Small Arms in the Russian News

Image from

I’ve always found it funny whenever I look at mainstream media outlets and there’s some unique or rare firearm being displayed. Because my thought process goes something “WOW, that Philippine rebel has a super rare early model Johnson rifle! That’s insane! Who cares about the problems going on, but that gun is rare!”. I probably wouldn’t last long as a Washington Post photo caption writer to say the least…

Anyways, with the recent murder of a Russian politician and the apprehension of several suspects related to the crime, the media has printed some pictures that are of note because the small arms are somewhat interesting and not seen very much over here in the West. To our Russian readers, these small arms are probably seen on a weekly basis through police or their depiction in the media, so we apologize in advance if these pictures aren’t of any interest to ya’ll.


This image from Getty Images shows a good shot of a 9x19mm Β PP-19-01 “Vityaz”, a modern day descendant of the AKS74U but using blow back operation. This isn’t to be confused with the similar “Bizon” submachine gun that is chambered in a variety of 9mm and 7.65 cartridges.


This submachine gun appears to be a SR2 “Veresk” chambered in 9x21mm and it seems to be a modern variant from the model that was developed in the 1990s. I’m assuming that the finish is a spray paint application but it also doesn’t match the officers black uniform scheme so either it’s more of a novelty thing or the gun was intended to be used in a different kind of environment. The single point sling appears to be a Black Hawk! type. Image from the New York Times.


Earlier posts have made a point about Russian LE shooters making extensive use of Western products and this photo fully backs it up. The gun is a PP-19-01 but in this view we can see the Magpul (or Magpul copy) stock in addition to an EoTech 512 (possibly another copy). But what is also evident is the Under Armour face mask as well as the uniform of the officer on the right which appears to be styled after the ACU uniform with the slanted pockets, rank and name tape Velcro patches. Image from MSN.


This shows a better shot of the PP-19-01 and the thin magazine and Magpul stock. I’m a little nervous about the proximity of the one officer’s sidearm to the suspect, but that is beyond the scope of this article and opinion. Sidearms appear to be Glocks because of the slab sided slide (also appears to be threaded as well) in a carbon fiber holster, but we can’t tell very much from this angle. Image source here.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • iksnilol

    In regards to the SR-2, it is gas-operated. Pretty unique for a SMG (Sig wrongly claims they have made the first gas-operated SMG with the MPX).

    • CommonSense23

      Where did SIG claim that

      • M

        Not sure but they did claim to have made the first smg with a rotating bolt locking system (thats on the MPX page). The SR-2 is just that though.

      • iksnilol

        If you go onto their website, or just search “Sig MPX”. One of the first results will be:

        “The SIG MPX is the world’s first submachine gun that operates with a fully closed and locked rotating bolt system, greatly enhancing operator safety.”

        That is a direct quote from their website.

        • M

          I think he’s asking where they claimed it was the first gas operated weapon as you stated

          • iksnilol

            First gas operated SMG, that’s what they claimed. Not first gas-operated weapon.

          • M

            Yes, where did they say it was the first gas operated SMG?

          • iksnilol

            Right on their page advertising it. I will post a screenshot.

          • Jeff

            It says nothing about being gas operated. Can you circle the word “gas”?

          • iksnilol

            Here is the screenshot:


            I don’t know how to embed the picture.

    • Esh325

      Interesting I didn’t know that. I wonder did they choose gas operation because it fires the more powerful 9×21 round?

  • wetcorps

    I must admit that whenever firearm are mentioned in the news, my immediate reaction is to ask which ones πŸ™‚

  • Zugunder

    Nothing to apologize for, since I don’t watch tv anymore (who need it with teh internetz?) and living in small town 1000km from Moscow, you only get to see local police with AKS-74U and makarovs.

    • mak man

      I really like my Makarovs, good solid pistols that always go “bang” when you pull the trigger, decent accuracy too.

  • Lance

    Like the Mag pul stock for the Bison SMG. Nice to know that Russia like China rips our tacti cool assessories off only month after there US debut.

    • micmac80

      Actualy Russia doesn’t make magpul or eotech clones they ither buy original or china clone

      • lapkonium

        These are the originals. Never seen a Chinese item in Russian LE, except for a couple Bering and Leopold sights bought privately by Karden – and these too aren’t ripoffs.

    • noguncontrol

      Russians think American stuff is cool, Americans think Russian stuff is cool. πŸ™‚

      No reason to be enemies.

      • Schadavi

        It was never the peasants who wanted war, it was always the kings πŸ˜‰

      • Dan

        Just think of the WIN if we walked hand in hand

    • Kivaari

      Russians will buy the goods from the original makers.

  • Esh325

    It’s interesting how you always see 9mm sub guns being used and made despite the assertion that assault rifles have made them obsolete when they haven’t

    • CommonSense23

      Just cause it’s being used doesn’t mean it is a good idea. Or that is what people who are using it even want to use it.

      • Esh325

        By that example I could say self loading rifles are a bad idea and everybody really wants and should go back to bolt action rifles

        • CommonSense23

          Right its called evaluating your choices. Fortunately the nice thing is we can look at that statement and say except for the most extreme examples of long range shooting, a self loading rifle is superior.

          What exactly does a traditional SMG offer you over a SBR these days?

          • Esh325

            An sbr cant be as small as a smg. Out of short barrels the blast and noise will be much less in a smg. Recoil will be less. In fact I believe I read in a book that the reason the Russians went back to using sub guns was because of fear from high velocity rounds richocheting.

          • CommonSense23

            You know one of the reasons the FBI HRT went to the AR platform was due to over penetration and richocheting of the MP5.

            And hearing protection at this point is kinda prevalent. Especially if it’s your job. Having a set of Swordins or Peltors is pretty much standard.

            And for CQC, if a SBR is to long you might want to get out of your line of work.

          • Esh325

            I’m not aware they ever stopped using the mp5. Who wears hearing protection during combat? It’s size rather than the length perhaps. The reciever on .223 gun will always be bigger than a pistol caliber

          • CommonSense23

            One a lot of professional organizations are using hearing protection in combat. And almost all of SOF does cause it works as hearing protection and for comms. Even the lower levels of the US military are issuing hearing protection to the lower level guys.

            And the performance gains of a SBR far outweigh what little benefits you get out of going to a SMG.

          • John

            >What exactly does a traditional SMG offer you over a SBR these days?

            I want to jump in here and say that it offers simplicity of practical logistics. I always liked the idea of my pistol and my main arm sharing the same bullets, so that if I had to I could swap bullets between one and the other, so I didn’t have to worry about carrying so much ammo. Of course a Glock and an MP5 don’t share the same magazine, so I’d have to carry two different types of that, but I’d only have to worry about one type of bullet. And being 9mm, I could just go to a local gun shop, supermarket or wherever and just buy ammo if I had to.

            Yes, granted, there are times and places and situations where you need a rifle. Fine. But for police work? Only SWAT needs special gear, and that’s why they’re SWAT. Otherwise, there is a lot to be said about having guns share the same ammo.

          • Bill

            SWAT officers are never the first officers on scene!! So why underarm the first responding officer. Next time maybe they can call you first, John!!!

          • John

            >SWAT officers are never the first officers on scene!! So why underarm the first responding officer.

            Because cops are investigators not soldiers, they don’t respond to average calls with weapons drawn, and an SMG is still a LOT of firepower while simplifying both training and logistics for the department.

            Not every officer needs to be SWAT 24 hours a day, Bill.

          • Kivaari

            Wrong on so many levels. Cops should have all the firepower needed, with perhaps an exception to having a long rifle (sniper). All cops should have no less than 3 guns readily available. Two handguns and one good carbine or SMG. Every cop should have the skill at arms of a typical SWAT officer. The patrolman should be ready for just about every thing that could happen. Patrolmen are not often investigators to the level of detectives. Patrol handles initial response MOST of the time. In bigger agencies they control the scene, then turn it over to the investigators. Only in small agencies do the street cops do the crime scene work up. In many of those agencies, there are not skilled investigators so they call in state police. Patrol officers are more likely to be in combat than your investigators. When things go bad, it is the patrol officer that gets there first and can often solve the initial problem.
            Like at San Ysidro where patrol were held back waiting for SWAT. During the wait and getting dressed for combat resulted in more deaths and injuries, that a couple uniformed patrolmen could have stopped the killer with their .38 revolvers and 12 ga. shotguns. Waiting on SWAT leads to results like at Columbine. One patrolman can often stop the crime from getting more destructive. I can’t imagine a patrolman just waiting for SWAT as he listens to gunfire and screams. Many mass killings could have been reduced by one patrolman taking charge. Sitting back for SWAT to arrive, ended with Columbine. Small town cops don’t have that luxury, and don’t want it. Waiting for SWAT kills innocent lives.

          • Kivaari

            SWAT is often represented among the first responders, especially in smaller agencies. Every cop should have the right weapons. Our policy for a long time had each officer with a duty gun, a back up (S&W M642), either an MP5 or M4, an 870 with only rubber baton loads and a .22 rifle for animal control. The shotgun is perhaps the least important for “combat” but performs well as a less lethal weapon.

          • Kivaari

            The ability to share common ammo is really over rated. We did not have it when we carried .38 Special revolvers and 12 ga shotguns. Nor did we have it when we carried a .30 carbine, .30-30 or .223. We did for a time have 9mm Glocks and MP5A2 SGs. It certainly wasn’t important. Just saved some money on ammo.

          • kyphe

            The ability to carry up to 4 times as much ammunition for the same physical encumbrance is one positive. SAS still use the MP5 to reduce the chance of a round coming out of a target and hitting a hostage. They use the MP5k in concealed carry for close protection and the MP5SD for sentry takedown.

    • micmac80

      For short range stuff 9mm might be better ,and if 9×19 doesnt cut it 9×39 will

    • jay

      The smg was shown to be obsolete for the first time when the Russian special forces, armed with ak’s and wearing body armor, stormed the presidential palace in Afghanistan in December 1979.

  • ghost

    Wonder what the guy in the handcuffs thinks about their weapons?

  • Green Hell

    Everyone who is interested in Russian special forces firearms should visit a livejournal blog of k_a_r_d_e_n . He is currently in service and makes a lot of quality photos and descriptions.

    • wetcorps

      One of the best Russian gunporn sources indeed.

  • Kivaari

    In the last photo it appears the suspect is armed. Is he?