This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
Sometimes there is virtually no way to see images of long-forgotten Soviet firearms that were not ever adopted. Even if any samples of such firearms exist, they are most likely gathering dust in some vault. Thanks to the video and description released by Kalashnikov Media, we have a chance to take a look at one of these firearms called PP-71.
In the early ’70s, the Ministry of defense of the Soviet Union started trials called “Buket” (букет – bouquet). It was an attempt to adopt a compact SMG that would be comparable to the Czech Vz. 61 Scorpion, Polish PM-63 RAK or US Ingram MAC-10/MAC-11. The new SMG was to be chambered in 9x18mm and had to have a suppressor. Three firearms were submitted to these trials: TKB-0104 by Nikolay Afanasiev, TKB-0102 by Nikolay Ryzhov and PP-71 by Yevgeny Dragunov.
The PP-71 was a select fire, blowback operated firearm. It had a basic short barrel with a muzzle brake and an optional suppressed barrel assembly. The barrels could be field changed. The gun was fed from 20 or 30 round box magazines. When the stock was folded, the rear sight was a pistol-style open sight assuming that with the folded stock the user would shoot it like a pistol. The unfolding of the stock automatically flips the rear sight to an aperture one for better aiming when shouldering the gun.
Although all the three competitors were well-built firearms, they failed to meet the effective range requirement of the trials which was 200 meters. Obviously, that distance is quite a challenge for any firearm of that size and caliber. In fact, all three SMGs were mostly useful at up to 75 meters distance. As a result, none of the submitted firearms was adopted and the further development of this project was halted.
Later on, in the early ’90s, Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs requested a new firearm with similar characteristics for arming the law enforcement units. They reworked the PP-71 by removing the suppressor, changing the folding stock design, magazine layout etc. The redesigned version was adopted as PP-91 KEDR which is still in service and manufactured in Russia.
You can watch the Kalashnikov Media video through the following link: