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.
The M60 is a gas-operated, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 lbs), 3 kg (6.6 lbs) lighter than the M/62. The weapon's slower cyclic rate of 550 rounds per minute is significantly less than the M/62's 1,200 rounds 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.