PK machine gun
|PK machine gun|
PKM general-purpose machine gun
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Used by||See Users|
South African Border War
Cambodian Civil War
Yom Kippur War
Soviet war in Afghanistan
First Chechen War
Second Congo War
Second Chechen War
War in Afghanistan
Cambodian–Thai border dispute
2008 South Ossetia war
2011 Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
War in Donbass
|Number built||Over 1,000,000|
|Variants||PK, PKT, PKM, PKP|
|Weight||PK: 9 kg (19.84 lb) (gun + integral bipod) + 7.7 kg (16.98 lb) (tripod).
PKM: 7.5 kg (16.53 lb) (gun + integral bipod) + 4.5 kg (9.92 lb) (tripod).
PKT (tank): 10.5 kg (23.15 lb)
|Length||PK: 1,203 mm (47.4 in)
PKM: 1,192 mm (46.9 in)
PKT: 1,098 mm (43.2 in)
|Barrel length||PK: 658 mm (25.9 in)
PKM: 645 mm (25.4 in)
PKT: 772 mm (30.4 in)
|Action||Gas-operated, open bolt|
|Rate of fire||PK, PKM: 650–750 round/min.
PKT: 800 round/min
|Muzzle velocity||PK, PKM: 825 m/s|
|Effective firing range||1,000m (100–1,000 m sight adjustments)|
|Feed system||Belts in 100/200/250 round boxes|
|Sights||Tangent iron sights (default);
Optical, Night-vision, Thermal and Radar sights
The PK is a 7.62 mm general-purpose machine gun designed in the Soviet Union and currently in production in Russia. The original PK machine gun was introduced in 1961 and then the improved PKM in 1969 to replace the SGM and RP-46 machine guns in Soviet service. It remains in use as a front-line infantry and vehicle-mounted weapon with Russia's armed forces. The PK has been exported extensively and produced in several other countries under license.
- 1 Design details
- 2 Variants
- 3 Foreign Variants
- 4 Production status
- 5 Users
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 External links
The original PK (Пулемёт Калашникова: Pulemyot Kalashnikova, or "Kalashnikov's Machinegun") was a development of Kalashnikov's AK47 automatic rifle design, firing the 7.62x54mmR Eastern Bloc standard ammunition originally from the Mosin–Nagant. The bolt and carrier design are similar to the AK, as is the stripping procedure performed to remove those mechanisms from the gun for cleaning. The bolt and bolt carrier are oriented upside down compared to the AK, with the piston and gas system being underneath the barrel. The long stroke piston is hinged off the bolt carrier group to make it possible to bend the group in and out of the receiver for maintenance. The gun uses a non-reciprocating charge handle on the right side of the receiver to charge the gun, and the gun fires from an open bolt, which improves cooling compared to a closed bolt design, and prevents the gun from being able to cook off if extremely overheated. The barrel is a quick detach type with a carry handle that sits to the left of the receiver. The rear sight is identical in design to the AK and Mosin–Nagant, except that it is oriented backwards with the notch forward and the hinge behind. It also features full windage adjustment in the form of small dials on either side of the notch, a feature not seen on the guns that preceded it.
The gun is equipped with a simple bipod and is designed as a squad-level support weapon; it is also suitable for installation and vehicle mounting. The PK machine gun can be used as a light anti-aircraft weapon when it is put on an AA mount. Most are belt-fed, using 25 round non-disintegrating belts which have links that wrap around the case shoulder all the way around, and are linked by a coiling wire on each side. These 25-round belts can be linked to any length necessary. Typical of Soviet machine guns, the standard model feeds from the right and ejects its spent cases via an ejection port on the left side of the weapon, contrary to the right side ejection port seen in most Western machine guns. For the light machine gun role, the PKM is used as the standard squad automatic weapon of the Russian Army, and uses a 100-round non-disintegrating belt contained in a metal can that can be attached under the gun. All openings on the gun, particularly the ejector port on the left and the belt feed entrance, are covered with spring loaded dust covers so that the openings are only exposed when they need to be.
The rimmed 7.62x54mm cartridges are set in the belt, held against the shoulder inside the full looped links, leaving the rim exposed at the rear. Rimless cartridges can be fed forward through the link with semi-looped links. The PK series of guns uses a mechanism to pull the rounds out of the belt from the back and drops it down into the feed way, allowing the bolt to strip it and feed it into the chamber upon firing.
The PKM (ПК Модернизированный: "Kalashnikov's Machine-gun Modernized"), was adopted into service in 1969. It is a modernized, product-improved version of the PK weighing only 7.5 kg without ammunition.
For heavier employment, the PKMS (ПКМ Станковый: "PKM Mounted") is based on the Stepanov's tripod mount and weighs 12 kg.
The PKMSN (ПКМС Ночной: "PKMS Night-Vision") is a special model of the tripod-mounted variant that can mount night sights for low-visibility operations. The PKMSN1 model uses the NSPU night-vision sight. The PKMSN2 model uses the improved NSPUM night-vision sight.
The PKT (ПК Танковый, "PK Tank") is a further development of the PK to replace the SGMT Goryunov vehicle-mounted machine gun. Modifications include the removal of the stock, a longer and heavier barrel, a gas regulator and an electric solenoid trigger.
The PKP Pecheneg is a new General-purpose machine gun based on the PKM. It has a heavy fixed barrel encased in a radial cooling sleeve that uses forced-air cooling, much like the Lewis Gun of World War I. Its design incorporates lessons learned in the Soviet Union's campaign in Afghanistan, where the RPK was found to be lacking in sustainable suppressive firepower.
HCP PKM-"NATO" (Poland)
In the early 1990s, as part of the preparations to join NATO, the Polish armed forces were looking for a replacement for the PK-series machine guns then in service. The H. Cegielski - Poznań S.A. Works in Poznań modified the PK/PKS to feed standard 7.62x51mm NATO cartridges and use NATO standard ammo belts. The new model received the code-name PKM-NATO. The modifications included a heavier barrel, a larger chamber, and a redesign of the lock, extractor, and the entire feeding mechanism. The prototype was tested from 1997 to 1999, but was rejected. The Polish Army adopted the UKM-2000 machine gun instead – which was also based on the PKM.
Zastava M84/M86 (Serbia)
The Zastava M84 is a Serbian-made licensed copy of the PK / PKS. The Zastava M86 is a copy of the solenoid-triggered PKT.
Norinco Type 80 (People's Republic of China)
The Type 80 is a Chinese-made copy of the PKM / PKMS.
Arsenal MG-1 & MG-1M (Bulgaria)
The MG-1 is a licensed copy of the PKM and has synthetic buttstock and pistol grip. The MG-1M, an improved Squad Automatic Weapon variant, has improved features, such as a redesigned barrel that allows for better cooling.
Cugir Mitraliera md. 66 (Romania)
The Mitraliera md. 66 is a Romanian-made copy of the PKM.
The PKM and other variants are in production in Russia and are currently exported to many nations. Additionally, various models are manufactured locally around the globe. Zastava Arms produces the PK under license as the M84 (along with the PKT as the M86), and it remains in use with many of the former Yugoslav successor states. The most recent modification is the Russian Pecheneg, which features a forced air cooling barrel that cannot be removed in the field for quick replacement, unusual for a modern machine gun.
- Armenia PK/PKM
- Bulgaria: PK/PKM copies were produced as the MG-1 & MG-1M.
- Cape Verde
- People's Republic of China: PK/PKM copies were produced as the Type 80.
- Czech Republic
- Egypt
- Finland: Designated as 7.62 KK PKM.
- India Manufactured at Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli of the Ordnance Factories Board
- Libya
- Mali – Armed and Security Forces of Mali
- Morocco
- North Korea
- Poland: PK/PKM copies were produced.
- Romania: PK/PKM copies were produced as the Mitraliera md. 66.
- Sao Tome and Principe
- South Sudan
- Serbia: Made under license as the M84/M86.
- Sri Lanka
- Vietnam Used from the Vietnam War to the present
- Soviet Union
- East Germany
- Sweden: Swedish designation "Kulspruta 95". Used as vehicle mounted machine guns only, mounted on former East German MT-LBs acquired during the early 1990s. When the MT-LBs were retired then so were the PKMs.
- Yugoslavia: PK/PKM copies were produced.
- PKP "Pecheneg"
- Type 67
- Type 73, North Korean derivative.
- FN MAG
- Mk 48
- List of Russian weaponry
- Center for Arms Control, Energy and Environmental Studies – Russian Arms
- "Sights". Russian Close Combat Weapon. Moscow: Association "Defense Enterprises Assistance League". 2010. ISBN 978-5-904540-04-3.
- "7.62mm PKM Kalashnikov modernized machine gun". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
- "G3 Defence Magazine August 2010". calameo.com. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "Small Arms Survey - Working Papers". 8 November 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Type 80 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun. Retrieved on September 11, 2008.
- Mikulka, Zdeněk (19 February 2010). "Střelby z palubních zbraní vrtulníků Mi-171Š v Afghánistánu". Zahraniční mise. Ministerstvo obrany. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Puolustusvoimat". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- http://news.oneindia.in/2007/03/19/oft-develops-gen-x-weapons-1174286532.html[verification needed]
- "SLAHLAR". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- "NVA". Retrieved 13 November 2014.
- Försvarsmakten - Avvecklade materielsystem (Swedish Defence Forces)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to PK machine gun.|
- Original producer website
- Modern Firearms
- Modern Firearms—Pecheneg
- Technical data, instructional images and diagrams of the PK machine gun (Russian)
- Video of operation on YouTube