A&K M60E4 review by mario1286Discuss this review here.
The M60E4 is, as of August 2009, the latest variant of the M60 light machine gun family, used by the United States military as a support weapon for suppressive fire, mounted on trucks, tanks, and helicopters. A&K has taken the naval version of the M60E4, the Mk 43 Mod 0, and created a well crafted, sturdy replica that is sure to satisfy.Basic Information
The gun is manufactured by A&K. I purchased this gun off of Evike to the tune of $300. The price is now $350 though, so I would consider myself lucky. Being as how I've never owned a support weapon, I was very interested in the features rumored to be included in the gun.Product Description/First Impressions:
When the gun finally arrived, I opened the package to reveal the beastly M60. The gun is a steely grey, with dark grey furniture. The orange on the tip is also simply glazed on, and has already begun to chip off. A few minutes of work and it could be removed.
The most prominent aspect that left an impression on me was the weight of the gun. All I can say is that a strap is mandatory if the gun is to be carried over any sort of distance. UPS said my package weighed 18lbs even, so taking away the packaging and a few AEG springs I ordered, I have to put this gun somewhere around 15 lbs.
The trademarks are amazing, simply put. They are realistic and add a very nice touch to what could have been a dull surface texture.
The gun comes with a 9.6v battery, which is also nice as well. Other accessories are to be expected; a cleaning rod, the Engrish manual (that happens to have very nice pictures), a small MOSFET bypass connector, and a crappy wall charger.
The gun also comes with a very interesting box magazine, which will be discussed in the next section.Externals
If I had to pick one word to describe this gun, it would be â€œadjustableâ€. Because that is exactly what this gun is, completely and utterly adjustable. No matter how I'm shooting the gun, if I feel uncomfortable in some way, I can adjust something to make it better.
Adjustable bipodPieces that are easily adjustable
Front sight windage
Rear sight windage
Rear sight elevation
Magazine feeding style
Rate of fire
Notice the last item on the list, rate of fire. That's right, the rate of which the weapon cycles and fires. Through a built in MOSFET that comes pre-installed in the gun, the operator is able to adjust the rate of fire of the M60 from the speed of low-powered gravity fed gun, up to a rapid 14 rounds per second, by twisting the end of the gas tube.
The gun's Hop Up is easily adjusted by lifting the feed tray and exposing the metal adjustment wheel.
Hop Up adjuster
The gun is almost entirely metal. The only parts that are not made of what feels to be high-quality metal are the forward grip, pistol grip, and the shoulder stock (minus the metal buttplate), with the carry handle grip made of high-quality rubber. Everything else is made of metal, which means that although heavy, this gun is not going to break anytime soon. As if all metal construction weren't enough, the gun is ultra-realistic, with a mock bolt that stays locked open when pulled, all the adjustable parts, and even mock cartridge feeding wheels in the gun's ammunition port, where real 7.62mm cartridges would fit.
As I said before, a sling is almost mandatory for this gun to be employed over long distances. A small problem arises here, however; although the front sling mount is just fine, the rear sling mount on the shoulder stock is very thin, meaning slings with clips on them will be very hard to put through. I've yet to have any sling with clips I own fit.
The break down of external parts is:Plastic
Shoulder stock shellMetal
The take down procedure for the M60 is incredibly simple, which pleases me very much. The only tool required to get the gearbox out of the gun is a small hex key. After removing four screws, a small piece of metal that holds on the shoulder stock, and the shoulder stock itself, the gearbox can be simply lifted out, unplugging it from the gun completely. No wires, no mess, no hassle.
As if that weren't enough, a button on the outside of the gearbox releases the mainspring, allowing a mainspring change or inspection without ever having to open the gear box at all.
Mainspring release button
The gearbox itself is metal, and is definitely not a simple version 2 or 3 thrown in an M60 shell. It is not a conventional gearbox, and most likely is unique to the M60, or at least the SAW product line, including the M249.
From the outside the gears can be seen, and I can tell they are metal and will probably last a while. The bushings also appear to be metal. The air nozzle is clear, yellowish plastic, much like on other AEGs. Other than that, I dare not open the gearbox because it is foreign to me and seems complicated inside. And with metal bushings and good gears inside already, the spring release button is all that really needs to be tampered with.
The only other internal part that should have attention is the MOSFET. Using the included bypass connector, the MOSFET can be bypassed, allowing for the greatest maximum rate of fire. This is supposedly done by flipping the barrel release lever and simply removing the barrel. However, no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to get the barrel off. There must be an extra step after flipping the barrel release lever that I am missing. But since the rate of fire is already satisfactory, I'm not that concerned.
MOSEFT bypass connector
Oh, and the inner barrel is brass.Power/Magazines
Included box magazine
The box magazine included with the gun is an auto winding one to feed the 2000 bbs that can fit inside. However, unlike other sound activated winding box magazines, this one is actually powered by the battery of the M60 itself. The magazine has three settings.
The first is â€œOffâ€. It's not hard to guess what this setting does.
The second is â€œAutoâ€. This winds the magazine constantly, feeding bbs through the feed tube until no more will fit, and then winding the spring as if the operator were constantly winding the hicap.
The third is the most important function, and what sets this gun apart from the rest; â€œContinuumâ€. This function winds the magazine as the trigger is pulled. This translates into the gun winding only when the weapon is being fired, meaning no over-winding. A vast improvement over the sound-activated box magazines that could be triggered by any loud nearby sounds. The magazine also looks nicer in my opinion; it is black plastic within a durable OD green canvas pouch.
The magazine feeds flawlessly on â€œContinuumâ€, as I have yet to have a single jam or misfire through the entire capacity. Reloading the gun is where a two man team would really come in handy; the trap door of the box magazine is closed with a spring, meaning it must be held open the entire time while filling. This can get difficult to do with only one person. And forget about simply changing out magazines; first of all, to my knowledge there are no aftermarket ones anyways, and secondly it takes at least a couple minutes to attach/detach the magazine, meaning filling the empty one that is already attached would actually be faster than doing a magazine change.
The battery that comes with the gun is a 9.6v, and the gun shouldn't use anything lower for an acceptable rate of fire.Performance Characteristics:
All testing was done with Crosman .20g ammunition and a Matrix Tenergy 9.6v 1600mAH battery. Rate of fire testing was completed with a microphone and sound software.
The gun's rate of fire clocks in at around 14 rounds per second with the stock spring, with the MOSFET at the highest setting. According to the Poor Man's Chronograph, the gun fires at around 370fps, as the shot is able to blow through both sides of a coke can, and is extremely close to penetrating the center bottom.
I was constantly frustrated trying to obtain an accurate Poor Man's Chronogaph reading from the M60 because the gun is fully automatic only. I ended up using at least six coke cans that had been peppered accidentally until I was able to squeeze off only one round for a reading. But the lack of semiautomatic isn't a problem, firstly because the real steel gun doesn't have it, and secondly it's not like a player that's wielding an M60 will be taking single shots anyways.
The gearbox sounds smooth and responsive when firing, and is surprisingly quiet. The rapid rate of fire is intimidating, but to make it even more so, some kind of noise modification could be in order.
With the Hop Up adjusted correctly, the machine gun is accurate out to around 150ft before the bb begins to drop significantly. Accuracy is another story, but then again this is a suppressive fire weapon, and accuracy isn't exactly the concern.
Grouping at 25ft using bipod
The groupings steadily get wider out past 25ft, but again, as this is a suppressive fire weapon, this could be viewed as a good thing.Accessories/Modifications
Because the gun comes with an excellent bipod already, the only modifications to be done are purely cosmetic, but worth the effort.
A fake chain of bullets to complete the â€œlookâ€ of the weapon is the first thing that comes to mind. There's plenty of room inside the canvas magazine bag to tuck a mock bullet chain. Also, although the M60 does fire from the open bolt position, some kind of spring and latch could be rigged to the bolt for a more satisfying pull.
Bolt pulled halfway back
If lasers, flashlights, or, for whatever reason, a scope is to be mounted on, custom rails must be drilled or attached to the weapon.Upgrades:
The gun already comes with a MOSFET, MOSFET bypass connector, and a good mainspring, so there isn't much that needs immediate attention. All parts seem to be Mauri gearbox compatible though, so upgrades are possible. A tightbore barrel is probably a good idea if high accuracy is desired.
Due to the quick mainspring release system on the gearbox, a high speed or high power setup would be very easy to install. The gun already has metal bushings, so there's no worry there.Skirmish Results
Well, after being put through a 24 hour operation, the M60 seemed to hold up fine for the first few hours, and then something interesting happened. Somehow, the magazine hose became completely dislodged from inside the box magazine, causing complete failure to feed. I did not witness the event, nor did anyone claim responsibility for the strange occurance. Unfortunately, although I tried to fix it in the field, the problem caused the gun to sit out for almost the entire event.
After opening the magazine with access to a work bench, I was pleased to discover the problem was extremely simple to fix. The feed hose pops into a small hole connected to the auto-winding mechanism, and it is easily found. A small screw holds the hose in place. After placing it back in, I cannot imagine how it became dislodged, as I first had to untighten
the screw for the hose to slip back in, and after tightening the screw again, the hose felt very secure. My suspicion is that someone deliberately yanked the hose for whatever reason, and it popped out.
Also, while not as paramount as the magazine issue, it seems as if the carry handle was not as strong as I thought; by the end of the game, it seemed to have bent slightly to the right. I was able to bend it back by hand though. I would attribute this to the fact that when the magazine is connected to the gun, the center of gravity is thrown off when the weapon is carried by the handle, and the weapon hangs to the left under the extra weight. This causes the handle to slowly bend right. Simply choking up on the handle while holding it reduces leverage and the chance the handle will bend.
The M60 saw action in a second all-day game, and this time around it proved it's worth. Just the mere sight of the gun struck fear into the enemy, with sentences like "We have to fight THAT?" popping up everywhere. The sound of bbs hailing down in a non-stop flurry sent them running for cover. Many enemies were mowed down effectively, with little worry of remaining ammunition. The only immediate problem was, once again, the carry handle bending. I suggest not to carry this gun by the handle if the magazine is attached, and to invest in a quality sling instead.
However, a strange incedent occurred. The gun did not have to be reloaded all day, however, when there was about 1/4 of the magazine left, the gun stopped firing. It seems as if somehow the Continuum setting had overwound the magazine, causing the feed tube to stretch and jam. This was proven by disconnecting the magazine to relieve the tension (and spray a bunch of bbs everywhere). If it was indeed caused by auto-winding problem, I conclude that for each shot fired, the magazine is wound slightly more
than necessary to feed one bb, eventually leading to an over-wound spring by the time 1/4 of the magazine is left. However, because shooting thousands of bbs simply to test this theory would be wasteful, I cannot be sure this is the case. If it happens, simply shooting with the magazine off or disconnect the magazine entirely, and it will remedy the problem.Conclusion:
The gun is amazing, and is much more than I had expected. Although it carried the heavy price tag of $300, it was well worth it as the M60 is not a conventional weapon at all. All the extra high quality features add to what would have been a fine weapon otherwise, but the MOSFET and incredible aesthetics put the gun over the top in terms of quality.PROS
Nearly completely metal construction
Easy to remove orange glazed tip
Great box magazine
Tokyo Mauri gearbox parts compatible
$300 (way less than $2000 for a TOP M60)
Around 370fps stock
14 rounds per second
Quick mainspring change system
Extremely simple takedown
Box magazine has simple internals
Reliable trigger activated box magazine
Extremely realistic and fun to play withCONS
No aftermarket magazines yet
$300 (more than most clones)
Mock bolt is somewhat dissatisfying
Possible magazine feeding hose weakness
Carry handle bends somewhat easilyEnd Notes:
There has been some reports on YouTube that this gun fires at 290fps. My results are very inconsistent with this, showing around 370fps.
I'd like to thank Airsoft Retreat for being such a wonderful source of Airsoft information, and the Administrators and Moderators of the forums for continuing to provide such an excellent service. Now please enjoy these pictures of a well-crafted weapon.
Open feed tray
View of a gunner
Flip up shoulder support next to rear sling mount
Home made mock ammo belt
This gun cannot be held without thinking of Rambo
Written by mario1286, 6/23/2009