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Light machine guns and machine guns

used by the Red Army in the Winter War



Light machine guns


Machine guns



The 7,62 mm Model 1927 Dektarjev
(Picture source: "Talvisodan Historia 1", p.258)

The "DP"  (note the 7,62mm round on top of the spare magazine)

The 7,62mm DP on a Soviet sledge

The Russian model 1910 machine gun, which was similar to the British Vickers with the only real difference being the caliber, was before World War 1 virtually the only machine gun in Russian servive (there was a small number of Madsen Model 1902 machine guns used in the Russian-Japanese War*). During WW 1, Russia received from her Allies many new machine gun types.
 * = Regulyarnaya pekhota. 1855-1918, by O. Leonov & I. Ulyanov (The regular infantry. 1855-1918). Provided by Andrey Sysa

After World War I, the new Soviet army started developing its own machine gun. The 7.62mm Maxim Tokarev and Maxim Koleshnikov were among the first efforts.

The first originally developed Soviet machine gun was the 7.62mm DP (Degtyarev Infantry), which appeared in 1926. The DP was the first of a series of Degtyarev machine guns adopted by the Soviet Union.
A tank version called DT may still be found on older Soviet armored vehicles in use among Ex-Soviet allies and the third world countries. An aircraft version, the DA, was also produced.

The DP, DT, and DA have their operating springs coiled on the piston rod, which is seated under the barrel. The heating of the barrel caused distortion of the spring which resulted in malfunctions. During World War II, a modified version of the DP (the DPM) was put to service. It was basically the same gun as the DP, with the recoil spring mounted in a tube that projects to the rear of the receiver.

During the Winter War, the captured DPīs were usually taken into use by the Finnish troops immediately, and with great success.

The DP was always regarded high among the Finnish troops, especially since the Finns didnīt have enough light machine guns of their own. The weapons received praise  of its extreme reliability in combat conditions.


(For curiosity purpose this sidenote: Finland's former President Mauno Koivisto was a DP-gunner during World War II )



System of operation:
Length overall:
Barrel length:
Feed device:
Sights: Front:
Cyclic rate:
Muzzle velocity:
7.62 mm x 54 R
Gas, automatic only
1 270 mm ( 50 in )
604.5 mm ( 23.8 in )
11.9 kg ( 26.23 pounds )
47-round drum magazine
Post w/ears
Tangent leaf
500-600 r.p.m.
840 m/s ( 2 756 f.p.s. )
The tank version, 7,62mm DT

7.62 mm M/ "Degtjarev tankovyi" DT
(The tank version of the DP)

caliber 7.62 mm x 54 R

magazine 60 rds

(A total of 457 DT's were captured by the Finns during the Winter War)


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7.62 mm M/1910 MAXIM-SOKOLOV

7,62 mm Model 1910 Maxim-Sokolov Machine gun
(Picture source: "Talvisodan Historia 1", p.258)

The first Maxims, in service with the Russian Army, were originally manufactured in England and Germany. The weapon had number of bronze parts, including the water jacket, and used a mount with large wheels like a cannon. The MG was given the model designation 1905.

After the war against Japan, the Russian Army started to improve m/1905. The final model was m/1910. The weight of the weapon was nearly 10 kg less than the m/1905, because almost all bronze parts were changed into steel parts. Also a tractor type water outry port was added. At the same time colonel Sokolov developed a low and small wheeled mount for the MG.

When the Finnish Defense Forces were founded, over 400 m/1910 left by the Russians were taken into service and in 1920s several hundred more were acquired. These were fitted with the Sokolov mount. The importance of the m/1910 MG in the Finnish Army grew considerably in World War II due to the large number of weapons captured. Over 1 000 were captured during the Winter War alone.



System of operation:
Length overall:
Barrel length:
Mount weight:

Feed device:
Sights: Front:
Cyclic rate:
Muzzle velocity:
7.62 mm x 54 R
Recoil, automatic only
1 107 mm ( 43.6 in )
723 mm ( 28.4 in )
23.8 kg ( 52.47 lbs. )
Sokolov 36 kg ( 79.36 lbs. )
m/31 universal mount 40 kg ( 88.18 lbs. )
250-round fabric belt
520-580 r.p.m.
860 m/s ( 2 822 f.p.s.)


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