The M60 machine gun is an air-cooled, gas-operated light machine gun that fires 7.62mm rounds from a disintegrating belt of M13 links. Introduced in 1957, the M60 is still used by all branches of the U.S. military, and continues to be manufactured. The Navy SEALs use two M60 variants: the M60E3 (a lightweight version) and the M60E4 (designated MK43 Mod 0) by the U.S. Navy. While the M60 is most effective when mounted on a tripod, an experienced operator can accurately fire it from the shoulder. Marine Corps doctrine states that it is capable of suppressive fire on area targets out to 1,500 meters if the gunner is highly skilled.
While the M60 was introduced to the U.S. military as a crew-served weapon, the Navy SEALs operated it as a squad automatic weapon in Vietnam. A single SEAL was designated the M60 man and carried both the machine gun and its ammunition. The Navy SEALs have continued to use and upgrade the M60E3, (which came out in the 1980’s), because of its portability and low weight for its caliber. The MK43 Mod 0 is an improved model that was developed for the U.S. Navy SEALs in the 1990’s to replace their existing stock of M60E3 machine guns fitted with shorter “assault barrels”. It has extra rails for mounting accessories, and a quick-change barrel. The M60 machine gun is gradually being phased out in favor of the heavier M240 machine gun, which is more reliable.
- Weight: 23.1 lbs
- Length: 42 in.
- Barrel Length: 22 in.
- Cartridge: 7.62 x 51mm NATO
- Caliber: 7.62mm
- Action: gas-operated, open bolt
- Rate of Fire: 550 rpm
- Muzzle Velocity: 2,800 ft/sec.
- Effective Range: 1,200 yd.
- Maximum Range: 4,074 yd.
- Feed System: Disintegrating belt