M60
Some of the weapons of the Vietnam War

These illustrations are included for reference and informative purposes only.
They are in no way intended to enhance the image or perception of 'war' or weaponry.
The weapon operates by means of a gas-operated action. The gas system is driven by a short-stroke, spring-loaded piston housed above the barrel , and the locking mechanism is what is known as a tilting breechblock. To lock, it drops down into a solid shoulder of metal in the heavy receiver . The gas system is fitted with a gas regulator behind the front sight base, allowing adjustment of the gas system in response to environmental conditions, and can be closed completely to allow for the firing of rifle grenades. The weapon's magazine capacity used by Australian and New Zealand soldiers in Vietnam was 20 rounds. The recoil spring is housed in the stock.

Specifications:
Cartridge 7.62 x 51 mm NATO
Action Gas operated, tilting breechblock
Rate of fire 650 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 823 metres (2,700 feet) per second
Effective range 600 metres (1,965 feet)
Feed system 20 (or 30) round detachable magazine
Sights Aperture rear sight, hooded post front sight
Weight 3.7 kilograms (9 lbs)
L1A1 Self Loading Rifle - click to enlarge
L1A1 SLR
Australian and New Zealand Army issue infantry soldiers' weapons.
M-60 Machine Gun - click to enlarge

The M60 is a gas-operated, air-cooled , belt-fed, automatic machine gun that fires from the open-bolt position and is chambered for the 7.62 mm NATO cartridge. Ammunition is usually fed into the weapon from a 100-round bandolier containing a disintegrating,M13 metallic split-link belt.
The standard combat ammunition mix for the M60 consists of four ball (M80) cartridges and one tracer (M62) in belts of 100 rounds. The four to one ratio theoretically allows the gunner to accurately "walk" the fire into the enemy. Tracer bullets do not fly quite the same trajectory as ball and weapon's sights must be used for accurate fire—particularly at ranges in excess of 800 meters, where 7.62x51mm NATO  tracer bullets usually burn out and are no longer visible.

Specifications :
Cartridge 7.62 x 51 mm NATO
Action Gas operated, open bolt
Rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 853 metres (2,800 feet) per second
Effective range 1,100 metres (3,600 feet)
Feed system Disintegrating belt with M13 links
Weight 11.5 kilograms (28 lbs)
The M79 grenade launcher is a single-shot, shoulder-fired, Break-action grenade launcher which fires a 40x46mm grenade and first appeared during the Vietnam War.
The M79 can fire a wide variety of 40 mm rounds, including explosive, anti-personnel, smoke, buckshot, flechette, and illumination. While largely replaced by the M203, the M79 has remained in service in many units worldwide in niche roles.

Specifications :
Cartridge 40 x 46 mm grenade
Action Break action
Rate of fire 6 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 76 metres (247 feet) per second
Effective range 350 metres (1,150 feet)
Feed system Breech loaded
Sights Blade and leaf type
Weight 2.93 kilograms loaded
M79
USA Army issue infantry soldiers' weapon.  [Also issued to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN)].
The M16 is a lightweight, 5.56 mm, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault rifle, with a rotating bolt, actuated by direct impingement gas operation. The rifle is made of steel, aluminum, composite plastics and polymer materials.

Specifications :
The AK-47 (official name is AK or Avtomat Kalashnikova (name of its designer), simply Kalashnikov), is a selective fire, gas operated  7.62mm assault rifle.

Specifications :
M16
AK-47
Cartridge 5.56 x 45 mm
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 800 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 975 metres (3,200 feet) per second
Effective range 550 metres (1,800 feet)
Feed system 30 round detachable magazine
Weight 3.6 kilograms
M-16 Assault rifle - click to enlarge
The USA military also used the M60 Machine Gun and M79 Grenade Launcher, as illustrated above.
North Vietnamese Army (NVA) infantry soldiers' weapon.
AK-47 Assault rifle - click to enlarge
Cartridge 7.62 x 39 mm
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire 600 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 715 metres (2,340 feet) per second
Effective range 300 metres (985 feet) automatic; 400 metres (1,310 ft) semi-automatic
Feed system 20 or 30 round detachable magazine
Weight 4.3 kilograms (9.5 lbs)
The AK-47 could also be equipped with either 40 or 75 round drum magazines.
It is also the most manufactured assault rifle in the world, production commencing in 1947.
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Images courtesy Wikipedia.
Vietnam ordinance
M-79 Grenade Launcher - click to enlarge
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