Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Other Guns of Russia - OTs-14 Groza 9x39mm

Everyone knows the shape and look of the AK-47 and its family of weapons. They are familiar in every part of the world. But Russia, and the Soviet Union before that have designed, issued, and sold, many other small arms, many of them little known in the West to this day. The Russian and Soviet design philosophies are strange to some Westerners, but they have been able to produce an astonishing wealth and variety of weapons. The guns of Russia are almost always easier to produce, cheaper to produce, and more tolerant of neglect and bad environmental conditions than their Western counterparts. Many of these guns need more modification and refinement to truly realize their potential, but almost all are worthy of notice and study.

And then, just like that, I turn on you.
The first gun of the Other Guns of Russia IS a variant of the AK-47. Sort of.
OTs-14-4A-03 (Suppressed version)

The OTs-14 Groza is a bullpup variant of the AKS-74U action, developed for close quarters battle. The bullpup design allows for a much shorter overall length and addresses the balance issues of the AK series heavy bolt carrier moving back and forth by placing the bolt carrier behind the firing hand. The OTs-14 weighs from between about 7 lb and 9lb, making it heavier than other CQB weapons, but likely giving it added strength and some reduction of felt recoil. With a sub 20 inch overall length and a 7.5 inch barrel, the weapon is very compact, even concealable. Rate of fire is 700 rounds per minute and effective range of 200 meters. This makes it well suited to the high tempo, close in fighting that is more common in built up areas and by special operations forces.

It is usually chambered in the 9x39mm, firing from 20 round magazines, although some were made in 7.62x39mm and use standard AKM magazines. The 9x39mm round was also developed from the standard M43 7.62x39 cartridge, replacing the bullet with a larger and heavier 9mm bullet( 350 grain versus the M43 7.62 at 125 grain), giving it more stopping power at short range and while sacrificing some the range and ballistic properties of the M43 bullet. The 9x39 was developed principally as a sub sonic bullet to function well with a suppressor, as the 5.45mm bullet of the AKS-74U was unsatisfactory when suppressed. there are two main cartridge types, the SP-5 conventional lead core bullet and the SP-6 with an armor piercing core designed to penetrate 30 layers of Kevlar at 200 meters.

The Groza was designed by the team behind the G25/30 under barrel grenade launcher and was intended from the beginning to use it. The OTs-14 was developed by Valery Talesh and Yu Lebedev and manufactured at the great Tula Arms Plant in 1992 and actually has 75% parts commonality with the AKS-74U, making it easier to service and repair, also giving it a significant cost savings over a completely new design, something that the defence contractors of America have obviously never heard of.

It was initially used by the Russian Interior Ministry troops (MVD) but has also been adopted by the Spetznaz, Airborne, and Combat Engineers. It was widely used in the First and Second Chechen Wars and the South Ossetia War of Summer 2008, with good reviews from the troops.

OTs-14-4A-02 (short barreled version)

OTs-14-4a with the G30 grenade launcher


The Groza is issued with everything here: grenade launcher, short barrel, suppressor, PSO telescopic sight, vertical foregrip.

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