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Tokarev and his son posing with their model 1925 machine gun
|Type||Light machine gun|
|Place of origin||Soviet Union|
|Used by||Soviet Union|
|Weight||12.9 kg (empty)
15.5 kg (with typical ammo load)
|Barrel length||650 mm|
|Action||Short recoil, toggle locked|
|Feed system||belt-feed, 100 rounds belt|
During World War I and the Russian Civil War, the Soviet army was equipped with light machine guns of foreign manufacture, mostly with the Lewis gun, the Chauchat and the Hotchkiss M1909. By the 1920s, these guns were showing their age, and owing to the Soviet Union's international diplomatic isolation, neither spare parts nor ammunition could be easily obtained for these guns. Consequently, in 1923 an emergency program was initiated for equipping the Red army with a light machine gun chambered for the domestic 7.62×54mmR. The first design submitted was the Maxim-Kolesnikov, followed soon thereafter by the Maxim–Tokarev. During field tests conducted in early 1925, Tokarev's model proved superior, so it was adopted on May 26.
A US Army analysis mentions that "Tokarev was doubtless inspired by both the German Parabellum and the British Vickers. The arrangement of the trigger and the shoulder stock resembles very strongly that illustrated in United States Patent No. 942167, which was granted in 1909 to Dawson and Buckham, assignors to Vickers."
The water jacket of the Maxim M1910 was discarded and replaced by a thin perforated steel jacket. The barrel was shortened and lightened from 2.1 kg to 1.7 kg. A mechanism for changing the barrel in field conditions was provided. The spade grips were replaced with a rifle-type stock and the thumb-trigger was replaced by a rifle-type trigger. A folding bipod with tubular legs was attached to the barrel jacket.
The canvas-belt feed system was the same as on Maxim M1910 guns, except the standard belt capacity was reduced to 100 rounds. The 100-round belts were usually carried in separate drum-type containers, inspired from the MG 08/15. The barrel rifling was 4 right-turns in 240 mm.
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