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INT’L – GUN CRIME – Forgotten weapons: Russian pistol forbidden in the U.S.

RBTH.COM May 25, 2020 – This gun has enough firepower to pierce 30 layers of kevlar, which made it the weapon-of-choice for the Russian president’s personal guards.

In the mid 90-s, Russian engineers living in the Moscow suburbs decided to create an analogue of an elegant yet powerful pistol of that era – the famous Italian Beretta that’s still widely used not only by SpecOps units operating in urban areas, but also by officers guarding the countries’ leaders. However, the constructors decided to make their upcoming creation more powerful and effective in close combat. The result surpassed their greatest expectations, as the newly arrived  SR-1 Vektor (also known as ‘Gurza’ in Russia) was immediately adopted by Federal Protective Service (the people guarding Russian presidents). The trouble is that it was also banned in the U.S. due to its drastic firepower.

The new gun is designed for a more powerful 9x21mm cartridge, which gives it an edge over existing 9x19mm models, such as European Beretta and Glock 17 pistols. In terms of ammunition, the SR-1 also outguns even modern Russian pistols on duty such as the Yarigin and Mararov.

To be more specific, the standard armor-piercing ammunition used by the newly appeared SR-1 was able to pierce 30 layers of Kevlar – the most widely used body armor filler of the 90s. It was also able to pierce a 4 mm sheet of steel from a distance of 50 meters. This cartridge gives operatives defending the Russian president an edge in a potential shootout in close urban spaces. Yet with these advantages also come setbacks. The cartridge has enough firepower to penetrate even modern body armor plates, but potentially hit an innocent passer-by, having gone through the enemy.

“Federal Protective Service protocol doesn’t factor in possible ‘friendly fire’ issues. Personal guards pass training to avoid such casualties, but their main focus is on protecting the leader of state at all costs, no matter what. Therefore, it is unlikely that there will be anything more than an internal investigation in case of unexpected casualties, with no severe consequences if the leader is safe,” editor-in-chief of ‘Homeland Arsenal’ magazine Viktor Murahovsky, told Russia Beyond .

According to the expert, this excess in firepower is not a concern for Russian officers in domestic circumstances, yet becomes an issue during foreign trips, as a number of countries banned this pistol from use on their territories.

“Americans don’t allow Russian SpecOps to use SR-1 on their territory due to this firepower, and the Federal Protective Service guys have to operate with 9×19 mm Yarigin pistols during their foreign trips”, Murahovsky added.  [full article]

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