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Distinguishing M48 from M60
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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silviop15
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:01 am
Post subject: Distinguishing M48 from M60

I am trying to label some of my photos in my archive and I keep getting stumped by this question. How do I tell the difference between an M48 and M60.

I know M48, M48A1, M48A2(C) do not have the "barn door" engine access at the rear like the M47. That is all I know, can some one help me tell the difference?

Thanks.
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Chris_C
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 6:25 pm
Post subject: Re: Distinguishing M48 from M60

The infrared-suppressing engine compartment with the sideways-opening "barn doors" appeared on M48A2. M47 had three circular access doors in its rear hull (except for M47M, which did use the infrared-suppressing engine compartment design). Others can doubtlessly add more and better ones, but here are some tips on M48/M60 differentiation that you might consider. Smile

-Hull front: The M60 had a sharpish, flat line demarcating the upper and lower hull front, while the M48's rounded cast front hull kind of resembles the nose of a frog. Prior to M48A3, the M48 used a crew heater that featured an exhaust pipe exiting the hull upper front to the driver's left (as he faced forward). This was changed in the M48A3 to use an M60-style heater with the exhaust routed to the driver's right.

Suspension: Most M48s (besides M48A2/M48A2C) had 5 return rollers, and up to M48A2C the M48s had an auxiliary track tensioning idler wheel between the last road wheel and drive sprocket that never appeared on the M60. Depending on the era, M60 could have aluminum road wheels with visible strengthening ribs around the circumference.

Turret: M60A1 and -A3 had the "needlenose" turret which makes differentiation from M48 instant, and M60A2's turret is obviously unique.

Cupola: The M48's had a sort of clamshell shape where the MG exited, and the M60's overhangs the turret side to a greater extent. The M48's cupola MG aperture is offset to the right moreso than the M60's. Starting with the M48A3 (Mod B), the M48A3's cupola was placed on top of a riser formed from vision blocks, which contrasts to the M60's cupola with its easily-seen vision blocks incorporated into it. Some M48A5s had a low-profile cupola and an extra MG mount at the loader's position. The M48 (i.e., M48A0) lacked a large cupola as well, but can easily be differentiated from the M48A5.

Gun: Most M48s had a 90 mm gun with muzzle brake or blast deflector at the end, and the bore evacuator was right at the muzzle. M60 had the 105 mm gun with no muzzle brake and the bore evacuator more towards the turret end of the tube. The M48A5 had the 105 mm as well, but can maybe differentiated from the M60 by using the above algorithms.
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silviop15
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:41 pm
Post subject: Re: Distinguishing M48 from M60

Interesting. I did not know that the M48A2 had barn doors as well.

Didn't "slick 60s" use a turret similar in shape to the M48?

Thanks
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JG300-Ascout
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:02 am
Post subject: Re: Distinguishing M48 from M60

The hull shape, especially front glacis, is the single most obvious difference assuming you have a front angle view. And assuming the M48 hasn't been upgunned (various examples were), the 90 v. 105mm tube. Plus all the stuff Chris said.

The front glacis is inviolate, though...can't go wrong there if it isn't a "Frankentank".

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