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Lahti-Saloranta M/26

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lahti-Saloranta M/26 LMG
Lahti-Saloranta m26 Mikkeli 1.JPG
A Lahti-Saloranta M/26 LMG with a 20-round magazine
TypeLight machine gun
Place of originFinland
Service history
In service1930–1950s
WarsWinter War
Second Sino-Japanese War
Continuation War
Lapland War
Production history
DesignerAimo Lahti & Arvo Saloranta
ManufacturerValtion kivääritehdas
No. built> 6200
VariantsLS-26-31 (able to accommodate the 75-round drum magazine)
Mass9.3 kg (20.5 lbs)
Length1,109 mm
Barrel length500 mm

ActionShort-recoil operation
Rate of fire450 to 550 round/min
Muzzle velocity800 m/s (2,624 ft/s)
Effective firing range400 m
Feed system20- or 75-round magazine
A Finnish soldier equipped with a Lahti-Saloranta M/26 during the Winter War.
A Finnish soldier equipped with a Lahti-Saloranta M/26 during the Winter War.

The Lahti-Saloranta M/26 (alternatively 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.

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.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Light Machine Guns in Finland: DP-28 vs LS-26
  • ✪ 20mm Lahti L39 Antitank Rifle (Shooting & History)
  • ✪ Finland Shooting Montage: Maxims and Mosins and Suomis, Oh My!


Hi guys! Thanks for tuning in to another video on Forgotten Weapon dot com. I recently had the chance to travel to Finland and do a little bit of shooting with a couple of really cool Finnish light machine guns. One was an LS/26 [Lahti-Saloranta m/26] and one was a captured Soviet DP 28. Now, I've been aware of the LS/26 for a while but this was the first time I'd actually had a chance to get my hands on a real one and also of course, my first chance to actually shoot one. Now unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to put more than just a few rounds through it, and I also didn't have the chance to take it apart and give you a full tear-down and mechanical and history video on the gun. So we'll do a little bit of a brief overview right now. The LS/26 was, obviously, developed in 1926 [Aimo Lahti and Arvo Saloranta]. It was the standard light machine gun for the Finnish Defence Forces until they started capturing Russian machine guns during the [Nov. '39-Mar. '40] Winter War [Soviet-Finnish War] Chambered for 7.62x54mmR, it had a 20-round box magazine. There are also references to a 75-round pan magazine, but I don't think those ever actually saw real service. A total of about 5,000 of these were manufactured by the Finns. [and] They are a short recoil, tilting-bolt light machine gun. They were allegedly a very accurate machine gun, and I have no reason to doubt that. However, they had a whole lot of moving parts, and they were very tightly fitted together, which is part of what made them quite accurate. Unfortunately, this also made them quite unreliable. In the snow they had to have--for example--good lubrication. But at the same time, when it got really cold in the northern Finnish Winter, the lubricants would often freeze up. And then you're stuck with a gun that just really doesn't work very well. So when the Finnish troops started capturing Russian DP28s, they really preferred the Russian gun. So we are going to do a little bit of shooting here and see if myself and Carl share that opinion. ... So I have four rounds in it, because I don't have the loading tool, and it's really a pain in the ass to load the magazine. So we're going to start with the gun on semi-auto only (it is selectable). We've got both a safety selector... so: safe, fire. We also have a selector switch, which is semi in the rearward position and full auto in the forward position. All right, and appropriate Finnish rain! Not bad. It's a heavy gun, so there's not a whole lot of recoil. I'm going to load up a couple more rounds and try a burst instead of just semi-auto. [...] There we go. [Magazine] back in. Full auto... [Carl]: This is my first time trying to load this mag. This is one of those double-feed single, erm, actually double-stack, single-feed mags you see on a lot of old submachine guns [Sten, MP40, etc.] and this gun. I think it's a lot easier if you push from the rear like I'm doing. Yeah, you have to push the back end of it. So that's what the loader does. In fact, I think I could get a lot more than that in there, personally. We'll go with the four [rounds] because that's what they're recommending. I'm going to give it a shot. Ready? yep... Wow! I would have not had any idea... what was going downrange while that was firing, complete loss of situational awareness. It's just... a bunch of stuff going on: muzzle blast, recoil, bang-bang-bang-bang-bang. Pull the trigger, hope for the best. [Ian off-camera]: "And a really heavy trigger!" [Carl]: It's a heavy trigger. Of course, it's an open bolt gun [so] that's normal for that. But ... I would find this difficult to use, and I'd have to say I agree exactly with what you said re the DPM and DP28--a much easier gun to keep control of, to fire and keep your situational awareness. [Carl]: Wow! when that both flops it is a long way.... I mean, you have to really have proper sight follow-through when you drop that trigger. There's this "ker-chunk!" "bang!" and it's pretty hard to keep that gun on target. And the [stock] comb is a little bit too high for me to get on that rear sight effectively. That comb could be a little lower. Yeah, I could not find that front sight and bury it in the notch like I'd like to. It's...That's a tricky gun. [Ian]: So, like Carl was saying there, the LS/26 is a really hard gun to shoot well on semi-auto. It's not bad: the weight of the gun takes up a lot of the recoil, and you're able to make single shots which I expect are quite accurate, although we didn't have the chance to shoot it for groups on full auto. However, there is so much going on... So much violent force being dropped on you as the shooter, that the world just kind of "grays out" [blurs]. You can't follow your sights while you're shooting. You have to wait until you're done, release the trigger, and then the world comes back in color, your peripheral vision re-emerges, and you can assess what has just happened. So I can certainly see why this wasn't a particularly popular gun with the Finnish troops, and so they started capturing and using DP28 as soon as they had the opportunity to in the Winter War. In fact, a lot of the ones they captured like these [pictured] two here are actually tank-mounted DT guns [Degtyarëv DPs modified for use in Soviet vehicles]. Anyway, we had the chance to do some shooting with a DP and we'll see how it compares. Alright, I've got the gun in the completely un-fire-able position: bolt forward [uncocked] dust cover closed... the only safety on here is a grip safety right down there. So that's safe. That's lots of [unclear..."daka" foreign onomatopoeia "rat-a-tat-tat?"] so I'll use a piece of brass, and open the magazine cover, lock the bolt back [cocking the weapon] [47-round "phonograph"] drum [magazine] in ... [Carl off-camera]: "More!" And that's it. Oh, I only loaded the magazine partially. Ready for another reload. In marked contrast to the LS/26, man that DP28 was really nice to shoot. It was a lot more controllable, it allowed you to actually maintain some perspective on your target, and adjust fire while you are actually firing, which is nice. It has a larger-- substantially larger--magazine: almost 250% as big [47 vs. 20 rounds]. It is a wildly more reliable gun in poor conditions, because it is a gun that has fewer parts, and it has much larger clearances in between those parts. And I can totally understand why finnish troops preferred the DP28 over their LS/26s. I believe that by the end of the Continuation War [Sep. 1944] the Finns had something like 15,000 DPs compared to the 5,000 or so LS/26s they had begun the war with. That makes perfect sense. That [DP] is definitely the gun to go with. One other interesting thing that I came away from this with, is that the semi-auto version of the DP or the DPM specifically, which I got from Smith Machine Group-- SMG Guns--that thing is like 90% as effective as the legit full-auto DP... just the controllability, the rate of fire, the trigger in that semi-auto DP was really quite nice, and man, it's interesting. Some semi-auto [conversions of] "machine guns" seem like a total waste of time, honestly. I have a semi-auto Browning 1919 that is kind of a useless gun. But then that DP was really--I was really impressed by the semi-auto DP after being able to compare it to the full auto one-- so if you are looking for a DP here in United States, and you don't have the money to go after a transferable [NFA Class III] one, (I think are a few transferable ones out there) or, if you don't have the license to get a dealer sample, you know I would seriously consider one of those semi-auto ones from SMG guns. In fact, I'd consider it so much that I have one. And I'm very happy with it. Anyway, thank you guys for watching. I hope you learned something about some Finish guns today. I would like to throw a big thank you [Kiitos!] out to Varusteleka for arranging this shooting trip! The shooting opportunity with that LS/26. If you're looking for cool military surplus goods definitely check them out. They're the coolest surplus store in all of Finland, and there's a link to their shop in the description text below. Thanks for watching!



The M/26 won a Finnish Army competition in 1925 where it was selected as the army's main light machine gun. Production started in 1927 at the Valtion kivääritehdas (VKT), State Rifle Factory, and lasted until 1942. More than 5,000 weapons were produced during that time. China also placed an order for 30,000 M/26s chambered for 7.92×57mm Mauser in 1937, but only 1,200 of these weapons were actually delivered due to Japanese diplomatic pressure.[1]


On the battlefield, the Lahti-Saloranta M/26 was found to be heavy, hard to clean due to the 188 parts of the gun, and lacking in magazine capacity. It was nicknamed Kootut virheet, "assorted mistakes". On the other hand, proficient gunners liked and took full advantage of the exceptional accuracy of the weapon, and with oiling adapted for winter, it turned out to be very reliable.

Due to the problems first encountered by Finnish troops, they often preferred the Degtyarev light machine gun when thousands of them were captured from the Soviets and used against their former owners. All in all, in the summer of 1944, only 3,400 M/26s were at the front, compared to over 9,000 Degtyarevs.



  1. ^ 抗戰時期國軍輕兵器手冊,老戰友文化事業,
  2. ^ Jowett, Philip (10 Jul 2005). The Chinese Army 1937–49: World War II and Civil War. Men-at-Arms 424. Osprey Publishing. pp. 15, 44. ISBN 9781841769042.

External links

This page was last edited on 29 August 2019, at 22:50
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