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Dror light machine gun (Israel)
|Caliber||7.92x57 or 7.7x56R (.303 British)|
|Barrel length||680 mm|
|Feed||box magazine, 20 rounds|
|Rate of fire||rounds per minute|
The earliest machine guns in Israeli service included both foreign and domestic weapons, as even before the foundation of Israel in 1948 several underground workshops produced a quantity of an indigenous light machine gun, known as the Dror, although they apparently weren’t used in the war of 1948. These light machine guns were broadly based on the US-made Johnson M1944 LMG, but with certain alterations in the feed system and dimensions. It is interesting to note that at least some Dror machine guns were produced in .303 British caliber, in an apparent attempt to utilize ammunition that was left behind by British forces. Some more Dror machine guns in 7.92mm were produced by the state-owned IMI company during the early 1950s, but in around 1952 the Dror lost the IDF trials to the Belgian-made FN Model D light machine gun.
The Dror light macine gun is a short-recoil operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed weapon. The barrel is locked using a rotary bolt with multiple radial lugs that engage the barrel extension. The barrel is enclosed within a long tubular jacket that runs for its entire length and has circular cooling holes. The barrel can be quickly removed for replacement if overheated or worn. The front (muzzle) part of the barrel jacket is separated from its main body, heat-insulated and serves as a handle for the removal of the hot barrel. The barrel lock is unusually located in the base of the front sight.
The Dror is a selective fire weapon, firing from an open bolt in the automatic mode (for better cooling), and from a closed bolt in the semi-automatic mode (for better accuracy). The fire mode is selected by the safety / selector switch located on the right side of the gun, above the pistol grip. The feed is via detachable box magazines, which are inserted vertically from the bottom. Magazines are based on those for the 7.92mm Browning BAR magazine, slightly modified. The magazine port is fitted with a side-opening dust cover. The Dror is fitted with a metal butt consisting of two parallel steel tubes with a sheet-steel buttplate. Furniture includes a wooden pistol grip, a folding bipod attached to the front of the barrel jacket, and a side-folding carrying handle, also attached to the barrel jacket close to the center of gravity. Both front and rear sights are mounted on folding bases