Russian Police moving away from AK carbines and Makarov pistol.

Last month the Deputy Head of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Suhodolskogo, announced that Russian police (the MVD) would be moving away from the AKS-74U (5.45mm 8″ barreled sub-carbine) and the famous Makarov pistol.

Reasons cited are increased gang violence (seems police use this line all over the world) and the potential for ricochets and over penetration of the 5.45mm cartridge.

The police are too replace the AKS-74U with two submachine guns: The Knight and the PP-2000.

Picture 18-10
The Knight / Vityaz / PP-19-01. Photo from

I know very little about the Knight. I know it is made by Izhmash and I would guess by looking at the photo that it will fire 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum and will be able to handle the +P+ Russian 7N31 armor piercing round. The receiver also looks shorter than the AK carbines and rifles. I can’t make out if it is gas operated or not.

The Knight could be possibly be a redesign of the 9A-91 compact rifle that fired the 9x39mm cartridge.

Thanks to jdun and R.A.W in the comments I have more information on the Knight. It looks like it was originally known as the AK-9, but this may just be a name given to it in the west. The russian name in the Arabic alphabet, according to, appears to be Vityaz with one model called the Vityaz-SN. The word Vityaz means ancient warrior, hence the translation as Knight. It is not clear if the westernized name is used officially. According to the official product name is PP-19-01 but I am not sure if that is accurate.

Pp2000 2

The PP-2000 is a cool looking submachine gun. It fires the 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum and can handle both AP (7N31) and armor piercing (7N21) loads. It operates with a telescoping bolt, thereby reducing size, and although it looks like it may be gas operated in the photo, it is not. It uses 20 and 44 round magazines. A spare 44 round magazine can be inserted into the back of the receiver and used as a stock if the wire folding stock it not attached.

The Baikal Yarygin PYa / MP-443 “Grach” pistol, which I dubbed the “Ugliest modern pistol“, will be replacing the Makarov PM. The reasons for this are obvious. Twice the magazine capacity and a much more powerful round. The 9x18mm Makarov cartridge is closer to the .380 ACP rather than the 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum.

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Baikal Yarygin PYa / MP-443 “Grach” pistol

In Moscow’s Shadows analyzed what this announcement means. Like US police departments the Russian police have been buying cheap military surplus firearms, but unlike US law enforcement this is all they have been buying.

Also unlike US police departments, and like much of the world, the MVD are employed, financed and administered by the central government. I think this arms upgrade, which will cost a fortune, demonstrates Russia’s new found wealth.

Hat Tip: Backyard Safari

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • First, thanks for linking to my blog! 🙂

    But I think I need to correct your last sentences:

    “Also unlike US police departments, and like much of the world, the MVD are employed, financed and administered by the central government.”

    The law enforcement system in Russia is more complicated. The police (“Militsia”) is subordinate to the Ministries of Internal Affairs (MVD or GUVD) of the regional governments. The federal MVD has only some oversight rights. The true federal police force are the riot police (“Internal Troops” of the federal MVD) and the FSB as a criminal police (like the FBI in the US).

    “I think this arms upgrade, which will cost a fortune, demonstrates Russia’s new found wealth.”

    I think there will not be many new guns anytime soon. The federal MVD gave a press information … and we will see what is happening in a few years. I believe only special units and the police of the larger cities will get new weapons within the next five years. The others will follow sometimes later. The MVD itself spoke of “some years” for the whole process.
    As I wrote on my blog, the “Grach” pistol was adopted by the Russian Armed Forces as new standard sidearm in the year 2000, but only a few weapons were actually issued (mostly in Chechnya). Also the new “Abakan” rifle was officially adopted, but only a few found their way to the forces.
    Therefore I’m sure the process of changing the police weapons will take a long time.



    PS: I hope my English is not too bad.

  • jdun

    “Russia’s new found wealth” is a pipe dream. Their stock market crashed and oil priced will drop below $50.

    Anyway the Russian move is backward. The US polices have be using AR15 in 5.56 for years. US Law Enforcement have all but replaced the sub machine guns with AR15.

  • @ jdun:
    “’Russia’s new found wealth’ is a pipe dream.”

    No, it’s a reality.

  • Krenkel, thanks for explaining that.

    I enjoy reading your blog, unfortunately Google Translate does not always do a good job!

    Do you know anything about the “Knight”/”Рыцарь” sub machine gun? I can’t find any information on the internet.

  • I would be very interested to know if the Knight is blowback or gas operated.

  • jdun

    Krenkel, they have no money to build their current projects. Their stock market crashed. Over 50% lost. Oil is around $60. It’s a pipe dream.

  • From the Daily Telegraph-

    Its confidence restored by a booming economy built on energy, Russia feels that it can regain some of its Soviet-era military power, a position emphasised by the large rise in defence spending.

    The defence budget will rise by 25 per cent alone next year and by close to 50 percent in 2011, when it will stand at close to £32 billion.

    Analysts say that if increases continue at the same rate, Russia will overtake Britain as the world’s second biggest military spender by the middle of the next decade.

    Link –

  • jdun

    Do you know what the oil price today? Around $65. It was over $110 six months ago. It is expected to reach below $50 and stay there for a long time. You can build an economy out of oil.

    The worst thing that could have happen to Russia and the world is Obama. He will keep the US in an recession long then expected. That means the world economy is screwed. Without the economic strength of the US, the world economies will suffer.

    $46 billions isn’t much for defense compare to Japan military budget which is over $60 billions and the US almost $600 billions.

  • jdun

    You can’t build an economy out of oil. That’s what I meant.

  • jdun
  • R.A.W.

    The Knight SMG is listed at

    Apparently it’s a standard kalashnikov receiver that’s been converted to a 9mm length magazine well and a blowback bolt. Sort of like 9mm AR-15 conversions I suppose. I guess the gas block is just there to mount the front sight.

    It’s apparently related to the bizon SMG, except that it uses conventional box magazines rather than the bizon’s helical feed magazines. The version you have pictured appears to be the later mark with a left-sided charging handle and safety as well as picatinny rails.

  • jdun and R.A.W., thanks very much for that info. I have updated the post.

  • @ steve:

    I wrote a longer comment yesterday, but it seems that it got lost. But the others have already written about the Knight SMG.

    @ jdun:

    AFAIK today we have a worldwide economic crisis, which didn’t start in Russia. And the stock market is not the same as an economy … (But this has nothing to do with firearms so I will stop here.)

    @ Jay.Mac:

    This may sound alarming but in fact it is not. Most of the Russian military hardware is hopelessly outdated, 20 to 40 years old. Both Yeltsin and Putin did not invest much in armament. Therefore today they have reached a point where it is absolutely necessary to invest in the army if the forces should not become a joke. E.g.: the Russian army has 200 tank bataillons, but since 1992 only three (!) bataillons have received new tanks.

    Further we should keep in mind that the Russian industry is exporting weapon systems which the Russian armed forces could not afford to buy.

    The same goes for the well known Topol-M ICBM. A handful of new missiles is build per year, but dozens of older ones are taken out of the active duty. (BTW: Most NATO officers who are familiar with this topic understand this quite well. But it seems that some journalists and politicians are unable or unwilling to get it right.)

    And most of the new money is needed for the reform of the armed forces which means not only modernising the equipment but also converting them to a (at least largely) professional force. As other countries have done, the Russian government wants to quit the draft in the midterm future. Last year the service time of the draftees has been reduced from 24 to 12 months.

  • jdun

    It doesn’t who started the economic crisis. The result is Russia won’t have the capital do what it wanted. Remember the US feed the world. If the US stock market goes below 7000 then everyone should stock up on ammo.

    The stock market is the economy. You guys are new to the free market. You’ll find out soon enough.

  • :looks at the calendar date, and the price of oil….. a year and 2 weeks later, and oil’s at $77/bbl:

    Well, so much for that future as a financial analyst…

  • LiamHaslam

    Now i am not getting in to any politics here as its a gun based blog but Russia’s economy is heavily flawed. Corruption, drug taking and the Ageing Soviet era infrastructure are severely limiting growth. Secondly Russia’s dependence on oil is causing a thing called the ”Dutch disease”. In summary a healthy economy discovers oil, find that they have easy money and said countrys industry disappear in place of oil. Also Russia is not a fantastic power, its Navy either cant get out of port or is rusting and they depend on nations such as Syria and Ukraine for Naval bases. It relies on strong arming tactics with gaslines. Also Russia’s heavy handed mercantilism/state capitalism and corruption doesnt create a great climate for global business, just look at this TNK/BP scandal. I will admit however that a military industrial complex still remains and could be built up but i think Russia is more about militaristic bombast than real hard power.

    • Max Glazer

      Was case 10 years ago. Not the case now. Keep thinking using old mentality at your own peril.

  • kivaari

    Steve, I have to point that you are wrong – AK-9 is a different design – essentially a modern conversion of AKS-74U to 9×39 caliber . Vityaz is a blowback 9mm Para submachine gun that is also based on AKS-74U to decrease costs, some AK parts are used but the design is different on the whole –

  • Bogusz

    His surname
    is Suhodolskiy. MVD means Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs,
    but police units are sometimes referred as MVD units because they’re governed
    by this ministry. I believe, there is no reason to employ gas-operating design if
    Vityaz’ SMG is chambered just for quite medium – power cartridge like 9 Luger.
    Just compare both: if so light-style compact gun like PP2000 can fire 7N31
    ap-rounds, there is no reason to make larger Vityaz’ in more complicated (and 4
    that reason – more expensive) light-style operation design.

  • Max Glazer

    It had to happen at some stage. Makarov was not up to standard any more. While highly reliable and simple, it didn’t have the range or knock-down power. At the same time AKS-74U is way too powerful for police use with round retaining its lethality long after it went beyond “effective range”. For close-quarter it was too powerful. It also overheated fast during prolonged use, weighed more then an SMG does. In other words they weren’t suited to modern times. Hence replacement. However I’d have selected GSh-18. Much lighter.