Russia’s Federal Protective Service (FSO) To Adopt MP-443 Chambered in 9x21mm

MP-443 chambered in 9mm Luger/Parabellum

Russia’s Federal Protective Service (FSO) have announced that they will adopt the MP-443 “Yarygin” pistol chambered in the unusual 9x21mm Gyurza cartridge. This is the first time I have heard of a MP-443 chambered in 9x21mm. The 9x21mm Gyurza (not to be confused with the IWI / IMI / Israeli 9x21mm) has previously only been used with the Vector SR-1 pistol and SR-2 Veresk submachine gun.

Wikipedia has this to say about the 9x21mm …

The method of construction of the rounds allows them to be effective against both unarmored and armored targets. The bullet has a hard sub-caliber core contained within an outer sleeve and separated from it by a polyethylene layer. If the bullet strikes an unarmored target, it holds together to produce a wide wound channel. If the bullet strikes an armored target, the sleeve is stripped away and the core penetrates alone. The 7N29 AP loading fires a 6.7 g (103 gr) bullet at 410 m/s (1,300 ft/s) with 560 J (1,230 lb) of force, and will reportedly penetrate two 1.2 mm titanium plates, plus 30 layers of Kevlar, at 50 m (160 ft). The disadvantage of the rounds is that high impact velocities are needed for them to work effectively, so the bullets are relatively light to maximize their muzzle velocity. This means they will lose velocity relatively quickly, limiting their effective range.


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.


  • Anonymoose

    Since they’re steel and not lead the bullets are probably of comparable size to regular 115 or 124gr 9mm, while only carrying as much weight as a heavy .380 (and slightly more than standard 9mm Mak FMJ). It is also going at much higher velocity than either of those rounds, so it should perform better than the old Makarovs at least.

  • Doom

    I like this Pistol, pretty cool looking.

    • Suburban

      Kinda looks like the love-child of a CZ 75 and a Star Firestar. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t exactly look like a modern pistol.

      • Karina

        It was never intended as a novel firearm, though. It’s very conservative in design, to paraphrase the words of Mr. Popenker on his excellent website, but perhaps it’s the point? It works, it already has the reputation of being very sturdy.

  • bbmg

    This is the same logic behind the APCR tank rounds in days of yore, weight is sacrificed for velocity at short ranges. Not a problem at typical pistol engagement distances.

    One wonders if they could have gotten the best of both worlds by making a projectile with a thick steel jacket with a lead core.

    • iksnilol

      Wouldn’t that wear down the rifling?

      • bbmg

        A thinner soft jacket over the steel was implied 😉

  • dp

    Since the mag is double stack all the way up (like in GSh-18) means the trigger link must be way up in slide. That may explain why the slide is rather tall. Does anybody have more info on it, part of

  • Michael

    A modern pistol with no rail?
    1230 lbs of force, are we talking ft/lbs?

    • S. Cautela

      I have no idea where this 1230 lbs of force is coming from… 560 Joules is 413 ft/lbs.

    • RocketScientist

      Well, lbs ARE a unit of force, lbf-ft would be a unit of energy. The sentence makes it even less clear, as it also quotes 560 Joules which is a unit of energy, but equivalent to 413 lbf-ft (not 1230). And just an fyi to the OP and S Cautela, ft/lbs would be read as “feet per pound”. This is not a unit commonly seen/used, as it would represent the inverse of the stiffness of a material/spring (ie, amount of deflection per amount of applied force). The more comomonly used approach is to define this normalized to the deflection, ie lb/ft (k, or spring constant). When using lbf-ft (pound-force feet) as a unit of torque or energy, you are expressing the cross-product (multiplication) of distance and force (not the division) and it is commonly written as lbf-ft or lbf*ft or just lbf ft. And since (just like in multiplication) the order of the two terms does not matter, ft-lbf and lbf-ft are both equally correct (though lbf-ft is more commonly seen). Also, the ‘f’ in lbf is often left off, as the usage as a unit of torque/energy implies the force-pound as opposed to the mass-pound.

  • Some Rabbit

    The longer case has the potential for creating a genuine 9mm magnum to rival the .357 revolver round. The .357 SIG is a disappointment, no better than many 9mm +P loads.

    • Suburban

      There’s already 9x21mm IMI, 9x23mm Winchester, 9x23mm Largo, 9x23mm Steyr, .38 Super, and .38 Super-Comp (.38 Super, rimless). The Russian 9x21mm complicates things. It just makes, “What 9mm ammo can I use in my pistol?” that much more difficult a question to answer.

      • El Duderino

        Not sure we need to worry about the ten guns in circulation that are chambered for 9x23mm Winchester…

        • 1911a145acp

          Hey! I own 3/10s of them then!!

      • Karina

        Don’t forget it’s Russia we’re talking about and that it’s an indigenous design that was around since the early 90s. There is no question to “add” anything, it’s just odd they picked this and not 7N21 9x19mm, which the Grach was built to withstand. Perhaps they’re going the PDW route again and just needed something other than the Gyurza pistol? Russian forces are already acclimated with the Grach.

    • srsanbo

      I beg to differ. Look for loadings from Buffalo Bore, COR-Bon and Underwood. You’re getting close to 35% more energy in some loads over 9mm.

  • Lance

    Like with the Russian Army and FSB/Police many officially adopted the PYA pistol. But most operatives and solder still like to use and use Makarovs making still the most used pistol in Russia itself. As for 9×21 it be interesting to see the data from shoot outs on this round to see is more power in a 9mm bullet is really needed and about overpenetration with them.

  • Esh325

    Interesting since the Russian armed forces is looking at the Strike One in 9×19. It doesn’t make much sense to have both the 9×19 and 9×21, they should settle on one or the other.

    • Karina

      9×21 Gyurza can essentially be considered their version of an elusive “9mm Magnum”, and is essentially what was their testbed to answer to the need of a PDW caliber. Whereas we had 4.6×30 and 5.7×28, they just looked at 9mm rounds.

      I’m honestly surprised they’re going with a 9×21 and not their most recent developments, those very hot armor-piercing 9x19mm 7N21 rounds they had developed for use in the PP-2000; the bullets are extremely similar, identical in design and, I assume, in purpose. Maybe they ran into pressure issues with the hot 9×19 and a 9×21 is safer for case life? I wouldn’t say it’s an issue with the handgun; the Yargyin is very sturdy. I don’t know for sure why they made that choice, it’s speculation.

  • fred

    looks like vbr

  • SP mclaughlin

    ArmA 3’s Rook 40 is coming to life.

  • bsnighteye

    First – Russian 9x21mm (SP-10 steel core, SP-11 lead core, SP-12 expansive, SP-13 AP tracer, SP-17 with limited piercing and ricochets: cartridge types) is NOT a new round. It was created in 1991 and solely for Russian use. Later, in 90s, when weapon manufacturers met severe crisis due to collapse of industry (no thanks to breakdown of Soviet Union) RG055S “Gyurza” pistol was planned for export use, but only few buyers were found (special services of different countries). Now whole variety of 9x21mm from SP-10 to SP-17 is on service of Ministry of Internal Affairs, FSB, FSO and other special services. Army never intended to use this cartridge.

    In 2011 some data appeared about 9x21mm PMP marker cartridge for practical shooting and training with live targets.

    Second – some data about most widespread 9x21mm SP-10: diameter of bullet: 9,02mm, weight of cartridge: 10,75 grams, weight of bullet: 6,65 grams, muzzle speed 400-425 m/s, max gas pressure: 2800 kg/sm^2, the average grouping on 25m: 3 sm, penetration ability: 80% of 5mm St.3 mark steel on 40m or Zh-81 armor vest on 50m.

    (For info: Zh-81 is anti-frag armor of 1st generation. Protective composition, placed in a bag of nylon fabric is made ​​of titanium armor plates ADU-605-80: chest portion has 19 plates in two rows of three plates in two layers. The nominal thickness is 1.25 mm of armor plates (actual thickness, taking into account positive tolerances, reaches 1.4 mm) plus package of 30 layers of Aramid fabric TSVM-G in immediate adjacent to the body of a soldier.)

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    The Organization may want a unique round for many reasons. Cross reference the FL State Police carrying .45 GAP Glock. Many other State and locals carry more common weaponry. Geoff Who notes the local Sheriff issues .40 S&W in two sizes of Glock.

  • 1911a145acp

    103 gr projectile @ 1300 fps is 387 ft/lbs of energy. I think the 560 j ( joules ) figure is correct but perhaps something got lost in translation in the fpe figure. Should be reasonably effective against intended targets. 8 witness holes are visible in what appears to be a double stack magazine body. I wonder what the total capacity is. Looks like 18 rounds?

  • Blake

    The FSO & FSB are technically police organizations (as opposed to military). The FSB is what replaced the KGB after the fall of the USSR (they changed the name but they still scare the daylights out of people).

    Think of 9x21mm Gyurza & associated firearm projects as Russia’s .40 S&W (as adopted by the FBI & other LEOs but not the US military).