Door Gunner Uses Modified M60 to Hit VC Positions

Historic combat footage recorded during the Vietnam War captures a door gunner from the elite all-volunteer Naval Helicopter Light Attack Squadron 3 (HAL-3) engaging with enemy ground forces along the Mekong Delta near Dong Tam.


The M60 you're looking at in this video is heavily modified from the traditional M60s you're used to seeing from the Vietnam era of war. While they have no official designation, the crew chiefs who shouldered them tended to call them the M60B " Free Gun". In order for the door gunners to more effectively engage ground targets below the airframe, they needed to create a lighter machine gun than what was currently available. The objective was to make it easy for the crew chief to use the bulky weapon system while hanging out of the aircraft by their safety straps.


In order to accomplish this, the gunners would hack the barrels down and then remove the butt stock, replacing it with a slightly longer rear receiver which allowed them to maintain a shorter buffer spring system. Reports on this part of the process vary, with some crew chiefs just using a piece of sheet metal to enclose the system, and others using parts from an M60C to complete the modification. They would also then remove the bipod systems. Then, the crew chiefs would further modify the weapon even more by taking the trigger housing group and mounting it sideways, which allowed them to fire the weapon with their pinky finger while the rounds were immediately ejected down and away from the aircraft.


Very few of these modified M60s still exist today, and almost no two are exactly the same. Some feature additional springs in the feed tray cover of the weapon system meant to increase the gun's ability to draw in belted ammunition, and some specifically use a second trigger housing mounted to the forend of the gun to give the gunner a second place to grip the weapon without needing to touch the super heated barrels.


The video above, which was originally published by HAL-3 themselves, shows one of their crew chiefs effectively engaging VC targets near the Mekong Delta near Dong Tam where they were supporting riverine operations and Naval Special Warfare ground forces.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Josh Brooks

Josh is an American writer and former USMC machine gunner with eight years of experience in ground combat arms throughout the GWOT. He is currently based in Texas and specializes in combat footage analysis and digital marketing.Follow Josh at OfficialJoshBrooks.com

Published 9 months ago

Historic combat footage recorded during the Vietnam War captures a door gunner from the elite all-volunteer Naval Helicopter Light Attack Squadron 3 (HAL-3) engaging with enemy ground forces along the Mekong Delta near Dong Tam.


The M60 you're looking at in this video is heavily modified from the traditional M60s you're used to seeing from the Vietnam era of war. While they have no official designation, the crew chiefs who shouldered them tended to call them the M60B " Free Gun". In order for the door gunners to more effectively engage ground targets below the airframe, they needed to create a lighter machine gun than what was currently available. The objective was to make it easy for the crew chief to use the bulky weapon system while hanging out of the aircraft by their safety straps.


In order to accomplish this, the gunners would hack the barrels down and then remove the butt stock, replacing it with a slightly longer rear receiver which allowed them to maintain a shorter buffer spring system. Reports on this part of the process vary, with some crew chiefs just using a piece of sheet metal to enclose the system, and others using parts from an M60C to complete the modification. They would also then remove the bipod systems. Then, the crew chiefs would further modify the weapon even more by taking the trigger housing group and mounting it sideways, which allowed them to fire the weapon with their pinky finger while the rounds were immediately ejected down and away from the aircraft.


Very few of these modified M60s still exist today, and almost no two are exactly the same. Some feature additional springs in the feed tray cover of the weapon system meant to increase the gun's ability to draw in belted ammunition, and some specifically use a second trigger housing mounted to the forend of the gun to give the gunner a second place to grip the weapon without needing to touch the super heated barrels.


The video above, which was originally published by HAL-3 themselves, shows one of their crew chiefs effectively engaging VC targets near the Mekong Delta near Dong Tam where they were supporting riverine operations and Naval Special Warfare ground forces.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Josh Brooks

Josh is an American writer and former USMC machine gunner with eight years of experience in ground combat arms throughout the GWOT. He is currently based in Texas and specializes in combat footage analysis and digital marketing.Follow Josh at OfficialJoshBrooks.com

   Return Home

This video has been flagged by our users, and contains mature content. Log in or create an account to verify that you are 18+

My Subscriptions

Search Funker530