Kalashnikov Unveils New PL-14 Pistol For Russian Army

Kalashnikov Concern has introduced a new pistol for the Russian Army, called the PL-14 “Lebedev” at the recent Army-2015 Expo. Guns.com has more on the new handgun:

Russian firearms colossus the Kalashnikov Concern has unveiled a prototype pistol that they hope will be adopted by the Russian military, reports the Russian News Agency, TASS. The new sidearm is called the PL-14 or just the Lebedev Pistol.

The design appears to tick off all the boxes that have set the standard for most service andduty pistols. It’s a polymer-framed double-stack pistol that’s either striker-fired or contains a concealed hammer chambered for 9mm Luger with a modular grip frame with interchangeable — wood backstraps?

As far as prototypes are concerned what we’re looking at may not be the final production design, after all the slide machining and finish is a little rough and the wood panels could be a placeholder for rubber or polymer grips. It’s also possible that it saves weight as some composites can be denser than many hardwoods.

Whatever the case is, whether it was a handy material for the prototype or it serves a functional or aesthetic purpose, the gun shows all the hallmarks of modern handgun design down to the loaded chamber indicator, accessory rail and fully-ambidextrous controls. The ambidextrous mag releases are recessed to prevent accidental mag drops.

The PL-14 also has forward slide serrations for press checks and a large trigger guard for gloved hands that’s squared for use as a barrier support. The press release adds that thetrigger pull is variable for special forces units as well as competitive shooters.

And the pistol has a very low bore axis for a high grip that should make recoil a non-issue for fast, level shooting, something that will make it appealing to military and private users alike.

Other specs of the PL-14 include an especially thin 1.1-inch grip and even thinner frame and slide measuring in 0.8 inches in front of the rails. It has an unconventional rail system that looks like the frame runs on rails on the slide rather than having the slide ride in rails in the frame. Everything else is pretty standard. The PL-14 has a standard capacity of 15+1, a full-length 5-inch barrel and weighs 28 ounce unloaded.

Outdoor Hub has additional specifications for the new Lebedev pistol:

The pistol will come with a loaded chamber indicator, a frame-mounted Picatinny rail, and internal safety mechanisms to prevent the gun from firing when dropped. Below are the basic specifications for the PL-14 from Kalashnikov:

Caliber, mm 9×19

Length mm 220

Height mm 136

Thickness mm 28

Barrel length 127 mm

Magazine capacity, rounds 15

Weight without ammunition, 0.8 kg

Weight with ammunition 0.99 kg

RuptlyTV uploaded a video on the new handgun, embedded below:

Below are additional pictures of the new handgun and its spec sheet (in Russian):

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Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


  • Giolli Joker

    It looks good.
    It would be great to see a civilian version of it tested side by side with a Strike One.
    I’m wondering if this was already “promised” to the Army when they tested the Strike One and the influence of Kalashnikov (the company) did the rest…

  • Dracon1201

    Shut up and take all of my goddamned money.

    But only if you keep the hardwoods.

    Those give me wood.

    • Lance

      Obama wont let you have one he has banned importation of all Russian firearms.

      • Dracon1201

        I know. He sucks.

        • Kurt Akemann

          Yeah, but not on that score. President Obama didn’t ban imports from Kalashnikov Concern in order to ban types of guns. he did it because the firm id making guns used for acts of aggression in Ukraine. And though I dislike agreeing with him, he’s correct that we should not trade with foreign firms that support unjust aggression.

          • Huaien Su

            Agree, that is why I never buy American made guns

          • Ed Ward

            Then from where are your guns? Please do tell…

          • mwells

            Unlike us selling weapons to Syrian rebels and “moderate” muslims?

          • Doom

            Ha Ha oh wow… Guess you better not buy any Remington, Colt, FN, Benelli, Beretta, etc, etc, etc guns…

          • PutinsShill345905

            I wouldn’t exactly call it “unjust”. We were the ones who sponsored an illegal “regime change” in Ukraine – just another one in a long series of “regime changes”, installing a “banana republic” style, puppet government that’s openly hostile to Russia. When it comes to their actions in Ukraine, Russia’s vital national security concerns are involved (i.e.: they don’t want US/NATO bases and missiles just hundreds of clicks away from their major cities). Imagine if Russia subverted Mexico in a similar fashion and don’t tell me that the US wouldn’t get involved.

            However, importation of Russian pistols was banned long before any of this, via the so-called “Clinton-Yeltsin Voluntary Agreement” in the 90s.

  • 75sl

    I may have missed it , but what type of locking mechanism does the pistol use ?

    • It is definitely a Browning-type tilting barrel. The lower lug is linkless, and the barrel locks at the top inside the ejection port.

  • Axel

    I like it. It does not look like the browning short recoil operation. Looks like they took the strike one and made their own version of it. I just hope that, unlike the strike one, they keep the slide weight down so that low bore axis is actually useful.

  • Chris22lr

    Everybody’s amazed by the traditional “old-gen” woodden, screw-on grip covers. Granted, it’s not that hi-tech like HK P30 polymer exchangeable back/front/side- straps in various sizes. But they looks cool, and are probably just a sign of early development of the gun.

    What really buggers me is that grip angle, reminescent of new Steyrs or Pardini GTs. When trying pistol in a dry fire, or static target shooting, everybody loves their ergonomics. Not a surprise – such angle is directly inspired by Olympic target pistols. However in a so-called practical shooting competitions, or combat, such design introduces problems. Suddenly you need to change the movement of your hand during holstering, or taking gun out from holster. Also modern shooting techniques involving two hands wrapped around the grip feel awkward.

    I’ve seen quite a number of shooters who happily bought Steyr, only to return it after some time. All because they felt that it was too tedious to readapt to new grip angle…

    • Not_a_Federal_Agent

      Have you ever shot a Steyr? Because you sound like someone who hasn’t.

      • iksnilol

        An unusual grip angle can make it hard to shoot an otherwise decent gun. I know I shoot just as well if not better with a Ruger MK2 (cheap, “trashy” gun) than I do with a Pardini (expensive, high precision wood brick). Now I know I am a bad shot with a pistol but still. Then again, maybe it was less the grip angle and more the unusual ergonomic grip that wasn’t fitted to me.

    • Dracon1201

      So it’s just training, not the gun. Okay.
      If you train with it and take it seriously, nothing that you said is a problem. Just like any other gun.

    • Kivaari

      That has always been an issue. I found that once the brain was conditioned for a particular handgun, it made shooting other makes more troublesome. I found that playing with M1911s and BHP created problems. Simple things like hitting a target fast or simply forgetting to disengage the safety. It made it easier to get rid of the other guns and keep Glocks and S&W revolvers.

    • Giolli Joker

      Pardini or Delta AR Top Gun were my first thoughts when I saw it.

  • DW

    Russian version of the Steyr M? Thought they had that look covered with strike one.

    Or there are some hardcore Fallout fans in Kalashinikov Concern

    • SP mclaughlin

      Fallout 4 ))))))

      • wetcorps

        All aboard the hype train!

        • KestrelBike

          It looks badass and I like it based on the same reason I like Han Solo’s blaster. Pew Pew!

          • Chris Floyd

            Mikhail shot first!


        • Grindstone50k

          choo choo

      • Dracon1201

        FALLOUT 4! <3

    • Coolhand77

      naaaah, the 10mm in Fallout 4 looks more like the Savage .45 prototype with some extra doodads pinned on.

    • Zugunder

      Haha! Can’t speak for Kalashinikov Concern, but there are certainly lots of Fallout fans in Russia.

    • iddqd

      /it’s more like a pistol from DooM 3/

  • Anton Gray Basson


    • ThisIsSloth

      No, Mrs. Johnson, you can’t have one.

      • Anton Gray Basson

        Nobody messes with Mrs. Johnson

        • Nobody

          No I don’t.

  • Wow, that looks great. And with that nice Luger-esque grip angle I bet it shoots like a dream.

    • guest

      That was the first thing that caught my eye too. Good angled grip and a big beavertail to get the thubs well around the frame.

      • Doom

        Thubs? Is that like thumb nubs? the things left over after shooting a glocknade? lol…Just kidding, love my G17.

  • micmac80

    Prototype frame is aluminum

  • Tom

    Somehow I doubt this will see wide spread adoption. Whilst the Russians may be throwing money at their military there are much more useful weapons systems to update than a handgun.

    • John

      Like the AK-12?

  • Dylan Dryden

    That safety and/or decocker looks pretty awful. Otherwise, I like it.

  • Tom

    Which took the idea from the Swiss SIG P210.

    • toms

      Which took the idea from the French p35.

    • PstPatriot

      Now that is an amazing sexy firearm, and shoots like a rifle to boot

  • kgallerno

    What a damn sexy looking pistol.

  • Kev

    I’ve been following this news for a while but does anyone know about the other products kalashnikov released specifically the ak 15 a modernised ak107?

    • Dracon1201

      They made the civi version if that is what you are talking about. We have to get off of sanctions, first.

      • kev

        Yep the saiga mk 107. However rostec have said they are developing a new version of it for civil and military applications (my Google translate is not the best ha) the AK 15 which I’ve seen a photo but no info. Sadly those sanctions mean that it will be awhile before I can get to see one let alone own.

        • Dracon1201

          So one with AK12 furniture?

          • Kev

            They are teasing us now.

  • Dracon1201

    Seriously, it’s like gun writers and bloggers have never seen a CZ75. This always happens.

    • Kivaari

      It doesn’t remind me of the CZ75. I was lucky enough to see a “real” CZ75 over 30 years ago. Detonics had just acquired it after a considerable amount of paperwork and payment of $1250 import duty tax. This was before trade with Warsaw Pact countries was easier. Detonics wanted one to get a hands- on view of the manufacturing methods. It had to go through Canada on it way to Bellevue (WA). It was actually crude in its finish work. The hammer moved quite a bit when fired single action. The Tanfoglio guns were much better finished.

      • Dracon1201

        They import surplus CZ75s for around $250. They come and go in waves. They aren’t hard to get anymore. New ones are even easier to get and far better in craftsmanship. I should know, I have a couple. The new ones are fantastic, actually. I recommend getting one.

        This reminds us of a CZ75 in the way that the slide is inside the frame and very small. It’s a great system.

        • Kivaari

          Yep! My point being it was one of almost none in the USA at the time. Then, in the early ’80s, you could see photographs of the CZ.
          Once the Italian copies started showing up, the import duty wasn’t the issue. I am sure that spending the additional $1250 duty took some shine off the adventure.

        • Rod Combs

          Love my SP-01. Shoots best double tap groups of any 9mm I have.

    • SD3

      It’s new!!!! Taek mah munnehzz!!!

  • mosinman

    that’s really sexy, i wonder if there will be a version with a metallic frame

    • sam

      That would be nice, with those reliefs for the controls… maybe longslide.

  • Actually, it looks like a combination. The slide rides outside of the frame at the rear, but inside of the frame at the front.

  • Southpaw89

    As low profile as the top end is I would say it’s almost certainly striker fired, not a lot of room for a hammer to swing in there, but that low barrel axis must make for some nice shooting, would be very interested in this pistol if it shows up in the States.

    • Kivaari

      Look close and you can see the hammer. It pivots on the safety lever pin.

  • C77A1

    I’ll take 20.

  • Lance

    Wouldn’t get too excited the PYA Grach was the first 9mm pistol introduced and never was widely used in Russian Army and Police use. Then came the GSH-18 seem to have been in line for adoption but now this design enters seems the Russian have a circular firing squad on pistol design and is always introducing a new pistol a year after they adopted one and so in the end the only winner is the old Makarov PM which is still widespread use in Russia and the CIS.

  • Kivaari

    Not a bad looking pistol.

    • sam

      Indeed,I give it 4/5. I like how it’s contemporary yet Eastern-European/military-looking.

  • PstPatriot

    Take all my money now, and please leave the wood on it.

  • Grindstone50k

    Interesting that they went with 9x19mm.

    • The Russians have been using some very interesting +p+ 9×19 for a while now.

      • Kivaari

        I’d like a couple of rounds just to look at. Too bad they are felonies in waiting.

  • Robert w

    Blade Runner? Anyone?

    • Tay Dervis


      • William Johnson

        It does have a very retro future look. I would expect to see it in a movie “real soon.”

  • Fiveseven

    Kinda reminds me of the Steyr M9A1

  • hikerguy

    The latest version of the AK….yes we have seen that. A new Russian automatic prototype pistol with wood grips…Don’t they have a dozen or so different pistols in service already? What I want to know is, who was that attractive lady at 1:05?

    • Tierlieb

      If you listen closely, they are introduced – the RO is pointing at both competitors. Maria Schwartz is what I understood. She wears a typical IPSC shirt, that fits with a name in the Russian IPSC database, and Concern Kalashnikov uses IPSC shooters as spokesmen quite a bit – the guy in the beginning is Andrey Kirisenko, if I am not mistaken.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I like it, and it doesn’t even say “grip zone” anywhere.

  • Strongarm

    By the light of all pictures available;

    – This is a Browning Tilting Barrel Lock Pistol with common ejection port locking shoulder.

    – The pistol seems hammer firing. Low bore axis feature is not striker firers monopoly. Think Kel-Tec PMR 30 or old Remington M51. Only the “Outside Hammer” needs moore room at back of frame under the slide.

    – “The extented back slide from the handle appearance” may come from the fact that creating space for safety devices like so called Drop Safety. Real Drop Safeties are mechanical blocks preventing the motion of cocked hammer or striker catchers through the drops or impacts against to the release direction. Common striker blocks, in fact, are “Emergency Safeties” leaving the gun and the user with a loaded chamber, but with an uncocked striker. Hammer firers, by the fact of their rotational movement, give more opportunities to locate true drop safeties. This pistol seems to have such a safety.

    – Control Latches, (Take down, Slide Stop and Safety) seem little and thin for a service pistol.

    – The plastic framed version would not have wooden handle plates.

    – Apart from the forward pitch of frame, pistol looks very similar to existing samples.

  • LCON

    Just how many pistols does Putin’s Army need? MP-443 Grach Pistol was in Russian army use for 2003, then came Arsenal Strike one Which seems to have trialed but not adopted was pushed, now this one?

    • Snusmumr

      “Grach” is considered by users as too “clumsy”, for example.
      Strizh/StrikeOne ia a purely “commercial” pistol. Talks about that it might be adopted by the Army were always a blatant PR.
      PL-14, on the other hand, seemingly enjoys advantages of the “Kalashnikov lobbying”. Although it’s too early to say for certain.
      “Just how many pistols does Putin’s Army need”
      Not less than “Obama’s Army”. Cannot let those pesky Pindosy get too far ahead in terms of handguns. 🙂

  • Nigel Tegg

    This may be the one time Australians can have something the Americans can’t 😛

  • Squirreltakular

    Flippin’ gorgeous.

  • Darren Hruska

    That bore axis is just too damn sexy!

  • Coolhand77

    Yah, I can dig it…too bad about the import ban…

  • iksnilol

    Reminds me of a Makarov in the sense that it is adequate while being small and easy to hide.

  • john huscio

    Very meh……oversized Steyr/strike one lovechild that holds no allure for me.

  • If this is being manufactured at Izhevsk, then we won’t be able to import it?

  • Leigh Rich

    Looks more like the diamondback FS 9 to me but it is a striker fire…

  • RPK

    Another Russian design and specs rip-off from the west. What’s big news about that?

  • M.Mitchell Marmel

    DO WANT.

  • F. Huff

    That is a fine looking pistol. Now if the trigger is any good and the reliability Glock like, then they have a winner. Very nice looking pistol.

  • ohiophotopro

    In Russian description couple things that caught my eye- rated to last “at least” 10000 cycles (which seems kind of low) and loaded chamber indicator can compensate for non standard length cartridges. (allows use of ammo that is out of spec in length.)

  • Tejanojack

    Could be a fine shooter.

  • Brian M

    I like this design. It looks pretty good. Lemme see…

    15+1 capacity
    thin profile
    light weight

    Ambidextrous controls

    Now, I hope that the gun is DASA, although in the interest of simplicity and training, it will likely end up being a DAO system. I can’t tell how the safety lever operates, but both it and the slide stop look a bit too small to be easily hit by a wide range of people under duress. Of course, the only kind of manual safety I’d really want to see on a combat pistol is a grip safety, just to make sure that troops are holding it correctly and also to not make it possible to forget to take the weapon off safe when deploying it. Personally, I don’t see much use for frontal serrations, unless you have kind of optic at the rear which gets in the way of handling. My philosophy is to keep the number of reasons to put your limbs at the business end of a gun to a minimum, especially if they’re there for the sake of being able to check whether or not the gun is loaded. I’m wondering what they’re trying to do with the grip angle; it reminds me of those grips angled in a way that’s supposed to lock the wrist to promote better marksmanship. Given how high the grip goes and how low the slide sits, I wonder if slide bite will be a problem. I think it looks more like a competition pistol than a combat pistol.

    Now, to translate some of those dimensions to American..

    Overall length: 8.6 Inches

    Height: 5.4 Inches
    Barrel length: 5 Inches
    Empty weight: 1 Pound 12 Ounces
    Loaded weight: 2 Pounds 2 Ounces

    This is a full size combat handgun, rivaling and in some ways surpassing the M1911 in size. It looks to me rather like a CZ75. I can’t claim anything about the quality in advance. I’m not sure what experience the Kontsern Kalashnikova have with handgun design, but if they give it their usual effort, there’s no reason why this can’t be a great gun. I sincerely hope we get it over here for us American civvies.

  • Tierlieb

    I love the looks and the design not only for the low bore axis and huge beavertail, but also because of the undercut under the trigger guard and because that guard is rather thin. Bonus points for having dovetail cuts for both the rear and front sight. The safety I could do without, though.

    I doubt the military adaption within the next 20 years – points have already been made about the Grach and the Gsh-18, but the long time to adopt the AK-74 is even more telling I think 😉 Still, that should not be too bothersome, as Concern Kalashnikov targets civilian customers, too. Putin really needs some money, it seems.

    The only sad thing is that it might simply suck reliability-wise. One might think it is not that hard after Glock did it – and S&W with the M&P I guess (still too new to compare to 4 generations of Glocks). But Arsenal, Steyr and surely Caracal have all managed to have one or two rather serious issues.

  • Proud American

    Looks like the ruskies are keeping an eye on RUGER specifically the SR9 series

  • Very sexy… Do you think the Pentagon will choose this handgun to replace the Beretta?

  • Johanne


    That’s pretty low fire power compared to many 9mm pistols today. Make this with an 18+1 and it will be perfect.

  • TJbrena

    So I’m guessing the MP-443 Grach/Yarygin PYa and the GSh-18 didn’t pan out?