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M60



Overview


M60

Right side view of soldier with M60 fitted onto a tripod.
Source: US DOD (unknown photographer) - © public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Machine gun
Entered service
1957
Status
In service
Development
Late 1940's - 1957
Production
1957 - present
Producers
United States - Saco Defense
United States - U.S. Ordnance
South Korea
Produced under license since 1974.
Taiwan
Unit cost
$ 11.175 per unit in 2008
Designations
T161
Prototype designation
T57
Taiwanese service

Description


Introduction

The M60 is an early Cold War era machine gun of US origin. It was designed after World War 2 to replace the BAR and M1919. The design is based on the Nazi German FG-42 and MG42 machine guns, although it has very different characteristics than both weapons. Due to its widespread use during the Vietnam war the M60 has become an iconic firearm.

Design

The M60 is a belt fed gas operated weapon that fires from the open bolt position. The gas tube is located below the barrel and the flow of gas cannot be adjusted. The belt cover hinged forward for reloading and the belt is fed from left to right. The M60 features a quick change barrel with a bipod that is placed very far forward. Iron sights are fitted, including a ladder type rear sight. The M60 can be mounted onto a light tripod.

Firepower

The M60 fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round from 50, 100 and 200 round disintegrating link belts. With a rate of fire of only 500 to 650 rpm the M60 is very controllable despite its limited weight. The maximum range is quoted as 1.1 km. The location of the bipod aids accuracy but makes it more difficult to transition to a different target.

Users

The M60 was extensively used by US forces in the early Cold War era, most notably during the Vietnam war. It has been exported to various US allies. Use with other NATO nations was limited due to the availability of the more rugged but heavier Belgian MAG. In US service the M60 was replaced by the M240 (MAG). Quantities of the more modern M60-E3 and M60-E4 have been acquired as well. The M60 remains in widespread use today, mainly in Asia and South America.

Details


M60

Right side view of M60.
Source: www.world.guns.ru - © copyright lies with original owner

Variants of the original M60

M60
Original production version for infantry use. By far the most common version.
M60D
Model for use on flexible mount on vehicles and helicopters. It features spade grips.
M60-E2
Solenoid fired model for use as a coaxial machine gun. Fitted with a heavy barrel and gas evacuator.
Facts M60
General
Origin
United States
Type
Machine gun
Caliber
Caliber
7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine
Belt fed, 50, 100 rounds
Barrel length
560 mm
Rifling
4 grooves, 305 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
853 m/s
Operation
Action
Gas operated, rotating bolt, fires from open bolt
Fire selector
0 - F
Rate of fire
500 - 650 rpm
Dimensions
Stock type
Fixed
Length
1.105 mm
Weight
11.1 kg
Sights
Type
Iron sights
Sight radius
540 mm
Accessories
Bipod
Fixed foldable bipod

Media


Related articles


M60-E3

The M60-E3 is a further development of the M60 that is even lighter. It is also better suited for use by a single person.