Russian Marines Training with the APS Underwater Assault Rifle

Russian Marines were recently spotting during a training drill using an underwater pistol and APS underwater assault rifle. The APS underwater assault rifle is a pretty interesting design that was developed during the early 1970s that fires steel bolts and has a magazine capacity of 26 cartridges.

From the MSN Article about the drill.

Aug. 28, 2014: Russian marines practice shooting underwater. They have been outfitted with state-of-the-art hydrosuits & masks to train for a secretive form of combat known as underwater sabotage. Photographer Andrey Nekrasov, a former soldier, took part in the drills. The 42-year-old, born in Bezhetsk in Russia, descended into seawater of 20 degrees, staying at low depths to complete shooting & mine-laying exercises.

Check out the APS Underwater Assault Rifle in action.

Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog and Instagram.

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  • Fred Johnson

    Translation – “It turns your enemies into perforated shark bait.”

    • dan citizen

      The bait preferred by 8 out of 10 sharks…

    • AK™

      Shark Bait ooh ha ha.

  • derfelcadarn

    Does the problem this solves even exist ?

    • Fred Johnson

      One word.



    • dan citizen

      yes it does.

      Taking a conventional weapon straight out of the water and firing it has sometimes resulted in destruction of the weapon, and firing one while submerged provides pretty poor ballistics coupled with profound cycling issues.

      Sometimes the easiest way to access a person who needs killing is from water. The russian weapon can also operate on the surface, though it’s range is not great.

      I used to hang with a guy had who trained sea lions for the military. (Scary stuff, they are aggressive, strong, and will happily tear off your air hose and then drag you to the bottom) He said that attempts to place charges on ships were a serious threat and that various methods had thwarted real world attempts to sink our assets. This is not counting the threat of listening devices, smuggling, etc.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        Per your last paragraph, they did the same with dolphins against the possibility of assorted enemy frogmen and underwater saboteurs.

        • dan citizen

          true, but guys with underwater machine guns are so much cooler, and it saves having to buy fish for the critters.

  • nanoc

    I like Soviet design philosophy’s. Need an underwater rifle then lets build one. Need a

    underwater pistol then lets build one. Need a silent rifle then lets build one. Need a silent pistol …. Very efficient and specialized. Why build something that’s mediocre at everything when you can build something highly effective for a single purpose.

    • I always thought that Soviet design philosophy was “make everything subpar or mediocre at best, but get lucky every great once in a while”.

      • Yellow Devil

        “Quantity has a quality all its own.” -supposedly Stalin

    • bbmg

      With the ADS they now have something which is apparently equally formidable both above and below water:

      • Aar0nC

        that’s a sexy rife! Bullpup, suppressed, and Amphibious!? Sign me up!

  • dan

    imagine divers having a under water firefight.

    • dan citizen

      I do imagine that! All underwater troops need gopro’s.

      • dan

        Screw fishing with a spear gun I want the rifle

    • john huscio

      Thunderball, 1964

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    Interesting header photograph. The divers are using the standard-issue IDA-71 shallow-water closed-circuit oxygen rebreather / full-face mask kits, which have been around a long time and have proven very effective for their intended purpose ( shallow-water naval frogman and human torpedo / chariot operations along similar lines to those carried out by the SEAL / UDT teams ).

  • mechamaster

    They have new underwater rifle like ADS ( A-91 variant ) and ASM-DT as APS successor / complement.. But Russian still not showing their amphibious ace up in the sleeve arsenal.

  • Zachary marrs

    The position of his knife….. is rather unfortunate

  • Lou Sleef

    Q : Why does the US Military not have :

    1. Supercavitating 300kmh torpedo (like the VA-111 Shkval)
    2. Supercavitating submarine ( like the one the PLN wants )
    3. Helicarrier ( like in the Avengers movie )
    4. Gun that shoots underwater

    A: Because they are all stupid.

    • Drew Schultz

      We have allot of supercavitating ammo for rifles and with modern tech allot of those guns are not just specialized for that only and can be used for more then one role .
      I would like to see Russia rail gun technology or Hyper sonic missile technology .

      • Peter Kraus

        Well, you can’t see Russian hypersonic missile research, but you can see Russian ANTI-hypersonic missile technology (S-500 or 55R6M “Triumphator-M”) and it’s missile that must intercept missiles with speed 5M and higher was successfully tested in June.
        Railguns is another story.

    • whskee

      The Shkval was originally a nuke, and designed to target a carrier. Fast enough that she couldn’t run, maneuver, or decoy before it hit. It’s garbage at doing anything but a mostly straight and shallow run. The concept was militarily sound in a crazy MAD way, and they kind of surprised everyone when they produced it. And it’s a POS that destroyed the Kursk, so there’s that too…

      If the PLN want a SuperCav Sub, they had better invent some kind of Magic fuel first, and nuclear ain’t it. I honestly wonder why they even mentioned the concept, because it’s so far out of their technical abilities it just makes them look silly.

      • nanoc

        Given its speed the Shkval is an excellent weapon. Most torpedo have ranges of 10 miles or less. Going that fast the Shkval gives very little time to react. Also the newer ones are faster around 450 kmh and work is going on for a 560kmh version. They also have terminal guidance and are able to maneuver using small fins that touch the edge of the supercavity bubble. It’s a very unique design.

      • DiverEngrSL17K

        The loss of the “Kursk” on Saturday, August 12th, 2000 in the Barents Sea has been traced to an issue with the Model 65-76 conventional warhead wire-guided torpedoes she was carrying at the time. The 65-76 utilized hypergolic fuel consisting of purified kerosene boosted by concentrated hydrogen peroxide or HTP ( High-Test Peroxide ) to provide sustained high speed over extended ranges. The problem with HTP is that it is relatively unstable, corrosive and extremely volatile, factors that do not mix well in the event of a leak into the enclosed atmosphere of a submerged submarine. It also causes an explosive catalytic reaction when exposed to certain copper-based metals, such as bronze or brass — which are found in abundance aboard most sea-going vessels, and out of which torpedo tubes are typically fabricated.

        And that is exactly what happened with the “Kursk” on that fateful summer day. One 65-76 torpedo, subsequently identified as Serial Number 298A 1336A PV, had developed corrosion issues within its casing that had weakened assorted metal and composite components, including vital sealing gaskets, as early as six years prior to the incident. This torpedo had been pre-loaded into one of the “Kursk’s” forward torpedo tubes in readiness for a firing exercise during the scheduled Northern Fleet manoeuvres. The slow but insidious ongoing HTP leakage built up within the tube until the tipping point was reached and a full chemical interaction occurred, resulting in a propellant-only explosion at 11:28:27 hrs. that was equivalent to an estimated 220 pounds of TNT. Given the confinement of the torpedo tube and the pressure hull of the submarine, the highly-incendiary blast energy bursting through the tube doors into the forward torpedo room and the control room immediately aft would have been significantly magnified when finally released, enough to register 1.5 on the Richter Scale several hundred nautical miles to the west at the Karasjok seismic sensing array in eastern Norway. This initial explosion triggered an uncontrollable chemical fire, reaching several thousand degrees Centigrade, that resulted in sympathetic detonation of the propellant and warheads of the remaining torpedoes in the forward torpedo room 135 seconds later as the “Kursk” impacted the seabed in a shallow, out-of-control dive. This secondary explosion registered 3.5 on the Richter Scale at Karasjok, not far short of a medium-sized earthquake.

        That Captain-Lieutenant Dmitri Kolesnikov and twenty-three others in the aft machinery spaces had actually survived the explosions and sinking of the “Kursk” was nothing short of a miracle in itself, and speaks volumes for her robust construction and excellent watertight compartmentalization as well as the crew’s training, initiative and courage. It was only a matter of time, however, before this small group of survivors, trapped in Number Nine Compartment and unable to reach the aft emergency escape trunking, would eventually succumb in pitch darkness — as the emergency lighting and battery-powered lanterns slowly failed — to a combination of exposure, oxygen deprivation, carbon dioxide poisoning and possibly also smoke inhalation from a secondary fire, long before they could be rescued.

        • whskee

          As much as I love copy paste functions…whoa there guy. Yay for wikipedia and all but look at your sources. Carefully. That’s the Russian’s version of the event, regarding a very sensitive event. I don’t have time nor care to cite my own sources because well… I’m lazy and don’t give a shit but submarines are where I first cut my teeth with the military so it’s close to home for me. So just a conversational piece from me. I’m thinking you might be interested in what we were discussing in service? I assure you it’s a whole lot more interesting. But if not then just ignore my comments because I’m basically going into conspiracy theory territory..

          Our inside narrative was that the imagery from the hull showed the explosions did occur internally in the torpedo room. So basically, there was melting, object displacement, and other things that the analysts agreed didn’t line up with just a peroxide and detonation casualty. People way smarter than any of us had some compelling science showing the Ruskies lied, and confirming our time-of-event narrative based on intel collection.

          So…Background. The boat was demo’ing weapons for Chinese officials, and had shown off the SS-N-19 already (which they couldn’t deny because it’s airborne after launch, and anyone can see that). We had a lot of interest in all this too of course, it’s an intel treasure trove. We build sound profiles to recognize subs, ships, weapons, weapons launches, etc. That enables ID later, and gives us some other cool abilities too.

          Well, the Shkval is insanely loud in sonar terms due to how it operates. There was a lot of noise put out consistent with the motor ignition. Normally in a torpedo or even missile launch, speaking in sonar terms, you have an initial source bearing which equals the launch platform. Then you have bearing rate as the weapon travels away toward its target, even if its a submarine launched missile (sound still hits the water). The noise(bearing) moves basically. The Kursk never showed any bearing rate, meaning the weapon never left the platform. And then a bit later detonations. The Shkval failed to leave the tube, burned through its brass torpedo tube and door, and acted like a blowtorch against the other weapons carried aboard, and first set fire and then detonated those weapons.

          The Russians didn’t want any help because they didn’t want to lose any secrets, nor let us get near any of their tech, such as a shiny new export model Shkval that the Chinese are going to buy and arm their own shiny new boats with. If a rescue happens, you better believe each person gets photo’d and ID’d before we send them homeward. And remember it has been revealed that we have grabbed whole subs off the bottom in the past already. Read ‘Blind Mans Bluff’ if you want to get some idea of just how crazy some of our OLD missions were. Imagine the kind of stuff the boats are into nowadays. Subs are our last great unseen hand to this day.

          • DiverEngrSL17K

            Hi, Whskee :

            Thanks very much for your input. I am quite well-versed with the various deep-sea salvage projects — such as the role of the Hughes “Glomar Explorer” in retrieving the K-129 — involving the salvage of large sections of sunken Soviet submarines. I have also read books such as “Blind Man’s Bluff”, “Azorian” and the like. At the same time, I also keep in mind that these books, although well-researched and written to the best of the authors’ abilities, may also be subject to some flawed or incorrectly perceived information and conclusions for a variety of reasons, some of which could just as easily be as politically and security-driven as the Russians’ agenda.

            For the record, I did not, and do not, use copy / paste functions, and I did not use Wikipedia or the Russian version of events. If some of the information I posted actually appeared in either of the latter, it is more likely that Wikipedia quoted from the same sources I used, and that at least some of the Russian version of events happened to come from the same sources ( which were hardly inclined to blindly go along with what the Russians had to say in the aftermath of the disaster ). Rather, from what I can tell, the Russians did at least tell some of the truth in spite of the potential political embarrassment, and it took knowledgeable and objective outside observers to fill in the rest with the expectation of a reasonable modicum of accuracy.

            Having said this, your input concerning the possible scenario of a malfunctioning Shkval is demonstrably plausible and shows that you have very good in-depth knowledge, and what you have to say does add much more insight into this unfortunate tragedy.

            In the end, unless one is in an extraordinary overall position that enables one to have direct access to virtually every avenue of accurate data concerning an event like this, and also to be able to correctly collate and integrate that data — individuals such as the DCIA and DNO come to mind — one is left privy to only a fraction of the whole truth ( the infamous “need to know” phrase comes to mind, does it not? ), and the best one can do is to try and determine which other individuals are privy to other fractions, then start putting things together via deductive reasoning. The entire truth about events such as the sinking of the “Kursk” will not be known to us for a very long time to come, if at all.

            Once again, thank you very much for sharing your valuable perspectives — they are much appreciated.

  • john huscio

    Didn’t hk make an underwater pistol?

  • whskee

    I get the ‘why’ they’d produce it, but I think a story of it actually getting used somewhere would be way more interesting. I wouldn’t want to get hit by it but wonder if it would punch a plate? I’m not sure if it’s still done but I know some US Navy ships used to carry Mk3A2 concussion grenades for an anti-swimmer role. They will mess you up underwater something fierce, much further than in air. It would make me smile to no end if some regular joe navy sailor just shrugged and dropped one on them like it was no big deal.

  • Leo

    I am sure they have something to shot in space or underground as well, what is usability of this firearm?

  • jeff

    blah blah blah blah americans blah blah blah