31k b/w photo of PV-1 machine gun at the Monino collection from "Sowjetische Bombenflugzeuge" ("Soviet Bombers") by W.Kopenhagen.

PV-1 7.62mm machine gun

Designation stands for Pulemyot Vozdushnyi 1 - aircraft machine gun 1.

In 1923 the design of this gun was initiated by the pilot and aircraft designer A.V. Nadashkevich in the Moscow Aircraft Plant "Aviarabotnik". At the same time the experienced the weapon designers F.V. Tokarev and I.N. Kolesnikov began working on a similar project. All three wanted to redesign the old, water-cooled Maxim machine gun of 1910 origin into a lighter, air-cooled gun. From 1924 they combined their efforts at the weapons factory at Tula. The weight was reduced from 20 to 14.5kg and the rate of fire increased from 600 to 780rpm.

65k b/w photo of a PV-1 gun installed in an I-152 from Squadron/Signal "Polikarpov Fighters in Action", Part 1.

The ammunition was fed by a chain, at first made of fabric, but from 1932 on a chain with metallic links was used. Simultaneously a synchronizing device to fire through the propeller disc of an aeroplane was developed.

Because the Maxim gun was still in large-scale production, the designers tried to avoid too much changing of the basic mechanism and the general layout for ease of manufacturing. So the only way to achieve the desired performance improvement was to increase appreciably the speed of the moving parts within the gun during shooting. The design period was prolonged by the economic problems, difficulties with supply of materials and bad organization typical for those years after the First World War and the Civil War.


Year 1928
Caliber 7.62mm
Projectile 9.6g
Rate of fire 600-780rpm
Muzzle velocity 780-800m/s
Weight 14.5kg
Overall length 1,050mm
Barrel length ?mm

On May 16, 1926 the testing of this new gun commenced. From the Artillery Committee it received its designation PV-1 and was accepted for mass production, before the beginning of which was held a competitive shooting against a Vickers gun on March 16, 1927. The PV-1 was the winner. Service introduction with the Soviet Air Forces commenced in 1928. In 1931 a redesign of the barrel was done and in this form the gun remained in large-scale production until 1940.

Official Soviet sources quote the following delivery figures:


Modified May 5, 2000
by Thomas Heinz;
Back to
Main Gate