Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


This is coolbert:

“The person that said ‘the pen is mightier than the sword obviously has not encountered automatic weapons.” - - Douglas MacArthur.

Here is another Soviet/Russian firearm having a marked influence in conflicts throughout the world.

The PK machine gun.

The version being most seen is the PKM variety.

[the PKM is distinctive in that it has such a long barrel, at the end of which is the typical AK-like shrouded front sight!]

"Currently available as the PKM ("Machine-gun Kalashnikov Modernized"), the machine gun fires 7.62 x 54 mm R Eastern Bloc standard ammunition. It is equipped with a simple bipod and is designed as a squad-level support weapon also suitable for installation and vehicle mounting."

A belt fed machine gun roughly equivalent to the U.S. M60. Fires the old fashioned Russian small arms round, the 7.62 X 54.

I have recently seen a number of photos from conflicts around the world of soldiers sporting the PKM. Ethiopia, Nigeria [rebels], Iraq [Iraqi troops]. This weapon was not familiar to me!

It seems that EVEN AMERICAN TROOPS IN IRAQ ARE CARRYING THE PKM AND USING IT. This one particular photo I saw showed an AMERICAN soldier on patrol with a PKM, THE MACHINE GUN HAVING A VERY BIG TELESCOPIC SIGHT mounted on it.

"A special PKMSN2 model fits modern NSPU night sights for low visibility operations."

Several points here:

* Those cinder block buildings found in MOST “Third World” cities are extremely resistant to the round fired by the M-16 or M-249 SAW. The 7.62 NATO or 7.62 X 54 Russian round fired from a M60 or PKM machine gun chews those same walls up good. Has penetration capability with the latter weapons that the former do not! American forces in Iraq are reverting back to the M60 as the squad automatic weapon, the M249 found to be lacking.

* The Israelis were offered by the U.S. the M60 machine gun some time ago now. To use as THEIR squad automatic weapon. The Israeli turned the M60 down as it had the bad habit of jamming when confronted by the talcum powder like desert sand of the Middle East. I CAN ALMOST BET YOU THAT THE PKM IS NOT SO FINICKY. IS MORE OR LESS JAM RESISTANT.

* It would make sense for American units to adopt the PKM in Iraq to some extent. The desire for a more robust caliber, the abundance of such weapons AND ammo [Iraq was so awash with assortments of weapons as to boggle the mind!!] make this a snap choice. Inter-operability with Iraqi troops also a plus??!!

This is a formidable weapon. Deadly and providing militaries the world over with awesome firepower. Even for folks, who not so long ago, were still in the bow and arrow stage of weapons development!!

Cheap and abundant, and can do a lot of damage!!



Anonymous Sherman made Georgia howl said...

I wonder what the army ordinance staff thinks of American soldiers armed with soviet weaponry, not just SOG people.

I think if I were a company or battalion commander in Iraq I would be deeply torn, the versatile genius of Mikhail Kalashnikov on the one hand, or a greater likelihood of friendly fire incidents.

7:58 PM

Blogger Albert said...

From Bert: Well, we are talking about maintenance, accidental discharges, parts, ammo, etc. The soup to nuts type of thing. And for the operation of, well, you have to train the people. I would assume Special Forces already knows these weapons. How many are being used and when? NOT sure about any of that. It could be advantageous to use them, but has drawbacks too! Hard sell to the Pentagon.


8:04 PM


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