Country of origin
7.62 x 39 mm
Weight (loaded with 40 round magazine)
Weight (loaded with 75 round magazine)
1 040 mm
Cyclic rate of fire
Practical rate of fire
70 - 150 rpm
40 or 75 rounds
1 000 m
Range of effective fire
~ 800 m
assault rifle with heavier automatic fire support, the RPK (Ruchnoy
Pulemyot Kalashnikova or Russian for Kalashnikov hand-held machine
gun) is a highly successful and reliable weapon that has seen action
in numerous conflicts with many countries.
legendary Mikhail Kalashnikov, famous for his AK series rifles,
designed the RPK. He used a stock derived from the earlier RPD that
The RPK is a gas-operated air-cooled weapon capable of both
semiautomatic and automatic fire. Its heavy chrome-lined barrel is
unable to be changed, severely limiting its sustained rate of fire.
The RPK fires from a closed, rotating bolt. The stamped steel
receiver is similar to that used on the
The RPK can even interchange many parts with the AKM. This squad
automatic weapon is
fitted with a built-in bipod of steel.
attraction of the RPK is its incredible reliability. This allows the
crew to remain unworried about jams and keeping the gun extremely
generally uses 40 round box magazines or 75 round drum magazines,
although it can use the 30 round box magazines from the
leaf sights can be adjusted from 100 to 1 000 meters in 100-meter
increments. Range of effective fire is around 800 meters.
light machine gun has seen action is such conflicts as the Vietnam
War, the War in Afghanistan, the Syrian Civil War, and the Iraq War,
to name a few.
Current operators of the RPK and its variants include but are
not limited to
Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mongolia,
North Korea, Somalia, Vietnam, and Yemen.
Versions of the RPK are produced in Russia, Albania,
Bulgaria, and Iraq.
essentially the same as the baseline RPK, except for a left side
rail to mount a night vision sight.
RPKS: paratrooper model. Also issued to vehicle crewmen.
Equipped with a folding stock.
RPKSN: RPKS fitted with a side rail on the left side for a
night vision sight.
A rechambered model, produced since the 1970s.
Since the Soviet Union was switching to a lighter,
higher velocity caliber (5.45x39 mm), they needed weapons to fire
it. Consequently, the
rifle and RPK-74 light machine gun were developed. The RPK-74 is
essentially the original weapon modified to fire 5.45x39 mm
rounds. It also incorporates a number of minor improvements.
RPK-74N: RPK-74 equipped with a left side rail to mount a
night vision sight.
RPKS-74: version of the RPK-74 for paratrooper use. The main
difference is the folding stock.
RPKS-74N: RPKS-74 modified to incorporate a side rail on the
left side of the weapon for a night vision sight.
RPK-74M: the RPK-74M is a modernized and improved version of
the RPK-74. It features polymer parts making the weapon lighter and
RPKM: export version of the RPK-74M chambered for 7.62x39 mm.
RPK-201: export model of the RPK-74M chambered for a standard
mm ammunition. It was developed to complement the
AK-101 assault rifle.
another export model of the RPK-74M, chambered for 7.62x39 mm
ammunition. It was developed to complement the
AK-103 assault rifle. The RPK-203 can be seen as a modern
production version of the original RPK.
Type 64: North Korean designation of the RPK.
ASh-78 Tip-2: Albanian produced model.
Article by The Tiger
publish your own articles? Visit our
guidelines for more information.