Prototype Russian Dual-Feed LMG being Developed in MOLOT

Mikhail Degtyaryov of Kalashnikov Gun Magazine published a couple of images of an ongoing Molot project of making a dual-feed (fed both from a magazine and belt) light machine gun. You can immediately tell that the firearm shown in the images is in the prototyping stage. It is unfinished and has a lot of welding and machining tool marks all over it.

Unlike most of the modern LMGs, it uses a recoiling barrel operation instead of being gas operated. If this becomes a production firearm, they’ll probably add a full-length barrel shroud to protect the reciprocating barrel. That is normally the case with many other firearms using recoiling barrel operation.

As shown in the top image, the gun is chambered in 7.62x39mm and uses either linked ammunition with a non-disintegrating belt or AK-47 magazines. This dual-feed feature is not anything new. Perhaps the most well-known firearm using such feeding system is the M249 SAW LMG. It is a good design feature allowing the LMG gunner not only share the ammunition with the rest of the squad but also use their magazines in case of running out of the linked ammunition.

Right now this Molot LMG is being tested in the manufacturer’s premises. Although it is not officially stated, I think they are designing it to enter a government trial – possibly the Tokar-2 trials. Otherwise, why would Molot start designing an LMG from the ground up? This kind of firearm is a military-only one with little to no possibility to be sold in the civilian market.



Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at TFBHrachyaH@gmail.com


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  • Marcus Toroian

    Things like this are what keep my interest in firearms as active as it is. Intriguing Russian military prototypes are my bread and butter.

  • Brett baker

    Maybe MOLOT will have more success than FN did with dual feed in the M249.

    • Jason Culligan

      I doubt it. Recoil operation combined with the 7.62x39mm round means that this thing probably won’t be able to hit the broadside of a barn past 300m.

      • Gus Butts

        That’s okay, none of the other 7.62x39mm weapons do either. 8) 8) 8) 8) *adorns flame-retarded suit*

      • Samuel Millwright

        Since x39 itself is crap past 300 meters anyway (unless you like superelevating your gun) that’s just called matching mechanism to the mechanical reality of a crappy round.

        P.s. short recoil operated mg’s with full power cartridges were extremely capable of killing people at very long range.

        • After all, the M2HB .50 is short recoil…

          • Samuel Millwright

            So is the m1941 johnson LMG which when using the m1 30 ’06 loading and fired in closed bolt semiautomatic was used very effectively at 1000 meter sniping.

            And how long did hathcock hold the distance kill record which he got using an m2 with something like a unertl m40 scope on it LOL!!

            Hate to say it but they just don’t make guys like him anymore…

            The new record distances are extremely impressive and I’m not trying to throw shade on these guys because they’re truly amazing still!

            …. But when you realize just how much higher the difficulty was because of his equipment, what Hathcock did is still truly humbling

          • iksnilol

            I dunno, the M2 was sorta intended at first as an anti-tank rifle (sorta the reason why it had a semi auto mode).

          • Samuel Millwright

            Shh…. That’s not important!

            P.s. the johnson lmg was not though BTW, could fire full power m1 30’06 ammo, had open bolt full closed bolt semi fcg, the craziest God damn nonsensical magazine setup ever until you learn that said magazine is courtesy of the ordnance department being some NIH worshipping gun sabotaging traitorous jackholes constantly and consistently until macnamara fibally flushed them like the festering 90 year old turd they were several decades and at least a dozen more weapons sabotaged later!!!!

            For real, seriously this is actually truly why it has the jackassed single stack no feed lips to sabotage by bending way overbuilt to where it can’t be bashed into not working on rocks strange ass design the johnson lmg mags have!

            The ordnance department…

            They did it to Stoner too…

            Bastards

        • mosinman

          like any Maxim derived MG

          • Samuel Millwright

            Or browning or Johnson…hell even the french ones!

      • Skeptik

        That’s a 5.45 magazine though…

        • Machinegunnertim

          It’s got to much curve to be a 5.45.

  • Ben Loong

    Besides the FN MInimi the one other machine gun that I know that has a dual-feed feature is the Daewoo K3 which has always looked like a pretty similar design to the Belgian gun.

    That said, I’ve heard it said that the dual feed on the Minimi wasn’t reliable, but could never find out any explanation for why this was.

    • Major Tom

      The cyclic rate on the Minimi/249 is far too high for the standard USGI magazine (M16 mag) to keep up. Especially considering the feed angle and the feed/extract system on the Minimi/249.

      Basically adding mag-fed capabilities was a complete afterthought.

    • gunsandrockets
    • Samuel Millwright

      The dual feed feature sucks on the 249… So bad in fact that fn hopes we all forget how bad.

    • AFAIK, the problem with the Minimi is that the bolt cycles faster than the magazine spring can keep up with sometimes.

    • SP mclaughlin

      The Negev can feed from Galil or AR mags, though I don’t think the IDF ever bothered with this feature.

  • SP mclaughlin

    It looks like a prototype from yesteryear with a mallninja stock added on.

    • Jason Culligan

      I was thinking more like someone glued an AK mag to an MG42.

    • Iggy

      It does look a bit funky, but it’s also looks decently compact. The weird love child of a MG42 and a RPD carried by a RPK surrogate. I think they’re on to something.

  • forrest1985

    I can see the benefit but hasn’t this already be tried before without success?
    Also anyone else getting a “connection timed out remote info not available” on certain TFB articles?!?!? Happening at work and at home?

    • Brett baker

      Yep.

    • User

      Yes at my PC every day, had that a month or so also. You have to reload the site and it works. Back then that didnt work and it just wasnt available for an entire day.

    • USMC03Vet

      Every time I click something. Usually takes a good 5 reloads to finally get it to load.

    • The IT guys said it was fixed. Try purging your browser cache.

  • Darren Hruska

    It kind of reminds me of the PU-21 “Poplin” that was toyed around with a few decades ago.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9c406da93d4b3b527803f9b88f97959549c44cb3dee92f642c40013d9c163e12.png

  • Kyle Blaylock

    Am I the only one who thinks the raw steel and weld Burns look sex af on that design?

  • mechamaster

    Added barrel shroud to protect the recoilling barrel?
    Somehow it turn out to be like the MG42 / MG3 or M1919 but with AK receiver.
    LOL

  • Max Glazer

    When you are in a position where you don’t have enemy shooting at you and you are in a state of calm and have time to take in order to aim, then sure, one CAN hit target out to that distance. But when you are in an engagement with bullets incoming and landing/flying close, your heart pumping at 160+bpm, adrenaline surging, you will not be trying to aim at this range with your trusty M4.

    It wouldn’t be a pain in the ass if you had a sight that you adjust for the round nice and quick, in like 1.5 seconds. Oh, did I just describe an RPK and AK sight? If you can see the target at that range then AK sight is easily adjustable for that: just slide the slider to the correct spot as trained.

    M43 does have lower ballistic trajectory than 5.56 and 5.45. Except it is still loved for its close-in power and it is sufficient in a SAW role. Lighter then 7.62x54R in any case and is what doctor ordered in an urban or forest engagement.

  • jcitizen

    Meh! If I wanted a LMG with that as the linked ammo, I’d just get a RPD. If this has a removable barrel maybe, but I’m just not interested in such a cartridge as an LMG choice. I’d still rather have a PKM.

  • Bad Penguin

    The Russians use STEEL mags so they wont have the constant jamming problem we have with the 249 using aluminum mags.
    BTW many years ago the army made a belt fed M-16A1 LMG for submission for the new tank LMG to go onto the M-60 Tank. I don’t know if it had a dual feed capability.

  • Max Glazer

    Oh yea, that round is so poor that to this day many prefer it over new “low-impulse” round.

    Typical approach of an arrogant dude that keeps trying to fit solutions to other concepts towards his own and then making a correct observation that it doesn’t fit, while not realising that the whole idea of comparing is idiotic to start with. If to this day you failed to realize that there are very sound reasons as to why AK and RPK sights are made the way they are, then I can only feel sorry for you. Also they are the same ones that drove the development of red dot sights. Many ARs now coming to market with no peep sights at all and with a rail for red dot instead. I’ll leave it to yo to figure out why. You are after all clearly an expert.

    M43 round still kills. Fact. That round still wounds. Fact. Weapons designed around this round are deadly at all known battle ranges. Fact. Many US military personnel are dead or maimed by that round. Noone cares for the size of the piece of metal that has just tore through their body and either tore a muscle, ripped an artery or shattered a bone or joint.

    You seem to think that by calling me a mongoloid, despite clear evidence that I’m caucasian white, and actually of nordic/germanic descent, is somehow an insult. Funny that since mongoloid nations have a long and illustrious histories, cultures and knowledge. A rather contrasting and stark picture when compared to that of USA which seems to have a culture known more for mass murder inside own country and outside of it rather than anything else.

  • La Bicicleta

    it like belt fed AR-15?