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The M60 General Purpose Machine Gun was introduced in 1957 to replace the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and M1919A6 .30 caliber machine gun, providing a large amount of suppression fire capability thanks to its belt fed ammunition system. It is loosely based on the German MG42, albeit with a greatly reduced rate of fire. U.S. military personnel have nicknamed the M60 "The Pig" due to its size and weight.
While the original weapon was frequently replaced by M240 series of light machine guns due to reliability concerns by many branches of the military, the latest variant, the M60E4, features quite a number of improvements over the original. All variants of the M60 fire 7.62mmx51mm NATO rounds from a one hundred round side-fed ammo belt contained in a large box magazine.
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
In 1974, the M60 was used by the CIA mercenary group Peace Sentinel during the Peace Walker Incident. Design specs for the weapon were also procured by the Militaires Sans Frontières mercenary group, who had their R&D department develop the rifle for use. The MSF later procured specs for a variant that could fire armor piercing rounds, and made further improvements by shortening the barrel and making it easier to handle.
Behind the scenes
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
The M60E4 featured in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots can be modified in four ways, with a dot scope, 4x scope, two types of fore grips, a laser aiming module, as well as a flashlight, making it one of the most versatile weapons in the game. The M60E4, with its sheer rate of fire, power per shot, and modularity, make it an effective, if bulky, choice for mowing groups of soldiers, although it should be noted that it cuts down on the players sprint speed. It is also one of the few weapons that makes Solid Snake scream when he starts firing at enemy soldiers; a reference to the Rambo movies, whose titular character also uses an M60. Due to its high stopping power and large magazine it also works well as an anti-air weapon.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
The large-bore machine gun featured in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is the initial version of the M60 machine gun instead of the later M60E4 revision introduced in the 1990s.
The weapon's high stopping power and ammunition capacity makes it ideal to take out armoured targets with sustained fire such as tanks as a general purpose heavy weapon however its accuracy is mediocre and its firing rate is incredibly slow for an automatic weapon and the user must make their shots count.
The design specs for the M60 are obtained after successfully infiltrating El Cadalso and neutralizing the tank. The M60 (AP) specs can be obtained by completing the Extra Ops mission that involves defending key supplies from enemy soldiers.
- "A general purpose machine gun used by the U.S. military and many of its Western allies. It is fed by a 100-round belt-link bandolier, giving it long-lasting firepower in a fight. However, the weight of this ammo, combined with the weight of the gun itself, makes the M60 difficult to handle. Its true value is in pitched gun battles where the enemy is some distance away.
(Rank 2, M60 (Armor Piercing)) Modified to fire armor-piercing rounds, increasing its ability to take down heavily protected targets.
(Rank 3, M60 (Short Barrel)) This model has been fitted with a shorter barrel, making it easier to handle and more user-friendly in close-range combat."
- ―M60 description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker