M60 Machine Gun
M60 Machine Gun 2
Manufactured: 1957
Industry: Saco Defense
Barrel: 560 mm (22.0 in)
Region of Origin: United States
  • Direct impingement / Rotating bolt
Cartridge: 7.62×51mm NATO

1,200 yd (1,100 m)

Rate of Fire: 500–650 rounds/min (rpm)
  • United States Military
  • United States Inland Army
  • Tribe of Shadows (Side Rifle)
Years Active: 1957-Present

The M60 (formally named United States Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M60) is a family of American general-purpose machine guns firing 7.62×51mm NATO cartridges from a disintegrating belt of M13 links. There are several types of live ammunition approved for use in the M60, including ball, tracer, and armor-piercing rounds.

Introduced in 1957, it has served with every branch of the U.S. military and still serves with other armed forces. Its manufacture and continued upgrade for military and commercial purchase continues into the 21st century, though it has been replaced or supplemented in most roles by other designs, notably the M240 in U.S. service.

Design Edit

The M60 is a gas-operated, air-cooled, belt-fed, automatic machine gun that fires from the open-bolt position and is chambered for the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge. Ammunition is usually fed into the weapon from a 100-round bandolier containing a disintegrating, metallic split-link belt.

The design drew on many common concepts in firearms manufacture of the period, such as stamped sheet metal construction, belt feed (a modified mechanism for belt feed from the MG42 with a single pawl), quick barrel replacement, a pistol grip and stock, and a Semi bullpup design similar to the FG42 (much of the action occupies the weapon's stock). The M60's operating system of an operating rod turning a rotating bolt was inspired by the FG42, which was based on the much earlier Lewis Gun. The M60's gas operation is unique, and drew on technical advances of the period, particularly the White "gas expansion and cutoff" principle also exploited by the M14 rifle. The M60's gas system was simpler than other gas systems and easier to clean.

The straight-line layout allowed the operating rod and buffer to run directly back into the buttstock and reduce the overall length of the weapon.

As with all such weapons, it can be fired from the shoulder, hip, or underarm position. However, to achieve the maximum effective range, it is recommended that a bipod-steadied position or a tripod-mounted position be used and fired in bursts of 3–5 rounds. The weapon is heavy and difficult to aim when firing without support, though the weight helps reduce the felt recoil. The large grip also allowed the weapon to be conveniently carried at the hip. The gun can be stripped using a live round of ammunition as a tool. However, this is highly discouraged, as doing so can damage that round and increase the chance of a misfire.

The M60 is often used with its own integrated bipod or with the M122 tripod. The M60 is considered effective up to 1,100 meters when firing at an area target and mounted on a tripod; up to 800 meters when firing at an area target using the integral bipod; up to 600 meters when firing at a point target; and up to 200 meters when firing at a moving point target. United States Marine Corps doctrine holds that the M60 and other weapons in its class are capable of suppressive fire on area targets out to 1,500 meters if the gunner is sufficiently skilled.

Originally an experimental M91 tripod was developed for the M60, but an updated M2 tripod design was selected over it which became the M122. The M122 would be itself replaced in the 2000s (decade) by a new mount, in time for the M60 to also be used with it.

Trivia Edit

  • The M60, was known to rival the MG.42, during the United Nazi War Series, though slower, it was known to be more powerful...
  • In the Novel Axis 7, the MG.42 was known to be the Main Machine Gun in Nazi Occupied America, The M60's development in the mid 50's brought about a rivalry between both Machine guns, but Nazi military units, used the M60, mostly due to It's Power...
  • The M60 was the only American Machine gun to enter the Nazi Regime military reserve along side the MG.42, in Occupied America, during the mid 50's...