I've shot and commanded the M60A1 and A3, and the M1. Missed the M48-series, but the fire-control is, as has been pointed out, the same as the A1. It was so satisfying to put steel on target with that tank! (The M60A1, that is)First you acquire the target, issue your fire command and pull the gun over so the gunner can acquire. Now drop down into the turret, mash your face against the coincidence range finder (mangling your glasses in the act) and spin the whiz-wheel until the images line up, or 4 turns from mechanical stop, which was 1200m. Either way, now you've left a good bit of skin off your knuckles on the turret ceiling. Hang on to something and yell "Fire" (when the Loader yells "Up!) Like a mini-aerobics class. Remember that "3 threat tanks direct front" gunnery engagement? That was my favorite! You had to open in something like 6 seconds and close in 27 to max the engagement. I also like the "firing from the short halt" engagement. There's something really cool about firing and then riding through the cloud of smoke and dust you created. Granted the A3 and the M1 are/were a lot more accurate and quicker to shoot, still the commander doesn't have all that old-fashionsed physicality.
I never shot the M60A2. It was gone before my time. As I understand it, that fire-direction system was just too smart for its own good. The commander had a target designator in the cupola which allowed him to lay on a second target from the gunner, and when the gunner completed the first engagement, with the push of a button, the turret would slew around to lay on that second target. Apparently if you pointed the gun at one fender, and the TC's cupola at an opposite rear fender, and hit the target designator, the turret would spin around in a circle, unable to acquire the second target, but also unable to stop itself from searching for it. I fired the M551 once and that was enough to convince me that there's such a thing as too much gun on too small a tank. But that's another story...
Last edited by Rob Weaver; 09-09-2006 at 07:33 AM.
Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
"We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
-Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty