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M60-E3



Overview


M60-E3

Rear view of US marine with M60-E3
Source: USMC (PH1 Chuck Mussi) - © public domain

Origin
United States
Type
Machine gun
Entered service
1986
Status
In service
Development
Early 1980's
Developer
United States - Saco Defense
Production
1986 - early 2000's
Producers
United States - Saco Defense
United States - U.S. Ordnance
Unit cost
$ 9.500 per unit in 2005

Description


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.

Details


M60-E3

M60-E3 with short barrel.
Source: www.world.guns.ru - © copyright lies with original owner

The 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.

Facts M60-E3 M60-E3 (short barrel)
General
Origin
United States
Type
Machine gun
Caliber
Caliber
7.62x51mm NATO
Magazine
Belt fed, 50, 100 rounds
Barrel length
558 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
1.077 mm
Weight
8.96 kg
Sights
Type
Iron sights
Accessories
Bipod
Fixed foldable bipod
Forward grip

Media


Related articles


M60

The M60-E3 has been derived from the original M60, which became an iconic weapon during the Vietnam war.