Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's back! All-new and better than ever!

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,'s neat, but I'm still not schlepping your extra ammo belts around. I'm a dog, not a pack mule!"


  1. Oh damn, THAT is sweet :-)

  2. I'm drooling here.

  3. Oh, that is sweet! Can't wait to get a second chance at pulling that trigger, makes the road trip that much more worth it.

    So just does when spring arrive in "Banjo Country"?

    I will bring toys too.

  4. I remember the changeover to the E3's back in the *mumblemumble* - and I've talked with guys still in who say the Mk 43's are head and shoulders above the E3... looks like they did great work & I hope she serves you well!

    Now if I could just finagle some trigger time on it...

  5. @ Keads: Any time, my friend. Clod air just helps keep the barrel from overheating. If you can shoot Appleseed, you can shoot prone in the snow. :-)

    @ Capt. T: The E3 was too light. It beat itself apart. This gun's a bit heavier but a lot tougher. And it's still three pounds lighter than it used to be. But any time you can make it up here with a can or two of ammo, you're welcome.

  6. I'm afraid to ask how much that refub job cost! But still, Class III weapons are limited by the law on selling them past a manufactured date (manufactured by Congress that is.)

    Good gun! Now to the Dillion press for ammo.

  7. @ Paul: Actually it wasn't that bad, especially considering that it resulted in the receiver being rebuilt (because the old one was shot due to abuse by former owners) and the addition of all new parts. It's literally a zero-round-count new gun AND it comes with a factory warranty should it suffer any problem caused by anything other than operator error. You can't beat that.

    Besides, as bad as it was running before, my only other real option would have been to list it for sale, say nothing about it's issues, and pass it and it's problems along to some other unsuspecting buyer. And I'm just not that kind of a scumbag.

  8. I have the famous video of the E4 where they clipped together 8-1/2 belts (850 rounds) and ran them all through with one trigger pull. In 1 minute and 45 seconds.

    THAT was impressive. And now you have one - how cool is that!

  9. Whoa! I fainted for a minute and woke up in a puddle of my own drool.

    That's a sweet gun!

  10. Very, very cool.

    Have I mentioned lately that you are my favorite person with an M60? hint. hint. ::)