ShKAS machine gun

ShKAS machine gun

Infobox Weapon
name= ShKAS machine gun

caption= ShKAS machine gun
origin=flagcountry|Soviet Union
type= Machine Gun
used_by= Soviet Union
wars= World War II
cartridge= 7.62x54R
action= Gas-operated
rate= 1800 RPM (ShKAS), 3000 RPM (UltraShKAS)
feed= Belt

The ShKAS (Shpitalny-Komaritski Aviatsionny Skorostrelny, Shpitalny-Komaritski rapid fire machine gun for aircraft; Russian: ШКАС - Шпитальный, Комарицкий, Авиационный, Скорострельный) is a 7.62 mm machine gun widely used by Soviet aircraft in the 1930s and during World War II. It was designed by Boris Shpitalniy and Irinarkh Komaritsky and entered production in 1934. ShKAS was used in the majority of Soviet fighters and bombers and served as the basis for the ShVAK cannon.


ShKAS is a gas-operated revolver-type machine gun. The high rate of fire is achieved thanks to the revolving 10-chamber drum fed by metal disintegrating link ammunition belt and the recoiling portion of the gun weighing only 921 grams (2.07 lb). ShKAS combat effectiveness was markedly improved thanks to N. M. Elizarov's armor-piercing and incendiary ammunition. Initial production consisted of cable-charged wing-mounted and turret-mounted ShKAS with a synchronized version entering service in 1936. In 1939, a small number of Ultra-ShKAS were produced featuring a firing rate of 3,000 rounds per minute but these saw only limited use due to reliability problems. A one-second burst from four ShKAS in Polikarpov I-153 or Polikarpov I-16 placed 120 bullets within 15 angular mils at 400 meters (1,312 feet) giving a firing density of 5 bullets per square meter of the sky. This was significantly higher than contemporary aircraft from other nations, especially considering that four guns with 650 rounds of ammunition per gun weighed a total of only 160 kg (350 lb).

Gun specifications

* Caliber: 7.62 mm
* Rate of fire: 1,800 rounds/min wing- or turret-mounted; 1,625 rounds/min synchronized
* Muzzle velocity: 825 m/s
* Weight: 10 kg (22 lb) empty; 40 kg (88 lb) with 650 rounds of ammunition.

7.62 mm ammunition specifications

* Bullet weight: 148 grains (9.6 grams)
* Round weight: 370 grains (24 grams)
* Ballistic coefficient: 3.0 lb/in² (2,100 kg/m²)
* Tracer ammunition duration: 750 m (2,460 ft)
* Armor piercing: 11 mm (0.43 in) at 400 m (1,312 ft)


* Романов Д. И. Оружие Воздушного Боя (Romanov D.I., "Aerial Weapons")

ee also

*List of firearms
*List of common World War II weapons

External links

* []

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