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Degtyarev DPM LMG


Light Support / Vehicle Machine Gun (1943)


Infantry Small Arms / The Warfighter

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Front right side view of the Soviet DPM Light Machine Gun

Jump-to: Specifications

The DPM was an improved and modernized form of the 1928 DP light machine gun.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/15/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
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While the Degtyarev DP series of light machine guns proved a highly serviceable suppression weapon in its position among the standard Soviet infantry squad during World War 2, it was rooted in the 1928 and not without some inherent shortcomings achieved in a design developed during peacetime. When the German Army invaded the Soviet Union through Operation Barbarossa, it served to showcase the limitations of the DP through rigorous usage. Regardless, the Red Army was reeling from defeat after defeat and any serviceable automatic weapon of note was placed into Red Army soldier hands.

The original DP models held two distinct weaknesses in their design. One lay in the rather fragile construction of the bipod which was prone to fractures and breakages in the heat of battle. The loss of the bipod limited proper handling and stability during firing until it could be repaired or replaced. The other drawback was in the internal return spring used in the gas-operated action which tended to warp due to the heat buildup caused by the barrel through heavy, repetitive firing. Work, therefore, began on an improved version of the weapon which were first made available in the campaigns of 1943-1944, ultimately becoming the mainstay Red Army light machine gun in 1945 - the final year of the war. The new "modernized" form was known under the designation of "DPM" to signify their modernized revision and changes included a heftier bipod assembly as well as a relocated return spring. The return spring was now fitted to the aft portion of the bolt which required the recoil spring tube to extend out over the rear of the receiver. This, in turn, prevented use of the original rifle-style grip handle seen in the DP. Instead, a conventional (though somewhat crude), stand-alone pistol grip was added which undoubtedly gave a better, more natural feel. A simpler shoulder stock was added. Beyond these changes, a new safety was introduced as well, doing away with the grip safety of old. Once in service, the DPM gave a good account of itself and was put to the test in the bloody Soviet offensives that ultimately drove the German Army back to Berlin. The wide ranging tank and artillery battles across expansive battlefields had now given way to bloody house-to-house fighting, spilling out into the streets of the German capital itself.

All other services of the DPM remained faithful to the original DP model. The type still fired the same 7.62x54mmR cartridge from a gas-operated action (the gas cylinder fitted under the barrel). The weapon was fed from a 47-round "pan" magazine mounted along the forward top of the receiver - reloading was still cumbersome and time consuming. The cyclic rate-of-fire was 520 to 580 rounds per minute with a 2,770 muzzle velocity reported. Overall, the Red Army machine gunner found the changes quite suitable for the modernization made for a more accurate and easier-to-handle automatic weapon system. The DPM continued in service with the Soviet military up until the 1960s when it was itself replaced by the newer, more modern, PK series of light machine guns.

Chinese military industry took on local production of the DPM as the "Type 53" and these saw longer use as frontline weapons than their Soviet counterparts.

DPM machine guns were also modified as tank machine guns in the DTM series. The weapon was fed by a 60-round pan magazine and general retained the consistent look of the DP/DPM series. The DTM replaced the outgoing DT tank machine guns in similar fashion.

Specifications



Service Year
1943

Origin
Soviet Union national flag graphic
Soviet Union

Classification


Light Support / Vehicle Machine Gun


Kovrov Machine Gun Factory; Degtyarev - Soviet Union
National flag of China National flag of Finland National flag of North Korea National flag of the Soviet Union National flag of Vietnam Cambodia; China; Finland; North Korea; North Vietnam; Soviet Union; Vietnam
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.


Overall Length
1,270 mm
50.00 in
Barrel Length
605 mm
23.82 in
Empty Wgt
21.61 lb
9.80 kg
Sights


Rear Tanget Leaf; Front Post.


Action


Gas-Operated; Automatic Fire Only

Gas-Operated
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


Caliber(s)*


7.62x54mmR

Rounds / Feed


47-round pan magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Rate-of-Fire
600
rds/min
Muzzle Velocity
2,755 ft/sec
(840 m/sec)


DPM - Base Series Designation based on DP series of 1928; reloated return spring; new safety lever; heftier bipod construction; pistol grip; simplified shoulder stock.
Type 53 - Chinese designation for license-produced DPM.
DTM - Tank/Armored Vehicle Variant


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