New Russian Army Pistol
The 29-ounce 9x18mm Makarov pistol (Soviet designation Pistolet Makarova, M-442), adopted in 1951, is still in service around many former Warsaw block countries and is still found in wide military and police use in Russia. With its 8-shot magazine, stout recoil and heavy trigger pull, the ‘Soviet Walther’ is something of a last ditch weapon.
Since 2003 it had been supplemented for combat operations by the more modern MP443 Grach (Russian designation 6P35 Pistolet Yarygina PYa) double action polymer framed pistol. The 17-shot Grach shoots the Russian 9x19mm 7N21 cartridge which is the same dimensions as the standard NATO 9x19mm Parabellum but is much hotter for the purposes of armor piercing. Small numbers of the Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-18 (often called the Tula Glock) have also been acquired for use by the Russian military.
According to a release quoted by the RIA from the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a new pistol will finally replace effective this year the now 70-year old Makarov design. Called the Strizh (Strike) it was designed by the Italian firm for Arsenal Firearms and will be marketed in the West as such.
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk http://www.firearmstalk.com/entries/New-Russian-Army-Pistol.html