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RIA M60


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#1 fifthmdec

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 10:25 AM

Anyone have any history or insight on the RIA M60 builds?
The receivers were stamped RIA Geneseo, IL. I assume that they were parts weapons. I understand that they produced transferables and a Post Samples. Any information is appreciated...

Thanks
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#2 Black River Militaria CII

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 03:02 PM

Except for the original examples of Saco-Lowell, NE Maremont, Maremont, and DLOs registered pre-M60 designation examples, all M60 s are "part" guns and there is a variety amongst the manner in which trunnions, rails and channels were acquired and used. New, used and weld repaired trunnions were used to build pre-86 transferable receivers as well as the same for other receiver parts. As well a variety of ways were employed to construct the receivers and to serialize the guns. Used, poor condition trunnions do not hold the barrel tightly, which is a slide in component into the receiver, so that is one thing to look for in any reman, registered receiver. Rails were welded to the trunnion and channel when in service, a major joint that can be compromised and weakened with hard handling. Remans can be fully riveted or a combo or welding and riveting. Some have had crooked trunnions from careless assembly or poor cosmetics at the trunnion for one reason or another. Much of this is visible.

The advantage in seeking a decent M60 now, is that few of the registered remans that were of questionable quality have not been repaired. With the evolution of the M60 upgrades and an industry dedicated to repair and upgrade of the reman guns, there's a good chance that ones offered for sale have been through a rebuild or repair are in very good condition. RIA did a decent job of their builds but had to deal with the problem of getting good receiver components at the time. I have an RIA example which is well constructed and is probably representative. It is in standard configuration and I've had it as an E3, too. Good shooter and no problems for the many years I have owned it. Also have owned two different original examples neither of which were shooters.

Receiver construction and finish quality is the whole game with these guns, in my opinion, and all other components have been available in new condition for many years so they are not an issue. Hope this helps.


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#3 fifthmdec

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Posted 26 March 2020 - 04:34 PM

Bob,

Thank you...

David
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#4 mattnh

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 03:23 PM

RIA's build procedures changed over time.  They come in two flavors:

  Registered Trunions & Registered Channels

 

Their first <100 guns are registered trunion guns & after that they started building registered channel guns.

Some early RIA guns used uncut Maremont marked trunions.

IMHO, their later (channel marked) guns are more desirable as they can have the trunion replaced.


Edited by mattnh, 27 March 2020 - 03:26 PM.

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#5 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 27 March 2020 - 08:03 PM

I have an RIA gun with a registered trunion.  Because the trunion is repairable if need be,  and the sheet metal and rails are replaceable, the registered trunion guns always bring more money.  The trunion only had potential problems in the standard configuration, every confuguration since the bipod rests on the gas tube, so trunion wear is extremely unlikely.  The stretch gauge exists because the channels are where all the potential problems occur. 

hth


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#6 mattnh

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 12:02 AM

I own both reg trunion gun AND reg channel transferables.

 

Not to start a religious war, but...
 My recent experience is reg channel transferable M60s bring
more $$$ than reg trunion guns except in the case of Maremont M60s.
 
 
There are +/- to each when it comes to transferables.
 
Reg trunion:
+ Rebuilding gun is very simple if there are no issues with trunion
   (Desert Ord will put on new factory back-half & gas tube for ~3K)
    If you have a mil-spec trunion, this will go smoothly...
-  If your trunion is damaged or out of spec, it could be a very serious issue to fix it as it is heat treated and precision machined
-  trunion can be egged from normal bipod use (esp in std M60 config as noted above)
   This is prob more likely with non mil-spec trunions or ones that were not properly heat treated
- You can't switch to a new style E6 trunion
 
Reg channel
+ Full rebuild is more work than with reg trunion
   (Desert Ord will give you a new factory trunion, gas tube, rails, and get your channel in spec for ~3K)
+ Switching to a new E6 trunion & gas tube is possible
+ Damaged sheet metal channel can be fixed by a lot of people
- Channel IS stretched/worn/damaged by normal extended use
- Easier to damage a channel than a trunion
 
If you had serious damage, would you rather have a rewelded channel gun or a rewelded trunion gun?
FWIW, I know Desert Ord asks a lot of questions about trunion when doing a rebuild, but none about the channel...
 
 


Edited by mattnh, 28 March 2020 - 12:07 AM.

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#7 mattnh

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 12:15 AM

There are a couple interesting threads on ar15.com about RIA M60s

 

Here is one of them:

https://www.ar15.com...tion/22-381638/

 

Interesting comment about not all RIAs having milspec trunions and RIA not using hardened steel on the channels.

 

Also sounds like some early RIA M60s used SACO milspec trunions with their SN and they also marked the channel.

In this case neither the trunion nor the channel could be replaced....


Edited by mattnh, 28 March 2020 - 12:38 AM.

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#8 mattnh

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 01:01 AM

Here is some info a well known collector shared with me about M60s and RIAs a year or so ago...
 
"... There are actually 2 category's of the RI marked guns. first a gun as it left them, is almost guaranteed NOT to run consistently time after time. one trip out it will , next time NO. I have owned 5 like that and many others if telling the truth will say the same thing.  that indeed is what you will find offered in most cases at $35k/ $40k.  the 2nd cat for RI will be a gun that's been "CORRECTED" at DESERT ORDNANCE. they will run 100% and make excellent shooters. its very easy to see if that's been done because the rails are no longer "WELDED" to the trunnion everything is riveted just like a SACO or MAREMONT gun. cost for that will vary from $2500/$5k such examples you see from $45k/$50k these days . having owned and used almost every type of M-60 in the system here is my opinion and the reasons. the untouched ROCK ISLAND GUNS are at the bottom of the list simply for the above reason and most have cast trunnions or ravaged originals that were rewelded. the next 2 are equal in value and service they will give. but in the long run, make a better buy. CHARLIE ERB built 50, M-60's all of them have forged trunnions, the rails are riveted like SACO and I have NEVER heard a bad report concerning one. next would be the guns built by "METROTECH" with original SACO trunnions and if welded rails,  "corrected" by DESERT ORD. that leaves all the original SACO/ MAREMONT guns . A MAJOR WORD OF WARNING ! I have held and know of at least 3 ROCK ISLAND guns that are obviously M-60's with unmarked trunnions and the registration forms state "BM-59". the serial number is on the gun and all seems well until you see BM-59 as the model on the forms. I KNOW WHAT and WHY it was done. and if an agent views in person that knows guns OR if they ever require PICS to transfer, the least that will happen is the gun will be confiscated! for a total loss at BEST. the very first M-60 I sold was an original SACO gun in 1983 NIB for $6500.00 I now own and shoot 2 SACO and 1-METROTECH. at one time anything but a SACO was half the going market of a SACO. that's not the case anymore. ALL makes are getting close in value and I feel one day there will be little difference in the actual value, because demand will exceed supply. unless I wanted to pay a 20% premium, it took me almost 2 years to find my last SACO gun, so anything in the category is a good move IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE FACED WITH. ANY R.I. made gun WILL NEED REWORKED IF NOT DONE. last time I checked it was a 3month wait and they may not be there when you need them so please keep that in mind and you will enjoy what ever you get. CHEERS..."

Edited by mattnh, 28 March 2020 - 01:03 AM.

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#9 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 09:13 AM

Well first off most of these problems are pretty rare to begin with (stretching or egging).  The preference is always reg. trunion because there is something there to work with and with today's processes you can do a lot .  I don't know how D.O. fixes a stretched channel?  I'd love to know though. 

Is there a reason anyone wants an E6 trunion?  Whatever that is?  They make them and want to sell them for a profit is not a valid reason as to why I might need one?

 

You have to be a bit careful when you use the term "welded" trunions.  When I see that I think welded and riveted to the channel which is known to be a fail safe because maremont riveted only trunions have loosened over time on a few guns.   There are a number of guns that have maremont welded trunions.......that were torched, sawed/ demilled and welded back up.  Big difference IMO, but I've seen the term interchanged on occasion. The channels do not get heat treated, just the rails and that will add to the life.  As to whether they are tack welded or riveted really doesn't make that much difference, but riveted are much easier to replace, so that would be the best choice.  Welding is definitely better though, and makes a much stronger box.  The reality is how strong does the box need to be?

 

All RIA guns have some markings on the channel regardless of whether or not the trunion is the registered part.  If they don't, that's a sign the channel has already been replaced.   

 

When I have guys tell me guns run great one time and won't the next, but they fail to look for or find the problem and fix it, everything they say after that is meaningless.  I know a lot of well known collectors/ repair guys  90% of whom never post on the net......I can think of maybe two of them I'd sent something to for repair.  OOW ain't one of them.   The other thing to consider is these are not well designed, nor even well made guns in some cases, and what we consider shortfalls today were production or engineering expedient back in the day.  Times have changed, but you're never going to make an M60 into an S18-1000 no matter what you do.   There is no such thing as a "precision machined" M60 trunion, the spec is not that tight especially in today's world.  I put Charlie right up there with DLO, don't believe 90% of what you read on the internet.  I'm sure those guys laugh their asses off when they read most of what is put out on the  net. 

 

No holy wars here, just exchanges of opinion with people that actually own what they talk about.  You really can't say that about 95% of the other sites out there.  Lots of fakers and fake news.  My sister in law does tinder and I see a lot of comparisons when I've met or seen some "serious collectors" from the internet as to what she showed me and told me about the guys she's met.  My take on the whole thing is that one way or another a lot of people generally get screwed in the internet.  Best to meet real people in real life.   LOL

 

Pricing has changed a lot in the last 10 yrs.  I see refinished Colt Thompsons bringing more money than original guns.  I see three of the same guns for sale at the same time, two at 18-20K, and the third which is not as nice as the other two, bring 45k at an auction while the other two don't sell for months?  Price just doesn't really seem to mean much anymore?  I'll fully admit I could be the idiot for not comprehending/ understanding it?  I like to delude myself into thinking I'm getting older and wiser?


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#10 fifthmdec

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 10:48 AM

Appreciate all the input from you guys.
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#11 mattnh

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Posted 28 March 2020 - 02:01 PM

"Is there a reason anyone wants an E6 trunion?  Whatever that is? "

 

The E6 trunion eliminates the carry handle as it moves to the barrel (E3/E4/E6).

  + Looks like an actual E6, mil-spec, assume it has much better metallurgy (no evidence to support this other than what USO says...)

  - You aren't going back to orginal "E1" config with carry handle on trunion.

 

 

 

"you're never going to make an M60 into an S18-1000 no matter what you do"

 

LOL, No doubt!!!

 

 

Couple good quotes re: the M60 in the back of Dolf's "The Browning Machine Gun Vol I"  pg 509 & 510

 

"By and Large the M60 has been branded a most inferior gun by knowledgeable machine gun experts..." -- Dolf 

 

"The M60 is one of the worst machine guns fielded by any major army in the past 30 years" -- Timothy J. Mullin

 

"...However the M60 lacks the reliability of the Lewis gun, and has earned the international reputation as the worst machine gun in the world." -- Jim Dickson

 

All that said, it is a great toy

 

-- Matt


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#12 Normal1959

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 06:50 AM

"Is there a reason anyone wants an E6 trunion?  Whatever that is? "

 

The E6 trunion eliminates the carry handle as it moves to the barrel (E3/E4/E6).

  + Looks like an actual E6, mil-spec, assume it has much better metallurgy (no evidence to support this other than what USO says...)

  - You aren't going back to orginal "E1" config with carry handle on trunion.

 

 

 

"you're never going to make an M60 into an S18-1000 no matter what you do"

 

LOL, No doubt!!!

 

 

Couple good quotes re: the M60 in the back of Dolf's "The Browning Machine Gun Vol I"  pg 509 & 510

 

"By and Large the M60 has been branded a most inferior gun by knowledgeable machine gun experts..." -- Dolf 

 

"The M60 is one of the worst machine guns fielded by any major army in the past 30 years" -- Timothy J. Mullin

 

"...However the M60 lacks the reliability of the Lewis gun, and has earned the international reputation as the worst machine gun in the world." -- Jim Dickson

 

All that said, it is a great toy

 

-- Matt

 

Classic look too. I stare at mine more than i shoot it. Looks matter :)

We are going to miss that look when the ray gun takes over.

Eric


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#13 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 08:23 AM

So USO eliminated a machining step on the trunion to eliminate the handle?  Mines been E3'd for a long time so I guess I hadn't thought about it?   I'm not really sure eliminating a feature is an improvement but the odds of going back to original configuration other than for display or a quick demo is highly unlikely?  While I guess I disagree with most of the "experts" since while the gun can have issues (you forgot Kokalis LOL), they are are not all that significant IMO.   Why big GOV couldn't figure out a carry handle on a quick change barrel was a good idea is a mystery, however the US military has never been particularly "gun friendly"  probably even before general Crozier?  Personally I've never had any issues with mine, but I enjoy shooting Chauchats so it may be relative?

 

Doggone right looks matter or half the guns in my collection including the HK21 would not be there!  I'd just be stuck with the the zb, bren, MG34 and MG42's.   Doh, I guess that's maybe why the 60 has been retired as mostly a wall hanger and why I haven't dropped the coin on that fancy railed top cover.   Maybe next creek if I can't find anything else to buy?

 

Normal1959 you can get the ray guns at knob creek C10, see Roscoe Turner for the scoop on those LOL.  They do look cool as a cased set!


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#14 fifthmdec

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 02:15 PM

Photos of the channel removed from our Erb registered trunnion. It was replaced by US Ordnance and  configured into an E4. They stated that the trunnion was no longer viable. In addition, when we first took it out to shoot. It did not cycle worth a damn. obviously, all the components were replaced as part of the upgrade. This was more than 10 years ago, around 2006-2007. Just thinking the reference to the original trunnion, was part of the operational issues before the upgrade. Need to check the photos to see if the trunnion had markings on top. Erb had a bullet shaped logo on the side of the trunnion. SACO-LOWELL on the trunnion.

Attached Files


Edited by fifthmdec, 29 March 2020 - 03:38 PM.

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#15 fifthmdec

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 03:49 PM

We sold it years ago. ERB M60.

 

You get the picture...

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#16 fifthmdec

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 04:00 PM

US Ordnance rebuild...

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#17 fifthmdec

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Posted 29 March 2020 - 07:18 PM

Wanted to add the photos as they are pertinent to the thread, as the conversation was well thought out and knowledgeable, indeed.

 

BTW, I'm considering a Post Sample RIA channel registered. Not sure of the manufacture date.Perhaps, someone in the thread can shed some light on some date ranges.

 

SN 108xx

 

David 


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#18 mattnh

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 05:11 PM

Photos of the channel removed from our Erb registered trunnion. It was replaced by US Ordnance and  configured into an E4. They stated that the trunnion was no longer viable. In addition, when we first took it out to shoot. It did not cycle worth a damn. obviously, all the components were replaced as part of the upgrade. This was more than 10 years ago, around 2006-2007. Just thinking the reference to the original trunnion, was part of the operational issues before the upgrade. Need to check the photos to see if the trunnion had markings on top. Erb had a bullet shaped logo on the side of the trunnion. SACO-LOWELL on the trunnion.

 

So, DO reworked your reg Erb trunion and put a brand new back-half on it?

Did they tell you what they had to fix on the trunion that made in "non-viable" before their work?


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#19 fifthmdec

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 05:47 PM

The channel was replaced, trunnion was fine. They replaced just about everything, the top cover received new components. The entire build/upgrade ran about 10K. That was in 2005.

There was no DO at that time, it was USORD and they were still located near the old rodeo grounds north of I-80.

BTW, the current owner of the RIA Postie M60. Received the LMG in 1990 from a SOT in his area...
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#20 johnsonlmg41

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 07:57 PM

90 is before my time in the hobby, but I'd guess there were few posties from them since transferables were still widely available at not much of a premium over a post sample.  Likely it was something they had in process in 86 that didn't get finished and make the cut?  Lots of guys had piles of stuff that didn't make the cut and eventually got finished into posties and then it took a long time to move them.  Or there was simply a shortage of many parts to finish.  Had there been a proliferation of HK trigger packs back then like there is today that would be a whole different ball game as well.  

 

Wow 10K seems like a lot of dough for that?  I see they didn't weld the trunion back onto the channel?  No worries with an Erb trunnion......they were as good as Maremont......you could say!   LOL


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