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M249 Squad Automatic Weapon

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This subject is related to the Black Mesa Incident era.
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For other uses, see Machine Gun (disambiguation).

M249 w.jpg
M249 Squad Automatic Weapon
Production information

FN Herstal


FN Minimi


Light machine gun

Technical specifications

15 points per bullet



Max ammo




Weapon category


Ammo type

5.56×45mm NATO


Gas-operated, open bolt

Rate of fire

855 RPM





Used by
Game information


The M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, also known as the SAW Machine Gun or simply SAW, is a weapon featured in Half-Life: Opposing Force. It is a powerful automatic weapon used by the HECU.


  • The M249 is a machine gun that offers squad-level support. However, it also has a lot of recoil added to it as well so that the SMG is not made completely obsolete. In addition to decreasing accuracy, the longer the player fires the gun, the M249's recoil knocks the player back a bit as long as the fire key is held down.
  • The M249 can first be obtained by taking it from a dead ally in the chapter Friendly Fire. If not picked up there, it can be obtained at the beginning of the chapter Foxtrot Uniform.


Shephard after the Black Mesa Medical Lab.
  • Headshots will make quick work of even the strongest enemies, so one should try to aim for the head if possible.
  • Crouching will make the weapon more accurate, so one should be sure to crouch as often as possible when using it.
  • Ammo for this weapon is extremely rare until the end of the chapter Vicarious Reality.
  • The M249 has a fairly long reload time, so one should make sure to be safe before reloading.
  • Tapping the primary fire button instead of holding it will greatly reduce the recoil. Moving forward removes the recoil but decreases accuracy.
  • If sufficient ammunition is available, the M249 can be used to impede falls by shooting downwards while falling or gain large amounts of backwards speed. The backwards recoil will constantly push the player away from the direction they're shooting, regardless of direction or velocity at which the player is travelling.
  • Despite the M249's long reload, the gun's ammunition is loaded near instantly upon pressing the reload button, far sooner than the reload animation shows. If the player switches weapons from and back to the M249 right after the ammunition loads, the long reload can be almost entirely skipped.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The M249 is based on real-life M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, an American adaptation of the Minimi by Fabrique Nationale.


List of appearances[edit]