We come across some cool pieces of history from time to time and when we saw this DP-28 come through the Guns.com Vault, we just knew it needed some attention.
What IS the DP-28?
Vasily Degtyaryov was a skilled Russian firearms designer going back to the days of the Tsars when he worked alongside Vladimir Fedorov on the 1916 Avtomat early in his career at the Tula Arms Plant, now Kalashnikov. While he later produced an interesting and simple 14.5mm anti-tank gun, the PTRD, and a belt-fed 7.62x39mm light machine gun, the RPD, we are here to talk about his child of the 1920s, the DP.
A light machine gun that used a 47-round top-mounted pan magazine like the Lewis gun of World War I, Degtyaryov's Pulemyot (machine gun) was reliable and only weighed about 20 pounds, making it theoretically capable of being fielded by a single solider if needed.
Introduced in 1926 as the DP-26, the gun saw several generational updates as the DP-27 and DP-28 – the most common LMG of the Soviet Frontovik in World War II – the improved DPM, the DT tank machine gun, and a pair of aircraft machine guns, the DA and DA-2. Firing from an open bolt, it was a simple full-auto-only gas-piston-operated gun that gained a good reputation in use.
In all, it is thought that upwards of 800,000 of these guns were produced through the 1950s.
An improved model of the DP-28, the RP-46, was produced after WWII that accepted both a linked belt and the original pan magazine while adding more ergonomic features like a pistol grip. Both the DP-28 and RP-46, however, were soon replaced in the 1950s by Degtyaryov's RPD and have since been phased out by Mikhail Kalashnikov's PK/PKM/PKT general-purpose machine gun. However, by that time Degtyaryov, who retired at the rank of major general, had shuffled off to work at the great gun bench in the sky.
All of this brings us to the SMG DP series guns.
Rick Smith's Texas-based Smith Machine Group has been in the business of breathing life back into historical military guns for well over a decade, and their DP series guns have long been one of their primary staples. Their complete DPM semi-automatic rifle is built using a surplus Polish kit with a new receiver, a new chrome-lined barrel, and their own fire-control group.
SMG also makes RP-46 builds, and the DPM can be upgraded to the heavy-barrel setup and or the belt feeder unit seen on that design. Smith also makes semi-auto FG42 replicas, but that is a different article.