Underwater pistol and rifle ammunition

Underwater pistol and rifle ammunition

Underwater pistol and rifle ammunition
Next line of development, almost unique to the Soviet armed forces, is the underwater firearms and ammunition for these. Initially developed during late sixties, underwater cartridges propelled the long and slim drag-stabilized bullets, and were used in four-barreled SPP-1 break-open pistols. To achieve better loading and extraction, the bottlenecked brass cartridges were rimmed and loaded using special flat clips, which held all four rounds together. Both primer pockets and case necks were sealed against the water, and the steel bullets were covered by special lacquer coating. Initially satisfied with the pistol, Special Forces elements of the Soviet Navy requested further development and by the mid-1970s soviet designers brought in an unique underwater assault rifle, the APS (which, in fact, was a smoothbore weapon). This weapon used cartridges, externally similar to earlier SPS pistol ammunition, but based on the standard 5.45x39 M74 cases. This “rifle” ammunition is available in two basic forms, MPS “ball” and MPST “tracer”. Both APS underwater automatic weapon and SPP-1M underwater pistol are still in use by Russian navy, as well as offered for export. cartridge metric designation bullet weight muzzle velocity
SPS 4.5x40R 13.2 g / 204 grain 250 m/s / 820 fps
MPS 5.66x39 15 g / 232 grain 360 m/s / 1180 fps
Note: for underwater cartridges muzzle velocities listed in air; in the water, MV depends on the actual depth

underwater cartridges, in picture above are left to right:
7.62x39 M43 cartridge for scale;
4.5mm SPS cartridge case and bullet;
4.5mm SPS dummy cartridge;
5.66mm MPS dummy cartridge

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