Country of origin

Soviet Union


Vasily Degtyaryov

Year(s) designed


Production began


Production ended


Weapon type

Light Machine Gun




Gas Operated

Overall length


Barrel length

520 mm



Weight empty

7.4 kg

Magazine/Cylinder capacity

non-disintegrating 100-round segmented belt stored in a drum

Cyclic rate

650-750 rpm

Maximum effective range

100-1,000 m

Used by

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Malta, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Poland, Romania, Russia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe

The RPD (or Ruchnoy Pulemyot Degtyaryova) is a 7.62mm light machine gun developed in the Soviet Union by Vasily Degtyaryov for the intermediate 7.62x39mm cartridge. It was created as a replacement for the DP machine gun chambered for the 7.62x54mmR rifle round. It is a precursor of most SAWs. The RPD had first started development in the final stages of World War II. The RPD was designed to use the new 7.62x39mm round which had been originally designed for the SKS. The RPD would replace the DP and its variant the DPM as a squad machine gun. It would stay in use until the unveiling of the RPK, a AK style light machine gun. Although the RPD has fallen out of use in the in the former USSR and its satellite nations, it can still be seen in the hands of irregular forces throughout the world.

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