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The Russian Military Has A New Machine Gun

April 14, 2014
via RIA Novosti

via RIA Novosti

The image above from news agency RIA Novosti shows a smiling Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin with an unidentified machine gun. It accompanied this story.

The type and name of the weapon is unknown and hasn’t been revealed either, although the venue where it was displayed appears to be a small arms exhibition.

Judging by its recognizable features, however, the machine gun is derived from the PKM family that’s been a mainstay of Russia’s army and special forces for the last 50 years. The original PKM machine gun was manufactured as part of the Kalashnikov family of small arms.

Today the Kalashnikov Concern, managed by state-run conglomerate Rostec, is responsible for sustaining Russia’s small arms production, particularly rifles. Machine guns and heavy weapons, on the other hand, are manufactured by the V.A. Degtyarev Plant.

The machine gun Mr. Rogozin is enjoying is most likely a prototype from Degtyarev.

But its external features are radically different from current designs. Painted in an Arctic coat, the barrel assembly is similar to the 7.62x45mm PKP Pecheneg. It’s safe to assume this new model is fitted with a reinforced steel barrel chambered for the same round.

The barrel assembly is supported by Picatinny rails with an attached foregrip and bipod. A carrying handle with an optical sight is mounted on top of the barrel.

The location of the box magazine appears confusing. Since the upper and lower receivers are behind the pistol grip, reinforcing the butt stock, where is the machine gun’s belt magazine fed?

The receivers of the original PK-series of machine guns are its most distinguishing feature. Unlike machine guns in the West such as the FN MAG or M60, the belt is loaded from the right. This results in the bullet casings being discharged toward rather than away from the gunner’s body. The mechanism explains why PKM gunners grip the carrying handle while firing.

With only a single image to analyse, speculating on details is useless. Until further information is released from official and even open-source venues, it’s safe to assume this particular machine gun won’t be in the public eye for long.

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