Military Review

Revolvers shooting silently. AAI QSPR (USA)

39
For years, gunsmiths of all countries tried to create a silent revolver, suitable for solving various combat missions, but they did not succeed much in this matter. Certain salient features of the revolver architecture made it difficult to obtain the desired results quickly and easily. Nevertheless, yet workable and serviceable structures were created. One of the first silent revolvers that entered service was the AAI QSPR product of American design.


The QSPR special silent revolver was a response to certain challenges of the Vietnam War. The troops and partisans of North Vietnam most actively used the developed network of underground tunnels, premises, etc., which could be used as shelters or for quick movement literally under the battlefield. To combat the underground facilities and their "garrisons" as part of several armies that fought on the side of South Vietnam, special units were created. The fighters of such units, who bore the nickname “tunnel rats,” were not always able to use regular army weapon and therefore needed some other means.


Revolver AAI QSPR. Photo by Smith-wessonforum.com


In 1967, the US Army formed a technical assignment for a promising sample of small arms, originally designed for underground operations. Tunnels of Vietnam were rarely wide and high, because of which the weapon for the "rats" was supposed to have small dimensions. The enemy found in the tunnel should be eliminated in the shortest possible time, which led to special requirements in terms of firepower. Finally, the special weapon should not have made a big noise: the roar of the shot could stun the shooter and attract the attention of the enemy.

Shortly after the issuance of the technical specifications, development work started. The main developers of future weapons were the Land Weapons Laboratory, which worked at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, and AAI Corporation. Together, the two organizations quickly formed the look of the future product and presented it to the customer. The army approved the proposed solutions, and soon experienced revolvers came to the test.

The analysis of the requirements showed that the required weapon should be created in the form factor of a revolver. In this regard, the project received the designation QSPR (Quiet Special Purpose Revolver - "Silent Special Purpose Revolver").


QSPR revolver and ammunition of the same name. Photo by Smith-wessonforum.com


Shortly before the launch of the QSPR project, AAI offered several new ammunition for weapons of different classes that were distinguished by a minimum loudness of a shot. To reduce the noise of shooting, it was proposed to use the already known principle of locking the powder gases in the sleeve. Staying inside the liner, hot gases could not contact with atmospheric air, heat it and create a shock wave. As a result, the volume of the shot should have been drastically reduced. AAI has developed several cartridges of this kind. These products were intended for existing smooth-bore guns, a special underwater pistol of its own design, etc. Within the QSPR project, a similar cartridge was created for a special revolver.

The main element of the AAI QSPR cartridge was a steel tubular sleeve with a diameter of 10 mm. Its rear end was closed with screw end, the front one was sealed with a pop out cover. In the central channel of a relatively thick Donets, there was a miniature drummer, who was going outside. He had to interact with the primer placed inside the sleeve. The authors of the project considered that such a layout of the charge ignition means would increase the hermeticity of the cartridge and eliminate possible leakage of powder gases. Later, after the launch of mass production, it was decided to abandon its own drummer in the sleeve. It turned out that the standard capsule at the bottom of the sleeve and independently eliminates the breakthrough of gases to the outside.

A propellant powder charge of sufficient mass was to be placed at the bottom of the liner, and it was located inside the metal cup-piston. The piston during the assembly of the cartridge was installed directly on the bottom of the liner, until it stops. His head was in contact with a plastic separable tray, in which 15 tungsten cartilage masses of 0,5 were placed. When fired, the pan had to leave the weapon and unfold, after which the destructive elements flew to the target. Moving forward, the piston was braked by threading the liner at the barrel and locked the powder gases inside.

Revolvers shooting silently. AAI QSPR (USA)
Smith & Wesson Model 29 products of various modifications. Photo Wikimedia Commons


The Land Weapons Laboratory and the AAI Corporation decided not to develop completely new weapons for the original ammunition. The QSPR revolver itself was decided to be made by some processing of serial weapons available on the market. The Smith & Wesson Model 29 double-action revolver chambered for .44 Magnum, produced since the late fifties, was taken as the basis for the special weapon. There were several modifications of such weapons, and a revolver with the shortest 3-inch barrel was used in a promising project.

To use the new role, the existing revolver should be reworked, taking into account the main features of the special cartridge. In accordance with the requirements of the new project, it was necessary to change the frame, barrel and drum. Some parts went under the replacement, while others planned to redo and return to the place.

Converted into a QSPR product, the S&W Mod.29 revolver retained its original architecture. He still had a one-piece frame and a drum that swings out to the side with a lever system. The double-acting trigger mechanism was retained, which provided drum rotation, cocking and descent with one pull of the trigger. The open trigger remained in place. The principles of the weapon's operation have not changed.


Scheme of the special cartridge type QSPR. Figure Modernfirearms.net


When remaking one revolver in another, it was decided to abandon the sighting devices. In the tunnels of Vietnam, the fighters would hardly have had to shoot long distances or aim for a long time. In this regard, the upper surface of the frame was now smooth. In practice, the scope itself turned out to be a frame indicating the direction of flight of the pallet with the grapeshot.

To ensure full compatibility with the 10-mm QSPR cartridge, the revolver received a new barrel. Instead of a standard rifled barrel with a length of at least 3 inches, it was proposed to use a smooth caliber 10 mm. The length of such a barrel was reduced to 1,375 inches (35 mm), which made it possible to drastically reduce the overall dimensions of the weapon. At the same time I had to noticeably shorten the frame. It is curious that the reduced front part of the frame with a shortened trunk actually became the only external difference between QSPR and the base Mod.29.

The revolver of the base model used .44 Magnum cartridges (10,9x33 mm R). New ammunition with gas cut-off was different in other dimensions, because of which it was necessary to remake the drum. Six chambers of the standard drum were boring in accordance with the dimensions of the new cylindrical sleeve. After such a revision, the drum could be returned to its place.


Chuck and split cartridge layout. For comparison, the coin is given in 25 cents with a diameter of 24,26 mm. Photo Zonwar.ru


Changes in the frame and barrel led to a reduction in the total length of the weapon to 170 mm. In comparison, the shortest of the Smith & Wesson Model 29 with a 3-inch barrel was about 40mm longer. The total mass of the AAI QSPR revolver with ammunition reached 1 kg. Despite this, the weapon was quite convenient to use and had to meet the customer's requirements.

The charge of gunpowder available in the sleeve accelerated the pallet with tungsten grapeshot up to speeds of the order of 220 m / s. At the same time, the total energy of the 15 damaging elements reached 180-185 J. Thus, individual cartilage, hitting the enemy, could inflict light or medium injuries. A certain spread of the fraction at a distance from the revolver increased the probability of hitting the target, and also ensured a high probability of simultaneous hit of several cartilage at once. It was expected that the lethal effect of grapeshot would be sufficient for effective combat work in underground tunnels.

For greater convenience, "tunnel rats" with a revolver QSPR was developed a special holster. The belt system provided carrying the weapon under the left hand. On the chest belt of the system were located small rectangular cartridge pouches for cartridges. Holster allows you to quickly pull the weapon or return it to its place, and the configuration of pouches simplified and accelerated reloading.


Chambers of the serial S&W, re-sharpened for the new cartridge. Photo Zonwar.ru


The first batch of AAI QSPR silent revolvers were manufactured in the middle of 1969. 10 prototypes were designed to study the new weapons in the conditions of the landfill and determine its real capabilities. We studied the combat and technical performance, as well as performance. Last but not least, testers were interested in the noise of a revolver, for which appropriate measurements were taken.

As part of the test, it was found that the QSPR cartridge with gas locking in the sleeve does not make the revolver completely silent. Weapons still made loud noises. First of all, the source of noise was the interaction of metal parts. However, at a distance of 1 m from the muzzle cut, the sound volume of the shot was 110 dB - noticeably lower than that of the base model revolver. Thus, a new type of revolver in terms of noise corresponded to small-caliber systems and was much quieter than weapons of similar calibers.

After conducting ground tests, in the middle of 1969, the 10 of existing QSPR products and a significant number of similar-named cartridges were sent to Vietnam for testing under actual conditions. For three months, soldiers of special units used these weapons in operations to detect and destroy enemy underground objects. "Tunnel rats" were able to study the work of such weapons, as well as compare them with other models of small arms, which they used before. For several months of trial operation a large amount of data was collected. In addition, the operators of new weapons have compiled a list of necessary improvements.


Preparing weapons for shooting. Photo Zonwar.ru


Already in 1970, a new phase of the project was launched. Now, the engineers of AAI Corporation and the Land Weapons Laboratory were to improve the existing design, taking into account the proposals of the military. It was at this stage that the QSPR cartridge lost its own drummer, who transmitted the impulse from the trigger to the primer. In addition, these or other improvements of the revolver itself, affecting its technical, combat or operational characteristics, were planned.

The process of modernization of the revolver continued until the 1972 year, when it was decided to stop it. By this time, the military and political leadership of the United States had made a decision in principle to withdraw from the war and to gradually withdraw troops from Vietnam. "Tunnel rats" continued their service and therefore still needed special weapons that met their special requirements, but continued development was considered impractical. The improved version of the AAI QSPR product - even in the absence of difficulties - could have appeared almost by the time of the end of hostilities. After the Vietnam War ended, such a weapon could have been left without work. As a result, the Pentagon ordered to stop work in advance.

During the development work, which lasted from 1969 to 1972 years, a certain number of prototypes were produced, probably differing from each other by different design features. The exact number of QSPR revolvers released is unknown. Different sources indicate completely different numbers. Some say that, taking into account the first batch, no more than 20-25 revolvers were made, while others say 200-250 products. Which of these numbers is closer to the truth is unknown.


Revolver AAI QSPR in a standard holster. Cartridge pouches are fixed on the chest belt. Photo Zonwar.ru


Apparently, certain concerns of the command, which in 1972 affected the decision to close the project, were fully justified. There is information according to which troop trials turned out to be the only episode in the combat career of AAI QSPR revolvers. There are no data on the use of such weapons after the end of the Vietnam War. In addition, the US Army in the future did not order new samples of this kind. The fact is that the American armed forces no longer had to deal with the enemy using narrow and close underground tunnels, which is why they no longer needed QSPR-type systems.

Special revolvers AAI QSPR did not differ in mass, which is why only a few units of such weapons have survived to our time. However, the market went towards collectors and gun lovers. Various gun shops offered their customers replica silent revolvers converted from the production S&W Mod.29. For obvious reasons, only modified revolvers, but not special cartridges, hit the civilian market.

AAI QSPR silent revolver was created as a response to the special challenge of the Vietnam War. A specialized system could well show itself in specific conditions and increase the combat effectiveness of special forces. Nevertheless, work on the project was delayed, and by the time it was expected to end, the war was supposed to end. As a result, the original sample was no longer of interest to the customer. "Tunnel rats" have not received a massive and highly effective weapon created specifically for them and taking into account the peculiarities of their work.

On the materials of the sites:
http://modernfirearms.net/
http://armoury-online.ru/
http://zonwar.ru/
http://thefirearmblog.com/
http://guns.com/
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  1. nikoliski
    nikoliski April 21 2018 05: 58
    +1
    The killer’s ideal weapon is, besides noiselessness, two more trump cards, the first is that the American revolvers are not listed in our bases, neither the number nor the party can be understood where it came from, and the second revolver leaves the sleeve in the drum without throwing it like a gun, then experts can start punching the barrel through the cartridge case, and the almost perfect weapon is small, you can hide it under clothes (and shoot silently from under it) and looks like a toy in which case you can say that I found it on the street, I thought the lighter is interesting, I don’t know anything
    1. Cat
      Cat April 21 2018 09: 02
      +4
      The idea is interesting, but the implementation is futile.
      Objectively, any air gun could be pumped under the best performance characteristics.
      I will not even compare with our domestic silent weapon. The American loses in all respects.
      1. Bormanxnumx
        Bormanxnumx April 21 2018 09: 22
        +4
        Quote: Kotischa
        Objectively, any air gun could be pumped under the best performance characteristics.

        Can you give an example of a pneumatic pistol having sane "pistol dimensions" with a bullet energy of 150-180J?
      2. RaptorF22
        RaptorF22 April 21 2018 10: 29
        +3
        Only this is a prison laughing it is prohibited by law to pump pneuma am
        1. Cat
          Cat April 21 2018 11: 08
          +2
          It is so! But, if the craftsmen squeeze out a pneumatic pistol 300m / s with a bullet of 7,62mm, then this will be any cooler than 18 joules for one shot of an American revolver!
          1. Bormanxnumx
            Bormanxnumx April 21 2018 13: 21
            +2
            Quote: Kotischa
            It is so! But, if the craftsmen squeeze out a pneumatic pistol 300m / s with a bullet of 7,62mm, then this will be any cooler than 18 joules for one shot of an American revolver!

            Drop a reference to such a "product", and preferably, at least a little bit corresponded to the term "gun", and not a jerkin 40-45cm long and 1.5-2kg weight.
            1. Grid
              Grid April 21 2018 16: 29
              +1
              and not a jerkin 40-45cm long and weighing 1.5-2kg.

              Well, it is possible to invest in 2-3 kg, if desired, but even in 40-45 cm it is very unlikely.
          2. RaptorF22
            RaptorF22 April 21 2018 15: 11
            +1
            It would be cooler if we were allowed pistols and revolvers winked otherwise it’s stupid to allow under a pink license to purchase carbines with a range of 1 km and be afraid of cops sad
    2. adma
      adma April 21 2018 13: 25
      +1
      Quote: nikoliski
      The killer's perfect weapon

      Good ideal laughing It won’t kill, it’ll even scare me.
      "... the total energy of 15 striking elements reached 180-185 J. Thus, individual shots falling into the enemy, could inflict minor or moderate injuries. "
  2. nikoliski
    nikoliski April 21 2018 06: 02
    0
    And the fact that he shot not with bullets, but with tungsten buckshot is generally a find! Usually they study a bullet as it went through rifles and identify weapons, and consider this a smooth-bore, long-range rifle, they will never find and prove that it was from this barrel that someone was killed; nevertheless, the Yankees are born killers, to produce such tricky things)
    1. adma
      adma April 21 2018 13: 32
      +1
      Quote: nikoliski
      will never be found and will not be proved

      If the evidence base was built solely on murder weapons, then all killers would be executed exclusively from smooth-bore revolvers.
      laughing
      1. RaptorF22
        RaptorF22 April 21 2018 15: 12
        0
        Or pipe segments or fittings lol
  3. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I April 21 2018 06: 37
    +4
    Why are we Americans? And the Union was not bad ... for example, Gurevich’s revolver

    Revolver brothers Mitins
    1. Cat
      Cat April 21 2018 09: 58
      +2
      Another domestic sample!
      Pss
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I April 21 2018 10: 33
        +4
        Quote: Kotischa
        Another domestic sample!
        Pss

        Yes PSS is not the only one! Talking about revolver ...
        1. Cat
          Cat April 21 2018 11: 11
          +3
          I do not argue, but the reasons for the refusal of the domestic design school from noiseless revolvers were precisely in their "noise" and the inconvenience of hidden wearing.
          1. Cat
            Cat April 21 2018 11: 23
            +4
            For example, a double-barreled S-4M!

          2. RaptorF22
            RaptorF22 April 21 2018 15: 13
            0
            Better cop allowed winked
        2. Bad_gr
          Bad_gr April 22 2018 23: 19
          +1
          Quote: Nikolaevich I
          Yes PSS is not the only one! Talking about revolver ...

          Silent Stechkin Revolver
          1. Nikolaevich I
            Nikolaevich I April 23 2018 01: 23
            +2
            Thank you for reminding me! About OTs-Xnumx, I forgot something .... apparently, I was “tuned” to a weapon, which appeared before the discussed “American” ...
    2. adma
      adma April 21 2018 13: 40
      +1
      Quote: Nikolaevich I
      Gurevich revolver, Mitins brothers revolver

      And it’s easier -
      1. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I April 21 2018 14: 35
        +2
        Quote: adma
        And it’s easier -

        Actually, yes .... I knew about the "gun" with a silencer, but I made an "emphasis" on a "specialized" weapon-cartridge system, where ... either a "special" cartridge or a jamming device "integrated into the design of the weapon. Therefore, I ignored the" gun "with a silencer, and the" silent "pistols (not revolvers ...).
  4. Operator
    Operator April 21 2018 10: 27
    +2
    The real silent weapon will be a multi-barrel wasp-type pistol with cartridges without the release of powder gases, which uses an electric trigger instead of a mechanical trigger.
    1. Cat
      Cat April 21 2018 11: 15
      +4
      True remark !!!
      Electronic descent, 4 barrels and all that. In fact, the Wasp in the aggregate of "volley" even in the tvmatic variant surpasses the American in joules.
    2. Mordvin 3
      Mordvin 3 April 21 2018 11: 17
      0
      Quote: Operator
      the place of the mechanical trigger is used electric.

      The rubbish is complete. IMHO.
      1. Cat
        Cat April 21 2018 11: 25
        +1
        I do not agree! For special operations the most !!!
        1. Mordvin 3
          Mordvin 3 April 21 2018 11: 29
          +1
          Electric striker? Better mechanics? Justify, please.
          1. Cat
            Cat April 21 2018 12: 47
            +4
            Its noiselessness! If you use a disposable special weapon, then you can simulate various characteristics of forensic (trace) tracks.
            For example, the destruction of the enemy from a distance of 10 meters, but the bullet will be from a rifle, on the pool there will be traces of rifle rifles, particles of gunpowder from a rifle cartridge. Moreover, the inlet and outlet will correspond to a shot from several hundred meters.
            By the way, traces of traces can be changed using modular inserts, as well as weapon ergonomics with the help of body kits and upgrades, up to the destruction of all traces using carbon-fiber inserts or sub-caliber bullets. You can even simulate an automatic burst of several trunks. With a mechanical trigger, this is already problematic.
            So it makes sense for special and sabotage weapons.
            For reliability, simplicity and reliability, the mechanic is above all! Here I do not argue with you.
            1. Grid
              Grid April 25 2018 14: 42
              0
              Moreover, the inlet and outlet will correspond to a shot from several hundred meters.

              Very unlikely. Normal specialists will figure this out at a time.
      2. RaptorF22
        RaptorF22 April 21 2018 15: 16
        +1
        I agree my friend bought winked now does not know how to get rid lol misfires well nafig such a miracle weapon lol a couple of pistols or pdv and it would be happiness winked
  5. rudolff
    rudolff April 21 2018 11: 39
    +3
    OTs-38 Stechkina will be more interesting.
    1. Cat
      Cat April 21 2018 12: 48
      +2
      They compared the American freak and OTs-38, not even funny ....
    2. RaptorF22
      RaptorF22 April 21 2018 15: 17
      +1
      Yes, only we can be more interesting lol
  6. beeper
    beeper April 21 2018 13: 55
    +5
    “Tunnel rats” used improvised, so-called “snake”, full-time short-barreled (with a sawed-off barrel) revolvers, with home-made cartridges, wax was used instead of a bullet reloaded with hunting shot or buckshot ... the sound of the shot was softer for the ears, and point-to-point effectiveness is higher compared to firing a bullet from a regular barrel. The Colt M1911 pistol was also fired (in the tunnels and jungles of Vietnam) with shot cartridges, but there was a probability of failure due to the sticking of such a "cartridge case" during automatic reloading ...
    In the underground tunnels, in addition to the militant Viet Cong, there were numerous snakes, either accidentally getting there, or specially thrown to protect from uninvited guests, our Vietnamese comrades were recognized inventors-improvisers regarding the construction of such traps-surprises from "improvised means" and very prone to defend their underground fortifications, for the long, long years of the war!
    It was possible to read about individual episodes of such underground battles not only in special, but also in fiction — for the first time I read about "serpentine" revolvers in the publication of the magazine "Around the World" for 60-70 years.
    So, described in the Article, not completely silent, the revolver was only a belated improvement of the widely used weapons of the military craftsmen, who were forced to seek and create urgent issues of their own life and death in the war. yes
    I sincerely thank the Author for an interesting Article, for an exhaustive description and illustration of the nuances of this exotic model of weapons and ammunition smile !
    I immediately recognize your style - the most concise and informative, dear Ryabov Kirill! good
    hi
    1. RaptorF22
      RaptorF22 April 21 2018 15: 19
      0
      All this is certainly true, but when will we have the opportunity to legally acquire a COP? winked
      1. beeper
        beeper April 21 2018 15: 37
        +2
        Dear RaptorF22n, this is the second time you ask me this question yes , the answer to which is not at all in my competence. request
        hi
    2. san4es
      san4es April 21 2018 17: 43
      +2
      Quote: pishchak
      Tunnel Rats .... The Colt M1911 pistol was also fired (in the tunnels and jungles of Vietnam)

      ... Pre-casting grenades (at 2.30 min.) hi
      1. beeper
        beeper April 21 2018 19: 32
        +4
        Thank you, Comrade Sanchez! Your video perfectly illustrates the outline of the Article and introduces it into the atmosphere of those years good ! I vividly recalled the television reports from fighting Vietnam, and the tragedy of the Vietnamese Khatyn-Songmi and her bloody villain, Lieutenant Kelly, who commanded the vile cutthroats, as it turned out, could not be forgotten forever ...
        hi
        1. san4es
          san4es April 21 2018 19: 46
          +2
          Quote: pishchak
          ... as it turned out, do not forget forever ...
          hi

          hi You're welcome.