FN M249S rifle
Nick Leghorn for TTAG
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FN’s M249S is a lot of gun for a lot of money. Read Nick’s review of the big rifle here. FN’s just issued a mandatory recall notice on some M249S’s due to a “design issue within the hammer group of the rifle may adversely affect the rifle’s reliability.” While FN’s email blast says that all M249S’s are being recalled, they’re actually recalling all models. However not all serial numbers are included. Here’s their announcement:


(McLean, VA – October 20, 2017) FN America, LLC, announces today the mandatory recall of certain FN M249S®  semi-automatic, belt-fed rifles in both standard and PARA configurations. A recently identified design issue within the hammer group of the rifle may adversely affect the rifle’s reliability. Under certain circumstances, a reset failure within the hammer group may cause the M249S to cease to function, causing an unsafe firing event. To correct this condition and restore consistent, proper and safe operation of the firearm, it is necessary to replace the hammer group.

FN is instructing customers to discontinue use of these rifles immediately and return affected products to FN directly for installation of a new hammer group, at no cost.

October 2017 FN M249S SAFETY RECALL
Product Name:
FN M249S
Model Name(s):
FN M249S standard,
Product Numbers:  
56460, 56501, 56509,
56502, 56435 (Limited Edition)
Black, Flat Dark Earth (FDE)


Not all FN M249S serial numbers are affected by this recall. Therefore, FN M249S owners are asked to please visit the FN M249S Safety Recall webpage and input their serial number. If the firearm is affected, further instruction on returning the FN M249S for service will be provided.

Note: Please do not ship any affected product to FN until a FedEx label has been generated and sent. If the firearm is not affected, a message stating such will be displayed. In the interim, FN asks that customers not operate their FN M249S standard or PARA until the hammer group has been replaced.

FN is deeply committed to providing customers with the safest, most reliable firearms possible. As such, it is imperative that all recalled product is received back as soon as possible. Patience and cooperation is appreciated as we receive, inspect and service these firearms. We will make every effort to return the product back to customers within 30 days of receipt.

For questions about the recall or assistance in returning a firearm, contact the FN M249S Recall Support team at 1-800-635-1321, extension 145, or by email at [email protected]. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.

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    • You bastard, you beat me to it!

      I was gonna add that if we get the registry re-opened, that would be a sweet candidate to convert…

  1. Who writes these things and do they check to see what they actually wrote?

    The Headline to their own press release says, “FN ISSUES MANDATORY SAFETY RECALL OF ALL FN M249S® RIFLES”. So there it’s all. Then later says it’s not all of them, “Not all FN M249S serial numbers are affected by this recall.” So which is it?

  2. Hammer is causing adverse wear, or someone figured out how to make it work as intended? I’m curious as to the actual deficiency/malfunction.

    • The issue is: occasionally the “Slide hammer” (striker) will not catch on the trigger, and then will follow the bolt forward. Most of the time you squeeze the trigger and it’s dead, when you cycle the bolt you’ll notice a light primer strike on the chambered round. Very rarely, when the slide hammer manages to hit the primer hard enough….instead of a dead trigger you get a surprise 2 round burst. I had been searching for info on this little “quirk” for some time. Guess I’ll be sending it back….

      • Maybe the well-heeled buyers of these guns are familiar with striker-fired semi-auto conversions of open-bolt weapons, or maybe they aren’t. But striker override of the sear is a fairly common malfunction. Generally, the hammer/striker is much lighter than the BCG and when the sear fails it slides into the BCG before it can reach battery & fails to fire (since the firing pin is not long enough to protrude simply by being pressed forward, it must be slammed forward and travel some more on its own inertia). The hammer is still a pretty beefy item with a lot of speed, and the sear is by necessity a pretty small part if you want a passable trigger; even minor wear or misalignment can cause the striker edge to slip over the sear hook. The M249S hammer has a pair of grooves at its front & rear, but is fairly short overall; that means the necessary clearance between it and the rails causes the part to tip over when it hits the sear…raising the tail end that is in contact with the sear hook upward, away from the sear.

        Practically every semi-auto conversion using a slide-hammer has this issue, be it RPD or PPSH or Suomi or BREN or anything else. But those guns don’t usually cost eight grand and aren’t brand-new so it’s considered part of the ‘joy’ of owning one. For some reason, possibly FN’s own marketing, buyers of these novelty guns don’t seem to realize that the S-model had to use a somewhat improvised and non-ideal conversion system (which I’ve already described) in order to fit the existing firearm, and believe it to be every bit as reliable and developed as the original (much simpler) open bolt configuration. Sorry, but it ain’t. But this is the closest you can get to a like-new M249 without stealing one, and more importantly a risky gamble by FN to bring heretofore forbidden belt-based feeding devices to the civilian market; both of which are worth more than nothing.

  3. My M249S slide hammer cratered and broke into three pieces at about the 300-400 round mark.

    I have SBR’d the rifle and have NO interest in sending it to them. Because of this, they will not replace or even sell me a replacement hammer.

    I am a machinist and was able to make my own replacement with improvements to avoid another premature failure – so I’m set. Still VERY disappointed, but not entirely surprised at the incompetence of FN customer service.

    • How is it their fault when you won’t send it back to have them work on it? Most firearm companies that I’ve seen won’t let the product owner perform the recall repair on their own and therefore insist on having it sent back. I’m not really seeing your problem here.

  4. Good thing Stephen Paddock (the Las Vegas shooter) didn’t have one of these bad boys.
    On second thought, even a bolt-action rifle would’ve been more deadly than his inaccurate bump-fire stocks firing 5.56 or .223 from hundreds of yards away.
    So thank God Stephen Paddock wasn’t just evil, but he was also a lousy shot, and stupid enough to use bump-fire stocks that made his aim even worse, and a small caliber that kept the fatality rate low. Yes, 58 deaths is terrible, but imagine how much more deadly it would be if he’d shot at this crowd of 22,000 people with scoped bolt-action rifles!

    • “On second thought” his string of shots sounds hell of a lot more like a few feet of belt from a proper automatic belt fed than anything running on magazines (let alone bump firing). More like what is seen on the border in the hands of cartels courtesy of Uncle Sam, these days. What we should really be thankful for is the monster killed himself or whatever as soon as he did, though it’s a shame he didn’t do it all on his lonesome at home. If any ‘accessory’ could have made the carnage worse, it’d be a properly trammed tripod to focus/control his rather-clearly automatic weapon fire…but don’t let that get in the way of the gun-scaries.


  5. They could probably just call every person that bought one. Can’t imagine many people having that kind of money, didn’t they go for like 7 or 8 grand?

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