Degtyaryov Pekhotny 'DP' Machine Gun
|Country of Origin||Russia|
|Barrel Length||604.500 mm|
|Rate of Fire||550 rounds/min|
|Muzzle Velocity||840 m/s|
Contributor: C. Peter Chenww2dbaseThe Ruchnoy Pulemyot Degtyaryova Pekhotny gas-operated light machine guns, designed by Vasily Degtyaryov, were made the standard light machine gun for the Russian Army in 1927. These guns were sometimes known as "DP" light machine guns, with "DP" meaning Degtyaryov Pekhotny, or "infantry machine gun". The greatest appeal of these light machine guns was that they were very cheap to build while still possessing acceptable stopping power. They were also known for their reliability, being able to withstand a rather great amount of dirt without jamming. While the machine guns were reliable, the original bipods broke easily; this issue was resolved with the 1943 DPM variant, which, aside from the bipod redesign, also had relocated springs and new pistol grips.
The DT and DTM variants of the DP light machine guns were used aboard vehicles, and the DA variant aboard aircraft.
WW2 experience showed that the 47-round pan magazines were too small to sustain a high rate of fire in combat situations. In 1946, the belt-fed variant RP-46 ("RP" for Rotnyj Pulemet, or "company machine gun") machine guns began to enter service to resolve this issue. Although having belts of 200 or 250 rounds resolved the problem, the design of this new variant dictated that the RP-46 light machine guns be unloaded of ammunition before moving, which introduced a new disadvantage to the gun. Nevertheless, communist countries used these guns in great quantities; Communist China acquired a license to mass-produce them locally as the Type 58 machine guns.
DP light machine guns remained in use in Soviet militaries until the 1960s. Over the design's production life, about 795,000 were built.
Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase
Last Major Revision: Jan 2008
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Thomas Dodd, late 1945