PINDAD PS-01 Assault Pistol 5.56x21mm

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PT. PINDAD, the Indonesian government owned firearms and ammunition manufacturer, once made an interesting pistol called the PINDAD PS-01 ‘Serbu’ (Assault) Pistol.

The PS-01 was unique for two reasons. The first being its large frame and long 7.4″ barrel. It weighed in at a hefty 2.64 lbs. Despite being similar in size to gas operated pistols, such as the Desert Eagle, it was a standard blowback operated semi-automatic.

The second reason it was unique was the cartridge it chambered, the 5.56x21mm PINDAD. The 5.56x21mm PINDAD is a cut-down 5.56mm NATO round. Judging from photos of the round, it probably had about the same power as the .40 S&W or 10mm Auto cartridge but, with its small caliber and light rifle bullet, the velocity would have been impressive, as would be the barrel wear and muzzle blast.

The advantages of this cartridge, in combination with a heavy frame, would have been good range, accuracy and armor penetrating capabilities compared to a conventional pistol.

The gun no longer appears to be manufactured, it ever was. It is not hard to see why it was a commercial failure. It lacked the benefits of a submachine gun or rifle while also lacking the compactness of a conventional pistol.

[ Many thanks to Gunhead for emailing me info about the pistol. ]


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.


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  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Christopher Byrne

    Looks like the designer watched Robocop too many times….

  • Reangelis

    This kinda looks like the Robocop pistol.

  • Chucky

    Interesting to see something like this. Must have been developed to mimic or even rival FN’s 5.7×28. It reminds me of the Belgian VBR which does the same thing but in a smaller package.

  • Raymond

    It’s the frakking Robocop gun come to life. It honestly looks like they styled it to look like the modified Beretta used in Robocop

  • SpudGun

    ‘Your move…creep.’ I’ll probably be the twelfty hundreth person to point out that this is Robocop’s gun.

  • Alex Vostox

    Although this pistol were considered as a commercial failure, I guess it provided a good concept example of high velocity pistol ammunition. Although the Indonesia military wasn’t considered as the best in S.E Asia, their military industries (Pindad,IPTN) product are starting to give a challenge the South Korean or China..

  • mr_lorenco

    Looks like the guys from PINDAD watched to much Robocop :)

  • Theodoric

    Looks like the machine pistol from Robocop. Very futuristic.

  • Andy from West Haven

    Ha! It’s a Taurus that they tried making into Robocop’s gun! The designer had to be a fan of the movie.

  • Jeff

    Wow, is it just me or does it look like the Auto 9 Robocop gun?

  • JC

    Looks like the Robocop gun to me.

  • cc19

    Prime Directives

    1. Serve the public trust
    2. Protect the innocent
    3. Uphold the law
    4. (Classified)_

  • Sian
  • Hami

    Robocop, anyone?

  • surfgun

    Taurus clone. Interesting.

  • curtis

    is it just me or does the large version look like rob cops gun?

  • Brandon

    A solution in search of a problem.

  • Lance

    Another lame small caliber armor piercing pistol that uses caliber too small to give knock down power give me a break. why don’t they make a .45 caliber ap round that will work.

  • Jae Senn

    I guess the designers were inspired by Robocop’s gun

  • N

    Look at the profile, almost exactly like Robocop’s gun.

  • Phil

    Wow, did they design this after seeing Robocop? This thing looks very close to the heavily-modified Beretta M93R that was featured in the Robocop films, too much so to be a mere coincidence if you ask me.

  • Theodoric

    I also wonder to what degree this is related to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.56%C3%9730mm_MINSAS.

  • kranren

    That thing looks a little tiny bit like the Robocop Auto-9. And by a little tiny bit, I mean almost exactly.

  • Flounder

    Robocop gun!!!!! :D

  • Joseph Sanabia

    Is it me or isn’t that the pistol Robocop used?

  • kct

    The first thing that came to my mind is…RoboCop wants his gun back.

  • Jake

    It’s the RoboCop gun!!!

  • Geoff

    Robocop anyone?

  • http://charismaticmegafauna.deviantart.com/ Seamus

    Reminds me of Robocop’s Auto-9.

  • asianMike

    Is it just me or does it kinda look like the Auto 9 used by RoboCop?

  • Aric Alea

    It sorta looks like the Auto 9 from Robocop

  • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

    Fascinating – I’d not heard about this one.

    Any details about when it was offered? And about the bullet weight and muzzle velocity?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Tony, I have not managed to find any details. I am guessing they were using 5.56mm bullets (they manufacture 5.56mm NATO)

  • spectral

    It looks suspiciously like the “Beretta Auto-9″ from Robocop… Pretty sweet.

  • http://anarchangel.blogspot.com Christopher Byrne

    And this is what happens when all the comments get approved at once; and every one of us has watched Robocop too many times…

  • Avery

    One of the major reasons that information is scarce on this is that there’s not a whole lot of it coming out of Indonesia and what does come out is mostly in Indonesian. I’m surprised to hear that it failed, because I only heard about it this year and I assumed that it was being accepted as an Indonesian Army equivalent to the PDW trend (there was a photoshop out there of a Beretta M92 and a MP7 that someone called the Pindad PM3 that had a lot of people fooled. It came out around the same time the PS-01. Even now, I find it hard to believe that PM3 doesn’t exist, even as a prototype, because the logic of using MP7’s internal mechanism, but uses the magazine of the Beretta-based PS-01, seems pretty strong.)

    I did find this blogpost, but I’m not sure how much is truthful or not and there’s lots of translation errors: http://mybloodmoney.blogspot.com/2009/08/ps-01-serbu-pistol.html

    According to it, the 5.56x21mm cartridge did not use a standard 5.56mm FMJ bullet, but one specifically designed for it. Supposedly, the 5.56x21mm fired an 8g bullet at 508m/s, which would be about 1032J, which is almost double the muzzle energy of the 5.7mm. I’m not sure I’m mixing up bullet vs. cartridge weights, but the post mentions that the projectile/missile being slightly heavier by 0.36g than a 9x19mm bullet (which on average is about 7.45g), so I do think that’s about right for the projectile.

    For a timeline, from this blogspot post, the PS-01 prototypes came out about 2007 or so. The range photo used here has EXIF data on Flickr. That photo comes from March 2009. http://www.flickr.com/photos/35636107@N06/3351187704/meta

  • Andy from CT

    Lmao @ all of us like minded individuals. You’re all awesome in my book!

  • Avery

    Whoops. It looks like the bullet weights on the blogpost site are wrong. I think that they translated it from this Indonesian page, which in turn is a transcription from a magazine article: http://globemaster.multiply.com/journal/item/16/Pistol_PS-01_SERBU_Produk_Terbaru_Pindad

    The blogpost site confused the specs with the P-3, which is an Indonesian licensed-copy Beretta 9mm pistol. The 5.56mm bullet weight is 3 grams, which makes the muzzle energy something like 387J, comparable to what the 5.7x28mm and the 4.6x30mm put out.

  • Pete

    It is almost 100% robocop. It even has the modified beretta look.

  • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

    Thanks Avery, that’s helpful.

    If the pistol was still around in 2009, how do we know that the Army isn’t still examining it?

  • http://www.handgunclub.com bill hca

    Doesn’t anyone remember the .224 BOZ?

    IIRC the Brits wanted inproved performance for their SAS incident team.
    They started by necking down a 10mm case to hold a .224″ (5.56mm) bullet. A special powder blend was used to give the bullet very high velocity out of a 5″ barrel. The steel cored 62gr bullet would penetrate both sides of a kevlar helmet at 50m. I believe the case 23mm so that would be a 5.56x23mm round, using a 10mm parent case

    Later specimens of the round used the more common 9mm(x23) case to stay within “standard” firearm dimensions. The 9×23 case shrinks somewhat when necked down and final trimmed case length (from memory here) was 19mm.

    This PS-01 is NOT a handy sidearm. The PS-01 has a 180mm (7-inch) barrel and is about 9.5 inches long by 6.6 inches tall. Moreover it weighs in around 2.5 pounds (42 oz). That’s at least an inch longer/taller than the Beretta 92 and a half-pound heavier.

  • Bob Z Moose

    Hearing all this Robo-Cop talk reminds me of the craptacular Robo-Cop cartoon that came out around the same time as the movie. Less guns, more life lessons from an animated character, just like every cartoon in the 80s. lol

    Anyways, as has been said before, it seems like an attempt to work out something close to China’s 5.8 AP pistols and SMGs. They just didn’t realize that the sub-caliber AP pistol ammo market wasn’t going to boom like they though. Should have tried copying the Russian 9mm AP loads and pistols.

  • ruben

    robocop

  • http://www.quarry.nildram.co.uk/ Tony Williams

    bill hca,

    The BOZ rounds are still being played with…I hope to have more info later in the year.

  • Avery

    Bill,

    You weren’t the only one who thought of the BOZ round when looking at those rounds. I do find it interesting that they essentially used 9mm Largo as the base. Then again, I assume they can find Berettas chambered in that for their development platforms, much like the Glock 20 being used as the development platform for the .224 BOZ.

    Also, with the name like “Assault Pistol”, I assume that the Indonesians were developing something akin to the Mark 23, except using a super high-velocity sub-caliber for the penetration instead of a big, powerful cartridge like the .45 ACP +P. It was either this or some sort of pistol-like PDW, more MP7 than P90. Otherwise, like you said, it’s entirely too big (and, in its early Robocop-ripoff form, pretty blocky) for general issue as a sidearm.

    Tony,

    I’m thinking Steve (and Gunhead) are probably correct in that the PS-01 didn’t do as well as Pindad hoped (as well as Bob’s comment about the decline in the sub-caliber trend) Despite finding pictures from 2009, there hasn’t really been any new information on it. All I found were reposts of previous pictures, so I’m guessing development dried up.

  • charles222

    This actually strikes me as a better idea than a .45 “offensive pistol”. If the idea of an OP is to increase range, accuracy, and firepower, than a very high velocity (which this would be, with near-10mm Auto powder charges behind a skinny little 5.56mm JHP or BTHP) round would be the best idea, as opposed to a round that is very good against soft targets but possesses no ability against targets behind cover or wearing armor, and has terrible range and accuracy to boot. Granted, you don’t see Taliban wearing body armor, but it’s always a possibility that should at least be considered.

    Remember, the OP concept was to replace/supplement long guns in specific situations. Any ideas what kind of velocity this thing would be developing?

  • http://www.handgunclub.com bill hca

    One has to ask what the purpose of the gun is and how it will be used.
    Such developments are generally aimed at special-purpose needs, like the British SAS, the U.S. FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team or semi-covert operations. That’s my take on it. Otherwise, it’s hard to figure out why a small bore, ultra-velocity round like this is good for. It’s too expensive for target shooting or killing varmints. Small game would be obliterated by the round. Civilians don’t need that kind of power for self-defense either (that’s why there is the .45 ACP).

    It makes for an interesting experiment, but then, so does necking down a .50 BMG case to .223 for the plasma effect. I think it’s a very limited use firearm, even if ammo was available.

    If I wanted something with AP capability, I’d start with the original 10mm load, a 150gr truncated cone FMJ and a steel or tungsten core. Then push that around 1700fps or more from a gas operated pistol like the Desert Eagle. In terms of stopping power, that’ll be like stepping in front of a bus.

  • charles222

    I’d say Bill was correct; I mean, if the idea of an “offensive pistol” is to be used in place of a long gun, .45 ACP is honestly about the worst caliber it could be chambered in. They invented .38 Super specifically because of .45’s lack of penetration on cover or hard targets; you obviously need high velocity and a (relatively) slender bullet to penetrate things effectively. .38 Super and hell, 7.62×25 are superior to .45 in both of those categories, and Bill’s suggestion of 10mm Auto with a lightweight, truncated-cone round would be as well, and *also* be compatible with a heavy, subsonic bullet to cover down on the suppressed aspect.

  • dne

    224 Boz had problems with peening the breech face.

    They didn’t just do it in a Glock but also on a set of custom 1911s that were produced by Smoking Hole Pistol Design. They used SVI interchanging breech faces that could be replaced within the slide. It was the only way to save the slide’s RC hardness that needed to be within one rating for durability and not be too brittle while keeping a higher RC value of the breech face to avoid peening.

    Given the 224 Boz was on a necked down 10mm casing, and likely having a lot more surface area to spread the load, I’d be interested in knowing what kind of wear and tear on the breech face was experienced by the gun/round in question. That is if it operated in a similar performance envelope.

    As for civilians not needing something for self defense? It’s not that “powerful” a cartridge and the arguments of the failings of the SS190 5.7x28mm offerings will certainly apply to this round. Now if it was controllable and gave a person more capacity it would make a counter argument to the “slow and fat” argument. But hey, instead of playing hypothetical I’ll just throw out that I DO have LE experience combined with years of CCW experience before that.

    Who are you to say?

    And who is to say it wouldn’t be suitable for small game? Ever think that maybe I’m shooting animals simply to kill them? That is PRECISELY what I am doing to the California ground squirrels when I shoot them with a 40-55grn Vmax at 3200-3400fps from an accurized AR15. I don’t care that I just splattered them all over the hillside because I have ZERO desire to eat them, simply kill as many as possible to avoid them being a further pest.

    I was highly interested in the 224Boz when it appeared in magazines roughly 15 years ago. I’m partially interested in the 5.7x28mm now but not so much in the handgun it’s chambered for. A fast zippy little round out of a handgun would make for a fun varmint gun. And since I can get normal capacity magazines I’d also not sneeze at the notion of using it for a CCW if in a pinch given I’ve already summer wardrobe carried various handguns of a similar size.

  • http://www.handgunclub.com bill hca

    The problem with any “almost rifle powered” round in a semi-auto handgun is that the mechanism usually takes a hellva pounding. The .224 Boz beat the snot out of the 1911 and even the Glock. You’re putting a lot of pressure on systems originally designed around 20-35,000 psi cartridges.

    @charles222 … I always thought the .38 Super was a cartridge pushed by Colt in the 1920’s/30’s when police found their standard .38 Specials (with 158gr RNL bullets) didn’t penetrate the automobile sheet metal. The .38 Super would have worked (and did in a few police agencies), but police saw semi’s as “prone to jam” in that era. The .38/44 and then the .357 Magnum won out because they were able to still use revolvers.

    @dne … Without wanting to start an argument, it’s hard to see the justification for a non-standard small-bore, ultra-velocity cartridge with AP capability for civilian use, at least from a marketing standpoint. It’d be expensive to operate, hard to find ammo, there over-penetration worries and it’s hard on your equipment. That’s a hard sell unless you *need* the AP capabilty. The 5.7×28 is okay, but in a country where its AP capable round isn’t available, the .22 Magnum is much cheaper.

    The .221 Fireball has the performance to puree a squirrel and does a pretty good job of turning a jackrabbit into a jigsaw puzzle. In a semi-auto it might make a fun varmint gun. But there’s little or no market for such when other calibers and weapons do the job for less money.

    With regards to fat & slow vs. light and fast, I’m often splitting the difference with a CCW that shoots fat and fast bullets. Either 175gr 10mm at 1250fps or .41 Remington Mag 210gr at 1100 fps. Confidence is high — the .41 round is an anchor on medium-large pigs and both rounds feel like you’re lauching fence posts. :)

  • charles222

    Bill hca:

    I always thought the .38 Super was a cartridge pushed by Colt in the 1920′s/30′s when police found their standard .38 Specials (with 158gr RNL bullets) didn’t penetrate the automobile sheet metal. The .38 Super would have worked (and did in a few police agencies), but police saw semi’s as “prone to jam” in that era. The .38/44 and then the .357 Magnum won out because they were able to still use revolvers.

    Yeah, that is more or less correct, but it’s basically a measure of how stupid cops were then. :p the 1911 did pretty well in the abysmal conditions of the Phillipine Islands and then the trenches of WW1. I doubt anything cops were doing featured fighting conditions like that.

  • dne

    I don’t agree on over penetration should a 40-55grn 22 bullet impact at that 1800-2200fps envelope. What it might do upon impact is up to debate and best left for a tactical forums/ballistics type of argument.

    Fact is I’d choose center fire over a 22 magnum rimfire from a pure reliability stand point every time.

    The Smoking Hole 1911s interested me because a Infinity framed 18-22 round 224Boz would be one heck of a gun for close range varmint irradication. It would also make for a very interesting CCW with flat shooting ballistics that may just be extremely controllable to boot.

    As for the AP argument, I’m not concerned about it in the slightest. 5.7x28mm is marginal and my fear is less about handguns and more about rifles which don’t need to rely on bullet construction gimmicks when their velocity will suffice.

    I once lost out on an old S&W M53 RemJet that was essentially new in box with spare inserts for like 550 bucks. By the time I researched it and knew what it was it was gone. A necked down 357 shooting 22cal, even if a bottleneck with some issues in a revolver, would be a fun gun. Semiautos shooting fast 22s does away with some of the issues the 22 RemJet experienced.

    They will always fascinate me and I’m not one who believes there needs to be a “legitimate use” to justify the existence of a firearm. There is potential in many situations, not ideal for everyone but certainly has places it would fit in. My inclination is to not automatically make rash assumptions like Jim Zumbo did when he called out the AR15 community after hearing about the use of such guns for varmint shooting.

  • http://www.handgunclub.com bill hca

    @Charles222 – agreed. Although earlier 1911’s often did have trouble digesting anything but FMJ. The bias there was that in combat a pistol was an officer’s weapon, seldom used when he had a long gun. Even in use, it was likely others were shooting at the same target(s) too. On the street facing some armed thug was no time to clear a jam as you were probably within rock-throwing distance. This mentality continued up into the late 70’s and 80’s.

    @dne – just to point out, there is “justify” and “justification”. If I can justify buying a .32 S&W Long revolver, I can justify buying just about anything. From a manufacturer’s standpoint, when developing something new, there has to be justification for the cost of production. If this includes a brand new cartridge to boot it becomes harder to meet that justification. E.G. designing and building a SMG chambering the .17 Mach2 round. Neat. *I* want one. But wait. The law doesn’t permit selling to U.S. civilians. It’s unlikely police will buy lots of them. Export laws for SMG’s are notorious. Could you sell them overseas to civilians? Probably not in full-auto form. The .17M2 hasn’t taken Europe by storm (that I’ve heard of) so that means higher price of ammo, negating the rimfire fun. So for all the R&D and production costs, you have a hard time selling the guns anyway. That’s what I see for the PS-01. It’s interesting, but there’s such a small market for it, no one can make the justification for it.

    Go check out the .221 Fireball. Then try to convince Ruger or someone to make a semi-auto for it. Great little round for turning prarie dogs into buzzard bait!

  • Indoman

    I found the specs for this. By the way, the effective distance of the gun is about 85 to 100 Meters, depending on the condition.

    PS-01 SERBU (pistol), Specifications
    • Caliber : 5.56 mm
    • Empty Weight : 1.234 kg (1234 grams)
    • Total length : 315 mm
    • The pitch : 193.5 mm
    • Flow pitch : 6 turn right, approximate 7 inches
    • Operating system : Blow Back
    • Firing modes : Single & Double Act

    • Magazine Capacity : 20 grains
    • Bullet Weight : 8 grams
    • Post magazine : 2.65 grams
    • Effective Distance : 100 meter

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      Indoman, thanks for that!

  • RED

    I guess that the indonesian military wanted to produce some sort of sniper pistol. Throw a Picatinny pistol rail and pistol scope into it and maybe a threaded barrel with a suppresor and you got a cheaper alternative to Mk. 23 SOCOM or H&K USP.

    • John Dalton

      Throw in a few more dollars and buy a TC.

  • Indoman

    Has anyone seen the new prototype Pindad SS-3 bullpup? After this article, I went up looking for more of our locally made firearms. I’ve not been able to find specs for this, apart that it uses 5.56 NATO.

    • 0minzero .

      i want know too ss-4 and ss5 please update from pindad

  • John Dalton

    This is what it would look like if a .50 cal round took a dump…

  • 0minzero .

    the issue is this model is limited production only for elite force. and not conventional pistol.