The RPD is a 7.62 mm light machine gun developed in the Soviet Union by Vasily Degtyaryov for the intermediate 7.62x39 mm M43 cartridge. It was created as a replacement for the Soviet 7.62 mm DP light machine gun, chambered for the 7.62x54 mm Mosin rifle round.Work on the weapon began in 1944, participating in the design process were: Vasily Degtyaryov, Sergei Simonov and Alexei Sudayev. Among the completed prototypes presented for evaluation, the Degtyarov design proved superior and was accepted into service with the Soviet armed forces as the 7,62 mm RPD (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Degtyaryova Degtyaryov light machine gun) model 1944. Although the RPD was ready for mass production during the final stages of World War II, large scale delivery of the weapon did not begin until 1953. After the introduction of the Kalashnikov-designed support weapons such as the RPK and PK machine guns in the 1960s, the RPD was withdrawn from most first tier units of the former Warsaw Pact. However, the RPD remains in active service in many African and Asian nations. Apart from the former Soviet Union, the weapon was license-built in China (as the Type 56), Egypt, North Korea (Type 62) and since 1956 Poland, where it still manufactured (rkm D).

Class Manportable
Type Machine Guns
Manufacturer Vasily Degtyaryov
Origin Russia (USSR)
Country Name Origin Year
Russia (USSR) 1944
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Russia (USSR) View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Vasily Degtyaryov View

Type Light machine gun
Squad automatic weapon
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
In service 1945–Present
Wars Korean War
Vietnam War
Laotian Civil War
Sino-Indian War
Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian–Vietnamese War
Sino-Vietnamese War
South African Border War
Soviet War in Afghanistan
Iran–Iraq War
Gulf War
War in Afghanistan
Iraq War
Thai–Laotian Border War
Cambodian–Thai border stand-off
Libyan Civil War
Syrian civil war
other various conflicts in Africaand Asia
Production history
Designer Vasily Degtyaryov
Designed 1943–1944
Produced 1944–1960s
Variants RPDM, Type 56, Type 56-1, Type 62
Weight 7.4 kg (16.31 lb) when empty
Length 1,037 mm (40.8 in)
Barrel length 520 mm (20.5 in)
Cartridge 7.62×39mm
Action Gas-operated
Rate of fire 650–750 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity 735 m/s (2,411 ft/s)
Effective firing range 100–1,000 m sight adjustments
Feed system Non-disintegrating 100-round segmented belt stored in a drum container
Sights Open-type sights with rear sliding notch and semi-hooded front post, 596.6 mm (23.5 in) sight radius

End notes