Heavy/Light Machine Guns


The RP-46 is a Russian gas operated automatic machine gun. It was produced between 1946 to 1954 and was intented for use as a company support gun. It could fire 600 rounds per minute and have an effective range of 800 meters. The RP-46 was succeded by the RPD.

Lahti-Saloranta M26

The Lahti-Saloranta M26 is a light machine gun which was designed by Aimo Lahti and Arvo Saloranta in 1926. The weapon was able to fire in full automatic and semi-automatic modes. The M/26 won a Finnish Army competition in 1925 where it was selected as the army's main automatic rifle. Production started in 1927 and lasted until 1942 in which time more than 5,000 of these weapons were produced. China also placed an order for 30,000 M/26s in 1937, but only 1,200 of these weapons actually ended up being delivered to the Japanese.On the battlefield, the Lahti-Saloranta M/26 was found to be hard to clean due to the 188 parts of the gun, heavy and lacking in ammunition space. The Finnish gunners often preferred the Degtyaryov machine gun (see below) when thousands of them were captured from the Soviets and used against their former owners. On the other hand, good gunners liked and took full advantage of the amazing accuracy of the weapon. All in all, in the summer of 1944,, only 3,400 M/26s were at the battle front, compared to over 9,000 Degtyarevs.

Degtyaryov machine gun

The Degtyaryov machine gun, also known as DP, it was a light machine gun used by the Soviet Union starting in 1928. It was cheap and easy to manufacture and could be built by unskilled labour. The DP was especially able to withstand dirt. In tests it was buried in sand and mud and was still capable of firing more than 500 rounds of amunition. The DP's cons was it's bipod; it could not stand much abuse and was broken easily. The gun was entirely replaced in Soviet service by the PK machine gun in the 1960s.