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Silenced pistol

PB pistol

The PB silenced pistol was used by special forces, reconnaissance units and KGB operatives

Country of origin Soviet Union
Entered service 1967
Caliber 9x18 mm Makarov
Weight (with silencer and empty magazine) 950 g
Length (with silencer) 310 mm
Length (without silencer) 170 mm
Barrel length 105 mm
Muzzle velocity 290 m/s
Magazine capacity 8 rounds
Sighting range 50 m
Range of effective fire ~ 25 m


   The PB silenced pistol was developed to meet requirements the Soviet army. It is based on a heavily modified Makarov pistol. Even some parts, notably the magazine and trigger mechanism are interchangeable. The PB was adopted in 1967. It was issued to special forces and reconnaissance units. This silenced pistol was also used by the KGB operatives. However it was not very popular. Production was stopped in the mid 1980s. Some sources report that production resumed during 2000s. The PB was widely replaced by newer, more compact and more silent PSS pistol. However it seems that the PB is still in limited use by the Russian armed forces and law enforcement forces. This pistol was never exported outside the Soviet Union. However it might be in service with some former Soviet republics.

   The PB uses standard 9x18 mm Makarov ammunition. This round was also designed by Nikolay Makarov alongside his pistol and adopted in the early 1950s. 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 Makarov round is less powerful and also looses in terms of penetration.

   The PB has an unusual but simple integral silencer. The front part of the silencer can be quickly detached for more convenient carrying, storage and maintenance. Normally it is attached only prior to use. The rear part of the silencer is enclosed into the barrel. The barrel is ported to extract excessive powder gasses and reduce a muzzle velocity below the speed of sound.

   In case of emergency the PB can fire with the silencer removed. It is a useful emergency feature, even though it will significantly increase the sound signature. It is worth noting that most other weapons with integral silencers can not fire with the silencer removed.

   The PB 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 50 meters. That is pretty much a maximum range of effective fire. This was one of the reasons why this pistol was unpopular among its users.

   This pistol has an all-metal construction. It is a blowback-operated weapon. The PB has a double-action trigger. It can be also fired in single-action sequence. A manual safety switch is mounted on the slide.

   This silenced pistol is fed from an 8 round magazine. It is interchangeable with Makarov pistol magazine. Magazine release knob is located at the bottom of the grip.

   The PB has fixed iron sights with luminous inserts for night shooting. The sights are set at 50 meters and are not adjustable. Range of effective is up to 50 meters.

   This silenced pistol is carried in a special holster, that has separate compartments for the weapon and detached front part of the silencer. It also holds a spare magazine. A cleaning rod is also attached to the holster. It has been reported that some operators cut the hole in the standard holster and carry this pistol with a silencer attached.


PB pistol

PB pistol

PB pistol

PB pistol

PB pistol


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