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Will This Russian Handgun Become ‘The AK-47 of Pistols’?
Kalashnikov Concern, the largest arms manufacturer in Russia and industrial avatar of AK-47 inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov’s genius, is branching out beyond its iconic assault rifle. The company’s been prototyping everything from autonomous tanks to high-powered sniper rifles, but the Russian weaponsmiths seem most excited about the advanced Lebedev PL-15 pistol: It could, with luck, become what The War Zone called “the AK-47 of pistols.”
The handgun, designed in conjunction with elite Russian police and sportsmen to function as an all-purpose sidearm, is in testing now and could possibly end up in the holsters of military and law enforcement agents around the world, Kalashnikov CEO Alexei Krivoruchko told Russian news agency TASS earlier this month.
"The trials are currently underway and we hope that they will be completed this year,” Krivoruchko said. “We hope that the pistol will be sought after by the Defense Ministry and other uniformed and law enforcement agencies.”
The company’s already got a reputation for manufacturing durable and reliable weapons:
So there’s a lot of appeal in the idea of a reliable pistol crafted in the same spirit of the ubiquitous AK-47 assault rifle. Here are the specs, according to TASS:
According to the corporation’s press office, the pistol chambered for the 9x19mm round is very thin — 21mm at the barrel and 28mm at the grip. It has the controls on both sides, which makes it possible for both right- and left-handed people to use it. Its characteristics ensure reduced recoil and muzzle rise and quick return to the line-of-sight.
As the press office said, the PL-14 pistol has a loaded chamber indicator, which allows the serviceman to know by touch whether the weapon is chambered or not. The pistol coupled with the modified-design chamber can fire rounds with a non-standard length.
The company first trumpeted a prototype PL-14 at a military gear convention in Moscow in 2015, before unveiling an updated PL-15 iteration of the Lebedev. In the December 2015 video below, you can watch U.S. Army Delta Force veteran and firearms expert Larry Vickers testing the original PL-14:
Vickers’s assessment — “a pretty slick gun, accurate, very controllable and easy to reload” — echoes the frequent praise that’s followed the AK-47 in its ascent as the world’s most-used rifle. But as The War Zone points out, effectiveness may not be enough to catapult the completed PL-15 to similar iconic status:
Since 2014, the drop in the global price of crude oil, a major Russian export, and international sanctions on the government in Moscow have led to a significant decline in the overall Russian economy. The United States and the European Union both imposed travel and trade bans in protest over the Kremlin’s activities in Ukraine and Syria.
In October 2016, reports began to appear suggesting the Kremlin might have to reduce defense spending by as much as 30 percent in the coming year. At least one expert suggested the actual cuts would amount to less than 10 percent, but this would still be significant.
Based on what we’ve seen, the PL-15 certainly fits The War Zone’s description of an “AK-47 of handguns.” Whether the Russian military has the cash to elevate the flexible little gun into the world’s most ubiquitous sidearm is another matter entirely.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The prosecution rested its case against Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher on Tuesday after a week of testimony from members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, medical and forensic experts, and NCIS agents.
The focus of Tuesday was on the investigative steps taken by the lead agent, Joseph Warpinski, 34, in addition to jurors being shown text messages sent by Gallagher to fellow SEALs with photos of a dead ISIS fighter that prosecutors characterized as "trophy shots."
Gallagher, 40, is accused of stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter and firing a sniper rifle at civilians in Iraq. He has pleaded not guilty.
Moments before Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia went back into the house, journalist Michael Ware said he was "pacing like a caged tiger ... almost like he was talking to himself."
"I distinctly remember while everybody else had taken cover temporarily, there out in the open on the street — still exposed to the fire from the roof — was David Bellavia," Ware told Task & Purpose on Monday. "David stopped pacing, he looked up and sees that the only person still there on the street is me. And I'm just standing there with my arms folded.
"He looked up from the pacing, stared straight into my eyes, and said 'Fuck it.' And I stared straight back at him and said 'Fuck it,'" Ware said. "And that's when I knew, we were both going back in that house."
Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.
Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.
No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
John Wick is back, and he's here to stay. It doesn't matter how many bad guys show up to try to collect on that bounty.
With John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, the titular hitman, played by 54-year-old Keanu Reeves, continues on a blood-soaked hyper-stylized odyssey of revenge: first for his slain dog, then his wrecked car, then his destroyed house, then ... well, honestly it's hard to keep track of exactly what Wick is avenging by this point, or the body count he's racked up in the process.
Though we do know that the franchise has raked in plenty of success at the box office: just a week after it's May 17 release, the third installment in director Chad Stahleski's series took in roughly $181 million, making it even more successful than its two wildly popular prequels 2014's John Wick, and 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2.
And, more importantly, Reeves' hitman is well on his way to becoming one of the greatest action movie heroes in recent memory. Few (if any) other action flicks have succeeded in creating a mind-blowing avant garde ballet out of a dozen well-dressed gunmen who get shot, choked, or stabbed with a pencil by a pissed off hitman who just wants to return to retirement.
But for all the over-the-top acrobatics, fight sequences, and gun-porn (see: the sommelier), what makes the series so enthralling, especially for the service members and vets in the audience, is that there are some refreshing moments of realism nestled under all of that gun fu. Wrack your brain and try to remember the last time you saw an action hero do a press check during a shootout, clear a jam, or actually, you know, reload, instead of just hip-firing 300 rounds from an M16 nonstop. It's cool, we'll wait.
As it turns out, there's a good reason for the caliber of gun-play in John Wick. One of the franchise's secret weapons is a professional three-gun shooter named Taran Butler, who told Task & Purpose he can draw and hit three targets in 0.67 seconds from 10 yards. And if you've watched any of the scores of videos he's uploaded to social media over the years, it's pretty clear that this isn't idle boasting.
The Navy's electromagnetic railgun is undergoing what officials described as "essentially a shakedown" of critical systems before finally installing a tactical demonstrator aboard a surface warship, the latest sign that the once-beleaguered supergun may actually end up seeing combat.
That pretty much means this is could be the last set of tests before actually slapping this bad boy onto a warship, for once.