It is incredibly pleasant that Charlie Gao considers the domestic types of weapons so good that, in his opinion, they can be used somewhere outside of our globe. Despite this, it would not be superfluous to see what the American expert considered to be a bad weapon and whether it was terrible, as described in the article.
We must start, probably, from the fact that at the beginning of his list of the worst pistols in Russia, the expert responds in a positive way about the Makarov pistol and the TT. Flattering, but this will not confuse us, we will try to preserve impartiality and if something really from the proposed citizen Gao is bad, then it will remain so.
Gun OTs-23 "Dart"
In the first place, an American expert has a pistol, not the most famous one in the wide circles, but recognizable by those who are interested in firearms. This gun was developed in the middle of the 90-s by designers Stechkin, Balzer and Zinchenko. The development was initiated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia to replace the Stechkin automatic pistol, which is still in service.
Charlie Gao marks this weapon as stillborn in several ways at once. First, the expert talks about the weight of about a kilogram (in fact, 850 grams without cartridges). Secondly, the expert is confused by the ineffective 5,45х18 ammunition, however, a high punching effect is noted in comparison with the 9x18PM, as well as the possibility of automatic firing weapons with three cartridges cut-off.
It is necessary to begin, probably, with ergonomics, convenience of carrying and application. Yes, by modern standards the gun is heavy, and there are no designer delights in it. But in it there is the usual location of the fuse switch and quite a convenient slider to remove the store at the base of the safety bracket. The gun is not small - its length is equal to 195 millimeters, but after all, Stechkin's gun, the replacement for which it was planned to make OTs-23, is also far from being a kid. The beauty in weapons is, of course, good, but reliability still comes first, but there were no complaints about the OTs-23 pistol.
It should also be borne in mind that the weapon was created for specific requirements, but the fact that the requirements for the pistol were contrary to what they wanted to get in the end was not at all the designers' fault. As a result, we have a reliable, albeit a large and relatively heavy pistol with the 24 magazine capacity of the 5,45x18 cartridge, and the weapon also knows how to fire in three rounds in short bursts.
Is this a bad weapon? According to Charlie Gao, yes, but personally it seems to me that it is not the weapon in this case that is bad, but the ammunition that is used in it. Not even that. The ammunition is not bad, but in this case it was used in the wrong niche.
Indeed, the cartridge 5,45х18 for military weapons is of little use. Like it or not, but the kinetic energy of the bullet is too small for at least some significant stopping effect when hit. If we compare it with foreign models, for example, with ammunition for the same Five-Seven pistol, it becomes obvious that domestic ammunition loses in all respects. The assumption that the bullet will behave somehow differently when it enters soft tissues in comparison with full-fledged ammunition is clearly not justified, and even three consecutive hits from the OC-23 are unlikely to be compared in effectiveness with one hit 9х19. For the same reason, even small-sized pistols for this cartridge, for example, the well-known PSM, are rather a weapon for complacency, rather than for self-defense.
Despite the fact that in the process of working on this munition by Antonina Dmitrievna Denisova, a lot of work was carried out, during which it was concluded that due to its length and low stabilization, a small-caliber bullet can cause significant damage when hit, which in some cases are comparable to 9x18PM bullets, no one undertakes to guarantee such an effect. In other words, the assured defeat of the enemy is rather the will of chance than a real systematic phenomenon with the given ammunition. In the case of the use of this munition in the OZ-23 pistol, this probability increases when firing with a cut-off of three cartridges, but in this case it is not a guaranteed defeat. It is worth noting that many, even the most common and generally recognized effective cartridges can not guarantee a confident defeat of the enemy, just look at the statistics of fatal bullet wounds. A man is sometimes a very tenacious creature. But this is all, of course, excuses that justify the cartridge 5,45х18.
To be objective, at the moment this cartridge would fit ideally for the initial stage of shooting training, as ammunition for award weapons, and so on, but not for service weapons, and even more so for combat weapons.
But let us return to the opinion of Charlie Gao that the OZ-23 pistol is one of the worst types of short-barreled weapons developed in Russia. As already mentioned above, the gun itself is not at all to blame for the fact that it was designed around an unsuccessful cartridge. The design of the weapon is not only reliable, but also interesting, since it has very unusual solutions. For example, the automatic pistol is built according to the scheme with a free gate, but few know that when you roll back, after removing the spent case, the braking of the shutter is achieved not only by the rigidity of the return spring, but also by the mass of the barrel, starts moving with her. This provides a very soft return when shooting, which is especially important given the fact that the rate of fire when shooting bursts reaches 1800 rounds per minute, which even with 5,45 x18 can be quite noticeable. This solution also allows you to evenly distribute the load on the frame of the gun, which affects the overall reliability and durability of the weapon, since at the extreme points the slide group does not have its maximum speed of movement.
In my opinion, the Dart pistol is an excellent weapon in terms of the combination of reliability and technical solutions in the design. To compare it with the products of foreign manufacturers for more powerful ammunition, but with a small caliber is somehow incorrect. Perhaps, I argue in the wrong direction, but, in my opinion, a bad pistol is one that does not shoot or fall apart when fired. In this case, the gun OTs-23 may not be suitable for combat or service use, but it is excellent for entertaining shooting, and it clearly cannot be the worst weapon developed by Soviet gunsmiths.
Revolver M1895 Nagant
In the second place in the list of the worst domestic versions of short-barreled weapons, the Belgian revolver of the Nagan brothers unexpectedly stands. How this weapon got on the list of Charlie Gao is generally incomprehensible. The expert himself acknowledges that the weapon at the time of its development was very good, and the main disadvantage of this revolver Gao puts the fact that this revolver was in service with the Soviet Army until the 30-s. By this logic, we can safely say that the American Colt M1911 is generally a stillborn weapon (in no way insulting the memory of John Moses Browning, but to the absurdity of Charlie Gao’s conclusions).
Yes, indeed, the M1895 revolver had a number of drawbacks, among which are the heavy descent referred to by the expert and the possibility of reloading with only one cartridge. But, for a second, we are talking about weapons that took part in two world wars, weapons that were written история, and it unexpectedly stands in second place with the worst pistols produced in Russia.
Do not forget also that this revolver has one peculiarity that allowed the Soviet Army for some time to have the “quiet” firearm existing at that time. As you know, when cocked the drum of the M1895 revolver moves forward, rolling on the barrel of the weapon, which, together with the design of the cartridge, avoids the breakthrough of powder gases between the barrel and the drum chamber. The brothers Mitya developed a silent-noise device for the M1895 revolver, which made the weapon as quiet as possible when fired, since apart from the sound of the smooth flow of gunpowder gases from PBS and the impact of the trigger, nothing was heard anymore. The British attended to the creation of such weapons only in the middle of the Second World War, the Soviet Union already had them, and it was much more effective in comparison with the first versions of British development.
In general, the line of thought of the American weapon expert with regard to the M1895 revolver of the Nagant brothers is completely incomprehensible to me.
In third place in the top of the worst domestic pistols Charlie Gao has a pistol П-96 and its derivatives. Given the fact that this weapon has become widespread in its service version chambered for 9х17, and with it a lot of negative reviews, the statement of the American expert may seem quite justified, but let's understand.
This gun is built according to the scheme of automation with a short stroke of the weapon, while the barrel bore is locked when turning the barrel 30 degrees. The same pattern of operation of the automatics is also preserved in weapons with relatively weak ammunition for 9x18 and 9x17 cartridges, which, if the weapon is contaminated and low-quality cartridges are used, can lead to delays when firing. No matter how much you want to justify this gun, but the preservation of a more complex automation system, where the free shutter would do well, is, if not a minus, then at least strange, especially since it affects the reliability of the weapon. However, with proper care and use of normal cartridges such problems are not observed.
The low resource of weapons was found in the version of the pistol chambered for 9x19. One cannot say in this case the words of Elena Malysheva that this is the norm, but one does not need to be a designer to understand that such a system of locking the barrel bore special demands, both on the quality of materials and on the quality of their processing. In addition, a similar bore locking system is susceptible to contamination when using weapons in dusty conditions. However, this does not mean that the use of automation with a short stroke of the barrel, when locked by turning the barrel, is unacceptable in the design of pistols. There are many examples of quite successful implementation of such structures, in which one way or another it was possible to minimize all the negative aspects, while retaining the advantages of movement of the trunk without its distortions. Of domestic pistols, such an example could be the GSH-18, which, with some stretch, can even be called the work on the mistakes in the pistol П-96.
The second negative point in the P-96 pistol is a feature of its trigger design. Unfortunately, it was not possible to get acquainted with this weapon personally, even in the service version, but, as it becomes clear from the description of the design of the pistol, its trigger mechanism is somewhat specific. The specificity lies in the fact that the sear does not allow the shutter casing to fully retract to its extreme point about 10 millimeters.
What does this mean for the owner of such a gun? This means that the jammed cartridge case or cartridge in the chamber can be removed by the usual movement of the cover-bolt, but the drummer can be lifted only when the trigger is pressed, which lowers the sear, giving the cover-shutter an opportunity to fully retreat. That is, in order to send a cartridge into the chamber, you need to pull the trigger, pull back the bolt-casing, release the bolt-casing, and the drummer will be on a preliminary platoon, if he didn’t stand on it, then release the trigger and only after that you can make a shot. If you pull the shutter casing with the trigger released, applying force, you can break the sear.
Such a feature of the design of the trigger mechanism is clearly not something good for a gun. Of course, you can get used to it, but, in this case, the actions performed almost automatically with another weapon will need to be constantly monitored and thought ten times before doing something. That, in principle, is recommended with other pistols that are easier to handle.
If you put it all together, it’s really not the most rosy picture. Weapons whimsically to the cartridge and maintenance, requires maximum attention when carrying out even the simplest manipulations. In addition to the fact that only the service version of the pistol was distributed, that is, the P-96С pistol is distributed where responsibility and constant care for the weapon is a phenomenon that is not rare, then often absent, and as a result we get a bunch of negative reviews on this weapon.
Should a weapon be called bad only by the fact that it requires increased attention - a difficult question. Nevertheless, the possibility of an accidental shot, in the event that the shooter confused something and at the time of removing the cartridge from the chamber, pulled the trigger, this is clearly a fat "minus" of the pistol design. So if the P-96 pistol is not the worst, then obviously it cannot be recorded as a good weapon, unfortunately.
Another pistol on Charlie Gao’s list of the worst Russian pistols is the Strizh acquaintance of all, known in the world market as Strike One. A couple of years ago, everyone was delighted with this weapon, its descriptions and characteristics were reprinted and were accompanied by enthusiastic exclamations of a future pistol, which has no analogues in the world, with a unique automation system.
Domestic experts proudly posed with this pistol in shooting galleries, and showed leaky targets, demonstrating the high accuracy of hits from this pistol. True, there were those who already said that the Italians were trying to slip sporting weapons under the guise of combat, and the design of the pistol was not so unique and it would soon be a hundred years old. As time goes by, public opinion is changing, now "Swift" does not criticize unless it is lazy. Let's again understand what kind of weapon and why it fell into the list of the worst pistols from Russia according to Charlie Gao.
First of all, it should be noted that the gun has a really thought-out ergonomics, which, combined with a low-set barrel relative to the handle, has a positive effect on the accuracy and comfort of firing, since the weapon deviates minimally when fired from the aiming point. A significant role in the high rates of weapons when shooting is played by the fact that the barrel of the pistol moves only along its axis, without distortions. This is implemented by coupling the barrel and the housing-bolt with the liner. While the gun was in the dash, everything was fine, but just until the moment when the weapon was decided to be subjected to more serious tests in conditions other than a sterile shooting gallery.
Almost immediately, the problem of the pistol's sensitivity to pollution, from which the automation system (which, by the way, was proposed by Bergman at the beginning of the twentieth century), was denied was revealed. As it turned out, you will not go against the laws of physics, and large areas of contact of rubbing parts will not feel very good when they hit fine sand and dust.
The second problem of this weapon was its legibility in ammunition. Low-quality cartridges simply could not make the automation system work normally, since they simply did not have enough powder charge power. Hence, there were delays when firing in the form of non-extraction of spent cartridges from the chamber, some remained squeezed in the window for ejection of the spent cartridges between the chamber and the shutter casing. Slowly came the understanding that this weapon is clearly not military and not ready for domestic realities. However, this did not prevent us from continuing to make regular reports from the galleries, where the capabilities of the weapon were already demonstrated in the 100th circle.
There is an opinion that without the patronage of the officials, these weapons would have remained completely unknown in the domestic market, however, it is not our task to sort out scandals, intrigues, investigations. For this there is REN-TV, NTV and separate organs.
What conclusions can be drawn from all written above about the gun "Swift"? First of all, you need to take into account the fact that the weapon is clearly not suitable for use in the field. It requires careful maintenance, quality control of used ammunition. If to be realistic, then it is impossible to ensure all this in the army or in law enforcement bodies. The only niche where all this is possible is the civilian market. Only the owner of the weapon can provide him with a normal full-fledged care, and will not charge anything into it. Taking into account the fact that short-barreled weapons are currently available for civilians only to athletes, it can be concluded that the Swift is a sports pistol that they wanted to make fighting.
It should be noted that not only the Swift showed low resistance to pollution, Strike One also ate criticism from the foreign owners of these weapons. If you set a goal, you can find videos where this gun is compared with other models of weapons, emphasizing that the same Beretta 92 normally eats ammunition, and in Strike from these ammunition indigestion. That is, the reason is not in the quality of the production of weapons, but in its design.
Despite this, to say that the gun turned frankly bad is clearly not worth it. Given the really good performance on the accuracy of fire and ease of use, this gun can claim a place in the niche of sports weapons, where he will be provided with proper care and proper nutrition. So, as a military weapon, the Swift pistol is really not the best model, but how sporting is even quite acceptable and you can say it's not bad.
Well, the cherry on the cake in the list of the worst Russian pistols, according to Charlie Gao, has become an unloved PJ. At once I will make a reservation that those who are finally convinced that the Yarygin pistol weapon, erroneously admitted to mass production, can skip the text to the final part, since I am going to justify this pistol. And to justify this gun is really possible and necessary if only because today most of its shortcomings have been eliminated. Despite this, there were spoons, and the sediment remained.
Many are wondering how it was possible to create weapons according to the scheme of work already worked out for decades and at the same time make the final product bad. The answer is simple, as in most similar cases: haste, savings, mass production.
The fact that the weapons were rushed to adopt was already evident from the first batch of this gun. The fact that the gun suffered from such "childish" diseases as sticking a cartridge when feeding into the chamber already says that the weapon was made, but they forgot to prepare it for mass production and a file to modify. Most often, the main reason for the same sticking of the cartridge when serving is a weapon shop. Nevertheless, the weapons were tested and even with grief in half, but they passed. So, the reasons need to be sought not so much in the design of the store or the entrance to the chamber, as in the material from which it is made. Perhaps the lack of rigidity of the same sponge store and caused such a problem. Is this a serious problem? Definitely not. Is it hard to fix it? Not. However, with such a problem, the weapon was already released and began to be used, and it is not accepted to recall the goods already sold.
The next problem was the refusals when shooting due to the under-shutting until the end, due to which the cartridges were stuck during extraction. Here you need to look at once in two directions. First, you need to look at the quality of cartridges, which recently walks as it wants. Personally, I once made a strong impression when either rust or some other dirt, which obviously should not have been there, spilled out of the cartridge case with powder. Secondly, it is also necessary to look towards the quality of production. Excessive stiffness of return springs, poor quality of processing of rubbing surfaces, all this can lead to such unpleasant results. Judging by the reviews of familiar athletes, the quality of ammunition has not yet been resolved, but the quality of the production of the weapon itself has already been significantly tightened, and the result did not take long to wait - the delays in firing disappeared when using normal cartridges.
As for the ergonomics of weapons, then there really are flaws that can not be eliminated. The pistol grip will fit far from everyone - it is too large for owners of small palms, but on the contrary, it is very convenient for people with large palm sizes. Here, as they say, you will not please everyone, but half measures in the form of slips on the back of the handle are still half measures, although this is better than nothing.
A lot of criticism was expressed against the sights of a pistol, they say, it is impossible to provide accurate fire with them. It should be borne in mind that in this case sniper shooting is not provided for, it is a combat weapon, it is necessary to impose requirements on it for speed of aiming, and not for high accuracy.
The appearance of the weapon has also been repeatedly criticized. It is difficult to argue with the fact that PJ cannot be called handsome among pistols, especially modern ones. Indeed, if I may say so, the “design” of the weapon is somewhat outdated, and would be more appropriate for a mid-twentieth-century pistol than for a modern one. The presence of sharp edges does not affect the ease of use, however, that is, that is.
I wouldn't call the PJ gun right here one of the worst. Most of the reasons for the negative attitude to this gun lies in the fact that they launched it into production, frankly raw, without preparation for mass production. It is obvious that many of the nuances that inevitably emerge in the mass production of the product were simply not taken into account. The very design of the pistol has already been tested in dozens, if not hundreds of other pistols, which means that it is fully functional and the reason lies in other trifles, which together give a negative result. However, at the moment all the flaws, except for the appearance and ergonomics, in this weapon have been eliminated, and the weapon has become quite efficient and suitable for mass distribution.
Now many are betting on Lebedev’s pistol as a weapon with which Yarygin’s pistol will be replaced. With probability in 100%, it can be predicted that a complete replacement will not occur, since it will be necessary to put the PCs, which have already been produced and operated, somewhere. So Yarygin pistol is a long time, will have to accept.
In the process of reading the article by Charlie Gao, I had the feeling that he had compiled his next top 5, not relying on personal opinion, but on the opinion of most visitors to sites related to firearms, and given that the M1895 revolver is on the list, The link between these sites and the world of firearms is clearly weak.
Despite the fact that any opinion, supported by arguments, has the right to life, in this case the arguments are rather weak. Most of the reasons why this or that weapon model is one of the worst are contrived. The example with the same revolver of the Nagan brothers, which was classified as unsuccessful only because it was in service with a long time and could not be replaced, is the brightest. Nevertheless, it is always interesting to see what foreign experts write about domestic weapons.
Original article by Charlie Gao: