Vietnam Door Gunner Techniques


One of the Vietnam vet groups I belong to on FB shared these pictures. I learned something I didn’t know tonight. The door gunner said he would often do this to avoid the risk of empty cases flying into the tail rotor. I had never heard of this or heard of this before.

As you can see the door gunner has his M60 upside down to “aim” the ejected brass and links away from the direction of the tail rotor when leaning out to fire at targets at certain angles.

I’m not sure if this had the added benefit of making it easier on the gun to cycle the belt or harder. Hopefully Kirk will offer some insight on this.


  1. Could not tell anyone anything about the use of the M60 in aviation. Never used them in that configuration, and have no knowledge of anything past hearsay from a few acquaintances in aviation units.

    I will say that dicking around with the belt like is shown in some of the pictures would be a recipe for failure in any ground role I have experienced.

  2. Yes I have heard of it.
    HA(L)-3 Navy Seawolves
    Used that technique in their Ex Army UH1-B’s
    Friend was a Helo Mechanic then..
    They also door mounted twin 1919’s
    Door mounted M2HB’s
    Looks like whatever they could scrounge up.
    Provided air cover for brown water Navy..


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