View Full Version : Best All Around Belt Fed Machine Gun

June 13, 2001, 09:31 PM
What do you think the best belt fed machine gun is in terms of reliability, accuracy, etc.? If anyone says the M60, please tell me what unit you were in where you got M60s that worked. Ours were Jam-O-Matics....

June 14, 2001, 12:28 AM
Isn't the M60 worth it just for the intimidation factor?

June 14, 2001, 12:37 AM
I'm not basing this on any real life experience whatsoever... just the NATO Weapons Mod for Rainbow Six, :D

June 14, 2001, 10:17 AM
I do believe that the M60E3 model fixed most of the problems with the M60 system. But originally, the M60, like the M16A1, wasn't that great. It just required some experience through the Vietnam War to iron out most of the mistakes made in the system. Also, I'm not a big fan of 5.56mm belt fed machineguns. I think that the heavier caliber is more appropriate.

June 14, 2001, 11:14 AM
John Browning would be proud to use one.

I disagree with Apeach on belt-fed 5.56x45s. At the fireteam and squad level a 5.56 SAW gives much more portable, sustainable firepower than either a full auto magazine-fed rifle or a general purpose MG.

With a 5.56 SAW, you can carry 2x the ammo as with a 7.62 medium MG.

With AP ammo, the 5.56 matches the penetration ability of the 7.62. For fire and maneuver, a SAW can keep up with riflemen where a medium MG team cannot.

I'm not saying it's desirable to replace GPMGs with SAWs; both have their appropriate role: a GPMG like the M240G or the M60 is best in the role of making a base of fire for the maneuvering elements; a SAW is the firepower within the maneuver element.

Semper fi,
Bruegger out.

June 14, 2001, 12:05 PM
Now, I've never seen a real M60E3, much less am familiar with its operating system, BUT...

Doesn't the M60 have a method of firing that wears down the auto sear and that's why they run away all the time? I mean, I went through a SAW class, they didn't mention combating runaways, so I'm guessing that the SAW is much less prone to such a thing than the M60. From what I've heard the MAG 58 is an all around superior design.

HAs anybody here fired/used one? What's it like, especially compared to the M60?

June 14, 2001, 02:19 PM
According to Small Arms of the World, the MAG 58 is a BAR mechanism turned upside down and belt fed, it is considered to be bulletproof and a pretty dang good current design considering JMB came up with it in 1917. The works look exactly like the guts of a BAR. FN sells them all over the world including, IIRC, are you ready for this?? Germany!:cool:

June 14, 2001, 02:45 PM
To me, it is obvious that the best belt fed machine gun of all time is the M2 Browning. Lots of other machine guns have come and gone, but the M2 just keeps proving itself in conflict after conflict.

June 14, 2001, 06:16 PM
Nightcrawler - I'm familiar with the M60E3. The Marine Corps used 'em until 93 or 94. It was a substantial improvement over the earlier models, but doesn't hold a candle to the M240G in my book. Like BigG says, teh 240 is bulletproof. A worn sear is one of the things that will cause a runaway gun. I can't tell you if the sears are more likely to wear on a 60 than on a M240G tho...

You can wear out the sear on any MG by squeezing/unsqueezing the trigger too slowly and firing bursts that are too short. Proper trigger operation on an MG is NOT like on a target rifle -- it is to move the trigger to the rear and fire a manly burst of 5-7 rounds, then release the trigger.

Semper fi,
Bruegger out.

June 16, 2001, 03:55 PM

Your post:

I do believe that the M60E3 model fixed most of the problems with the M60 system. But originally, the M60, like the M16A1, wasn't that great. It just required some experience through the Vietnam War to iron out most of the mistakes made in the system. .

What were the problems? I carried a 60 for 4 months in 1968 and the only time it missed a beat was in a fire fight that the gas cyclinder plug loosened up and that was my fault.


June 16, 2001, 09:40 PM
I've heard conflicting stories of reliability about the M60. Some people, like you, have a perfect (or nearly so) track record with it, and others had a bad time with the weapon. I would figure that it was the weapon, or maybe you took better care of it. But what I should have said is that I believe that the M60E3 is more uniformly reliable in general than the M60 was, as in fewer people had reliability problems. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

June 20, 2001, 02:43 AM
I have used and carried a number of different M60 machine guns. I fired three M60's during Basic and AIT at Fort Benning, all were 100% reliable for me. I carried two and fired four (at different times of course) M60's while assigned to 1st BN / 7th INF in Germany. They were all 100% reliable, even with blanks and a properly adjusted blank adapter. I also fired M60's while assigned to National Guard units in Arizona, Oregon and Ohio that were 100% reliable. Operator error is the number one cause of most problems with most weapon systems.

June 21, 2001, 05:23 PM
Bruegger, have you had any trouble with your SAW's breaking? I'm not talking about stoppages, I'm talking about the 'crap-I-don't-know-what the hell-just-happened-take-it-to-the-armorer-immediately' kind of breakage. Ours go to hell all the time when we go live. Blank ammo they're fine with, but people are always turning the SAWS back into me with blank looks on their faces when we go for live shoots. BTW, I'm not an armorer, but rather a radio operator. We just happen to keep our radios in the cage, so the armorer uses us as armorer-lackeys ;)

Blades67, when you say 'properly adjusted BFA' all I could think of was the cigarette butt down the barrel trick. I've always had trouble getting the 240G to fire with blanks, even after changing the gas regulator to all three sizes. I'll stick a cig-butt down the tip of the barrel, then screw on the BFA. An old gunny taught me that one...