Sweden's KSP-58 Machine Guns In Ukraine

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
A KSP-58B in use with Ukrainian troops c. September 2022 (via social media)

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, we’ve seen a number of FN MAG variants appear in use with Ukrainian forces. By far the most common appears to be the US M240 series. However, in recent months we’ve also seen a number of Swedish KSP-58 machine guns appear in imagery from the field.

Swedish Guns @ TFB:

Sweden has long supported the Ukrainian war effort providing a shipment of 5,000 AT4s back in late February. The transfer of an additional batch of 5,000 AT4s was announced on 2 June. Most recently on 30 June, it was reported that Sweden would provide a fresh batch of light anti-armour weapons and also machine guns as part of a transfer worth $49 million. When delivery of this aid was made is unconfirmed but the KSP-58 machine guns are reported to have been in theatre possibly as early as July – August.

While the type of machine gun was not confirmed, since the beginning of September we’ve seen photos and video of a number of KSP-58 GPMGs appear in the theatre. Easily identified by their wooden stocks, grey-green coloured receiver finish and hooded front sight. Sweden was one of the earliest adopters of the FN MAG and the Kulspruta 58 entered service with the Swedish armed forces in the late 1950s and was originally chambered in the 6.5×55mm Swedish round. The KSP-58B was introduced following the adoption of 7.62x51mm.

A KSP-58B c. September 2022 (nucking_futs_yuri)

These have been seen in the hands of International Legion units and also regular Ukrainian Army units centred around Mykolaiv and Kherson. All the examples of the weapon sighted appear to be KSP-58Bs, none of the guns seen have the Picatinny rails seen in the KSP-58F.

Speaking to Kaiser [ frontline_view_kaiser], a German volunteer with the Ukrainian Army, he said his unit encountered “a brand-new, never used KSP with original factory delivered Box and all accessories untouched”. His colleague Yuri [ nucking_futs_yuri] has shared some videos filmed in late August, during a training session he ran on FN MAG variants for various Ukrainian units. Yuri said there were about 20 guns on the range during the training session, with the majority being KSP-58 machine guns. Yuri shared a video in mid-September firing through a KSP-58B, from the hip, filmed after the training session had been completed.

Yuri with a KSP-58B c. September 2022 (nucking_futs_yuri)

While we can’t confirm that the KSP-58s came directly from Sweden, it seems likely. Another potential origin for the weapons may be the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). Sweden gifted an unconfirmed number of KSP-58s to the Baltic States in the 1990s. Both Estonia and Lithuania began searching for a replacement for the KSP-58 in mid-2021. Given the Baltic states’ support for Ukraine, the guns may potentially have originated from there, rather than Sweden itself. We have already seen the Baltic States transfer former Swedish equipment including the PV-1110 recoilless anti-tank gun which was given to the Baltic states in the early 1990s. It remains to be seen if we’ll see more of the KSP-58s in the field.

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: TheFirearmBlog.com & Overt Defense.com. Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at: matt@thefirearmblog.com

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  • Bloody Bucket Bloody Bucket on Dec 01, 2022

    As an U.S. Army Weapons Squad Leader, I would have been kick that machine gunner's ass for two reasons. 1. What's with the 3 rd burst crap? 6-9 minimum. 2. That's not a F-ing carry handle, I'd be PTing the dog $hit out of him. But the MAG-58/M-240B/L are beautiful and are loved by all of as that humped them. They will not fail.

  • Ej  harbet Ej harbet on Dec 02, 2022

    Yuri sounds like a guy who'd be fun at the party. wonder how many times he marathoned the Rambo series. hope he makes it through without too much damage