Tula ADS Underwater Rifle: A Closer Look

My Russian friend and military photographer extraordinaire Vitaly V. Kuzmin sent us high resolution photos of the new Tula ADS Underwater rifle. It is quite an elegant design when viewed up close (rather than low resolution mainstream press images). The 40mm grenade launcher is built in and doubles as the handguard, adding almost no extra bulk to the rifle.

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The optics rail double as a carry handle and features an integral rudimentary rear sight. The rail is not very long and would not be able to accommodate certain types of night vision optics. The sight rail appears to be hinged. I am not sure why this is. Anyone have any ideas?



The grenade sight is built in to the left of the foresight. The gas regulator appears to be adjustable.

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The flash hider (or muzzle brake) has an interesting v-shaped cutout design.



Both of the triggers (rifle and grenade) are located inside the same trigger guard. Both triggers have blocking safeties that must be switched before the trigger can be depressed.


Russian ADS Underwater Gun 2.JPG


What do you think of the design?

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.


  • Diego F S

    I like bullpup designs, in fact the concept of bullpup design, I never tested enough a bullpup rifle. I like more the concept of “real” ambidexterity where you don’t have to change anything when you change your hand. I like the assault rifles with grenade launchers attached, but of course they are a pain of weight, for that reason I like lighter GL. A lot of reason for “falling in love” with this rifle but I thing that it lacks in modularity, mainly for a very short rail, and maybe in ergonomics. The fact of its underwater capability is great.
    Greetings from Spain to the founder, the writters and all the people who post here, maybe the best blog about firearms.

  • Giolli Joker

    Are there underwater grenades as well? Mini supercavitating torpedoes? 🙂

    • bsnighteye

      The power of frag grenades in the water drops significantly. Fragments are too light and water stops them too fast. And grenade is too small to sink a ship, magnet mines and plastic explosives are needed.
      Though grenade launcher can be used to shoot harpoons or grapnels to board on the ship.

      • Giolli Joker

        I wasn’t 100% serious, but I would have thought more about a shaped charge to open a hole in military speedboats or a HE able to generate pressure waves powerful enough to kill or stun multiple divers… maybe it’s just “science fiction” but with the out of the box thinking of some Russian designers, you never know. 🙂

        • bsnighteye

          I’m thinking more about grenades with filling of a lot of small balls covered with neurotoxins or chemicals with sedative or chocking effect. Or “ink smoke screen” generator.

      • RocketScientist

        As water under most conditions is an incompressible fluid (unlike air) the shock wave can be much more intense and travel farther than when detonated in air. So while the shrapnel/frag effect will certainly be reduced (lower fragment velocity, more rapid deceleration), the barotrauma from exposure to higher pressures would likely be severe. Think: blown eardrums, facial bones crushed into collapsed sinuses, burst lungs/emoblisms, etc.

      • bbmg

        Maybe for a conventional frag grenade, but there could be alternatives.

        Imagine a small steel sphere, hollow in the middle full of HE. In this sphere you drill hundreds of small, say 1/8″ diameter, radial holes. In each one you put a small steel projectile shaped like those developed by DSG: http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2011/07/06/dsg-technology-mea-supercavitating-rifle-ammo/

        Since you’re using HE, the subprojectiles will have a much higher initial velocity than something fired from a rifle, likely over 6000 fps, and would travel for at least ten metres giving you a wide lethal radius.

    • MC Robust

      Like a mini anti-personnel depth charge or something?

      I’m liking where you’re going with this…


    • bbmg
      • Giolli Joker

        Yep, thanks, probably that article was a subconscious influence on my post, but… that’s not designed to be fired FROM underwater but from land INTO the water… and being harmful within a 30m (!!!) range, it would make a pretty poor choice for an “underwater gunfight”.

        (beside that, if the fuse is designed to go off once 5m under the water… 30 meters or 2, the shooting diver would be dead anyway) 😉

        • bbmg

          There’s no way a typical underbarrel launcher would reach the sort of velocities needed to travel far enough from the shooter not to harm him.

          I wonder if the mini torpedo idea has some merit though… What with batteries and motors becoming more compact and powerful by the day, it could be a viable underwater equivalent to the 40mm grenade launcher… and since it doesn’t have to survive violent acceleration forces, a cheap heat seeking head might even be possible…

          • Aaron Tyler

            Knowing a little bit about torpedo tech. Lots of torpedo’s have motors that are actuated from air pressure. I could imagine something with small 12g CO2 cartridge propelling along for a good 100yrds. But then again MIT has not replied to my letter asking for an honorary degree in Mechanical Engineering. And I think the systems test will take place in the kiddie pool out back around noon.

          • bbmg

            CO2 doesn’t like being cold, and the sea is cold. Any form of compressed gas as propellant leaves a tell-tail stream of bubbles which draws attention to the device.

            Modern electric motors on the other hand are powerful and efficient, you could make such a device with cheap off-the-shelf items intended for RC models.

          • Aaron Tyler

            I understand the bubbles. In my view the issue in using a projectile fired from a grenade launcher under water in the anti personnel role is that it would be a little bit difficult. Something for use by a frog man against small water craft suck as rfb (yes I know they have inflatable sponsons) would stilll be fairly cool and gas or no gas boubles would be the least of my concern when launching small devices out of a grenade launcher under water.

  • Nicholas Mew

    Certainly better than the Tavor and RFB.

    • Vhyrus

      I can own a Tavor and a RFB… when the ADS hits the USDM, we’ll talk.

  • bbmg

    “The gas regulator appears to be adjustable.”

    I believe it has above/under water modes, which makes sense given the different resistance encountered by the components in air and water.

  • schizuki

    Meh. Needs a Krummlauf.

  • Lance

    Wonder if they shoot the VERY long bullets still for under water ammo?

  • *_*

    Useless & pointless. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can only visualize Ivan goose stepping at the mouth of Pavlovsk Bay with this gun.

    • Zugunder

      Well, it’s nice additional feature for already good gun. I think it never hurts.

    • bbmg


      How many times in countless movies have those meddling good guys escaped by diving underwater? A burst from one of these would soon wipe that smug grin from their faces!

      Equipping one’s minions with the ADS should be added to the Evil Overlord Checklist: http://www.sff.net/paradise/overlord.html#overlord

  • Zugunder

    Behold evil sharks! They gonna be defeated by amphibious russians!

  • Nicholas Mew

    Still want to know what its extractor and ejection system works in detail.

    • Zugunder

      I can’t find much info about this. There good article about A-91, the predecessor of ADS http://topwar.ru/20472-avtomat-v-komponovke-bullpap-a-91.html
      but it in Russian. This part about ejection system (translated via google translate):

      “The main disadvantage – is spent cartridges that are released close enough
      to the person shooters , and accordingly, may distract the habit , as
      well as irritate the mucous membrane of the powder gases . To solve this problem, parallel to the barrel weapons made ​​canal to divert spent cartridges forward. The system works as follows. The gate , moving back , remove the spent case from the chamber , but does not throw it through the window to eject spent cartridges , and moves into the channel , where sleeve and remains for some time . Having reached its rearmost point , the gate stops for a split second and begins to move forward by the return spring. He takes a fresh cartridge from the magazine and at the same time , forcing him into the chamber pushes the spent case on the channel for its release . Thus, the spent cartridges are thrown in front of arms.”

      Maybe somebody with better skills in Russian-English translation than my can help 🙂

  • LCON

    The hinged sight rail. Given that a diver shooting under water would be wearing goggles and there would likely be water between any optic and the goggles there might be concern about a distortion caused by the water or maybe its about if the optical sight may not be able to operate properly underwater. Russians figured that if it was going to be fired underwater and the ranges being fired at are reduced significantly vs. Firing on land they decided to build the rail so it is out of the way when not needed. Once the diver hits the dry side of his mission he flips up his optic swaps mags and gets to his job.