by David Crane
The FN M240B 7.62mm GPMG is the current official 7.62mm machine gun for the U.S. Armed Forces, and is generally considered by many small arms experts to be a masterpiece in terms of small arms design. Masterpiece or not, the FN M240 GPMG, at 27 lbs EMPTY, is simply WAY too heavy for mobile infantry unit gunners to to have to haul around with them on the modern battlefield.
Enter the U.S. Ordnance M60E4/MK43 Mod 0 7.62mm GPMG. The M60E4 machine gun weighs 22.5 lbs empty and appears to be taking the Spec-Ops community by a bit of a storm as of late. Why? Because, from all accounts, this updated and lightened version of the old Vietnam Era M60 is…
actually rugged and reliable.
Special Operations units have always had a soft spot for portable belt-fed machine guns, particularly in the 7.62x51mm NATO variety. This is because 7.62mm belt-feds enable these teams to lay down a heavy, constant barrage of lead and establish firepower and caliber superiority during ambushes and exfils/escapes. 7.62mm machine guns, fired accurately in extended full-auto bursts, are highly intimidating to the enemy. This intimidation aspect comes in very handy when a Spec-Ops team is either attacking/ambushing or trying to escape.
Anyway, the M60E4/MK43 Mod 0 7.62mm machine gun might just be the best belt-fed 7.62mm machine gun currently made. Does this mean it’s perfect? No. For starters, an empty weight of 22.5 lbs is still too heavy (in DefRev’s opinion) for Special Operations personnel to have to lug around on dangerous missions. The M60E4, however rugged and reliable it is, represents 50 year-old technology and relies on its weight(due primarily to a thick, heavy receiver) to mitigate felt-recoil and muzzle rise during off-hand shooting on full-auto. However, since there doesn’t seem to be anything out there that’s any better and/or lighter at the moment, the U.S. Ordnance M60E4 machine gun will just have to do.
The M60E4 is currently being marketed by U.S. Ordnance "Alliance Partner" Special Tactical Services (STS). STS also provides both combat and armorers training on this weapon to qualified military and law enforcement clients. Based on what DefRev knows about Special Tactical Services (STS), we can only surmise that STS’ M60 Machine Gun Operator Course is excellent, and will turn any gunner into an efficient and proficient martial technician with the M60E4. All members of the STS training staff come from either military or LE backgrounds (or both). They are highly skilled and experienced in the disciplines they teach.
Any Mil/LE personnel interested in learning how to properly employ the M60E4/MK43 Mod 0 machine gun in a real world combat environment would be well advised to contact either Steve Renz or Dale McClellan at Special Tactical Services (STS), and sign up for the M60 Machine Gun Operator Course.
Click on this link to play an excellent demonstration video of the U.S. Ordnance M60E4/MK43 Mod 0 7.62mm machine gun. It was shot by AFJI (Armed Forces Journal International) as part of their annual small arms "Shoot-Out".