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/AKM/ - Guns, weapons and the art of war.

"War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun." - Chairman Mao
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As you (hopefully) know, a gun suppressor doesn’t completely eliminate the sound created by a firing gun. Instead, it suppresses the noise significantly by capturing and slowly releasing the rapidly expanding gases used to propel a bullet out of the gun barrel. When firing a gun, the gunpowder in the bullet casing ignites, creating an immense amount of pressure. This pressure propels the bullet down the barrel of the gun, pushing the round at incredible speeds. When the bullet exits the barrel, the pressure is released and an extremely loud noise is produced. What a suppressor does is provide a larger space for the pressure and hot gases to expand after exiting the barrel. The gases expand as they are heated when the gun fires, but the suppressor traps and slowly releases this gas, resulting in a much quieter shot. Other aspects of a suppressor that help to mute sound include the science of heat transfer and metallurgy.

But for the Soviet Union, the conventional form of suppressors bolted onto the gun was simply not enough. Some bright spark decided to reinvent the wheel. He looked at the usual barrel silencer and figured they're such crap because it doesn't make much sense to try to muffle the bang at the barrel's end, since it happens all the way back, as the compressed gunpowder explodes and the resulting gas violently expands. So he went and designed a fancy bullet case which trapped the gases inside itself, so it's actually more appropriate to say the technology is silent ammon rather than silent guns, the latter of which was designed after the former. They also were designed to minimize the secondary noise of that is the clang of moving parts, so it became inaudible beyond a few meters. Further, the third and last source of noise, case ejection, was wholly sidestepped by keeping the spent, gas-filled cases trapped in the gun itself, which further adds to the stealth. Add the complete lack of a muzzle flash, and it's as stealthy as it gets.

The downside is that it loses power and has lowered effective range, but with such a stealthy weapon, distance wasn't supposed to be a factor for the user. It's also, unsurprisingly, more expensive to manufacture than common ammo.

The prototype was named SP-1. That and SP-2 saw use only in Bond-style specialty guns, like the infamous cigarette case, the TKB-506 and TKB-506A. Later on, some different group ceated the PZ/PZA/PZAM round line, much bigger because they were intended to be used in a proper pistol, S4M, with higher ranges. To this, they added a clever detail: the projectile would resemble one fired by an AK-47 from at least a few hundred meters away, thus explaining the lack of a spent case and throwing off investigations. I don't know if this feature would be replicated later.

Still, the spooks at the KGB weren't satisfied with these weapons because of their size. So the original guy went back to the drawing board and made the SP-3, to pack a good punch while being small. But only with SP-4 and the PSS pistol designed for it would silent ammo become a class of gun on its own. All previous rounds left a spent casing actually longer than an unspent one. With that out of the way, they could use clips, whereas beforehand, they could only hold, at most, two single-loaded shots. The SP-4 was so successful that they further developed the SP-5 round for the AS assault rifle and its sister, VSS sniper rifle, and later on, made an armor-piercing version, SP-6. Those three guns have updated designs after the break-up, and are still in use by spec-ops, spooks and such.

Because of the lower power, the PSS, AL and VSS have effective ranges of only about 25, 300 and 400 meters, respectively.

Besides that trio, the egghead behind the silent ammo and some of its guns designed a SP-4-using revolver in 2001. In 1994, a sniper rifle capable of using some common ammo as well as SP-5 and SP-6 was designed to be a lower-cost alternative to the VSS, the VSK-94. I haven't found any information as how the two of them compare, but they seem to have the same effective range.

These seem to be the only truly silent guns used in anything approaching large scale. It surprises no one that none of these have been sold commercially, and they're extremely rare, especially in the West. Not to mention the specialized ammo is similarly restricted. Speaking of which, the SP denomination has still been used for a while but starting from SP-7, they aren't silent, so I dunno why bother using that naming.

There are recent developments to replace the AL and VSS lines. In 2017, the Kalashnikov Concern (seriously, that's the company's name now, cyberpunk as fuck) showed a still-in-development assault rifle, AM-17, whose AMB-17 variant can use the same ammo as the VSK-94, and thus operate silently. More impressive is an unnammed sniper rifle shown in 2018 based on the MTs-116M, a rather redundant weapon, with a wholly separate design history from the rest mentioned here. This new one will use special, new ammo using the SP technique, but with a preposterous .50 caliber round, with an effective range of 700m. That's some serious shit. It's an investment in Russia's current, considerable advantage in sniper warfare, which will be particularly valuable in the coming decades, where the expected typical battle terrain will be urban centers. In one Russian New Generation Warfare Handbook, the suggested engegamenet when faced with a Russian sniper is: don't. "Any enemy marksman in an established position will create a minimum of two casualties per engagement with little to no repercussions", so the longer you take to leg it, the worse.


>It's an investment in Russia's current, considerable advantage in sniper warfare
the russians always had some great snipers, i remember the nazis being impressed by russian snipers and tried starting up some sniper schools to retaliate but lacked sniper scopes


> This new one will use special, new ammo using the SP technique, but with a preposterous .50 caliber round, with an effective range of 700m. That's some serious shit.
They made silent 50 cal ?
whoa that's serious shit indeed


It'll probbly be a subsonic round and if it's Russian, 12.7mm, so slightly bigger than .50 cal


how big in caliber you reckon can they go with this ?


Given that there are artillery sound suppressors, you can theoretically go as high as you'd like but functionally 12.7mm is the limit, maybe 14.5mm if they need an sniper rifle that doubles as an anti-material rifle against APCs and tank optics.

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