The PA M1912 (Pulemet Alexandrova Model 1912) is a belt-fed, water-cooled, heavy machine gun designed by Mikhail Alexandrov and manufactured by the Alexandrov Armory. It was the first of two machine guns by Alexandrov, predating the PA M1934.
In the late 1800's and early 1900's, belt-fed light machine guns became to be the most amazing that a military could ask for. The earlier Maxim Gun was a huge success, but by the outbreak of World War I, the Maxim Gun had already become slightly outdated, especially when compared to the British Vickers Gun and the German MG-08. Another person who noticed this was Mikhail Alexandrov, an engineer and soldier in the Imperial Russian Army. Along with the Mosin-Nagant rifles (which gave him the idea of creating the M1906), he wasn't necessarily pleased of how his Maxim-based PM M1910 had operated, and thought he could do better than it. Therefore, in 1912, he began to design his new machine gun as part of his growing armory, and in 1914, his new creation was completed; the PA M1912. The weapon was completed with high hopes of Mikhail that it would be a successful design because of its performance when he tested it out for himself. His hopes were increased even more when it turned out that World War I had just started, and he thought the Russians could use some extra machine guns. However, when he sent the weapon to be tested by the Imperial Russian Army, the weapon actually had the same (if not, slightly worse) performance then the PM M1910. Despite that, it did see a fair amount of usage by the Russians during World War I due to the fact that the IRA needed weapons desperately for combat. After the Bolsheviks gained control of power in 1917, Mikhail was declared an enemy due to his loyal views to the previous governments, and his factory along with his design patents were forcibly seized by Georgy Korsakov, an associate of Vladimir Lenin. Mikhail became infuriated, and he decided to take all of his weapons with him for the White Army in the Russian Civil War. Unlike the other weapons from the armory, however, production of the M1912 did not restart, as the newly-formed Red Army had a plentiful amount of PM M1910's in service. Nevertheless, the weapon saw usage by the Red Army going into WWII, and was replaced entirely in 1946 by the DShK and SG-43.
- Barrel is 29 inches long.
- Chambered for the 7.62x54mmR cartridge, is and fed via a 200-round belt.
- Designed in 1912, produced from 1914 to 1918.
- Effective range is around 1,800 meters.
- Rate of fire: 550 RPM
- Water cooled.
- Weighs 109 pounds.