Question of the Day: If You Could Buy One, Would You?

I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to big guns. Why? Because guns. They’re a lot of fun to shoot. Well, it’s a lot of fun to see what happens to what you shoot. Thanks to Uncle Sam’s regle du jeu, I won’t be seeing this SAW in my gun safe anytime soon. As a fantasy check, I put it to you: if you could, if you had the money and buying one wasn’t machine gun impossible, would you add a FN MINIMI light machine gun to your collection? Here’s the press release . . .

Belgium-based small arms manufacturer FN Herstal unveils the next generation FN MINIMI light machine gun in both 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibers during the MILIPOL exhibition in Paris, November 19 – 22 2013.

The modifications introduced on the FN MINIMI Mk3 result from feedback provided by users engaged in current operating theatres. Indeed, the demands of users have evolved over the past 10 to 15 years due to changes in the way the FN MINIMI machine gun is used in combat (increased use of accessories, evolutions in the soldier’s equipment, and changes in tactics such as shooting from all positions).

The new FN MINIMI Mk3 offers the users improved ergonomics and improved mobility while retaining the same core mechanism as the previous versions, for a limited impact on logistics which includes; an ergonomic buttstock adjustable in length (5 positions) to allow compensation for body armor and load bearing equipment, a new handguard/bipod assembly that provides a comfortable handguard and three forward MIL-STD 1913 Picatinny accessory rails, an optional heatshield that greatly reduces the risk of inadvertently touching the barrel and the convertibility of the FN MINIMI 7.62 to fire 5.56x45mm ammunition.


  1. avatar Tyler says:

    If the obstacles currently standing between me and owning a quality Belgian made light machine machinegun were somehow swept aside, would I buy one? No. I’d buy two. At least.

    1. avatar Taylor Tx says:

      Well said, AT LEAST! M240B for me please! Bring on the Belt Feed Happy Time. Now to get a 2nd and 3rd job for ammo.

  2. avatar C says:

    The hell kind of question is that, Farago? Of course i would.

  3. avatar Max says:

    So who’s gonna say “no”? LOL!

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I would. I couldn’t feed such a beast, and I’d rather have a precision long range rifle and optic that cost just as much that I could use for something other than making a lot of noise at the range. Nor do I foresee a situation that suppressive fire would be something I would have an actual need for–and until then, a MG is just an expensive range toy.

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Your precision long-range rifle is a sweetheart, for sure, but useless against a zombie division.

        I like the way thees Belgian makes the gun sound like a “MINI-ME”, and I’d grab it off the rack if I but could.
        But I think I’d rather take the M-249 SAW. Just sayin’.

        1. avatar michael says:

          there fn mini is the same gun as the m249

        2. avatar DB Cooper says:

          Problem with SAWs is they are not precision weapons. They are area suppression weapons. The next generation of Light MG have to have a huge improvement in accuracy sans [email protected] so infantry soldiers using the MG can provide pinpoint accurate fire . I’d like to see some soldiers use this weapon to find out just how good it really is. FN makes some really good stuff.

      2. avatar tfunk says:

        I’m guessing you have not fired full auto before…especially belt fed. It ain’t about need. It’s about that big smile you won’t be able to wipe off your face every time you think about how much fun you had shooting it.

  4. avatar disthunder says:

    I would gladly stamp and wait the obligatory year. But if I’m gonna spend 20 grand, its gonna be for a Thompson.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      It really depends on how counterfactual the counterfactual fantasy is.

      How much would it cost if the 86 ban never happened? It is still a nice piece of gear, but I would think it should be closer to 10k than 20. More to the point, without the 86 ban a Thompson would not be anywhere near 20k, more like 2k tops.

      1. avatar Gregolas says:

        Right on, disthunder! If the barriers suddenly disappeared, Thompson and MP40 first. I’d start my belt-fed collection with Ma Deuce!

    2. avatar B says:

      A full auto real M4 should cost $1,000. There’s only 1 real part difference, a stamped auto sear toggle. Were the free market allowed to operate normally I would totally buy one. Whether I could afford to shoot the thing full auto would be another separate issue, but its one I would have liked the opportunity to have. How the heck can the 1986 new full auto act pass muster as a non-arbitrary law?

  5. avatar LTC F says:

    I couldn’t afford to feed it, even if I could afford to buy it.

    If I could afford the care and feeding of a machine gun before I bought a MINIMI I would buy a BAR, M2 HB, or an M1919.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Yeah, gotta agree. Couldn’t afford that ammo and if all costs were taken out of the picture, I can think of other autos I’d much rather have.

      Now if for some reason the choice was Minimi or nothing then… sure.

  6. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    I feel like a buzzkill saying it, but nah. If I can have a FA I want either an SMG or some kind of PDW. A SCAR L with a 10 inch barrel sounds like the tops.

  7. avatar Cyrano says:

    I have a couple ahead of it on the list. One being a well made 50 cal.

  8. avatar tom w a glock says:

    That’s not a big gun… 20mm & up is a big gun, although I always think 16″ naval rifle when I think “big gun”. To answer the original question – yes, what did I buy?

  9. avatar eric cartmen says:

    yes, the citizenry has the right to all the weapons infantry have.
    2nd amendment is NON NEGOTIABLE.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:


      …they are low capacity, at least.

      1. avatar BillC says:

        I think those are okay. They are pretty useless in Battlefield 3/4 at least.

  10. avatar KCK says:

    Only as a member of a well regulated Militia.
    Oh yeah, thats right I am a member, I’m glad we have the 2nd Ammendment.
    So what’s your question again.

  11. avatar Matt in FL says:

    I’ve used this line about beautiful women in the past (I’m a pig, I know), but it applies here, too:

    Bring me two, because I’m gonna wear the first one out.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:


    2. avatar Marcus says:

      I would like to use this answer as well.

    3. avatar speedracer5050 says:

      This times 2!!! Wear one out and keep the rest for emergencies!!

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Two is one and one is none.

        1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

          Amen Brother!! 3 is the bare minimum!!

  12. avatar Tim says:

    Oh hell yes.

  13. avatar Pulatso says:

    I’m gonna need one for each henchman I’ve got manning the towers.

  14. avatar Craig says:

    Maybe, if I already had a PM1910 or a Vickers gun and a PPSh-41 and a Thompson Gun.

  15. avatar Jeff says:

    If I had to pay to feed it? No thanks, I would rather have a PKM and a truck bed full of surplus x54r tins.

  16. avatar Jeh says:

    Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. 7.62×51 please.

    1. avatar DB Cooper says:

      you’d be happier with a .338 MG

  17. avatar Keith in TX says:

    Why just one?

  18. avatar Ralph says:

    Nein! I’m holding out for a Maschinengewehr 42.

    1. avatar Taylor Tx says:


      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Buzzsaw, baby!

  19. avatar Timbo says:

    One of each caliber please

  20. avatar Taylor Tx says:

    If it has to be an FN, M240B please 😀

    Like Jeff said above, I might go a 54r route just so that I wouldnt have to get another job for ammo.

  21. avatar Chris says:

    If I had the funds, I would buy at least 2 of every gun to ever exist. Just sayin…

  22. avatar Emfourty Gasmask says:

    I’d probably use the mortgage loan I’d need on one of these to buy a house instead, really.

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      I’m with you on this, I’d rather put the money towards buying that property out in the boonies where I could practice my marksmanship almost any time of the day or night.

  23. avatar steve says:

    Its a bad ass gun, but why do the Belgians have play that light tone music. They needed some metal. Also, why the hell would you show case this in France. Sorry…this is my rant for the day.

  24. avatar Pwrserge says:

    Sold… Is there a bulk quantity discount if I buy five?

  25. avatar PhoenixNFA says:

    I think there are a few in the registry. Expect to pay $100k+ though.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      (whiney voice) But they won’t have all the latest features!

  26. avatar Jonathan -- Houston says:

    I’m sure I’d buy a true machine gun, or five, were they available in an infringement-free America. Why not? They’re fun.

    On a side note, Fox News reads TTAG! Nice little first-reported credit today on their website regarding TTAG’s recent article about NYC confiscation letters, which some here claimed were fake and that TTAG willfully misreported. Turkey for Thanksgiving, goose for Christmas, and crow (for some) in between.

  27. avatar H.R. says:

    I’d buy one! Nice to see they have addressed ergonomics – I thought the M-249 was one of the least comfortable firearms I’ve ever shot, but the M-240 was a sweetheart!

    And I don’t understand why the registry is closed.
    Statistically speaking, aren’t legal MG’s the least used in crimes? IIRC, only two have ever been used in crimes, so that makes them a hell of a lot safer than your average Glock… Right?

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      Because Jesus Reagan was actually scared of guns.

  28. avatar Dannytejas says:

    I would buy one for each member of my family, if I could afford it.

  29. avatar Ross says:

    Yes, yes I would.

  30. avatar Pete says:

    Probably, haha. Would need to be bathing in money, though. Would have other purchases to make if I can get full auto stuff now. ;p

  31. avatar Jesse Nelson says:

    Well yes, I would. But to be completely honest if the barriers to owning a real MG I’d probably go with something Russian made. Probably a PKM.

  32. avatar Leo Atrox says:

    If I could afford one, I would certainly be a buyer. I had some exposure to the SAW in the Marine Corps, and it is a hoot to shoot. It’s kind of a neat thing shooting a string of rounds with a cyclic rate quick enough to actually see a gray streak of lead moving downrange. (They appeared gray to me, even though they wore copper jackets.)

  33. avatar Chris. says:

    Sure i’d buy one… Right after I bought a General Electric GAU8 Avenger.

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Or a helicopter with an M134 mounted on it.

      1. avatar Chris. says:

        Well just for the Record the Gau-8 would have an A-10 strapped to it…

        1. avatar Bret says:

          Hell I would take the A-10 without the GAU 8.

  34. avatar tdiinva says:

    “I would buy one if I could afford it” is a common theme. Well unlike you guys I don’t have the money to feed it so I wouldn’t waste my money on buying the weapon just to say I have one.

  35. avatar jwm says:

    No. Too much money feeding the guns I have.

  36. avatar Fug says:

    It isn’t really practical. I think I read once they used to sell belt fed machine guns for kids through mail order catalog long ago. I think it was a .22 or something?

    I would much rather go for something like an SBR or SMG if everything was legal all of a sudden. Carrying around belts of ammunition just doesn’t seem worth it.

  37. avatar GS650G says:

    I wouldn’t because of ammo cost, lack of facilities permitted to use FA anywhere around me, and no particular hunting purpose for a tool like that. But in the event we run out of other people’s money this might be handy to have.

    1. avatar Steve in MD says:

      I could definitely see that being used for hog hunting, aka Bacon-flavored Genocide.

  38. avatar Roll says:

    IDK, I think I’d like the PKM better. 54R is a bit cheaper by the case.

  39. avatar Jason says:

    id take one of those along with an hk gmg.

  40. avatar John S. says:

    If there were no NFA regs and no import restrictions I would buy an M240, an M249 and an M4A1, along with an MP5SD..why? because I can

  41. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunnies says:

    I’d buy it and a 22lr conversion kit so I could afford to feed it. I am assuming if it was legal a conversion kit would be available.

    As far as costs go. Before the tax stamp act on machine guns a Thompson could be ordered from a mail order catalog for around 150.00. Of course this was pre depression so that’s like 1300 in today’s dollars. I would assume that would be around the cost.

    A full auto ar15 would not be much more to produce than a semi only. Many at owners already upgrade to the full auto capable bolt carrier I believe.

  42. avatar Anthony O. says:

    Yes, yes I would. In other news, does the Pope shit in the woods? Are Bears Catholic?

  43. avatar SelousX says:

    Assuming the price was not artificially inflated as it is now? Oh, hell yes!

  44. avatar JAlan says:

    I think the bigger question is: “Why wouldn’t you?”

  45. avatar lolinski says:

    Ha! I wouldn’r buy imperialist weakling 5.56 machinegun. I would buy comrade Kalashnikovs PKM (maybe two so I could have one in 7.62×51 and the other in 7.62x54R).

    But seriously, if I could afford it and could do it. I would totally buy some belt feds, DSHK, PKM and of course KPV would be on my list if it was legal (and I could get ammo).

    1. avatar Jeff says:

      you need an RPK-74 too, to blow off those cans of 5.45 that are just weighing you down in life.

      Every time I get behind my AES-10B RPK I wish it had the giggle position on the safety, but it makes up for it by being the most accurate 7.62×39 rifle that I own – I have shot 3″ groups with that rifle at 200yds, 4x scoped, with plain old Wolf FMJ

      1. avatar lolinski says:

        You just had to remind of the fact that 5.45 and 7.62x54R are extremely rare here in Norway. I mean they are so rare that you are more likely to see one of those Africa calibers than those.

        But enjoy the AES-10B RPK, not my cup of tea(prefer belt fed or heavy calibers like .308).

        1. avatar Gyufygy says:

          So rare, even though Norway literally borders Russia. Funny how that works out.

        2. avatar D says:

          Go over to Finland. The Fins always used Soviet equipment.

        3. avatar lolinski says:

          Yeah, I could go over to Finnland but Norway ism uch better generally. I will gladly give up 7.62x54R and 5.45 (lol no; I will get something 7.62x54R anyway) if it means less of a hassle to get guns and a better economy.

        4. avatar Jeff says:

          you have my sympathy norge-man

        5. avatar lolinski says:

          I dont need none of yer sympathy. I will just import a Izhmash Tigr (civilian Dragunov) or a cheap Norinco M93 Woodsman (Colt Woodsman clone, with surprisingly good accuracy&reliability).

          But you make the best out of it, at least we dont have any stupid NFA process when it comes to suppressors.

  46. avatar Bob says:

    It would be like owning a sports car. Expensive to maintain and use. For most people it wouldn’t get used much or at all. Look at Ebay motors and see how many Ferraris and Lamborghinis have low miles, even for 10-20 year old cars.

    Buy hey, if you have the cash to burn…

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Personally, I’d buy a Ferrari before I’d buy a machine gun. A Ferrari goes anywhere (almost) anytime, into any place you want to go, and fills the other seat with beautiful women. A MG? Not so much. Priorities, I suppose.

      1. avatar Jeff says:

        nobody ever said that the women had to be beautiful.

  47. avatar Don says:

    If all of the artificial scarcity was dismantled and they cost what they should, I’d buy at least one per year.

  48. avatar jimmyjames says:

    If you have money and I mean real money…you could own one of these. What are friends in high places (that you helped put there ) for? There are rules and then there are rules. The rules dont apply to people like Bloomy and Soros.

  49. avatar russeh says:

    Even if I could buy one, do I really have a few thousand kicking around for a heavy range toy with no other real purpose? Carrying a SAW around sucks. So right now, the answer is no, but in the future when I get rich it could be kind of fun. Just like Maseratis and Ferraris. Most of us don’t care about them, and have no use for them. I’d just like to be ABLE to buy whatever I want.

    More importantly, what I would like to be able to buy, at bargain price, with no NFA restrictions:

    Mark 18 CQBR M4A1, with a good quality suppressor on it.

    Assuming there were no restrictions, I seriously doubt that between all the various companies in the business (Colt, AAC, Surefire, Cough cough), they couldn’t put together a high quality “everyman-home defense platform” with rifle, suppressor light, and sling for under 1800 out the door. That’s the first Item I would buy, and probably the last. Maybe two, just to have an extra laying around in case I need a loaner.

  50. avatar gloomhound says:

    Yes, yes I would.

  51. avatar Quinn says:

    Clearing malfunctions on one is a full time job in itself

  52. avatar Steve Truffer says:

    Minimi, nah. PKM? I’ll take ten, and as many belts as possible.

    1. avatar Colby says:

      Oooh! Yes, please! Me too!

  53. avatar PeterC says:

    From an aesthetic standpoint, I wouldn’t give it houseroom. I’d rather have my old Spandau Maxim 08 water-cooled MG that I swapped for a bunch of handguns back in 1960. Now that was a work of art!

  54. avatar Lemming says:

    Oddly enough, I suspect that if they weren’t trying so hard to keep me from owning one, I’d be much less interested in buying one.

  55. avatar 505markf says:

    yes, Yes, YEs, YES!!!!! (as in Harry Met Sally).

  56. avatar cubby123 says:

    I live in Nevada ,we can have anything we want [if money wasn’t an object].

  57. avatar S_J says:

    I’d like me some belt fed full auto fun for sure if all the fiscal and legal planets aligned, but in my estimation there’s only a few machine guns that qualify as artwork you can shoot and none are a Minimi. I’m thinking Vickers Gun, German/Finnish/Russian Maxims, Browning M1917/1919, Lewis Gun etc. There’s just something about the heft and steady controllable ROF of a WWI machine gun that really speaks to me.

    On the cheaper/cost effective/greater mobility end of the spectrum, can’t go wrong with the trusty PKM and a crate full of 7.62 x 54R. Or a BAR and .30-06 if I were inclined to Buy American.

  58. avatar JP says:

    You know Hugh don’t ya?

    Hugh damn right I would!!!

  59. avatar Wyfaggro says:

    Right after I mounted an M2HB on my porch I would 😀

  60. avatar Jeremy says:

    I would love to have a full auto 22lr – current issues with actually finding 22lr aside. However, I’ve done exactly zero research on the subject, does anyone even make a full auto 22?

    1. avatar S_J says: Rare now and probably costs a small fortune. But it’s pretty neat. I like the pan magazine.

      1. avatar Matt in FL says:

        Here’s 275 rounds through an AM180 with a Silencerco Sparrow suppressor.

        1. avatar Keith in TX says:

          The most fun one can have with a .22.

  61. avatar GG says:

    Me say hell yes!

  62. avatar Excedrine says:

    If I could, fuck yes I would!

    Though it would probably become little more than a safe queen, because ammo prices are still too damn high.

  63. avatar Marcus Aurelius says:

    Probably not, even without the NFA in the way. Not until I’m making enough to justify spending that much on ammo. Maybe if you could mod it to fire .22.

  64. avatar niceguns says:

    Yep, yep and yep I would

  65. avatar Arod529 says:

    There is a typo in your title Mr. Farago. Here let me fix it for you:

    Question of the Day: If You Could Buy [Insert Firearm], Would You? Of course you would.

  66. avatar Joe says:

    No as a matter of principle. The SAW is the modern chauchat LMG.
    S – Shitty
    A – Ass
    W – Weapon
    S – Stack
    A – All
    W – Weapons
    Since the single most useful job the M249 performs is as a rest to stack Marines’ M-4’s, A-4’s, 27’s, & 32 A-1’s.

    1. avatar DB Cooper says:

      Back in 87 I got to shoot an FN standard 249 and one that was modified to make the idiots in army procurement happy. Two totally different weapons. The original design was a pretty decent piece of work and the army fucked it up royally. Ditto the M-16A2, M-60 MG, and many other weapons systems. My problem with the SAW is the caliber of the ammo and that SS109 projectile. Its a flying ice pick at any extended range.

  67. avatar Tom says:


    The 249 is generally a waste of ammo that should have been put in your rifle. I didn’t run into many weapons I had an outright dislike of in the army but this is one.

    Of course I personally don’t feel the need to own a full auto anything. It lost most of the novelty many years ago. Now I just want effective firearms that work for our situation.

    Don’t think I’ll be in need of suppressing a larger force in the near future.

  68. avatar Michael says:

    How short is the barrel?
    Looks like an AR pistol mated with a Machine gun.
    Can I have one with a SIG pistol arm brace for the Rambo look

  69. avatar Run4 says:

    Hell yes I would.

  70. avatar The Stig says:

    I’d only buy a FN MAG/240B. Love that gun.

  71. avatar Ed A says:

    I own the M249S model so I would have to say yes to the Auto Flavor

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