Late-Production Degtyarev PPD 34/38 at the Range

A crash program to produce the PPD 34/38 after the initial battles of the Winter War, even as the improved PPD 40 was being rapidly developed. These are very rare gun today, and we have the chance to take the example out to the range and see how it handles…


  1. How to get hold of them? Good question. PPSh-41 is not much different; holding it in front of trigger guard is not a good proposition either – it does not provide enough leverage.

    Perhaps that is why you see them being held by magazine. But then you run a chance of malfunction. Same applied for assault rifles.

  2. I bet it handled a lot better with the original 25 round box magazine. Any pictures of that magazine?

    Odds are the Red Army would have been much better off just producing the original form of the SMG with the box magazine, and emphasizing semi-auto fire vs full-auto. Stalin’s interference and insistence favoring drums looks very counterproductive in hindsight.

  3. Remove stock. Cut two inches off fore-end. Refit stock. Look officer in the eye and say “Struck by bullet. Field-expedient repair, Comrade Commissar”. Operate holding barrel-shroud.

    • “(…) Operate holding barrel-shroud.”
      If you want to do this consider using KF-42 see 1st image from bottom
      During Continuation War a small number Suomi submachine gun M/31 copies in 7.62 mm x 25 calibre were manufactured in Leningrad. The Soviets called this unlicensed copy KF-42 (Karelo-Finskij 42).
      It did incorporated elements from SUOMI and PPD (among others shroud of latter)

      • …makes sense. When a tank went over a weapon (and its sleeping owner) during my service in a Warsaw Pact army, there was indeed no need to clean the affected AKM-47. Issue ‘solved’.

        • At least one pre-Warsaw Pact Soviet manual I’ve looked at has this to say about “cleaning” the PPSh41–Shpagin: Remove magazine. Pull bolt back until the sear engages and the bolt is locked to the rear. Pour a little kerosene into the ejection port. Use a rag or a hank of tow or hemp to wipe off the bolt face, chamber area. Pull the trigger. Work the bolt handle back and forth a few times. Done.

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