Fire Support of the Soviet Infantry: The Mighty PKM Machine Gun

Fire Support of the Soviet Infantry: The Mighty PKM Machine Gun


– [Narrator] So from being used
in small intensity conflicts all over the world by numerous
rebel groups, insurgencies or being used by
partnered nations in NATO, to being constantly outfitted
with the latest gear and tech and turned into a bullpup variant with EOTech sights or even being used for competitive purposes
in Russia by the soldiers it was originally designed for, the PKM machine gun is
definitely here to stay and is one of the more iconic machine guns of the 20th century, especially
within the Cold War arsenal. Originally standing for
Pulemyot Kalashnikova, which means Kalashnikov’s machine gun, the PKM general-purpose machine gun was originally introduced
in 1961 as the PK. It was later replaced by
the PKM, which is simply a modified version of the
PK, which reduced the weight, it dropped some of the fins on the barrel and it dropped the compensator in addition to adding strengthening
ribs on the receiver cover. During the 1950s the Soviets had a plethora of machine guns available at the battalion and company levels. They had the SG-43, Maxims,
DP-28s and they looked at the examples of the
German MG 42 and MG 34 as a universal type of
machine gun that could be used in multiple instances, not too light, not too heavy and still very reliable. Originally there was a
design competition within the Soviet Union between
two Soviet designers by the name of Nikitin and Sokolov. Their design was originally
going to be adopted as the PK but then
there’s some competition introduced by Kalashnikov’s Design Bureau. The design that Kalashnikov
originally came up with later actually won the competition. However the original design
by Nikitin and Sokolov later became the 12.7mm NSV. It should be noted that the tripod mount and ammunition boxes from
their original NSV design later became adopted with the PKM. Numerous versions of
the PKM came out such as the PKMSN which was an
optics-capable version back in the 1960s and
70s capable of taking various 1st generation infrared optics and image-magnification optics. There’s also the PKMS which was actually a heavier version and stood
for mounted in Russian and was used to be mounted
on top of vehicles. This went back to some
of the early PK designs with the fluted barrel
and the compensator. Then there was the PKT,
which was a tank version used as a co-ax machine gun,
fired by solenoid trigger. Not mentioned here we also have the PKB which was sort of a
helicopter-mounted version that you could use with a spade grip. Today we have the PKP Pecheneg, which is a modern squad automatic weapon, but not chambered in 5.56,
chambered in 7.62×54 rimmed. We even have numerous
attempts to suppress the PKM within the Soviet arsenal that
we see among Spetsnaz groups within the current war in Syria today. The design was copied
throughout the world. In this case we have the
example of a Chinese Type 80, in use in the Syrian conflict. In addition a Zastava
M84, which was copied by the Yugoslavian armaments
groups in the 1980s and 90s and is still in use today
in a number of ways. On top of these two we have
numerous other examples of copies of the PKM all over the world. In addition we have some
versions of the PKM chambered in 7.62mm NATO and are still in use by various NATO organizations today, in addition to being
exported across the world. Many like the PKM because
it is extremely reliable while on the other hand
being extremely light-weight, coming in at around 19
pounds with the PKM version. It is also very simple to use if you are familiar with
any Kalashnikov platform, then you are already
halfway to understanding how the internal components
are actually disassembled from the general-purpose machine gun. The PKM machine gun uses a
reverse-engineered Kalashnikov’s operating system that Kalashnikov himself along with a bunch of
other engineers designed. It uses a recoil spring
that is fed through the bottom of the
machine gun and can pivot in a certain way to allow
it to be disassembled while taken out from the rear. There is a similar arrangement on the bolt and bolt carrier where there
is a small portion where it can pivot and you can thus take it out of the machine gun for disassembly. Taking this stuff out of the machine gun can be a little bit difficult at times, so it does take some getting used to. The bolt head is precisely the same as the Kalashnikov version, except it is a little larger of course. Also note that the gas piston is on the bottom instead of the top. Such is the case in the
Kalashnikov version. Because it is an open-bolt machine gun, there isn’t any hammer
or firing pin that is, that can actually be hit by a hammer. Instead the firing pin
goes forward as soon as the bolt head itself is
pressed all the way to the rear in the locked position
when it is chambered. Assembly of the machine
gun requires the bolt to be pushed into position by
pivoting down and then into the actual frame of the machine
gun which is stamped steel. Next up is the recoil spring,
which is also being pivoted into the machine gun as well,
just like it is disassembled. The feed tray cover is unleashed
with a Kalashnikov-style release button, thus
gettin soldiers used to that sort of button from
transitioning from an AK. Underneath the feed
tray cover are a number of the working components
that push the belt through the machine gun
when it is bein fired. In addition the feed tray
cover can be lifted up and the bottom part can
be inspected and cleaned. Here you can see the
portion of the machine gun that actually pulls the
round out of the belt via a Maxim-type feed
claw, drops and drops it into the chamber, thus firing it and after that the
round can be pushed out. Changing the barrel requires lifting of the feed tray cover and
pressing a small portion of the barrel retaining latch to the left, this is also captive. The forward handle doubles
as a barrel-changing handle because as you press it, it
actually pushes the barrel outside of the chamber which
helps get the barrel moving if there is a lot of gunk in there from various pieces of carbon. Many have often compared the PKM to the 240 or the M60
machine gun which was in use by the Soviet Union’s principal enemy, the United States during the Cold War. Many have also said that the PKM, just like many other
Soviet weapons are great until they fail and then
they seem to fail completely because of their stamped steel design. Whereas with the 240 you have
a little bit more reliability and you have a little
bit more of an ability to take care of it with different
spare parts and the like. However in the long run it
is a much heavier design and requires much more
care to take care of it compared to the PKM
series of machine guns. The PKM could either be fired
from a 100 round salt can or a 200 or 250 round
can that could be sitting outside the machine gun, you
could use in a dismounted role or you could have it set
up in the vehicle role with a similar can in place nearby. The safety is located on the
left side of the machine gun and needs to be pushed
all the way from the front to the rear to actually actuate the safety and allow the trigger to be either fired or put in a safe position. The machine gun came with
bipods that could be locked in a forward position and
they could also be swiveled to the rear so you could
actually hold the machine, hold the bipods while shooting. In addition they could
obviously be locked in the center portion with
the machine gun employed. The buttstock had a shoulder
latch that could be flipped up so you could better control the
machine gun while firing it. While the stock also had a chamber brush that was threaded into the
stock and you could easily take it out and clean the
machine gun when you weren’t in direct action or you
needed to quickly clean off something in the chamber. Rear sights were graduated to 1500 meters and were adjustable
for height and windage. Interestingly all the rear sights were, were a simple copy of a Mosin-Nagant or even an AK rear-sight design, simply switched around
so that the elevation was in the opposite direction
as with a standard AK rifle. Windage could be adjusted
on a plane in the rear and red numerals helped users see the numbers in low-light settings. The front sight could also be
adjusted for elevation as well and was protected by two front sight ears. Ammunition could be
loaded into these belts via a special machine
that was probably issued at the company level. Although many of the belts
came straight from the factory in 25 round increments that
you could then clip together to make larger portions. Thank you very much for watching guys. We really appreciate the viewership. I’d really like to thank my friend Brush for helping out with the
production of this video, in addition I really wanna give a shoutout to Marcolmar Firearms in northern Indiana who helped provide the machine guns and some of the other
check firearm designs that we’ve been looking at for the past couple of weeks on TFB.tv. Again I’d like to point out
one of our sponsors Proxibid, for helpin out with the
channel and helping us bring the kinds of content
that you see here today. I don’t think you can get a full-auto PKM but you might be able to
snag a semi-automatic PKM or even various pieces and parts of PKMs if that’s all you really want to have anything to do with a machine gun. Thank you very much and
we’ll see you next time to learn about the Dylan AK
from the Ia Drang of Vietnam. (classical martial theme)

100 Comments on "Fire Support of the Soviet Infantry: The Mighty PKM Machine Gun"


  1. Here in Libya we convert the PKT into PKM .. and we repair the burned guns like the AK and the PKM and they work just fine

    Reply

  2. Pe-chong ))) hahaha! It's actually pronounced Pe-chey-nEg, from the ancient pecheneg tribes active during the early pre-Russia times of princedoms and steppe raiders.

    Reply

  3. Pkm is made up of heavier stamped steel compared to AK series rifles. Genius design, life gives you lemons.

    Reply

  4. Failed to mention if that gun took a hit by a bullet. Little working parts means that it would keep running. Compared to a 240 or 249

    Reply

  5. I will take it over the M-60 anytime. While In Special Forces, I always liked to use the AK and Warsaw Pact weapons over the M-16 and M-60 and including the SAW. One the other hand, I liked the US WW-2 M1919 30 caliber MG over the M-60. However the US Army 240 is far better in my view than the M-60.

    Reply

  6. My primary weapon during my service, seems like American interest is growing. Although your pronunciation needs work

    Reply

  7. Do you have a hungarian variant? It has "fire" written on it in Hungarian. Is it usual in the US or why is that?

    Reply

  8. Never judge a book by its cover, Having a lot of experience with the 240b and having shot this…. the PKM in my opinion recoils about half of what the 240b feels like. Its really un-believable when you pick it up because it is so light and you would expect the opposite. The Rate of fire is ultra smooth as well. I don't know how it compares in accuracy or reliability… but as far as shooting it, The PKM is such a soft shooting controllable/carry able MG.

    Reply

  9. Wow pkm my favorite, our family have all original Soviet stuff, … My father care them like child

    Reply

  10. Most of the "copies" are in fact not copies, but are licence production. This is not the same as a coppy.

    Reply

  11. The Soviet motorized company had three PKM machine guns. Later on in Afghanistan they increased the number of PKMs significantly.

    Reply

  12. Lol its a hungarian made pkm because the saftey selector says tűz meaning fire in hungarian the hungarian army still uses this gun

    Reply

  13. The Red Army can never die! It has merely gone into hibernation! Waiting to be awoken by the will of the working class! So long as the eternal science of Marxism-Leninism remains in the minds of even a single worker, the Red Army cannot die! Long live the antifascist struggle! Long live the anti-imperialist struggle! Long live the struggle of the working people! Long live Communism! ☭☭☭

    Reply

  14. Are there any fuze mains here that use the pkm because he has one? If Ubisoft Warsaw and Montreal were watching this they're going to have to give Zofia a ukm-2000 the polish 7.62×51 NATO version of the pkm

    Reply

  15. Good gun for shooting bankers capitalists kings queens and corrupt capitalist politicians in the face with.

    Reply

  16. This is the 4th heavy weapon in GTA Vice City Stories, replacing the M60 from GTA Liberty City Stories

    Reply

  17. My father was a machine Gunner , he told me this is a great weapon .but the only problem is the heat and the wheight (weapon and it's ammo (

    Reply

  18. Great video, but man, you are butchering the names so much! Also some facts are not exactly true, but luckily not many.

    Reply

  19. I always thought Russian weapons were awesome. The way they use large calibers and such. They seem to kill people rather excellent-ly

    Reply

  20. 2:55 completely covering one's face is a sign that one is not proud of what he or she is doing and is likely very ashamed of their current actions … case in point: Waco … need I say more? if I ever see masked people (in uniform or otherwise) on my property I'm engaging first, asking questions never.

    Reply

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