|Description||The current implementation and handling of the SAW isn't terrible, but in my opinion it leaves a bit to be desired. While in real life the SAW isn't a terribly accurate weapon (wasn't ever issued one, but trained with them in the Marines), I feel that the recoil of the M249 in-game prevents it from being effective in the vast majority of situations. I understand the intent in the balancing of the SAW is to make it less effective than a rifle when not supported/braced or when using the bipod, which is true to reality. Where reality differs, however, is that the reason the M249 is more effective when supported is due to weight, not recoil.|
An M249 weighs roughly 2-3 times an M4A1 and fires the same round, but in-game is much less controllable than an M4 due to its recoil, coupled with the fact that it can only be fired fully automatic. In reality, the SAW is cumbersome and slow to get "on target" due to its weight and poor handling, but once firing is relatively controllable in terms of recoil. It's still an area-fire weapon, but you can hit a target that's exposed relatively easily without needing to dump 20 rounds to do so.
I would suggest that the recoil of the M249 be lowered rather significantly, but the inertia and weapon sway be increased dramatically. This would still serve the purpose of making the SAW objectively worse than a rifle in quickly engaging targets, as it would be a pain to actually aim. That being said, the reduced recoil would be much more manageable and allow for the machine gunner to actually engage targets with a bit more success when non-supported, and make the weapon more effective when the bipod is deployed.