Russian Experimental PS-15 "DREL" Pistol Chambered in 5.45x18mm

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H
Russian Experimental PS-15 DREL Pistol Chambered in 5 (1)

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.

Markings on the slide are as follows: "PS-15 "Drel" Cal. 5.45mm"

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.

5.45x18mm (far left) compared to other cartridges

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:

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Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at

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  • Ozzallos . Ozzallos . on Aug 18, 2018

    I read the "DREMEL Pistol" at first...

  • Eric B. Eric B. on Aug 18, 2018

    Thank you very much but I'll take FN's Five Seven pistol with the above illustrated 5.7 x 28 ammunition (shared by the P90 sub gun,currently in use with many NATO armies for front line military vehicle operators). The Five Seven round DOES penetrate Level III soft body armor as it was a designed to do.