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Heavy machine gun

NSV machine gun

The NSV heavy machine gun has seen action in numerous military conflicts

Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1972
Caliber 12.7x108 mm
Weight (unloaded) 25 kg
Weight (with tripod and ammo box) 52 kg
Length 1 560 mm
Barrel length 1 346 mm
Muzzle velocity 845 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 700 - 800 rpm
Practical rate of fire 80 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 50-round belt
Sighting range 2 000 m
Range of effective fire 1 500 m


   The NSV is a Russian heavy machine gun that replaced the aging DShK/DShKM. The DShK had been in service since 1938, and the Soviets desired a weapon with a higher rate of fire, less weight, cheaper cost, and more accuracy. The NSV, designed in the late 1960's, met these requirements. The name NSV comes from the three designers of this weapon - Nikitin, Sokolov, and Volkov. The NSV is sometimes nicknamed the Utyos (rock or cliff) from the project name used during its development.

   The NSV is an air-cooled gas-operated heavy machine gun chambered in the hard-hitting 12.7x108 mm cartridge. This weapon fires fully automatic only from an open bolt. Its sighting range is 2 000 m, although at this range it is not especially accurate. Range of effective fire against enemy troops and air targets is 1 500 meters. Range of effective fire against lightly armored vehicles is 800 m. Compared to other heavy machine guns, such as the M2, the NSV has a high cyclic rate of fire at 700-800 rounds per minute. Due to this high rate of fire, it is a reasonably powerful anti-aircraft weapon when mounted on a dedicated anti-aircraft mount.

   The NSV features a large muzzle break to help reduce the heavy recoil of its prodigious round. It also has quick-change barrels.

   This heavy machine gun uses 50-round non-disintegrating steel belts of ammunition fed from either the left or right side of it. This weapon has iron sights, however it also comes as standard with adjustable optical sights (magnification of 3-6x).

   The NSV is typically deployed on a height-adjustable tripod with stock and pistol grip or on an anti-aircraft mount for usage on vehicles or buildings.

   The NSV is a heavy weapon, restricting its mobility. The gun itself weighs 25 kilograms, and the ammunition belt 11 kilograms. Nonetheless, the NSV without ammunition or tripod is a good deal lighter than the M2 (38 kg) or the DShK (34 kg).

   The NSV was originally produced in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. When the USSR split up, the production facilities in Kazakhstan and Ukraine and license rights were lost. This and a desire for a more accurate weapon caused the development of the 12.7x108 mm Kord heavy machine gun. The Kord is now slowing replacing the NSV in Russian service.

   The NSV has been exported to Bulgaria, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mauritius, Croatia, Azerbaijan, India, Finland, Iraq, Georgia, Macedonia, Poland, Mongolia, Montenegro, Vietnam, Serbia, and Slovenia. It has been licensed produced in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Poland, Kazakhstan, India, and Finland.

   The NSV has seen service in a number of conflicts, including the War in Afghanistan, Gulf War, Lebanese Civil War, Iraq War, Syrian Civil War, and current War in Ukraine.

   In 1992, the NSV cost about $12 000 USD, the equivalent of $20 500 today.




   NSVT: electrically operated version for use on main battle tanks. The NSVT has been used on the Russian T-64, T-72, T-80, and T-90 MBTs and the Ukrainian T-84 MBT. This variant uses an ammo box of 150 rounds and has a bag to collect spent cases.

   KT-12.7: Ukrainian production designation.

   WKM-B: Polish model, chamber in 12.7x99 mm (.50 BMG).

   M102: licensed produced Serbian designation of the NSV.

   M87: licensed produced Serbian designation of the NSVT.

   12.7 Itkk 96: Finnish designation.

   NSZV-12.7 Geppuska: Hungarian designation.


The Tiger

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NSV machine gun

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