The Big Brown Truck just left. Murphy is still grumbling, having refused the latest "let's be friends" entreaty of Mike, the UPS driver. (Murphy does take his offered cookies, however. He just devours them quickly than resumes barking and snapping at Mike as soon as his mouth is empty.)
Last month I sent my M60 out to Desert Ordnance, the civilian sales side of US Ordnance, the company that rebuilds M60 machine guns into new Mk43 guns for the US Navy. They rebuilt mine so thoroughly that the only original part left on it is the trunion and the rear sight assembly. The gun needed a rebuild because it was tired and unreliable, so I sent it off to these folks for a refurbishment, and now it's back, lighter and more reliable with a new-gun warranty--a zero-time gun with all new parts made using the latest processes and incorporating all of the upgrades; a totally mil-spec machine gun that should fire for decades and outlast me if properly cared for.
And for the pics:
It's shorter, it's lighter, and it's infinitely more reliable.
Most of the "old" M60's faults have been corrected in this new version, which also boasts 30% stronger belt-pulling power and a spiffy rail for the mounting of optics.Much of the size/weight savings comes from the replacement of the old heavy barrel with it's attached bipod (meaning that each spare barrel that the operator carries has to have these too) with a lightweight barrel and a redesigned mounting system that puts the bipod on the gun itself. The new barrels are superior to the old ones in terms of their ability to absorb heat, and the front sights are now adjustable, meaning that each spare barrel can be zeroed to the weapon in advance. .Also, it has a new gas piston designed to work no matter which way you put it in so that you cannot foul the gun up by putting it in backwards like operators of the old ones sometimes did. That clunky heat shield is gone, too. Best not to touch that barrel. But the new barrels now have permanent carrying handles attached, meaning no more asbestos glove needed to swap out hot barrels!
This machine gun is currently in use by US Navy SEAL teams due to it's size and weight advantage over the M240 weapons system. US Ordnance has the contract to rebuild the Navy's M60 systems into these new Mk43 weapons and I couldn't pass up the chance to have mine totally rebuilt by them for less than the cost of what a couple of big-name commercial machine gun gunsmiths wanted to just fix what was wrong it.
Here's the article about the Mk43 written last year by Defense Review. It even comes with videos, which should work to hold those interested over until I can shoot some of my own.
Defense Review MK 43.
"Yeah, ok...it's neat, but I'm still not schlepping your extra ammo belts around. I'm a dog, not a pack mule!"