desert.

Nine years later, I returned to the Middle East with the National Guard and so-called "improved" M249 SAWs. They didn't perform much better.
I've read that until recent years that M249s have been a mixed bag in terms of reliability in desert conditions. Yet, I haven't read reports of the FN Minimi (same thing basically as the M249) giving trouble in similar conditions. I wonder if it's down to original Belgian specs vs FN USA's production values for early SAWs or different maintenance procedures.
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Old November 22, 2018, 22:29   #13
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I've read that until recent years that M249s have been a mixed bag in terms of reliability in desert conditions. Yet, I haven't read reports of the FN Minimi (same thing basically as the M249) giving trouble in similar conditions. I wonder if it's down to original Belgian specs vs FN USA's production values for early SAWs or different maintenance procedures.
Paco just snagged up a license built Minimi recently.
He posted up pix of how poorly done they were contrasted to the FN Belgian product.

Something Americans generally have a difficult time understanding is that FN Belgium produces a product generally little confined to being the lowest bidder
Regardless what people may think, FN America is not any more Belgian than SIG America is German.

Just the way it is.

The CETME Ameli while a hoot has long held reliability issues. Played with two different guns, both exhibited a degree of failures to feed

Best belt feds ?
Russian built PKM hands down
FN MAG
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Old November 23, 2018, 12:07   #14
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Best belt feds ?
Russian built PKM hands down
FN MAG
Excellent choices, but, providing I was well-supplied with spare barrels, scads of ammo, and a means to transport it (i.e. not humping it over hill and dale), I'd take an MG3 with Lafette. There are pluses and minuses with any system, and there is no one-size-fits-all system, but the MG3 system gives a much higher hit probability at extended range. Running around and expecting short-to-medium range engagements? It would not be my first choice, but it could certainly work well enough.
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Old November 23, 2018, 12:43   #15
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No idea on best but I always wanted a Ameli
Yes, I donít have any experience with them but always thought they were cool as hell. Like a small, green 5.56 MG-42.
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Old November 23, 2018, 14:18   #16
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Originally Posted by Riversidesports View Post
Paco just snagged up a license built Minimi recently.
He posted up pix of how poorly done they were contrasted to the FN Belgian product.

Something Americans generally have a difficult time understanding is that FN Belgium produces a product generally little confined to being the lowest bidder
Regardless what people may think, FN America is not any more Belgian than SIG America is German.

Just the way it is.

The CETME Ameli while a hoot has long held reliability issues. Played with two different guns, both exhibited a degree of failures to feed

Best belt feds ?
Russian built PKM hands down
FN MAG
Well, FN USA had to rebuild many M249s with continuously welded bolt guide rods that significantly improved durability. It seems like production values weren't as good as the original FN product until a few years ago. Oddly, this doesn't seem to have effected the M240.
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Old November 23, 2018, 17:23   #17
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Yes, I donít have any experience with them but always thought they were cool as hell. Like a small, green 5.56 MG-42.
wanna try and build a semi clone ?

Have one saw cut post sample with several barrels
be advised I'd need way more than a common 249 kit to even consider letting it go.

Heard Spain destroyed quite a pile of them recently, didn't even offer them on the secondary market
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Old November 23, 2018, 17:29   #18
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Well, FN USA had to rebuild many M249s with continuously welded bolt guide rods that significantly improved durability. It seems like production values weren't as good as the original FN product until a few years ago. Oddly, this doesn't seem to have effected the M240.
par for the course with US licensed built crap

Do you remember the problems DoD had with Beretta America M9 clones versus Italian made guns ?

SIG America trash versus German SIGs ?

there's an actual reason why preban Austrian built Styer AUGs have held their value
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Old November 24, 2018, 12:49   #19
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I never cared much for M249s. The M-240 is virtually bulletproof - the only malfunction I have ever had in literally 10s of thousands of rounds with it was a cartridge case separated and left the neck in the chamber. Took awhile to figure it out but cleared it right out with a cleaning rod. Got a chance to shoot Mark's PKM when I was in Arizona. Very well done weapon, a lot more AK'ish (simple, easy to operate) than the M240. M60 was a good machine gun, provided you knew how to load it. I packed one once, walked in to an ambush and went to open up on the Communist hordes. And not a thing happened. If you have the bolt forward, lay the ammo in, close the cover and charge it, you are screwed when it comes time to shoot. Didn't know that, everyone assumed I knew how to load it. That would have never happened with an M240 as the bolt roller is spring-loaded and will work either way.
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Old November 24, 2018, 12:52   #20
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It also seems that with stuff that's machined or forged that production values are better than stamped stuff.

Also, I think that some of the workers at FN USA when they were making M240s remembered either the M73/219 tank machine gun that was a failure or the M60, which was a mixed bag in terms of reliability and performance.

I don't know about the MG4 and MG5, as thus far only HK makes them. Interestingly, HK also makes the FN MAG as the British Army's L7 GPMG. They acquired the rights after they split from BAE Systems.
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Old November 25, 2018, 12:32   #21
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It also seems that with stuff that's machined or forged that production values are better than stamped stuff.

Also, I think that some of the workers at FN USA when they were making M240s remembered either the M73/219 tank machine gun that was a failure or the M60, which was a mixed bag in terms of reliability and performance.

I don't know about the MG4 and MG5, as thus far only HK makes them. Interestingly, HK also makes the FN MAG as the British Army's L7 GPMG. They acquired the rights after they split from BAE Systems.
Your bag must have got more running M219s in it than mine did. The things you knew verbatim were immediate action, clearing and loading. I was never so glad to get M240s. Then when we went to M1s we also got away from the M85. Which wasn't bad if you knew a few tricks.
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Old November 25, 2018, 14:04   #22
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Actually I've never been in the service, and if I was, I'm way too young for the M73/219 era. But I know that they were pretty god-awful in terms of reliability and durability.

Its also just like how the M249s were a mixed bag in terms of reliability until FN USA used continuously welded guide rails for the bolt. Or that the SA80 was fairly bad until HK reworked it.
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Old November 26, 2018, 17:46   #23
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Only belt Feds I have fired more than a partial belt were M-60's and salt 5.56 SAW's. I had no problems with either but have no combat experience just two years of ROTC and used to get more than occasional invitations to a local training camp. If was young and strong or in fixed position give me the M-60. If carrying the thing with ammo loadout at age 55 will take the 5.56 SAW. If buying your own would assume if found a good armorer most bugs could be worked out of any choice with time and money.
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Old November 27, 2018, 14:03   #24
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par for the course with US licensed built crap

Do you remember the problems DoD had with Beretta America M9 clones versus Italian made guns ?

SIG America trash versus German SIGs ?

there's an actual reason why preban Austrian built Styer AUGs have held their value
Look for the "Made in USA" label.
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Old December 10, 2018, 13:32   #25
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Sorry to revive this thread, but I've seen some videos about the Stoner 86/96/KAC Lightweight LMGs. Anyone have thoughts or opinions on them? Basically belt fed 5.56s that weight no more than the USMC M27 rifle, and now a 7.62mm version that's lighter than a Minimi/M249.
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