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Silenced automatic pistol

APB pistol

The APB silenced automatic pistol was issued to special forces

Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1972
Caliber 9x18 mm Makarov
Weight (empty) 1 100 g
Weight (loaded) with stock and suppressor 1 600 g
Length 257 mm
Length (with silencer and stock) 780 mm
Barrel length 140 mm
Muzzle velocity 290 m/s
Magazine capacity 20 rounds
Sighting range 25 - 200 m
Range of effective fire ~ 50 m


   The APB is a silenced automatic pistol. Sometimes it is referred as APSB. It was developed in the late 1960s by a team of designers, headed by Neugodnov. It is a remanufactured and modified version of the APS automatic pistol. The original APS was produced in the 1950s. The silenced APB was adopted by the Soviet Army and former KGB units in 1972. During the 1970 an unspecified number of existing APS pistols from the army stocks were remanufactured into the APB. It was never built from new.

   This silenced automatic pistol was issued to the special forces and possibly reconnaissance units of the Soviet Army. The APB supplemented a PB silenced pistol. The APB has more firepower than the older PB. It was widely used during the Soviet War in Afghanistan. Currently it is no longer used by the army. It was retired due to its age and worn-out condition. However this pistols is still in limited use by various Russian special law enforcement forces, such as hostage rescue teams. The APB was never exported, even to Soviet allies. However it might be in service with some former Soviet republics.

   This silenced automatic pistol fits the gap between silenced semi-automatic pistols and submachine guns. Its full automatic fire capability was mainly intended for emergency close quarter situations. It is a more effective alternative for a close quarter combat than semi-automatic pistols. However only a specially trained shooter can fully exploit all the benefits of its full-auto capability.

  The APB has a longer barrel than the APS. The barrel is ported to extract excessive powder gases. Also it has a removable silencer and detachable wire shoulder stock. The silencer has simple and robust design. The APB is not completely silent. Even though the level of sound reduction is significant, most noise is made not by the clank of the slide. At night it can be heard at a range of about 50 meters. That is pretty much a maximum range of effective fire. However the APB can be used with at least some degree of stealth.

   The APB is chambered for 9x18 mm Makarov ammunition. This round was designed by Makarov alongside his pistol. Basically it is a larger version of the 9x17 mm (.380 ACP) round, developed by John Browning. Russians deliberately opted for ammunition that is not compatible with any Western 9 mm pistols. So in case of war captured Soviet ammunition stocks would be useless. The 9x18 mm round became the standard pistol and submachine gun round in the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries, as Soviets required their allies to use the same ammunition. Comparing with Western 9x19 mm Parabellum round, the 9x18 mm Makarov round is less powerful and also looses in terms of penetration. The APB fires subsonic rounds.

   The APB has an all-steel construction. It is a simple blowback operated weapon. It can fire in semi-auto or full-auto modes. This pistol has a fire rate reducer. Cyclic rate of fire is 600 rounds per minute. The large silencer also helps to reduce recoil. The APB is much more controllable during full-auto fire than many other automatic pistols, that have a rate of fire well over 1 000 rounds per minute. The APB has a double action trigger. It can also operate in single-action firing sequence.

   A safety switch is mounted on the slide. It also acts as a fire mode selector.

   The APB is fed from a double stack magazines, that holds 20 rounds. It is worth noting that standard ammunition load for this pistol issued for combat was 100 rounds in five magazines. One magazine was carried loaded in the gun and four spare magazines were carried in pouch on the belt.

   The rear sight is adjustable. It can be set at a range of 25, 50, 100 or 200 meters. However effective range for this pistol is about 50 meters. For more accurate firing a wire shoulder stock can be attached to the backstrap. Some sources claim, that effective range with a stock attached is 70-100 meters. In travelling order the silencer is attached to the wire stock. It is worth noting that original wooden or plastic holster of the APS, that served as a shoulder stock, was heavy and clumsy to carry. So the APB used new wire stock, that was much lighter and compact.



APB pistol

APB pistol

APB pistol

APB pistol

APB pistol

APB pistol


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