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I was in weapons platoon but a 3.5 gunner. I recall that the machine gunners were always told to use the traverse and elevation knobs on the tripods when firing. The MG crews always carried the tripod and gear bag while we were training.

Now I have never seen any video of Vietnam with the gunner using the tripod. What do you guys recall?
 

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Well, tripods were normally effective in static positions. The M60 gunners were used to replace the BAR on patrols, giving the patrol a full-auto capability that could be aimed well. After the M16 reached full issue, the 7.62x51 round in the M60 enabled a lot of cover to become concealment for the VC and NVA, much to their dismay.

Used a a mobile platform, the tripod was useless, and nothing more than extra weight. It's also darned hard to go prone with a tripod.DI5
 

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I carried an M 60 on my last Tour since I did not like the XM16Es that were issued, ( I was with the ARVN) to be honest with You I didn't even know where the Tripod for that Weapon was, If there was one, it would have been useless anyway!

 

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I saw them on OPs' on the perimeter in Korea but I never saw them used anywhere else. I don't even remember them ever leaving the Arms Room. They were racked in a corner IIRC.
 

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In country, I never saw a tripod for a 60 anywhere.

Later, in Ohio, in the OANG, we had em, . . . they were set up for Final Protective Fire line.

Personally, wouldn't have given you a buck for a duece and a half full of em, . . . just my thoughts from an old PSG.

May God bless,
Dwight
 

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I can say that today in the army we only use the T&E for static positions with the 240B, if we even use a tripod at all. We are trained to use it, and on a standard MG position with range/sector fire card its very effective and we did bring them in-country with us and we did use them a few times.

Most of the time though, like you guys, we hump it without the tripod. It works best, in most situations, with the bipod, or the legs folded off a solid object, like a wall. More room for 7.62 linked too.

You should see the new tripod we use, waaaay better than the old one. We've got one for the 240B in country that weighed a mere 5 lbs, and it worked very well. We also have a 70 round "nutsack" that we use to carry a starter belt loaded in the weapon. it clips on to the side of the gun like the boxes the 7.62 linked comes in.

Just thought id share.


DS K. CIB3
 

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240 b

I may be a little late on this thread, but my experience from 2002 to 2004...
... Like most have said, the tripod was only used in static positions. If I remember correctly, its 50 mils on traverse wheels, and 400 on the traverse bar. The elevation knob was +/- 100 mils. You would lay the gun in and zero out the tripod so the t&e was zero and zero, and center it on the traverse bar. you would reference certain points in your sector on the range card, such as an intersection of a road, or a hill top. We trained to use it, and carried it all over the place. It was more of a pain in the neck than anything. We would practice bounding with the machine gun and laying it in on the tripod, and locking the t&e in place. The best use we made of the tripod in combat was strapping it down to the roof of vehicles that didnt have turrnets so the machine gun could be held in place. It's been a while since I've seen people do downed gunner drills, and carry a tripod. But the army is shifting back to conventional style war fare since iraq is winding down. alot of things we stopped doing 10 years ago will become new again.
 

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I was with the 1/5th Mech/25th Div 6/67-7/68 and we used tripods on ground mounted M60's when in defensive positions. We set them up a LOT of times. Always had interlocking fire in front of my position. On mobile ops we never used them...I guess I got lazy when tired! BTW, being in a Mech unit, I had 6 M-60's in my platoon (2 manouver M-60's and one M60 for each of the 4 tracks, not to mention the M2 on each track! Loved being in the mechanized infantry!) and a nice, big, M113 to carry tri pods and ammo.
 

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Not knowin' ... I'd be afraid to say ... GI1GI2GI1



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We had the 60s mounted on tripods in the bunker line at our fire base. Never saw anyone hump one in any operation either. If you ever had to move from your position how could do that in a hurry except for leaving it behind.
Besides that, when you consider the weight of the tripod Vs. the same weight in extra ammo. Guess who wins that one.
 

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M60s with Tripods

I was a M60 gunner in a Recon Section (1/503rd/173rd) in '65/'66. We carried our tripods, T&E and the pintle in the field with us (that's what the assistant gunner carried T&E, Pintle and spare barrel). We both had M1911s so he was supposed to carry the tripod too however we had the ammo bearer carry the tripod. I also carried 180 - 200 rounds and he carried 400 rounds on one of the old pack boards (pre issueance of the "jungle ruck") then he carried the 400 rounds (in ammo can) on the radio shelf on the jungle ruck. My ammo bearer carried another 200 rounds with the tripod. Everyone else carried at least 100 rounds. We always set up the tripods and used the T&Es whenever possible using interlocking FOF and FPLs. Many times we had to "free gun it" without the T&E to cover our sector of fire.

Unfortuneately when they relegated the M60 as the SAW instead of it's GPMG status a lot was lost. Most often the M60 just became another individual weapon with a limited field of fire. That was the problem; the M60 was a "crew" served weapon, not the individual weapon it many times was used as. Those who understood the effectiveness of controlled and properly applied MG fire and used it that way fared far better.

Larry Gibson
 

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I was a M60 gunner in a Recon Section (1/503rd/173rd) in '65/'66. We carried our tripods, T&E and the pintle in the field with us (that's what the assistant gunner carried T&E, Pintle and spare barrel). We both had M1911s so he was supposed to carry the tripod too however we had the ammo bearer carry the tripod.
This Thread Reinforces My Belief That----Vietnam was like the old TV Show...The 'Naked City'...The Tag Line was...'There are Ten Million Stories in The Naked City...This was One of Them'.

Everytime a Question Like This One is Asked...Many Guys Respond from Their Own Experience...and of course it's very 'human' for all of us to assume that it was probably that way for everybody...
But Then Guys from slightly different time frames, AO's, MOS's, and especially UNITS...tell how THEY did things differently...
My Memories of '68-'69 in the 1st Cav/7th Cav in I Corp, II Corp, and III Corp are Just That...MY Memories!
Sometimes I pull a book of my shelf...'Vietnam Order of Battle'...and Look at the Multiple, Multiple UNITS that Served in RVN that I Personally Never Heard of or Saw in My 14 Months in Country...

GI8

CAVman in WYoming
 

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Research, the only good game in town anymore......

Being in three different Artillery units in two tours (70-72). I didn't see any of our M60's with tripods on the bunker lines or mounted on our self-propelled howitzers. But we sure mounted out M2's on our M855's and had the tripods for them on the bunker line. DI5
 

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You should see the new tripod we use, waaaay better than the old one. We've got one for the 240B in country that weighed a mere 5 lbs, and it worked very well. We also have a 70 round "nutsack" that we use to carry a starter belt loaded in the weapon. it clips on to the side of the gun like the boxes the 7.62 linked comes in.

Just thought id share.


DS K. CIB3

I'm going to assume that when you say "5lbs" you made a typo. I know the Army gets all the cool new stuff but I'd have to be effing high to believe that there is a 5 lbs. M240
 

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I'm going to assume that when you say "5lbs" you made a typo. I know the Army gets all the cool new stuff but I'd have to be effing high to believe that there is a 5 lbs. M240
Haha no CE1371, i was not referring to the gun, but the tripod. The 240B is 27.5 lbs unloaded. Not even the MK48 is that light.

I was off a bit though, the new tripod is 11.3 lbs, lol. BUT, after carrying the M122 tripod, it sure feels like 5 lbs! lol much easier to carry and it folds up real nice. Didnt use them a whole lot though, bipod is usually good enough.

SGTPinder, yeah you hit it right on the head,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M192_Lightweight_Ground_Mount

thats the one we were issued when they took away our 122's. We still drilled with them though, AG carried it, run, spread the legs, pound the front tripod leg into the ground, gunner sets it in the hole (pintle stays on the gun with us so you can just lock it right in) and boom, good to go.

Can change a spare barrel in about 3-5 seconds in my prime on a 240 GI5
 

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Movie accuracy on MG crew

Since we are on the topic of machine gunnery, something that has always facinated me about Steven Spealburg is his historical and military accuracy.

Now, before you call me a cheeser, check this out-

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHXTbBdcfEg&playnext=1&list=PL0D49B7F94E64541D&index=26[/ame]

I noticed this years back, but just remembered. Fast forward to 4:55 in the video (through all the bad stuff) and watch the German MG crew.

Watch the team leader direct his MG gunner with tapps on the head- REMEMBER THAT??? hahaha, we still did this in my old unit, tap left, tap right.

Or sometimes a hard WHACK just because he could.... hahaha.

I thought this was really neat how he included this, thats probably the most authentic depiction of an MG team I have ever seen in the movies. Thoughts? Comments?
 
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