In this segment of Guns & Ammo TV airing on the Sportsman Channel, we take a look at a fast-firing creation of the Cold War: The Stechkin 9mm Makarov fully-automatic pistol.
In 1948, as the Russians were revamping their military in the early stages of the Cold War, it became clear that support units needed something smaller than the newly-introduced AK-47. Luckily for the Russians, they had a man named Igor.
Igor Stechkin, to be exact. Stechkin designed a select-fire pistol that was chambered in the new 9x18mm Makarov cartridge, a replacement for the 7.62 Tokarev round of WWII. The pistol could fire in fully-automatic or semi-automatic. The firing mode was selected with a switch attached to the pistol's safety.
The pistol weighed more than two pounds empty and included a 20-round magazine and a holster that doubled as a detachable stock to give soldiers more control in fully-automatic mode. Blowback operated, the pistol fires at a rate of 750 rounds a minute.
Despite the design, troops found the large holster cumbersome, and the pistol was slowly phased out of mainline army use, replaced eventually by the AK-74. However, the pistol found popularity with Soviet Spetsnaz units in the 1980s, and current Russian special police units, such as the OMON, still prefer to use the Stechkin rather than more modern designs.