The history of Stechkin automatic pistol
In 1948, a student of the Tula Mechanical Institute, while defending a diploma on the subject “A self-loading pistol of 7.62mm caliber,” prepared the drawings, and, in addition, produced a prototype and tested the blank cartridges. The name of the young talent Igor Yakovlevich Stechkin. They say that the young gunsmith, in response to the criticism of one of the teachers, said that this gun would not even shoot at the diploma defense, shot from his own made gun at the ceiling.
After the institute, I. Ya. Stechkin was assigned to work at TsKB-14. There, he was assigned to design a pistol for a 9-mm cartridge, capable of conducting both single and automatic firing at a distance of up to 200 m, with a large-capacity magazine, the holster of which could be used as a butt. Then, when this project was developed and approved, I. Ya. Stechkin manufactured the first prototype with a magazine for 20 cartridges. Being a thorough man, Igor Yakovlevich always tried to bring the work he had started to the end.
From January 24, 1948 to January 14, 1949 the gun passed factory tests. Then there were tests at the site from April 16 to June 22, 1949, and – participation in the competition for the creation of a military pistol for the Soviet armed forces. In addition to the young talent, much more experienced and venerable gunsmiths P.V. Voevodin and M.T. Kalashnikov participated in the competition, who submitted their weapon samples, so I.Ya. Stechkin was a kind of “dark horse” on it. But – it was he who was destined to win the competition. The samples of P.V. Voevodina and M.T. Kalashnikov were not tested. Voevodin withdrew from the competition, Kalashnikov some time later presented a modified model, but it also did not fully meet the stated tactical and technical requirements. And best of all they matched just a Stechkin pistol.
TTX, features and disadvantages of the Stechkin pistol
However, in the design of the pistol were identified some shortcomings that should be fixed, namely:
- Big weight (1,220 kg gun itself and 0.7 kg holster),
- The inconvenience and unreliability of the holster due to the unsuccessful extension design,
- The fuzzy work of the moderator and the interaction whispered with the trigger,
- The fragile shop, the insufficient survivability of the transmitting lever and the spring whispered,
- Lack of sight installations at 50,100 and 200 meters (the sight was at 25 and 75 m),
- The inconvenience of using the fuse due to the small flag head,
- Great assembly and disassembly time,
- Unattractive appearance.
On the elimination of the above defects took a year. As a result, the following amendments were made:
- The mass of the pistol was reduced to 1020 grams, and the holsters to 450 grams,
- Improved trigger, impact and slow mechanisms,
- The time of assembly and disassembly of the gun is reduced four times and brought to the norm,
- Reduced the number of parts
- Simplified transmitting lever
- Improved store and whisper spring,
- Due to the more convenient design of the holster-butt, the accuracy of shooting has been improved,
- A new sight was made on 25, 50, 100 and 200 m,
- Increased the head of the fuse box,
- Changed the design of the trigger guard,
- The recoil spring is placed on the barrel, the design of the sear and stop of the shutter is changed,
- Improved appearance: improved shape of the shutter, changed the angle of the handle, reduced the overall length.
|Tactical and technical characteristics APS|
|Caliber||9 * 18 mm|
|total length||225 mm|
|Barrel length||140 mm|
|Unloaded weight||1220 gr|
|Store capacity||20 rounds|
|Rate of fire||700-750 shots / min.|
Due to the larger capacity of the store and a longer barrel, the fire fighting force of the APS was clearly superior to Makarov. If necessary, it was possible to shoot bursts from the MTA. When firing single, he had greater accuracy, and most importantly, greater accuracy than the PM (due to low recoil and completely insignificant toss weapons when fired). APS is easy to maintain and also has a significant margin of safety. Some pistols are about 40,000 shots without cracks on the bolt-casing and other serious damage.
Adoption and “track record” APS
In 1951, the Stechkin Automatic Pistol (APS) was adopted by the Soviet Army.
The crews of tanks and combat vehicles, gun crews, the first calculation numbers of heavy machine guns and grenade launchers, officers of the Navy and KGB border guards, as well as other categories of military personnel who needed compact weapons with high firepower, began to arm with a new pistol. In some sense, the APS has become an analogue of the PDW concept (Personal Defense Weapon – ed.) – a personal weapon of self-defense that is widespread today. In the west, analogues of the APS did not exist throughout the 50-60s of the XX century.
APS was supplied to the Warsaw Pact countries, as well as “developing countries”, such as Libya, Mozambique, Angola, Zambia. It is known that Che Guevara carried with him a pistol of this particular brand.
APS has proven itself in combat conditions (“skirmishes with Bandera and“ forest brothers ”, the events of 1956 in Hungary), but – in peacetime, was not in demand. Too heavy and bulky for a pistol and, at the same time, not long-range for a submachine gun. In the late 50s, the pistol was removed from production, and in 1981, the APS was replaced with the AKS-74U in the Soviet Army. (already from the 60s, most of the APS were delivered to the warehouse, but for machine gunners and grenade throwers it remained until the 80s). At the same time, in the KGB and parts of the GRU (that is, where weapons are needed, first of all, for the cause and not at all for show), they continued to use the pistol.
As the further course of events showed, in some situations a similar pistol was very helpful. In the conditions of Afghanistan, and later in some of the hot spots in the former Soviet Union, the special forces had to work in conditions where automatic bullets could pierce walls, ricochet, creating problems for civilians. In the usual pistol, PM or TT ammunition is too small. The best option was APS, more precisely, its silent version of APB – rapid-fire, multi-charge, moderate power.
During the Chechen wars, a Stechkin pistol armed snipers and pilots as personal weapons. Stechkin pistol is still in service with a number of Ukrainian special forces: Berkut, Alpha, Titan, etc.