by David Crane
One of DefRev’s members, "dewatters", has commented on our story below, "Demonstration Video: U.S. Ordnance M60E4/MK43 Mod. O 7.62mm Machine Gun", regarding the M60E4’s perceived reliability problems. The following is a copy of a document that was originally sent to DefRev’s editor-in-chief(yours truly) on 10/18/02 by Dale McClellan, Executive Vice President of Special Tactical Services (STS). It was subsequently sent to DefRev again by Dale on 5/19/03. Hopefully, it will sufficiantly answer at least some of the points that dewatters has put forward.
**Click on the ‘Read More’ hypertext below to read the letter.**
This is a serious matter that must be addressed immediately! Please call Gerry Gaskill at NAVSEA Phone # 202-781-0595 as soon as possible and demand a remanufacturing process for all M60 (MK43) Machineguns in the Military System.
The battle proven 7.62 mm M60 (MK43) machinegun series has protected the U.S., its soldiers, and its interests for over forty years. It has been involved in virtually every conflict since Vietnam and is currently employed by the United States Navy, Naval Special Warfare, U.S. Army and Army National Guard, U.S. Coast Guard and over 30 countries worldwide. However, in recent years the weapon has proven less than reliable and U.S. Military operators have lost confidence in it. Reportedly the degradation of manufacturing quality control resulted in unreliable weapon performance. Regardless, a more serious problem is at hand. The U.S. Military is at WAR and the possibility of going into Iraq is stronger than ever. With this being said our concern is that U.S. Navy SEAL’s and Sailors across the world are at serious risk operating with the current M60’s (MK43) that are in the system.
The ONLY logical step that can be preformed in an efficient manner to support our troops is the remanufacturing process provided by U.S. Ordnance. www.usord.com the idea of replacing these weapon systems with a new MK48 may be an answer, however it will not and cannot be Researched Developed Tested & Evaluated in a timely manner to support our troops in an immediate crisis. If any one has any doubt in what we are saying call ANY SEAL Team and ask them how they take 3 M60’s (MK43) to support 1 on training operations by piecemeal parts. Remember a 7.62mm machinegun plays a crucial role in small and large unit tactics and is vital in the protection of military personnel and assets.
So is the M60 (MK43) series a poor weapon system? NO absolutely NOT we have fired over a million rounds operationally and in training courses. The M60 (MK43) series is an awesome machinegun when it is built to original military specifications. We have proved this over and over in the training programs we have been teaching. The SEAL Teams have had 3 conversion kits built by U.S. Ordnance to original military specs and to date report ZERO problems with the converted weapons.
Why not replace the M60 (MK43) with the M240 series weapon?
The M240 is a great machinegun but lets start with what FN says about there own weapon “The M240 was adopted by the U.S. Military Armed Forces following a world-wide competition in search for a reliable 7.62 mm NATO machine gun suitable for use as a coaxial weapon for armored vehicle applications.” This weapon was intended for mounting applications! Yes you can carry it and it has a bi-pod (depending on the version) however the cyclic rate of fire, weight and length of the weapon do NOT make it applicable to the majority of the military missions. Especially Navy missions where there is ONLY one operator (watch stander) on the “Crew Served Weapon”.
Most military missions require a weapon that can be mounted and removed efficiently to be transported from one emplacement to another and operated by one individual. This cannot be preformed efficiently with an M240 due to its weight, size, cycle rate of fire and the fact that the M240N has NO heat shield or bi-pod. FN and the government agree with this. The proof is in Crane’s MK48 project designed by FN that has failed its most recent operational assessment.
So what is the solution? U.S. Ordnance Inc. www.usord.com can build new M60’s that meet or exceed military specifications. It can also bring the military’s existing inventory of firearms and parts up to federal standards. By returning to quality controlled new production and remanufacturing existing inventories, the U.S. Government will save money, time and possibly lives.
U.S. Ordnance is a firearms manufacturing company based in Reno, Nevada. In April 2000, U.S. Ordnance entered into an agreement with SACO Defense Corporation, now General Dynamics Armament Systems, and the U.S. Government. This agreement makes U.S. Ordnance the sole manufacturer of the M60 series machineguns and spare parts. This American company uses state-of-the-art machinery to create the M60E4 / MK43 for worldwide distribution. The M60E4 is the latest and most advanced in the M60 series and has evolved from a ‘Crew Served Weapon’ to a truly versatile Intermediate Machinegun capable of mounting to a platform as well as serving as a Light Weight Assault Weapon. U.S. Ordnance offers the highest quality firearm production which meets or exceeds military specifications for life saving reliability.
U.S. Ordnance can offer our government new, quality M60E4 (MK43) Machineguns with mil-spec reliable parts. U.S. Ordnance can also convert the current inventory of M60s & M60E3’s to the current M60E4 (MK43) ‘Typed Classified’ model. Additionally, ‘Type Classified’ mil-spec replacement parts and barrels for all M60 model variations can be provided at a price far below the cost of starting a new line of machineguns that would require new training, new parts inventories, modifications in operational equipment, research and development, as well as other operational testing and assessments.
Not only is U.S. Ordnance building the new M60E4 (MK43) with state-of-the-art machinery, it has retained the services of Special Tactical Services, LLC to market the M60 and provide the absolute best in operator and armorer training for all of the M60 variants. This will ensure that those who possess or purchase an M60 get a machinegun of superior quality as well as the finest automatic weapons training available to operate and maintain it.
Executive Vice President
Special Tactical Services, LLC"