The Semi-Auto DPM Light Machine Gun

Century Arms’ semi-auto DPM light machine gun is a blast from the past

Light Machine Gun

The DPM is well designed for firing prone. Note the sturdier bipod, which was one of the improvements in the DPM over the DP-28.

By Leroy Thompson

The light machine gun is a compromise weapon designed to give a small infantry unit more sustained firepower than a rifle. Particularly in the days when most infantrymen were armed with a bolt-action rifle, the light machine gun provided a small unit base of fire.

However, the compromise with a light machine gun is that it must be readily transportable by the gunner and must have a feed device that allows as much sustained fire capability as possible without becoming unwieldy.

During the first decades of its existence, for the Soviet Red Army, the principal light machine was the DP—Pulemyot Degtyaryova Pekhotny—Degtyaryov’s infantry machine gun.

DPM Machine Gun

Century Arms offers three versions of the DP in semi-auto form built on U.S. receivers: the DT (Tank) versions as well as the DP and DPM. The author chose the DPM (shown here) for testing.

THE DPM’S DESIGN

As was generally the case with Soviet weapons, the DP was designed to be cheap and easy to produce by semiskilled or unskilled labor. Early models, in fact, had only 80 parts. Also typical of Soviet weapons, the DP was designed to function when dirty. During testing, it proved capable of firing hundreds of rounds after being buried in mud or sand.

Perhaps the most recognizable feature of the DP series of machine guns is the pan magazine, which rests atop the gun. This 47-round feed device resembles an old phonograph record and gave the DP its nickname: “the record player.”

To read this story in its entirety, pick up a copy of Gun World’s September issue, available on newsstands now. 

Courtesy Russian Army Museum A World War II Russian soldier shoulders his DP machine gun

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Russian Army Museum A World War II Russian soldier shoulders his DP machine gun.

2 thoughts on “The Semi-Auto DPM Light Machine Gun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>