Pecheneg machine gun
|Pecheneg "6P41" machine gun|
A Pecheneg on display with a bipod
|Type||Medium machine gun
General purpose machine gun
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Used by||See Users|
|Wars||Second Chechen War
2008 South Ossetia war
Syrian civil war
War on Terror
Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation
War in Donbass
|Weight||8.2 kg (18 lb) without a bipod
8.7 kg (19 lb) with a bipod
12.7 kg (28 lb) with an infantry tripod mount
|Length||1,200 mm (47 in)|
|Barrel length||658 mm (25.9 in)|
|Rate of fire||600–800 RPM|
|Muzzle velocity||825 m/s (2,707 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||1500 m|
|Feed system||Belt Feed: 100, 200, 250-round|
The Pecheneg (Russian: Печенег), also referred to as the "PKP" is a Russian 7.62×54mmR general-purpose machine gun It is a modernized PK machine gun, hence the PKP name. It is said to be more accurate than all its predecessors due to a heavier, non-removable, forced-air-cooling barrel with radial cooling ribs and a handle which eliminates the haze effect from hot gases and keeps the barrel cooler, making the weapon more reliable. Furthermore, the weapon is capable of having a telescopic sight or other sights mounted on it, increasing its accuracy and effective range.
The GRAU index of the Pecheneg is 6P41 or 6P41N (Pecheneg-N) when fitted with a mounting rail for a night vision sight. The It is currently in use by Russian Army Spetsnaz and other troops in significant numbers. Even though it was developed mainly for infantry use, it also has been fitted to several light vehicles.
The Pecheneg is a standard 7.62×54mmR PKM machine gun without the rapid barrel-change option, and intended for use from an integral bipod as a squad support weapon. It can provide more sustained firepower than the standard-issue RPK-74, and the 7.62×54mmR cartridge offers a longer effective range and better penetration of light structures and improvised covers in urban and forest environments.
The Pecheneg is named for the Pecheneg people, a warlike tribe of Turkic origin who lived in what later became steppes of Southern Russia and Ukraine.
The Pecheneg medium machine gun can be considered as a modification of the PKM machine gun, but it is built for only one tactical role; that is, as a true general-purpose machine gun for mechanized infantry and Spetsnaz troops. Its key difference from the parent design is the barrel, which is not a "quick-change" barrel, meaning that it is not intended to be replaced in the field, although it can be removed for inspection and maintenance. The barrel is somewhat heavier than that of the PKM, and has radial cooling ribs. This is enclosed in a steel jacket, which runs up to the muzzle to provide forced air cooling, similar to the distinctive Lewis machine gun designed during the World War I era. Cooling air enters the jacket through oval windows at the rear of the jacket, and exits at the muzzle, propelled by the pressure differential created by the high-velocity gun gases escaping from the muzzle. Whereas early versions of the Pecheneg had a standard PKM-type flash suppressor, resulting in significant muzzle blast once the gun had warmed up, current production version guns have a special flash suppressor that eliminates the issue. The rear of the barrel-encasing steel jacket features a permanently attached carrying handle with a characteristic elongated profile, as it is also intended to protect the line of sight from mirages generated by convection of air heated up by the barrel.
The manufacturer claims that the Pecheneg can fire 600 rounds per minute (RPM) in continuous sustained fire without any danger to the barrel and its practical sustained rate of fire is 250 rounds per minute.
Another change from the PKM parent design is the location of the integral, non-removable folding bipod which is placed near the muzzle. This feature improves stability and long-range accuracy when firing from the bipod, but it also limits the arc of fire available without moving the position of bipod or shooter. Another consequence of said placement is that the Pecheneg is less comfortable to fire from the shoulder or the hip, as it does not have a handguard and the bipod is located too far forward to be used to hold the gun. However, it has sling swivels and can still be fired from the hip using a sling and carrying handle to hold the machine gun, or by supporting it under the ammunition box with the off hand.
In all other technical respects, such as action, feed, sights and stock, the Pecheneg is similar to modern PKM machine guns. It also retains the standard PKM mounting interface and therefore can be used from the same tripod, but it is always issued as a general-purpose machine gun (without tripod mount).
|Video of Pecheneg Bullpup being fired|
- Pecheneg – The Pecheneg is chambered in 7.62×54mmR cartridge and is a modernization of the PK machine gun. It has been adopted by the Russian armed forces, Russian Ministry of Interior, and other military agencies.
- Pecheneg-N – The Pecheneg-N is similar to the Pecheneg but features a mounting rail for night vision sights.
- Pecheneg-SP – The Pecheneg-SP is an improved variant of the Pecheneg. It has two main variants; a standard variant and a special forces variant. Titanium is now used for its construction. It was also reported that it now features a Picatinny rail for mounting the 1P89-3 unified optical sight, a telescopic folding stock and at the request of the Russian military, an additional tactical handle for the convenience when firing. According to the manufacturers, during transportation the gun can be folded, making it 30 mm (3 cm) shorter than the regular Kalashnikov rifle. It uses a shortened barrel and a suppressor for noiseless and flameless fire. Its serial production started in February 2017.
- Pecheneg Bullpup – The Pecheneg is a bullpup conversion of the Pecheneg is developed by the Degtyarev plant at the request of the Russian armed forces and Russian Ministry of Interior for a more compact version for use in urban combat or when traveling in tight spaces (armored vehicles, helicopters, etc.). It has two main variants. The Russian weapon designers have come up with a solution to this problem by converting it into a bullpup. This configuration change has reduced the weapon length by 280 mm (11 in) as well as reducing its weight. The stock has been replaced with a butt plate and the trigger/grip was moved forward. To accommodate the trigger being moved forward, the ammunition box now has to sit at a 135° angle. The charging handle has been modified as well for easier access and the carrying handle has been replaced with a Picatinny rail mount. The lower heat/handguard is now skeletonized to save weight, through which runs the gas tube. Underneath the gas tube is a 6 o’clock Picatinny rail for mounting accessories such as a grip or laser sight.
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