100 years of Red Army: Pre-production Degtyaryov automatic rifle

Following the First World War, most countries recognized that rifles with manual loading for infantry forces should be replaced with self-loading ones. The USSR started this work back in 1925, while in 1926 Vasily Degtyarev, a student of the famous Russian gunsmith Vladimir Fyodorov, developed his automatic rifle with gas removal automatics and a simple and reliable cutoff with the help of a couple of recoil lugs moving sideways. This rifle shot both single shots and in bursts; movable magazines had a capacity of 5 to 20 cartridges, and it came with an immovable spike bayonet with three positions: marching (spike backward), combat (spike forward) and intermediate where the spike is aimed downward and the bayonet could be used as a bipod for prone firing. This rifle was not mass-produced; however, it became an ancestor to the first purely Soviet small arms, the RPD light machine gun that inherited the automatics and the design of the cutoff unit from the rifle.


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