Tiny Gun Quietly Sprays Lots of Lead
The APB is Russian commandos’ suppressed machine pistol
by MATTHEW MOSS
The APB — that’s short for Avtomaticheskij Pistolet Besshumnyj — evolved from Igor Stechkin’s automatic pistol, the Avtomaticheskij Pistolet Stechkina, or APS.
The APS was kind of a mess, but the APB has proved to be much more useful.
Stechkin designed the APS in 1948 as a pistol-size personal-defense weapon. A select-fire weapon with a 20-round magazine and a high cyclic rate,the APS weighed just 2.6 pounds, loaded.
The APS found something of a niche in the early 1970s when A.S. Neugodov outfitted it with a suppressor. But even with a shoulder stock, the APS was practically uncontrollable in full-auto. It entered Russian service in 1951 and all but disappeared in the early 1980s.
Compared to the APS, the APB’s barrel is longer and ported, and features an integral expansion tube with a quick-detachable interface on the muzzle.
The APB’s suppressor has a set of three, fixed steel baffles within the housing. The suppressor is offset from the center to allow use of the pistol’s standard sights. The overall length of the weapon in its most usable configuration, with suppressor and stock, is just 31 inches.
The pistol’s reduced muzzle velocity, the wire stock and the suppressor’s additional weight improves the handling of the weapon. Two- or three-round bursts are accurate out to 20 yards.
Spetsnaz teams used the APB during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and it remains in use with the Spetsnaz, the new National Guard of Russia and other special police and military units.
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