Okay, stop me if you’ve read this one…
“So I flicked off the safety of my suppressed snub-nosed revolver and emptied five rounds of 7.62 into the target, each one so silent that you would have thought I was dry-firing the gun. I had a spare moon clip of 7.62 ready to go.”
Do you think that sounds stupid? Not just uninformed but a flat-out short bus riding soliloquy delivered by some leftist stooge who gained all his knowledge out of context by hanging out at gun shows and gun shop counters without so much as ever seeing a real gun? It’s what some metrosexual wine-sipping scrote rag would write when he had to get descriptive in his alt-left spy novel or independent movie script?
Well, not actually, no. Such a beast exists.
It’s called the OTs-38 Stechkin revolver, and it fires from the bottom cylinder like a Chiappa Rhino in order to provide a much lower bore axis. This allows the revolver to transfer the recoil into the center of the shooter’s hand, more in line with the muscles of the shooter’s forearm. It has an integral laser sight where the barrel would normally appear on a revolver, and as we mentioned in the introductory sentence, it has a safety that blocks the hammer when cocked in order to deliver a single action first shot.
The revolver was designed by Igor Yakovlevich Stechkin, who was one of the most creative arms designers in history. He was essentially the Q of KGB and GRU, designing machine pistols that actually look like pistols as well as cigarette lighter derringers and of course the OTS-38 that bears his name.
Stechkin died a year before his revolver made it to the production line.
Stechkin’s OTs-38 was built by the TSKIB SOO (Central Bureau for Sporting and Hunting Arms, a division of famous KBP organization, located in Tula, Russia) on request from Russian FSB (Federal Security Service).
The other thing you might be thinking right now is, “That sounds cool, but you said snub-nosed. I’ve read enough of your shit over the years about silencers and revolvers to know it can only be done on a Nagant Revolver where the cylinder provides a seal with the barrel to prevent gas leakage around the cylinder. So this is a threaded-barrel Nagant-type revolver, right?”
Nope. In fact there is no silencer to attach to the barrel. The sound and flash of each round is fully contained within the cartridge case. Inside the case is a piston. After firing the piston seals the cartridge’s neck. This eliminates the noise, smoke and flash by acting as a barrier after the round is touched off. In essence, each round acts as its own silencer.
Note: don’t confuse the OTs-38 or a silencer-equipped Nagant (both wheelguns), with the Pistolet Beschumnyj: all three are Commie guns, but the latter is an integrally suppressed semi-auto.
This particular round was designed to be effective at up to 100′ and the sound signature is said to be at 110 dB with no muzzle flash. It is a rimless cartridge and fed via moon clips.
“Ah hah, but in the intro, you said it was 7.62. That’s a rifle round. Is this the only error you made?”
The bullet diameter is 7.62mm. The overall case length is 42mm. So it’s slightly longer than an empty piece of brass from your AK or SKS (39mm), but unlike those rounds, there is no bottleneck; it’s pretty much a rimless straight wall case. The other unique concept here is that the cylinder opens out on the right-hand side of the revolver as opposed to the left.
That is about the only thing that makes no sense to us in the design of the OTs-38 Stechkin. It has been said that this has to do with the nature of the cartridge cases and alignment with the barrel that is mounted in line with the bottom chamber of the cylinder.
The principle behind the ammunition, however, was designed by the people who literally went to the moon, or at least helped out in some way. AAI (Aircraft Armaments, Inc.) Corporation located in Hunt Valley, Maryland, designed ammunition based on this principle almost fifty years earlier for use with the Quiet Special Purpose Revolvers (QSPR), a modified S&W Model 29 that fired suppressed in the tunnels of Vietnam.
Unfortunately, we will probably never see this revolver or its ammunition available in America. It’s not that common in Russia either, as less than 300 of these were made between 2002 and 2012.
It goes to show that even if a firearm description sounds weird, wrong or flat out stupid, it may still be something real and valid.
–Mike the Mook
Do you prefer shooting suppressed? Read up on suppressor-compatible holsters.
Read more on the Historical Firearms blog.
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