One of the most recognizable weapons of the war in Vietnam was the M-60 Machine Gun or as it is officially called the United States Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M60. The iconic machine gun was described in a story found in The Business Insider website Military & Defense section titled: Why the M-60 ‘Pig’ remains one of the best US machine guns ever submitted by Paul Huard.
In Vietnam the M-60 was ubiquitous. Every combat squad had one when they went on operations. Very few Huey helicopters did not have M-60s mounted on each side for its door gunners. Most all defensive bunkers had them as well convoy escort vehicles.
It is no surprise to the writer of this piece, that the M-60 was inspired by German equipment from the World War II era. American weapon designers were highly impressed with the German MG-42, a machine gun so powerful that it was nicknamed “Hitler’s Bone Saw” by the Wehrmacht troops that fired it. The MG-42 had a blinding rate of fire and was belt fed—both qualities were considered desirable by weapons designers. The Fallschirmjägergewehr 42, or FG 42 battle rifle, also had equally desirable qualities, such as a gas-operated bolt, which were closely scrutinized by the Americans.
American ordnance experts studied and analyzed German MG-42 and FG-42 machine guns and came up with a new weapon that in 1957 was adopted by the Defense Department and it was named the United States Machine Gun, Caliber 7.62 mm, M60. Ever since it has served American fighting men from the jungles of Southeast Asia to the harsh country of Afghanistan. Thanks to its German inspiration, the M-60 Machine Gun stands ready to provide our fighting men (and now women) the firepower they need when it comes to facing hostile opponents in wars where ever they may occur.