According to sources at the Eurosatory exposition in Paris, France, the Russian Army has nearly completed tests on the new pistol design likely to be adopted to replace the 9x18mm PMM Makarov and 9x19mm PYa Yargin pistols currently in service. The Udav (Russian for “Boa”) pistol is based on the previous Serdyukov SR-1 “Gyurka” (the Russian name for a kind of desert viper), and like it is chambered for the Russian 9x21mm armor-piercing caliber, what was developed for it. This means that at least for a time the Russian Army will be fielding no less than three 9mm calibers (x18, x19, and x21), until the Udav can replace the other two pistols entirely. According to IHS Jane’s:
“The preliminary trials of the Udav pistol have been finished,” the source said. “We are fixing all the drawbacks revealed. TsNIITochMash will then produce the initial batch of the pistols to test them under the state trials programme.” He did not outline the basic specifications of the new pistol, but added that its grip would be made of composite materials. According to the source, the Udav pistol is chambered for the Russian 9x21mm cartridge used in the Serdyukov SPS/SR-1M Vektor heavy pistol.
The Serdyukov pistol design uses a short-recoil system with a tilting locking piece under the barrel, similar to the Beretta 92 or the Walther P38, coupled with a hammer-fired mechanism. The frame is a compound steel-polymer type coupled with a steel slide and barrel. The pistol features a trigger safety, like a Glock, as well as a grip safety, similar to an XD or early model Luger. It’s unknown exactly how the Udav compares to the original Serdyukov, but it seems likely that it incorporates a slide stop, added to later production examples of the SR-1M.
Thanks to Daniel for the tip!