Firearms / Machine guns / M60-E3

M60-E3

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    United States

  • NICKNAMES
    -

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1980’s

  • DESIGNER
    Saco Defense

  • PRODUCTION
    1986 - early 2000’s

  • PRODUCERS
    United States - Saco Defense
    United States - U.S. Ordnance

  • QUANTITY
    Unknown

  • UNIT COST
    $ 9.500 per unit in 2005

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Lighter than most medium machine guns
    More ergonomic than the original M60
    Low rate of fire aids stability
    Easy to use and clean
    Mediocre reliability and rapid wear
    Limited sustained fire capability

Introduction

The M60-E3 is a late Cold War era machine gun of US origin. The design objective was to improve the suitability of the M60 in the infantry role. When introduced the M60-E3 was one of the lightest and most portable 7.62mm machine guns.

Design

The M60-E3 retains the overall design and internal mechanism of the original M60. As such it is a belt fed gas operated weapon. The M60-E3 has been made much lighter by using lighter parts and thinner barrel. Ergonomics have been improved by fitting a forearm with vertical grip and placing the bipod further towards the rear.

Firepower

The M60-E3 fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round from 50, 100 and 200 round disintegrating belts. With a rate of fire of 500 to 650 rpm the M60-E3 is very controllable despite its limited weight. The sustained fire capability is limited. Firing 100 rounds per minute requires a barrel change every 5 minutes. With 200 rounds per minute a barrel change is required every 2 minutes.

Users

The M60-E3 was mainly adopted by US forces. In the 1990’s it was supplemented and replaced by the heavier and more reliable M240. The M60-E3 was exported but not in similar quantities as the original M60. The heavier and more reliable M60-E4 replaced the M60-E3 in production in the year 2000.

Variants

M60-E3

The M60-E3 is a lighter and more ergonomic redesign of the M60. It was produced in only one variant. Later on a shorter barrel was made available. Due to its lighter barrel and less durable parts a vehicle mounted weapon based on the M60-E3 made little sense and was not developed. The M60-E3 can be distinguished from the original M60 by the forward grip and bipod placement. The newer M60-E4 looks rather similar to the M60-E3.

TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
MagazineBelt fed, 50, 100 rounds
OperationGas operated, rotating bolt, fires from open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire500 - 650 rpm
Barrel length440 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity?
StockFixed
Length957 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight8.78 kg
SightsIron sights
RemarksBipod, forward grip
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x51mm NATO
MagazineBelt fed, 50, 100 rounds
OperationGas operated, rotating bolt, fires from open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire500 - 650 rpm
Barrel length558 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity853 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.077 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight8.96 kg
SightsIron sights
RemarksBipod, forward grip

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