RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history

In 1943, the Red Army's arsenal came the first intermediate cartridge Elizarova and Semin caliber 7, 62h39 mm. His appearance was the reason for the development of new weapons under this caliber. As a result, several new models of small arms of different classes: SKS carbine, machine gun raps and stuff. RPD machine gun (RPD) was the first model in its class, which worked with the new intermediate cartridge. Let's find out what else is due to the popularity of this gun.


Even when the intermediate cartridge Elizarova and Semin was in the design stage, it became clear that a weapon with ammunition running largely surpass the older models, but in a number of settings will still lag behind in comparison with them. The cartridge is characterized by small size, which has a positive effect on the amount of ammunition carried by a fighter. However, it shows less precise shooting distance. Tests have shown that caliber cartridge 7, 62h39 allows effective fire from a distance of no more than 800 meters. Based on the analysis of battle, it was found that this range is sufficient for a weapon to be used on the battlefield of the future.

RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history


In early 1944, a competition was launched to create a machine gun for the intermediate cartridge. According to the request of the military, they would get an easy (relatively, of course) weapons, with a maximum power rating, which can give Elizarova shell and seeds. In addition, the new model had to get rid of the shortcomings of their "big brothers" - guns DP and DP. For the development of competitive project took several leading weapons designers, Simon Tokarev, Sudan and others. The competition has also decided to take part Vasily Degtyarev machine guns which at that time already were in service in the Red Army. With many years of experience creating machine guns Degtyarev offered several options for the new model. They were similar in gas automatics, but differed in structure ammunition supply system and the gate structure. At first Vasily Degtyarev suggested to use a disk store, similar to that used in the DP machine gun, and considering the prospect of creating a box magazine. However, a careful analysis of all the options shown that is most advantageous to use a belt of ammunition.


As a result of the tests, which took place in mid-1944, a machine gun Degtyarev received symbol RP-44, won the contest. The weapon fired a small party and sent to the military tests. Tests showed that the gun needs some work. The developer presented some observations and new requirements. After making changes, weapons again went to the front, and was accepted into service. Soon the serial production model, which is called "RPD machine gun of the sample in 1944", or just RPD-44. Thus, he became one of the first samples of weapons under the cartridge 7, 62h39. Now analyze device RPD-44 machine gun.


Machine gun RAP is based on the long-stroke piston gas automation. Driving automatics, in general terms it has been borrowed from the last (at the time) versions of DP machine gun. In particular, as part of automatic scripting gas regulator, which allows to vary the amount of propellant gas supplied to the piston. The regulator has three modes are numbered. Under normal conditions, the regulator was set at the average, that is, the second mode. "3" mode is intended for firing from a contaminated machine gun. A first mode, had the thin groove to remove gases and reduces the rate of fire. Despite the fact that between the machine gun RPD-44 and DP / DPM had similar design solutions Degtyareva model very different from their predecessors. In particular, she had developed from scratch receiver, which consisted of a bottom (base) portion and top cover is pivotally-secured. The rear part of the receiver is a so called shutter frame. It fastened parts USM, butt and an operating handle. Inside the box is located slide group. And on the front side was mount stem and piston of the gas tube.

RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history


stationary barrel

RPD machine gun (RPD) is equipped with a trunk without the possibility of replacement, which was one of its most interesting features. This decision was made based on the experience of combat operation available at the time of hand guns. It was found that when firing short bursts without overheating barrel gunner fires a whole ammunition. Thus, no longer need to use the removable barrel. Especially since he created a number of inconveniences and in battle, and in the implementation of the march.

Locking barrel

Barrel locking system is based on the divergent abutments and reminiscent of a similar site in machine gun DP. Nevertheless, she had a number of significant differences. The gate frame is associated with a gas piston is in contact with the metal gate. The last channel structures have been provided with a square section for the firing pin and a pair of deep grooves on the lateral surfaces of lugs mounted on axles. The spring was in the rear of the receiver and the front inside (metal) of the butt.


When the bolt carrier moved forward by the spring bolt shall be sent in a cartridge chamber. When the shutter is stopped in its most forward position, the hammer frame is moved on. As he parted the forward displacement of the stops, which went into the slots of the receiver, blocking the gate. Subsequent movement of the firing pin led to fire. Powder gases to its pressure piston and moved the shutter frame. Due to this the hammer moves back, allowing budge stops. Due to the cutouts on the receiver stops back to the neutral position, allowing the gate to leave earlier. A valve, in turn, would pick up the spent case and pull it out of the chamber, brought to the window to eject. Emissions are down, through a window in the receiver. Moving forward, bolt carrier drives the feeder, which shifted the tape cartridge, and drew on the supply line of new ammunition. bolt handle located at the bottom right of the receiver and moved during the firing.

RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history


RPD machine gun had a simple design Usman, who allowed only fire bursts. Clicking on the trigger guard, shooter shifted the trigger and the sear, which led to unlock the bolt and shot. The fire was conducted with an open shutter. Usman design involves the use of opt-in fuse. His box was on the right side of the receiver, above the trigger guard.


The machine gun was equipped with a wooden stock, pistol grip and fore-end. Butt and the handle were attached to the trigger frame. Forend mounted in front of the receiver box and comprised of two wooden parts and metal pads. Forend had an unusual shape (two recesses: lower and upper), which causes the possibility of fire in two modes. It was assumed that when firing from the hip gunner will keep the forearm from below, and when firing "from the hip" - at the top. In the second case load of the redistributed on the shoulder thanks to the strap.

The ammunition supply

Initially it was assumed that the RAP of ammunition gun to be used in metal tape round (100 rounds) or square (200 rounds) boxes. Later, 200-cartridge box cumbersome refused. Series models are equipped with collapsible tubular boxes. On top of this box lid and positioned for mounting on the fastening gun. She fastened under the arms of the receiver. Cartridge tape fell into the receiver through the corresponding window on her left side, and the exhaust section went through the same window on the right. Metal boxes for tapes equipped with handles for transportation. For easy transportation and operation of the box was placed in special pouches.

RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history

The sighting device

RPD machine gun had the same sights as similar weapons of the time. On the front of the receiver, above the receiving portion of the cartridge belt, located open sight. It was designed for shooting from a distance of up to 1 kilometer. And on the muzzle of the barrel with the front sight located protection. To improve the accuracy of fire, machine gun mounted on a bipod. They were mounted just behind the front sight assembly. The design allows to fix them in the folded and the unfolded position.

Technical and operational characteristics RPD

Machine gun RAP has a length of 1037 mm of which 520 mm falls on the barrel. Weight without arms ammunition is 7, 4 kg. With full ammunition (three boxes with ribbons), the mass increased to 11 4 kg. For comparison, DP gun with only one 47-cartridge magazine 11 weighed 3 kg. Equally impressive weight savings achieved through the use of light ammunition and newly designed system of ammunition RAP. smaller weight Caliber also played a role. A box with a tape holding hundreds of rounds 7, 62h39, weighed 400 grams less than a 47-cartridge magazine shells 7, 62h54.

The nominal rate of fire with the regulator in the "2" was 650 rounds per minute. If set to the first position control, rate dropped significantly. In practice, given the need for recharging, gunner can carry from 100 to 150 rounds per minute. The high rate of fire was achieved largely due to the abandonment of a magazine of ammunition for the benefit of the tape.

At distances up to a kilometer, a machine gun showed a very good performance accuracy. Fire on air targets was advisable to keep a distance of no more than 500 meters. Bullets retain their lethal effects and more serious distances, but there were problems with aiming and target acquisition. When firing burst from a distance of 100 meters 75% of the bullets went into a circle of 200 mm diameter. A mean impact point deviates from the aiming point of not more than 50 mm. In practice, this is indicative of the fact that hitting the target type "breast shape" with 100 meters on average was enough to carry two shots. To hit the same target sighting maximum distance needed to be about 27 shots from the RAP. Shooting a machine gun showed that it can effectively destroy various targets at a distance up to 800 meters. Thus, it is entirely consistent with customer requirements.

RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history

Partial disassembly RPD occurs similar to the DP: Remove the handle fire control and butt, and then removed the inner part.

The use of

Since 1946, this type of weapons began to be used in conjunction with machine guns RP-46, which were intended for use on the company commander level. With two new models of weapons material part of the infantry has been updated and increased its firepower.

Later there was a modernized version of the machine gun, which was named RPDM. He almost did not differ from the base. The changes affected the form of the gas piston and its support. bolt handle has ceased to be connected to the slide frame and during firing remains stationary. Due to the absence of major changes at the same level we were shooting characteristics RAP.

Machine gun 7, 62-caliber actively operated until the sixties, when a better machine gun Kalashnikov was created. After the appearance of the new model RPD began shipping to the warehouses. Kalashnikova model had a number of benefits, including those associated with the unification of production.

Providing its army with new weapons, the defense industry of the USSR began to produce weapons raps for export. Sold as model, decommissioned or are in storage. Machine guns were supplied more than three dozen countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. In the mid-fifties the Soviet Union as a friendly aid handed over the license to release raps China. Chinese models are called "Type 56". Later, China has also started to sell them to third countries.

RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history

To date, worldwide, you can count about 40 countries that are legal to use a machine gun Degtyarev and its Chinese version. The machine gun was involved in various armed conflicts.

Prototypes and the first production samples of the RAP have time to participate in World War II. The first conflict in which a weapon was used in large quantities, was the war in Korea. Then RPD machine guns were used in nearly all the conflicts taking place in Asia and Africa. To date, almost all countries where the gun was in service, he left the reserve. However, there is the army, who use it to this day. Other countries, including Russia, have replaced RAPs new weapons, but continue to keep a certain number of items in stock. This indicates that the machine gun Degtyarev still valued, and even a little outdated.

Over time, this type of weapon have been used not only in military affairs but also in the civil sphere. In countries where the law does not prohibit the use of weapons by civilians, RPD machine gun is sold to amateur shooters. For example, in the American market, there are several versions of RAP reworked USMom. He admits firing single rounds only. Weapons corresponds to modern trends in terms of "body kit". It is equipped with numerous Picatinny rail, telescopic rifle butts and sighting devices. Since production of the RAP has long been discontinued, tyunning exposed to models that came off the assembly line decades ago.

RPD machine gun (RPD machine gun): characteristics, device history


The most eloquent feedback about machine gun Degtyarev is the fact that it has been used around the world for several decades. He was the first Russian light machine gun, designed for intermediate cartridge 7, 62h39. Nevertheless RPD showed that the first pancake is not always lumpy. Over time, the gun is out of date, and it is perfectly normal. However, there are countries where it still stands in service. Probably the use of this weapon will continue for several decades.