Kord: Russia’s New .50 Cal Heavy Machine Gun


The Kord was developed to replace the Soviet NSV heavy machine gun. The NSV was developed in 1969 to replace the DShK, and it was a pretty good gun – but it was manufactured in only one factory and that factory was located in Kazakhstan. When the Soviet Union crumbled, that left the new Russian Federation without and heavy MG production. So, in 1994 a design team at the Kovrov plant developed an improved model of the NSV both to improve it and to provide domestic Russian production. The first prototypes were ready in 1997, initial production began in 1998, and the new gun entered military service in 2001.

Mechanically. the Kord is a long stroke gas piston system with a rotating bolt. It still uses the 12.7x108mm Russian cartridge. The piston and operating rod have elements of PK lineage, and the ejection system is a clever forward-ejecting design that makes the gun easily used in vehicular applications without strewing empty brass around the inside of a tank/AFV/IFV. A hefty muzzle brake, shoulder stock, and neat bipod mounting system make the gun at least plausibly usable in an infantry role.

Many thanks to the IRCGN (Institut de Recherche Criminelle de la Gendarmerie Nationale) for allowing me access to film this hard-to-find modern HMG for you!


  1. 15:10 Umm, perhaps a Hotchkiss Portative rather, with this pillar pivot, not Hotchkiss Universal, which is but a submachine gun and has got no belt feeding mechanism

  2. “Kord(…)”
    This name is sometimes written in title-case (as above) or all upper-case i.e. KORD as it is abbreviation from Konstruktsija ORuzheinikov-Degtyarovtsev. Kord is also word in Russian language denoting certain knife type https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B4_(%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B6,_%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%B6%D0%B8%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9) used in Tajikistan.

    Presented example is latter production, which can be determined by rectangular muzzle brake. KORD was designed as drop-in replacement for NSV (does use mount designed for that weapon), therefore it has interface for triggering, rather than trigger per se. 6T19 lightweight mount is proprietary for KORD. Belt is common for NSV and KORD. KORD could be set up to feed from either side.

    For more details see http://modernfirearms.net/en/machineguns/russia-machineguns/kord-12-7-eng/

    • I’ve noticed a recent trend that good old wikipedia started having tiny images in all articles ! Is it some kind of bytes preservation scheme

  3. I seem to recall watching a video on YouTube that was posted by Larry Vickers on Aug. 22nd, 2014 where he had the opportunity to fire the Kord on a tripod mount. I was impressed with the lack of muzzle climb, lack of barrel vibration, and how well-controlled the recoil was ( this was clearly evident in the slow-motion footage ). Hopefully, Ian will have the same opportunity at some point so that we can get his impressions and feedback.

  4. It may have PK “lineage” in some parts, but overall it looks like the started with the Hotchkiss Model 1929 (aka Japanese Navy Type 93) in 13.2 x 99mm and converted it from gas operation to long recoil.

    clear ether


  5. Well that is bigger, than I thought it was in it’s bipod configuration; still lighter than an M2 with a tripod I assume. Big though isn’t it, big cartridge etc… Thought it was smaller. Didn’t know about the trigger etc being a seperate piece, which you could fold away “Bipod in the correct direction, etc” Logistics et al. Hmmm. Big though isn’t it, still & heavy’ish.

    If you used a gas plug which acted from the front via a below chamber at the cartridge neck port, into a plug chamber, and said plug was pinned to a set of overlapping rectangular plates /\\/ set in a diamond “Above and below” pinned to allow an expanding diamond… With the bottom of said shape ending in a plug that rested against the – Stock, the removable trigger bit etc – The left/right apex’s of the diamond could pop out say an inch out gaps (Resemble left and right normal ejection ports.) then… Upon firing… BANG!!! Gas impacts forward plug… Plug attempts to contract… To exit “Ejection ports; Pushing gas plug against gas… But also pushing entire gun against stock…” Might be able to simplfy bolt from the rotational/gas operated one… Lighten it, Judo sort of using weight of gun and violent discharge as operating mech. In a similar way to the above… New rounds, thinking more telescoped plastic shotgun cartridge type brass bit (Maybe with niti gas ring for sealing) and pin fire type internal round detonatation via the link movement perhaps… Ongoing… Ways…

    Point is with .50 cal rounds you get more space to make them more accurate, even as say saboted 7.62mm ones… If they hit, could glide bomb into targets with modern sights. Hitting is what counts.

    Anyway interesting arcticle, to me… I thought that gun was a bit smaller prior, my bag.

    • Maybe a slightly disjointed explanation I know what I mean (Can explain, if asked; he he.) Techincal issues, for sure but build more like Austrian ww1 pistol “Unorthodox manufacturing techinque” weak points yes, but could be adressed thus perhaps. Hmmm… Ways. In regards the above, simple way to imagine it; no gas system but heavy duty “Judo/Swarzlose type lark.” thus, replacing gas system at front is (Maybe sprung behind via “Stock” but sprung to act as in being squished a bit forward – The whole gun against stock – With gas assisting in delay as op mech.

      Potential point, cheaper/lighter; integral is new ammo probably… All good, meh.

      • Good gun the Kord, should try to improve further etc 2024. With moderm tech, I am not entirely discounting the Vickers ww1 idea of firing “Gun Artillery” via bullets way out of visual range – Even against drones, if one could accurately deliver indirect fire then it should be effective against point targets including in the immediate airspace above… Clearly with the rounds still then not in direct drop mode he he. On your own folks. The other anti drone, drone idea I had is. Using lots of drones as a very precisely delivered fuel air bomb swarm to just blow up the affected airspace denying movement… By vapourising it, and what was in it as per on the ground.

        Bring back jousts I say, champions could have a go on horses settle disputes thus.

      • Er… Well, plastic… And inside is basically a percussion cap and pin in a charge… But! A Pin is not hit by a hammer, no… Instead said pin is squished in the motion of the cartridge entering the chamber, or being acted on such… Due to the cartridge being ususal maybe square, and made out of plastic. Just saying… If Centefire limits design, ditch it it isn’t 1870 etc.

        • The “Judo gas thing” is basically… If gas hits the forward plug, it will try to contract the diamond by pushing it rear… (Via moving the diamonds left/right apexs within the; cut out’s… Ejection ports, so to speak.) now… If the rear of said diamond pushed against the stock… Aye, well then the front would be forced back into the gas with the gun moving within the stock… Thus… Gas exits barrel… Gun goes back into stock and within the diamond can contract enough. Basic principle – Use weight of gun and gas as operating mech.

          • Might need a disconnector, be ways… In Smaller guns doubt it needs gun to move forward. No good if it does not end up making this gun smaller and lighter. But, what else would/could? You are in theory losing parts. So… Lighter etc.

        • “(…)If Centefire limits design, ditch it it isn’t 1870 etc.”
          Please provide evidence that central-fire cartridge are not good enough for uses for which KORD was developed.

  6. Jager pistol: Ww1 thing; unorthodox manufacturing lark – Take said “Judo bolt” for example and build said gun, around it etc. Be ways…

    Everyone needs to think about drones, this… War is awful, per se… Situation, currently. Just imagine if everyone got involved; talking full South Park Blame Canada type conflict. No good.

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