Say it with me, “fire a burst of six to nine.”
I was fortunate that I only got tapped to serve as a machine gunner a couple of times. Unlike the USMC where Machine Gunner is a specific MOS, in the Army, every 11B is a potential gunner (or, worse job, the Assistant Gunner, who gets to carry the spare barrel and the tripod).
For those who have fond memories of the M60 machine gun, the fact is, it wasn’t a very good gun. The rate of fire was just a bit low. Worse, it was very easy to reassemble the gas system incorrectly, and end up with a single shot weapon. And worst, it had a very unfortunate tendency for the trigger assembly leaf spring to fall off, which would inevitably lead to the pistol grip trigger assembly falling off. I’ve spent more than a couple hours searching the woods for a trigger that some unfortunate gunner didn’t notice had dropped away. The M60’s replacement, the M240B, might weigh a skosh more, but it is a far more reliable weapon.
Still, it was pretty fun to shoot. And for all the hoopla about 1ooom sniper shots, hitting a man sized target at 1100m with the M60 was not very hard at all with a burst of six to nine.