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Old March 10, 2013, 11:11 PM   #1
4V50 Gary
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M-60 question

So I just read Presidio Press' book, Brothers, the story of two blacks who fought in Viet Nam. One was leg infantry and the other airborne.

Anyway, the infantryman got stuck with the M-60 and in a combined arms assault (infantry, cavalry and tanks) they expected high casualties. The NVA already took out one tank when they did their reconnaisance by fire. When the second assault came, he overwhelmed the NVA with his M-60. He didn't fire seven shot bursts but continual belt long bursts. He totally dominated them with accurate and sustained fire. Guys identified targets and he hosed it. When it was over, the NVA fled and he earned the DSC.

He commented that when the M-60 heated up as it did, it would rattle apart. Metal expansion saw pins work their way out. The tray cover would pop and the gun would seize up.

I think it's possible considering the way it was used, but can anybody confirm it?
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:21 AM   #2
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Fired the M60 a few times, Navy days, never put it to the test like that. Let me just say that holding, feeding, and aiming an M60 is an experience that you'll never forget.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
He commented that when the M-60 heated up as it did, it would rattle apart. Metal expansion saw pins work their way out. The tray cover would pop and the gun would seize up.

I think it's possible considering the way it was used, but can anybody confirm it?
Took me a long time before I could talk about it but YES it can and does happen.

I know for a fact it happened 45 years ago yesterday (Mar 10, 1968) Cause I did it.

Sometimes you think you have to, I've been debating this in my mind for 45 years. I wonder if things would have turned out different if I fired the 6 round burst your suppose to instead of 100 round burst.

I will say the gun didn't hold up as long as I would have liked. It'll go a long time with 6 round burst.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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Got them hot enough that you'd get a run a way,but never to the point that they'd self destruct.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
never to the point that they'd self destruct.
Don't bet your life on that.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:13 PM   #6
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I never carried one in country, but I saw guys pee on the bbl to cool it down. However, I was a tacticts instructor at Camp Geiger in 1970 and during a live fire drill at the infitration course, we managed to burn 3 of the up. Head in structor said "fire in 3 to 5 round bursts. Yea right, we three instructors each had linked together 2 200rd belts per gun. Got them so damn hot you could take your finger off the trigger and they kept on firing. Had to twist the belt to jam them so they would stop. Next time at the range they gave 1917 Brownings, water cooled. Couldn't break those bad boys.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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Usually a runaway is caused by improper trigger manipulation which leads to worn parts.
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Old March 13, 2013, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote: Usually a runaway is caused by improper trigger manipulation which leads to worn parts.
I've had those barrels "Rockin Red", my gunner wore that Kevlar glove but he was still apprehensive about switching the badboy out.. I've had runaways, but only after sustained fire of over a hundred rounds,(hence belts linked together) I was amazed at the accuracy of this weapon, it hit targets with surgical accuracy up to 750 meters, like in the "back door" of an ole burnt out APC, and old "pillboxes"...... I love that weapon!!!
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Old March 13, 2013, 08:34 PM   #9
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Re: M-60 question

The 60 was getting phased put when I was getting in, but.I did get to spend some time with it on the ranges. Got several red hot and they kept together for me, but that was no where near how hard guys in country worked them.
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Old March 13, 2013, 11:00 PM   #10
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My first job was as a 60 gunner before I got tapped for Driver slot on my own M113. I never had a bad experience with it right on thru Tet '68 ... I know that our 60 gunner shot up at least 1200 rounds the morning we got overrun. (maybe an hour long firefight?) When we were trying to get out of there on foot after our Track was shot to hell and burning, he still had that 60 (no ammo) and as far as I know it was still working. Still, stuff happens and I won't say "never" ... not ever!
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Old March 30, 2013, 10:58 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone for their input. As an update

I spoke with my neighbor who used to be a M-60 man. He told me that changing barrels was not really done by all the guys he served with. In a firefight, they didn't care.
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Old March 30, 2013, 03:37 PM   #12
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M60s would fall apart just getting carried... the spring that retained the pins that hold the grip on were notorious for falling off. Once the spring fell off, the pins were next. Once the pins were gone, the grip fell off.

I saw a the sun come up on a road march once, and the '60 gunner was missing his whole grip assembly. He had no idea where it went, it had parted ways some time in the night.
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Old April 1, 2013, 10:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
M60s would fall apart just getting carried... the spring that retained the pins that hold the grip on were notorious for falling off. Once the spring fell off, the pins were next. Once the pins were gone, the grip fell off.

I saw a the sun come up on a road march once, and the '60 gunner was missing his whole grip assembly. He had no idea where it went, it had parted ways some time in the night.
Especially if you install them incorrectly or don't keep them bent the right way.
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Old April 1, 2013, 11:10 AM   #14
m.p.driver
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No,a runaway is caused by chambering the next round into a red hot chamber,so it cooks off.Having fired probably over 200,000 rounds out of the 60's i can say it was a fine weapon.Those who bad mouthed them either didnt know what they were doing,or had never fired one.
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Old April 1, 2013, 02:55 PM   #15
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I think with the upgrades done by US Ordnance the E4 model is a rock solid reliable weapon. The new improved Stellite lined barrel can handle long sustained fire compared to the older standard barrel.
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Old April 1, 2013, 03:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
No,a runaway is caused by chambering the next round into a red hot chamber,so it cooks off.Having fired probably over 200,000 rounds out of the 60's i can say it was a fine weapon.Those who bad mouthed them either didnt know what they were doing,or had never fired one.
Really? How does a cook-off cause the bolt to bypass the sear and sear notch on the op rod? Provided the trigger is not depressed at the time.

A cook-off is not the same as a run away gun.

Last edited by Striker1; April 1, 2013 at 04:28 PM.
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Old April 14, 2013, 04:18 AM   #17
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The M-60 GPMG...

The older military M60 7.62mmNATO weapons were awful. Our cadre & NCOs in training told us to be careful with them & how they needed safety wires.

I never liked them in my four year enlistment.
FWIW; Col Charles "Chargin Charlie" Beckwith the US Army officer who started & ran the Delta Force or SFOD-1, selected German HK heavy machine guns for his Delta troops(aka: D-Boys) in the Broken Wing/Desert One rescue operation in 1980. The Delta armorers & "head-shed" had 0 faith in the chunky, clunky M-60s.

Newer models work far better. SEALs & SWCC(specwar) use a improved, compact M-60 7.62mmNATO system. They still call them; pigs.

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Old April 14, 2013, 12:38 PM   #18
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As unit armorer loved the M2 and tolerated the M60 if I was range officer and could control how it was handled. In the field it was a rare day when I got an M60 back that I didn't have to replace/repair something on it. Mostly because our young non combat types treated it like an indestructible 100% reliable machine and would go Hollywood on it. I could shoot it just fine but was never a fan.
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Old April 14, 2013, 06:20 PM   #19
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Usually a runaway is caused by improper trigger manipulation which leads to worn parts.
I've had them runaway when the barrel got red hot. I remember one night when the belts were linked and the barrel got so hot that you could see it glow across the LZ. At that time in my career, I was playing with the foot-sloggers and never really liked the M60. Later I transitioned into tanks and when I got my own track, I really liked the M2, but I never had much use for the M60. (In full disclosure, when I was in the infantry, I wasn't a maintainer, simply a user. I couldn't tell you why a M60 sucked, I just knew that it did. When I got into tanks, I learned the value of maintenance and tried hard to learn all the ins-and-outs of keeping the vehicle moving.)
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Old April 15, 2013, 06:17 AM   #20
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In my experience, the M60 was as good as your troop armorer. While TCing the M901, the M60 was my crew served weapon and I don't recall any issues with reliability. Later, when I was TC of a M113 Dragon wagon, the M2 was my favorite, but my grunts had an M60 for dismount work and it was a keeper, too. OTOH, when I arrived at Ft.Stewart, 24th ID, the M60 I was issued was lucky to run 4 or 5 rounds before a stoppage. Bad maintenance, I think.
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Old April 15, 2013, 02:40 PM   #21
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i like the 60 for what it is but all things being equal i would rather have the mag58. It always felt more"solid"

had a team sergeant killed by a cook off from a 60 in thailand

last round of the last firing order of the last day off training - jammed and the weapon was set to the side - he and the weapons guy went downrange stepped in from of the gun - bang !

I always thought that indeed it was his time - the odds were incredibly small


freakin bad Buddha that day
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Old April 15, 2013, 04:23 PM   #22
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The M60 was kind of the canary in the coal mine. If you heard hundred round bursts, well the stuff was on. It doesn't take that many belts to get the barrelglowing.

Last edited by Strafer Gott; April 15, 2013 at 07:58 PM.
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Old April 15, 2013, 07:32 PM   #23
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I wish they'd bring it back, I've held an E3/E4 model and it was significantly lighter than the 240B, the M60 weight is closer to the 5.56mm SAW. If I had the money that'd be the first full auto firearm in my safe.

Oh well, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we'd all have a merry Christmas.
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Old April 15, 2013, 08:52 PM   #24
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Having no experience with the -60, I asked Pops about it.

He said the Air Force at one point gave them M-60D(with spade grips) as door guns and he said they were the worst guns he dealt with in Vietnam. They shortly went back to .50 cals and mini-guns.

And I agree with Tuck, the idea behind the -E3 variant in appealing, or having something like the Mk-48 the SOCOM guys get.
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Old April 16, 2013, 03:51 PM   #25
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Really? How does a cook-off cause the bolt to bypass the sear and sear notch on the op rod? Provided the trigger is not depressed at the time.
Yea, I think you gota give this one to Stryker, I always thought it was the hot barrel thing as well, but thinking it through I believe he is correct.

Some of you may appreciate this video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXzkHxwaoV4


One night I was pulling CQ in Korea, I was on perhaps my second pack of smokes, was really bored and I was doing my security checks. I got to the arm's room and the armor was up working so I spent some time talking with him. As we talked I looked at the 60s hanging by their carry slings on pegs on the wall left of the cage, and it made me think. I was bored right?

I reached in, and through the bars I started dissembling the gun and pulled each and every peace through the bars and reassembled the gun outside the cage. The armorer wasn't happy, they had to rearrange everything the next day
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