Kalashnikov Media has published an article telling about an experimental pistol called PS-15 Drel (Russian: Дрель, means “drill”). This handgun was chambered in 5.45x18mm. It was designed in the ’90s by the request of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). The idea was to arm the law enforcement officers with a high capacity concealable handgun.
The main request to the project Drel was to design a compact semi-auto pistol that would have a higher capacity than the PSM pistol. There were at least two pistols made for this project. The more known one was designed in IzhMekh and it was based on the Margolin MTsM (a.k.a MCM) target pistol. PS-15 Drel was designed in 1994 in another Izhevsk plant – IzhMash.
PS-15 Drel pistol has a double stack magazine of 16-round capacity. Despite the high magazine capacity, the small size of 5.45x18mm cartridge allowed to have a really compact magazine which in its turn allowed to design a compact pistol. The PS-15 Drel pistol had a DAO trigger mechanism and direct blowback action.
The 5.45x18mm is a bottleneck rimless centerfire cartridge that pushes 38-grain projectiles at a muzzle velocity of little over 1,000 fps. As you can see, these numbers are close to the .22 LR, however, due to the FMJ bullets with a steel/lead core, the 5.45x18mm was not too bad in the light armor penetration department. Despite this slight advantage the small caliber and low muzzle velocity resulted in a poor performance in terms of instant incapacitation of threats. That was the main reason why MVD eventually canceled the project Drel. There were only several prototypes of this pistol ever made. This particular one is kept in the collection of IzhMash R&D department.
Popenker M. (2018, August 3). “Неизвестная «Дрель»”. Kalashnikov Media. Retrieved from: https://kalashnikov.media/news/4522541
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