Originally Posted by ThunderCactus
I can see your point. My 249s been running on the same mechbox for 5 years without fail, I know a few guns that could boast the same. But not everyone has access to a great gunsmith, and even fully upgraded AEGs can be prone to fault.
So what about upgrading your LMG to a P*? =D
My stock M249 (an A&K at that) has been perfectly reliable, second only to my scratch built AK105 which I'd built as a winter gun: almost everything beside the selector plate, piston body, tappet plate and trigger assy. are high quality metal aftermarket parts.
The downside to it, as with all CA/A&K 249s, is [what I believe to be
] the poor piston seal which limits upper velocity to about 360 fps no matter what spring you put into it. Since I cannibalized external parts off my '105 for the GBBR incarnation, I plan on re-building the 249's mechbox from the ground up using those upgraded parts, as well as throw in a MOSFET salvaged from my old SAM-R (off which I removed the beautiful GB-Tech KAC RAS for use in an eventual gas Mk12 Mod 1 upper).
That's the one area AEGs win hands down: sustained automatic fire (if you want it to be anywhere near consistent without carrying a scuba tank all day to power it).
The downside to the 249 is the freakin box mags. Not even in reference to their reliability, but more because we're a highly milsim, realcap -oriented, recon-loving group... and the supersized tactical maracas which is the box mag totally blows, making a ton of noise anytime you tilt or shift the gun ever so slightly. I once successfully experimented making a realcap G36 (AEG) drum and wanted to do that with the 249, but finding appropriate springs has left me stumped.