Degtyaryov machine gun

The Degtyaryov 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.

Degtyaryov machine gun
Class Manportable
Type Machine Guns
Manufacturer Vasily Degtyaryov
Production Period 1928 - 1950
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1927
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Burma 1937 1945 View
Cambodia (Kampuchea) 1967 1975 View
Cambodia (Kampuchea) 1977 1991 View
China 1927 1936 View
Finland 1939 1940 View
Korea 1950 1953 View
Laos 1953 1975 View
Libya 2011 2011 View
Somalia 1986 View
Spain 1936 1939 View
Syria 2011 View
Vietnam 1946 1954 View
Vietnam 1955 1975 View
Vietnam 1979 1979 View
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) 1964 1979 View
Yugoslavia 1991 2001 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Vasily Degtyaryov 1928 1950 795000 View
The DP-28 was an improvement of the earlier DP-26, both designed by Vasily Degtyaryov. The DP-28 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. 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. 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. 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 however 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 as the magazine rotated like a record player when the weapon was fired.

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.

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

Moreover, even DR or DPM are used in Northern Mali conflict.

Type Light machine gun
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1928–late 1960s (USSR)
Used by Albania, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Republic of China, People's Republic of China, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Finland, Hungary, Laos, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Poland, Seychelles, Somalia, Soviet Union, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo
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 (all variants)
Variants DP






Type 53
Weight 9.12 kg (unloaded) 11.5 kg (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

End notes