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

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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!

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