Review of the Russian APS Underwater Carbine & SPP-1M Underwater Pistol

    The Small Arms Defense Journal have published a fascinating review of the mysterious Russian underwater guns. They were able to test fire these guns at a (above water) range.

    I was expecting these guns to have far less range than the powerful spear guns used by Tuna fisherman, but I was wrong. The range of large spear guns is about 30 feet.

    Interestingly their deployment has only ever once officially been acknowledged …

    Surprisingly, these are not new weapons as they were developed and put in Russian service over thirty years ago. They are excellent examples of the secrecy that surrounded the Soviet Union and were unknown, even at classified levels, in the West until Tsniitochmash began offering them publicly in 1993.

    The Russian government has publicly acknowledged only one instance of operational deployment. In November 1989 at Malta, President George Bush and Russian Premier Mikail Gorbachev had meetings aboard a ship and the flotilla on which these two heads of state met were protected by a 16-man team of divers armed with the APS underwater assault rifle.

    Today with sonar and trained reconnaissance dolphins, I wonder how useful underwater guns are today.

    [ Many thanks to Cormac & Steve for emailing us the link. ]

    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!