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M60/PIG ???

11echo11echo Member Posts: 1,001 ✭✭
Ok here is a question for you 11 "BUSH" types ...WHY did they call the M60 machine gun a "PIG"? I've heard the term used a number of times, but never knew why. Anybody got an answer? THX! ...Mark
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Comments

  • Grunt2Grunt2 Member Posts: 2,527 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    First time I have ever heard that term....The 60 was a great weapon as far as I'm concerned...
    Retired LEO
    Combat Vet VN
    D.A.V Life Member
  • Ray BRay B Member Posts: 11,822
    edited November -1
    Where I came from it was the only weapon smaller than artillery that had a rifled barrel and could be called a "gun"
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    23 yrs as 11B, 11C, 11H, 11M, never heard the term PIG for the M-60. The Huey UH-1 C models, with chin turret and side mounted M-60s were called Hawgs or Hogs- but that was the aircraft, not the gun. FWIW- everone I ever knew loved the 60- and durned near everyone humped SOME ammo for it.
  • CJ7nvrstkCJ7nvrstk Member Posts: 678 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    11E, I had heard that term for it when I joined in 86 but don't have a clue as to the origin. I always thought that the name didn't fit because I too think it is a great weapon. Maybe it has something to do with the weight. ???
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hi, Just browsing and I saw this thread. I was in the Army Inf. 1970-73, RVN training at Ft. Puke-Polk but luckily went to Germany. My Inf. unit in Germany had many Vietnam, Korean War and even a few WWII Vets in it. I heard the term PIG or THE PIG used for the M-60. Why, I can't say for sure but would guess it was beacuase of its reliability (are PIGS relaible, and if so for what??) and/or excessive weight of what was it, 23-pounds without a 3-pound 100-round ammo belt loaded.

    Take care, Chris
  • rovernutrovernut Member Posts: 256 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Seems to me some called it "PIG" because of it's insaseble appitite for 7.62 ammo. I well remember Humping a bunch of it!!
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yeah, that makes sense, even though its cyclic rate of fire was only about 550rpm, it was dependable and just kept eating ammo. Makes sense to me. I think you're right.

    Chris
  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 12,961 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You guys would be surprised to read some of the current articles that describe the M-60 as worthless crap. I didn't remember it as anything but a welcome presence.
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The only rotten things I ever heard about the M-60 were: 1) It's weight. 2) You could put about 6 parts in it the wrong way and still assemble it but then it wouldn't work. 3) M-60 sounds to much like M-16.

    I bet some of you know the M-60's ancestory. It was developed from the German MG-42, the Mg-42 was developed from the MG-39 (or was it MG-38 or MG-36, I forget?), and the MG3? was developed from a good pre WWII Polish Army LMG.

    I liked it because it was accurate, but I didn't like its weight. I wa very young anyway and not a stronman so it was a bit heavy to hold from a standing off-hand position, but otherwise not too bad. I wouldn't have been allowed to carry it in the real deal though perhaps because of my difficulty in holding it up in the standing off-
    hand position. Remember in Inf. training firing out to 1,100 meters with it?? I do, and it was fairly accurate too, at that long range from the prone position.

    Does anyone know anything about that Polish Army LMG?? I have looked for it, but that was awhile back and dunna know about it now.

    Thanx, Chris
  • River RatRiver Rat Member Posts: 9,022
    edited November -1
    I liked the M60, and am kind of sad to see it being replaced. Never heard the term "pig" used, but then I was a swabbie not a Marine or Army pounder. It was heavy, but then ours were on boats and rarely lifted off the swivel mount. When you pulled the trigger, it fired. Can't argue with success.
  • namknightnamknight Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Never heard the M60 called "PIG". The 155MM Howitzer M114A1 Towed was always called the "PIG" in Vietnam. All 6 tons of it. Raider Vietnam Artillery "Brave Cannons" 68-69
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Humping 6 tons must have been heavy!! ;-)

    We had 12-13 ton Tracks, 113's, APC's, and they were heavy, even when they carried us and not visa versa.

    .50cals. and 81mm mortars are also heavy to carry over hill and dale, through forested and mountainous terrain and muddy fields. Glad we did it only a few times.

    Gravity/weight sucks.

    Chris
  • divecopdivecop Member Posts: 778 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    We had a few M60s but they were mounted in the bunkers, never had to
    hump one in the bush. Loved the weapon, never heard it referred to
    as a pig. It did eat up the ammo though. 71-72
  • 11echo11echo Member Posts: 1,001 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I did a serch on "M60 PIG" and got a number of hits. Most seemed to point at the weight and because it was unrelable ...thus calles a "PIG"
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=m-60

    Everyone I saw shooting it had no problems, and what soldier in combat doesn't take extra care that his weapon stays clean? My $0.02 anyway.
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    'Without being able to change barrels, gunners had to restrict their bursts of fully automatic fire to short, spaced ones rather than the longer bursts that machine guns are tactically intended for.'

    That quote above is from that link/article, and you were taught to fire in short bursts, as any automatic can jam by continuously firing long bursts. In training you were made to fire one long 100-round belt in one long burst if I remember correctly, and that was to show you that the M60 was reliable and could if necessary fire a looonngggg burst. Otherwise you were supposed to try and fire 3 to 9 round bursts, something like that.

    You're right, most people I knew said it was dependable.

    Chris
  • 11b6r11b6r Member Posts: 16,725
    edited November -1
    FWIW- the cyclic rate of fire for the M-60 (that has not been screwed with) is 650 rds per minute. Gunners were taught to fire bursts of 6 rds by chanting "Fireaburstofsix"- which strangely, is just about 6 rounds. Above does NOT apply to shooting an FPL (final protective line- also called bad guys in the wire) or anti-aircraft fire. Some door gunners modified their guns to increase rate of fire by tapping a coin behind the buffer assembly.
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yup, thanx for the info., 3 to 9 round bursts. Never heard this "Fireaburstofsix" in AIT, but I could very well have forgotten. It's impossible to fire the same number of rounds in a little burst anyway, and I remember the 3 to 9 round deal from Cadre, meaning short bursts within a certain number of rounds, but for me it is 37 years or so ago for the Active Army, more for some people and less for others. Short bursts is what I remember for all automatic fire. So, 6 rounds was optimal for a burst. Yeah the .50 cal. is 550rpm cyclic, not the M60 as I thought above. One of the two, the M60 or .50 cal. is sometimes listed with a 550-650 rpm or so cyclic.

    Don't remember of the door-gunner trick either, and I knew a few door-gunners. Sometimes when someone says or explains something it may ring a bell or two, and sometimes that occurs hours, days, or weeks later. All of a sudden something, some memory of a person or incident pops into the present with some catalyst to help, but many things are foggy still, some aren't, both concerning the military and before and after the military. Things happen all the time any time everywhere. People memories seem easiest to recall.

    Hmmm, sometimes I forget what year it is, or decade, or century. [;)]

    Chris
  • 11echo11echo Member Posts: 1,001 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    11br7 ...You know what interesting! I remember talking to my Dad about using the water cooled .30 cal machine in the Philippines. He said you didn't want to fire long continuous burst, only a burst of about 25 rd.s, AND he said that the Army taught him that trick, but it was "fireaburstoftwentyfive"!! When I was going thru Armor training at Knox in 73, they said to fire 25 rd. burst with the coax...but not how to gage it, so I used my Dad's trick! ...Probably would have worked, but the coax was that piece of cr*p M73 and we were lucky to get 5 rd.s thru it before there was a stoppage.
  • MosinNagantDiscipleMosinNagantDisciple Member Posts: 2,612
    edited November -1
    I heard it was called "the pig" because of the grunting noise it makes when it fires.
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Bingo!! I now do indeed recall the 50 cent piece trick with the M-60, and a fellow named Dave told me about it some years ago. Dave was a doorgunner, and I forget which unit, doesn't matter. What does matter is that my recall and memory did finally sputter and kick-in. Ha ha ha!! Most amazing feat sometimes I think. Gee, is that what that was.[?][^][:)]

    Chris
  • kraschenbirnkraschenbirn Member Posts: 70 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Did two tours as a Huey crewchief with the 1st Cav and don't recall anyone ever using coins to shimb their M-60 recoil buffers...just slipped a couple of stainless steel washers behind the buffer assembly. Also, firing while airborne, burst control was never much of an issue with the barrels hung out in the slipstream and 400-rd ammo boxes...we just firehosed 'em.

    Bill
  • jerrydm60jerrydm60 Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    We had 6 in our unit, and never had any problems with them, we always swore by them not at them! We were told if you keep them clean and oiled they would be fine.
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    The conversation with Dave the doorgunner from years back I now remember. The silver half-dollar was a never used or just possibly used as an expedient that supposedly could be used but only briefly due to the softness of the silver. He stated they used steel washers if anything at all and did not use the silver half-dollar but legen had it you could as a temporary field expedient.

    That was a long time ago.

    Chris
  • Tiger6Tiger6 Member Posts: 1,707 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Pig >>> It was big, ugly and did not really care if it was clean or dirty, it would eat and crap at the same time, and it could eat all day! Ya had to love that old pig.. Never let us down!
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey, A funny post of mine dissappeared. I was laughing about the 'pucker factor'.

    Whe the M-60 was being developed the Amry, DoD, whomever, was seriously considering a lighter by about 5-ounds French LMG or GPMG that had an 800.meter Max. Effective Range (MER)compared to the M-60's 1,100 MER. This French LMG was good, and may have been the better choice.

    Today, a French designed LMG is used by our troops. Is that the SAW, or a different weapon??? I hear the pistol used today is not so good.

    Everyone have a good weekend, Chris

    PS: I didn't login. I thought this site had an automatic login, but nope. My error. Phhrrtttt!!! to the inet. [8]
  • Laredo LeftyLaredo Lefty Member Posts: 13,452 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I never heard the term Pig refering to the M-60. Mine served me well.

    [img][/img]IMG_0006-4.jpg
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yeah, seems the term 'the pig' was used by some people and not others, same as the terms for the M-79, some called it a 'thumper' and others a 'bloop gun'.

    Chris
  • rpsguyrpsguy Member Posts: 3 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Noticed topic..Was with 198th L.I.B./ Americal Div. River Boat South Chu Lai RVN 67-68 [19 FT. Boston Whalers].. Each whaler was equipped with 1 M60 on ped mount.. 2000 rds ammo per gun/ per boat..M 60 is an excellent tool.. Durable,accurate, maintenance/user friendly.. I never heard it called a PIG, but then again, like one of the other vets said,it might have been a local thing..Like the M79 being nicknamed "Guava Launcher" by us 11th Brigaders from Hawaii.. rpsguy
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    "Guava Launcher"!!! That's a new one and a good one!!! Love it!!! Some nicknames and humor you never forget.

    I heard the term 'the pig' used in AIT at Ft. Polk by cadre and from a couple of Nam vets in Germany. One, Pilgrim, Sgt. Pilgrim from Ole Miss. with one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen crowned by an orange-red carrot top mass of hair, used the term 'the pig', and that is what we also called him at his suggestion/behest. Pilgrim was in the 1st ID around 1969 or so, but I forget what Brigade and Battalion.

    Oink, oink, Chris
  • sandwarriorsandwarrior Member Posts: 5,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think the term is an affectionate one. I was in post-VN and we still had them. They weighed a lot as did the ammo but we always felt they were worth it. They were very reliable.

    In Germany, REFORGER '83, we went 56 miles in a 28 hr. timespan. I carried the gun most of the time. I hurt like hell for a couple days. But, we never regretted carrying it along. Because on the last missions we got in place for we lit up some aviation and support units with them so good it was unreal. Their grader who was sleeping with them came out screaming (little looey) that we were all dead....we corrected him. We showed him about 600 rds of imaginary bullets (blanks)laying on the ground that clearly ended a defense of a unit where no one was on guard. We walked away laughing.

    I always remember that gun as a great gun. Although, I hear from the guys over in the sandboxes who worked with both that the 240 is better.
  • christof139christof139 Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yeah. Not anyone is saying the M-60 was not good etc., but whether the trem 'the pig' was used for it and it was used and reasons for the use of that term are given and they are varied. I always wondered about it.

    What was bad about the M-60 was its weight, and many people say this and many DoD and Dept. of the Army reports list the weight as one factor that many people didn't like. There were other MG's available and the one that the Army and DoD almost adapted was a French MAAG that weighed 5-pounds less than the M-60, that is it weighed about 18-pounds or so in comparison to the M-60's 23-pounds.

    The M-60 was not the best designed of weapons and 6-pieces could be put back together the wrong way and the weapon would still assemble but not be fireable, however it was a rugged, accurate, and reliable weapon with considerable range. In Vietnam the longer range of the M-60 didn't matter too much, so hindsight and US DoD etc. reports that are based on actual usage of the weapon and interviews with personnel that used it, suggets that the French MAAG that was considered by the DoD for adaption for Vietnam may have been the better choice even though the MAAG had an 800-meter max. effective range compared to the M-60's 1,100 meters. The 5-pounds less weight of the French MAAG in comparison to the M-60 would have been appreciated by most troops, if they had any common sense, the less weight the better and that is applicable to all weapons going back to broadswords, shields, clubs and etc. Carrying more weight means that you expend more energy and it's good to have some energy in reserve.

    Most people that I have known that humped the M-60 in Nam and elsewhere say it was a bit heavy and could be a real bear to carry for an extended period in rough conditions, but that it was reliable and accurate, and that is what I remember about 'the pig'.

    In some conditons just about everything can get heavy to one degree and for one reason or another. Even 1-foot long pieces, of nice, cheesey, pepperoni laden pizza slices from a 2-foot diameter pizza. [:D][;)]

    Take care abd ciao or chow, Chris
  • DingDing Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    It was called "the pig" because the damn thing was very heavy
  • CapnMidnightCapnMidnight Member Posts: 8,520
    edited November -1
    Lefty,
    I should know you, where you in the 2/1 arm Cav?? 68-69??
    W.D.
  • FrnQtrFrnQtr Member Posts: 1 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    I honestly never heard the M60 called anything EXCEPT "the pig.". We called it that for several reasons. 1) It was one heavy buzzard. 2) it makes a low, chugging, grunting sound when it fires. 3) it didn't seem to care at all how dirty it was. It fired no matter what. 4) it ate like a pig, non-stop!!

    Despite all the revisionist crap that the M60 was unreliable or disliked by the troops, neither was true. I NEVER knew the pig to let us down. It was a heavy hitter and very reliable. We always took comfort from having it with us.
  • 70-10170-101 Member Posts: 1,006 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Personally, I never liked it because it was far to heavy for the amount of fire power it gave you. Every man in the squad expect the medic and officers had to carry ammo for it. It ate barrels causing heat related misfires, and it didn't like getting muddy.
  • MMOMEQ-55MMOMEQ-55 Member Posts: 13,134
    edited November -1
    The M-60 saved my butt many times over the course of my 13 month tour in paradise.
  • flapjackflapjack Member Posts: 58 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Well-I guess the weight is relative to what you're doing with it. If you have to hand carry it, it sure must be heavy, until you have to put into use. But, if you have it mounted to something that jumps around a lot, like a jeep, or a helicopter, the weight can work for you. We just called it "the 60" and had 2 in our gun jeep: one on a center stand, and one on a mount fabricated to fit where the rider side windshield hinge would have been (no wind shield). This mount simply slipped down into a round holder, and the wight of the gun held it in place. If something happened, you just lifted as you bailed. It had an aircraft Butterfly handle and trigger assembly on the back, and a hundred round bag hooked to the side, with more close by to clip on if needed. The one up on the center stand had a conventional triger. The thing that caught some guys was that the way the gas cylinder plug went in looked backwards, but that was the way it went in. Not a good situation to pick one up with it's plug in backwards. I've heard it called "the pig" as a reference to its "appetite." In line outfits, everyone had to carry "food" for it. A great and accurate weapon, in my view, smoking the same brand as the marvelous M-14 Rifle, which they have "re-discovered" in recent years. Word is that we have lost some less experienced troops, NG's as I heard it, do to not using the old "GO-NO GO" guage on the .50 BMG. Glad I wasn't around for any of those. Flapjack
  • PTHEIMPTHEIM Member Posts: 3,374
    edited November -1
    I'm only 42 and no military experience(s)but, I've known several service men of all branches who served in WWII, Korea and/or Viet Nam and enjoyed their stories.

    Anyway, On the M-60, I heard from those that had experience w/it and read various magazine atricles that mentioned it that the name "PIG" was given to the M-60 because while in use out on patrols and ambushes it got almost all the attention from the 'enemy' when it barked off, thus 'hogging' (or being a pig).
  • nards444nards444 Member Posts: 3,994 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by christof139
    Hey, A funny post of mine dissappeared. I was laughing about the 'pucker factor'.

    Whe the M-60 was being developed the Amry, DoD, whomever, was seriously considering a lighter by about 5-ounds French LMG or GPMG that had an 800.meter Max. Effective Range (MER)compared to the M-60's 1,100 MER. This French LMG was good, and may have been the better choice.

    Today, a French designed LMG is used by our troops. Is that the SAW, or a different weapon??? I hear the pistol used today is not so good.

    Everyone have a good weekend, Chris

    PS: I didn't login. I thought this site had an automatic login, but nope. My error. Phhrrtttt!!! to the inet. [8]



    we use the 240B Beleive its made by FHN in belgium, might be made in the states. its about the same size at the M-60 its a 7.62x51rd basically a 308. Way better than the 60 reliable and shoots 800rds a min or so. There also is the SAW made by FHN its smaller weighs 13lbs and shoots 5.56
  • J 1357J 1357 Member Posts: 283 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    In the early 70's, I ran an M60 machine gun range at Fort Leonard Wood. I would draw 10k rounds of ammo..7.62 linked very morning and at the end of the day, shoot up what wasn't used by trainees. Couldn't turn ammo back in. Very rarily, would one of those highly used M60's malfunction. Never herd the term pig. personally, the M60, although heavy was kinda like an ak. It just kept eating up ammo, regardless of conditions.
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