For more information about this weapon in Mud and Blood: Recon, see Recon:M60.
A heavy machine-gun with a long range and a nice payload, it can turn the tide of battle. The M-60 is an American MG based off the German MG-42 even though it came out in Vietnam. It is very effective against VC, and even soldiers with very low accuracy can get some kills with it. It is extremely effective against VC on the open or in the woods (almost certain kill) and it can kill people pretty easily in the trench or in the bunker. When a base is cleared out, it is best to keep a soldier with this weapon close to ammo crate so he can keep on shooting. Also very effective on bunkers.
The M60 (formally named United States Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M60) is a family of American general purpose machine guns firing 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges from a disintegrating belt of M13 links. There are several types of live ammunition approved for use in the M60, including ball, tracer, and armor-piercing rounds. The M60 was referred to as "The Pig" during the Vietnam War.
Introduced in 1957, it has served with every branch of the U.S. military and still serves with other armed forces. Its manufacture and continued upgrade for military and commercial purchase continues into the 21st century though it has been replaced or supplemented in most roles by other designs, notably the M240 in U.S. service.
The M60 is a gas-operated, air-cooled, belt-fed, automatic machine gun that fires from the open-bolt position and is chambered for the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge. Ammunition is usually fed into the weapon from a 100-round bandolier containing a disintegrating, metallic split-link belt.
When tested in the field, the M60 was fairly effective, but in the jungles of Southeast Asia in which it was soon used, the initial versions displayed several potential problems when used on the ground. A common complaint was the weapon's weight, though M60 was among the lightest 7.62 mm machine guns of the era.
For units in Vietnam, the single most common complaint was that the M60 was comparatively unreliable and prone to jamming and other malfunctions, especially when it was dirty. Fine sand and dust in the mechanism could bring the M60 to a halt. This was a major factor in the Israeli Defense Force declining to adopt the M60. The weapon was more difficult to clean and maintain than the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) it replaced in the squad. In normal conditions it would often fire thousands of rounds without a serious jam while field conditions tended to reduce reliability without proper maintenance.
The safety was awkward to operate and worked the "wrong way" for soldiers who were trained with the M16 rifle and M1911A1 pistol—that is, it required an upward movement of the thumb on the safety catch to make the gun ready to fire, rather than a downward movement as with the other weapons. Additionally, it is possible to install parts of the fire control mechanism incorrectly, causing a "runaway gun"—meaning that it would keep firing until empty even if the operator took his finger off the trigger. The gas system of the original model could be assembled incorrectly causing failure to function and could unscrew and come apart if not safety wired in place.
U.S. Marines especially disliked the M60, and many Marine units held onto their BARs until 1967–68 officially, and longer unofficially.