×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
INFANTRY
MODERN ARMIES
SPECIAL FORCES
COUNTRIES
MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
IRAQI FREEDOM
MODERN
VIETNAM WAR

Kalashnikov PK (Pulemyot Kalashnikova)


General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) (1961)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

Jump-to: Specifications

The Soviet-era PK General Purpose Machine Gun - introduced in 1961 - still sees considerable service worldwide.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/12/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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.

Specifications



Service Year
1961

Origin
Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union

Classification


General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG)


Kalashnikov / State Factories - Soviet Union / Russia
National flag of Afghanistan National flag of Albania National flag of Algeria National flag of Armenia National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Belarus National flag of Bulgaria National flag of Chad National flag of China National flag of Croatia National flag of Cuba National flag of Czechia National flag of Egypt National flag of Eritrea National flag of Finland National flag of Georgia National flag of modern Germany National flag of East Germany National flag of Guinea National flag of Hungary National flag of India National flag of Iraq National flag of Iran National flag of Israel National flag of Kazakhstan National flag of Kyrgyzstan National flag of Lebanon National flag of Macedonia National flag of Mozambique National flag of Nigeria National flag of North Korea National flag of Poland National flag of Romania National flag of Russia National flag of Serbia National flag of South Africa National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Sri Lanka National flag of Sudan National flag of Sweden National flag of Syria National flag of Turkey National flag of Turkmenistan National flag of Uganda National flag of Ukraine National flag of Vietnam National flag of Yugoslavia National flag of Zambia 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
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.


Overall Length
1,203 mm
47.36 in
Barrel Length
605 mm
23.82 in
Empty Wgt
19.84 lb
9.00 kg
Sights


Tangent Iron; Optional Optics.


Action


Gas-Operated; Open-Bolt; Full-Automatic; Belt-Fed-Only

Full-Automatic
Rounds are automatically ejected from the breech, a new cartridge stripped from the feed and set in the chamber, and rounds are continuously fired so long as the trigger is pulled and an ammunition supply exists.
Gas-Operated
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


7.62x54mmR

Rounds / Feed


100- 200- or 250-round belt
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
3,285 ft
(1,001 m | 1,095 yd)
Rate-of-Fire
650
rds/min
Muzzle Velocity
2,710 ft/sec
(826 m/sec)


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.


Military lapel ribbon for the American Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2021 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

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, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-