Military Review

The failed bullpup in the Soviet way, or the Korobov TKB-022 machine gun

The failed bullpup in the Soviet way, or the Korobov TKB-022 machine gun

After the end of the Second World War, to participate in the competition for a new rifle weapon Soviet Soviet, gunsmith designer German Alexandrovich Korobov began developing the TKB-408 submachine gun chambered for the 7.62x39 mm, built in a bullpup layout. However, the Korobov TKB-408 submachine gun dropped out of the competition, and the AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle was adopted.

After the TKB-408 machine gun was rejected, Korobov for a while refused the weapon in the bullpup layout, but at the beginning of 1960-s again returned to it, creating a whole family of machine guns under the symbol TKB-022 (TKB - Tula Design Bureau), however, each new sample was significantly different from the previous one.

The new family of the TKB-022 submachine gun includes models:

- TKB-022 No. 1, No. 2, No. Z;
- TKB-022P No. 1, No. 2, No. Z;
- TKB-022PM No. 1, No. 2;
- TKB-022PM5 No. 1.

At the beginning of 1961, a topic was opened in the USSR aimed at developing new schemes for machine guns and machine guns, as well as searching for more advanced principles of automation. Samples should have a simple design, low weight and be reliable in operation.

As part of this theme, Korobov in 1961 created the TKB-022 submachine gun, in whose design the signs of the bullpup layout are visible. In the same year 1961, three variants of the TKB-022 submachine gun were presented - №1, №2 and №3,

TKB-022 No.1

The TKB-022 machine gun is built according to a rather unusual pistol layout for machine guns, in which the magazine is located in the fire control grip. The weapons used automatic with the removal of powder gases from the barrel. The shutter is rotary. The bolt carrier with a bolt has a short stroke, and the ring piston located on the barrel has a long recoil stroke. The bolt and piston are automatically detachable.

The ejection of the sleeves was made only on the right side of the weapon. USM allows for both single and automatic fire. One of the distinguishing features is the widespread use of plastic. The body of the weapon was a plastic "case", revealing two halves.

The mass of the TKB-022 submachine gun without a magazine was 2,6 kg with a weapon length 755 mm.

During the fire tests of the TKB-022 submachine gun, when shooting from the 1 - 13350 sample of shots and from the 3 - 3036 sample of the shots, there were no delays, and the accuracy of fire was not inferior to AKM, but the "space" design, using unusual for that the time of plastic and the reflection of the sleeves in the face of the arrow in the management of fire from the left shoulder is not allowed to adopt it.

At the same time, in 1961, a competition was announced for the creation of an 7,62-mm light machine gun chambered for the 1943 model of the year. And in 1962, Korobov, on the basis of TKB-022, is developing an 7,62-mm experimental automaton according to the TKB-022P bullpup scheme of model No. 1, No. 2, No. Z.

TKB-022P No. 2

The TKB-022P machine gun was notable for the wide use of plastics in the manufacture of the case, which was a huge step forward for that time. The TKB-022P light machine gun in terms of design, use of new materials and assembly without laborious fitting work was a completely new, original solution, however, the release of the sleeves was made only on the right side.

The mass of TKB-022P without a magazine was 2,5 kg with the length of the weapon 635 mm, and in terms of the accuracy of fire, the new weapon was not inferior to the Kalashnikov AKM.

Continuing work on the creation of a light machine gun chambered for 7,62x39 mm, Korobov upgrades TKB-022P and creates TKB-022PM machine model 1 and No. 2 to improve the accuracy of combat when shooting with automatic fire from an unstable position.

TKB-022PM №1

TKB-022PM №2

In addition to compact dimensions, the TKB-022PM machine gun was distinguished by very advanced solutions at that time — apart from the plastic case, the release of spent cartridges and the output of powder gases were made forward at the muzzle of the weapon, which ensured firing from both the right and left shoulder.

The TKB-022PM assault rifle used vapor-automatic equipment with an annular gas piston located around the barrel. Locking the barrel is provided by a wedge bolt sliding in a vertical plane, which, on the one hand, made it possible to shorten the length of the receiver as much as possible, and on the other hand, it required the introduction of an additional part — a dispenser / extractor. This U-shaped piece, moving in the horizontal plane back and forth, is responsible for filing the cartridge into the chamber, removing the spent cartridge case from the barrel and sending the cartridge into the output tube above the barrel, through which the sleeve falls into the front of the weapon. flies.

On the barrel of the machine it is possible to install a muzzle attachment for throwing rifle grenades. Accordingly, the weapon had a manually switched on valve that blocked the gas outlet when firing rifle grenades.

Fuse-translator fire modes located on the left above the pistol grip fire control.
To power the TKB-022PM ammunition, regular AKM autos on 30 cartridges from the Kalashnikov submachine gun are used, which are installed directly in front of the back plate.
The body of the weapon is made of plastic with metal inserts.
TKB-022 PM open sights are adjustable. At the same time the length of the sighting line was relatively small.

The fire tests of TKB-022PM No. 1 confirmed its high reliability. With automatic firing from an unstable position, the machine gun showed accuracy of fire three times higher than AKM. The mass of the TKB-022PM submachine gun No. 1 without a magazine was 2,8 kg with a weapon length 525 mm. Further improvement of TKB-022PM manufacturing technology, including on the basis of model No. 1, and the use of new materials made it possible to reduce the weight of TKB-022PM No. 2 from kg 2,8 to 2,34 kg.

Subsequently, on the basis of the TKB-022PM automaton, Korobov created the TKB-022PM5 submachine gun under the new promising at that time cartridge 5,6x39 mm.

TKB-022P M5 №1

The design of the TKB-022PM5 was similar to the TKB-022PM submachine gun, and tests carried out showed that the accuracy of firing from this weapon from the “lying down” position at the 100 m range is better than that of the AKM standard automaton.

Tests have confirmed the high reliability of TKB-022PM, however, Korobov’s automatic machines remained only as prototypes, which were affected by both objective reasons (for example, the offset center of gravity to the back of the weapon and the durability of the plastic case during long-term operation under difficult conditions and storage ) and subjective reasons (the military leadership responsible for adopting weapons into service was very conservative and did not welcome radical changes). In addition, the AKM machine gun was already quite well mastered by the production in the troops.
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  1. vaddag1
    vaddag1 5 October 2013 08: 47
    machine of the future - German G have a rest
  2. PValery53
    PValery53 5 October 2013 09: 57
    Of course, it was necessary to conduct a full check of the TKB assault rifles in combat conditions for a long time. And listen more to the opinions of fighters in the trenches, rather than generals in uniform. But, looking at a similar bullpup machine, the question arises: the source of the sound of the shot became much closer to the ear. During the day of shooting, you can completely (permanently) deafen.
    1. SAFON 1
      SAFON 1 7 November 2013 18: 18
      Grenade launchers stall, and all poher, it’s not a matter of sound, you can install a moderator of sound, it’s not difficult at all, there would be a desire, but not to steal the loot.
    2. aybolyt678
      aybolyt678 7 January 2018 01: 34
      Quote: PValery53
      the sound source of the shot became much closer to the ear.

      very relevant, shot from his air, bulpap, without moderator, significantly deaf. And here is a firearm. Moder air lengthens by 15 cm. An excess spare part in Soviet times is an excuse to refuse convenience. And the shifted center of gravity is called a drawback, although I feel it is convenient on the contrary. It’s much easier to quickly aim.
      And maybe they didn’t want to rewrite the Charter of the guard service, which prescribed to boldly act with a bayonet and a butt. In appearance, there is neither one nor the other.
  3. georg737577
    georg737577 5 October 2013 11: 05
    I did not hold this miracle in my hands, but the ergonomics of the product are not impressive. I understand that it is a prototype, the middle of the last century ... But it seems that in real combat this machine will be convenient, especially when shooting from a prone position. Recharging also does not seem convenient. But, of course, the machine is ahead of its time, Korobov - respect and respect. As well as those who did not accept this miracle.
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. smprofi
    smprofi 5 October 2013 14: 18
    Well, from the development of German Aleksandrovich according to the bullpup scheme, the author passed
    TKB-408-2 Automatic Goby

    TKB-059 (Device-3B)

    regarding the samples given in this article, there is an opinion:
    Nevertheless, the samples turned out to be only experimental, since in addition to the combat characteristics there are other evaluation criteria, for example, durability, and since all models are made with the wide use of polymers, there was no talk about the durability, nevertheless, plastic of that time was slightly different from modern, used in weapons. Again, it can be noted that German Aleksandrovich Korobov looked into the future with his ideas: before the widespread use of plastic in weapons, 20-25 more years remained.

    Well, it can be noted that although the work of German Aleksandrovich did not seem to find application in the Soviet Union, the French followed his path:

    At the top of the picture:
    Shutter, deceleration lever and shutter stem of the French 5,56-mm automatic rifle FAMAS (top) and 7,62 mm automatic Korobov TKB-517 (bottom)

    At the bottom of the picture:
    French 5,56 mm automatic rifle FAMAS (top) and 7,62 mm automatic Korobov TKB-517 (bottom) disassembled

    Regarding TKB-517:
    Kalashnikov was clearly losing the contest. Mikhail Timofeevich himself later admitted: “At the training ground, Korobovsky and our samples were tested. As soon as the shooting ended, the target was examined. And each time I had to make sure that the results of firing from our machine gun in terms of accuracy of battle look worse. "
    1. Bad_gr
      Bad_gr 5 October 2013 15: 59
      Not deservedly forgotten is the Korobov TKB-0111 assault rifle, from the performance characteristics of which the terms of reference for the "Abakan" competition were written.
      The performance characteristics of the TKB-0111
      Caliber, mm ------------------- 5,45x39
      Store Capacity ------------- 30
      Rate of fire (low), rds / min-- up to 500
      Rate of fire (high), rds / min - up to 2200
  6. The Indian Joe
    The Indian Joe 5 October 2013 14: 18
    A quick change of stores on such automatic machines is IMPOSSIBLE. On AKM, I changed the pair in one and a half seconds, with a bullpup this thing will not work.
    1. smprofi
      smprofi 5 October 2013 14: 26
      it's all about training and getting used to the "gland"
      give you the M-16 now in your hands - you won’t be able to repeat your record from AKM
    2. Navy7981
      Navy7981 6 October 2013 20: 58
      Respect !!! Thank!!!
  7. Alikovo
    Alikovo 5 October 2013 14: 47
    good machines for that time.
    1. smprofi
      smprofi 5 October 2013 14: 54
      For more than 60 years of his activity as a gunsmith, German Aleksandrovich has developed over 30 structurally original machine guns, several automatic rifles and light machine guns. For almost all these years, he remained in the shadow of other, more successful gunsmiths, although many of the samples of his weapons were often ahead of not only competitors, but also their time.
  8. nazgul-ishe
    nazgul-ishe 5 October 2013 17: 21
    I don’t seriously use bullpup, only for specialists.
  9. Assistant
    Assistant 5 October 2013 18: 08
    Thank you very much for the article, a truly unique model is described.
    However, the most important thing in the article was bypassed. I would like to know how the TKB-022PM No. 2 automation works. The figures show that the shutter moves along two axes: forward-backward and up-down. Do not you think that with such a complex shutter movement it will be impossible to achieve reliability. which the machine showed in tests? Yes, and the U-shaped part is shown in the figure as L-shaped.
    After reading other sources, I believed that this sample feature of the shutter was that it did not move forward and backward, but only swung up and down, respectively locking the barrel for firing and making room for removing the cartridge case and sending the cartridge with another part (U- figurative). That is, the cartridge did not move the shutter at all.
    Maybe I'm wrong in my judgment. Therefore, I would be grateful to anyone who could explain how the TKB-022PM No. 2 automation system actually works.

    ... which were affected as objective reasons (for example, a shifted center of gravity to the rear of the weapon ...

    A quick change of stores on such machines is IMPOSSIBLE ...

    You see, it seems that the TKB-022PM resolved issues that the Defense Ministry did not particularly bother with. The reduction in weight and size, the forward release of the sleeve - this is good for the main assault machine, but not critical. But the fact that the back of the weapon is heavy, and even makes it easier in the process of shooting, was considered a disadvantage, which can significantly reduce the accuracy of the fire.
    But if you take another class of weapons - PDW - then it demands on weight, dimensions and ergonomics are much more important. Now, if we made the TKB-022PM under the armor-piercing cartridge 9 * 21, moved the fire control handle to the place where the clip was installed, behind it the folding butt attachment unit, in front - the additional handle, then, it seems to me, it could have turned out to be a good, suitable PDW. Although this is only a subjective opinion.
    1. SAFON 1
      SAFON 1 7 November 2013 18: 22
      The ejection of cartridges forward, and not in the face of the right neighbor, is very critical, especially if in the compartment. The sleeve for the scruff of the neck did not fly?
  10. Alex65
    Alex65 5 October 2013 18: 28
    , how exactly the automation TKB-022PM No. 2 works. ,,, this is for chipboard
  11. Massik
    Massik 5 October 2013 21: 58
    An advanced automatic machine of such a layout at one time, it’s a pity they didn’t try to create software based on it
  12. Backfire
    Backfire 6 October 2013 21: 08
    As the saying goes - the devil is in the details. The article said in passing that the Korobov assault rifle showed accuracy of three times higher than that of AKM (from an unstable position).

    Let me explain what this means with a simple example:
    Suppose we have two groups firing at each other.
    Let their number at first be the same - 100 people each, and they shoot approximately equally well, "knocking out" 10% of opponents per unit of time (let's call it a "salvo").

    But those who are armed with submachine guns with an accuracy of fire THREE times higher receive a coefficient of 3 (three) - i.e. "shoot" three times more in the same unit of time.


    beginning .................... 100 ........................... 100
    after the 1st "salvo" .. 90 ............................. 70
    n / 2 volley .............. 83 (-10% of 70) ..... 43 (minus 30% of 90 shots)
    p / 3rd volley .............. 78 ............................. eighteen
    p / 4th volley .............. 76 ............................. game over!

    This is what terrible arithmetic is hidden behind the numbers spoken by a tongue twister: "the accuracy of fire is 2-2,5-3 times higher than that of a Kalashnikov assault rifle."

    The same Korobov tried to get through to the consciousness of the "bosses" of the Soviet military-industrial complex and the army with the phrase: "I created a machine gun that will help a soldier survive in a trench, and will not outlive all soldiers in a trench." But the principle: "Women give birth to new" seems to remain forever forever on one / sixth of the land. It doesn't matter under a two-headed eagle or a hammer and sickle.

    Although I may be in vain, I'm rolling a barrel for the generals. Maybe they just know well the true "face" of their army?
    1. Moore
      Moore 7 October 2013 16: 59
      Do not drive the monkey of personal preferences on the palm of juggling facts.
      This calculation is absolutely flawed, for taking one factor as a dogma, the author despised a lot of others.
      In any university where a discipline is taught with the general name "some kind of efficiency" (in our case, combat), you can get a certificate that the real efficiency of the system can be determined, taking into account the maximum number of both the characteristics of the system and the external factors acting on it. In other words, accuracy will not help if, for example, a fighter damaged the plastic sheath while parachuting.
      Leave, please, these pictures for the sites of former compatriots - they will like it. As well as thoughts about the stupid quilted generals who overlooked a brilliant invention.
      1. aybolyt678
        aybolyt678 7 January 2018 01: 25
        Quote: Moore
        accuracy does not help if, for example, a fighter damaged a plastic shell by landing by parachute.

        Korobov said: “I created a machine that will help a soldier survive in the trench, and not survive all the soldiers in the trench” .. this Soviet plastic .. If it is broken, then its carrier is broken, at least a fracture of both legs.
  13. Simon
    Simon 6 October 2013 21: 31
    Our gunsmiths designers designed a lot of good small arms, it’s only a pity that this weapon did not go into series.
  14. aud13
    aud13 6 October 2013 21: 37
    Sewing troops - smiled.
    But as for inflatable equipment, it seems to me that you should not laugh in vain if the enemy’s deception in the war can help save real equipment and troops.
    1. Backfire
      Backfire 6 October 2013 21: 42
      I agree that the experience of Yugoslavia has shown that even microwave ovens in capable hands can deceive modern (at that time) detection and guidance systems.
  15. Edvid
    Edvid 8 November 2014 00: 11
    I wonder if there are samples with a horizontal store location? It is painfully inconvenient to have a "stump" - a carob shop.