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4 thoughts on “US Ordnance 6.5 Creedmoor M60”

  1. Not sure if I have enough popcorn on hand for Kirk’s comment on this one…

    When they gonna slap some rails and fde furniture on that french WW1 loaner we had and call it an updated classic?

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  2. It’s an M60, with some few of the multitudinous issues addressed.

    So far as I can tell, it’s the same basic flyweight receiver held together with half-ass rivets, and the things that they got wrong with the half-ass copy job they did with regards to the bolt and the op-rod tower are still there.

    Fundamentally, there is only so much you can do without a fundamental redesign. The gun is still going to beat itself to death, and the armorers are still going to spend more time stoning away all the peening than they should ever have to.

    The M60 was always a disposable machine gun. The reason that everyone who carried one in the Vietnam era loved the things is because they never saw the prodigious behind-the-scenes efforts it took to keep them running. One of the ancient (at the time…) Chief Warrants that ran the small arms and artillery repair shop at Fort Sill when I was a unit armorer filled me in with all that–They had guys out gauging the guns every time a unit came out of the field, and would literally hot-swap fresh ones for the out-of-spec guns whose receivers had loosened up. They kept a fleet of guns ready to go, so that if a unit in the field reported problems, they could fly out and exchange them. The entire US machine gun inventory, world-wide, was on tap for the Vietnam theater–He described going to Europe after one of his tours in Vietnam, and not being able to even find a spare M60, anywhere in the European supply system. If a unit in Europe needed parts or a new gun, they were screwed.

    As a gun, the M60 is fine so long as it has a trained operator, and the lavish support they got in Vietnam. The Rangers, who had a dedicated full-time civilian armorer in every battalion, never reported any of the problems my guys had with them. I’ll never forget having a former Ranger “come down to Earth” from where he was at over at 2/75, and suddenly having to deal with the crap we line dogs did, with our guns. It was eye-opening to him; he literally had never experienced a worn gun, and could not believe the condition of our receivers when I showed him. I took him over to the logistics center where the small arms repair guys were, and after about an hour of them explaining to him why we couldn’t code out and replace every one of our guns, he had to ruefully agree that the M60 was the POS the rest of us thought it was. You spend your enlisted career as a Ranger, with the lavish support they get, and then come down to reality out in the line after getting a commission? Life looks a lot different.

    If I could count on a new gun after 10,000 rounds, I’d say the M60 was acceptable. Since I can’t? Fuck that POS and the assholes who inflicted it on us. I’ve observed M240s absorb so much more abuse, and keep right on working. Hell, here’s a contrast: 2003, we took a bunch of M60s out of the prepo stock for Iraq, as supplemental guns. Brand-new, unissued guns. They served alongside the MTOE M240s we had, which were several years old, and had had a lot of rounds put through them supporting ROTC advanced camp, and the train-up for OIF. When we left Iraq in 2004, all those M60s stayed there for the next unit to use. 2005, we fell in on the exact same set of equipment and the exact same mission, operating out of FOB Speicher. By 2005, those M60s were in such poor shape that we had to have nearly all of them coded out for receiver wear. The M240s, which had by that time been through another train-up and God alone knows how many rounds stateside, barely had the finish worn on the internal working parts.

    I’ve personally unpacked a brand-new M60 out of the factory wrap during the 1980s, watched my battalion use it to qualify all the gun crews and alternates over one exercise, and then observed that same gun go back to the guys at Third Shop to be coded out, all within about 60 days. And, I know for a fact that it was properly lubed and not fired abusively on those qual ranges. Conversely, the M240s I unpacked and put into service when we got them on initial issue? Most of those guns were still going strong six years later when we returned from our second deployment, had seen considerable use, and were only sent off for rebuild because the exterior finish had been sandblasted off of them. Parts wear was minimal; the damn things were pristine, and I know for certain that some of them had fired somewhere in the neighborhood of hundreds of thousands of rounds.

    Basic design on the M60 is flawed at a fundamental level. It is not a machinegun with significant lifespan or easy support. You want to use it as your issue machinegun, then you need to plan on lavish and expensive support. Can’t provide that? Don’t buy it.

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  3. My first thought is that it (6.5) shares the same .473 bolt face and it being a short action cartridge makes for an easier cartridge conversion. I think it was AAC that did the 300BLK M249 during their marketing hype for it those years ago. The 6.5 also needs the long barrels to post up the impressive ballistic numbers everyone clambers on about. It looks like it’s on here too.

    As for the M60 itself, Kirk has said it well. As a small arms repairman we had to constantly rebuild bolts; stock up on ejector springs. We’d take six guns out to do quals on our gunners and at the end of the day we’d have maybe two left firing.
    Too many danged parts could be put together backwards and still give that young trooper a perfect function check when done.

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