Military Factory logo
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of navy warships
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
HOME
SMALL ARMS
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COLD WAR
IRAQI FREEDOM
MODERN
VIETNAM WAR


Kalashnikov PK (Pulemyot Kalashnikova)


General Purpose Machine Gin (GPMG)


The Soviet-era PK General Purpose Machine Gun - introduced in 1961 - still sees considerable service worldwide.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 12/28/2018
National Flag Graphic

Specifications


Year: 1961
Manufacturer(s): Kalashnikov / State Factories - Soviet Union / Russia
Roles: Fire Support/Suppression/Defense;
Action: Gas-Operated; Open-Bolt; Full-Automatic; Belt-Fed-Only
Caliber(s): 7.62x54mmR
Sights: Tangent Iron; Optional Optics.
Overall Length: 1,203 mm (47.36 in)
Barrel Length: 605 mm (23.82 in)
Weight (Unloaded): 19.84 lb (9.00 kg)
Muzzle Velocity: 2,710 feet-per-second (826 meters-per-second)
Rate-of-Fire: 650 rounds-per-minute
Effective Range: 3,285 ft (1,001 m; 1,095 yd)
Operators: Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Cambodia; Cape Verde; Chad; China; Croatia; Cuba; Czech Republic; Egypt; Eritrea; Estonia; East Germany; Fiji; Finland; Georgia; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Hungary; India; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Kazakhstan; Kurdistan; Kyrgyzstan; Laos; Latvia; Lebanon; Lithuania; Macedonia; Mali; Malta; Moldova; Mongolia; Mozambique; Nigeria; North Korea; Panama; Poland; Romania; Russia; Sao Tome and Principe; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Serbia; Soviet Union; Sri Lanka; Sweden; Syria; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Turkey; Uganda; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Vietnam; Yugoslavia; Zambia
The arrival of the PK (Pulemyot Kalashnikova) machine gun in 1961 marked the first entry of a true General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) into Soviet Army service. GPMGs receive their name from their ability to fulfill a variety of much-needed battlefield roles such as fire support and enemy troop through bipod-, tripod-, vehicle- or aircraft-mounted installations. These weapons also fire full-power rifle caliber cartridges which give them excellent penetration value at range as well as increased engagement ranges when compared to assault rifles.

The PK succeeded the post-World War 2-era RP-46 machine gun (detailed elsewhere on this site) series in circulation. The newer weapon went on to see considerable combat service under a multitude of national banners - from the Vietnam War (1955-1975) to the present-day engagements making up the Syrian Civil War, the War in Donbass and the Yemeni Civil War. Over 1 million units have been produced both domestically and foreign.

The PK is chambered for the proven 7.62x54mmR rifle cartridge and fires through a Kalashnikov-style open-bolt, gas-operated system that has shown considerable reliability over many decades of use. Feeding is through a non-disintegrating link belt in 100-, 200- and 250-round counts. The gun system weights 19.85lb as a whole with the typical bipod assembly in place and showcases an overall length of 47.5 inches. The barrel measures 23.8 inches long.

Rate-of-fire reaches 650 rounds per minute and ranges are out to 1,095 yards. Maximum range is 4,155 yards. Sighting is through tangent iron sights though optics are supported (including night vision and thermal types).

In practice, the PK has been officially issued as a support weapon at the company level. Its heavy-duty design allows it to fire a much more powerful cartridge when compared to traditional service rifles and even Light Machine Guns. The barrel can be changed out to compensate for overheating which can lead to deforming or fracturing of the barrel assembly and render the weapon useless in a firefight. Its reliability and flexibility have made it a Soviet-era classic - a well-respected and received weapon.

The PKS, PKM, PKMN, PKMS, PKMSN and PKT are all offspring of the base PK design. The PKP "Pecheneg" (detailed elsewhere on this site) is a newer PK series weapon influenced by the original and features a fixed heavy barrel and forced-air cooling.

Despite its origins in the 1960s, the PK series has managed an active existence into the new millennium. Tens of thousands of copies have emerged from foreign factories as well adding to an already-impressive production total. The availability of the Soviet 7.62mm cartridge has also helped its reach beyond Soviet-Russian borders and many ex-Soviet states and supported allies rely on the product.






Variants / Models



• PK - Base Series Model; original production model.
• PKS - Tripod-mounted variant; heavy-duty support fire.
• PKM - Modernized model of 1969
• PKMN - PKM with nigh sight support
• PKMS - Tripod-mounted variant
• PKMSN - Tripod-mounted variant with night sight support.
• PKT - Vehicle-mounted machine gun variant
• PKP "Pecheneg" - Modernized modle of 2001; influenced by PKM design; heavy, fixed barrel assembly with forced-air cooling.
Site Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Cookies  |  Site Map

www.MilitaryFactory.com. Site content ©2003- MilitaryFactory.com, All Rights Reserved.

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, and WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo