PK machine gun

The PK is a 7.62 mm general purpose machine gun designed in the Soviet Union and currently in production in Russia. Its NATO equivalents are the FN MAG, MG3, and M60 machine guns. The PK machine gun was introduced in the 1960s and replaced the SGM and RPD machine guns in Soviet service. The PK machine gun can be used as a light anti-aircraft weapon when it is put on an AA mount. One feature typical to Soviet machine guns is that the standard model feeds from the right and ejects its rounds via an ejection port on the left side of the weapon, as opposed to the usual right side ejection port seen in most western machine guns.The original PK (Kalashnikov Machine gun) was a development of Kalashnikov\'s automatic rifle design, firing the 7.62x54mm Eastern Bloc standard ammunition originally from the Mosin-Nagant. It is equipped with a simple bipod and is designed as a squad-level support weapon also suitable for installation and vehicle mounting. Most are belt-fed, using linked 25 round belts. These 25 round belts can be linked to any length necessary.The current model is the PKM (Kalashnikov Machine gun Modernized), a modernized, product-improved version of the PK. It is just 7.5 kg empty and the PKMS version on the light Stepanov tripod weighs only 12 kg. For heavier employment, the PKMS model features a more stable tripod mounting. A special PKMSN2 model fits modern NSPU night sights for low visibility operations. PKT (PK Tank) is a further development of PK to replace the SGMT Goryunov vehicle mounted machine gun. Modifications include removal of stock, longer and heavier barrel, added gas regulator and electric solenoid trigger.The PKM and other variants are in production in Russia and currently are exported to many nations. Over 1,000,000 copies have been manufactured. 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.

PK machine gun
Class Manportable
Type Machine Guns
Manufacturer Kalashnikov
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1965
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Kalashnikov View

The Main Artillery Directorate of the Soviet Union adopted specification requirements for a 7.62 mm general-purpose company- and battalion-level machine gun, chambered for a rifle cartridge in 1955. In 1958 a machine gun prototype, developed by G.I. Nikitin and Yu.M. Sokolov, successfully passed field tests. Based on the results of the tests it was decided in 1960 to manufacture a batch of Nikitin-Sokolov machine guns for service tests and then put the machine gun into production at the Kovrov Mechanical Plant. When the Nikitin-Sokolov machine gun was almost completed, a team of Izhevsk Mechanical Plant designers, headed by M.T. Kalashnikov and further consisting of M.T. Kalashnikov, V.V. Krupin, V.N. Pushchin, A.D. Kryakushsn, as well as Startsev, Kamzolov, Koryakovtsev, Yuferev, joined the competition. Their machine gun prototype was based on the well-proven gas-operated rotary-bolt design of the Kalashnikov-pattern arms. The Kalashnikov and the Nikitin-Sokolov prototypes underwent service tests in the Central Asia, the Odessa, and the Baltic military districts, as well as at the Vystrel officer training courses in late 1960. The Main Missiles and Artillery Directorate and the Ministry of the Defence Industry preferred the Kalashnikov design. The Kalashnikov design was found to be more reliable and cheaper to manufacture than the design of Grigory Nikitin and Yuri Sokolov. The PK/PKS was put into production at the Kovrov Mechanical Plant and used the tripod mount and an ammunition belt boxes originally designed for the Nikitin-Sokolov prototype machine gun.

Nikitin's and Sokolov's machine gun design was later used in the 12.7 mm NSV heavy machine gun that was put into production in 1971.

Type Squad automatic weapon
General-purpose machine gun
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1961–present
Used by Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Belarus
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Cape Verde
Chad
People's Republic of China
Croatia
Cuba
Czech Republic
Egypt
Eritrea
Estonia
Finland
Georgia
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Hungary
India
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Kazakhstan
Kurdistan
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macedonia
Mali
Malta: Armed Forces of Malta
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Nigeria
North Korea
Panama
Poland
Romania
Russia
Sudan
South Sudan
Serbia
Sri Lanka
Syria
Tajikistan
Turkmenistan
Turkey
Uganda
Ukraine
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Zambia
Former users
Soviet Union
East Germany
Sweden
Wars Vietnam War
South African Border War
Cambodian Civil War
Yom Kippur War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
Soviet war in Afghanistan
Iran–Iraq War
First Chechen War
Yugoslav wars
Second Congo War
Second Chechen War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Cambodian–Thai border dispute
2008 South Ossetia war
2011 Libyan Civil War
Syrian Civil War
War in Donbass
Yemeni Civil War (2015)
Various others
Production history
Designer Mikhail Kalashnikov
Number built Over 1,000,000
Variants PK, PKT, PKM, PKP
Specifications
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).
PKTM (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(M): 605 mm (23.8 in) (without muzzle device)
PKT: 772 mm (30.4 in)
Cartridge 7.62×54mmR
Action Gas-operated, open bolt
Rate of fire PK, PKM: 650 rounds/min
PKT: 700 - 800 rounds/min
Practical: 250 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity PK, PKM: 825 m/s (2,707 ft/s)
PKT: 855 m/s (2,805 ft/s)
Effective firing range PK(M): 1,000 m (1,094 yd) (100–1,500 m sight adjustments)
PKT: 1,500 m (1,640 yd) (100–1,500 m sight adjustments)
Maximum firing range PK(M): 3,800 m (4,156 yd)
PKT: 4,000 m (4,374 yd)
Feed system non-disintegrating metal beltsin 100 and 200/250 round ammunition boxes
Sights Tangent iron sights (default);
Optical, Night-vision, Thermal and Radar sights

End notes