Gun Gryazev-Shipunova GSH-18: the history of creation, design and technical characteristics

The GS-18 is a 9 mm Russian self-loading pistol developed in the late 90s in the Tula Instrument Engineering Design Bureau (KBP). The creation of the gun was led by the famous gunsmiths Gryazev and Shipunov, therefore the designation of the weapon is the first letters of their surnames, and the number "18" is the number of cartridges in the store.

Serial production of GSH-18 began in 2001, the gun is a success in the international market.

The gun was put into service in 2000. Since then, it has been actively used by various power structures of the Russian Federation. At first, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation (2000) became interested in it, the following year the pistol was put into service with some units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. In 2003, GS-18 was commissioned by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Later, the prosecution officers of the Russian Federation and the bailiffs began using the pistol as personal weapons.

Since the beginning of mass production of the pistol, several modifications of the GSH-18 have been developed, including the traumatic version, which was demonstrated to the public at the exhibition at the end of 2010. A pistol should not be confused with a pneumatic pistol GSH-18, which, of course, is not a military weapon.

History of creation

In the early 90s, the Russian army and other power structures of the country became acutely faced with the problem of equipping them with new short-barreled weapons with tactical and technical characteristics more relevant to modern requirements. And it was not only about creating a new pistol, but rather about developing a new rifle complex, which would include both a pistol and ammunition.

For several decades, the Makarov pistol (PM) was the main “shortbore” in service with the Soviet power structures. However, in the late 80s, it became apparent that it was lagging behind similar Western models. In many ways, the shortcomings of the PM were due to the low-power cartridge 9x18 mm. His breakdown and stopping characteristics are clearly insufficient.

The problem was that usually some designers were engaged in the development of ammunition, while others were developing weapons. This reduced the work efficiency and had a negative effect on the final result. By the mid-80s, the main armies of the world actively used second and third generation body armor against which the PM pistol cartridge was powerless. It was necessary to create a new pistol for a more powerful cartridge, not inferior to the NATO Parabellum 9x19.

A group of Tula gunsmiths, led by the designers Gryazev and Shipunova, started creating a new pistol ammunition based on the standard 9x18 PM cartridge. The idea was to increase the power of the cartridge not by increasing the momentum, but due to the muzzle energy of the bullet with an armor-piercing core. Thus, the designers planned to significantly improve the performance characteristics of the Makarov pistol.

A new bullet was created, which had a heat-strengthened steel core in a plastic jacket. Her initial speed increased from 315 meters per second to 500. Because of this, she could pierce a five-millimeter steel sheet from a distance of 10 meters, which is not always possible even for the best foreign “short barrels”. The new cartridge could easily be used in a conventional PM pistol, greatly enhancing its performance.

In the beginning of the 90s, a competition was announced for the creation of a new pistol for the armed forces of the Russian Federation (ROC "Grach"). Among its participants were such eminent Russian manufacturers of small arms as the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant and TsNIITOCHMASH. In 1998, the design team of Gryazev-Shapunov joined the competition. Tula designers wanted to use the experience gained during the work on the armor-piercing bullet to the PM.

The basis was taken pistol cartridge 9x19. The bullet received a heat strengthened core and a bimetallic shell. Its mass has decreased compared to the standard 9x19 “Parabellum” cartridge (4.1 g instead of 6-7.5 g), but the bullet speed has significantly increased (up to 600 m / s). Due to this, she could pierce body armor of the third class of protection or steel plate 8 mm thick at a distance of 15 meters.

At the same time there was work on the new gun. Designers have carefully studied the design of the most modern and popular foreign pistols. Their greatest attention was attracted by the Glock-17, which not only has excellent characteristics, but is also very comfortable to wear and use. It is easy to see that in the design of the GSH-18, many successful design solutions of Austrian gunsmiths were used: the absence of external fuses, the half-armature of the striker, the work of automation based on recoil of the barrel with a short stroke.

Tula gunsmiths joined the competition to create a new pistol rather late - in 1998. Over the next year, GS-18 was fully completed and took part in state trials, which lasted until mid-2000. During the tests, the gun was significantly improved, the designers were able to increase the life of its main components, the reliability of the GSH-18 increased. Pistol acquired the appearance that we know today.

Among the changes that have been made to the design of GSH-18, first of all, the principle of locking the bolt should be noted. For cartridges of 9 × 19 mm, locking by turning the barrel with a hook for the liner extraction window was not suitable. The designers tried several other types of locking: with the help of a swinging lever (as in the "Walter") or an earring (as in the TT), but for various reasons these solutions did not fit.

In the final version, the locking occurred due to the rotation of the bolt, but its mechanism was thoroughly revised. The angle of rotation was sharply reduced (to 18 degrees), and locking took place immediately to ten lugs located in the front of the barrel. Such a mechanism in combination with a polymer frame reduced the recoil of the weapon, because a significant part of it was used to rotate the barrel.

Gun device

Automation GSH-18 works due to recoil of the barrel with its short stroke, which allows the use of a lighter and shorter shutter. The barrel is locked by rotation. Such a scheme is very effective in terms of size and weight of weapons, but it is used quite rarely.

Like the Austrian "Glock", the GSH-18 frame is made of plastic (glass-filled polyamide) with steel inserts, which, again, reduces the weight of the weapon and reduces recoil due to the damping properties of the material. The barrel of the GSH-18 pistol has six cut-outs of polygonal shape, it is made by cold forging.

The trigger mechanism GSH-18 - double action striker type. It has an original design: during the movement of the shutter a partial arming of the striker takes place, and the addition is carried out by pressing the trigger. This design was first proposed by the talented Czech gunsmith Karel Krnka for the “Rota” pistol, but then for many years was forgotten. Again, it was brought to life in the Austrian “Glocke”, but now with the use of modern solutions and materials.

However, the idea of ​​Gaston Glock on the Tula pistol failed completely to complete; Vasily Petrovich Gryazev had to go a little different way. On the GSH-18 cover-bolt, moving to the extreme rear position, fully compresses the mainspring located around the firing pin. Forward, the shutter cushion rushes under the action of two springs at once, returnable and combat, during movement it pushes the next cartridge from the store. Then the mainspring stops at the sheptal, and the return spring brings the bolt to the final position.

That is, the idea of ​​a semi-submerge of a drummer was implemented, but in a different, more efficient way.

It should be noted that the gun is easily understood in the field, it does not need additional tools.

Ammunition is produced from a two-row magazine with a capacity of eighteen rounds. They have a chess arrangement, and at the exit are reconstructed in one row. Such a design greatly simplifies the overall layout of the weapon and improves the conditions for sending the cartridge into the barrel. The store has a powerful spring, the latch is behind the trigger guard and can be rearranged on either side of the gun. After pressing it, the magazine drops out of the handle with its own weight.

GSH-18 has four fuses: two of which block the descent, and two more - work when the trunk is not fully locked. When you press the trigger, a small protrusion of the automatic safety device is pressed in, and only then a shot is fired. Another fuse blocks the sear and stops working when the trigger is fully pressed. If the barrel is not fully locked, one fuse blocks the sear, and the other locks the drummer and prevents it from smashing the cap.

Four fuses ensure complete safety of handling the GSH-18 in any conditions. During the tests, the gun maintained multiple drops on the concrete with a cocked drummer. At the same time, GSH-18 is always ready for use, which is provided by a self-retarding trigger and automatic fuse.

Sights gun - standard, they consist of an open rear sight and front sight, adjustable in a horizontal plane. The rear sight is on the shutter block, which is considered by many critics to be a flaw in the pistol: over time, the shutter block is loosened, which reduces the accuracy of shooting. For shooting in the dark, the rear sight and the front sight can be equipped with luminous capsules.


To date, several modifications of the gun have been developed:

  • Tactical modification GS-18. The release of this version of the gun was launched in late 2012. It differs from the base model with a new polymeric frame material, a modified shape of the trigger guard, the addition of a Picatinny rail and an increase in the length of the frame for installing CBE.
  • GSH-18 "Sport". Modification of the gun, first presented in October 2010 at the arms exhibition. From the base model, it differs in the design of the fuse on the trigger, the new magazine for ten rounds and ribbing on the front of the case.
  • GSH-18 "Sport 2". Modification of the gun, the release of which was launched in early 2012. Its main differences are the modified shape of the handle and the magazine capacity of eighteen rounds.


Gun GSH-18 can use several types of ammunition. A special 9 × 19 mm 7N31 armor-piercing cartridge with a core of heat-treated steel was developed for it. The bullet weighs 4.1 grams, its initial speed is 600 m / s, and the energy is 600 J. In addition, the GSH-18 can use standard 9 × 19 mm ammunition Parabellum and the Russian cartridge 9 × 19 mm 7H21. It should be noted that the muzzle energy of the latter exceeds a similar characteristic of the NATO 9x19 cartridge.

For gun GSH-18 was specially designed cartridge 9x19 PBP, which has higher characteristics of armor penetration. The bullet of this ammunition has a heat-strengthened core, an aluminum shirt, which ensures that it breaks through all classes of body armor, up to the third inclusive. Even the bullet of the 7.62x25 TT cartridge cannot boast of such results.

Reviews of GSH-18: advantages and disadvantages of a gun

GSH-18 turned out to be a rather ambiguous pistol, the controversy around its advantages and disadvantages has not abated until now. If we talk about the positive qualities of this weapon, then we should note the high level of its ergonomics, which is provided first of all with a comfortable grip and low pistol weight. GSH-18 has a capacious store, the barrel is low relative to the hands of the arrow. The gun is well balanced, part of the recoil is compensated by turning the barrel and compressing the mainspring.

The center of gravity of the pistol is close to the axis of the bore, which allows you to quickly return the weapon to the aiming point after the shot is fired. This increases the accuracy of shooting.

Blowing up the sleeves slightly compensates for a barrel toss after a shot.

Also to the undoubted advantages of this weapon should be attributed to its high technology, which is very positive effect on the cost of the gun. Frame GSH-18 is made by casting from a durable and relatively cheap polymer.

GSH-18 has excellent punching characteristics: at a distance of 50 meters, the bullet of the 7H31 cartridge is able to flash 30 layers of Kevlar. Installing a silencer almost completely hides the sound of a shot. Another advantage of the gun is a wide range of ammunition, which can use GSH-18.

However, there is another opinion about this gun. Due to the characteristics of the trigger, the pistol is very heavy and long descent, and the comfortable handle only partially compensates for this disadvantage. Those who used the GS-18, describe his descent as "too straightforward", which is very unusual for most shooters.

The powerful bullet that the pistol uses results in significant recoil, the low weight of the weapon further aggravates the situation. In addition, throwing the sleeve up is not very convenient and unusual for most shooters.

There are also many complaints about the design and quality of the store. It is almost impossible to charge more than 12-15 rounds into it without using extras.

A lot of complaints about the quality of the production of mass-produced weapons. Especially a lot of complaints about the processing of internal surfaces of parts of the gun.

The casing has sharp edges on which it is easy to injure your hands when disassembling a pistol, therefore it is better to make it with gloves. Such a drawback seems insignificant if we are talking about the use of the GSH-18 by the Russian military or law enforcement officers, however, it becomes important in the event that weapons are launched on foreign markets. The modern consumer is too spoiled, he can choose from a large number of pistols, which (at least) are not inferior to GSH-18 in basic characteristics. So the quality issue becomes archival.


Below are the main characteristics of the gun GSH-18:

  • caliber - 9 mm;
  • used cartridges - 9 × 19 "Luger", 7H31 and 7H21;
  • weight without cartridges - 0.59 kg;
  • length - 183.5 mm;
  • bullet speed - 535-570 m / s;
  • rate of fire - 15-20 shots / min;
  • magazine capacity - 18 rounds.

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