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Kalashnikov PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany)

Soviet Union (1969)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Kalashnikov PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany) General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) / Light Machine Gun (LMG).

 Entry last updated on 10/20/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Kalashnikov PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany)  
Picture of Kalashnikov PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany) General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) / Light Machine Gun (LMG)

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

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.
Picture of the Kalashnikov PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany) General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) / Light Machine Gun (LMG)
Picture of the Kalashnikov PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany) General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) / Light Machine Gun (LMG)

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.
Kalashnikov PKM (Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovany) Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Soviet Union
Year: 1969
Type: General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) / Light Machine Gun (LMG)
Manufacturer(s): Kalashnikov / State Factories - Soviet Union - Russia
Supported Mission Types
Frontline Infantry
Special Forces
Close Quarters Battle
Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter
Area Effect/Suppression
Indirect Fire
Airspace Denial
Attachment Weapon
Internal Design, Weight and Dimensions
Firing Action: Gas-Operated; Open Bolt
Available Caliber(s): 7.62x54R Russian
Ammunition Count / Feed: 100-, 200- or 250-round belt
Weight (Empty): 19.62 lb (8.90 kg)
Overall Length: 1,193 mm (46.97 in)

Operating Performance
Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 650 rounds-per-minute (rpm)
Typical Range: 3,280 feet (1,000 m; 1,093 yd)

Operators List
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; India; Iran; Iraq; Israel; 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

Model Variants
• PK - Original production model
• PKT - Vehicle Mounted Variant
• PKM - Current production model
• PKMS - Heavy model; tripod fitting; night sight scope capability.
• M84 - PK produced under license by Zastava Arms in Serbia.
• M86 - PKT produced under license by Zastava Arms in Serbia.

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