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The KPV is a powerful heavy machine gun of Soviet origin. It was developed during World War 2 for infantry use. The intended targets were infantry positions, armored vehicles and aircraft. The KPV has become one of the most ubiquitous Soviet weapons. It has been used on numerous armored vehicles, anti-aircraft gun mounts and patrol craft.


The KPV is a gas operated weapon that uses the short recoil mechanism and has a rotating bolt. It is belt fed and feeds from either left or right easily without the addition of parts.. A slotted shroud covers the air cooled barrels. These can be changed but are not true quick change barrels. It has a heavier barrel jacket, shorter receiver and can be solenoid fired. In addition to its quick barrel change feature, it does not require adjustment after barrel change. It is the least jamming weapon of its class.


The KPV fires the 14.5x114mm round from a 50 round belt. The cyclic rate of fire is 550 to 600 rpm. For a heavy machine gun the KPV is very powerful. It has twice as much muzzle energy as Soviet and Western 12.7mm heavy machine guns. In theory the maximum range is 3 km against ground targets and 2 km against aircraft. In practice the effective ranges are 2 km and 1.5 km respectively. The bullet protection its lethal energy against personnel even at 7-8 km. Considering its ballistic properties, the KPV is the closest machine gun to an automatic cannon.


The KPV was issued on a Kharanin two wheel mount for infantry use during World War 2, but saw limited use. In post war use the KPVT saw widespread use on the ZPU series of light anti-aircraft guns that mount one, two or four KPVT. The KPVT is also used as the primary armament of many Soviet armored fighting vehicles, including the BTR-60PB, BTR-70, BTR-80 and BRDM-2. The KPVT has also been mounted on numerous patrol craft. Usually on the MTPU pedestal mount or naval derivatives of the ZPU mounts.


Kalibre / Caliber14.5x114mm Soviet
Feed system Single belt feed, 40 or 50 round belt
Barrel length 1.346 m
Rifling Right hand twist
Muzzle velocity 1.005 m/s



Action Gas operated, short recoil mechanism with rotary bolt
Rate of fire 550 - 600 rpm



Weight 52.5 kg overall
Length 1.98 m
Width162 mm
Height  225 mm