Long considered essential beachwear for Russian frogman-types, production is ramping up for the special 4.5mm and 5.66 mm dart-projectile ammo used in the country’s underwater-capable guns. The 4.5mm round fires a mild-steel flechette dart loaded atop a 39.5mm bottlenecked case and is used in the 4-shot SPP-1 pistol while the larger 5.66mm cartridge was designed for the APS rifle system.
Due to automation, the factory can now produce 10,000 of these specialty rounds per day.
More in my column at Guns.com
The Soviets have always had a penchant for oddball weapons systems. Determined to never lose the underwater battlespace for lack of heavily armed frogmen, they have some of the most neat-o waterguns.
I’ve covered these in the past for gun sites to include the the Avtomat Podvodnyj Spetsialnyj better known in the west as the APS underwater assault rifle and the Spetsialnyj Podvodnyj Pistolet (Russian for ‘Special Underwater Pistol,’ apparently to differentiate it from the plain underwater pistol) model 1, its moniker is commonly shortened to SPP-1 when written.
With that being said, the below video, posted by Russian media in the Crimea (which is now being beefed up to remain a hard Putin enclave in a very anti-Russki Ukraine), showing Russian Naval Spetsnaz getting down with both of the above weapon platforms, made me squeal like a prepubescent girl at a One Direction concert.
“Combat Swimmers from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet took part in drills in Sevastopol, Thursday, focused on defending the fleet from underwater saboteurs.”
Watch out for those guys, they are pretty hardcore.
If you drive a mini-sub to work, learned Russian as your first language and have a closet full of wetsuits, odds are you may have a working knowledge of the Avtomat Podvodnyj Spetsialnyj better known in the west as the APS. It’s the world’s only known underwater assault rifle and its James Bond-style interesting.
First off, it’s important to remember that this weapon wasn’t a prototype that looked revolutionary on paper only to never get used; it was designed in the 1970s, placed into production at the TsNIITochMash plant and issued for use to untold thousands of Russian military types. The Soviets in the 1970s were anxious to build the world’s largest navy and were running a very close second to the US fleet. With more than 300 submarines and up to 50 at sea at any time, the Soviet Red Banner Fleet, led by the iconic Admiral Sergey Gorshkov, felt the secret to a communist victory on the waves was in operating under them.
Of course, you couldn’t have the largest submarine fleet in the world without a huge legion of underwater commandos—who needed guns.
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com