Belt fed 5.45

Courtesy of The AK Guy, this image has been making its way around the internet. It is an experimental 5.45x39mm drum contraption that takes a belt of 5.45x39mm rounds and allows them to work in a standard AK74 receiver without any modification to the actual rifle or RPK74. It does this by using the motion of the charging handle going back and forth to cycle the rounds in the metallic belt, pushing the links out, and somehow feeding the rounds into the rifle to be chambered and fired. The first problem I would assume this would have is that there aren’t any 5.45x39mm belt systems that have been used reliably, but then I started looking into it, and the Soviets did experiment with two 5.45x39mm light machine guns that took belts. These were the PU 2, and PU 21 designs. The PU 2 was based on a modified RPK design, that took some elements from the PK machine gun. The PU 21 was a scaled down version of the PK machine gun and designed to fire the 5.45x39mm cartridge. Both of them could take belts in addition to AK74 magazines, similar to how the M249 SAW was originally envisioned. Needless to say, none of the concepts talked about were actually put to use in any large numbers and didn’t go past the experimental stage.

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Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • TDog

    Cool looking gun! Always had a thing for side-loading weapons. Dunno why, but they’re awesome.

    • oldman

      Love the Johnson the Sten and such my self.

      • Anomanom

        He loves the Johnson. Heh heh heh.

        Sorry, the old Beavis and Butthead fan in me couldn’t resist.

  • dnepr0mike

    this is picture and caption translation made by me for upcoming TFB article on 5.45 history of development. talk to Nathaniel who is working with me on this before spoil any further.

    • Don’t quite get your wording on this, possibly rephrase?

      • Budogunner

        Sounds like he is claiming ownership of the IP and stating that he did not authorize it for release yet. I’m guessing English is his second or third language.

  • iksnilol

    Soviet prototype belt fed.

    Still easier to buy than an Ares Shrike… also easier to get it working I presume 😛

    • Did the Yugo’s have anything similar?

      • iksnilol

        I honestly don’t know.

        I know there was an RPK with quickchange barrel from Yugoslavia. But a belt fed? I’ve no clue.

  • Dracon1201

    I’ve been rattling around a similar design for the AR for a while using 249 links. Maybe I should get cracking, lol

    • Budogunner

      But the AR-15 lacks a reciprocating charging handle.

      • Dracon1201

        My design didn’t need one.

  • UCSPanther

    Too bad this didn’t take off. This could have been the Russian version of both the FN Minimi and the M249 (A Minimi variant).

  • Hensley Beuron Garlington

    I like! Anything that can simply and reliably increase magazine size is always a plus in my book.

    • Bob

      Not sure about that myself. I have been kicking around the idea of getting a 75 round drum for my Wasr, but the fact that dumping that many 7.62×39 rounds in a hurry along with some 30 rounds will set the furniture on fire dampens my enthusiasm. $70+ too…

      • Hensley Beuron Garlington

        Well, I have a 75 round drum for my old PAP M92 and I dumped an entire drum once bump firing in rapid burst. It was certainly hot, but wasn’t on fire. Nothing a good pair of gloves or better ventilated/synthetic furniture couldn’t fix.

        Besides, I doubt we will have to dump that many rounds that fast, ever, and drums and large magazines aren’t great for training as you don’t reload as often, etc, but great for competitions or SHTF scenarios.

        I always say they are best used as the first magazine and ditched after if reloads are needed.

        Check iv8888’s YouTube channel. Eric purposely rapid fired a PAP M92 until it was engulfed in flames to salute Kalashnikova when he passed. It was quite a bit more than a 75 round drum and several 30/40 round magazines.

        • Bob

          OK, I admit I am exaggerating for dramatic effect…

          • Hensley Beuron Garlington

            LOL. This isn’t fishing! We don’t do that here! 😉

      • janklow

        having shot a 75-round drum or two out of my SAR-1, i doubt you have to worry about your furniture being on fire unless you’re intentionally following up with enough magazines to make it happen.

  • Mr.Volt

    I always loved the Russian craving for unification.
    Even some experimental or innovative firearms borrows parts or at least manufacturing technologies of those from already existing models.
    Just imagine how cheap the start of production could be and how relatively fast.

  • Saiga762shooter

    make one for 7.62×39, shut up, and take my money.