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.223 M60 Parts - A closer look


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   Many do not know it, but long long ago you could buy .223 Conversion kits for M60s. The kits consisted of the following:

- Feed Tray

-Barrel

-Bolt

-Top Cover

  The parts are very easy to install. All of the conversion parts were made from original M60 Parts.... They just had to be modified. The conversion kits were made by John Weaver "JRW", who sadly passed away a long time ago now. Parts are almost non existent. I was going to put these parts into production years ago but found that some of the parts, such as the barrel collar, would be very very costly for me to have made. I passed the project on and haven't heard about it since. I regret it now....

   I did manage to pick up a .223 feed tray. Some pictures below. I will be having the blocks and feed pawls produced...so that's a start... Al;so pictured below is a early M60e4 Ammo Hanger, which SAW pouches attach to. Which is what would hold the ammo load for the .223 M60.

   Anyway ... Just sharing with the board.. I am trying to acquire the other .223 parts so I can get this project up and running and into production.

Aaron - Mohnton, Pa

.223 FEED TRAY - The long piece coming off the front goes into the trunion and guides the round into the chamber.

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Here is a video of a .223 M60 Running

 

Edited by Aaron in Mohnton Pa
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@Waffen Und Bier ,

    They were suppose to put these into production and I was supposed to become a distributor of them. From what I heard the kit went on a shelf and to date no action has been taken with it. Unfortunately. That was in 2015 that they acquired it and still nothing. I'm not optimistic that they will go into production.

- Aaron

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@Waffen Und Bier , Yes the barrel collar (pictured below) threads onto the newly made barrel. The small tooth on front of the feed tray guides the round into the chamber. I have heard John Weaver made his barrels out of Remington 700 barrels.

   The problem is finding these barrel collars and gas cylinders. They are near impossible to find the e3 ones. I do not know if standard gas cylinders will work. The barrels are machined into the shape of an e3 barrel. Barrel collar torqued on and barrel latch notch cut in. Then everything is installed and lined up based on the barrel latch cut. To ensure gas system is straight and front sight post is straight.

-Aaron

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Edited by Aaron in Mohnton Pa
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Aaron, I think a lot of ANYTHING that will add to the limited choice's we have to look forward to in todays market place and its a fantastic thought. I had heard there were running issues that was a big factor with it moving forward.  I would think the pressure curve of the round and the 60K + actual chamber pressure is a big culprit with the design. Has anybody attempted a Russian short conversion?   mike todd

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@mike todd Mike,

   Yes, JRW's initial design had its issued. He was working on the project with Eric Grimes. After John Passed Eric continued to work on the project. He was able to get the gas port size adjusted correctly so that the weapon ran consistently.

    I don't believe anyone has attempted a 7.62x39 conversion but that would be neat. Since I made this post, I have been talking back and forth with Michael Dresner at Law Enforcement Sales in TN. If anyone is capable of completing a x39 design it is him. That round may actually feed better than the .223 round.

 

Aaron

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Aaren, lets hope someone takes the bait and gives it a shot. I enjoy my 60 more than I can relate but not so much with full power ammo. I managed to get 3 extra guns in a agency order back in early 80 and we ordered a full 28ft pup of that EARLY west German .308 . it was on the low side and the guns just purred with it. what little I have left I cant bring myself to shoot, so an option would be very welcome.  we have the rifling machine at the ready so brls would not be any problem. if only my hands would allow me to run the mill ,or steady the TIG torch, I would be on it now instead of this keyboard. the biggest hurdle is anyone with the ability has no time because of all the demand for quality work. so it will require quite a sacrifice for anyone to get into. lets light the fuse and get something going! 

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Aaron, next time you talk to Michael Dresner, tell him if he gets a bit going , we can produce a barrel, and provide it for the project but would need help with the collar. if we could get our hands on some from demil brls , we should be able to do something with them.  other than a few target brls all we are doing right now is trying to produce a Breda 30 brl in Russian short for our AK mag conversion.

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  • 4 weeks later...

No sign of the M60 parts yet.

Did John/Eric change the gas system much? According to Cadilac Gage's Interim Report on the Stoner system, they "had little success in developing a straight expansion cut-off system similar to that used in the M60 machine gun." The M60 bolt, op rod, piston and recoil spring would seem like a lot to overcome by the 5.56mm.  

I was thinking 7.62x39 for the M60 and MG42 as well. 

Edited by Waffen Und Bier
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If you are looking for investors in the project, count me in. What about the 6.5 Creedmoor? I bet the Military would give a second look at the M60 in that chambering. Interesting that I recall the Brits were looking at a .260 when we were testing the .223.

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The .308/7.62x51 is the parent case for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Price is not as affordable as the .308. Really the MAIN thing on a conversion to 6.5 would be the barrel. The m60 links, feedtray, top cover, bolt etc would all work. Other than working out the round feeding into the chamber.
.

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@Waffen Und Bier,

    After John Weaver died Eric Grimes continued working on the project. John had not finalized a working design as his original design had issues running. The modifications that Eric made to get it running properly was:

- Bending the feed cam a few degrees

- Adjusting the gas port size

   When I last spoke with Eric years ago, the biggest issue he was having was the gas port size and the feeding issues. I still do not know what his finial gas port size was. But his final adjustments got it running perfectly consistent. 

   @BDMERC, Thank you for that offer!! Funding is there and I can get that done, its getting my hands back on the final design so I can reverse engineer it. I believe, especially with all the people interested in this with manufacturing capabilities like @mike todd, that it can be done. I think Rental ranges would like something like this as well to keep ammo costs down.

 

Aaron

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its getting my hands back on the final design

 

Do you know who currently has it? If you do and he knows it has value it seems like he would be willing to attach a price to it and sell it, given he apparently has not (or does not plan) to do anything with it. 

 

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  • 1 month later...

  Recently, with the help of Brian Borg, I purchased the remaining M60 Parts fromthe John Weaver (JRW) estate. 

    While there was a lot of small parts... the most interesting thing in there was all johns tools, jigs etc... there was also a couple .223 extractors and the Jig John made to modify them , which had an extractor in it still that was in the process of being finished. 

   Looks like a .223 feed cam and feed tray belt pawl as well. 

   Some other unique things were the semi auto parts (firing pins , 525 firing pin springs, Sears , sear pins, etc.

    Some pictures below. 

Aaron 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spacer in the feed tray, the 42 belts are the way to go for feeding. No need to mod to RPD belts, just adds extra steps. Maybe slight mods to the extractor. Barrel. And maybe tweaking the top cover. The 42 the round has a long jump so the top cover is modded to accommodate that. Tuning the gas is probably the biggest thing, but all and all not impossible.

 

you may need to mod the feed chute area of the feed tray if the rounds want to fall out of the tray early. That may not be an issue in the M60 though. It is in the 42.

Edited by LewmanArms
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AARON, I called the shop to see if the rifle tooling was open and we can get it in anytime. someone needs to start scrounging barrel collars. maybe there is somebody out there that can deal with MG DAVE at SARCO better than me all I get is BLANKS on my orders and lucky if an email is returned. I do know they have a ton of demilled 60 parts. I am trying another source also. I CAN PROMISE ONE THING!  I WILL NOT REQUIRE A DEPOSIT IN ADVANCE FOR FUTURE MACHINE WORK for any conversions I'm part of. we already have all the equipment on hand to do the work and its waiting. cheers guys  lets do it!  MIKE

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@mike todd ,

     I can likely get some barrel collars in. I will definetely take you up on your offer to help! Just need to get a barrel in to reverse engineer. The gas port size was a big problem on the existing kits I know. I think Eric Grimes in the last kit had finally got the perfect port size cause it ran flawlesssly. 

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  • 9 months later...
  • 7 months later...

JUST A THOUGHT, I HAVE done a lot of caliber conversions to countless designs. once the feed is worked out which is just a mechanical hurdle, the MAIN challenge is the pressure curve and port size. in the past the way I handled port sizes was to drill and tap the brl port then you can drill various size's in the following plugs and work your way down to the right level. not that I would KEEP that in the final design, it is safe enough and allows a quick adjustment. gas is NOT always the culprit its that danged curve that will hang you up. when I went to .410 shotgun I learned the most about that as it does not EXIST! many designs required a expansion area in the chamber much like COLT used for the 1911 .22 conversion to start the initial unlocking . the brl machine is still waiting for something so lets get moving !

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