History light machine gun dates back to the beginning of the last century. Russia was one of the first to use this new powerful weapon, moreover, during the first quarter of the century - only foreign-made. In the future, only domestic machine guns were in service. Over time, the outdated concept of dividing machine guns into manual and easel ones gave way to a more modern one, involving the use of single machine guns, used, depending on the situation, as hand or machine guns. Today, Russia has in many ways a unique sample of such weapons - a single Pecheneg machine gun.
For over a hundred years, these two names have separated. The rather capacious history of our machine gun originates from the Russo-Japanese War 1904 -1905, on the fronts of which from the Russian side a small amount of light machine guns from the Danish designer Madsen were used. Then they were called "machine guns".
This new type of weapon has positively manifested itself from the very beginning of the First World War. Despite the fact that all the Madsen light machine guns in the warehouses from the time of the Russo-Japanese War were given to the troops, the Russian army was in dire need of them.
At the final stage of the war, namely in 1917, Russia received the previously ordered 11000 Lewis light machine guns, Shosh 6100 machine guns, as well as a number of Colt machine guns developed by Browning in the West. At the same time, the French army had Shosh 91000 light machine guns.
For a more complete supply of the Russian army with machine guns as early as 1916, it was decided to organize the production of Madsen machine guns in the city of Kovrov. Tests of the first Kovrov machine guns were carried out in August 1917. in the presence of an artillery receiver specially arrived from Tula. It was ga Aparin, later a professor at VTU. Baumana, the largest specialist in interchangeability and tolerances.
1. 7,62-mm machine gun 6P41 "Pecheneg" with a night sight on the machine Stepanova
The first experience was unsuccessful - machine guns were not accepted by the recipient due to many manufacturing flaws, breakdowns of parts and a large percentage of delays.
By a GAU prescription from 18 in January 1918, an officer of the GAU Fedorov VT was sent to oversee the production of machine guns in Kovrov, since in parallel with the machine guns of Madsen, the plant had to produce a series of automatons of its design for 6,5-mm Japanese cartridge.
Subsequently, this outstanding scientist, designer and organizer of the industry played a prominent role in the development of the national arms school.
In January, 1918, the plant received an outfit for the manufacture of 9000 machines Fedorov and 10000 machine guns Madsen.
Fedorov arrived at the 9 plant in March. Together with him, Koprov was moved by a mechanic V.A. Degtyarev, who worked with Fedorov from 1906 and was involved in the creation of a self-loading rifle Fedorov.
Since the Kovrov Plant was in dire need of skilled personnel, a group of workers at the Sestroretsk Arms Plant was also sent to Kovrov with them. They all moved with their families.
Earlier, as a result of inspection trips to the front and business trips to England and France, where Fedorov had the opportunity to visit the French positions, he came to the idea of the need to increase the firepower of small arms of the Russian infantry. He believed that some step in this direction could be made by converting his self-loading rifles into automatic (self-shooting).
When testing the first automatic rifles of Fedorov in the Oranienbaum rifle school, its head N.M. Filatov proposed to call this new type of weapon “automatic”.
Fedorov's machine guns in 1916 were armed with a special command of the 189 infantry Izmaylovsky regiment.
In Kovrov, the first Fedorov machines were made in September 1920, by the end of the year 100 units were produced. Automatic rifles were sent to the troops located in the Caucasus and Karelia. In particular, Fedorov's rifles were in the Toivo Antikainen ski detachment during his successful raid on the rear of the White Finns in 1921-1922.
The machine was in production until October 1 of 1925. By that time, all 3100 machines had been manufactured. Fedorov's automatic weapons were in service with the Red Army up to 1928.
After the Civil War, military experts, based on the experience of two wars, concluded that light machine guns for regular rifle cartridge are a necessary weapon for a platoon and company. Fedorov's machine gun did not solve this problem and could only be considered as an auxiliary weapon.
According to the then opinion of Artcom GAU, the easiest way a light machine gun could have been created by reworking Maxim’s machine gun, which was mass-produced at the Tula Arms Plant. It was assumed that the organization of production at the same plant of such a manual machine gun would not lead to high costs.
Alteration of the easel machine gun in the manual was performed by a former Cossack officer FV Tokarev.
As a result of tests carried out in 1925 by a commission chaired by S. M. Budenny at the Vystrel school training ground, a manual remake machine gun was accepted for mass production. He was given the name "MT" (Maxima-Tokarev).
Artcom GAU considered the problem of a manual machine gun for the Red Army to be so resolved and stopped financing the work on creating a specialized manual machine gun.
But civilian specialists of the Kovrov Design Bureau created by Fedorov did not agree with the military and continued to work on the creation of a light machine gun on their own initiative. Among them were V.A. Degtyarev, his closest assistant, G.S.Shpagin, senior master of the assembly section S.G. Simonov and others. Working and improving under the leadership of Fedorov, they were well oriented in the problem and had their own opinion, especially since they had a certain reserve in the direction of creating a light machine gun.
2. "Pecheneg" on a bipod in manual version
They were right because after the spread of MT in the army and the improvement of the production of a machine gun, a large number of comments were made to his address. The fulfillment of these remarks wiped out all the supposed advantages of the rework gun.
Back in 1921, Fedorov and Degtyarev developed an air-cooled light machine gun in the style of a Lewis machine gun.
The English Lewis machine gun is familiar to our readers in the movie “White Sun of the Desert” —the Red Army soldier Sukhov shot from him from the roof of an oil tank. The barrel of a Lewis machine gun is enclosed in a casing open from the ends, the length of which is longer than the length of the barrel. When firing, the powder gases, flowing out of the casing, create an ejection effect, entraining the air that passes along the barrel and cools it. The cooling efficiency is enhanced by wearing an aluminum radiator with high longitudinal ribs.
Looking ahead, we note that the latest Russian development of the Pecheneg machine gun, created by researchers at TsNIITOCH-MASH and tested in Chechnya, has the same cooling effect. This once again confirms the validity of the philosophical principle of the development of technology in a spiral.
In 1924, the city of Degtyarev, led by Fedorov, began to develop a specialized light machine gun for a regular rifle cartridge. These works ended with the adoption of the machine gun "DP (Degtyarev infantry)" in 1927.
In a similar way to create a light machine gun from the easel were German gunsmiths. Having made the same mistakes, they already in 1918 came to create a specialized light machine gun Dreize.
Tests of machine guns were carried out in comparison with machine guns of MT and German Dreise. The advantages of the DP machine gun were so obvious that it was put into service even before the end of military tests. The deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council, S.S. Kamenev, who was present at the tests, wrote to K.Ye. Voroshilov: "... our Degtyarev machine gun is in many ways better than Dreyze ..."
The first domestic light machine gun turned out to be radically different from all known, very simple to manufacture and so perfect structurally that it immediately attracted the attention of foreign experts. His creator also showed himself as a designer of extraordinary thinking with his own special handwriting. Excellent characteristics of the machine gun DP were confirmed in battles at Lake Hassan and on the river Khalkhin-Gol.
The DP machine gun was not inferior in its qualities to any of its foreign counterparts, but during its operation, especially during the Patriotic War, a number of its flaws were revealed.
First of all, the weight of the machine gun of the DP together with the full ammunition load put to it was more than others, the dimensions of the machine gun were also inconvenient. It was the fault of the 47-charge flat disk store, which had a weight of 1,7 kg. Equipped shop weighed 2,8 kg. With a store of such capacity, the practical rate of fire of the machine gun was 80 ... 90 shots per minute, which, from the experience of combat use, was not enough.
In those days, ribbon feed for a light machine gun was considered unacceptable, and our rifle cartridge, which had an increased taper and edge, was extremely inconvenient for the development of the store. In this sense, the same rifle cartridge (if not worse) was among the French, and the characteristics of the semi-disk store of the Shosh machine gun also made one want something better. It only remained to envy the German gunsmiths, who had no such troubles with their excellent rifle Mauzer patron.
The following shortcomings of the DP were, in particular, a detachable fry, which was sometimes lost, and the location of the return and combat spring under the barrel. Such a spring, heating from the trunk, sat down, which led to the undershot of the cartridge and misfires. A number of other, less significant shortcomings were noted.
By decision of the State Defense Committee of 14 in December 1944, the DP machine gun was replaced by the DP M machine gun, which had many of the shortcomings of the DP machine gun, but the previous power supply was left, i.e. practical rate of fire machine gun continued to be insufficient.
The desire to improve the practical rate of fire of the PDM led to a revision of the initial opinion about the unacceptability of band power for a light machine gun.
Back in 1939-1940. Some Kovrov designers tried to create a receiver for the DP machine gun, which allowed shooting fire from it with ammunition loaded into a machine-gun belt. But then these works did not arouse any interest in the military. Only in 1942, after repeated requests from the troops, were these works resumed. Tests at I944 at the GAU test site showed that with belt feeding, the practical rate of fire of the machine gun increases to 250 rounds per minute, which meets the requirements for practical rate of fire for the heavy machine gun. The barrel of the DP machine gun did not withstand such a regime - it was red hot and the bullets fell from the rifling.
3. "Pecheneg" with boxes for ribbons on 100 cartridges and night sight in laying
At the end of I944, the deputy chief designer of the Kovrov N2 plant was AI Shilin. with the participation of two other designers, the PDM machine gun was redesigned for band feeding. As the tape was used steel link tape machine gun SG-43. When testing a machine gun fire mode, by analogy with the set for the machine gun and when shooting up to 25000 shots obtained acceptable results.
This machine gun was adopted by the Soviet Army under the name "RP-46 (company machine gun model 1946 of the year)". As a battalion machine gun in service with the Soviet Army, the machine gun SG-43, which was completely structurally different from the company one, remained.
By the beginning of the fifties, Soviet weapon science and practice had reached a technical level at which one could already count on a positive solution to the long-standing issue of creating a single (company and battalion) machine gun.
It must be said that the idea of a single machine gun was previously carried out in the German army, where at the beginning, the MG.34 machine gun designed by Louis Stange was used as a single machine gun. This talented designer, like domestic V.A. Degtyarev, F.V. Tokarev and S. G. Simonov, did not have an engineering education and also started with a gunsmith - in this capacity he worked for Louis Schmeisser. In the battles on the Eastern Front, and especially near Moscow, the MG.34 machine gun showed low reliability and was later gradually superseded by the much more sophisticated MG.42 machine gun developed by Dr. Werner Grünow.
Domestic weapon scientist, candidate of technical sciences M.Ye. Dragunov, the son of the creator of the famous SVD sniper rifle, told the author of these lines that, according to his father, the German weapons designers Werner Grunow and Hugo Schmeisser, deported there from Germany, worked in Izhevsk. They were provided with good working conditions and even the son of Schmeisser received a higher education in the USSR. In communication with Soviet specialists, Grunov promoted the idea of a single machine gun.
In 1953, on an initiative basis, the most experienced engineer of the Tula TsKB-14, Nikitin GI, proceeded to design a single machine gun; his assistant was the engineer Sokolov Yu.M. Officially, such a task was issued to weapons companies in 1955. The tactical and technical requirements for a single machine gun approved by the Main Artillery Directorate for developers were obtained in January 1956.
After working at the design bureau, the Nikitin and Sokolov machine gun successfully passed detailed tests at the branch research institute NII-61 (now TsNIITOCHMASH) and was launched into serial production with the Samozhenkova E.S. machine. at the Kovrovsky mechanical plant.
One of the significant achievements of Nikitin was that he was able to work out the supply of a regular rifle cartridge with a rim "opposite" from a special elastic link. This link was designed as early as 1943 by the Tula gunsmith GA. Korobov and was used in some prototypes of heavy machine guns. With this feed, the cartridge from the tape link was pushed forward by the bolt in the direction of the chamber.
In 1958, a single machine gun from Nikitin and Sokolov with a positive assessment passed military tests. In Kovrov, several hundred machine guns have already been manufactured. In TsKB-14 engineer L.V. Stepanov A new tripod machine was developed, which had a number of significant advantages over Samozhenkov’s machine. So, he managed to reduce the weight of the machine from 7,7 kg to 4,5 kg and almost by 40% reduce the complexity of its manufacture.
Stepanov began the development of this excellent machine on his own initiative. Before he managed to achieve the opening of a special topic and, of course, financing, he worked within the framework of a public student design bureau at the Department of Machine Tools and Installations of the weapons department of the Tula Institute. This gave him the opportunity to use the advice of prominent professors - experts in the theory of the mast.
But it would seem that the resolved question of putting the Nikitin and Sokolov machine gun into service was postponed due to the demand of top management to check the PC machine gun developed in the design bureau of the Izhevsk plant (Kalashnikov also worked there). Several copies of the PC machine gun were already made by this time. The PC was designed for the standard ribbon machine gun SGM. The use of this tape entailed the use of the so-called "two-story" feed - the cartridge was removed from the tape when the bolt rolled back, simultaneously falling to the dosing line, and then sent to the chamber in the run-in. As a result of the re-tests that took place in 1960, a single Kalashnikov machine gun on the bipod as a manual (PC) and on a tripod machine as a machine gun (PKS) was adopted.
In 1969, the Samozhenkov machine was replaced by a Stepanov machine.
4. Designer "Pechenega" Valery Suslov
After adopting a single machine gun, the need for a machine gun SGM disappeared and he was removed from production in 1961.
The appearance of a single Pecheneg machine gun with the cipher Pecheneg at the end of 90-s is due to the fact that the PKM machine gun (PKSM) has ceased to meet a number of modern increased requirements for this type of weapon.
Firstly, a replaceable barrel is laid to the PKM machine gun, which causes a lot of inconvenience in storing and operating the machine gun. The fact is that the survivability of the automatic machine gun is 25000 shots, and the barrel can withstand only half of this resource.
Secondly, this is the so-called “haze” effect that occurs in the PKM machine gun after about a hundred shots of intense shooting. Heat flows from the trunk distort the field of view and the target becomes indistinguishable for about ten seconds.
Thirdly, it is a withdrawal of the average point of hits (STP) due to the temperature bending of the hot barrel when unilateral exposure to wind or precipitation. This disadvantage is particularly evident when using an optical sight mounted on the receiver.
Fourth, the way of mounting the bipod on PKM in the company version is not optimal for accurate shooting.
All these shortcomings have gone out of sight of the developers of the Kalashnikov machine gun who solved the problem hastily and "head on" without scientific analysis.
The machine gun "Pecheneg" was created in TsNIITOCH-MASH based on a number of scientific studies. First of all, the temperature balance of the barrel of a regular machine gun was studied. It turned out that as a result of an extremely uneven distribution of temperature fields, an uneven wear of the barrel bore occurs. Irregularity of heating can be reduced by an appropriate distribution of mass and cooled surfaces of the barrel. To remove heat from the heated surfaces, they need to be cooled, and then the exit was found in some increase in the mass of the barrel and in air cooling with an ejector suction of air like a Lewis machine gun. Using this idea almost a century ago, i.e. placing the barrel in the open end of the pipe, the developers killed three "birds with one stone":
The first is that they provided air blowing over the barrel, which, together with the other measures noted above, made it possible to do with a single barrel within the survivability of the automaticity of the machine gun. At the same time, the cooling fins on the barrel and the position of the air inlets are selected so that the greatest heat removal occurs in areas of high heat.
Secondly, the trunk was protected from the effects of precipitation, which made it possible to use optical devices effectively;
5,6. "Pecheneg" was run-in during the fighting in the Chechen Republic
The third - the presence of a long casing allowed the bipod to be located in the most favorable place from the point of view of reducing dispersion.
In the final stages of testing the machine gun developer had a lot to break his head over the elimination of the effect of "haze". Here, this effect already occurred much later than on PC and PKM machine guns - after about three hundred shots. But still it was less than the full ammunition, which was required by the TTZ (tactical and technical tasks) to shoot in a certain mode. Mikhail Chugunov, the head of the department, rescued him by proposing a special form of a handle that was meant to carry weapons at the same time and to divert the haze away from the shooter’s field of view. From this long inclined handle, the Pecheneg and PKM can be distinguished from afar.
In December, 1999, civilian weapons specialists, being in Chechnya at the location of one of the military units, had the opportunity to see and photograph this machine gun in combat positions. In March, the Pecheneg machine guns of 2000 were used by a detachment of the Khanty-Mansiysk Special Forces in the battles near the village of Komsomolsk. About the "Pechenega" there were the most favorable reviews.
Thus, three single machine guns were used in Chechnya:
-PC weighing kg 9 plus a spare kg trunk 2,3;
-PKM - 7,5 kg plus a spare barrel 2,3 kg;
- "Pecheneg" - 8,2 kg, has no spare trunk.
Without the slightest stretch, “Pecheneg” surpasses the best world analogues in its characteristics. All the more insulting that it was created for a long time due to the conditions of a total deficit of everything. The leading performer of this theme, a young and talented engineer Valery Suslov, after completing the work and transferring the documentation and prototypes to the Kovrovsky Mechanical Plant, quit.
After Suslov left, numerous approvals, inevitably arising during the development of any products by the plant, fell on the shoulders of his immediate supervisor, lead researcher, Candidate of Technical Sciences A.S. Disagreeable. Unwanted is known as an expert in the theory of silent shooting and as the developer of the low-noise version of the gun APS.
Certain efforts were spent on the invention of the abbreviation of the name of the machine gun, but in the proposed options there was no letter "C", and there were initial letters of the names of persons not very involved in the development of the machine gun. In the end, Kovrov specialists, who worked hard to develop the mass production of the machine gun, stopped at the customer index 6P41.
7. The fire from "Pechenega" is the author of the article.
All of the above, only in very general terms, describes the history of the creation of the national single machine gun. Beyond the brief journal article there are many surnames of Kovrov and other designers of light machine guns who worked in the same period. In particular, samples of S.G. Simonov, who made a great contribution to the development of the machine gun DP, A.I. Skvortsova, A.I. Bulkina, G.S. Garanin and others. Garaninsky single machine gun on a tripod machine Markov GP before 1957, it was a serious competitor to the Nikitin and Kalashnikov machine guns. In the battalion version of his machine gun was even lighter than Nikitinsky and PC. In his machine gun, Garanin used semi-free locking, which only the German designer, the author of the famous single machine gun MG.45, dared to dare to use on the rifle cartridge and on the MG.42 machine gun. Like Nikitin, Garanin used direct sending of our low-comfort rifle cartridge from the Korobov link.
The article bypasses the fashionable at the time machine guns under the "intermediate" cartridge - the participants in the hostilities respond negatively about them. Here are the words of one of the officers of the Special Forces of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation: "... RPK74 (just like the PKK) is not a machine gun! We did not take them to the war and never regretted it. because they cannot create a greater density of fire. They can’t put up a normal barrage or crush the enemy with fire ... ”End of quotation.