During the development, various ways of locking the barrel were considered - a swinging wedge, as in the German Walther P38 pistol, and an earring, as in the TT pistol. In the final version, neither the first nor the second version was approved, and the scheme of locking by turning the barrel was implemented due to the interaction of the protrusion on the breech breech with the groove of the pistol frame shell.
The barrel engages with the gate with ten stops located in the front part, with the coupling fixedly mounted in the gate. When locked, the barrel rotates 18 degrees (the P-96 had one stop and a turn of 30 degrees.
The trigger mechanism (USM) of the GSH-18 pistol is conceptually similar to the USS of the Austrian Glock pistol - firing pin, with an automatic trigger fuse (in the Sport version there is no automatic fuse on the trigger). The trigger moves straight (trigger) when pressed, resembles the trigger of a TT pistol.
The manufacturer, GUP KBP (currently KBP AO), often contrasted the GSH-18 with the Glock-17 pistol, indicating a smaller number of parts and weight, the ability to work in polluted conditions and technological simplicity of production.
Device and principle of operation of the gun GSH-18
Unfortunately, with real comparison, everything is not so rosy. Personal experience, albeit small, shows that the shooting of the Glock-17 pistol is much more comfortable compared to the shooting of the GSH-18 (GSH-18 in the sports version). The disadvantages of the latter can be attributed to the higher complexity of the equipment store, less comfortable descent, less convenience of distorting the shutter due to the small area of the side faces (slips). When fired, the sleeve does not fly out to the side, but vertically upwards, trying to hit the head or the collar, which also does not add comfort to shooting.
The overall manufacturing quality of the HS-18 pistol is much worse than that of the Glock-17. According to the shooting instructor, after 10 000 shots (sporting cartridges, non-armor-piercing 7H31), GSH-18 must be sent to the factory for recovery. Glock-17 withstands more 100 000 shots (and sometimes 200 000 shots).
Gun GSH-18 and his counterpart Glock-17 of the fifth generation (images may not coincide in scale)
Formally, the GSH-18 was adopted by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, but in fact procurement was carried out in minimal quantities.
There are enough materials on the Internet claiming that Glock pistols are not suitable for arming the army, as they can fail if polluted. But personally, I would prefer a pistol, which, although it may stop working when contaminated, is guaranteed to work reliably in normal conditions than a pistol that can refuse at any time due to the abominable workmanship, if it is theoretically possible to work in the dirt.
Nevertheless, the work on fine-tuning the pistol is proceeding slowly, which can be judged by the appearance on the manufacturer's website of a photograph of an updated version of the GSH-18. Hopefully, though a small but real market for sports weapons, will force the manufacturer to pay attention to his offspring, bring it to the “mind” and solve the problems of production quality.
It will not be superfluous to create GSh-18 in the version chambered for .40 S&W and create a compact modification modeled on the Glock-26/27 pistols.
Image of the extreme version of the GSH-18 from the manufacturer's website
Of course, Izhevsk Mechanical Plant could not stay away from the theme of the development of an army pistol. In 1993, in the framework of the R & D “Grach”, the pistol of the Yarygin design (ПЯ) with the same name “Grach” was presented.
The Yarygin pistol has a classic design based on a short rollback of the barrel and its rigid locking by a bias in the vertical plane. Locking is carried out by a protrusion in the breech breech for the window for ejection of the sleeves in the bolt.
The shutter and frame of the gun are made of steel. In the gun Yarygin used trigger double action, with openly located trigger. The automatic fuse is two-sided, located on the frame, and when turned on, blocks the trigger, sear and the bolt, the trigger with the fuse turned on can be blocked both in the cocked and in the deflated state. 17 magazine capacity.
Device and principle of operation of the gun Yarygin
Formally, Yarygin's 9-mm pistol was declared the winner and adopted by the Russian Armed Forces. In the future, the gun was purchased not only by the Armed Forces, but also by other Russian security forces.
The pistol Yarygin, like his fellow to the competition, the pistol GSH-18, pursues problems of workmanship. The gun turned out to be quite voluminous and heavy; it may seem inconvenient to carry it on a regular basis after the PM.
Gun Yarygin MP443
On the basis of the Yarygin pistol, several variants of civilian pistols were developed - the MP-445 Varyag and the MP-446 Viking.
In the same period, the MP-444 “Bagira” pistol was developed for 9-mm cartridges: 9 × 17K, 9 × 18М and 9 × 19 Parabellum.
The frame of the gun “Bagira” is made of high-strength thermoplastic molding, it includes stamped front and rear guides. When unlocking - locking the barrel moves due to the interaction of the bevel on the lower protrusion of the barrel with the bevel on the basis of the back-buffer mechanism. The back-buffer mechanism provides shock and barrel damping in the rearmost position
In this gun applied original trigger. On the one hand, it is of the striker type, but at the same time there is a special striker of the striker, resembling a trigger, which allows the shooter to cock the striker manually and thus carry out firing both by self-cocking and with a previously cocked striker.
The gun MP-444 "Bagheera" remained a prototype.
Pistol MP-444 "Bagheera"
Another prototype was the MP-445 Varyag pistol, the design of which is based on the Yarygin pistol. The MP-445 Varyag pistol was intended for the civilian market and was to be produced in calibers 9x19 and .40 S&W in full-size and compact versions. The body of the MP-445 is made of polymer, structurally the pistol is similar to the MP-443.
Pistol MP-445 "Varyag"
The most successful modification of the pistol Yarygin was the pistol MP-446 "Viking", which differs from its combat prototype in its material frame. In MP-443, it is made of steel; in MP-446, the frame is made of high-strength polymer.
It was this gun that began to be purchased in large quantities by shooting galleries and the practitioners' athletes. First of all, this was due to the minimal cost of the MP-446 - from 20 000 rubles at the present time. The low price forces users to close on numerous Viking operational problems, especially during the initial release period.
During the pistol shooting exercises of the MP-446 "Viking", I shot several thousand rounds of ammunition. During all this time, when firing a pistol belonging to a rifle organization (that is, operated by many people) with not the highest quality cartridges, there were only a few delays / distortions. The partner once had a malfunction in the same gun, which required its repair. According to personal feelings, the pistol at first seems uncomfortable, the handle is large for shooters with a small hand, but then you get used to it. In early edition pistols, stores were often incompatible (a magazine from one pistol did not fit the other and vice versa).
Shooters who practice practical shooting professionally usually change the MP-446 to foreign models, for example, the Czech CZ or the Austrian Glock.
However, competition in the market of short-arms sporting weapons forces the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, part of the Kalashnikov Concern, to develop its offspring. In 2016, an improved model was presented - the Viking-M pistol with the main parts resource increased to 50 000.
A large notch appeared on the shutter, including in the front part of the shutter, a Picatinny rail was added for mounting additional accessories. Thanks to the weighting in the front of the frame of the pistol, as well as the elongated and thickened barrel, the balance of the pistol has been improved and its lift has been reduced during firing. For the Viking-M pistol, a new magazine was developed with a single-row cartridge output, however, the gun is compatible with both types of stores, both with single-row and with two-row cartridge output.
Modernization of the Viking pistol in Viking-M is very important, since the developments used in it can later be implemented in the design of the Yarygin MP-443 army pistol. There is no doubt that the Kalashnikov concern would have to compete in the relatively open market of the sports “short bar”, if the gun had been modernized, it would have been an order of magnitude slower, which once again underlines the importance of the civilian weapons market in the country.
I would very much like to hope that the country's arms concerns will resist the temptation by administrative measures to limit access to the domestic market for foreign weapons. This step, although it will bring financial benefits in the short term, will completely discourage their desire to develop and improve their products.
Pistols "Viking-M" (above) and "Viking" (below)
Presentation of the Viking-M pistol from the Kalashnikov concern
In 2012, information appeared in the media about the next Russian murderer of Glock - a Strike One pistol / Swift. The Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, at that time it was D. O. Rogozin, said that the Swift pistol would be put into service and replace Makarov pistols and Yarygin pistols in the Russian Armed Forces.
Later, representatives of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation reported that the Swift pistol was supposed to be included in the Ratnik equipment, but that will be later, but for now the army will buy Gyurza and PJ pistols. And after a couple of months, it was reported at all that the Swift pistol did not pass state tests and was rejected.
The lack of reliable test data does not allow us to understand what the Swift gun of the military didn’t specifically suit, and whether there are any “pitfalls” here, especially considering the fact that the testing center where the tests were carried out is itself a weapon manufacturer and claims delivery of the RF Armed Forces army pistols.
In general, given the fact that pistols are not an atomic bomb, and there can be nothing particularly secret about them, it is quite possible to publish test videos. If you, Russian developers, are confident that our guns are many times superior to foreign ones when working in polluted conditions, show it, get additional competitive advantages, and taxpayers will be able to see that their money is being spent for good reason.
Returning to the pistol "Swift." The developer and manufacturer of the pistol is a joint Russian-Italian company Arsenal Firearms. The gun itself is conceptually and visually reminiscent of the very Glock, which it opposes.
A feature of the pistol "Swift" is a lower position of the barrel relative to the handle, which reduces the toss of the barrel when firing. The barrel of the gun moves along the frame along the guides, locking is carried out by a U-shaped liner that is movable in a vertical plane. In the gun used trigger US type, single action, with a partial cocking of the drummer.
Currently, the Swift pistol as such does not exist anymore, yes, however, it most likely did not exist, but the Italian Strike One pistol hastily adapted for the Russian market.
Arsenal Firearms re-branded due to a trademark dispute, and in the United States became known as Archon Firearms. The Strike One pistol has also undergone a design change, and is being marketed under the name Stryk B. In Russia, the Stryk B pistol can be purchased as a sports weapon.
Pistols "Strike One" (left) and "Stryk B" (right)
Strike One pistol in a body kit that turns it into a compact carbine
Once again, the theme of the army pistol surfaced in 2015, when the Kalashnikov concern presented, developed by the designer Dmitry Lebedev, the perspective PL-14 pistol, after modification renamed the PL-15.
Lebedev's pistol PL-15 uses automatic with the use of recoil bolt, coupled with the barrel, with a short course of the barrel. Unlocking is carried out by lowering the breech breech with a shaped tide under the breech breech. The barrel is locked by a protrusion in the upper part of the barrel by the window for ejection of liners.
The frame of the gun is made of aluminum alloy, in the future we plan to use a frame of high-strength polymer, the maximum thickness of the handle is 28 mm. USM pistol PL-15 trigger, with a hidden trigger and inertial drummer, only double action (descent force is 4 kg, trigger trigger 7 mm). There is a two-sided manual fuse.
A variant of the pistol PL-15-01, which has a single-action impact trigger, with a reduced descent force and trigger stroke, has been developed. Also developed a shortened version - PL-15K.
At the end of 2018, the managing director of the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, Alexander Gvozdika, said that the mass production of the PL-15 pistol would begin in 2019 on the new process equipment. The gun will be produced for power structures and for civilian (read sports) use. At the international exhibition of weapons IDEX, which was held in Abu Dhabi in February 2019, the sports version of the submarine PL-15 - pistol SP1 was presented.
It would be extremely useful if, before being put into service, the PL-15 pistol would have been released in the sports version, and “walked” around the market for several years, in order to reveal all possible design flaws. No experience will replace such an experience, you can give an example from another sphere, when a seemingly repeatedly tested product - a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, suddenly exploded when it hit the real users.
Pistols PL-15 and PL-15K
Estimated set to the pistol PL-15, which allows to turn it into a carbine with an elongated barrel (perhaps the fruit of someone's imagination)
Another potential contender for the title of an army pistol is the self-loading pistol Udav developed by TsNIItochmash. The first information about this gun appeared in 2016 year, but they actively talked about this gun in 2019 year, in connection with the end of state tests.
The gun "boa" is designed to replace the self-loading pistol Serdyukov ATP (CP-1M, "Gurza / Vector") and uses the same ammunition caliber 9x21. Due to the fact that the cartridge 9х21 is used mainly by special units, to say that the gun "Boa" will become the main army gun wrong, rather, he, like the "Gyurza", will be purchased in limited quantities. And to speak about the replacement of this Makarov pistol in the Ministry of Internal Affairs is at least strange.
The gun Boa has a classic design using the recoil energy of the barrel during its short course. Coupling of the barrel and the bolt is carried out by a protrusion in the breech breech with a window for ejection of sleeves, tripping occurs when a figure cutout under the barrel interacts with the frame elements. The frame is made of polymer with steel bearing elements.
Trigger trigger, double action, with openly located trigger. The manual safety levers are duplicated on both sides of the bolt. The capacity of the detachable box magazine with a double-row output is 18 cartridges. An interesting feature of the gun "Boa" is an automatic slide latch; the shutter is removed from the delay automatically when a new store is installed.
It is unlikely that the "Boa" will appear in a commercial version if it is not released in the version for the cartridge, for example, 9x19.
Gun "boa" caliber 9х21
In general, an interesting practice has recently taken shape in Russia. A new pistol appears, the media sing the praises for it, with the obligatory indication of how much it surpasses the world analogues in general, and the Glock pistols in particular. After some time, the hype subsides, sluggishly appear messages about testing and soon adopting, and then information about the next killer
As a result, there are classic Russian questions: who is to blame and what to do?
The easiest way to explain the problems of an army pistol in Russia is the conflict of mutually exclusive interests of arms enterprises and concerns. This is certainly the case, but such is the nature of the market. There was lobbying of interests and undercover bickering not only in Russia, but also in the USA, and in all other countries of the world, it was also in the USSR.
The problem is that in the USA there is a huge domestic market, whose consumers cannot be won by sweet tales. As part of the competition for this market, weak manufacturers are eliminated, the designs of pistols and other weapons are polished, and production lines are improved.
When the moment comes to select a new army pistol, potential suppliers do not need to develop fundamentally new weapons. They take the gun, adopted by the market, the design of which has been worked out by millions of users, and on its basis, often almost without alterations, is offered by its US Army.
And no tricks, and numerous trials will not replace the collective experience gained by manufacturers of weapons from independent users who are not bound by the rule "you will eat what they give." In the end, almost any of the alleged army pistols - GSH-18, PJ, PL-15 or other, can be brought to the required level of quality and suitable for use as an army / police pistol. The question is how many “cones” will be collected in the process of bringing this weapon “to the mind”, and how much time / money will be spent.
What should be done first?
First, to teach to shoot those users of pistols, which they put on duty, and to teach to shoot from what they own now. If an officer of the Armed Forces or the Interior Ministry carries a PM, then give him the opportunity to train in shooting from him, and oblige this opportunity to use, rather than wait for the miracle of a pistol to appear, at the sight of which the enemy immediately drops dead from one of his views. And the consumption of cartridges for these trainings should be at least several hundred per month per person - this is the bare minimum. Targeting the rules of safe handling of weapons adopted at practical shooting competitions in the head.
It is better to be able to shoot from the PM than not to be able to from the Glock.
Domestic enterprises need to stop the vicious practice of targeting the lowest price segment of the market. The lower the price, the lower the salary of the workers, the worse the equipment, and hence the worse product quality and, consequently, the low price. In general, a vicious circle.
The only thing that can motivate weapons manufacturers to develop is competition in the open arms market, including for foreign manufacturers. Even the insignificant volumes that are being implemented now for practicing athletes are forcing manufacturers to move forward. In the case of legalization of rifled short arms for citizens of the Russian Federation, sales will amount to hundreds of thousands - millions.
As a result, the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other law enforcement agencies will be able to receive guaranteed high-quality weapons, as well as employees capable of competently using them. In the meantime, both in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Makarov pistol remains the most common and reliable weapon of its class.