US M60 7.62mm Machine Gun

  • Firearms Thru History
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

The iconic and Battle tested Model 60 Machine Gun , was the workhorse of America’s Military Forces since it’s deployment in 1957. The replacement for The Browning Automatic Rifle of World War II fame, it was the primary Squad Machine Gun of The Vietnam War. Considered a Crew Served weapon requiring 3-men, most often only 2 were deployed. The M60 was 40-inches long and weighed 24-pounds. This gave it several nicknames by Vietnam Era Soldiers such as The “MF” and “Pig”. The M60 fired a belt-fed, 7.62mm jacketed round, up to 1,200-yards. It was a gas-operated, rotating bolt system, capable of a cyclic rate of 500 to 600-rounds per minute. The M60 featured a barrel mounted tripod as well as a detachable mid-mounted tripod to facilitate traversing. These were rarely used in actual field operations, and were deployed only in Fortifications and emplacements. The M60, while designed for fixed use, was frequently fired in a basic Rifle hold position or mid-waist firing position. As a matter of targeting, the best-liked ammunition was a Tracer design. This meant that every 3 round had a phosphorus paint (Orange) applied. Thus “illuminated” the rounds to make targeting easier, especially at night. Every Infantry Squad was issued a M60. This meant that 4 were present in an average Platoon. So effective, The M60 was reconfigured to be used as Aerial, Ship and Armor protective weapons. Some designs were made into Dual and Quad mounted designs for these purposes. Despite known operational issues, The M60 survived into the late 1980s until phased out of general Inventory by The M248 Squad Automatic Weapon. Nonetheless, it was still used by many US Special Operations Forces well into the 21st Century and also many other Nations still.