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Old 10-04-2017, 07:00 AM   #1
BarnOwlLover
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Default Yugo PKM

Ian again from Forgotten Weapons examines (and also shoots in a related video) a Yugoslav built PKM. Basically in this area of the forum we're going from the Breda Model 30, probably the worst machine gun ever made, to easily one of the absolute best in the PKM:

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Old 10-04-2017, 06:31 PM   #2
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The M84 isn't really based on the PKM, but rather the PK / PKT receiver with a sort of PKM type barrel.

Yugoslavia didn't receive PKM info from the Soviets, but did make the PKT for armored vehicles possibly receiving tech for the original PK with the PKT info, although Yugoslavia instead of the PK went with their M53 until years later.

The M84 receiver top cover may be unique and the barrel looks like a sort of PKM copy on an older PK type receiver.

Other than the barrel, it is more of a PK than a PKM.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:36 AM   #3
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In reality the PKM and PK are basically the same gun. Biggest differences are the barrel fluting, reinforced top cover and a new style of muzzle brake/flash hider. Mechanically they're exactly the same, and share the same lineage/member of the same family. Biggest difference between the PK/PKM and the M84 is the buttstock design. It's certainly not as big a leap in design changes as the milled AK-47 or early stamped AK-47 to the AKM as far as PK/PKM family evolution, at least until you get to the PKP.

BTW, to keep the record tidy, the M53 is a German MG42 clone, and was dimensionally the same and most parts were interchangeable with the MG42. It even fired 7.92mm Mauser like the original. The Yugoslavs had a large number of MG42s and large stocks (both pre- and from World War II) of 8mm Mauser. The MG42s and M53s were used until they decided to switch to 7.62x54R for high powered rifles and GPMGs.

It's also like how the biggest external difference between a Chicom AK and a "Russian/Warsaw Pact" AK is the position of the front trunnion rivets. Mechanically, they're the same firearm.

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Old 10-05-2017, 01:50 PM   #4
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The riveting pattern of the trunnion is different in the PKM and is based on the PK /PKT. The PKT remained based on the PK, while the PKM receiver went to a newer design.

Yugoslavia made quite a few PKT's years before making the M84.

The M84 isn't really based on the PKM at all, but its barrel does look more like a PKM barrel than a PK barrel.

The M84 is Yugoslavia's version of the PK, not a version of the PKM .
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:45 PM   #5
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Several sources claim the weight of the PKM barrel, being, "lightweight" for a 7.62x54R machine gun barrel, was made possible by using a hammer forged barrel.

The PKM design was finalized and accepted in 1969.

It usually did take the Soviets a couple of years or more to place into production and service, after weapons were designed and accepted for service.

That raises some questions about the prototype PKM barrels.

The Soviets didn't order barrel hammer forging machines until 1969.

The Soviets ordered 4 barrel forging machines from Austria, which were to be made after being ordered.

All 4 machines had a maximum barrel bore capacity of 8 mm.

The first ONE was finished and tested IN Austria in December of 1970.


It's doubtful the Soviets had it up and running before 1971.

The Soviets had been busy developing the AK-74.

They found that cutting the 5.45 barrel bores resulted in a higher rate of tool breakage than cutting 7.62 barrels.

They then requested one of the barrel forging machines have 5.45 mandrels, instead of 7.62 ones.

The 5.45 mandrels were ordered with a, 'tapered" chamber, that would require final reaming, so as not to reveal to the world, the then new 5.45x39 cartridge.


Normally the barrel bore mandrels included forging the complete barrel chamber, as well as the rifling.

The H&K G3 fluted chambers were formed when the barrels were forged.

The big question is, how and where were the prototype PKM barrels made?

Were they contracted to a country that already had barrel forging machines?

Did the Soviets make them the traditional way, with the thought of final production getting hammer forged barrels?

It's not like they would fly apart.

They may have determined longer life by going to forged barrels and that caused the desire to order barrel forging machines in 969.


Before that time, the Soviets tried to get Austria to sell them ONE license to make a barrel forging machine in the Soviet Union.

Austria rejected that, thinking the Soviets would use the technology to make unlicensed machines.


Yugoslavia started making the M53 in 1954 using imported barrels.

Yugoslavia bought their first barrel forging machine in 1959.

Yugoslavia then made forged barrels for the M53, M59 SKS, M59/66, M70 and M72 barrels.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:10 AM   #6
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I suspect the M84 has a different barrel profile from the PK simply because Yugoslavia was already making hammer forged barrels and the shape is easier to form using that method.

It just happens to be similar to the PKM barrel, but the M84 is PK with a unique Yugoslavian barrel, rather than a PKM with a PK receiver.

Yugoslavia never received PKM technical data, like they did for the PK and PKT.

The M84 has a unique buttstock and barrel in similar fashion that the M72 RPK does.

The design of the barrel may be based on the PKM barrel profile, but that is about the only feature that is more PKM-looking than the rest of the M84, which is much more PK based.

The Soviet PK has a cut barrel and not a hammer forged barrel, which is likely the main reason the barrels appear differently.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:33 PM   #7
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The M84 has a PK receiver, a PK flash hider, with a Yugoslavian designed barrel, that looks a lot like a PKM barrel, likely due to the method Zastava uses to make barrels.

The M84 does have a hinged butt plate as do PKM's and some sources claim the hinged butt plate is a PKM feature that differs from the PK, that often doesn't have one, but I have seen versions of PK's that do have a hinged butt plate, so I'm not sure when that feature was added.

Zastava seems to pickup and copy features from sources other than the originals.

Yugoslavia was considering paying Beretta to convert USGI Garands to BM59's, but Russia then offered their rifle designs to Yugoslavia free of charge.

The 1961 NATO rifle specs included an integrated 22 mm rifle grenade launcher and a last shot bolt hold open.

The L1A1, M14 and G3 had already been designed, so not all 1961 NATO rifle specs made it into those rifles, but somebody in Yugoslavia must have thought NATO had good ideas and added these features to their rifles.

The M84 strikes me as a PK variant rather than a PKM variant.

Of the counties tooled up for the PK and not for the PKM, changing the butt plate design would be an easy update.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:26 PM   #8
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Best mg ever made was the 42.
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Old 10-15-2017, 07:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncreptile View Post
Best mg ever made was the 42.
West Germany wanted to keep using the MG42, but NATO wouldn't allow them.

West Germany said that they found that 8 mm has a 200 meter longer range than 7.62x51 in the machine gun role.
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Old 10-25-2017, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncreptile View Post
Best mg ever made was the 42.
The Lafette 42 tripod is incredible. If you haven’t spent a lot of time maneuvering crew served weapons in combat you cannot fully appreciate what a game changer that thing was. Nothing else has been made before or since that even comes close.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:54 AM   #11
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Details on the tripod. http://www.bergflak.com/lafette/Construction.html

All that being said I still think the PKM, particularly the new “Pecheneg” model, is the best gpmg out there today (with all due respect to the MG3 which still is in wide use and is basically a direct 7.62 NATO copy of the MG42).
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:43 AM   #12
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Does the yugo, being based on the pk not the pkm, have the thicker receiver like the pk and the pkt? I think pkm wall thickness is about 1.5mm and pkt thickness is 2.0mm
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpk74 View Post
Does the yugo, being based on the pk not the pkm, have the thicker receiver like the pk and the pkt? I think pkm wall thickness is about 1.5mm and pkt thickness is 2.0mm
The receiver thickness seems the same for all from what I recall.

The receiver covers are different.


I did see some Romanian machine guns that had PKM buttstocks, PKM barrels and flash hiders, but PK type receivers.

Later Romanian PKM's do have true PKM receivers and the front sight blocks have a scalloped hole cut across the barrel hole, but the earlier ones have solid side front sight blocks.

Of course barrels and buttstocks are easy to change.

Before the Zastava M86, the tank mounted model in Yugoslavia was just called the PKT, like the Soviet name, but the M84 was the M84.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:48 PM   #14
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We will have the M84 Serb pkm optics in stock by mid November.
Sales@bowmanarms.com
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allesennogwat View Post
The receiver thickness seems the same for all from what I recall.

The receiver covers are different.


I did see some Romanian machine guns that had PKM buttstocks, PKM barrels and flash hiders, but PK type receivers.

Later Romanian PKM's do have true PKM receivers and the front sight blocks have a scalloped hole cut across the barrel hole, but the earlier ones have solid side front sight blocks.

Of course barrels and buttstocks are easy to change.

Before the Zastava M86, the tank mounted model in Yugoslavia was just called the PKT, like the Soviet name, but the M84 was the M84.
I have had both russian pkm stubs and unknown country pkt receiver stubs. The pkm was 1.5mm thick walls, the pkt was 2.0mm thick (i measured both and visually there was a big difference). Also had a vltor receiver which was 1.5mm thick. The pkt was probably made thicker for the heavy sustained fire on top of a tank. Like an rpk vs akm receiver thickness difference reasons.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpk74 View Post
I have had both russian pkm stubs and unknown country pkt receiver stubs. The pkm was 1.5mm thick walls, the pkt was 2.0mm thick (i measured both and visually there was a big difference). Also had a vltor receiver which was 1.5mm thick. The pkt was probably made thicker for the heavy sustained fire on top of a tank. Like an rpk vs akm receiver thickness difference reasons.
The PKT has a receiver like the PK.

The PKM is made using, "improved methods."

The PKT receiver was not updated at the same time.

More recently there is suppose to a PKTM, but I haven't seen one and countries that use PKT likely haven't updated.

The PKTM is suppose to have a new type of flash hider.
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Old 11-04-2017, 10:48 PM   #17
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Too bad they don't import a semi auto only version.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:53 AM   #18
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The PK receiver is made the same way as the PKT receiver, so the design is not just for the heavier barrel.

I have seen some mix-masters.

Early PKM's with PK flash hiders.

Updated PK's with PKM type barrels, flash hiders and buttstocks.

Bulgaria has unique barrels on theirs.

The M84 has a what looks like a PKM profile barrel, maybe a PKM front sight base, a hinged buttplate and a PK type flash hider.

The front trunnion and its rivets looks like a PK type, not a PKM type.
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