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The PU-21 (Russian: ПУ-21 Пулемёт с унифицированной подачей) is a 5.45x39mm machine gun designed by V. M. Kalashnikov and M. E. Dragunov between 1972 and 1977. The PU-21 can be fed from either a 45-round magazine or a 200-round belt. The PU-21's sights are graduated to distance of 1000 m.
|PU-21 / ПУ-21 (Пулемёт с унифицированной подачей)|
|Type||Light machine gun|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Length||1060 mm (41.73 in)|
|Barrel length||590 mm (23.2 in)|
|Rate of fire||750 rpm|
|Muzzle velocity||960 m/s (3150 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||1000 m (1094 yds)|
|Feed system||20- or 45-round box magazine|
The PU-21 prototypes were thoroughly tested by the Soviet Army in Leningrad, but military experts did not see convincing arguments for replacing the RPK and RPK-74 with the PU-21 design. According to the Soviet military, the design was too complex compared to other weapons then in service, and failed to enhance combat effectiveness.