TKB-486: The First Soviet SMG Chambered in 9x18mm Makarov

    In the early ’50s, small arms of the Soviet Union have been deeply modernized. The Kalashnikov’s “avtomat” along with its new cartridge was adopted and it was replacing the submachine guns and rifles in the service. The Makarov pistol was also just adopted and they have switched to the new 9x18mm Makarov cartridge.

    The SMGs had basically no place in the new small arms doctrine which was dominated by the assault rifle and the intermediate cartridge. They couldn’t also be much useful for secondary roles because the cartridge that existing SMGs were chambered in (7.62x25mm Tokarev) was no longer the service pistol cartridge.

    However, there still was a need for a lightweight and compact submachine gun. Nikolay Makarov started working on such a firearm design and for some reason, it was passed to Igor Stechkin at some point who finished the designing process. The new gun was called TKB-486 and it was the first Soviet SMG chambered in 9x18mm Makarov.

    TKB-486 was a blowback operated firearm with a telescoping bolt. The overall length of TKB-486 was 612mm (a little over 24″) with the stock extended and when the stock was folded it became as compact as 380mm (15″). The gun was also very lightweight weighing 1.3 kilograms (2 lbs 14 oz). The rate of fire was 550 rpm. Its magazine could be folded forward to make it even more compact. As you can see in the images, the upper and lower receivers are stamped from sheet metal which made it a pretty easy to manufacture firearm.

    Although it looks to be a very cheap to make and compact SMG, I think there still was no room for such a firearm which is probably the main reason why it was not adopted. By that time, the Stechkin Automatic Pistol was also adopted and I think the applications that TKB-486 was supposed to be used in, could be easily accomplished by the already adopted APS with the attached stock.

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    Hrachya H

    Managing Editor

    Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. He also writes for and
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