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

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In this episode, TFB TV presents the PKM GPMG, the machine gun that has been in constant service since 1961. From being used in high-intensity conflicts by insurgencies and rebel groups or partner nations in NATO, to being outfitted with more advanced tech and accessories, and even for training and competitive purposes, the PKM machine gun is mot definitely here to stay.

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Now considered by many to be one of the best and most iconic machine guns of the 20th century, it’s easy to see why. The mighty PKM is comparatively light (just around 19 lbs), very reliable, and disgustingly simple to maintain and operate, which is why it has found much favor among good guys and bad guys alike across almost every region of the world.

The boys look at some of the features of the machine gun, what made it so successful (and fun to shoot) in all of its belt-fed, fully automatic glory.

It uses a reverse-engineered Kalashnikov operating system, so anyone who knows how the Kalashnikov platform works is halfway there. TFB TV demonstrates how the PKM is disassembled, going through the parts of the gun in the process. They also show how it loads and operates, safety features and so on.

Many have compared the PKM with the M240 or M16 machine guns used by the USA. However, while the latter guns are said to be much more reliable, they also require constant care and attention in order to keep functioning properly.

The gun as originally introduced as the PK, and was later replaced by the PKM, a modified version. The Russians looked to their German counterparts and considered the the MG34 and MG42 as “universal” machine guns. There was a design contest for the machine gun that Kalashnikov won. Numerous versions of the PKM eventually came out, including one meant to be mounted on vehicles. There are more modern variants of the PKM out now, and there have been numerous attempts to suppress the machine gun among the Soviet soldiers. All over the world, countries have come up with their own versions of the PKM.



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