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PKM General Purpose Machine Gun General Purpose / Light Machine Gun (1965)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 11/21/2013

Some 1,000,000 PK machine gun systems and associated variants are estimated to have been produced.

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The PK General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) is a highly respected weapon that was added to the Soviet Army arsenal to replace the aging RP46 system. The PK was chambered to fire the same 7.62mm round that was and continues to be common throughout Russian supply depots and in former Soviet-supported states and clients.

As a squad support weapon, the PK compliments the existing array of assault rifles that fire a middle-range version of the same round. A bipod is fitted to the underside of the barrel system for stabilized support and can be folded up and into the design when portability is required. Additionally, a carrying handle is added atop the barrel towards the middle of the weapon to make transit a snap. The weapon feeds into a feed system similar to that as found on the AK systems before it, and can fire from a 100, 200 or 250 round belt (either fired as a free-fed belt or held in a box). For overheating concerns, the barrel is designed to be replaceable and most necessary when sustained fire of upwards of 650 rounds per minute is reached.

The PK has been developed into other serviceable versions based on the same successful design. The PKS represents the PK when mounted on a heavy duty tripod mount. The tank machine gun version is known as the PKT. A true general purpose machine gun that is light and reliable, the PK family continues to serve throughout the world in the most deadly-effective of roles.

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Specifications for the
PKM General Purpose Machine Gun
General Purpose / Light Machine Gun


Country of Origin: Soviet Union
Manufacturer: State Factories - Soviet Union
Initial Year of Service: 1965


Overall Length: 1193mm (46.97in)
Barrel Length: 0.00mm (0.00in)
Weight (Empty): 19.62lbs (8.90kg)


Caliber: 7.62x54R Russian
Action: Gas-Operated; Open Bolt
Feed: 100-, 200- or 250-round belt
Rate-of-Fire: 650 rounds per minute
Range: 3,280ft (1,000m; 1,093yds)


Variants:
PK - Original production model


PKS

PKT - Vehicle Mounted Variant

PKM - Current production model

PKMS - Heavy model; tripod fitting; night sight scope capability.

PKP

M84 - PK produced under license by Zastava Arms in Serbia.

M86 - PKT produced under license by Zastava Arms in Serbia.


Operators:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bangladesh; Belarus; Bulgaria; Cambodia; Cape Verde; China; Croatia; Cuba; Czech Republic; Democratic Republic of the Congo; East Germany; Egypt; Finland; Georgia; Greece; Hungary; Iran; Iraq; Kazakstan; Kyrgyzstan; Mali; Moldova; Nicaragua; North Korea; Panama; Poland; Romania; Russia; Republic of the Congo; Serbia; Slovakia; Soviet Union; Sri Lanka; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Turkey; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yugoslavia; Zimbabwe