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Kalashnikov PK / PKS / PKM / PKMS

Kalashnikov PKS in the medium/mounted machinegun role, on universal tripod, with 250-round belt box

Other Pictures:
Kalashnikov PK in the light machinegun role, on integral bipod and with attached 100-round belt box

Modified Kalashnikov PKMS on lightweight tripod

Modified Kalashnikov PKM in light machinegun configuration

Modified Kalashnikov PKMT - tank version with heavy barrel, electric trigger and no sights


The development of the new, universal machinegun for Soviet army was initiated in around 1953; during the late fifties the favorite was the Nikitin-Sokolov (NS) machine gun. Team lead by Mikhail Kalashnikov entered this race quite late, in around 1958, under request from Soviet Ministry of Defense, to provide a competitor to NS gun. After extensive trials, design by Kalashnikov has been adopted as a new universal (general purpose) machinegun, which replaced the DPM light, RP-46 medium/company and SGM heavy machine guns in service. Several years later Kalashnikov also developed a tank version, designated as PKT, which replaced in service older SGMT machineguns. Based on the initial experience, in the 1969 Soviet army adopted the modified PKM machine gun, which had an updated barrel with shorter flash hider, stamped belt feed unit, and a generally lightened construction. The PKMS (tripod-mounted) version also had new, lighter tripod of simpler design. PKM series of machine guns are still manufactured in Russia and used by Russian army and armies of several other ex-USSR republics; Also, PK/PKM copies are made in Bulgaria, China, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia.

PKM is a gas operated, belt fed automatic weapon. Barrel is locked by the rotating bolt with two lugs. Gun is fed by non-disintegrating steel belts, from the right side only. Belts are used from 100-round boxes in LMG configurations, and from 200 or 250-round boxes in mounted applications. Feed is of two-stage type, that is, on the recoil strike of the bolt group special claw pulls the cartridge backwards and out of the belt; then, on closing strike of the bolt, cartridge is pushed into chamber. Barrel is quick detachable, and has a carrying handle. Gas system is fitted with three positions gas regulator valve. By default, PK/PKM guns are fitted with wooden skeleton buttstock and pistol grip with mechanical trigger. manual safety is fitted at the left side of the trigger, and behind it. Integral folding bipod is attached to the gas tube. When used in the mounted role, PK/PKM can be fitted to lightweight, folding tripod. Standard sights are of open type, with front sight fixed to the barrel and adjustable rear mounted on the receiver. Tank versions have no pistol grip, and an electrical trigger unit with back-up mechanical trigger. The barrel is longer and heavier, and there's no sights, as tank guns are usually mounted in coaxial positions and aimed using primary gun sights. For emergency purposes, PKMT machine guns are equipped with detachable bipod, shoulder stock and pistol grip, and can be used when dismounted from the tank.



8,99kg on bipod (PK), 16,48kg on tripod (PKS)

1173 mm

658 mm

Magazine Capacity:
100, 200 or 250 rounds

Feed system:

Rate of fire:
650 rpm


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