LAV Tackles a Bulgarian MG1M (PKM) Machine Gun

The new Arsenal MG-1M (a PKM variant) is taken to full-auto and and slow-motion task by Larry Vickers. The new machine gun is a blend of the original design but makes use of some modern tricks including a fluted and finned barrel that uses a CHF and chrome-lined barrel to increase the longevity of the barrel (Arsenal contends 30%).

While difficult to tell by the video, it looks like Arsenal has used QPQ/melonite/isonite to increase the longevity of other components.

Details from Arsenal:

The 7.62×54 mm ARSENAL Machine Gun MG-1M is a powerful individual automatic weapon designed for use against enemy troops, firing points and light air targets by means of automatic fire.
he 7,62 mm ARSENAL Machine Gun MG-1M is designed and intended to be used in the countries in the Middle East, south-east Asia and Africa with tropic and desert conditions.

The design is specially intended and allows operation of the weapon in heavy climatic conditions (tropic and desert), which are typical for the regions of Middle East, south-east Asia and Africa.
MG-1M belongs to the automatic weapons operating by the principle of taking off an amount of powder gases through a special opening in the wall of an immovable barrel and their effect imposed on the breech block carrier piston.
The Machine Gun operates in automatic fire mode.
In general, the 7,62 mm MG-1M preserves all technical characteristics of PK and PKM, but the results of the endurance test show that the System life and the barrel life of MG-1M are increased in about 30% in comparison with PKM, which is a result of some changes of the mechanisms and the increased cooling surface of the barrel.


The barrel is manufactured by the method of cold radial forging that resulted in bigger hardness and better structure of the material.
The barrel bore is chromium plated. The other differences are:
–  the new design of the flash suppressor-compensator;
– butt and hand guard made of high quality and resistant glass fiber reinforced polycaproamide, not effected after heating by direct sun lights, corrosion and humidity resistance, light and firm.

It fires 7,62×54 mm cartridges with ordinary bullets (light bullet mod. 1908, heavy bullet mod. 1930), armour – piercing incendiary and tracer bullets. A 200 round link metal belt, held in a metal box feed cartridges in.
The Machine Gun MG-1M can be easily mounted on the Tripod TAR-MG, produced in Arsenal JSCo., (the name of the machine gun becomes MG-1MS). The tripod allows conducting fire with Machine Gun at horizontal or vertical targets, as well as thus efficiency of fire is increased.


Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • Tom – UK

    I could swear that is not a rimmed cartridge from the cover image of the video.

    • DW

      the gun is chambered in 7.62 NATO, as said in the video

      • jcl

        Yeah, but the article said 7.62×54

        • ostiariusalpha

          Because that’s what their promoting. The video & article don’t always have a one to one correspondence. I’m not sure if LAV would be all enthused to coordinate his material with TFB right this moment.

          • Squirreltakular

            It probably has nothing to do with the Fireclean thing, right?

  • Tritro29

    … Yawn, The Polish UKM is everything you need if you don’t want Russian steel and Russian lead. For everything else, accept not substitute, go for the PKP.

    • Yeah buddy

      PKM with Fireclean make it the first choice of space shuttle door gunners operating in harsh environments throughout the known universe. True story.

  • Lance

    Got to love the classics. PKM is a great weapon even better in its original 7.62x54R caliber.

    • G0rdon_Fr33man

      Meh. I´ll take Soviet simplicity in modern NATO-wrapping any day of the week… Polish Beryl AKs are another great example.

      • gunsandrockets

        It’s fascinating to see what these new NATO members are doing with older Soviet designs. I approve!

        With a PKM changed to 7.62x51mm, I think I prefer the Polish approach since it can use the lightweight disposable disintegrating link belt. I’m not sure, but I think the Polish PKM changed to a push feed system like the MG-42?

        With a PKM in original 7.62x54R, I think I prefer the Bulgarian approach which preserves the balanced feed and extraction cycle of the PKM.

        • G0rdon_Fr33man

          Looking at the rates of fire, I believe you are correct. What the 7.62x54R had to its advantage, was the oversized rim itself aided in positive extraction. The 7.62×51 NATO does not have the rim, but seemingly, extraction is not an issue. I´m curious what they did to uphold the reliability of extraction.

  • David

    I can’t believe no one has said it yet.

    Was it lubed with Fireclean?

    • David

      As far as the MG though, I’ll take 3.

    • Giolli Joker

      I literally forced myself not to post a FC joke…

      • David

        Stronger man than I

  • Fc4me!

    The real secret behind its success since LAV has gotten ahold of it is that it runs on canola….

  • Squirreltakular

    Does anyone that has actually shot and/or been isued the PKM think it would be good enough to replace the M240? I am in love with that weight difference.

    • CommonSense23

      Its more comparableto a MK48 or MK43. Scary accurate from the prone or mounted. Seemed to be less reliable overall, which probably has more to do with the loading of the belt than anything.

  • Abram

    I’m not quite getting it….is it automatic?