Kalashnikov Concern, the Russian firearms manufacturer that produces the popular AK series of automatic rifles, announced a new 9x19mm service pistol for the Russian military at at a technical forum held in Kubinka, just outside of Moscow, on Wednesday.
According to a press release from the company, the “PL-14” pistol, or “Lebedev pistol” as it is named after its designer, was developed by a team composed of Russian special forces and IPSC competitive shooters. Some of the most distinguishing characteristics of the handgun include its futuristic shape and its abnormally thin slide—only .82 inches wide.
“The versatility of our new pistol allows to use it not only as a military weapon for the military forces and police, but also as a pistol for different shooting competitions,” said Kalashnikov CEO Alexey Krivoruchko. “We intend to produce different variants of the pistol, for example, with certain characteristics of the trigger mechanism for special forces units, as well as a civilian version with trigger that would be suitable for practical shooting competitions as well.”
The handgun will be available in two versions, a basic model and a version with lighter trigger pull designed specifically for special forces use or as a competition pistol. Both versions are touted for their improved ergonomics, light recoil, and minimal muzzle rise.
“The distinguishing feature of ‘PL-14’ is its enhanced ergonomics and balance that meet modern notions of human biomechanics and modern pistol shooting techniques in the best way. Special attention was paid to the unique aesthetics of the new pistol,” Kalashnikov stated in the press release.
The pistol will come with a loaded chamber indicator, a frame-mounted Picatinny rail, and internal safety mechanisms to prevent the gun from firing when dropped. Below are the basic specifications for the PL-14 from Kalashnikov:
- Caliber, mm 9×19
- Length mm 220
- Height mm 136
- Thickness mm 28
- Barrel length 127 mm
- Magazine capacity, rounds 15
- Weight without ammunition, 0.8 kg
- Weight with ammunition 0.99 kg
Many observers have commented on what appeared to be wooden grips on the prototype model of the Pl-14, which some believe may be for aesthetic appeal. Others have also noticed the PL-14’s similarity to Arsenal Firearm’s Strike One, another 9x19mm pistol developed with the Russian Armed Forces in mind. Unlike the Strike One, current US sanctions against Russia and Kalashnikov may prevent the pistol from reaching American gun owners anytime soon.