This article was originally posted on Thefirearmblog.com
During the Arms & Hunting 2017, Kalashnikov Concern has shown several interesting handguns. The Kalashnikov officials also explained some of the key features and design solutions of the earlier introduced pistols.
One of these pistols is a subcompact handgun called MP-443. It was earlier introduced in ARMY 2017 exhibition. It is a simple blowback operated, hammer fired concealed carry pistol with a DA/SA trigger similar to that of Makarov pistol. It is designed to have comparable dimensions with the PSM pistol. Not only it is similar in dimensions but also solves the main disadvantage of the PSM – the caliber (5.45x18mm) which is pretty much a fancy .22LR. The MP-443 is chambered in 9×18 Makarov. Other features are the ambidextrous magazine release button and flat slide mounted safety selector lever. There is also a less-lethal version of this handgun shooting rubber bullets. Below are images comparing the MP-443 with the PSM pistol.
Next pistol is a competition ready MP-446C (Viking M). It features a checkered thumb rest, enlarged magazine release button and flared magazine well. There is also a weight mounted on the accessory rail. The pistol comes with a spare magazine and a set of spare springs.
When the Viking M was announced, one of the major improvements was the switching from the double feed magazines to single feed ones. However, it was still capable of taking the older double feed magazines. I asked the Kalashnikov officials how did they solve the possible feeding reliability issues with the use of both types of magazines. They showed that the solution was in designing the sort of tripled feed ramp (see the image below). If the single feed magazine is inserted it uses the central feed ramp fo guide the cartridge into the chamber. If the double feed magazine is used, then the cartridges alternatingly hit the left and right feed ramps.
Kalashnikov has also shown a number of pistols that have been converted to the blank firing only ones. Such firearms are legal to purchase in Russia without a need of any license or permission whatsoever. Below you can see the PB and Stechkin (APS) pistols converted to fire blank cartridges only.