So back in the early 2000s, TsNIITochMash in Klimovsk near Moscow– the same storied R&D bureau that has crafted dozens of specialist weapons since WWII such as the VSS Vintorez subsonic sniper carbine, the APS underwater rifle, and the PSS suppressed pistol —came up with the SR-1 Vektor, or SPS pistol.
The SPS, chambered in 9x21mm Gyurza (a very spicy SMG round that runs like 1,300fps in a 110-grain AP loading) uses an 18 round mag and has been in service with security and police tactical units since about 2004.
Fast forward 15 years and TsNIITochMash’s new Udav (Russian= boa constrictor) is a ramped up development of it which is more of a full-sized offering that includes features that are common for “combat handguns” in the West (front slide serrations, accessory rail, threaded barrel) while still keeping that really curious Gyurza chambering and an 18+1 capacity.
It just won a trial to replace the old-school Makarov PM in the Russian military, and Rostec (who exports all of the country’s weapons from submarines to MiGs and AKs) plans on selling it far and wide.
More in my column at Guns.com
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