First year of Soviet metal belts for X54?

I am interested to know the first year the Soviets used the PKM type metal belts. I believe it was 43 with the SG-43, but I do not know if the belts are exactly the same, or not.


SG-43 and PK belts should be exchangeable even if they have a small difference in the “neck loop”.
JFL certainly has images of all that.



Some references indicate the use of an experimental steel belt for the DS-39 but I have not found yet any official information about those. Maybe the earliest version of the so-called SG-43 belt was in fact for the DS-39 but this is only a guess ?

As far as I am aware, earliest WW2 steel belts used with SG-43 were made of 50-round sections that could be assembled together.
There are 2 types of 50-round sections known :

  • a 50-round starter segment with flat starter tab which has exactly the same length as the starter on Maxim fabric belt. On the other end , there is a female connecting link
  • an intermediate 50-round segment with male and female links at both ends.

The same kind of belts has been found in the ground in Finland battlefield and was also described in Finnish report on captured Russian weapon in 1944.

The key feature of the earliest belt is the raised ribs on both top and bottom loops.
You will also note that the male connecting link is very different from that found on PK belts.

Here is a compaison plate of the various Russian starters : from top to bottom :

  • Maxim fabric belt
  • early SG-43
  • late SG-43 and SGM

I don’t know exactly when the continuous 250-round belt without the raised ribes and fitted at both ends with a long starter with recurved ends has been introduced. I would suspect at the very end of WW2 or even just after WW2.
Any information about that would be most welcome.



Thank you for your help. I am interested because in Canada we are only allowed to exceed 5 rds in a belt if it was designed in 45 or before.