The Full Wiki

ShKAS machine gun: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ShKAS machine gun
Type Machine Gun
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
Used by Soviet Union
Wars World War II Spanish Civil War
Cartridge 7.62x54R
Action Gas-operated
Rate of fire 1800 RPM (ShKAS), 3000 RPM (UltraShKAS)
Muzzle velocity 775-825
Feed system 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).


But ShKAS had its defects. Soviet machine-gun technician Viktor M. Sinaisky recalled:

" The Shkas machine gun had a high rate of fire but it also had 48 ways of jamming. Some of them could be fixed immediately, come could not. And 1,800 rounds a minute was an insanely high rate of fire. If you pulled the trigger too long, the ShKAS would fire all its ammo in one go and that wuold be it!!"


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


  1. ^ Drabkin 2007, pp. 60-68.
  • Drabkin, Artem. The Red Air Force at War: Barbarossa and the Retreat to Moscow – Recollections of Fighter Pilots on the Eastern Front. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen & Sword Military, 2007. ISBN 1-84415-563-3.
  • Романов Д. И. Оружие Воздушного Боя (Romanov D.I., Aerial Weapons)

See also

External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address