Tula KBP ADS Rifle 5.45x39mm Underwater Ammunition

545x_39mm_sabot-tfb

It went unnoticed at The Firearm Blog but, back in late 2009, Russian arms manufacturer Tula / KPB announced an underwater ammunition system for the Tula A-91 assault rifle. A modified 5.45x39mm round appears to be loaded with a long thin sabot bullet. Unlike the ASP round, also based on the 5.45mm cartridge, this newer round does not need a special rifle with an oversized magazine.

5.66mm APS underwater assault rifle (top), new A-91 round (bottom)

A video at TVTula.ru shows the rifle being fired underwater.

UPDATE: The ADS is the amphibious variant of the A-91.

[ Many thanks to Sergey for emailing me the link. ]


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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  • Andrew

    Steel Casing and corrosive powder. Glorious.

  • Chase

    Looks like one of the pictures might be missing.

  • mr_lorenco

    The video is not showing up Steve.Thanks for your good work :)

  • Flounder

    So I could put this in any given AK 74 and take that rifle and shoot it underwater? I sense a new type of sport fishing… :D

  • bbmg

    This appears to be the ADS dual medium rifle:

    http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/ads-dvuhsredny-e.html

    The 5.45×39 PSP round it fires looks remarkable similar to the “new” supercavitating DSG ammunition featured on this blog in July.

  • http://deleted Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    So what’s the trick with this gun? Seems it shoots so good underwater due to it’s cartridge…or better to say bullet. And the bullet looks like a subcaliber saboted one (maybe .17 cal or so)… just like the idea of Remington accelerators. They should also put a mini torpedo in grenade launcher !

  • JT

    If this becomes commercially available I wonder how long before people start trying to fish with it.

  • howlingcoyote

    Say, wasn’t something like this used in the James Bond movies, like Thunderball and others?

  • Colin

    Don’t understand a word she said in the video, but it all looks impressive.

    BTW, can anyone tell me how the forward eject works? Is it similar to FN’s F2000 , more like a Kel-Tec RFB or something different…

    Cheers.

  • Tinkerer

    Well, it IS old news, but still is pretty cool. However, a few facts must be adressed: the underwater 5.45×39 PSP or PSP-U ammo is to be used with a special rifle derived from the A-91, the so-called ADS dual-medium / amphibious / underwater assault rifle.

    Source: http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/ads-dvuhsredny-e.html

  • http://world.guns.ru Max Popenker

    Rifle in the movie above is not A-91M but rather an ADS, a specially-developed ‘dual medium’ weapon, based on A-91M, see http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/ads-dvuhsredny-e.html
    A pilot batch of ADS rifles is presently being tested ‘in the field’ by several Russian Naval Spetsnaz units.

  • Bryan S

    Andrew- Most Russian surplus for years was corrosive. The thing is, it isnt the powder, but a product of the primer, and I am not aware of any current production of corrosive primers.

    And it was only corrosive if it stayed in the barrel, as the primer compounds leave behind potassium salts. Those salts are easily dissolved, so in an underwater rifle, I don’t think those minimal salts are going to be an issue anyhow.

  • Lance

    Id still perefer if some one would make Brass cased re-loadable 5.45 ammo so shooters can reload and shoot 5.45mm ammo.

    Winchester metric calibers where are you???

  • GarryB

    The increased power powder developed for the new underwater ammo sounds interesting… with the new ammo taking up most of the internal available case space the powder is much higher energy than normal.

    I wonder if this new powder could be used with enlarged projectiles for standard 5.45mm rounds.

    For instance a nice 100 or even 120 grain bullet at 950m/s would combine the heavier bullet weight of the 7.62 x 39mm with the flat shooting performance of the 5.45mm.

    The extra bullet weight would help retain energy out to longer range, and the extra bullet mass should improve performance on target too.

    Recoil will be increased, but not to SVD levels.

    I guess it would come down to whether such a long heavy projectile could be stabilised with that rifling.

    I doubt the Russian ammo makers would make reloadable ammo as the Russian Army does not reload its ammo.

    The mild steel cases are much cheaper than brass and have the benefit of being biodegradable too… very 21st C of them.

    BTW corrosive ammo would be no where near as destructive to rifles as sea water would be… as long as you keep it clean there is no problem.

  • GarryB

    There is a tube through which the fired case is “blown”.

    If you go to the world guns website shown several times on this thread and look up the A-91 in some of the photos you can see a small oval port roughly above the trigger area on the right hand side for ejecting the spent shells.

    This new round uses the same principal to travel through the water as the ammo it replaces that has been in service for 30+ years.

    Very simply the tip of the projectile creates a bubble cavity in the water and the rest of the bullet travels through that bubble so the only part of the bullet touching and having to push through water is the tip.

    It is a bit like planing in a motor boat where the propeller thrust is angled to lift the boat out of the water so only the propeller and a small part of the boat is in the water… which allows the boat to go faster.
    I have read in news reports that the VDV also tested the ADS some time ago too.

    In the video the reporter states the new ADS replaces three weapons for the diver which makes things easier for them. Previously a diver needed a conventional AK-74 for use above water, an APS underwater rifle for use under water, out of water, and at targets in the water, and the GP-30 under barrel grenade launcher that was mounted on the AK-74.

    The ADS has all three capabilities combined into one weapon.

    Note the divers are also issued with GSh-18 pistols that can be fired under water too.

    Note high velocity rounds like the 5.45 and 5.56mm assault rifle rounds are designed especially to dump energy in water because human targets are 70%+ water. Because of their high velocity they tend to shatter when hitting water and their light weight makes them slow down rapidly.

    A pistol bullet on the other hand travels much slower and its extra mass allows it to be effective out to a few metres.

    This weapon will obviously not be used for fishing, its primary use would be against enemy divers and against dangerous aquatic life… including enemy dolphins and porpoises trained to attack divers, often armed with various weapons. The ADS will allow Russian divers to deal with enemy dolphins from a distance.

    In the video it says the ADS is able to hit targets in air at up to 600m, which suggests it is actually more accurate than the AK-74, though at that range optical sights would be needed.