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M60
M60
Country of origin

United States of America

Designer(s)

Saco Defense, US Ordnance

Production began

1957

Weapon type

General purpose machine gun

Caliber

7.62x51mm NATO

Action

Gas operated, Open bolt

Overall length

1105 millimeters

Barrel length

560 millimeters

Weight

10.5 kilograms

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

100/200 rounds

Cyclic rate

550 rounds per minute[1]

Maximum effective range

1100 meters (1200 yards)

Muzzle velocity

853 meters per second


The M60 is a general purpose machine gun chambered for the 7.62x51mm NATO round. The design was based on the famous WW2 MG42 general purpose machine gun as well as the FG42 paratrooper rifle.

HistoryEdit

It saw much of its service in the jungles of Vietnam, used as a suppressive machine gun. Even though the M240 is more accurate and has a faster rate of fire, the M60(E3/E4) weighs only 8.5kg, making it favorable for special operations. It also played a background role during the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia in the mid 90s for the Army Rangers. The M60 was used in Kuwait and Iraq in Operation Desert Storm. It is also used (albeit rarely, as it has been almost completely phased out in favor of the M240) in some parts of Iraq and Afghanistan today.

Design detailsEdit

The M60 is a gas-operated and air-cooled 7.62 NATO general purpose machine gun that fires from an open bolt. It can be fired from the shoulder or mounted on a bipod, tripod, or vehicle. The M60 is fed from a belt, and is (was) issued with two barrels due to its intended usage. It features a safety switch; the weapon can be put on safe or fire (auto).

It features 1:12 rifling twist in its barrel; the bore has four lands.

SightsEdit

The rear aperture sight is adjustable for range, from 300 meters to 1100 meters, as well as for windage. The front sight assembly features a post; the tip of the post should be centered in the rear sight aperture. On the M60D, the rear sight is not adjustable.

VariantsEdit

M60DEdit

The M60D is a modified M60 for the use of Huey helicopters. A modification of the same gun that the infantry used. It had a spade grip, bullseye sight and pintle gun mount. Most M60D used did not have bipod barrel, but some gunners did carry them incase the helicopter crashes.

M60E3Edit

M60E3

M60E3

The M60E3 was developed and introduced in the mid-1980s as a lighter weight version with minor changes to the bipod, safety, carrying handle and gas system. It too incorporated Stellite into the bore and chamber to improve wear resistance.

M60E4Edit

The M60E4 (also known as the Mk 43 Mod 0) is a variant of the M60 with a rail info system and a shorter buttstock. It is used by Special Operation forces.

M60E6Edit

An improvement on the M60E4, this weapon won the Danish Army's GPMG replacement program to replace the M/62 in March 2014 against the HK121. The weight has been reduced to 9.27 kg (20.4 lb), 3 kg (6.6 lb) lighter than the M/62. The weapon's slower rate of fire of 550 rounds per minute is significantly less than the M/62's 1,200 round per minute, but it allows for better control, greater accuracy, more conservation of ammunition, more versatile firing positions, and less risk of collateral damage from losing control while shooting. Changes to the rail system and bipod have been made, and a significant number of internal improvements have also increased reliability.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. U.S. Army M60 Operator's manual, TM 9-1005-224-10

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