Military Review

Special underwater gun SPP-1

The SPP-1 pistol complex, designed at the end of 1960, is personal weapons fighters detachment combat swimmers. It is designed to combat the underwater saboteurs of the enemy, as well as to protect swimmers from marine predators. In the latter case, this gun can also be used by civilians. The fire from the underwater pistol is conducted only by single shots. The complex for underwater shooting of SPP-1 was put into service in March 1971.

Work on the creation of the complex was started on the initiative proposal received from one of the leading designers of TsNIITOCHMASH in the 1968 year. The designer’s initiative was immediately supported by representatives of the Directorate of the anti-sabotage services of the USSR Navy, who financed the development. When creating a complex, the use of 2 types of ammunition was tested: active-reactive and active. The studies were conducted with the involvement of specialists from the TsAGI branch. As a result, a pistol complex equipped with active ammunition was adopted, which, despite the fact that it was inferior to active-reactive ammunition in combat characteristics, was distinguished by its simplicity of design. This, in turn, made it possible to accelerate the process of arming Soviet combat swimmers with new weapons.

The first research into the development of underwater pistol weapons in our country began in 1966. The originality and complexity of the task lay in the fact that Soviet and foreign counterparts of underwater small arms simply did not exist at that time. Almost completely absent scientific and theoretical development of ammunition and similar weapons. The main problem that confronted the designers was the impossibility of developing a full-fledged underwater firearms weapon. This was due to the fact that shooting under water is accompanied by 2 negative factors: filling the bore with water and high density of water, which is 800 times denser than air.

Special underwater gun SPP-1

If the high density of water led to a decrease in the stability of the bullet on the trajectory and a decrease in firing range, then the filling of the barrel led to a manifold increase in the pressure of the powder gases in the barrel and chamber that act on various moving parts of the weapon, which could lead not only to the destruction of small arms of traditional schemes, but also the doom of the arrow.

Already at the stage of the first tests, the designers determined that the bullets of ordinary structures, when used under water, have a very limited range of a shot, since they begin to lose their effectiveness already at the smallest distances (up to the 1 meter). It was found that they are completely unsuitable for use in underwater small arms. Subsequently, the designers O.P. Kravchenko and PF Sazonov chose a constructive scheme of the underwater cartridge, which was based on the principle of throwing an elongated bullet. At first they succeeded with the help of the theory, and then, on the basis of a complex of research and developmental works, as well as with practical application, they developed a special ammunition for firing with special non-rotating elongated bullets possessing hydrodynamic stabilization, which was provided by movement of bullets under water.

The pistol complex created at TsNIITOCHASH consisted of an SPP-1 non-automatic four-barreled pistol (then SPP-1М), 4,5-mm cartridges for it, as well as 3-x sealed canisters for 3-holders, holsters made of artificial leather, accessories that were designed for equipment clips cartridges, waist belt, oiler and ramrod.

Structurally, the gun was made in the form of non-self-loading model of the traditional form with the ability to conduct a single lamp. The trunk of the SPP-1 was made in the form of a single unit, which was folded down (on the principle of the action of a hunting rifle). A block of 4-x trunks was attached to the axles of the frame. In the combat position, it was fixed with a special latch. This scheme provided the use of long-length cartridges - 145 mm. The pistol had a double-action firing mechanism, which was located behind a block of 4 barrels and provided consistent shots from each of them. The trigger of the pistol worked from a single trigger. At the time of each shot, the drummer made a turn on 90 degrees on a special rotating base and, under the influence of the trigger, smashed the primer cap.

SPP-1 was equipped with a flag fuse, which was located on the frame behind and to the left of the trigger guard and had 3 positions: “fuse”, “fire”, “recharge”. Moving the fuse to the highest position unlocked the barrel unit to produce reloading weapons. It could also be used with gloves. Loading of SPP-1 was carried out by a clip in which 4 of the cartridge was rigidly fixed. The clip accelerated the process of reloading weapons due to the simultaneous insertion of 4 cartridges into the barrels. After the shots, the cartridge cases were removed simultaneously with the clip. For aiming a swimmer could use a fly and a constant sight. The pistol grip was hollow and made of plastic.

All the main parts of the weapon were made of stainless heat-treated steel. Since, in comparison with conventional steels, stainless steels have an increased friction coefficient, to increase the efficiency of the mechanism, all friction parts were coated with a specially developed composition, which included di-molybdenum. This coating served as a solid and effective lubricant. Cylindrical coiled springs were made of ordinary carbon spring steel and were protected from corrosion by high-strength hot-drying varnish. The cheeks, which played the role of a power element, were made of aluminum alloy, they were protected from corrosion by anodizing.

The effective range of firing under water using the standard ATP cartridge dropped with increasing depth of immersion, but in all cases it was above the line of sight at a given depth. The use of this bullet ensured the defeat of the enemy, dressed in a wetsuit, or attacking a sea predator swimmer.

In 1979, the gun was modernized and received the designation SPP-1M. He was distinguished by the presence of a spring, which facilitated the descent, and the increased trigger guard allowed the use of special warmed three-toed mittens by combat swimmers. The gun was transported in a special belt holster made of artificial leather, 12 cartridges in the loaded holders were placed in special metal canisters. The launch of the 4,5-mm pistol SPP-1M, as well as the 5,6-mm submachine gun for underwater firing of the APS, was deployed at the Tula Arms Factory. It is worth noting that the combat swimmers’s weapons complex has no direct analogues.

Performance characteristics of SPP-1М:
caliber - 4,5 mm;
cartridge - ATP (mm 4,5x39)
gun length - 244 mm;
barrel length - 203 mm;
weight with cartridges - 1,03 kg, without cartridges - 0,95 kg;
the initial velocity of the bullet in the air - 250 m / s;
holder capacity - cartridge 4;
sighting range: at a depth of 40 m - 6 m, at a depth of 20 m - 11 m, at a depth of 5 m - 17 m.

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  1. Apollo
    Apollo 26 November 2013 09: 18
    quote-The SPP-1 pistol complex, designed at the end of the 1960's, is the personal weapon of the fighters of the combat swimmers detachment.

  2. bazilio
    bazilio 26 November 2013 09: 45
    Another example of the engineering talent of Soviet designers - everything is simple but effective. In the 1970s, the German NK created an analogue pistol R-11. But unlike the SPP, the German analog had a block of 5 barrels. The cartridges were sealed in a barrel block. after firing all 5 cartridges for reloading, it was necessary to change the barrel block. At least by this one can judge what this German "analogue" really is - to have a pencil case with 4 rounds or a whole hefty block on your belt.
    1. the47th
      the47th 26 November 2013 10: 04
      Another P11 in running order weighed 1,9 kg.
  3. ded_73
    ded_73 26 November 2013 10: 33
    Question to experts. Is the cartridge case for both ATP and MPS marked, or not? If so, which one? It’s just that in different sources in different ways, from digital, generally accepted, to point - special. I would like to hear the opinions of the specialist exploiters. Thanks in advance.
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 26 November 2013 11: 27
      Quote: ded_73
      Is the cartridge case for both ATP and MPS marked, or not?

      The difference in the sleeves: MPS - sleeve with groove, ATP - sleeve with edge.

      MPS / MPST

      Sleeve without brand - Plant No. 711 Klimovskaya stamping plant
      Stamp in the form of 2 points - Cartridge factory No. 38, Yuryuzan.
      1. ded_73
        ded_73 26 November 2013 11: 52
        Those. standard numbering - year of manufacture / lot number on these cartridges not?
        1. Timeout
          Timeout 26 November 2013 11: 55
          No, after all, everything for sofas ... All the designations and markings on the package.
          1. ded_73
            ded_73 26 November 2013 12: 08
            This is logical, but what an infection -,66x39_MPS / Brands. The dispute with friends reaches its climax (rates, respectively). They went out to our Nikolaev swimmers (the Ukrainian center was like on Berezan?), But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they only held training in their hands (these are the ones with whom I talked, do not be offended by the "militants"! Maybe everything is different) ... As I understand it, maybe these are intermediate parties, and the marks on them for practice shooting? I can see from your avatar that you know what you are talking about ...
            1. Timeout
              Timeout 26 November 2013 13: 58
              As far as I remember, the pinnipeds from Vladik said that the cartridges until 89 were marked with the number 3 and year. Well, then the shells were used by different plants. This is the usual 5,45x39 (M74). So they do not have special markings. Only labeling of the manufacturer.
              1. Timeout
                Timeout 26 November 2013 14: 02
                Z.Y. Found a link!;cat=739
                It turns out that this is the number of the plant (UPZ) in the past named after Volodarsky.
                1. ded_73
                  ded_73 27 November 2013 10: 16
                  In the next two weeks there will be an opportunity to personally look. Unsubscribe to you in PM. Thanks for the help.
  4. Ascetic
    Ascetic 26 November 2013 11: 52
    In general, it’s more correct to call not a gun but pistol complex of underwater weapons(PKPO).

    4,5 mm four-barrel special submarine gun SPP-1 (SPP-1M) + 4,5 mm SPS cartridge.
    SPP-1M pistols and APS submachine guns armed combat swimmers guarding the Kirov missile cruiser off the coast of Malta during a meeting of Presidents George W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989.
    SPP-1 (SPP-1M), pistol complex of underwater weapons
    1. Timeout
      Timeout 26 November 2013 12: 02
      Then we have to call everything complexes starting from AK. This plague went after the development of the ATP \ Vector SR-1 \ Gyurza. The developers called the pistol cartridge complex, and after that went on a run. So the concept is very loose. Especially now, new developments are being carried out under a new cartridge in a design similar to that of an automatic machine gun.
      1. Ch0sen1
        Ch0sen1 26 November 2013 16: 32
        Then it’s not with Kalashnikov but with Mosin that the countdown should begin winked
        1. Hudo
          Hudo 30 November 2013 23: 09
          Quote: Ch0sen1
          Then it’s not with Kalashnikov but with Mosin that the countdown should begin winked

          Then right from Berdan.
  5. alex-cn
    alex-cn 26 November 2013 14: 06
    "and also to protect swimmers from marine predators. In the latter case, this pistol can also be used by civilians."
    We’ll wait ... a club with nails, they won’t give another.
    1. Assistant
      Assistant 26 November 2013 20: 10
      as well as to protect swimmers from marine predators

      But is it really possible to protect oneself from a sea predator?
  6. max702
    max702 26 November 2013 19: 47
    There are definitely no analogues? Or their specialists with our remarks cut through the depths? I can’t believe it in my life that knowing that the swimmers of the most likely enemy are armed with machine guns and pistols they will trample with knives .. I think that there are no people who want it .. and therefore ...
    1. poquello
      poquello 26 November 2013 22: 47
      Quote: max702
      There are definitely no analogues? Or their specialists with our remarks cut through the depths? I can’t believe it in my life that knowing that the swimmers of the most likely enemy are armed with machine guns and pistols they will trample with knives .. I think that there are no people who want it .. and therefore ...

      china's trying
      read here, and about the next generation of ours - already double-faced

      "Of particular burning interest are the Soviet APS submachine gun (special underwater submachine gun) and the SPP-4 non-automatic 1-barrel pistol (special underwater pistol) intended for underwater shooting. These samples were created more than 20 years ago, but only in the early 90s. were officially presented to the public. To say that this complex of underwater weapons and ammunition aroused great interest of Western experts is to say nothing. It was a shock. And it was from what. This is explained by the fact that, for example, in the United States, the problem of creating an underwater machine for a long time it was considered unsolvable in principle and stood on a par with the development of a perpetual motion machine and a transparent tank in the real perspective of implementation "
      1. Alex 241
        Alex 241 26 November 2013 22: 53
        In Tula, weapons were created that can shoot both under water and on land. Two-medium special machine gun (ADS) under water fires with 5,45x39-mm caliber ammunition. In the air - with classic cartridges of the same caliber 5,45x39 mm. You just need to change the store, equipped with cartridges for underwater shooting, to a new one, in which the usual cartridges for the standard “Kalashnikov”. And the ADF has a grenade launcher for 40-mm rounds of VOG-25 and VOG-25P. The kit may include a tactical muffler and various sights.The machine has passed the full cycle of military tests and received positive reviews. Now it is in trial operation. The decision to take it into service can be made in the near future.

        Weight with a grenade launcher - 4,6 kg;

        Length - 685 mm;

        Cartridges 5,45x39 mm: PSP-UD - for underwater shooting, 7N6 - for firing in the air;

        Rate of fire - 800 shots / min;

        Landing range on land - 500 m.
        1. Alex 241
          Alex 241 26 November 2013 23: 01
          underwater ADS Automatic Two-Special Special ADS amphibious
        2. mirag2
          mirag2 27 November 2013 02: 49
          Super! Excellent! There are no words .... others.
    2. Kir
      Kir 30 November 2013 16: 37
      I don’t know how everyone, but there was information that Italian specialists use our APS, but in general, do not forget the main thing that the arms trade in general is not a very advertised topic, and then there are special purposes.