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Stechkin APS: The Soviet Machine Pistol


Hey guys, thanks for tuning in to another video on forgottenweapons.com I’m Ian McCollum, and I’m here today at Movie Armaments Group up in Toronto Where we are taking a look at a Russian APS ‘Stechkin’ machine pistol This is a gun that I’ve wanted to do a video on for some time Actually what I’ve really wanted to do is shoot it for some time We’re actually gonna do that tomorrow, but before we can take it out and shoot it, we need to understand what it is and how it works. So, this was developed by a guy named not surprisingly – Igor Stechkin, (yeah uh) in the Soviet Union Actually in the Tula Arsenal, in the late 1940’s, so prototypes of this were were being built in like: 47′ 48′ 49′ The gun was pretty much finalized in 1950, big batch of them made for field trials, and then it was formally adopted in 1951. Now what we have here is both a pistol and well it’s a stocked pistol, and it’s I can’t really say one of the last stocked pistols to be made Because people are still tinkering with this idea to this very day, but the concept was this would be a select-fire personal defense weapon, and it was originally intended for issue to NCOs, and basically NCOs and specialist infantry troops. So things like tanked tank crews, maybe drivers, guys who again didn’t like personal defense weapons in every military, guys who didn’t need a full sized rifle and had better things to do than be toting around a full-size rifle or didn’t have a good place to store a full-size rifle, but they needed some sort of decent self defense weapon because they might end up in combat. So in the United States military This role was filled very well by the M1 carbine. The Soviets (uh you know), in in the works of get in the process of getting rid of most of their submachine guns they went to this – as their planned personal defense weapon. So let’s take a look at how it works and we’ll talk about how it actually did in service. There are a lot of similarities between the Stechkin and the Makarov, and they were adopted it basically the exact same time so, You can see the size comparison here: the Stechkin is really a very large handgun, the Makarov’s kind of small but this is really quite big. Taking a bit of a closer look here, we have our Tula Arsenal manufacturer’s mark serial number, serial number also on the frame. There’s a three-position selector switch on the side of the slide, the rear most position is full-auto, the middle position there is semi-auto, the forward position with the white dot is safe and this also serves as a de-cocker. (There we go that will drop the hammer) Sights are very typical: square post front sight,
and a rear notch sight. Now that rear notch is adjustable, there are four different settings for 25 50 100 100 and 200 meters and that just raises and lowers that rear notch. That 200 meter setting was a requirement of the Russian RFP for this pistol. The magazine is a heel release so you push that in and slightly backwards. Pull out the magazine which obviously looks very much like a Makarov magazine with the open viewing holes in the side, this however is a double-stack double-feed magazine, holds 20 rounds and these are chambered for the 9×18 Makarov cartridge. Obviously you already saw this with the stock attached, there are a pair of slots on the back of the grip, and a matching lug on the stock with this locking catch right there, so this slides onto the bottom of the (stock) grip and there you have a stock to stabilize your shooting. This is set up with a pair of hooks for a sling and also big belt — — Loop for a belt. And then in true stocked pistol form you can push the button, open this, it does carry a cleaning rod there also by the way, and you can store the gun in the holster, well the holster stock, like so. There are two different versions of those stocks that they made: the wooden ones and also a Bakelite type material. I’m sure this isn’t Bakelite, I think this is phenolic resin, I expect it’s the exact, same material That AK mags were also made of, and what’s nice about this is this is a really solid durable feeling stock. One of the big problems with stock pistols at least in my mind is that they always, the stocks always feel really fragile because they have to be hollow to hold the gun, and I always feel like I’m in serious danger of cracking (like cracking the top of the stock) if you put any pressure on it, so this one this is actually heavier than the wood stock and this feels really sturdy. The other two bits I should point out here are a slide lock so you can see the notch for it right there this does lock open on, this does lock open on an empty magazine or I can lock it open manually like so. There is also a little loop right here which you can use to attach a lanyard, they don’t have that on the butt because that would interfere with the magazine release and also with the stock attachment. In order to disassemble the thing we have to cock the hammer and then just like a Makarov you pull the trigger guard down, although in this case it’s it’s kind of fixed in place it has some mechanical linkage up here that allows it to lower where the Makarov is more just spring steel doing that. once this is down then you can pull the slide all the way back, lift it up and slide it off the gun. Just like the Makarov this has a fixed barrel on it in theory it should be a quite accurate pistol, mechanically this is just plain simple blowback, which is that works just fine for a 9×18 mm. We’ve got the three position selector going through the top of the slide there to interact with the fire control parts, and that’s pretty much about it. That’s the firing pin back here it gets hit by the hammer. Now I’m going to go ahead and take the grip panels off because one of the interesting elements here is that (they) the Stechkin has a rate reducer built into it, because if you have just a simple blowback 9×18 pistol it’s going to run at a very high rate of fire probably something at or in excess of a thousand RPM and that is uncontrollable and will empty your magazines way too fast, so there is a rate reducer that’s that grip panel first. This block right here is actually the rate reducer so every time the gun fires the slide is going to come back it’s going to kick this down, this block has to travel all the way down the grip against that spring it’ll hit the bottom then it will reciprocate back up, and when it hits the top it will trip the trip though the release to allow the gun to fire its next shot, so this is actually relatively similar to like the ‘Astra’ the late pattern Astra rate reducers or even the ‘Škorpion’, the Czech Škorpion rate reducer and it’s an important aspect of a machine pistol. So there you go there is your field-stripped APS Stechkin. All right back to that personal defense weapon plan it didn’t really work out the problem was this just wasn’t really an effective weapon in that role, it was large and heavy for a handgun it was still kind of awkward and had a fairly limited range practical range as a stocked pistol here in carbine form, it just didn’t work out well ultimately the AKU AKS-74U the so called ‘Krinkov’ in (in American colloquial terms) that would would end up taking this role for officers, tank crews, that sort of thing that was a much more effective weapon as a defensive weapon than the Stechkin, so production of the Stechkin only lasted a few years, these were pretty much pulled out of soviet service by the 70’s and replaced by short barreled AKs however they got a bit of a renaissance when the soviet union got involved in Afghanistan because Spetsnaz troops discovered that you could mount a suppressor on these things (they had a special threaded barrel) and they really liked this as a suppressed machine pistol they had a little wireframe stock on it And that that gave this sort of a second breath of life. But even with that use this was never really all that significant of a military weapon for the Soviet Union, so with all of that being laid down I’m really curious to get out there and actually try shooting this so we’re gonna go ahead and do that tomorrow out at the range so definitely stick around for that video, big thanks to Movie Armaments Group for giving me the chance to take a look at their Stechkin, and if you happen to be filming a movie up in Canada and you need a bunch of Stechkins they actually have a nice pile of them for use in film, so anyway, stick around for the video tomorrow thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Stechkin APS: The Soviet Machine Pistol

  1. I was like Ian don't lie where Da Fug is the shooty vid…biffin U tub grrr…and I finally realised when he said tomorrow that I'd watched a first day post…awesome ;D

  2. I know Ian mentioned that the Soviets were trying to get rid of their smgs, but I don't know why tf they didn't give the real echelon guys the ppsh or something rather than this

  3. Excellent! A video about one of my favorite (and sadly yet still virtually unobtainable) Cold War Era ComBloc weapons! I can't wait for the shooting video. 🙂

  4. Robert Baer writes in his book about prolific Hezbollah assassin Imad Mughniyah titled "The Perfect Kill" that he was offered a Stechkin by an arms dealer in Beirut as a "gift" to him and his colleague Chuck during their CIA days in the 80s. He compared the serial number and confirmed the weapon once belonged to a KGB agent who had been killed by Mughniyah. He writes that on seeing the weapon "his heart turned to water" – it was the holy grail clue – and the arms dealer offered to let him meet the man who had given him the Stechkin. It was just too good. Baer knew that the Stechkin must have been bait for an elaborate trap set by Mughniyah to try and identify the CIA officers operating in Lebanon. Baer got out alive. Chuck didn't.

  5. mechanically the rate reducer is a work of genius for how compact it is. If the gun gets very dirty over time and the weight jams at the bottom position, will the pistol still work in semi auto mode?

  6. Kalashnikov also participated in the design competition for this pistol, and submitted a prototype APK. He was taken off the project, however, to work on the AK program. One prototype Kalashnikov machine pistol exists though, which is pretty cool.

  7. What I heard is that during the 90s, the Russian police really needed a submachine gun to fight against the mafias and gangsters. The AKS-74U was dangerous to be used in crowded public places due to over penetration of 5.45 round. The police then brought Stechkin from old warehouses to be used again as a submachine gun. Also I heard Che Guevara had a Stechkin as his personal weapon.

  8. Nice. Heard of these in a few novels back in my teens, but have only ever seen 1 or 2 photos. I wonder if there is much velocity gain with that length of barrel. The rate reducer looks like a good design, and certainly necessary. Looking forward to the shooting evaluation. Great video as always. Thank you

  9. "Specialized troops"…………….?
    "Comrade Commissar! Our troops are retreating! What do we do?"
    "Ready your Stechkin APS to discipline them!"

  10. Stechkin has the same effect as Desert Eagle, looks big and awsome but not practical in use. My countrymen still loves them;)

  11. why would anyone still be tinkering with machine pistols? whit so many other options for p.d.w.'s it just seems so…. archaic.

  12. Do note, it got a third breath of life. Russian pilots currently flying in Syria do enjoy them. You get a big hefty pistol in case your seat (where your rifle and other survival kit is) gets lost – while you don't really need to walk around with it, being a pilot and all.

  13. Beautiful specimen of a spectacular pistol. A double stack mag for 20 cartridges and full auto ability in a handgun of the 40ies; not bad. Also the rear sight adjustability towards distance to target, adds to the positive impression. The only benefit of the succeeding Makarov is… it is downsized, but without the positive features of the Stechkin. Right?

  14. Ian, the correct usage: There IS a pair… not there ARE a pair. Sorry to be so pedantic and don’t worry, even professional TV hosts get it wrong.

  15. Regarding the wooded stock.
    My grandfather was a Soviet tank gunner in the early 50's. He was issued a Stechkin with a wooden holster/stock, and really didn't like to carry it. It was really easy to hit the edge of the hatch jumping into a tank with the holster (as it bulged out rather awkwardly), cracking and effectively ruining it.

  16. So you're wearing that thing against your thigh in it's holster/stock, it's high noon and time to draw… How do you open that hinged holster with your hip/love handles in the way?

  17. If you like the Stechkin definitely check out the Korean movie "A Bittersweet Life", a fantastic movie that features some really iconic scenes with this pistol.

  18. Hey Ian i hope your day is well.. i was wondering do you find you have to be more rough with older guns or more gentle when operating slides and other things like that.

  19. Thanks for the review. I have one question. The Makarov breech face surrounded the cartridge head which made the rather large extractor snap over the cartridge rim each time one was chambered vs. the typical auto pistol operation of the cartridge rim rising up under the extractor. Does the APS mimic the Makarov on this or is it more conventional? Regards, Henry

  20. Watched all the videos about this gun in Russian and the only thing I wanted is to know some western opinion/review. Like!

  21. 'I can't say it's one of the last stocked pistol because people are still tinkering with the idea today'

    Looks over at USW 320

  22. "…a holster hung under his arm containing a burnished pistol of monstrous size. Upon closer inspection, Artyom could see that it was a 'Stechkin' with a long silencer, and it had something attached to it, which by the looks of it was a laser sight. A monster like that would cost you all you had."

  23. The cleaning rod in the stock also has a flattened end, so it can be used as a screwdriver to remove the grips. Also the stock fitting is very robust and well made. It does not have a separate spring, but the lever piece is fitted into a hole and acts as a spring to attach the pistol.

  24. Gosh, it looks so BadAss! Simplicity and Durability that is all what you need for war!
    Btw Schwarzenegger from Red Heat wore same looking gun.

  25. Soviet weaponry is so amazing sometimes man
    A stock that is also a holster? It gives me shivers with how simple yet a genius idea that is

  26. It's still popular for many of Russian spec police and army units as a back up gun, main reason because it has 20 rounds magazine, a long time in Russian army and police was no other choice of pistols only a PM and TT-38 both with 8 rounds, so only the Stechkin could provide a relatively enough firepower having a longer barell than PM , same 9×18 round with relatively enough stoping power and 20 rounds mag, only later in 90's Russians finally developed a series of 9×19 pistols with large mag capacity but they came in in small numbers in army and police, two models : Viking or PYA from " pistol of Yaryghin, this one had a lot of complains specially verry sensitive to poor ammunition and mag problems, lately constantly modified, another GSH-18 which is a kind of a Glock analog , plastic frame , light weight gun that seems better but for some reason Russian ministry of defence preferred the Viking for lower cost of production .

  27. This is my dream pistol machine pistols are so cool and different u wish he could do a video of the Dracula machine pistol from Romania 🇷🇴 it's the same thing just 9mm

  28. I'd love to buy that gun. Too bad I live in New York City and amount of headache severely outweigh fun factor.

  29. If you're curious as to whether some weird thermoset plastic is phenolic resin based, a tiny scratch in some unobtrusive place will smell like Campho-Phenique antiseptic. It's impossible to mistake it.

  30. Few years old, but it looks like the Stechkin is seeing some use still. Here is a quick look at one in a Ukrainian's hand against pro-Russian forces.
    https://youtu.be/wzAIXo9BeFA?t=452

  31. A "big pile of Stechkins" for movie use, huh? Yeah, we can make a movie about 100 guys trying to kill each other with Stechkins.. with stocks attached. 2 hours of just that.

  32. GREAT VIDEO, Ian! Never knew that the Stechkin had a rate reducer-Very compact and ingenious design! I want one!;)-John in Texas

  33. Спасибо за русские субтитры милый человек, кто бы ты ни был. Реально не робот перевел. Thank you for the Russian subtitles dear man, whoever you are. Really not a robot translated.

  34. Well, Stechkins were used to save India's ambassador in Romania, back in 1991. He was attacked by a hit squad coming from his own country. 2 of them were put down on the spot by Romanian SPP.

  35. In Russia, works at full-auto pistol started in 1900th. In 1908, Mauser C06 and Luger P08 reconstructed to full-auto. There was very fast rate of fire, and very low reability, and this project closed.
    In 1912 engineer Frolov created full-auto carbine-pistol in 7.62x38R Nagant cartridge. There was 20-round magazine, blowback, rotating-closed system. This model not produced.
    In 1915 senior workshop of Kuban cossack host, Molokov, projected "light machine gun "Kubanetz"", actually – long-barrel full-auto pistol, based on Mauser C96 ideas. 7.62x38R Nagant cartridge, 33-round magazine.
    Also, in 1915, engineer Jurlov projected "small machine gun "Jacob"" (I don't know, why "Jacob") – belt-fed modification of Nagant M1895 revolver.
    In 1929 engineer Tokarev created two heavy pistols in 7.63×25 Mauser, "big" and "small" – but, "small" was a bigger than TT-33 and APS – full-auto, 22-round magazine.
    https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/lewhobotov/78447514/4595475/4595475_original.jpg
    https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/lewhobotov/78447514/4539997/4539997_original.jpg
    In early 1930th, engineer, whose name I forgot, projected "pocket DP machine gun", weird full-auto pistol with pan magazine.
    In 1943 engineer Yazikov created weird pistol/SMG, in 7.62×25. Full weight 2.5 kg, ~1200 rpm. Magazines – standart of PPS SMG 35-round, and short Yazikov 15-round.
    https://www.kalashnikov.ru/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/2_web.jpg
    Also, in 1990th experimented by "reincornation" of APS. Engineer Alexander Shevchenko created pistol, externally identical to the APS, but, with damped automatic, in 6.5×30 experimental cartridge (muzzle velocity 870 mps, energy 900+ Joules, based on long 9×19 case).

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