ZPU-1 KPV Heavy Machine Gun
The KPV heavy machine gun (from the transliteration Krupnokaliberniy Pulemyot Vladimorova), is a Soviet designed 14.5×114 mm-caliber heavy machine gun, which first entered service as an infantry weapon (designated PKP) in 1949. In the 1960s the infantry version was taken out of production because it was too big and heavy. It was later redesigned for anti-aircraft use, because it showed excellent results as an AA gun, with a range of 1500m against low flying planes.
It was used in the ZPU-4, ZPU-2 and ZPU-1 anti-aircraft guns. The numerical designation is given for the number of barrels installed. Its size and power also made it a useful light anti-armour weapon on the BTR series of vehicles and BRDM-2 scout car. The version for use in armored vehicles is called the KPVT (tankoviy, 'tank').
The development of the machine gun began in 1944. The cartridges used could be with High Explosive Incendiary - Tracer (HEI-T) or Armour-Piercing Incendiary (API) bullets, and they have approximately twice the energy of a normal 12.7 mm (.50 BMG) projectile.
The KPV is air-cooled and fitted with a chromed barrel. It uses a short recoil operation system with gas assistance and a rotary bolt. It can be fed with the 40-round belt from either the left or right side. The barrel can be removed by turning the prominent latch on the forward end of the receiver and pulling on the barrel's carrying handle. The single ammunition box is to the right of the guick-change barrel.
The ZPU-1 was introduced into the Soviet Army into the immediate post Second World War period. The ZPU-1 is a single towed weapon which was obsolete in the Soviet Army by the mid-1970s. Although not used in the Warsaw Pact countries today, the ZPU-1 has been identified in Southeast Asia and in the Middle East. The tight two-wheeled carriage is somewhat similar to the late model ZPU-2, although the tires are smaller. The two wheel carriage of the ZPU-1 was designed by Vodop-Yanov and the Rachinskiy Company, for transport in rough terrain and can be dismantled into units weighing about 176 lbs each.
The single and multiple mounts of the ZPU series all use the basic 14.5mm Vladimirov (KPV) heavy machine gun which is also found mounted in various armored vehicles in both the ground and anti-aircraft roles. All weapons in this series fire the API (BS 41) projectiles weighing 64.4 grams having a muzzle velocity of 1000 meters per second which will penetrate 32 mm of armour.
||14.5 x 144 mm
||Short recoil operation
|Rate of Fire
||976 m/s to 1005 m/s
||ZPU 4 (4 barrel)
ZPU 2 (2 barrel)
ZPU 1 (single barrel)
Towed, or mounted on BRDM-2 Scout-Cars