Russian Police moving away from AK carbines and Makarov pistol.

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Last month the Deputy Head of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Lieutenant-General Mikhail Suhodolskogo, announced that Russian police (the MVD) would be moving away from the AKS-74U (5.45mm 8″ barreled sub-carbine) and the famous Makarov pistol.

Reasons cited are increased gang violence (seems police use this line all over the world) and the potential for ricochets and over penetration of the 5.45mm cartridge.

The police are too replace the AKS-74U with two submachine guns: The Knight and the PP-2000.

The Knight / Vityaz / PP-19-01. Photo from

I know very little about the Knight. I know it is made by Izhmash and I would guess by looking at the photo that it will fire 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum and will be able to handle the +P+ Russian 7N31 armor piercing round. The receiver also looks shorter than the AK carbines and rifles. I can’t make out if it is gas operated or not.

The Knight could be possibly be a redesign of the 9A-91 compact rifle that fired the 9x39mm cartridge.

Thanks to jdun and R.A.W in the comments I have more information on the Knight. It looks like it was originally known as the AK-9, but this may just be a name given to it in the west. The russian name in the Arabic alphabet, according to, appears to be Vityaz with one model called the Vityaz-SN. The word Vityaz means ancient warrior, hence the translation as Knight. It is not clear if the westernized name is used officially. According to the official product name is PP-19-01 but I am not sure if that is accurate.


The PP-2000 is a cool looking submachine gun. It fires the 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum and can handle both AP (7N31) and armor piercing (7N21) loads. It operates with a telescoping bolt, thereby reducing size, and although it looks like it may be gas operated in the photo, it is not. It uses 20 and 44 round magazines. A spare 44 round magazine can be inserted into the back of the receiver and used as a stock if the wire folding stock it not attached.

The Baikal Yarygin PYa / MP-443 “Grach” pistol, which I dubbed the “ Ugliest modern pistol“, will be replacing the Makarov PM. The reasons for this are obvious. Twice the magazine capacity and a much more powerful round. The 9x18mm Makarov cartridge is closer to the .380 ACP rather than the 9x19mm Luger/Parabellum.

Baikal Yarygin PYa / MP-443 “Grach” pistol

In Moscow’s Shadows analyzed what this announcement means. Like US police departments the Russian police have been buying cheap military surplus firearms, but unlike US law enforcement this is all they have been buying.

Also unlike US police departments, and like much of the world, the MVD are employed, financed and administered by the central government. I think this arms upgrade, which will cost a fortune, demonstrates Russia’s new found wealth.

Hat Tip: Backyard Safari

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Bogusz Bogusz on Jul 22, 2013

    His surname
    is Suhodolskiy. MVD means Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs,
    but police units are sometimes referred as MVD units because they're governed
    by this ministry. I believe, there is no reason to employ gas-operating design if
    Vityaz' SMG is chambered just for quite medium - power cartridge like 9 Luger.
    Just compare both: if so light-style compact gun like PP2000 can fire 7N31
    ap-rounds, there is no reason to make larger Vityaz' in more complicated (and 4
    that reason - more expensive) light-style operation design.

  • Max G Max G on Nov 05, 2014

    It had to happen at some stage. Makarov was not up to standard any more. While highly reliable and simple, it didn't have the range or knock-down power. At the same time AKS-74U is way too powerful for police use with round retaining its lethality long after it went beyond "effective range". For close-quarter it was too powerful. It also overheated fast during prolonged use, weighed more then an SMG does. In other words they weren't suited to modern times. Hence replacement. However I'd have selected GSh-18. Much lighter.