Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rare Weapons- HK P11-underwater pistol

This is the Heckler and & Kock P11, a pistol designed to be used underwater by combat divers and special forces troops. It has five barrels and is electrically fired by a battery located in the pistol grip. The barrel cluster is quick detachable and It fires a 4 inch steel dart which is much better at traveling underwater than traditional bullets. The P11's barrels must be sent back to the factory for reloading, but this weapon is issued in such small numbers and is most likely used pretty infrequently, so that is not really that bad. Range is said to be about 15 meters near the surface, which is as far as you can see in many waters. Also, it is worth noting that not all traditional guns will even fire while submerged, and it is possible that some might explode from overpressure.

The P11 is said to be very similar to its predecessor, the Mk 1 Underwater Defense gun. It is pretty much the only choice of western weapons intended for underwater use. It is reportedly in service with the the US Special Operations forces, the KSK (German Naval Special Forces) the British Special Boat Service (SBS), Italian Navy, the Danish and Dutch Navies as well as Norway, France, and Israel. Apparently, this weapon was fairly secret for a long time and some say that H&K actually denied its existence. Well, those days are gone and you can see the P11 in the Tomb Raider movie. (the second one, if memory serves)

Barrel section of the weapon, note that all five barrels have been fired.

H&K P11
Weight 1.2 kg (2.7 lb) loaded
Battery pack 700 g
Length 200 mm (7.874 in)
Width 60 mm (2.362 in)

Cartridge about 100 mm (4 in) long
Caliber 7.62 mm x 36
Action Electric actuated
Effective range 30 m in air, 10 to 15 m underwater
Feed system 5 rounds, each in a barrel
Sights 14.6 cm between sights

This firearm is bulkier, but shorter than its Soviet counterpart, the SPP-1 Underwater Pistol, but it has five barrels as opposed to the Soviet firearm that has four barrels and a slightly more traditional design. It is supposed that the larger dart of the P11 would likely be more lethal than the SPP-1 although they have a similar range.

Soviet SPP-1 Underwater gun and projectiles

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