Lahti-Saloranta M/26


Lahti-Saloranta M/26

Infobox Weapon
name=Lahti-Saloranta M-26 LMG


caption=
origin=flagcountry|Finland
type=Light machine gun
is_ranged=yes
designer=Aimo Lahti & Arvo Saloranta
design_date=1925
service=1930-1950s
cartridge=7.62x53R
action= Recoil operation
rate=450 to 550 round/min
velocity=800 m/s (2,624 ft/s)
range=400 m
weight=9.3 kg
length=1,109 mm
part_length=500 mm
feed= 20 or 75 round magazine
sights=
variants= LS-26-31 (able to accommodate the 75 round drum magazine)
number= > 6200|

The Lahti-Saloranta M-26(Sometimes LS-26) is a light machine gun which was designed by Aimo Lahti and Arvo Saloranta in 1926. The weapon was able to fire in both full automatic and semi-automatic modes. Both 20 round box and 75 round drum magazines were produced but the Finnish army seems to have only used the smaller 20 round magazine.

The M-26 won a Finnish Army competition in 1925 where it was selected as the army's main automatic rifle. Production started in 1927 at the VKT (Valtion kivääritehdas, State Rifle Factory), and lasted until 1942. More than 5,000 weapons were produced during that time. China also placed a huge order of 30,000 7.92 mm M-26s in 1937, but only 1,200 of these weapons were actually delivered due to Japanese diplomatic pressure.

In the Winter War, there were two squads in each platoon that provided covering fire for two ten-man rifle squads. In each squad, there was one M-26 gunner, one assistant and the rest of the men carrying rifles, one of them possibly a sniper rifle.

On the battlefield, the Lahti-Saloranta M/26 was found to be hard to clean (due 188 parts of the gun), heavy and lacking in magazine capacity. The Finnish gunners often preferred the Degtyarev light machine gun when thousands of them were captured from the Soviets and used against their former owners. As a result, in the summer of 1944, only 3,400 M/26s were at the front, compared to over 9,000 war-booty Degtyarevs.

External links

* [http://www.saunalahti.fi/~ejuhola/7.62/lahtisaloranta.html Lahti/Saloranta m/26 LMG] - The Finnish Weapons Series
* [http://www.jaegerplatoon.net/LMG1.htm 7,62 mm Lahti-Saloranta M/26] - Jaegerplatoon.com

ee also

*Kg/1940 Light machine gun
*Furrer M25
*Mendoza RM2
*FM-24/29
*Charlton Automatic Rifle
*BREN
*M1918 BAR


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