Today, I want to educate you about the M60 Machine Gun (PIG). If you’ve been in the Army (or military) for any period of time, you’ve probably heard of “the pig.” For nearly 50 years it was a very popular machine gun used by all branches of the service. While this machine gun isn’t as common in Army units as it used to be, some USAR and ARNG units still use the pig.
Here are a few things you should know about the M60 Machine Gun.
- It was first introduced in the Army in 1957
- It shoots 7.62 mm rounds
- It can shoot ball, tracer and armor piercing rounds
- It was very popular in the Vietnam War
- It weighs 23.15 pounds
- The rate of fire is 500 to 650 rounds per minute
- The effective range is 1200 yards
- The muzzle velocity is 2800 feet per second
- It is gas operated with an open bolt
- It costs about $6k per unit
- Typically a crew-served weapon operated by two or three individuals
- It can be fired from the shoulder, but it typically used with a bi-pod
- There are several different variants of this weapon system
- In most units, the M60 has been replaced by the M240B
I got to shoot the pig during my time in ROTC and while I was assigned with a National Guard Infantry Company (during college). I personally like the M60 and thought it was a great weapon system. I’ve never fired the M240B, so I can’t really compare the two.
Although I was never an infantry or combat arms guy, I’ve always like the “big guns.” I like the firepower the M60 has. It can send a lot of rounds down range in a matter of seconds.
I’d love to hear your stories about the M60 machine gun. If you have experience firing one, or know much about them, please leave a comment to tell us all about it. Tell us what you liked and disliked about the “pig” and how you would compare this machine gun vs. the M240B. I look forward to hearing from you.