Why Russian arms are not able to create the gun of the XXI century
A quarter of a century the Russian security forces are looking to replace the legendary Makarov pistol (PM). New developments there and even accepted, but satisfy all customers. Therefore, the process is very slow, and some power structures, such as the Federal protection service (FSO) or the FSB, often prefer to provide their employees with expensive but reliable “foreign cars”.
Replace cannot be left
Among military experts there is no consensus, is it really necessary to dismiss “Makarov”. Slightly angular design, all steel (except left arm) design of the PM, seem to emphasize the weapons of the past. So, this year will mark 65 years since the gun was adopted by the Soviet army and police. On the other hand, the role of an army pistol on the battlefield today is very low — statistics major military conflicts shows that the number of people killed from this type of weapon tends to zero. And most losses are accidents and suicide. Therefore, inevitably raises the question of whether the defence industry to seriously bother with a gun? “The urgent need to replace the Makarov pistol does not exist, — says military expert, editor of the trade magazine “Kalashnikov” Mikhail Degtyarev. — But there is the problem of obsolescence of weapons and ammunition”.
In 1947-48 the military leadership of the USSR announced a competition for a new gun for the Soviet Army to replace the standing armed with a TT and a Revolver. It was planned to bring in the army two gun: compact for senior officers and long-barreled (what we now call full-sized) for field officers and grenadiers, crews of combat vehicles, etc. the Role of the latter was given a 20-charging automatic pistol Stechkin (APS) — he could shoot bursts and massive wooden holster was fastened as a butt. The idea has not justified itself: on the efficiency of fire “Stechkin” could not compete with machine guns, to mess with attaching/detaching the holster was uncomfortable, and she was very hurt soldiers. As a result, the TSA quickly removed from production, and it limited use by special forces.
Compact but the gun turned out extremely successful. The basis for the development was taken by the German Walther PP (Polizeipistole, or police pistol). Soviet gunsmith Nikolai Makarov has simplified the design of the prototype, standardized details, the result is an extremely reliable, durable, quite comfortable and technologically advanced pocket pistol. He was adopted in 1951 called the Makarov pistol.
Disadvantages of PM is partly due to its compact design — short barrel, and therefore lower accuracy, plus a small magazine capacity is eight rounds. Most modern military guns have the store for 15 and more ammo. Finally, the power of Soviet 9×18 PM cartridge, the prototype of which was balcerowski 9х17 kurz, noticeably inferior to the cartridge 9×19 NATO “Parabellum”.
After the collapse of the USSR security forces started saying that we need a new more powerful and multi-charge gun on the PM shift. Affected by two factors: a sharp deterioration in the crime situation in the 90-ies, and the ubiquity of body armor. In 1991 a competition was announced “rook” for a new military pistol. However, according to experts, the requirements for the weapon were formulated rather vague. However, there was once three pistols: self-loading pistol Serdyukov (ATP), Yarygin pistol (PYA) and the gun gryazeva and Shipunov (GSH-18).
The first one was very bulky, had an angular design, reminiscent of the TSA, and fired a specially designed powerful rounds 9х21 millimeter of 1995, allowing to hit targets in bullet-proof vests. This non-standard cartridge was one of the reasons why the ATP has not received wide distribution. The fact that pistol training requires large amounts of ammunition — experienced hands “burn” for one session up to several hundred rounds. And “exclusive” cartridges can not always get the right amount.
Photo: Sergey Bobylev / TASS
Yarygin pistol and GSH-18 is performed under a standard “NATO” cartridge 9×19 — today they produce several Russian factories, they are available and not expensive. The largest scale was Bang — on formal set of performance characteristics markedly superior to PM it, but security officials and experts numerous complaints against this weapon. “The device and the characteristics of this generation of mid 70-ies, says weapons expert Maxim Popenker. — In terms of technology and pistol equipment it can be considered a degraded version of the Czech pistol CZ-75. It has formal advantages — it is adapted to Russian cartridges with enhanced charge and armor-piercing bullet”. “Yarygin”, like other modern Russian handguns, features a very uneven quality. Plus, according to Mikhail Degtyarev, “there are many modern pistols that are smaller and lighter pistol Yarygin”. Says a lot the fact that some intelligence agencies prefer to equip their fighters expensive, but convenient, trusted and reliable Austrian “Gloomy” — in particular collects under the license of our company “Orsis”.
As for GSH-18, even though he was formally and adopted, but almost never purchased and produced in small quantities – only a few thousand pieces. Potentially, this is a good option for the police – the gun has a modern design, good ergonomics, roomy (18 cartridges) store, while easy due to the use of plastic in construction. However, users of firearms often complain about quality problems, and awkward firing mechanism. Problem solved, but the trouble is that the Tula Instrument design Bureau, which designed GSH-18 pistols, is a by-product. “Instrument design Bureau, which created it, makes the main turnover on more complex systems – missiles, artillery systems, says Mr. Popenker. — And GSH-18 pistol for them, as the unloved child, is not very interesting to them. Money on it not a lot of to do glory also, so much power invested in him”.
Army as a marketing tool
This issue affects not only the GSH-18, but almost all modern Russian pistols. The more complex and more expensive weapon, the more interesting it is for developers, and a gun for the military is a by — product, the development of which you do not want to waste time and money. In countries with liberal gun laws, particularly in the USA, the main consumer of handguns — the civilian market. Because the army buys a maximum of a couple of hundred thousand pistols. And civil the American market absorbs hundreds of thousands of units annually. Therefore, the adoption of the gun to the Arsenal — it’s prestige factor helps to conquer the civilian market with the Austrian “Glock”, Italian “Beretta”, etc.
In addition, in modern Russia, according to experts, there is no tradition of a pistol, when the weapon is being developed under a set of TTX, and “under hand”. Designers are guided by formal characteristics — power, reliability, magazine capacity, but have little idea how and in what conditions you use the gun. There is one very important indicator of the success of weapons — the use of his arrows, athletes in the discipline “practical shooting”. This sport grew out of applied firing, there is used a weapon, including, on the basis of army models and techniques of practical shooting are used in the preparation of fighters of special units and police. Now Russian shooters prefer foreign weapons. “Top athletes are used only foreign models — CZ, SIG Sauer, American model on the basis of “Colt” and Glock” — said the President of the Federation of practical shooting of Russia (FPSR) Vitaly Kruchin, and ordinary athletes, he said, often use a civilian modification of the pistol Yarygina (“Viking”), and modifications of the PM. Russian weapons are cheap, but, according to the athlete, has a small resource. Warranty shooting practice Russian samples is about four thousand shots, resource, CZ or Glock — 100 thousand rounds, and worn trunks thanks to the modular design quite easily replaced.
Flew the swift, not born a Swan
In our country there have been attempts to make weapons “under the arrow”. In 2012 appeared the gun “Strizh” or AF-1 Strike One from a private Italian-Russian company Arsenal Firearms. “Swift” was positioned as Russian equivalent of “Glock” and resembled the Austrian pistol. As stated, speaking to the media, Deputy Chairman of the Central Council of TRUSTEES and the adviser of the General Director of concern “Kalashnikov” Andrew Kirilenko, the gun was designed with the wishes of fighters of special forces “alpha”. For a number of specified characteristics of the “swift” is not inferior or even superior to the famous Austrian pistol. However, in the end, the swift” was not adopted, and not even produced in Russia. The expert familiar with the project, on condition of anonymity said “the Tape.ru”, “swift” is “Italian gun that was never developed in Russia, this gun is very powerful moves, but there is nothing that could claim the laurels of “killer “Glock”. Today this weapon is called the Strike is made in Italy and is pushed onto the civilian market in the United States.
Photo: Talur / Wikipedia
Another gun that is designed in American style, i.e. “with the participation of the best shooters” is a pistol Lebedev (PL-14) from concern “Kalashnikov”. Its prototype was shown at the exhibition “Army 2015”. Developer Dmitry Lebedev — the pupil of the famous shooter, coach, and designer of sporting weapons Yefim Khaidurova. In the work on the project involved another well-known shooter — Andrew Kirienko. The aim of the project announced the creation of a new service (combat) pistol for police, army and intelligence services, as well as options for practical shooting sports. The creators promise convenience and high reliability and a high service life of the weapon. While experts say only interesting ergonomic design of the prototype.