POTD: Finland's Machine Gun – The 7.62 KK PKM

Eric B
by Eric B

Photo Of The Day and this is the third in a series of articles TFB is doing on the firearms used by the Finnish Army. Quite a few of their infantry firearms are manufactured in Finland, but the 7.62 KK PKM machine gun is actually from Russia. The caliber is 7.62×53mmR.

Shooting the PKM from the kneeling position.

Machine gun 7.62 KK PKM is a gas-operated automatic weapon. It is used as a weapon for providing fire support for infantry sections.

Below you can see the basic technical specifications and performance:

  • Calibre: 7.62 x 53R
  • Length: 116 cm
  • Weight: Weapon without belt box 7.8 kg 100 round full belt box 3.4 kg
  • Rate of fire: Theoretical 700 rounds/min, including belt changes 250 rounds/min
  • Effective firing range: Surface targets 400 m, air targets 600 m
  • Country of manufacture: Russia

Here is a description from the Finnish Army:

Infantry battle conducted with versatile weaponry

The infantry is capable of engaging many types of targets. In addition to soldiers’ personal weapon, troops are equipped with fire support and anti-tank weaponry, ground-based air defence capability and ability to use indirect fire to their advantage.

Infantry units have great fire power at close range. All soldiers are equipped with assault rifles and modern combat uniforms. Infantry fire support weaponry includes machine guns, grenade machine guns and heavy machine guns, the latter being used against both air and surface targets. Antitank fires are conducted with anti-tank weapons. Light anti-tank weapons are part of the equipment of all units. The focus of anti-tank measures is created with battalion and brigade anti-tank missile troops, mines and indirect fire.

In addition to direct fire, the infantry engages in combat also with indirect fire. Every infantry battalion includes a heavy mortar company. In addition, most infantry companies include a light mortar platoon. The forward observers of these set ups direct the fire of all the available fire units.

Infantry soldiers are transported mainly by all-terrain carriers or armoured personnel carriers. Mechanised troops are transported by armoured personnel carriers or infantry fighting vehicles.

Images and information from Puolustusvoimat / The Finnish Defence Forces.

Eric B
Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with a European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatics, optics, thermals and suppressors. TCCC Certified. Occasionaly seen in a 6x6 Bug Out Vehicle, always with a big smile.

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3 of 42 comments
  • Eric B. Eric B. on Nov 09, 2022

    Now that Finland is joining NATO it will have to change this chambering, bolt face, etc. to handle 7.62 x 51 NATO cartridges. Hopefully it will only mean re-barreling.
    And I wrong on the re-barreling idea?

    • Darryn Darryn on Nov 14, 2022

      @Eric B. No, the extent of modifications to set this system up for 7.62 Nato is fairly significant. I would suggest at looking at Poland and Bulgaria's approaches to this problem to understand it better. Cheers.

  • Bloody Bucket Bloody Bucket on Nov 10, 2022

    1. We use the M-240L, 22 lbs, or about 5.6 lbs lighter than the M-240B. I've also used the Mk-48 in Afghanistan. Think SAW, but in 7.62x51, at 18 lbs. My Class III buddy has a PKM that gets shoot a lot at MG shoots than these ones do in training. The receiver has had to be re-riveted three times and now its cracked and out for repair. Nothing's perfect.