Got my Chinese RPD in from SS118 today, and thought I would share a few pictures and impressions. This disappeared from eBay faster than any other SS expo weapon I’ve seen, so I feel very fortunate that I was able to snag one. Hopefully SS122 and its Russian RPD will see the light of day.
Apologies in advance for the lighting in the pictures. I really need to find a better place to take macro shots.
Here it is, freshly unpacked. While the bipod can fold up, I will be leaving it in the downward position as there is no locking latch like on an RPK to fasten the legs together while folded up. Thus, it looks kind of awkward with the bipod legs in the up position.
The ammo belt is plastic. The weapon itself is largely plastic, although the feed tray is made from a very thin metal whose paint flakes off easily (more on that later)
Instructions. I’m glad these were included as I would have been somewhat confused otherwise. There are lots of delicate latches that must be undone and swiveled to insert the belt in the drum and seat the drum on the gun.
Here is the open drum with its locking latch swiveled to the side.
Here it is with the sling undone and the rubber band removed from the locking lips for the drum.
Here’s the drum properly seated on the 56-1. After installing the drum, you lock it loosely in place by swiveling the small lever behind the drum in the downward position. This little lever wiggles, but it will stay in place unless swiveled too far in either direction. Its retention pin has tiny flanges on it that keep it in its slot, but it can be removed if swiveled so the flanges line up with the slot.
The bipod doesn’t feel overly fragile and swivels freely around the barrel.
The metal pin that holds the metal feed tray in place was not fully pushed through the retention hole in the feed tray. I pushed it securely in place after taking this picture, but you can see that some of the paint unfortunately flaked off in the process. SS is notorious for using cheap paint on the metal sections of their weapons.
Bipod and muzzle detail. The spring keeps the bipod legs spread securely.
-The weapon doesn’t feel overly fragile, but I am determined to not fiddle around with it too much, just in case. As far as I can tell, there are no replacements to be had anywhere.
-The cheap paint on the metal parts is a shame.
-I wish there were a way to lock the bipod legs together while in the upright position. The legs must be pinched slightly when rotating them either upwards or downwards, but as I previously mentioned, they look somewhat awkward splayed out when in the upright position. Not sure if this is true to the real steel or not.
-Take care not to lose the drum locking lever. It wiggles, but it shouldn’t fall out unless rotated too far left or right.
-The folding charging handle flops all over the place. If you fiddle with it, you can get it to stay in place well enough, but the simple act of picking up the gun is often enough to cause it to flop to the side.
Let me know if you have any questions!