[DEFEXPO 2020] MG-M2, PKM Variant in 7.62x51mm From Bulgarian ARSENAL

    The second most famous creation of Michail Kalashnikov, general-purpose Kalashnikov machine gun, had a multitude of names over the last 50 years: PK, PKM, M84 in former Yugoslavia, Konekivaari KK PKM in Finland. In some southern regions of Russia, where shooting at weddings is a mandatory part of the celebration, PKM is semi-officially called “the Handsome One”. New versions of this weapon still emerge all around the world, and several years ago Arsenal Bulgaria presented its own version called MG-M2.

    MG-M2 Machine Gun

    MG-M2 Machine Gun

    Most PKM variants are chambered for 7.62x54mmR – a Russian rimmed cartridge that originated in 1891, but more companies are producing variants that use more conventional 7.62×51 rounds: Poland with their UKM 2000, Turkey with Modern Makineli Tüfek machine gun.

    Bulgaria has been producing PKM in 7.62×51 for a while, an earlier version of it was reviewed by Larry Vickers.

    But the latest version called MG-M2 has a couple of new features worth mentioning.

    First of all, there is a standard Picatinny rail on the receiver cover. It also appears that the receiver cover locking mechanism was improved in order to ensure that the scope mounted on the rail will hold zero.

    Receiver cover of MG-M2

    Receiver cover of MG-M2

    The second obvious improvement is the barrel locking mechanism. While it was not possible to field strip the weapon and take detailed pictures, you can see that the locking mechanism is now exposed and you don’t have to open the received cover in order to reach it. That should make maintenance and barrel change procedure easier.

    The barrel locking mechanism of MG-M2

    The barrel locking mechanism of MG-M2

    For a while now, an Indian tender for 40.000 “Light Machine Guns” has been floating around. As it always is with Indian tenders, it is not clear when the trials are going to start and when the final decision will be made, but it seems like MG-M2 will be one of the top contenders in that particular competition.

    Vladimir Onokoy is a Russian defense industry specialist and firearms instructor. Over the years he worked in 15 different countries as a security contractor, armorer, firearms industry sales representative, product manager, and consultant.

    His articles were published in the Recoil magazine, Small Arms Review, Small Arms Defence Journal, and Silah Report, he also created several video series such as “Gun myths”, “Kalashnikov: around the world”, “Larry Vickers in Russia” and “Kalashnikov: evolution” that are available on YouTube.
    ► Email: machaksilver at gmail dot com.
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