The 29-ounce 9x18mm Makarov pistol (Soviet designation Pistolet Makarova, M-442), adopted in 1951, is still in service around many former Warsaw block countries and is still found in wide military and police use in Russia. With its 8-shot magazine, stout recoil and heavy trigger pull, the 'Soviet Walther' is something of a last ditch weapon.
Since 2003 it had been supplemented for combat operations by the more modern MP443 Grach (Russian designation 6P35 Pistolet Yarygina PYa) double action polymer framed pistol. The 17-shot Grach shoots the Russian 9x19mm 7N21 cartridge which is the same dimensions as the standard NATO 9x19mm Parabellum but is much hotter for the purposes of armor piercing. Small numbers of the Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-18 (often called the Tula Glock) have also been acquired for use by the Russian military.
Graphic by RIA
According to a release quoted by the RIA from the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a new pistol will finally replace effective this year the now 70-year old Makarov design. Called the Strizh (Strike) it was designed by the Italian firm for Arsenal Firearms and will be marketed in the West as such.
The Strike / Strizh Design
, note the clear Glock/Smith M&P style to the overall firearm.
The new firearm is a geometric lock, semiautomatic hammer-less pistol that uses a short recoil with an in-line barrel and locking block system. The Russian military will be adopting it in their new 9x19mm 7N21 caliber loadings while the company will produce export versions in 9x19mm Luger, 9x21 IMI, .357 SIG, and .40 S&W. It has an automatic Glock-style trigger safety and is double Acton only. The pistol has a totally sealed barrel-to-slide ejection port area and ambidextrous magazine releases.
Photos by Arsenal Firearms, the Strike compared to a SIG PRO composite framed P2340
A 17 round magazine is mentioned as being standard with the 9mm versions however nothing is available on if the larger calibers (40 et al) will logically have a shorter capacity. A 30-round 'assault' magazine will also be available and is being issued with the Russian combat version. The frame is of reinforced polymer but the civilian version will also be available in an Ergal light alloy that will be slightly heavier for those who want to feel some steel. Either frame has a 360° integral mini- skirt and an under barrel integral Picatinny rail.
Most interesting is the pistol's capability (in the Russian Army combat version at least) to fire multi-shot bursts. This is not uncommon in modern composite framed handguns, see the Glock 18.
Formed by gun writer and designer Nicola Bandini and gun miniature Master Dimitry Streshinskiy in 2011, Arsenal is the parent company for Zanotti 1625 shotguns and Miniature Arsenal scale firearms. They made waves in March when they introduced a double-barreled M1911 pistol, the AF2011-A1.
Photos by Arsenal Firearms
Arsenal, in their literature has announced that the firearm has the "Lowest barrel center line over hand grip in history (12 mm), lowest vertical mass movement on operating pin (locking block only and not the whole barrel), fastest locking-unlocking time, and the shortest unlocking-locking action travel (4mm diameter operating pin)," among other claims.
- Length 8.3-inches (Combat version 7.5-inches)
- Barrel length: 5-inches (Combat version 4.34-inches)
- Height: 5.65-inches (Combat version 5-inches)
- Width: 1.34 inches (all versions)
- Total Weight (Polymer version) 26.45-ounces (Combat version 25.53-ounces.)
- Total Weight (Ergal light alloy) 31.4 ounces (Combat version 27.86-ounces)
For more information, visit Arsenal Firearms