7.62x42 mm SP-4
Range of effective fire
The PSS was
developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to replace the older
pistol. Sometimes it is referred as the Vul. It was adopted by
the Soviet Army and KGB in 1983. This silenced pistol was issued to
special forces, reconnaissance units and KGB operatives. Currently
it is still used by elite units of the Russian armed forces and
special units of law enforcement forces. The PSS was never exported
outside the Soviet Union. However it might be in service with some
former Soviet republics.
silenced pistols the PSS has compact dimensions. It lacks silencer,
but instead uses a special noiseless ammunition.
The PSS is
chambered for a special 7.62x42mm SP-4 ammunition. The cartridge has
an integrated silencing feature. It has a gas-sealing piston, that
pushes the bullet. Once the bullet is away all powder gasses are
locked within the strengthened case. As a result the PSS is much
more silent than most conventional pistols with sound suppressors.
On the downside this ammunition is of relatively low power. The SP-4
ammunition lacks penetration comparing with standard pistol
ammunition. Its effective range is only 25 meters. At a range of 20
meters it penetrates a steel army helmet.
It is worth
noting that special noiseless ammunition of generally similar design
was used in the Soviet Union since around 1970s.
Also the PSS
silenced pistol has special design, that slows down the slide on the
final stages of movement in order not to clang. It was a great
improvement over the older PB silenced pistol with suppressor, that
had significant sound reduction, but generated significant amount of
noise by the clank of the slide.
has a double-action trigger. A manual safety switch is mounted on
It is fed
from a single stack magazine, that holds 6 rounds.
pistol has simple iron sights. Sighting range is 50 meters. Range of
effective fire is limited to 25 meters.
It is easy
to conceal this pistol due to its compact dimensions.
A couple of
years ago a new
silenced pistol was developed in Russia. It is based on the
original PSS, but has some features of the
pistol and some improvements. It is uses newly developed SP-16
noiseless ammunition. The PSS-2 was adopted by the Russian FSB
security agency in 2011.