Infantry: March 17, 2000


The Russian Army is considering three new pistols, one of which will replace the venerable Makarov as its new service pistol. The MP446 GRACH (Rook, as in the bird) is chambered for 9x19 NATO ammunition, although the Russians plan to use RG057 steel-cored bullets in this cartridge. It has a steel frame (the Viking version of the same pistol has a polymer frame) and a 17-round magazine. Operation is by short-recoil and a locked breech. The MP445C Varyag also uses the 9x19 cartridge, and has a polymer frame. It also uses short-recoil and a locked breech. It has a double/single-action trigger, and a 13-round magazine. The new Makarov pistol retains its 9x18mm ammunition. It has a polymer frame and a 12-round magazine. The only design change from the original is the addition of a disassembly lever. --Stephen V Cole


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