Degtyaryov machine gun

DP Machine Gun

Type Light machine gun
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1928–1960s (USSR)
Used by See Users
Wars Spanish Civil War
Winter War
World War II
Second Sino-Japanese War
Korean War
Chinese Civil War
First Indochina War
Vietnam War
Laotian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian-Vietnamese War
Rhodesian Bush War
Sino-Vietnamese War
Yugoslav Wars
Somali Civil War
2011 Libyan civil war
Syrian civil war
Production history
Designer Vasily Degtyaryov
Designed 1927
Produced 1928–1950s (USSR)
Number built 795,000 [1] (all variants)
Variants DP
Type 53
Weight 9.12 kg (20.11 lb) (unloaded)
11.5 kg (25 lb) (loaded)
Length DP, DPM – 1,270 mm (50.0 in)
RP-46 – 1,272 mm (50.1 in)
Barrel length DP, DPM – 604 mm (23.8 in)
RP-46 – 605 mm (23.8 in)

Cartridge 7.62×54mmR
Action Gas-Operated
Rate of fire 550 rpm
2400 rpm (DTM-4)
Muzzle velocity 840 m/s (2,755 ft/s)
Effective firing range 800 m (874.9 yd)
Feed system 47-round pan
60-round pan (DT & DTM)
belt feed (RP-46)
30-round overhead box magazine (PD-36 and DTM-4)
Sights Empty circle

The Degtyaryov machine gun (Russian: Пулемёт Дегтярёвa Пехотный Pulemyot Degtyaryova Pekhotny "Degtyaryov's infantry machine gun") or DP is a light machine gun firing the 7.62×54mmR cartridge that was used primarily by the Soviet Union starting in 1928. The DP machine gun was supplemented in the 1950s by the more modern RPD machine gun and entirely replaced in Soviet service by the general purpose PK machine gun in the 1960s.


The DP-27 was an improvement of the earlier DP-26, both designed by Vasily Degtyaryov. The DP-27 was relatively cheap and easy to manufacture – early models had fewer than 80 parts. The DP was especially able to withstand dirt in a reliable fashion. In tests it was buried in sand and mud and was still capable of firing more than 500 rounds. One of the DP's main drawbacks though was its bipod; it could not withstand much abuse and broke easily.[1] Furthermore, the recoil spring was located under the barrel, around the gas piston; this was one of the design problems of the DP, since the spring tended to lose its temper due to overheating.[2] Also, the only magazine option, a pan with 47 rounds that fed in from the top, was relatively small and continuous fire for long periods could not be relied on as much as contemporary belt-fed weapons. The ammunition was troublesome for automatic fire. Degtyarov had to use a flat pan magazine, which could feed those cartridges reliably, but was too heavy itself, uncomfortable to carry and prone to damage.[2] Due to the design of the magazine, reloading an empty magazine with cartridges took a very long time. A redeeming factor was that the DP's lower cyclic rate of fire did reduce the risk of barrel overheating.


Despite its numerous problems, the DP had a reputation as a relatively effective light support weapon. It was nicknamed the "Record player" (proigryvatel') by Red Army troops because the disc-shaped pan magazine resembled a gramophone record and its top cover revolved while the weapon was fired. Many were captured by the Finnish army in the Winter War and the Continuation War and partially replaced the Lahti-Saloranta M/26. The DP received the nickname Emma in Finnish service after a popular waltz, again due to the magazine's resemblance to a record player. In the summer of 1944, the Finnish army had about 3400 Finnish-made Lahti-Salorantas and 9000 captured Soviet-made Degtyarevs on the front.

The Chinese Nationalists received 5,600 DPs from the USSR and used them in the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Chinese Civil War. The Chinese Communists used the DP in the Korean War and copied the DPM as the Type 53.

A number of the RP-46 variant of the DP have been spotted in present-day Somalia, in use with militant forces, and also among rebel forces in the 2011 Libyan uprising to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi.[3]

DP-28's have also been recovered from Taliban fighters in Helmand Province, Afghanistan as recently as 2014.

DPs or DPMs have been spotted in 2014 in the Northern Mali conflict.[4]



The original DP is more commonly called the DP-28 (or DP-27), although there is some confusion as to whether these are official designations or not.


In popular culture

-In the 2015 shooter Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, it is featured as Alexsandr "Tachanka" Senaviev's Unique Gadget, attached to a rotary tripod. It is wrongly listed as the RP-46 variant, but Tachanka himself refers to it correctly. - in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Hemingway

See also


  1. 1 2 "Degtyarev DP LMG (DP28) - Light Machine Gun - History, Specs and Pictures - Military, Security and Civilian Guns and Equipment". Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  2. 1 2 "Modern Firearms - Degtyarov DP DPM RP-46". Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  3. "'Stop the unjust war on Libya... and good luck with the election: Gaddafi's rambling, error-strewn letter to Barack Obama". Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  4. "Small arms recovered in Mali raid | Armament Research Services". Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  5. Широкорад А.Б. (2001) История авиационного вооружения Харвест (Shirokorad A.B. (2001) Istorya aviatsionnogo vooruzhenia Harvest. ISBN 985-433-695-6) (History of aircraft armament), page 70
  6. "Image: 2010051007.jpg, (440 × 358 px)". 2010-09-03. Retrieved 2015-09-03.
  7. Семен Федосеев (2009). Пулеметы России. Шквальный огонь. Яуза / Коллекция / ЭКСМО. pp. 322–327. ISBN 978-5-699-31622-9.
  8. Small Arms Identification and Operation Guide--Eurasian Communist Countries, Defense Intelligence Agency ST-HB-07-03-74, p. 238
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Jones, Richard D.; Ness, Leland S., eds. (January 27, 2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010 (35th ed.). Coulsdon: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  10. 1 2 Degtyarev DP DPM RP-46 (Russia / USSR) at
  11. Soviet Machine guns and Light Machine guns in the Winter War at
  12. W. Darrin Weaver (2005). Desperate Measures: The Last-Ditch Weapons of the Nazi Volkssturm. p. 329. ISBN 0889353727.
  13. Lugosi, József (2008). "Gyalogsági fegyverek 1868–2008". In Lugosi, József; Markó, György. Hazánk dicsőségére: 160 éves a Magyar Honvédség. Budapest: Zrínyi Kiadó. p. 384. ISBN 978-963-327-461-3.

External links

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