Firearms / Machine guns / PK

PK

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Machine gun

  • ORIGIN
    USSR

  • NICKNAMES
    7.62 KK PKM (Finnish designation)
    KT-7.62 (Ukrainian production PKT)
    Kulspruta m/95 (Swedish designation for PKT)
    M86 (Yugoslav production)
    Mokhtar (Sudanese production)
    Type 80 (Chinese production, PK)
    Type 86 (Chinese production, PKT)

  • DESIGNED
    Early 1960's

  • DESIGNER
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

  • PRODUCTION
    1964 - present (PK)
    1969 - present (PKM)
    1983 - present (Type 80)
    1980's - present (M84)

  • PRODUCERS
    Bulgaria - Arsenal
    China - Norinco
    - East Germany
    Hungary
    Iran - DIO
    Kazakhstan - Kaspex
    Poland
    Romania - RomArm
    Russia - Molot
    Serbia - Zastava
    Sudan
    Ukraine
    USSR - Molot

  • QUANTITY
    Over 1 million (PK and variants)
    Over 80.000 (M84)

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Rugged and reliable
    Limited weight
    Large volume of fire
    Difficult to mount accessories
    Limited accuracy at long range
    Difficult to change barrel in the field

Introduction

The PK is a machine gun of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1960's by Mikhail Kalashnikov to replace several older machine guns in Soviet service. The name PK stands for Pulemyot Kalashnikova, which is Russian for Kalashnikov machine gun. Due to its reliability, firepower and limited weight it became a very succesful design and over 1 million copies have been produced.

Design

The PK is based on the Kalashnikov mechanism and features many elements of older machine gun designs. It is a gas operated weapon using a long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt and fires from the open bolt position. The PK is belt fed and the non-disintegrating link belt is usually carried in a metal box attached to the weapon. The barrel can be changed, but is not of a quick detachable design. Some PK are fitted with optics or night vision sighs, although this is uncommon. Besides the infantry version there are variants for tripod, pintle mount and coaxial use.

Firepower

The PK fires the 7.62x54mm Russian round from belts of 100, 200 or 250 rounds. The PK fires only fully automatic at a cyclic rate of fire of about 650 rpm. The practical rate of fire is claimed as 250 rpm. The effective range is about 500 meters against point targets and 800 meters against area targets. When fitted on a tripod or vehicle the maximum range is extended to over 1 km.

Users

The first and foremost user of the PK was the USSR. The PK was widely used by infantry and fitted on most armored vehicles as a pintle mounted or coaxial machine gun. The PK and its variants were also exported to nearly all nations with ties to the USSR, making it one of the most common general purpose machine guns in the world. Nowadays the PK remains in active use in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

Variants

PK

The PK is the original version from which all variants were derived. It can be distinguished from the later PKM by its fluted barrel and longer flash hider.

  • Specifications:
  • PK
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200, 250 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 720 rpm
Barrel length658 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.173 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight9 kg empty
SightsIron sights, post front and vertical leaf rear, up to 1.500 m gradations, 663 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod

PKM

The PKM is an improved version of the original PK that entered service in 1969. It is a lightened version that is made out of stamped metal and uses a non-fluted barrel and shorter muzzle brake. The M in PKM stands for Modernizirovannyi, which is Russian for modernized.

  • Specifications:
  • PKM
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200, 250 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 720 rpm
Barrel length645 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.160 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight7.5 kg empty
SightsIron sights, post front and vertical leaf rear, up to 1.500 m gradations, 663 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod

PKS

The PKS is a PK that has been modified for use on a tripod. It has a mounting bracket under the gas piston just in front of the receiver. The S in PKS stands for Stankovyi, which is Russian for mounted. The PKMS features the same lighter barrel as the PKM and is normally fitted on the much lighter Stepanov tripod.

TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200, 250 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 720 rpm
Barrel length658 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.173 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight9 kg unloaded, 16.5 kg on tripod
SightsIron sights, post front and vertical leaf rear, up to 1.500 m gradations, 663 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod, tripod bracket
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200, 250 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 720 rpm
Barrel length645 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.160 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight7.5 kg empty, 12 kg on tripod
SightsIron sights, post front and vertical leaf rear, up to 1.500 m gradations, 663 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod, tripod bracket

PKB

The PKB is a PK that has been adapted for use as a pintle mounted weapon. A swivel has been attached to the middle of the weapon. The PKMB features the same lighter barrel as used on the PKM. Some PKB's used on helicopters are fitted with spade grips instead of a pistol grip and shoulder stock.

  • Specifications:
  • PKB
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200, 250 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 - 720 rpm
Barrel length658 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.173 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight?
SightsIron sights, post front and vertical leaf rear, up to 1.500 m gradations, 663 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod, pintle mount bracket

PKT

The PKT is a highly modified PK for use as a coaxial weapon. The PKT is solenoid fired and lacks the pistol grip and shoulder stock. It features a much thicker and longer barrel to mimic the ballistics of the SGMT, therefore avoiding the need to change vehicle optics to match a new trajectory. The improved PKMT has a different type of flash hider.

  • Specifications:
  • PKT
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200, 250 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire800 rpm
Barrel length722 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity?
Stock-
Length1.098 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight10.5 kg
SightsNo sights
Remarks-

Type 80

The Type 80 is the Chinese production version of the PKM. It is generally similar to the original PKM but differs in minute details. The Type 80 is fitted with a tripod mount for a lightweight tripod that can also be converted for anti-aircraft use. The CF06 is marketed as an export version that fires the 7.62x51mm NATO round. The Type 80 was not the first variant of the PK to be produced in China. Decades earlier the Type 59T was already in production. The Type 59T is a direct copy of the PKT. The newer Type 86 is a PKT derivative of the Type 80 and currently is in production.

TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire650 rpm
Barrel length675 mm
Rifling?
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.192 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight7.9 kg empty, 12.6 kg on tripod
SightsIron sights
RemarksBipod, tripod bracket

M84

The M84 is the Yugoslav version of the PK that remains in production in Serbia. The design is derived of the original PK, but differs in various areas. The M84 has a solid wooden stock and a non-fluted barrel. It is also fitted with a tripod and night sight mount, removing the need for special versions. The M86 is a coaxial model of the M84 with a much heavier barrel and solenoid trigger mechanism.

  • Specifications:
  • M84
TypeMachine gun
Caliber7.62x54mm Soviet
MagazineBelt fed, 100, 200, 250 rounds
OperationGas operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt, open bolt
Fire selector0-F
Rate of fire700 rpm
Barrel length658 mm
Rifling4 grooves, 240 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity825 m/s
StockFixed
Length1.175 mm
Width?
Height?
Weight10 kg empty, 15 kg on tripod
SightsIron sights, post front and vertical leaf rear, up to 1.500 m gradations, 663 mm sight radius
RemarksBipod, tripod bracket

Copyright © 2002 - 2014 Weaponsystems.net