Type 73 light machine gun. Barrel is fitted with removable muzzle adapter for firing rifle grenades; alternate adapter with integral muzzle brake is stored below the gas tube фото: Weapons Identification Lab, Israel Police
Type 73 light machine gun with box magazine installed
Rate of fire
600 – 700 rounds per minute
30-round box magazine or belt
Available information about the Type 73 light machine gun is very scarce. This gun was designed at the North Korean state arms factories and manufactured for use by North Korean armed forces. Apparently, this gun is still in use there, but is seldom encountered outside of its native country. The design of this weapon is based on the Soviet Kalashnikov PK machine gun, with certain indigenous features, including dual (magazine & belt) feed system, patterned after the Czechoslovak Vz.52 LMG.
The Type 73 light machine gun is gas operated weapon with rotary bolt locking, firing from open bolt in full automatic mode only. It features air-cooled, quick detachable barrel. Dual feed system allows to use either 30-round box magazines of indigenous design (inserted from the top) or non-disintegrating Kalashnikov PK-type steel belts. Gun is equipped with wooden shoulder stock, pistol grip with trigger, and folding bipod. Sights are offset to the left from the weapon axis due to top-mounted magazine. Another unusual feature of this weapon is that it has removable muzzle sleeves, which are available in two versions – with integral muzzle brake / compensator or with spigot-type rifle grenade launcher (a feature, unique to this machine gun). One sleeve is normally installed (screwed) over the muzzle part of the barrel, while another is clamped for storage below the gas tube that runs under the barrel.