How the DSK 12.7mm Machine Gun Functions

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

This 3D animation by Victor Dolzhenkov of Gun Animation shows how the Soviet-era DShK 1938 12.7mm heavy machine gun’s rotary-style belt feeding mechanism works.

The DSK is still in active use by significant number of countries and non-State actors such as ISIS and the Syrian opposition.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Alex C. Alex C. on May 06, 2015

    Interesting. I did not know these fired from an open bolt. I guess I had always assumed they were closed bolt guns being as how my only experience on a heavy machine gun is with an M2.

    • Guest Guest on May 06, 2015

      @Alex C. If you look closely (not this picture, preferrably a video from straight left or right of the gun) you will see a big gap between the gas tube and the tube holding the piston. When firing the piston will travel trough it, effectively closing it while awaiting a gas impulse to act upon it.
      Also unlike Maxim/M2 it does not need double-cycling of the reloading handle, where this gun only needs the bolt group to be pulled back, and the the handle is free of any tension and can be pushed back into original position.

  • JCitizen JCitizen on May 09, 2015

    Great video! Thanks!