The DP (Degtyarev Pechotnyi) is a Soviet-made gas operated Light Machine Gun introduced in 1928 that uses the 7.62x54mmR caliber in a 47-round drum. With a barrel length of 23.8 inches, and a total length of 51 inches, the DP's weight unloaded was 20.5 pounds. Firing an average 500-600 rounds per minute, the DP was a simple and rugged design, and so well liked that over 795,000 units were built, and thus has seen 9 wars in combat.
The feed pan is a necessity due to the rimmed cartridge of the 7.62x54mmR and the first versions of the DP had the recoil spring underneath the barrel. Heat caused problems with the spring temper, so the DP was slightly redesigned between 1943 and 1944 to move the spring away from the heat of the barrel, to under the receiver. After this modification, the DP was renamed the DPM - the "M" standing for modernized. In 1946, a belt-fed DP was produced, called the RP-46. The RP-46 and the DP served side-by-side from 1928 to the late 1950s.