PKM machine gun
Country of origin

Soviet Union




Mikhail Kalashnikov

Year(s) designed


Production began


Weapon type


Barrel length

645 mm


7.5 kg

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

Belts in 100/200/250 round boxes

Cyclic rate

650-750 rounds/min

Maximum effective range

1,500 m

Muzzle velocity

825 m/s

The PKM (ПКМ, Пулемёт Калашникова Модернизированный, Pulemyot Kalashnikova Modernizirovannyy, Kalashnikov's modernized machine gun in English) is a 7.62x54mmR general purpose machine gun designed in the Soviet Union and currently in production in Russia. It is a modernization of the PK machine gun that was introduced in the 1961 to replace the SGM and RPD machine guns in Soviet service.


The PKM was introduced in 1969 as a modernized version of the PK. The improvements to the PKM included weight reduction, production simplification and improvements to ease of use. In 2001, the PKM was further improved by TsNIITochMash to become the PKP Pecheneg.

Design Details

The PKM is lighter than the original PK, and has a few other improvements as well. Lengthwise ribs were added to make the receiver cover more rigid, and the buttstock was fitted with a hinged butt rest. Similar to the older PK, the PKM machine gun can be used as a light anti-aircraft weapon when it is put on an anti-aircraft mount. Typical of Soviet machine guns, the standard model feeds from the right and ejects its spent cases via an ejection port on the left side of the weapon, contrary to the right side ejection port seen in most Western machine guns. Old PKMs were fitted with wooden furniture such as wooden buttstocks and pistol grips, but these were later changed to a black glass-filled polyamide for modern-production PKMs.



PKM mounted on a tripod.

Norinco Type 80

Chinese produced version of the PKM/PKMS.

Arsenal MG-1 & MG-1M

Bulgarian produced copy of the PKM/PKMS.

Cugir Mitraliera md. 66

Romanian produced copy of the PKM/PKMS.

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