The Stechkin automatic pistol was adopted by the Soviet military in 1951, alongside the Makarov pistol. Both are chambered bot the 9x18mm Russian cartridge, and both use simple blowback mechanisms. The Stechkin is a heavier and bulkier pistol, though, as it is designed for fully automatic fire.

The Stechkin uses a 20-round magazine as standard, and has a selector switch allowing single shots or automatic. It was originally issued with a combination shoulder stock/holster (much like the Mauser 1896) to allow more precise shooting, and was supplied to support troops like tankers, RPG carriers, and artillerymen. It became apparent, however, that a machine pistol was not a particularly practical weapon, and the Stechkin was slowly withdrawn from use. The weapon received a bit of new life in the 70s, when some existing stocks were updated for Spetsnaz use, with the addition of sire stocks, threaded barrels, and sound suppressors.


Stechkin APS manual, printed 1960 (Russian)
Stechkin APS manual, printed 1960 (Russian)


Engish translation of 1960 Russian Stechkin manual
Engish translation of 1960 Russian Stechkin manual



From Max Popenker, we have a couple photos of a Stechkin APS with stock and suppressor (click to download gallery in hi-res):


  1. I’ve had the opportunity to dig into one of the few APS’s here in the U.S..
    Interesting design. Notable is the considerable overtravel exhibited by the slide, likely to assist in reducing the ROF.

    Handling and firing was not unusual, in semi they are immensely comfortable, and even in FA, sans stock if one adopts a firm Weaver stance they are not at all as uncontrollable as one would expect.

  2. Can’t be sure how it racks up compared to the Makarov, but by virtue of the increased weight and barrel length, I’d definitely want it as my back up in case my Kalashnikov decides to play up. The automatic feature is just a gimmick, it’s the abiity to mount a stock that sells it for me. On that note, I can’t see it being used at anything other than indoor ranges so the stock kind of becomes irrelevant for anything other than automatic fire. Overall, I’d love one on my side over the Makarov but as a primary firearm, it’s gotta be Spetznaz only. Possibly tank crews could use it in the same repect as Vz61s are.

  3. It should also be noted that the Stechkin has a rate reducing device include to slow it down to useable speed. Unlike most automatic pistols with slides that run around 1200-1500 rpm the stechkin is an easily manageable 650 or so. Even without the stock it is controllable though a group would be more of a pattern. They are fairly good quality pieces and fun to shoot. I’ve built extended/threaded .380 barrels for a couple of these pistols to allow the use of a suppressor and what was at the time a more readily available ammunition supply. With a suppressor the pistol handles even better though its not very practical for much……


  4. Just saw a Ukrainian National Guardsman on a Vice News report showing off his Stechkin. It looks like a fairly well made pistol, and it’s huge! Red Bakelite grips and all with the old Soviet star. It’s almost as big as my 1930s vintage .45 ACP S&W M-1917 commercial revolver.

  5. I just wish they would import a semiauto-only version (without the stock attachment) to the USA.
    I’d love to have a pistol that size, with that barrel length and mag capacity, in 9×18 Makarov.

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