Experimental Romanian Paratrooper PKM

Romania adopted the PKM in 1966, and began manufacturing their own direct copy at Cugir. In the 1990s, the plant designed a model intended for paratroopers, with a shortened barrel and unique side folding stock. Romanian special operations and paratroop units tested them, but declined to purchase any – funding was tight and the breakup of the eastern bloc meant offensive troops like paratroopers were less of priority. A total of only 400 of these guns were made, and all of them sold to export clients. This one is also fitted with a picatinny optics mount a tai-rail handguard made specifically for it by B&T.

Thanks to DSA for giving me access to film this one in their reference collection!


  1. Nice gat. Nothing ugly about it. Ditch that dopey grip pod and the carry handle. Put a good bi pod and an acog and a good sling on it and you’re good to go.

  2. I wonder how much it weighs versus the regular model? that stock probably adds some mass but with the barrel is it a wash?

  3. Pure, functional sex in machinegun form.

    I like.

    Now, what’d they do for a tripod for it? 🙂

    And, again… I’d like to point out that this is the real weapon that Kalashnikov should have his legacy judged on. This was a product of his work at its height, without much outside influence or “help”.

  4. Looks to me like the belt-box could serve as a completely adequate “monopod” for prone-fire support, no bipod required. If fired that way the whole arrangement reminds me of the SEALS favored version of the Stoner 63A LMG, with shortened barrel and fired from the belt-box.

  5. Ugly? Nah, I wouldn’t say so. A Minimi-zed PKM, that’s all. BTW, we have a new GPMG somewhat along these lines in Poland, the 7.62 NATO “UKM 2020S” as well as “UKM 2000P zmod.” or “modified” https://www.zmt.tarnow.pl/wordpress/en/item/762-mm-uniwersalny-karabin-maszynowy-ukm-2000/ which also features folding stock, VFP, shortened bbl (optional – original length is attachable too, mostly for tripod work, because our rail forend does not rest on the tripod pivots, the way the Romanian does) and Picatinny rail on top. Just recently our military bought 3000+ of these, so these would not end as a short-lived attempt like the Romanian one.
    Ian, how about visiting Tarnow next time you come to Poland? There are loads of other interesting stuff to see, incl. a .338 LM AR-style DMR, a .50 BMG repeating sniper rifle, not to mention an indigenous .50-cal Minigun…

  6. Well that mono’bi-pod thing carried on with Sa80 use years later, and that stock looks sort of like like a Minimi slide out; that just wasn’t finished I.e. It was a folder, maybe coincidence “What came first” anyway… Can’t fault it/the calibre. Whats not to like.

    • I am not anti minimi I just think they sort of forgot folk may well try to not get shot, upon being fired at by a machine gun… You know by diving on the floor and hiding behind a small brick, a tree stump… Some mud etc… As oppose standing upright making an ideal target to get hit by .556 belt fed or otherwise… So a round which may; I don’t go though, some mud perhaps thrown up into a pile by one of your own shells may better as a machine gun support cartridge other than .556mm with which you attempt to pop them prior to them hitting the deck type thing.

      • I thought that about the British Lsw; light support weapon, it wasn’t really it was mag fed… I just thought the 7.62 Bren was perhaps better given we have probably made said chaps “duck and dive a bit” with the rifles, no? Well I was not in charge of the Army.

        • The Lsw was a great rifle in 5.56mm by the way, much better than the Sa80 at hitting things.

          Hitting “Things” Being the point; anyway, meh… These “Experts” designing/implementing guns doubtless know what they are doing.


          Anyway, last time I volunteer “Conscription” or f off for me, he he.

      • “(…)other than .556mm(…)”
        Wait, are you proposing cartridge smaller than 1mm in diameter?

  7. Important; considerations really, if we are going to fight someone other than especially aggresive goat herders. Such as Russia, etc; folk with spys/comms/artillerly/nukes etc.

    No? Ok fine, just crack on. Experts… Be handy to gain some advantage, even with small arms. Theres alot of them. No? Ok. He he.

  8. Romania’s adoption of the PKM (Pulemet Kalashnikova Modernizirovanny) occurred in 1966, after which they began producing their own version at the Cugir manufacturing plant. In the 1990s, a model specifically designed for paratroopers was developed, featuring a shortened barrel and a unique side-folding stock. Although this variant underwent testing by Romanian special operations and paratroop units, they ultimately decided not to purchase any due to financial constraints and shifting priorities following the breakup of the Eastern Bloc.

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