BREAKING: Pecheneg PKP BULLPUP Machine Gun

This post was written, and photos provided, by our good friend Lionel.

The PECHENEG (PKP) is 7.62x54mm general purpose machine gun (GPMG) that entered service in 2001. It is a favorite weapon of the Russian armed forces and the Russian Ministry of Interior. These users  recently requested a more compact version for use in urban combat or when traveling in tight spaces (armored vehicles, helicopters, etc.).  Russian weapon designers have come up with a solution to this problem by turning it into a bullpup! This configuration change has reduced the weapon length by 280mm (11″) as well as reducing weight. 

The original (non-bullpup) Pecheneg (c) Vitaly V. Kuzmin

The original (non-bullpup) Pecheneg (c) Vitaly V. Kuzmin

There are two versions of this bullpup, but only one was able to be photographed. The stock has been replaced with a butt plate and the trigger/grip moved forward. To accommodate the trigger being moved forward, the ammunition box now has to sit at a 135° angle.

Pecheneg bullpup 2

The charging handle has been modified for easier access and the carrying handle has been replaced with a Picatinny rail mount. The lower heat/handguard is now skeletonized to save weight, through which runs the gas tube. Underneath the gas tube is a 6 o’clock picatinny rail for mounting accessories such as a grip or laser sight.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Major Tom

    Looks awfully short and squat. And yet you can’t help but respect it.

    • AK

      The West has nothing like this. They took the best Universal MG and made it more compact and probably lighter too. Very nice. I wonder if they fixed the problem of slipping ammo somehow (a feature of the PK-MGs where the round on the shelf will move out of position when tilting the barrel up, usually jamming the gun as well). Then this thing would be near perfect.

      • 11b

        Yeah, because there are more drawbacks than benefits. Getting in and out of a vehicle is really a minor annoyance; you’re carrying a 20lb weapon either way plus 75lb of kit so a shorter barrel is of marginal help. Awkward loading, increased complexity, plus if a round cooks of its taking your face with it…. no thanks.

        • iksnilol

          What’s the difference between a kaboom under your face or in front of your face? You’re screwed either way. I’d argue it is safer since it has a kevlar plate under the cheek/chin pad to protect your face.

          And 30 cm is a big difference in handling.I mean, 30 cm being a marginal difference makes me ask why they went with M4s over M16s which are only 10 cm shorter. Heck, by your logic we should run ARs with 26 inch barrels.
          Any belt fed MG is going to take longer to load than a mag fed carbine, so that’s a moot point.

  • TechnoTriticale

    How does ammo feed?

    Do they excavate a recess in the side of the user to hang that ammo box under the stock?

    • Alex

      My guess is it feeds from the right like the PKM and has a chute to direct cases down on the left, judging by the photos.

    • AK

      Watch the video if you can’t figure it out.

  • cwp

    That looks uncomfortable as hell, and I say this as someone who’s generally pro-bullpup.

    • iksnilol

      I literally see no issue.

      • ostiariusalpha

        This thing’s overall cheek rest height is a tad too high, unless you’re half giraffe. And it seems to take its LOP adjustment cues from the Croatian VHS-2: long to absurdly long.

        • iksnilol

          Chin weld baby!

          And long stocks are an issue for the inferior, short people. Not me that is.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Ha ha, who needs body armor when your charisma makes you bulletproof?

          • iksnilol

            I just don’t think the stock looks *that* long.

          • vwVwwVwv

            oh yes, we are so buletprofed, we defeted the germans in WW2
            with our dead bodys, with 30 million dead bodys.
            realy bulletproofed we are.

  • anonymouse

    Why have they put the ammo box there in the photos, it can’t possibly be feeding into the trigger guard.

    • AK

      Box feeds from the top right corner into the side of the gun, just like any PK-series MG. It is angled to make it more compact (due to trigger position moved forward), and also allows lower prone while still facilitating reliable ammo feed. Not seeing this being too comfy for lefties, even if they can fire it – that belt is gonna rattle your nose!

      • anonymouse

        I see- I wasn’t expecting there to be so much exposed belt.

      • Well, as I was taught at Fort Benning, “There are NO left handed machinegunners in the US Army!” (Learn to shoot it right handed.)

  • DonDrapersAcidTrip

    BREAKING news

  • vwVwwVwv

    • alex archuleta

      I find it interesting every time I see a modern Russian firearm and it has and EoTech slapped on it with a picitanny rail (both American inventions) and really curious why the host of the show has patches of Airborne Rangers and has a TShirt that says American! Lol
      My reasoning? I think the average Russian likes Merica, just as much as we don’t mind them. It’s our politicians that make us hate and try to make us feel unamerican for accepting others way of life. Or something like that. Anyways cool vid!

      • Tritro29

        1. EoTech is not exactly “American invention” , M1913 is and I explained elsewhere that you need to have RIS compatible add-ons, because people outside Russia DGAF about non-STANAG interfaces. So yeah…
        2. Show host is former GRUchik/KGB that represents sometimes the lowest point of Russian military tradition, however is also Super-Patriot type with alleged involvement in hotspots (Badiuk has joked about being baby-killer with “opposition” journalist) and also MMA fighter (kinda) and actor. You see shirt from known American Customs motorbike brand. It’s one of our cheap versions of Arnold Schwarzeneger/Stallone etc.
        3. The people like him actually look up to a certain view of America as it is both a pinnacle of new brand of “Conservatism” and also the most important Gun Market out there. Most recent Kalashnikov videos tailored after Larry Vikers post production go in that folder. The average Russian actually doesn’t care about America. We have more pressing issues with closer neighbours that sometimes call us European sometimes call us Mongols. What we usually don’t like about the US is the preaching and pretending. But otherwise, we got more issues with Europe than with ‘Merica.

      • Anomanom

        Because they work, as far as the EoTech and rail, it does what you need to do. There’s not so much care about domestic-only products these days, just practicality. AK-12 and AK-74 modernization pack have picatinny rails. It does a necessary job. I have a German pistol, with an American light, and holster from Paraguay.

      • vwVwwVwv

        I am born in USSR but i dont get the average Russian Nationalism,
        you have to understand that russia is an occupieing power
        and a grusom one. for no reason at all.
        tomorow they will ask themself
        what they fought for at
        all in ukraina or
        georgia but
        today they love the idea to be suuuuper hefty strooong. i dont get it
        cuz i like russians, ukrainians, georgians, armenians,
        so for me, personaly its like gang behavior
        in biger proportions, if you understand me.

        • Max Glazer

          Illogical statement that makes no sense, made by someone with zero analytical capability. And being born in USSR doesn’t make you able to understand Russians.

          • vwVwwVwv

            for my opinion you are quite loud but substance wuld at least let me understand with wha i actualy hurted you, it must be painful.

          • Max Glazer

            Loud? There was nothing loud in my statement. Merely pointing out that your statement makes no sense and thus points at your lack of ability to analyse.
            You didn’t hurt me but made me cringe at what amounts to nothing more then parroting the “hate the Russians” line drilled into people by TV non-stop.

            I’m not going to take apart what you said point by point as that would amount to political discussion. This site is a place for discussion of firearms, not politics. Want to make a political statement? Go to an appropriate website.


          • vwVwwVwv

            i am 2-3 times a year in russia and have lots of relatives
            in russia who are not less russians than you.
            you actualy profed my points,
            word by word.

            i was asked and gave my answer, that was my opinion,

          • Max Glazer

            Tritro29 didn’t ask you anything. Neither did I.

            I’ve proven none of your points as I haven’t addressed any of them. Even Alex didn’t ask a question of you per se.

          • vwVwwVwv

            sorry but you are wasteing my time.
            i just do the utmost posible
            to stay polite, as i
            am a guest

          • Max Glazer

            Doing your utmost to stay polite? Guess what? If you can’t keep using manners in a discussion then I recommend you never come back or never reply at all.

            The only time wasting that is done here is by you making completely unsubstantiated and utterly incorrect statements of political nature in a military and civilian FIREARMS website. Want to talk politics? Go to another discussion topic.


          • vwVwwVwv


          • vwVwwVwv
    • GhostTrain81

      I have seen quite a few photos of Russian rifles with Eotechs… guess they haven’t gotten the memo about the temperature causing POI shifts, or they simply have not noticed or case.

      Exiting a warm and toasty BTR right into the Siberian tundra seems to be a real life scenario where the optic would misbehave.

      • vwVwwVwv

        the soldier in the video says the soldiers stand in a line to get this,
        must be quite popular, i have only the video, never had a hand on this
        gun and i will give a lot to have a hand on such a toy.
        name of the chanal MAN’s Toys.

  • jcl

    Barrett tried the same thing with M240lws. They cant bring the pistol grip directly under belt because of the ejection port but the idea is the same.

    • Tritro29

      That’s just a shorter stock, here the stock is eliminated and controls are relocated forward in the receiver.

    • iksnilol

      No, the idea isn’t the same. That’s like me cutting the stock on my AK in half and calling it a bullpup. It is merely shortened.

      • jcl

        They didn’t just shortened the stock, they actually moved the location of the pistol grip forward and eliminates the original m240 rear sight so the shooter can put their head further forward. I agree it’s not a true bullpup but the intention behind it is the same, which is to create a shorter, lighter and more balanced version of existing machine gun for use in urban combat or when traveling in tight spaces.

        • Tritro29

          While retaining the size of the receiver and shortening the barrel. It’s actually the least optimal compromise…But at that level not much of a problem.

        • iksnilol

          Still, how much was it shortened? And no, it isn’t a bullpup no matter how much you want it to be.

          • jcl

            I never said it was a bullpup so why are we arguing whether it’s a bullpup or not? I said it has the same intention which is to make a shorter, lighter weapon by moving the pistol grip and shortening/eliminating the stock.

          • Tritro29

            3 things:
            ° From utility POV this is super niche MG for FSB door-knocing duties.
            ° The Barrett will still hit that 800m mark with a lighter package while retaining the GPMG features (like QCB). Ok how much lighter that’s something else and with 4/5/6 inches less.
            ° Sometimes some novelties aren’t exactly necessary.

          • micmac80

            Barrett will probably cost many times that of PKM and newer be fielded and so far in terms of weight PKM is the king of light weight. When reducing weight on M240 you need titanium reciever housing and shorter barrel to make it to PKM weight , Sometimes stampings are the way to go.

          • iksnilol

            Nah, M240 in LW config is still heavier than PKM.

          • Tritro29

            And that is for a reason, a stamped gun will be inherently lighter than a milled/CNC-ed one if both are of same material and also cheaper to fool around with.

            PKM/PKM is indeed the lightest format in the market for the efficiency it delivers.

          • jcl

            Barrett’s design use steel not titanium and it’s lighter than us army titanium m240l, its also cheaper to manufature because it only have 2 receiver parts instead of several dozens like in original m240.
            It’s difficult to make m240 as light as pkm even if they use stamped steel receiver because m240 tilting bolt design require longer and tougher receiver than pkm.

    • n0truscotsman

      damn….good looking

    • LCON

      There was one before that to the M60

  • MrFN
  • 11b

    Step 1: shoot several hundred rounds, causing chamber to get red hot.
    Step 2: Have a malfunction (even PKPs have them)
    Step 3: Open feed tray to inspect said malfunction; cold air rushing in causes a round to cook off in your face.

    There’s a reason more MGs aren’t bullpup designs. Plus it looks awkward as hell to load.

    • Tinkerer

      “cold air rushing in causes a round to cook off in your face.”

      Please explain the physics of such phenomenon.

      • Dan

        Aliens man…..aliens

  • PK

    I feel like we’ve discussed the bullpup PKP already. It was a while ago.

    Also, if everything is breaking news, nothing is…

    • randomswede

      I came here for the sole reason of expressing that sentiment.

      • ColonelColt

        Same here. This is not breaking news. Breaking news is “THIS JUST HAPPENED GAIS OH SNAP” not “Oh crap, I just found out Gene Wilder was still alive only because he’s now dead”

  • Max

    Definitely not BREAKING news. Also, Breaking is being overused lately….

  • Anonymoose

    But can you change the barrel?

    • Tritro29

      PKP has no CQB…it’s the solution to the RPK being toasted once you needed to fire for hours.

      • gunsandrockets

        CQB? I presume you meant QCB?

        • Tritro29

          Yes, i’m on a smartphone, and english autocorrect suggests things as I type.

          • gunsandrockets

            I hate autocorrect!

          • iksnilol

            Am I the only one who turned off autocorrect?

          • Tritro29

            If I turn off autocorrect half my posts are in German…

          • iksnilol


            you went over to Germoney!? I can’t even… so much dishonour. *sigh* I still like you though.

          • Tritro29

            I have no choice, Germany has best offer for refugees ;-). Plus they understand order ;-).

          • iksnilol

            I remember people from my country being returned home from Germany. Luckily we got into Norway.

            Yeah, about order, do you know how many Germans it takes to change a lightbulb? One, because they’re efficent and don’t understand humor. 😛

        • noob

          Quick change barrel for close quarters battle?

  • Tritro29

    Not a PKP, barrel profile (no ventilation cuts) and layout look like the old ZID project (A991/9). But maybe they did it differently this time.

  • SP mclaughlin

    Ya’ll posted on the bullpup PKP like 3 year ago.

    • Avery

      That was a Zenit mod, this looks factory-made, I believe.

  • Tritro29

    BTW French Defense Ministry announced during the show that H&K officially won the AIF tender.

  • That’s a big ol’ pupper.

  • Elvis

    When you do a barrel change, your optic and bipod go with it. No bueno.

    • Джон Доу

      There’s no spare barrels to change and PKP don’t need them. It has a Lewis-style air cooling and built to be capable to waste all supplied ammo in one long burst.

    • The Pecheneg variant of the PK has a documented capability to go through about 600 rounds in one ridiculously extended burst. Yes, the barrel will be toast if you are stupid enough to do that.

      But it will recover from anything less. Which means that your gunner *doesn’t need* to change the barrel — with any kind of fire discipline or lulls, he’ll run out of ammo long before he overheats.

  • There is a downward facing chute for ejection. I don’t see the problem, with this gun.

  • Max Glazer

    So they basically lightened and shortened a full-size SAW into something sized like an assault rifle. Since they usually do not change anything in terms of firing mechanism and the round stayed the same, lighter weight translates into stronger recoil. Would require a well-trained shooter to control the weapon. Being designed originally to be fired from bipod and while in a field doesn’t really translate well into a hand-held weapon.