Back in 1946, Israel began studies to develop a new domestically produced Light Machine Gun (LMG). By year’s end, a plant was set up to manufacture it. Israel had purchased the rights and all the tooling machines for the Johnson LMG from the Winchester Arms company. Johnson LMG had been widely used by the U.S. Marines and some Special U.S. Army units during World War 2.

In 1947 the tools and blueprints for the Dror LMG were ready. But there were some setbacks that precluded initial production. The rounds were calibrated in inches, not millimeters. The critical issue being that Israel had an inventory of millions of british 0.303" rounds, collected over the years by very hard and extremely dangerous endeavor. Because of that, the Dror’s initial version, was specifically manufactured to operate under British 0.303" standards. That version had a side feeding tray magazine, similar to the original American Johnson LMG.

Theoretically, the Dror was to be ready for deployment in 1948 with a 20 round capacity magazine. However, that model presented technical glitches, so, its production was halted. Therefore, it didn’t play any military role during the War of Independence in 1948. By 1950, some Dror LMGs were used for combat simulation testing.

The Dror is a recoil, non gas actuated LMG, capable of semi-auto, and full-auto firing modes.
The most distinctive difference between the original Johnson LMG and the Dror, is that the former is a gas operated LMG, while the latter is a recoil type, hence, far more reliable.

The Dror is considerably lighter than the Johnson KMG, and like the latter’s rifle version, has a quick interchangeable barrels capability.

During 1947 a nd 1948, the Dror was produced in underground workshops by the Hagannah.

Johnson LMG:

Weight: 10 kg
Diameter: 0.30" (7.62mm)
Fire rate: 150-250 (rd/min.)