Today’s material comes thanks to our friend Hrachya in Armenia – a 1975 manual for the Russian MSP silent pistol. As Hrachya describes it:
This is the manual of Russian MSP pistol (Malogbaritniy Spetsialniy Pistolet – Small Size Special Pistol). It’s something like a 2 barreled (over and under) derringer. The advantage of this gun is it’s special ammunition. Cartridge case has a piston behind the bullet, which pushes the bullet and seals the gases inside the case! So the shot is noiseless and no flash is generated from the muzzle. It’s caliber is 7.62mm (.30cal) , muzzle velocity is 150meters per second (490 ft/s), weights about a pound.
It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, but the MSP really was developed for Spetznaz and KGB use in the early 1970s. In addition to being completely silent (because no pressurized gas is released from the gun at all upon firing), it has no automatic ejection to leave behind spent cases and uses standard M43 7.62×39 projectiles. A genuine assassin’s weapon.
Mechanically, the gun is pretty simple. It’s a break-open double barreled affair, with two internal hammers. The hammers are cocked by use of a lever below the trigger guard (item #4 in the diagram above). Once cocked, the single trigger will fire the barrels in succession.
Further development of this type of ammunition later led to a case using a single-stage piston that did not project beyond the case mouth, and could thus be used in repeating firearms.
You can download the MSP manual here, or find it on the Original Manuals page of the Vault.
(1975) MSP Groza silent pistol manual (Russian)
Excellent. I will add this article as a link to my article on silent weapons.
Looking at how far the shoulder has blown forward on the fired round, what was it head spacing on?
Does the grooved steel thing in the photo work like a half moon clip to allow head spacing on the extraction groove?
Yep, two cartridges are loaded into the gun with that metal clip on…and it is responsible for headspacing.
The chamber must have dimensions corresponding to fired case. It looks like fireforming Ackley Improved cases 🙂
the USA developed a similar cartridge during the vietnam war for the ‘tunnel rats’ it was fired from a modified S&M md10 revolver if i’m not mistaken