DTM: The Soviet Tank Version of the DP-27 LMG

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Almost as soon as the Degtyarev DP-27 was put into Soviet military service, variations were developed for aircraft (DA) and tank (DT) use. The tank pattern we have here is actually a later improved DTM model, but it shares most features with the DT. It has a collapsing stock to save space inside a vehicle, and a pistol grip in place of the more traditional DP stock and grip (the original DA and DT pistol grips would be implemented on the infantry DPM in 1944). The stock is crenelated to allow for different lengths, and these crenellations make it quite uncomfortable to use as a cheek rest, unless you put your hand between the stock and tour face.

The DT/DTM also discards the barrel jacket of the DP, and instead mounts a larger round bracket to fit the ball mount of a tank. It uses a 60 round drum instead of the 47-round infantry type, and the two are not interchangeable – the tank guns can only use the smaller-but-taller tank drums. The rear sight is higher than the DP to rise above the taller drum, and the front sight is a removable unit that is not used when the gun is mounted in a vehicle. The bipod and front sight comprise the dismounted-use kit, to allow the gun to be salvaged from a disabled tank.

DT machine guns were mounted in pretty much ll the early Soviet World War Two tanks, including the T-26, T-34, and KV-1. Uncomfortable stock and tall bipod aside, they are quite good guns, and were used extensively by Finns who captured them during the Winter War.

I’d like to thank DriveTanks.com for giving me the opportunity to bring you their 3.7mm Pak! They have a very cool collection of armored vehicles, artillery, and machine guns available for rental in Texas; check them out:

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