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Pecheneg / Petcheneg

Pecheneg machine gun - early variant

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Pecheneg machine gun - latest variant

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The Pecheneg machine gun (sometimes also spelled in English as Petcheneg), is an upgrade over the standard russian universal machine gun, PKM. It was developed by TsNIITochMash (Central research Institute of Precise Machie Manufacturing, Russia) and is in limited production and issued on trial basis for some Russian troops in Chechnya.

Pecheneg is based on the PKM and shares with it about 80% of common parts. The key improvement over the PKM is a new barrel, which featured a forced air cooling and, unlike most modern universal MGs, is not removable in the field. New barrel is heavy and ribbed, and enclosed in the metallic sleeve. During the fire, the hot powder gases emrging from the barrel cause the air in the sleeve to circulate along the barrel and cool it, so a sustained rate of fire of about 1000 rounds per hour, or about 600 rounds in long, sucesing bursts of 40-50 rounds each, can be maintained withouth any decrease of performance or barrel life. Overall barrel life is about 30 000 rounds or more. Other differences from the PKM are the fixed carrying handle on the top of the receiver, and relocated bipods. Manufacturer claims that Pecheneg is 2.5 times more effective than a PKM when fired from bipod, and about 1.5 times more effective than PKM when fired from tripod or vehicle mount. The forced air cooling give to the Pecheneg an additional advantage over the PKM - during the prolonged fire sessions there's no hot air flow over the hot barrel, unlike on the PKM, so there's no mirage to interfere with accurate aiming.

Overall impression on the Pecheneg is somewhat controversial - some sources said that it is a real improvement over the almost 40 years old Kalashnikov MG, others are in doubt that a fixed barrel will maintain its effectivness during the prolonged fire sessions. The only real complaint about Pecheneg is about the placement of the bipod - sometimes it is better to have bipods mounted closer to the receiver, and on Pecheneg the only mounting point for bipod is under the muzzle.


7.62x54mm R

8.2 kg on bipod; 12.7 kg on infantry tripod mount

1145 mm

Magazine Capacity:
100 or 200 rounds

Feed system:


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