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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 12/17/2001 6:40:48 AM EST
I've dealt with both the M60 GPMG and the newer M240B and M240C (Coax) in the military. A lot of people believe that the FN MFG. M240 (MAG-58) is far superior to the M60. I recently found out that the Navy SEALs are still using the M60E3 for ops.....not sure about Army Special Forces. British SAS use the M240 however. M240 is reliable and accurate - is it really worth the extra weight or should the regular military have stuck with the M60? Even the M249 has been modified for SOCOM use with a shorter barrel, rail system, and optics. Curious what opinions everyone has on this issue.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 6:45:00 AM EST

Link Posted: 12/17/2001 6:53:19 AM EST
The M60E3 was an attempt to make a medium machine-gun into a light machine-gun. In order to do this they gave up accuracy and the ability to provide longer range supporting fires.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 8:20:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By BURN:


me 2 i hated the saw love the 60
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:06:46 PM EST
The USMC is the only branch of the service that switched to the M60e3, the SEALS use a version refered to as the car60. Both the car60 and M60e3 both have a forward pistol grip, frame mounted bi-pods, and quick change barrels, however the car60's barrel is aprox. 6 inches shorter than that of the e3(the barrel is equal in length to the end of the gas system). The M240G/B or similar in size and wieght to that of the Army version of the M60(never got the appropriate model designation). The M240 is a much improved weapon system over the M60; more reiable, greater accuracy, longer max. effective range. Feed tray design, gas and operating system , barrel length, and cradle all lead to this.

To keep it simple machine guns(M60/m240) have many roles, the least prefered offensive method of deployment is assualt fire; ie. shoulder, hip, or thigh. The most disirable is supporting troops by covering movement and softening targets at max effective range and preferablly in a partial/defilade position(so your machine gunners are protected).

The SEALS are using a weapon system that they feel suits thier needs, which are different from the rest of the military. If i was a grunt on the ground needing cover fire going into the offense or sitting in the defense firing a FPF I would take a Marine Lcpl. with a M240 than a salty SEAL with a chopped M60 to cover my back anyday.
Im not sure if the Army has made any changes recently in the way they pick machine gunners but they have it all wrong. The person who carries the pig shouldn't be the new guy, boot, wanna be rambo etc. The should be full time gunners that are trained fully in the use of thier weapon system.

I loved the fickle M60e3 as well but , the M240 is hands down a better system.

Sorry for the spelling, spell check is down and im not looking this up in the dictionary today.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:26:12 PM EST

Thanks for the info. Very informative. I really spec. ops. have their own mission specific needs but was looking for more information on why the SEAL Teams still use a version of the M60 when most of the conventional military at least views it as "obsolete" - not that it is...
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 12:56:18 PM EST
The SEAL's have had this weapon in thier inventory for quite a while, that is probally the main reason why they still use it. It is often used by them in the assualt role so a shorter, lighter weapon system is desirable. The M60 is not "obsolete" the M240/GPMG is just a better more reliable gun. I wouldn't be surprised if they(SEAL's) have looked in to choping and lightening a M240 for thier use just because it is more reliable. As you may or may not know the bolt and op-rod on a 60 recoils into the butt stock of the weapon, allowing for a shorter overall length, sort of like a bullpup, the 240 with thw same barrel length would be much longer.
SEAL's also do not understand/use machine gunnery as the SAS's does, or the brits in general. When you spray and pray accuracy is not as big of issue. For what its worth the Brits and canadians are some of the better machine gunners out there. If you are a machine gunner need to get your hands on canadian machine gun mannual.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 2:34:06 PM EST
I carry an M249 - which BTW is the biggest we have short of M-2's or MK-19's in my unit..........I like the SOCOM set-up for the M249 w/ shortened barrel,etc. Lucky b#st#rds that get them. You're absolutely right about the gas tube on an M-249 or M240 series machine gun as opposed to the M60. I might be able to get my hands on a Canadian machine gun manual when I rotate back to the States - I spend 90% of the year in Germany right now though.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 10:17:27 PM EST
German machine gun mannuals are exceptional as well they are after all the true pioneers in machine gunnery. Im guessing if you look around there is a mannual that has been translated. If your really interested i could proballly scan mine and email it to you. You could also ask your training NCO to see if he would contact the Advanced Infantry school at Marine Corps base Camp Gieger, NC and get a copy of the Advanced Machine Gunnery Manual, has alot of cutting edge stuff in it; hasty mine fields with a Mk19, Mk19 as a mortar(requires a ploting board and special mount and quadrent sight), and true defiladed.
Link Posted: 12/17/2001 11:35:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 4:16:30 AM EST
The M60 MG, when new and in good condition is an excellent MG. Problem is that it doesn't "age well" and becomes unreliable. The M240-series ages much better.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 4:45:46 AM EST
My first trip to a Special Forces get-together as guest of my friend and scooter mechanic I was introduced to a fine tripod mounted M-60 and a considerable ammount of ammo.
Excuse me if I dissagree with those who say "the M-60 isn't accurate", but my mechanic, who was a MIKE force LT, has called me "MachineGun" ever since. Not one target was left standing after the dust cleared, infact at several urgings from those watching I cut the 1/2" re-bar frames holding the bowling pins and steel plates.
Maybe it was the tripod, but I put 3 round bursts consistently inside the little square exploding targets at 100 yards, I cut the bowling pins off at the necks, then the strings holding the remainder.
Never serve and had never seen one till that day, but I was personally amazed and astounded at the accuracy, wish we could have used the longer ranges, but safety concerns prohibited that. I will say that to my mind the tripod was the real key and the Sarge running the range gave me a crash course in it's operation. Rounds were belted in 20s to prevent run-aways and while I have been back each year (this year I was one of the Range Officers) they haven't brought out a FN SAW yet, maybe next year.

My 2cents,
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:09:17 AM EST
Mike is was the tripod and short range. Because of the way the M60 mounts to the M122 tripod, it has about twice as large an dispersion pattern as a M240G/B while mounted to a flex mount and M122. Run away gun problem are aslo not too uncommon with the M60, the sear had a problem of premature wear, that is why machine gunners are trained to fire 6-8 round burst to limit premature wear on the sear.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:10:00 AM EST
Having shot both the 240B & G as well as the M60 and M60E3, I think that the 240 is allot better weapon. ITs allot easier to shoot and is much more reliable. The 60 jumps around more on your shoulder when firing, the 240 is more smooth. Another reasons the SEALs use the 60 still is its allot lighter, they use it in much the same role as a M249 SAW in a regular infantry unit. I guess the lighter weight is worth the trade off in reliability. I am still partial to the SAW though my self.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:22:32 AM EST

I have a German friend who is a former tank officer plus some other ex-Bundeswehr people I've met - they should be able to hook me up on any number of German machine gun manuals. I can probably get information on advanced machine gunnery right off of a DOD sight using a government computer when I get back. Thanks. Jon
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 6:34:05 AM EST
The Marine Corps machine-guns and Machine Gunner manual the MCWP 3-15.1 is avialable at

However, it was pointed out to MCCDC, by myself and several others, at least a year ago that when the converted the manual to a PDF they didn't include any of the graphics or TFTs.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 9:07:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/18/2001 9:05:09 AM EST by rugger]
Mr. Wilson-

I was going to let this go but...and ill try to be carefull.
Im not sure how big the "little square exploding targets" were but i find extremely unlikely that i three round burst hit it, maybe one round, but not all three. If anyone has fired the 500" (yes inch)or 12.7 m qual course you know how hard it is to keep a burst in the little tomb stone. The group tends to string and measure out to about a 1.5"x1". This is not because of poor gunnery but the variables in firing a machine gun; vibrations, ammo quality, recoil, changes in shoulder pressure(gunner error), etc. Mathimatically a M60 should group around 200mm or about 8" at one hundred meters.
so shooting strings, 1/2" steel bar, and bowling pin heads was more than likely luck at that distance. The original point is that the M240g/b is more accurate by design, and due to the flex mount.

STRLN- the other militarys mentioned have more indepth mannuals in some aspects than 3-15. Those crazy tripods that other countries use with the gpmg are more versitile than ours for a reason, they are designed with defilade in mind. We in the US tend to focous on line of sight line of fire.
If you only use guns in the "D" not much use for the info but it gives you some different options offensivly. You should see if you can wrangle a seat out at Gieger, some truely cazy shit, stuff they dont teach yet in the mannuals and probally never will.
I'll get off my machine gun soap box.

edited because i cant spell.
Link Posted: 12/18/2001 12:38:42 PM EST
Now a days we go to 6th Marines RTS, they are the "Machine-gun school" for divisional units, some of my 08s have secondary 0331 MOS because of going through the school. I haven't taken a look at the foreign manuals, or really the 3-15.1 since they screwed up the PDF and ever time my PUBS officer orders it is kicked back because of being available online. The old FMFRP 6-15 does include quite a bit of firing out of defilade and indirect fire with machine guns. I used it on a UDP to do indirect fire with Mk19s at Camp Fuji. Since I was using artillerymen instead of 03s, the jump from direct fire to indirect was not that hard, and lets face it the gunnery involved is very simple compared to firing 155mm. I have provided extracts from the FMFRP to many of my students in the pasts since the army manuals didn't contain similar info.
Link Posted: 12/24/2001 1:27:50 AM EST
Have you ever had to clean an M60 or attempt to keep one clean and rust free in the field? I got out in 95 and never saw an M240. Our M60's never made it out of the armory either. The M249 is just so much easier to carry, clean and HIT with.
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