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Stechkin APS.jpg
Stechkin automatic pistol
Type Pistol, Machine Pistol
Place of origin  Soviet Union
Service history
Used by See Users
Production history
Designer Igor Yakovlevich Stechkin
Designed 1948
Manufacturer Tula Arsenal
Produced 1951–1975
Weight 1.22 kg (2.69 lbs)
Length 225 mm (8.86 in)
Barrel length 140 mm (5.51 in)

Cartridge 9×18mm Makarov, 9×19mm Parabellum.[1]
Action blowback
Rate of fire 750 rounds/minute
Muzzle velocity 340 m/s (9×18mm Makarov)
Effective range 50 m (9×18mm Makarov)
Maximum range 200 m
Feed system 20-round detachable box magazine

The Stechkin automatic pistol or APS (Avtomaticheskiy Pistolet Stechkina, [Автоматический Пистолет Стечкина] Error: {{Lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)) is a Russian selective fire machine pistol. It bears the name of its developer, Igor Stechkin.

Adoption and service

The Stechkin automatic pistol was originally chambered for 7.62×25mm Tokarev. Stechkin changed the pistol to the 9 mm caliber used in the new Makarov pistol (PM), as it became clear that this cartridge was set to become the new service ammunition for handguns of the Soviet Army. In 1951, both the Makarov and Stechkin were introduced into the Soviet military arsenal, replacing the aging Tokarev pistol (TT-33). They have little in common except for the simple unlocked blow-back mechanism.

In contrast to the Makarov, the Stechkin has an automatic fire mode, which is selected using the safety lever. In burst or automatic fire, the pistol should be fitted with the wooden or metal shoulder stock; otherwise, the weapon becomes difficult to control. The detachable stock is similar in appearance and design to that of the Mauser C96, and likewise, the pistol can be stored inside when not in use. The extra weight of the stock helps to control the recoil.

The Stechkin was intended as a sidearm for artillery soldiers, tank crews and aircraft personnel. As a pistol, it is rather heavy, and combined with the shoulder stock (which was rarely ever used attached), it is quite bulky. This led to the APS being gradually phased out of active service, although it is still used mostly by special forces and also held in reserve. The Stechkin APS was eventually at least officially replaced[citation needed] by the AKS-74U compact assault rifle with folding stock, offering more firepower due to its much more powerful 5.45×39mm M74 rifle ammunition, acceptable accuracy at moderate distances, and greater magazine capacity.

A contemporary derivative of the Stechkin, the OTS-33 Pernach, is also chambered for the 9×18mm Makarov cartridge.

APB silent variant

The APB (Avtomaticheskij Pistolet Besshumnyj, meaning automatic silenced pistol) version was a version of the APS optimized for silent operations. Developed in the early 1970s by A.S. Neugodov (А.С. Неугодов) under the factory name AO-44, it was officially adopted in 1972 under the service name APB and given GRAU index 6P13. Muzzle velocity reportedly dropped to 290 m/s in this variant.[2] Instead of the holster-stock of the APS, the APB comes with a detachable stock made of steel wire. Its barrel is longer than that of the APS; it protrudes from the slide and is threaded for the attachment of a sound suppressor. The barrel itself is also wrapped around by an integrated expansion chamber, in which gasses escape from holes in the barrel. When not in use, the detachable sound suppressor can be clipped to the stock.[3]

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the APB was used by Soviet Spetsnaz team leaders as an extra weapon; they usually carried on a sling with the suppressor and stock mounted. It was also employed by radio operators and even by some heavy gun crews.[3]

In the more recent past, other special forces units of the MVD such as the OMON and the SOBR have also been equipped with this pistol.[citation needed]


  •  Angola[4]
  •  Bulgaria: Used by various police forces, SOBT, Gendarmerie and others.[citation needed]
  •  Cuba[5]
  •  Kazakhstan[6]
  •  Mongolia[7]
  •  Mozambique[4]
  •  Russia: Used by various police forces.[8] and security guards of the Central Bank of The Russian Federation[9]
  •  Romania: Manufactured variant known as Dracula md. 98[10]
  •  Soviet Union[11]
  •  Tanzania[4]
  •  Ukraine[12]
  •  Vietnam: Standard issue.[citation needed]
  •  Zambia[4]

See also


  1. Jane's Guns Recognition Guide 2005, page 73.
  2. Оружие ближнего боя. Geleos (Гелеос) Publishing House. 2006. p. 95. ISBN 978-5-8189-0443-6. ; note there is typo of his middle initial on this page; it's given correctly on p. 135 though, matching other sources
  3. 3.0 3.1 Оружие ближнего боя России / Russian Close Combat Weapon (2010), pp. 88-89, ISBN 978-5-904540-04-3; Moscow: Association "Defense Enterprises Assistance League"; almanac publication sponsored by Rosoboronexport
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Jones, Richard (2009). Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009-2010. Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2869-2. 
  5. "Comando Tropas Especiales". Retrieved 2009-06-15. 
  6. Постановление Кабинета Министров Республики Казахстан № 110 от 2 февраля 1995 г. "О мерах по реализации Закона Республики Казахстан "О государственном контроле за оборотом отдельных видов оружия""
  7. Thompson, Leroy (1999). "Machine Pistols". Petersen Publications. pp. 43–44. 
  9. «Организации и их территориальные подразделения могут использовать до вывода из эксплуатации по техническому состоянию… 9 мм пистолет АПС… иное боевое оружие, ранее приобретенное в установленном порядке и не включенное в настоящий перечень.»
    Постановление Правительства Российской Федерации № 460 от 22 апреля 1997 г. «О мерах по обеспечению юридических лиц с особыми уставными задачами боевым ручным стрелковым оружием» (в ред. от 29 мая 2006 г.)
  10. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  11. Bishop, Chris. Guns in Combat. Chartwell Books, Inc (1998). ISBN 0-7858-0844-2.

External links

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