The Soviet Union has always been famous as a manufacturer of reliable, easy-to-maintain, and most importantly inexpensive weapons. Many models of small arms manufactured in the USSR can boast of such technical solutions that have not been used in any other world analogue. Many systems developed by Russian designers later began to be copied by foreign manufacturers. Chinese manufacturers especially liked to copy the Soviet designs, and if Western designers copied only some technical solutions, the Chinese did not disdain to make full copies, which turned out to be not as high-quality as their Soviet counterparts.
One of the most unique developments since the USSR is the original PSM pistol (self-loading small-sized pistol) of 5.45 mm caliber, which was created for the highest army command, as well as for the KGB and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 1974.
General characteristics of the pistol PSM caliber 5.45 mm
Even in the 21st century, when a lot of compact pistols for self-defense were launched, especially in Europe and the USA, there is no pistol more suitable for self-defense and concealed carrying than PSM. Released in 1974, the model was so successful that the PSM is still available in the same form as 40 years ago. PSM has the following characteristics that allowed it to remain popular until now:
- PSM is still considered the flattest serial gun in the world, its width does not exceed 18 mm;
- PSM is a very reliable and reliable gun;
- Despite the fact that the caliber of the gun is only 5.45 mm, the weapon is distinguished by accuracy and accuracy.
For all the years of use, the PSM has repeatedly manifested itself in various combat operations and conflicts around the world.
PSM was created by 3 Soviet designers:
Currently, in addition to the main model of the gun, its traumatic counterpart is also produced, which is called IL-78-9T. This weapon can shoot both rubber bullets and gas cartridges. In addition to the traumatic gun, the manufacturer produces an export model, which is specially modified for the 6.35 x 15 mm Browning cartridge, which is very widespread in the West. Performance characteristics of the export version are slightly higher than the base model. This is achieved through the use of a larger caliber.
On the territory of the CIS, the PSM pistol is still used as a weapon by the special services and as a means of self-defense of the highest command personnel. Often this gun is used as a premium weapon.
The history of the emergence and creation of PSM
Already in the late 60s, the USSR began to develop a special pistol for the top army leadership and representatives of various special services. This gun had to meet the following conditions:
- The mass of the pistol should not exceed 500 grams;
- The absence of any protruding parts on the body of the gun;
- The possibility of hidden wearing even under summer clothes;
- Thickness is no more than 18 mm.
At the same time, the tactical and technical characteristics of the future pistol should have been at the highest level, since this should have been a fairly effective melee weapon. The cartridges, which existed at this moment in the USSR, could not provide the new development with such parameters, therefore it was necessary to create a completely new small-sized cartridge. This took up a group of engineers led by Bochin. As a result of painstaking work, in the shortest possible time it was possible to create a "small-sized cartridge of the central battlefield" or the MOC. The new cartridge had a caliber of 5.45 x 18 mm.
One of the main advantages of the PSM, in addition to its compactness and minimum thickness, was the successful combination of charge power in a cartridge and a pointed bullet. At a distance of 5 meters, this bullet successfully pierced most of the models of "soft" body armor of those years that successfully withstood the hit of 9x19 caliber bullets and 9x18 PM.
However, a bullet of 5.45 mm caliber, despite its power, has a very limited stopping effect. Often a person who received several deadly wounds from this pistol not only continued to run away, but often actively resisted. Although this is a big minus, but the use of this particular caliber made it possible to achieve such a compact model.
The direct history of the PSM pistol began with a competition that took place in 1972. In this competition for the best model of a small-sized pistol, 2 models participated:
- PSM, the main layout of which resembled Walther PP. It was this gun that rather inspired the creators;
- BV-025, which was a reduced copy of a Makarov pistol, only as if flattened.
As a result of the tests, PSM won in almost all nominations. In the same 1972, this gun was adopted.
Strange as it may seem, many representatives of the special services received with delight. PSM having a small size, perfectly suited for hidden wearing. In addition, his system allowed to open fire immediately after extraction. The only complaints were because of its small (in the opinion of the special services, accustomed to more dimensional and powerful weapons) power. What is characteristic, when the Americans began to massively buy an export model of the PSM, it was his power that caused big criticism among the police, which made it possible to pierce light body armor, while inflicting fatal wounds.
PSM in modern Russia
After the collapse of the USSR, the country's powerful defense industry was left without work. The difficult economic situation led to the fact that most of the models of small arms, which had previously entered the army and a number of friendly countries, had to be reoriented to the Western market. Most of the popular Soviet models were refined in accordance with the requirements of foreign countries. Since the Soviet cartridges in the west were extremely unpopular, models for popular western cartridges appeared.
Not escaped a similar fate and PSM. True, the caliber of the pistol had to be urgently changed, since the cartridge of 5.45 x 18 mm in the West was not used at all. Instead, it was chosen popular in the world small-caliber 6.35 mm cartridge Browning, which was used in most models of foreign civilian weapons.
The appearance of the PSM of this caliber allowed the gun to confidently enter the international arms market. Due to its qualities, the gun quickly won an army of fans around the world. The main advantage of the PSM was the possibility of its concealed carrying, due to which this gun perfectly suited for self-defense. In addition, the power of the PSM made it popular not only among respectable citizens, but also among criminals who began to use it as a weapon of attack. It is for this reason that the American police are very wary of the owners of such weapons.
Abroad, the guns of this brand are often used for attempts, which is why in some countries it was banned. Currently, PSM abroad are most often used as a sports weapon, although its fighting qualities even today make PSM an excellent weapon of self-defense. For Russia, this is irrelevant, since local legislation prohibits the use of such weapons to civilians. As an alternative, Russians can be advised of a traumatic version of the PSM, although in Russia traditionally to pistols with large dimensions.
Design features of PSM
The design of the PSM has the following features:
- Automatic pistol, like most other models of the USSR, based on the impact of the free gate;
- The trigger mechanism of the pistol PSM double action, while the trigger is open. The pistol is able to conduct only single shooting;
- The frame of the gun has a reliable connection with the barrel;
- The recoil spring is the same as that of the Makarov pistol, that is, it simply fits on the barrel;
- Under the trigger of the pistol there is a whisper and thrust;
- The box magazine holds 8 rounds;
- After the ammunition is consumed, the pistol bolt is fixed in the rear position, which significantly speeds up the process of reloading the pistol.
In addition, the PSM has two features that made it the favorite gun of the USSR intelligence services:
- The location of the flag on the left side allows you to immediately trigger the trigger if the fuse is turned off;
- If you put the gun on the fuse, the trigger immediately goes down with a platoon.
These features made the PSM a real operational gun, which was put on alert for a few moments, which could save life in a critical situation.
The pistol grip turned out to be very ergonomic. Its shape allows you to perfectly control the gun, both during normal hold and when firing. The handle is attached to the frame of the gun due to the usual stopper. The first models of the pistol were supplied with dural cheeks, then they began to be made from polyamide.
The long barrel of the pistol, despite the overall miniature model, gives the weapon excellent ballistic performance. For domestic special services, the fact that the gun is disassembled and assembled without the use of tools has a huge advantage, which allows it to be cleaned in any conditions.
Technical characteristics of PSM
- The gun was designed to be chambered for 5.45x18 mm MTS;
- The length of the gun is 155 mm;
- Barrel length - 85 mm;
- The equipped weight of the gun is 510 grams, while the weight of the cartridges is not more than 50 grams;
- The thickness of the gun is 18 mm;
- The initial speed of a bullet fired from this pistol is 315 m / s;
- Shop holds 8 rounds.
Various modifications and options for PSM
As in the modern world, no one manufacturer of small arms can only focus on the military market. The market for civilian weapons, especially in the West, is constantly evolving and forcing manufacturers of weapons to constantly modify their samples of weapons, modifying them in accordance with the demands of customers.
Pistol PSM, by virtue of its design, is very popular in the market of civilian weapons. The following PSM samples are most popular in Russia:
- 6P37, which is a gas modification of a combat pistol. This model was produced since 1993 and quickly gained popularity not only among the civilian population, but also among the criminal circles;
- Traumatic PSM "Kolchuga". This gun is designed specifically for use with 9 mm PA rubber bullet cartridges. Since this caliber is much larger than the standard, the PSM pistol has undergone significant changes. The design of the receiver has changed, the feeder has changed, which has become much thicker. The store now contained 6 rounds instead of 8, which is what made it possible to keep the dimensions of the pistol. Despite such significant changes, the traumatic gun "Kolchuga" turned out to be almost a copy of the original combat. Externally, the pistols can be distinguished from each other only by checking the number of cartridges in the store or the stamp of the manufacturer, which indicates the data required for recognition. The barrel was subjected to alteration, as a result of which protrusions appeared in it, which made it impossible to shoot live ammunition. In addition to the protrusions, in the barrel of the gun was changed geometry and density. Some enthusiasts on their own experience were convinced of the consequences of an attempt to shoot a live cartridge from Kolchuga. At best, the barrel is simply deformed, at worst, the shooter will burst in the hands, causing serious injuries. In any case, the market traumatic weapons, PSM "Kolchuga" is one of the most popular models.
Small-sized pistol PSM is a very successful development, which remains popular in our days. Using it by foreign intelligence services once again proves that the PSM has excellent combat characteristics that meet all international standards.