But this is only an interesting observation, the topic of this article will be a truly silent revolver with a built-in silent shooting device - PSDR 3.
A little bit historical justice
Most Russian-language articles on this weapon begin with the fact that the authors are indignant, citing the words of the designer of this revolver that he allegedly invented the world's first silent revolver. Immediately remember the domestic "Brahmit" for Nagan and OTs-38. And it seems that anger is directed in the right direction, only the designer did not speak about the first silent revolver, but about the first revolver with integrated CBE, yes, it was the case, he said. Apparently either a mistake in translation has crept in, or the desire to get to the bottom of an already not very successful weapon turned out to be very strong, many people like to kick a recumbent.
But let's not be like the majority and try to look at this revolver from a different angle, less categorical.
For whom and what was the PSDR 3 silent revolver designed for?
To be completely honest, at the first glance at this weapon it was difficult to remove a smile from the face - too primitive decisions in it were used by the standards of 1993 of the year. But any weapon is not created just like that, the designer always has an idea by whom and for what the result of his work will be used.
The PSDR 3 revolver is no exception. Designer Joe Peters designed his own weapons for the German special forces Spezialeinsatzkommando. Weapons required cheap, effective, and most importantly, in a short time and in small quantities, hence the simple solutions in weapons that, despite all the skeptics' shots, cope with the tasks assigned to them.
In other words, the designer was faced with the task of making a silent revolver based on existing weapons so that it would be cheap, reliable and unpretentious in maintenance. It was possible, of course, to connect a dozen third-party designers from other arms companies, to design for half a year, to try to implement it in metal for a couple of years, to change designs, ammunition, and so on. And you could make a primitive addition to the Smith & Wesson 625 revolver on your own in a couple of weeks, produce several dozen required weapons and return to other projects.
So if you look at the PSDR 3 silent revolver as a small-scale, cheap and highly specialized weapon, then everything becomes not so primitive, but simply justified, which means as much as the most complex systems developed by him, and sometimes and more.
PSDR 3 Silent Revolver Appearance
The appearance of the weapon is really remarkable. With an attached folding shoulder rest, the PSDR 3 revolver is more like a single-shot hand grenade launcher than a revolver, but a characteristic grip, trigger with safety strap, trigger and part of the frame betrayed the weapon.
Almost completely hidden by the device of silent shooting, the revolver does not have its own open aiming devices, instead of them there is a mounting bar on top of which you can install a collimator sight. Under the non-removable silent shooting device itself there is another short bar for installing the LCC or flashlight.
The folding shoulder rest (the tongue does not turn to call this element a butt) is a curved tube attached to the handle of a revolver. In theory, using the stop, and the instrument body can be fired quite accurately and comfortably, clearly more accurately than without a shoulder rest, even when using both hands. So the part is necessary, especially in the folded position does not make the weapon less convenient.
PSDR 3 silent revolver design
As mentioned above, the basis for the silent revolver PSDR 3 was the revolver of Smith & Wesson, namely model 625. In the process of working on the weapon, the American revolver was slightly modified, reducing the gap between the barrel and the drum chambers, as well as changing the frame to securely fix the device on it silent shooting.
The trigger mechanism of the weapon remained unchanged, this is a dual-action trigger with an open trigger. Ammunition also remained the same, common and perfectly suited for weapons with silent firing devices .45АСР. Since the cartridges do not have a welt, for fixing them in the chambers of the drum, lamellar clips, otherwise known as tool clips, are used. With their help, the process of reloading the weapon is also accelerated, since the spent cartridges are removed all together, as well as new cartridges are inserted immediately with a “bundle” in the number of 6 pieces.
It is not a secret that the main reason why you cannot use silent firing devices in revolvers is the gap between the drum chamber and the barrel of the weapon. It is through this gap that a portion of the powder gases breaks through, making the CBE on the muzzle of the barrel an absolutely useless detail. Exceptions are those models of weapons in which the drum “is rolled” on the barrel before the shot, thereby minimizing the amount of powder gases erupting between the drum and the barrel. So, this method was used in the M1895 Brothers Nagan pistol, in addition, the sleeve itself additionally closes the joint between the drum chamber and the barrel of the weapon, this solution allows the BPS to be used in a variety of designs.
It goes without saying that in a Smith & Wesson revolver, the drum moves only around its axis, and does not make any other movements, which means that there is a gap between the barrel of the weapon and the chamber of the drum. This gap can be reduced, but it is impossible to get rid of it without changing the design of the revolver itself. The only reasonable and cheapest option for solving this problem is to separate the locking of the powder gases that break through between the chamber of the drum and the barrel. It is this solution that is applied in the silent revolver PSDR 3.
Two folding parts are fixed on the back of the case of the silent shooting of the revolver, which, tightly attached to the frame of the weapon, form a casing that locks the powder gases that have passed through the gap between the barrel and the drum chamber. An interesting detail in the design of this revolver can be noted that the drum was redesigned in order to minimize the amount of powder gases that do not perform useful work. This was done not to achieve greater energy of the bullet when fired, but to ensure that the powder gases trapped in the locking casing did not affect the cartridges, which are located in other chambers of the drum, since the drum itself was located completely in the same a powder casing locking casing. When fired, the overpressure in the locking casing could displace a bullet in still unused cartridges, since the pressure inside the cartridge case was clearly lower than the pressure inside the casing.
It is also noteworthy that when the halves of the casing blocking the powder gases are opened, the drum of the revolver opens to the left, as in the case of the American progenitor.
A lot of criticism has been said about the design of the device silent shooting. It represents a large chamber with a volume in which a weapon barrel is placed. No division of powder gases, and even more redirection of their flows for their inhibition is not implemented. The bullet, leaving the barrel, is first in the device itself silent shooting, and then passes through the soft tab with slots. The tab is first opened along the slits by a bullet, and after the bullet completely leaves it, it collapses, locking the powder gases inside the device for silent shooting.
The design is really primitive, similar to the first PBS, which were at the beginning of the twentieth century; nevertheless, it performs its function and quite successfully copes with the cutting off of powder gases when fired and their subsequent release. The main disadvantage of this design of the silent shooting device is the fragility of the soft tab, which with long-term use loses its elasticity and is corny erased by the bullet, which makes each shot more “loud”.
How acceptable is such a design of a CBE in a weapon, from which it is very rarely fired and not in bursts, everyone can decide for himself. But replacing the powder-sealing gases tab clearly looks more attractive than cleaning a multi-chamber device for silent firing, which, by the way, are also short-lived.
PSDR 3 silent revolver features
What you can really find fault with in this weapon is its size. The thickest part of the weapon is a noiseless firing device, that is, it is possible to measure the maximum thickness of the revolver, and this is whole 68 millimeters, which stretch along almost the entire length and end only at the pistol grip. The length of the silent shooting device itself is 240 millimeters, plus the length of the locking cover is also added to them. The total length of the weapon from the handle to the front of the BBS - 440 millimeters. But it should be noted that with such a length of the weapon itself and the length of the barrel corresponding - 200 millimeters. By the way, the barrel has a polygonal cut.
There are no data on the weight of the weapon, but if we take into account that the weight of the American progenitor is more than one kilogram, then with a full set of CBEs, a folding shoulder rest and sights, we can talk about a mass approaching close to two kilos, which is quite a lot.
Pros and cons of the silent PSDR 3 revolver
The main advantage of this revolver, in my opinion, is that the weapon was completed in a short time using the simplest, even the most modern solutions, which in turn had a positive impact not only on the development time of the weapon, but also on its final cost, which for small-scale production is particularly important. The use of a suitable cartridge, which has been proving its effectiveness for more than a hundred years, is also clearly not a minus, especially since this ammunition has a massive distribution and low cost. The overall reliability of the design on the basis of a revolver and at the same time the complete sealing of almost all moving parts makes the weapon suitable for use in the most adverse conditions, although this point should be considered simply as a “bonus”, since this actual revolver is used in sterile conditions of the city.
The cons of the weapons are also present. First of all, it is the size and weight. On the other hand, if we consider this weapon not in the short-barreled class, but, say, as a silent carbine for a pistol cartridge, then these claims can be removed. What really can not be justified is the lack of open sights. Two small metal parts, even without the possibility of adjustment, are not so expensive, but they can significantly help in case of failure of the same collimator sight, especially since both the place and the possibility for their installation is there. Often, a separate minus of this weapon is a long reload. In practice, the reloading of the PSDR 3 silent revolver is no different from reloading any other revolver with a similar construction of the weapon drum locking assembly. The only difference is that before pressing the locking drum to the slider, you need to open the halves of the casing locking powder gases, using a sufficiently large pressure lever under the mounting bar for the sighting devices.
PSDR 3 silent revolver - this is a vivid example of how not to judge the book on the cover. Even more - sometimes you should not judge by the content, as it is foolish to look for an exciting detective story in the technical reference book. The PSDR 3 silent revolver is a highly specialized, small-scale weapon with very specific requirements. The fact that the designer did not invent the next "space marines gun", but implemented all the simplest, albeit primitive solutions, speaks only of the designer’s experience and common sense. It can be difficult for absolutely any person with sufficient motivation, but to do everything quickly and simply, it already needs talent.