Vietnam War

Was the M60 loved or hated?

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  1. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    it was hated for being heavy, unreliable, and prone to getting dirty
    it was loved because it was decently good to fire from the shoulder and, frankly, because it was the only belt-fed they had at the platoon level

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >it was hated for being heavy, unreliable, and prone to getting dirty
      Just like my ex wife.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >heavy

      It's actually substantially lighter than the FN MAG which is one of the reasons why it was adopted in the first place.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        its less that the M60 itself was heavy, but that it was often used as a SAW, so a single person had to carry it at all times
        the belt-fed M16 and M14s were cancelled, leaving squads with no dedicated MG, so the solution was usually to dissolve their machine gun section and hand out the M60s to the squads

        while light for a GPMG, it was still 2kg heavier than the M1918A2 it replaced
        and while the M240 was heavier still, by the time it was adopted 1991, they had a proper SAW in the M249 and no longer had to issue GPMGs to squads
        so the M60 has been the heaviest weapon issued to rifle squads ever, barring instances where a rifle squad "borrowed" an M1919A6 from someone else

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >the M1918A2 it replaced
          Holy shit, I never realized the US Army kept it around for that long, I assumed they dumped it after WW2. It seemed near obsolete by that point.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Ordinance board shenanigans do be like that

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            M1918A2 and M1919A6 were used up until korea, before being replaced by the M60 in 1957
            The US was suffering from huge budget cuts after the war, so they went into korea with mostly WW2 era equipment

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              *addendum: M1919s rechambered in 7.62 were used in Vietnam at least by the navy

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                That seems okay, it's a belt fed on a fixed mount, but the BAR as a SAW was already looking a bit long in the tooth by the start of WW2.

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Yeah just reenforcing how old stuff can stick around, even in diminished roles

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          The M60 (on paper) didn’t replace the M1918 though.
          The M60 was supposed to replace M1919s. The M1918 was supposed to be replaced by that wonky M14 squad automatic rifle, and then later the role was dropped when M16s were adopted because “everybody could be a squad automatic rifleman” (in the same logic current marines use for IAR to ditch M249s).

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >The M60 (on paper) didn’t replace the M1918 though.
            >The M60 was supposed to replace M1919s
            That was literally explained in the post, though

            >the belt-fed M16 and M14s were cancelled, leaving squads with no dedicated MG, so the solution was usually to dissolve their machine gun section and hand out the M60s to the squads

  2. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    The aussies used M60 and MAG both in vietnam, it would be interesting to see how they compared them but the only conversation you ever see about australian weapons in vietnam is fal vs m16

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      MAG wasn’t used in Nam. Some of them were used by diggers in Malaya manning fixed MG positions on British bases however.

  3. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I asked my vet friend who was there in 65-66 and was an assistant gunner. He would not let me talk shit about it. I asked about the durability issues and he said they never happened for him. I guess the problem with the gas system or the oprod didnt happen to him mostly because at that point the guns were still new.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      My understanding is that the guns were much more loved in the 60s, but by the mid-70s they were gaped out which is where they earned theajority of the bad reputation.
      Even into the 2000s American special operations were using (well cared for) M60s by choice since it’s much better in the mobile light machinegun role than the M240B that was the alternative at the time.

  4. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    From what I've read it's kind of complicated. The guns worked well when new but there were some fundamental issues like the bipod location for example. Worn out M60s meanwhile are hated by everyone with a passion.
    As for being heavy, yes it's heavy but it's still lighter than an FN MAG or MG3. In Vietnam the NVA had some limited numbers of PK machine guns but these weren't the later PKM so the weight difference between the M60 would have been pretty minor and offset by the fact that 7.62 NATO is a bit lighter in bulk than 7.62x54R. The PK was still a better gun to be honest though.
    I doubt anyone who had to suffer through carrying an M1919A6 around would ever complain about the M60 being heavy.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      With regards to the NVA and autorifles, I was struck by how much macsog loved and I mean loved RPDs. Shit was like candy to them it seems like.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        because there wasn't anything like it in NATO militaries

        • 4 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          And for a good reason. 7.62x39 is not far from .308 in terms of weight but has that rainbow trajectory that makes it useless at range. Maybe it wasn't that detrimental in vietnamese jungle but it's still weird like that.

          • 4 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >in vietnamese jungle
            I guess the attraction was that it hit that sweet spot between 5.56 NATO and 7.62 NATO where it had the higher damage and penetration of 7.62 but was lighter than the longer NATO round

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Isn't that pretty much the same reason places like Finland have (so far) stuck to 7.62x39, it performs better in thick forests because the heavy round doesn't deflect as easily as a 5.56 or 5.45?

            • 4 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              >it had the higher damage and penetration of 7.62

              us army surgeons in vietnam broadly concluded that unless m43 hit a major bone, its wounding characteristics were most similar to .38 special. it's just not a very well designed projectile.

              Isn't that pretty much the same reason places like Finland have (so far) stuck to 7.62x39, it performs better in thick forests because the heavy round doesn't deflect as easily as a 5.56 or 5.45?

              finland has always been trying to do a lot of war preparation with not a lot of money - the finnish figure of speech is "rubber boots and fighter jets". any actual difference in performance came in a distant second place to budget. also i'm pretty sure they're jointly developing a 5.56 rifle with sweden.

              • 4 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Good point. In the crack cocaine gang wars of the 1990s, a lot of "public transportation DJs" survived drive-bys because the popular weapon at the time was the AKM. If the 7.62 x 39 fmj does not hit bone, it tends to produce 38 special type of wounds.

                If you dig around on the internet, you can find scholarly articles concerning the forensics of 762x39 wounds.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                well what if it hits major bone?
                and by "penetration", I should have clarified, I meant better penetration of jungle vegetation than 5.56

                Isn't that pretty much the same reason places like Finland have (so far) stuck to 7.62x39, it performs better in thick forests because the heavy round doesn't deflect as easily as a 5.56 or 5.45?

                I think Finland sticks to 7.62 Soviet cause that's what they've always used

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Using Russian arms because they happen to be on hand is a time-honoured Finnish tradition

  5. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    aussie mg gunner nam vet told me:
    no more than 300 shots or blockage possible.
    always have sandpaper to clean the critical parts from dirt build up.
    first thing you do whenever there is time: take the m60 apart sand the fricking dirt build up off
    its a cheapo mg42 copy that performed cheapo

    i mean, the mg42 was already a cheapo gun, lots of stamped parts, bakelite, etc.
    and i would not enter a machinery contest with the germans when it comes to metalworks of that kind. its not an early panther and they had the time, lel.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >sandpaper the dirt buildup
      yeah ok

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >sand paper
      maybe thats why their pigs sucked.

  6. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >10.5 kg (23.15 lb)

    holy shit that is heavy

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Crazy heavy imo considering the MG3 clicks in at 11.5 kg. Always considered the M60 as substantially lighter, not that 1 kg is nothing.

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      its hard enough trudging through mud and vegetation with a light load, I can't imagine how exhausting it would be while carrying a M60, ammo and supplies while trying to stay alert for booby traps and vietcong hidden in the treeline

    • 4 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Being semi-bullpup, its probably not as bad as it could be.
      People can shoot it from the hip pretty well irl because of how its balanced.

      • 4 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        the ability to fire from the shoulder easily came in handy considering how it was used
        TOE specified it as an MMG, so fired from a tripod from the machine gun section
        but in practice, it was given out with only the bipod to squads as a SAW, so they would spend a lot of time firing it from that or from the shoulder

        whether they followed doctrine or not ended up being decided by terrain, in open terrain the gun was better acting as a section to cover a rifle platoon
        in closed terrain or when attacking, it was better to have them inside rifle squads to give them better individual firepower
        the M249 started replacing the M60 as a SAW so M60s were finally able to stay as a section fulltime, but rollout was slow and prioritized to infantry, so mech infantry kept using the M60 even in the 90s at the squad level

  7. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Every Vietnam vet ive ever talked to LOVED the Pig. It seems the 60s bad rep came after the war ended.

  8. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Depends on what side you were on I suppose

  9. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >Vietnam war
    Loved
    >Afterwards
    Worn out and unreliable. Nothing wrong with the design, just way over service life with those hundreds of thousands of rounds going through them.

  10. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >weight
    >weight
    >weight
    200 rounds of 7.62 NATO is 5 kilograms
    200 rounds of 5.56 is half that

  11. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Don't know, but when I was in Army ROTC I hauled one around during LDAC at Fort Lewis, which is pretty much the OCS field training part for 6 weeks. It's the last major thing you do before graduating & getting commissioned. Everyone on the platoon gets an M-16 with blanks, but since I was the biggest I got the M60. Was fun to shoot even though ti was with blanks. Loud as shit. You could feel the power behind it. The size of the weapon made it a pain in the ass. Didn't start to feel heavy until the 2nd week or so. Other anons in this thread are mentioning the cleaning part. And they are right. The M60 was a total b***h to take it all apart. We did a 'full clean' of it right before turning it back in to the armory. I've taken maybe 10-15 different firearms apart & nothing came close to the M60. Overly complicated. The shit was so dirty & it wasn't like I was rolling round in the mud with it or had any bad weather. You do this thing where after it's all take apart, you 'dunk' main part of the gun in a water tub with a cleaning solution in it. Like I said, shit was so so dirty & completely changed the color of the water. It was like a 2 hour process to fully clean it all. The bipod wasn't strong at all, but still useful for the most part. Had less recoil when you didn't use the bipod, which was surprising. When you carried around the M60, the term used was 'humping the pig'. It was big, awkward at times, & got dirty to easily on the internal parts.

  12. 4 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Finland uses the 7.62x39 so they can resupply themselves with captured Russian ammo.

  13. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I'm sure soldiers liked it a lot more once they got rid of the stupid fricking mitt

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