A medium machine gun, used by the US military. It is gas-operated, air-cooled, and belt-fed, using a roller-locked bolt. It fires the NATO 7.62x51mm ammunition (the military version of the .308 Winchester rifle cartridge) at a rate of approximately 550 rounds per minute. In practice, however, a gunner would never fire such a long burst.more...
The M60 (also seen as M-60) was intended to be a General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) that could perform all combat roles well enough. However, it proved to be heavy and unreliable in service, and was soon known as "The Pig" by American troops.
One of its primary disadvantages as a machinegun with a lightweight barrel, for field use rather than emplacement use, is that the barrel could not easily be changed for a fresh one, as the bipod and gas system were permanently attached to the barrel. This greatly limited the weapon's practical rate of fire, as the barrel should be replaced after roughly every 200 rounds when in rapid-fire engagements. Without being able to change barrels, gunners had to restrict their bursts of fully automatic fire to short, spaced ones rather than the longer bursts that machine guns are tactically intended for.
Further, its firing pin and other small parts of the firing system were notoriously weak and prone to breakage and failure.
The M60 was later revised to the M60E3 standard, lightening the barrel further, along with other components, and moving the bipod to the gas cylinder housing in order to allow quicker...
The M60 GPMG (Genal Purpose Machine Gun) more properly known as the M60E1 is an American general-purpose machine gun, firing the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO cartridge. In the U.S. military, it has largely been replaced by the M240 machine gun.more...
The M60 can be used in both offensive and defensive configurations. In the offense, it provides a higher rate of fire, greater effective range, and uses a larger-caliber bullet than the standard U.S. assault rifle, the M16. In defensive use, the long-range, close defensive, and final protective fires delivered by the M60 form an integral part of a unit's battle plan.
The M60 is effective to 1,100 meters when firing at an area target and mounted on a tripod, to 800 meters when firing at an area target using the integral bipod, to 600 meters when firing at a point target, and to 200 meters when firing at a moving point target. U.S. 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.
The M60 is considered to be a "crew-served weapon" which means that it is usually operated by more than one soldier, in this case two - the gunner and an assistant. The gunner carries the weapon while the assistant carries a spare barrel and extra ammunition in linked belts. The basic ammunition load carried by the crew is 600 to 900 rounds, which at the maximum rate of fire allows for approximately two minutes of continuous firing. In man...