PPD-40 file photo [6239]

PPD Submachine Gun

Country of OriginRussia
TypeSubmachine Gun
Caliber7.620 mm
Capacity71 rounds
Length788.000 mm
Barrel Length273.000 mm
Weight3.700 kg
Rate of Fire800 rounds/min
Range200 m
Muzzle Velocity489 m/s


ww2dbaseThe Pistolet-Pulemyot Degtyaryova, or PPD, submachine guns were designed by Vasily Degtyaryov in 1934. They first entered service with the Soviet Red Army in 1935 as the PPD-34 submachine gun, with most of them assigned to NKVD border guard units. In 1939, the PPD-34/38 variant design entered production; the use of 71-round drums was introduced with this variant. Production and distribution of these early PPD submachine guns were very limited during the peaceful 1930s to limit the waste of ammunition. When the European War began in Sep 1939, the Soviet Union had over 4,000 PPD-34 and PPD-34/38 submachine guns in its arsenal. Fighting experience during the 1939-1940 Winter War against Finland led to the definitive variant design, PPD-40, which entered production in 1940. PPD-40 was derived from PPD-34/38, with further enhancements such as fewer but longer ventilation slots on barrel jackets and separate stock and fore-end, all aiming at the ease of manufacturing. Between 1940 and 1941, Sestroryetsk and Tula arsenals built about 90,000 examples, which was a high number, but the fact that the PPD made no use of stamped metal parts meant the cost of manufacturing still had room for improvement. This was among the reasons that the PPD submachine gun would soon be supplanted, in Nov 1941, by the PPSh-41 design.

Chris NcNab, Soviet Submachine Guns of World War II


Last Major Revision: Jul 2008


Byelorussian guerillas posing in a forest, circa 1943; note PPD-40 submachine gun, Mosin-Nagant M1891 rifle, and German bayonetTwo Soviet soldiers in Stalingrad, Russia, circa 1942-1943; note the Central Asian soldier and his PPD-40 submachine gunSoviet troops charging near Leningrad, Russia, 1 Jan 1943; note PPD submachine gunSoviet soldier with PPD submachine gun with a column of German prisoners of war, Berlin, Germany, May 1945

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
5 May 2019 07:22:07 AM

A close confederate of Joseph Stalin was General Grigory Kulik who had commanded the artillery in Tsaritsyn during the Civil war. From 1937 to 1941 Kulik was head of the Red Army’s Main Artillery Directorate with responsibility for weapon systems research and development. During his term in office, however, weapons production was frequently interrupted by some of his bizarre and unpredictable decisions. Kulik, for instance, forbade the issue of the PPD-40 submachine gun to the Red Army, stating that it was only fit to be a ‘pure police weapon’. Kulik’s incompetence finally caught up with him in August 1941 when he was given command of the newly formed 54th Army defending Leningrad. His dismal battlefield performance led to a demotion to Major General, although Stalin’s patronage saved him from execution or the Gulag.

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PPD Submachine Gun Photo Gallery
Byelorussian guerillas posing in a forest, circa 1943; note PPD-40 submachine gun, Mosin-Nagant M1891 rifle, and German bayonet
See all 4 photographs of PPD Submachine Gun

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