The M231 FPW (Firing Port Weapon) was designed for the M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. The Rock Island Arsenal worked with the World War 2-era M3 submachine gun, another FPW based on the HK33, and an adapted AR-15/M16-pattern weapon before deciding that the last weapon had promising qualities and was given the designation XM231.
Colt was given the contract for the weapon and continued working on the design, and the weapon was finalized in 1979 and adopted as the M231.
The original Rock Island Arsenal XM231 fired from an open bolt, giving the weapon an incredible rate of fire, at 1050 RPM (Rounds Per Minute). After Colt received the design, a special buffer and spring assembly limited the rate of fire to 200 RPM, thereby eliminating the risk that users would expend their ammunition before their weapon was brought to target.
At some point during development, the weapon's fire rate was reintroduced at the 1100-1200 RPM range.
Officially, the M231 is not to be detached from its parent vehicle unless in an emergency, and the operator's manual warns of precautions that would have to be taken when using the weapon outside the vehicle. In-game, this rule is clearly violated.
The M231 is a powerful, high recoil assault rifle added in the Phantom Forces Beta. The M231 is very powerful, deadly at close range, and requires some serious compensation without any Attachments. The high RoF (Rate of Fire) is helped with the M231 having 150 rounds in reserve. With this in mind, if the recoil can be controlled, it can become a very efficient weapon that is virtually impossible to beat in a close range scenario, with the second fastest TTK (Time to Kill) in the whole game.
The M231 is capable of killing an enemy at full health in 3 shots anywhere on the body up until 100 studs. Beyond this range, the M231 will kill in 4 shots to the body, however it will always kill a full health enemy with 3 headshots. With a Suppressor equipped, the damage will drop off faster.
The M231 can be construed as the bigger and faster-firing older brother of the Colt SMG 635. Users of the Colt may find the M231 very familiar, with both severely increased recoil and a more powerful round. This results in more effectiveness at close range than the Colt SMG 635 at the cost of ranged capability and ammunition consumption. Possessing the same ammo as most Assault Rifles,the 5.56x45mm round, giving the M231 much more viability, as this balances out it's high ammo consumption rate by allowing for more frequent resupplies.
Usage & Tactics
Attachments can aid in giving the user better control over the recoil of the M231. Unfortunately, decrease in vertical recoil is negligible regardless of attachments. Lasers can be very valuable attachments, as they are an excellent substitute for optics and a solution for the M231's lack of Iron Sights by hip firing instead of ADS. Generally, optics are not recommended because the M231's vertical recoil composes more of a diagonal climb than a straight upward climb; which obstructs the reticles of said optics. However, it is possible to use the laser as an improvised sight as the laser still accurately tracks the weapon's fire.
Suppressors can help a bit in reducing recoil, but they do not provide nearly as much controllability as other muzzle devices. However, the ability to stay off the radar will help significantly against experienced enemies that use the radar. The penalty to muzzle velocity caused by Suppressors is unnoticeable in close range, where the M231 excels at.
Many players have experimented with success the possibility to lower recoil with Canted Iron Sights. The Ballistic Tracker is not recommended as bullet drop is not a big problem since long ranged combat is deterred by the weapon's recoil.
The M231 is a weapon oriented in Close Quarters Combat (CQC). With the damage of an Assault Rifle and the RoF of a PDW, it can be quite powerful once the user has mastered the recoil. Its fast reload can be handy, especially when the magazine is expended due to its fast RoF. Provided with good recoil control and the right attachments, the M231 can be a powerful weapon.
Pros & Cons
- Very quick TTK.
- Very small general damage drop-off.
- Good hip firing stability.
- Fast reload similar to the other AR-15 Family guns in-game, which can allow a user to quickly get back into fights.
- Has more reserve ammo than most assault rifles at 150 rounds than the usual 120.
- Good damage.
- Ammo is compatible with many weapons.
- Very high RoF.
- Extremely high vertical recoil.
- Vertical recoil can obstruct reticles of almost every optic except the VCOG 6x Scope.
- No Iron Sights are fitted.
- Fast RoF can force frequent reloads.
- Lower-than-average bullet speed for the Assault Rifle class, at 2,200 studs per second instead of the usual 2,500 studs per second.
- Fully automatic only.
- Third hardest gun to unlock, after the Obrez and Hecate II.
- The "Troll gun" is a nickname brought by the Stylis Studios developers who designed it to be extremely useless and uncontrollable to experienced and inexperienced players alike. Despite this, some players have been able to use the M231 effectively, despite the implied definition of a "Troll Gun."
- This weapon is currently the fifth fastest firing weapon in the game, the first being the ZIP 22. However, it's the second fastest firing automatic in-game, beaten by the TEC-9.
- The recoil of the M231 is very high, and cannot be mitigated effectively.
- Before the July 2017 update, the M231 used to have a semi-automatic fire mode. Combined with the VCOG 6x Scope scope, the M231 became a very effective DMR. This fire mode has since been removed.
- This was also due to the M231 not having a semi-automatic fire mode in real life.
- It is the only AR-15 platform weapon in-game not to have a rear or front Iron Sight and the second weapon in the game to not have any sights at all (first being the Obrez).
- The M231 is currently the only weapon in the game that is usable that is meant to specifically be mounted in a vehicle.
- Before the July 2017 update, the M231, when equipped with a VCOG 6x Scope and a Canted Iron/Delta Sight, it had virtually no recoil. This feature has since been removed.
- The rank to unlock the gun is coincidentally the exact same numbers in the gun's name.
- The M231 used to be the very last gun to be unlocked in-game. That title currently belongs to the Hecate II at Rank 150.
|Primary Weapons||Assault Rifles||AK-12 - AN-94 - AS VAL - SCAR-L - AUG A1 - M16A4 - G36 - M16A3 - AUG A2 - FAMAS - AK47 - AUG A3 - L85A2 - Honey Badger - AK74 - AKM - M231|
|Personal Defense Weapons||MP5K - UMP45 - MP7 - MAC-10 - P90 - MP5 - Colt SMG 635 - MP5SD - MP10 - MP5\10 - AUG A3 Para - Kriss Vector|
|Light Machine Guns||Colt LMG - M60 - Colt LMG - AUG HBAR - MG36 - RPK-12 - L86 LSW - RPK - SCAR-HAMR - RPK-74|
|Sniper Rifles||Intervention - Remington 700 - AWS - BFG 50 - Mosin Nagant - L115A3 - Hecate II [NEW!]|
|Carbines||M4 - G36C - M4A1 - L22 - SCAR-PDW - AKU-12 - AK-12C - SR-3M - Groza-1 - Groza-4|
|Designated Marksman Rifles||MK-11 - SKS - Dragunov SVU - VSS Vintorez - SCAR-SSR|
|Battle Rifles||SCAR-H - AK-12 BR - AG-3 - Henry 45-70|
|Shotguns||KSG-12 - Remington 870 - KS-23M - Stevens DB|
|Secondary Weapons||Pistols||M9 - G17 - M1911 - DEAGLE 44|
|Machine Pistols||G18 - M93R - TEC-9|
|Revolvers||MP412 REX - 1858 New Army [NEW!]|
|Other||Serbu Shotgun - ZIP 22 - SFG 50 - Sawed Off - Obrez|