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FAPLA Equipment & Specifications
12.7mm Anti-Aircraft Heavy Machineguns

Some specifications taken from an old manual from my training days at School of Artillery: "Weapons and Equipment, East European and Communist Armies, Volume II":


12.7mm Degtyarev heavy machinegun M1938 (DShK)
12.7mm Degtyarev heavy machinegun M1938/46 (DShKM)
Quad 12.7mm antiaircraft heavy machinegun M53

During World War II the M1938 heavy machinegun was employed in an antiaircraft role on its extended tripod mount, on a special twin antiaircraft mount, on small warships, and mounted on the roofs of heavy tanks and assault guns. After the war the improved M1938/46 was similarly used. Currently within the Warsaw Pact the 12.7mm machinegun is used primarily in an antiaircraft role mounted on the cupola of medium tanks. It Is standard on the T-54 series, and is found on some T-55 and T-62 models as well. Sometimes it is also used on armored personnel carriers and amphibious scout cars. The ground mount tripod is still used in Southeast Asia.

Czechoslovakia developed a multiple mount for the M1938/46 which consists of four DShKM machineguns with four ammunition drums (holding belts) placed on a light, towed, two-wheel carriage. This combination, known as the M53, was used for a number of years in the Czechoslovak forces, but more recently has appeared in both Cuba and the Middle East.

In addition to these weapons the United States caliber .50 M2 US machinegun is also used in Yugoslav Army on tanks and other armored vehicles in the antiaircraft role.

Caliber mm 12.7 12.7
Length of barrel   967* 967*
Length of machinegun w/muzzle brake mm 1588 1588
Weight in firing position kg 131.5** 628
Weiqht in travel position kg 131.5** 2830
Length in travel position mm 2328 2900
Width in travel position mm 708 1570
Height in travel position mm 755** 1780
Track mm   1500
Clearance mm    
Tire size      5.00x16
Height of axis of bore 0° mm    
Elevation ° +80*** +90
Depression ° -70*** -7
Traverse ° 360*** 360
Rate of fire per barrel      
cyclic rpm 540-600 540-600
practical rpm 80 80
Feed   50-rd belt 50-rd belt in drum
Projectile weight:  API g 49.5 49.5
Muzzle velocity:   API m.s 840 840
Maxi muni-range:  horizontal m 6500 6500
vertical m 5600 5600
Effective AA range m 1000 1000
Pointblank range:  API m 833 833
2m high target       
Armor penetration:   API mm 20 20
Crew   2 6
Unit of fire rds 120 2000
* w/o muzzle brake      
** w/o shield or ammuniation      
*** on antiaircraft mounts      




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