Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PM-63 Submachine gun


PM-63 submachine gun with front grip and buttstock folded; 25-round magazine is removed from grip

PM-63 submachine gun with front grip and buttstock opened for better control during fire; slide is cocked and gun is ready to fire

Caliber: 9x18 Makarov PM
Weight: 1.6 kg empty; 2.0 kg with loaded 25-round magazine
Length (stock closed/open): 333 / 583 mm
Barrel length: 152 mm
Rate of fire: 650 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 15 or 25 rounds
Effective range: 100-150 meters

PM-63 submachine gun is quite interesting weapon, which is better described by its native name Pistolet Maszynowy wz.63 (machine pistol model of 1963). Indeed, it has layout of a large pistol, and can be fired single-handedly like any other pistol. On the other hand, PM-63 had folding buttstock and frontal grip (also folding), and had selective-fire capability. Furthermore, while it has a pistol-like slide which is integral with breechblock, it fires from open bolt, much like most submachine guns.

PM-63 has been designed by famous Polish gun designer Peter Wilniewczyc by 1963. First issued to Polish special forces in 1965, it also gained a name of RAK (Reczny Automat Komandosow - Commando handheld automatic [weapon]). Other than special elements of Polish army, PM-63 also was used by East German police.

PM-63 is a blowback operated weapon that fires from open bolt (slide). Return spring is located below the stationary but easily removable barrel. Front part of the slide is shaped like long spoon and acts as a muzzle rise compensator during automatic fire. It also can be used to cock weapon single-handedly, by pushing the compensator against the hard surface until slide is locked back by the sear. For more usual two-hand cocking slide is equipped with typical side serration at the rear. Fire mode (single shots or bursts) is selected by the trigger pull - short pull until first stop produces single shots, further pull on the trigger results in full automatic fire. PM-63 is fitted with inertia-type fire rate reducer, which is located inside the rear of the slide. After each shot in full-auto mode, reducer holds the slide in the open position for a fraction of a second, while inertia pellet cycles inside its channel under recoil. On its way forward, this pellet releases the slide to go forward and fire next round. Manual safety is located on the frame, just behind the grip, on the left side of weapon. Box magazines are inserted into pistol grip and could have capacity of 15 or 25 rounds. For better control during burst fire, or for more accurate single shots, PM-63 is fitted with folding shoulder stock made of stamped steel, and with folding front grip. However, mild recoil of 9x18 cartridge combined with sufficient weight of the weapon, allows it to be fired single-handedly at shorter ranges, even in full-auto mode. Sights are of open type, with blade front and flip-up "L"-shaped rear, which is graduated to 75 and 150 meters. PM-63 could be carried in special holster or using a loop belt, which attaches to a single swivel at the rear of the frame.


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