The legendary ShKAS: the first Soviet full-fledged aviation machine gun

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The legendary ShKAS: the first Soviet full-fledged aviation machine gun

In 1929-1930, the first small cannon weapon system was adopted for the Red Army Air Force. The military leadership considered various calibers to combat aircraft, tanks and ground targets. At the same time, for the first time, calibers were justified for aviation.

So, based on the accepted specifications, in 1930, Soviet designers B.G. Shpitalny and I.A. Komaritsky developed the first full-fledged aviation machine gun in the USSR. We are talking about the legendary ShKAS, which is often called “weapons Victory.



It is worth noting that this weapon, which was produced from 1932 to 1945 and was installed on almost all combat aircraft of the Red Army built during this period, certainly made a huge contribution to the Victory over the troops of the Third Reich and its allies.

By the way, ShKAS managed to “work” not only on winged vehicles of the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War. There is information that the Soviet machine gun was used in the Chinese and Korean civil wars.

As mentioned above, the brainchild of Shpitalny and Komaritsky became the first full-fledged aviation machine gun in the USSR. Before its appearance, adapted versions of ground-based PD and Maxim, called PV-1, DA and DA-2, were installed on combat aircraft.

At the same time, the new ShKAS was significantly superior to its predecessors in its characteristics. The machine gun was lighter and shorter, which made it a better option for installation on aircraft.

However, this is not the main thing. The most significant advantage of the ShKAS was its rate of fire. This figure was fantastic at that time 1800 rpm for turret and wing, as well as 1650 for synchronous.

Finally, Shpitalny and Komaritsky’s machine gun was distinguished by the highest reliability. The only case where ShKAS had multiple misfires occurred in the 1940s. But the culprit was the cartridges, not the machine gun.

23 comments
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  1. -4
    April 4 2024 18: 16
    Promote the “media tactics” channel here. This is correct, a very good channel.
    1. +4
      April 4 2024 18: 23
      dragged here from YouTube... so-so. should you look at the channel, what is the point of creating topics from the material covered? Make your own topics and don’t steal other people’s ones.
    2. +1
      April 4 2024 18: 24
      But in this particular video, only drawings showed the machine gun.
      There is no video of the shooting, but if we are talking about weapons, it is desirable.
      I wonder if the ShKAS has been preserved anywhere in working order so that you can shoot from it?
      1. -2
        April 4 2024 19: 07
        Quote: Shurik70
        Is the ShKAS preserved somewhere in working condition so that you can shoot from it?

        The machine gun is most likely preserved in some museums, and even if something is rusty somewhere, disassembly, cleaning, and lubrication will bring it back to life. But where can I get special cartridges, and even in loose tape? With regular rifle cartridges it will jam, if not on the first round, then certainly in the first dozen. So it is necessary, if not to re-deploy, then to greatly change the technology for manufacturing cartridges. Given the appetites of ShKAS, just to shoot it you will need several hundred rounds of ammunition, but to “shoot” it will take thousands. And in order to make a tape, it will be necessary to at least re-establish the stamping equipment - that is, if it is still gathering dust in a warehouse, and was not melted down under Soviet rule. So the shootouts will cost a car, if not an apartment. Do you need it?
        1. -1
          April 4 2024 19: 18
          I saw a video where they used ShKAS tape for Kord, and he ate it normally.
          So there are ribbons. And it’s not a problem to stamp the tape.
          And if you need special cartridges for it, yes. Bummer.
          1. 0
            April 4 2024 19: 36
            Quote: Shurik70
            for Kord we used tape from ShKAS

            I wonder how. ShKAS is made for 7,62x54R, although it is a special version, but of the same geometry, the three-ruler will take it and will not choke. And "Kord" EMNIP is 12,7x108.
            Quote: Shurik70
            no problem stamping the tape
            If there is a stamp and it is configured, then just shove the sheet into it, and assemble the links at the exit. And if not?
            Quote: Shurik70
            And if you need special cartridges for it, yes. Bummer.
            Alas...
            1. -1
              April 4 2024 19: 39
              Quote: Nagan
              If there is a stamp and it is configured, then just shove the sheet into it, and assemble the links at the exit. And if not?

              On modern CNC machines, making a stamp for bending sheet metal takes a couple of hours of work, 75% of which will be writing a program for the machine
              Quote: Nagan
              ShKAS is made for 7,62x54R, although it is a special version, but of the same geometry, the three-ruler will take it and will not choke. And "Kord" EMNIP is 12,7x108.

              Oops... Error.
              Not Kord, but PKM
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0E_EXHcIc0
    3. +2
      April 4 2024 20: 25
      Promote the “media tactics” channel here. This is correct, a very good channel.


      Correct in what way because this channel craps on Soviet pilots?
  2. +5
    April 4 2024 18: 19
    But the culprit was the cartridges, not the machine gun.

    The reason is discharging, that is, when, when feeding a cartridge, the bullet comes out of the cartridge case.
    Special cartridges began to be produced for ShKAS - with double compression of the bullet. Moreover, these aviation cartridges were of two types.
  3. UAT
    -3
    April 4 2024 18: 32
    The machine gun may be absolutely wonderful, but in combat it is almost always useless. If in an air battle the effective range of a large-caliber (12.7mm) machine gun is approximately 150m and this was not enough, then what could be done with the ShKAS? Almost nothing. And so, everything is fine, beautiful marquise.
  4. +2
    April 4 2024 18: 34
    Not a full-fledged one, but a specialized aviation machine gun. Moreover, the only one in the world.

    The Germans used the MG-81, which is a modification of the MG-34, on their planes. The Americans made do with Browning.

    And, by the way, the legs of ShKAS have been growing since the 20-30s, when the engines of the aircraft were low-power and the installation of an entire battery of cannons/machine guns did not take into account the weight. That's why they built a super-fast-firing machine gun.
    And in the 40s, the idea was discovered that with a sufficiently powerful motor, a fence would fly, not like a cannon battery. And ShKAS became not very relevant - the guns began to play.

    That is, as an example of mechanical perfection, it is, of course, very interesting, but, alas, it did not reach the level of “legendary”.
    1. UAT
      0
      April 4 2024 18: 39
      “but, alas, it didn’t reach the level of “legendary”” - that’s why it didn’t live up to the fact that it turned out to be useless against cannons and heavy machine guns.
      1. -1
        April 7 2024 18: 49
        Quote: UAT
        “but, alas, it didn’t reach the level of “legendary”” - that’s why it didn’t live up to the fact that it turned out to be useless against cannons and heavy machine guns.

        For the 30s-40s it was an excellent machine gun. When our people took Hitler’s office, they found a sample of this machine gun under a glass cover.
    2. MSN
      0
      April 16 2024 15: 20
      Not a full-fledged one, but a specialized aviation machine gun. Moreover, the only one in the world.

      Not the only one and not the first. MG15 1932, MG17 1936. CZ1928 1928. This is only at first glance, I’m sure if you dig there will be much more.
  5. 0
    April 4 2024 18: 58
    “There is information that the Soviet machine gun was used in the Chinese and Korean civil wars.” Well, he definitely fought in China together with our planes and pilots. There was also Spain.
  6. +2
    April 4 2024 18: 59
    Apart from the video, the article is too short for VO and such a timely machine gun, with original solutions by Shpitalny, Komaritsky and co.
  7. 0
    April 4 2024 20: 16
    This is a ridiculously small caliber!
  8. +1
    April 4 2024 20: 32
    that's how it always is lately... an interesting seed, and then, bam, and - a YouTube advertisement...
    I don't really watch...
  9. 0
    April 6 2024 21: 08
    IMHO, I read many times that it was outdated by the beginning of the Second World War.
    Tk. the small caliber was poorly suited against already armored fighters and large bombardiers.
    Everyone switched to large caliber.
    Plus, high ammunition consumption. - ended quickly.
    1. 0
      April 7 2024 18: 52
      Quote: Max1995
      I read many times that it was outdated by the beginning of the Second World War

      SHVAKI appeared if anything:
      No other model of aviation cannon weapons, either in the USSR or in other countries, during all the years of World War II can compare with it in terms of production volume. Number of ShVAK guns produced:

      1942 - 34
      1943 - 26
      1944 - 25
      1945 - 13
      1946 - 754
      1. 0
        April 8 2024 20: 20
        Yes exactly. I’m not a metal worker myself, I don’t remember the release figures, etc., but I read that there was already a wave of praise for ShKAS in Soviet times.
  10. 0
    April 8 2024 00: 01
    “...Finally, Shpitalny and Komaritsky’s machine gun was distinguished by the highest reliability. The only case when ShKAS had numerous misfires was recorded occurred in the 1940s. But the reason for this was the cartridges, not the machine gun...”
    As for reliability, it is somewhat doubtful.. I read the memoirs of ShKAS users during the war. Typical delays were an ordinary case. Users always had a device in their pocket to remove a stuck cartridge case. And the cartridge for ShKAS came with a special one; according to shooters’ reviews, this miracle could not work with a regular one at all. And summarizing the opinion of wartime users - “for the 30s, a normal car, but by the beginning of the 40s it was already outdated..”
    1. -1
      April 8 2024 08: 31
      According to the recollections of the People's Commissar of Industry Novikov:
      Suddenly, reports began to arrive about failures of aircraft machine guns (I don’t remember which ones, perhaps large-caliber ones). It turned out that the failures were caused by cartridges coated with blue varnish. Cartridges coated with black varnish did not cause failures. All blue cartridges were seized and transferred to the ground forces