M60 (Pig) Machine Gun

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  • In most units, the M60 has been replaced by the M240B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.

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10 thoughts on “M60 (Pig) Machine Gun”

  1. For most of my career, I got to experience the M60 Pig. Being a former Infantryman, this beast was my best friend and worst enemy. It had a lot of firepower, but it could get really heavy carrying it around.

  2. Chuck, the M60 is still a favorite among special forces teams like the Navy Seals. Typically, the machine gun employs a crew of three men; however, the Seals assign one man to one M60. It is the gun of choice for the Navy Seals for several reasons, one being its versatility, for it can be shot from a variety of positions easily. In addition, it is also very accurate. The M60 also has minimal recoil, a very attractive feature for many. Time has not diminished the potential for this weapon.

  3. Ahhh, the M60 “PIG”…brings back some memories from having to hump that hunk of steel around. Although I am more versed in the M240B/C, the M60 was the Army’s go-to 7.62-mm crew serve weapon of choice. The M240 is a Belgian designed weapon that is much lighter and has less mechanical pieces making it much simpler to use than the M60. I prefer the M240 over the M60 by far, but I always appreciate the old workhorses that the Army has used over the years. The M60 is loved by many and equally despised. Great article, Chuck.

    1. I would have loved to get some experience with the M240B/C. The Pig and the Ma Deuce are the only crew served weapons I am even fairly familiar with. Thanks for the comment.

    2. I grew up on the M60. I liked it. A lot of firepower for the size. I have used the M240B, and I don’t like it. It is a heavier gun, does not add any firepower, is very expensive, so to me it is a net loss. I prefer the ’60. And this is 20 years of 11B talking

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