We are seeing a whole lot of interesting guns being used in Ukraine. Some are on the Russian side and others are on the Ukrainian side. So let’s take a look at some of these weapons.
This is a Czech assault rifle that was first used in 1958. It’s similar in looks to the AK-47 and utilizes the same round, 7.62×39. You might even see this picture and assume those are AKs without looking at them too closely. However, it does not share any parts with the AK. Instead of a long stroke gas piston, the VZ58 uses a short stroke gas piston. Even the magazine, which looks the same as an AK magazine at first glance, is not compatible with the AK. It’s a good weapon, though not a very new one.
These are bolt action rifles that were first used in the Russian Empire in 1891. Well over 100 years old! They’re still in use today because they’re simple, reliable, and easy to maintain. Chambered in 7.62x54mmR. Mosin Nagants were produced up until 1973.
It is believed that these are Ukrainians fighting alongside Russian forces. We’ve seen multiple pictures of fighters carrying Mosin’s in this conflict, but they all seem to be separatists. I’m wondering why Moscow isn’t interested in arming these civilian fighters with something more potent. Aren’t you? Maybe they don’t want these guys to have very advanced weaponry when the conflict is over.
This is a Belgian assault rifle that was first used in 1977. Gas operated long stroke gas piston operated. Chambered in 5.56, they take M16 STANAG magazines. It was adopted by the Belgian military in 1979. These FN FNC rifles were donated to Ukraine by Belgium as aid in the war. This appears to be a group of volunteers that have joined the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine.
The M240 is a belt-fed machine gun that was designed in the late 1950s by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) for use with NATO forces. Chambered in 7.62×51 NATO. This one is equipped with a Dedal-450 night vision scope.
The M240 has been used by Ukrainian forces since 2014. It’s used extensively by American, British, French, and other NATO forces, as well as by many non-NATO countries.
Maxim Machine Gun
The Maxim gun was invented by Hiram Stevens Maxim in 1884. Oldest gun we have seen being used so far in this conflict. The Maxim Machine Gun was produced in a wide variety of cartridges. This one is probably chambered in 7.62x54mmR.
The Maxim was the first portable fully automatic machine gun and was one of the first successful designs to use water cooling to keep the barrel cool enough to allow for prolonged firing. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.
The SKS is a Soviet designed semi-automatic rifle chambered in 7.62×39. The same round used by the AK-47 and RPK. However, it does not use detachable box magazines and instead uses a fixed 10-round magazine. It is quickly reloaded with the use of stripper clips. The SKS was first used in 1945 but was quickly replaced by the AK-47. It is still used today by many militaries and police forces around the world. Primarily in use by support forces.
Ukrainian special forces are using this bullpup version of the AK. The IPI Malyuk is chambered in multiple intermediate cartridges including 7.62×39, 5.45, with which it shares the same mags as its AK counterparts. It’s a very new weapon system compared to the others shown here and only being fielded in small numbers by elite forces.
CZ 806 BREN-2
This is a Czech assault rifle that was first used in 2015. These are chambered in the same intermediate cartridges as the M16, 5.56. It’s a good weapon and being used by the Kastus Kalinouski Battalion. This one has a Sightmark Ultra Shot R-Spec Reflex Sights. It is believed these are being supplied by the Czech Republic.
The MP40 was a submachine gun used by the Germans during World War II. It was developed in 1940 and first used in 1941. It is chambered in 9×19.
We’ve seen pictures of Ukrainian forces equipping themselves with MP40s in this conflict. This one appears to be captured by Russian forces.
The VSS Vintorez is a Russian special forces sniper rifle that was first used in 1987. It is chambered in the cartridge, 9x39mm and has an integral suppressor. This Russian soldier also has a Dragunov (SVD-63) slung over his back.
Conclusion – There really are some interesting guns being used in Ukraine!
In war, you use what you have sometimes. It’s cool to see the variety of guns being used in Ukraine. You might expect to see AK’s in all of their variants, and there certainly are many of those if you have been paying attention. However, it is interesting to see some of these extremely old weapons being used in this conflict, as well as the newer ones.