In the previous article about Ukrainian developments in the field of hand-held firearms, you can get acquainted with such pistols as PSh and Gnome. A weapon in which, after a few years, there appeared, if not analogs, then, very similar in design, the development of a common concept in the West. In this article, we will look back at pistols, and although they have a simpler design than the previous ones, they do not become less interesting from this.
These pistols became widely known thanks to a relatively recent curious incident. On the territory of the “Radiopribor” enterprise, law enforcement officers, quite unexpectedly, found several dozen units of this weapon. And the curiosity of such a find lies in the fact that it was these pistols that were developed by the enterprise, and after the cessation of work on them, part of the manufactured weapons were stored in the weapons room, along with the weapons used by the plant guards. Apparently, no one ever bothered to ask what to do with the weapon and they simply "forgot" about it. "Forgot" exactly until someone remembered that it is possible to cover a "large batch" of unregistered weapons, and then another rank is not far away, or, in the worst case, an improvement in statistics and bonuses.
Work on a new weapon was started in 1996 and, it should be noted that the result of this work turned out to be very worthy. These pistols were planned to be developed for arming special units, but, as we already know, these pistols were not adopted for service, preference was given to the Fort pistols. In addition, a small pistol chambered for.22 LR was developed, this weapon was intended for those who need a self-defense weapon, but do not need a full-fledged military weapon. The cessation of work on pistols dates back to 2001.
Unlike many other Ukrainian developments, Khortytsia 125 pistols have a finished appearance, in fact, we can talk about weapons that were already ready for mass production. Nevertheless, individual details, or rather their absence, suggest that, if these pistols were tested by the military, they would be guaranteed to be revised. So, in many photos the weapon lacks a slide stop lever, which can be explained by the fact that the models were "intermediate". The fuse switch, made in the form of a very small part above the store eject button, would clearly not satisfy the military, since it would be very difficult to switch it with gloves. And simple dirt on the hands could make removing the weapon from the fuse a daunting task. But the controls are those details that will take a minimum of time to rework if there are specific requirements, so it is still worth considering the Khortitsa 125 pistols in the context of an already completed weapon.
If many people doubt the completeness of pistols with long barrels, then there is absolutely no doubt about the small-sized Khortitsa pistol. Even by modern standards, this pistol has not only a presentable appearance, but also a design. There are no more controversial controls in it, they are all located in their places and within the framework of small-sized weapons are quite convenient. At least foreign pistols of similar dimensions have the same arrangement of both the safety switch and the slide stop with the magazine eject button, so there is something to draw an analogy with. The only thing that is not "happy" is the ammunition used, but more on that below.
There is some confusion with the designs of various variants of the Khortitsa 125 pistols. So, they distinguish model 125-01, powered by 9x18 PM cartridges, and model 125-02 DAO, which, as is clear from the designation, had a double-acting trigger mechanism and could be adapted to use 9x18, 9x19 and 9x23 ammunition (here in this place you can find obvious delirium in the form of mentioning the Steyr cartridges of 1912). However, in print publications there is a mention of the 125 USP pistol, which took into account the shortcomings of all previous designs.
Since it is problematic to get to the bottom of the truth, using only open sources, I will use common sense and logic to the best of my ability.
The simplest option for a pistol automation system is a blowback automation system. This automation system works perfectly with 9x18 PM cartridges, it is quite logical to assume that the first version of the pistol, which was powered only by 9x18, was based precisely on automatic controls with a free shutter - it simply does not make sense to complicate the design.
The second option, which we call the second conditionally, already had the opportunity to use more powerful ammunition, for which the automatic system with a free shutter is unsuitable. Based on this, the design of the weapon needed to be reworked, but instead of doing something new, you can make the most of the old. So, you can find a way to lock the barrel, in which you would not have to significantly recycle the frame of the weapon and the breech cover.
The solution turned out to be the use of automatic weapons with locking the bore with the help of powder gases, the Barnitske principle. After the shot, part of the powder gases are diverted from the bore into the piston under the barrel of the weapon, while preventing the bolt group from rolling back. After the pressure in the bore drops, the weapon is reloaded. When using such an automation system, the weapon can very easily be adapted for a variety of ammunition, including returning it to automatic equipment with a free shutter.
Most sources indicate that the version of the pistol, which was powered only by 9x18 cartridges, was also built on this automation system. Such a statement is extremely doubtful, since there is simply no point in complicating the weapon where it can be made much simpler. And it seems to me that people who were able to realize the normal performance of a pistol with a rather "capricious" automation system would not complicate what can work flawlessly with a simpler design.
As for the small-sized pistol Khortitsa 76, it uses an automatic system with a free shutter, there is nothing extraordinary in its design.
Conversely, in view of the fact that the division into the first and second models of weapons is used, it is impossible to give guaranteed accurate characteristics of the final product, but these figures will also be used as an introduction.
The Khortitsa 125-01 pistol has a total length of 190 millimeters and weighs 770 grams. The weapon is fed from a detachable magazine for 8 rounds 9x18. Barrel length, as you might guess, is 125 millimeters.
The Khortitsa 125-02 pistol has a length of 200 millimeters and a weight of 900 grams. It feeds from a larger magazine for 16 rounds in versions for 9x19, 9x18 and 9x23 ammunition.
Small-sized pistol Khortitsa 76 has a total length of 137 millimeters, weighing only 440 grams. Magazine capacity - 8 rounds.22 LR
We will consider the positive and negative qualities of weapons in the context of an automation system operating on the Barnitske principle. The automation system itself has established itself as a positive effect on the accuracy of the weapon. In addition, pistols with such an automatic system have a more pleasant "soft" recoil, as can be seen on the example of the P7 pistol from Heckler und Koch. However, such an automation system imposes restrictions on the quality of ammunition and significantly complicates the process of servicing weapons. Do not forget about the cost of production and the cost of repair, which is significantly higher than that of weapons with various design variations proposed by Browning. Apparently this was the reason why pistols with locking the barrel bore according to the Barnitske principle did not find widespread use.
It is clearly impossible to talk about reliability and ease of use, since there is simply no such data, and it is not entirely correct to rely on factory tests and the opinion of Radiopribor employees, which will be biased. We need data and experience in the use of weapons in different conditions, by different people.
As for the Khortitsa 76 pistols, it is only possible to make such a weapon badly on purpose. Similar, if not similar, designs are found in every weapon manufacturer. The only question is the cartridge used. Still, even if there are enough "evil" ammunition.22LR, this cartridge is completely unsuitable for self-defense, namely, this pistol is positioned as a self-defense weapon.
After the cessation of funding for the project, they tried to offer these pistols to the military, but they did not even succeed in obtaining tests, which already says a lot. Weapon designer Mikhail Leonidovich Korolyov, apparently, decided not to do such a thankless job anymore, and it can be understood, especially after a "batch" of unregistered weapons was discovered at the plant. In general, time, effort and money was wasted, and in fact with this weapon it was possible to try to enter the foreign market.
Pistol KBS-1 "Wii" Ukrainian Glock
It should be noted right away that a pistol under the name "Viy" is now known as a traumatic one, and is made on the basis of a Makarov pistol, so do not confuse these two completely different pistols. Like the previous pistols under consideration, the KBS-1 was developed in the 90s of the last century. Judging by the name, work on it began even before Shevchenko's pistol. Very often you can find the statement that this pistol is the Ukrainian version of the Glock pistol, which is partly true, but with some reservations.
As you know, beauty must save the world. In the form in which the KBS-1 pistol is presented, one can clearly speak of it not as a savior of the world, but this is only a first impression. If you look at this product objectively, then there is only one problem - the color of the frame. For some unknown reason, the design bureau did not find a dye when the frame was cast, or at least just paint with a brush remains a mystery. After all, if the frame of the weapon is repainted, then you can get a completely modern, even by today's standards, pistol. Beauty, of course, is a subjective concept and for firearms in general it is the fifth thing, but still they are greeted “by their clothes”.
After you start to get used to the color of the frame of the weapon, its positive sides sharply emerge at the pistol. First of all, the low-set barrel of the weapon catches the eye, and it will mean less tossing the weapon when firing. The absence of a fuse switch is explained by the use of a double-acting striker trigger, that is, each press of the trigger, first cocks the striker, and then releases it. Such a decision has a negative effect on the accuracy of the weapon, perhaps in the future the USM with a pre-platoon would have been used if the weapon had received the “green light”. But the pistol is completely safe, since you need to try to create a situation in which an accidental shot can be fired.
Questions are raised by the weapon magazine lock, which is made similar to the PM pistol at the bottom of the handle, by modern standards this is, of course, archaism, but in a situation where a new weapon could change the same PM, it is obvious that the usual location of the magazine lock is only a plus.
In general, the weapon seems quite comfortable, but the color of the frame …
The basis for the pistol was an automation system using recoil energy with a short barrel stroke. It deserves special mention that the pistol is assembled from 27 parts in total, that is, many parts perform several functions. Of course, you won't be able to see the weapon in the analysis in order to consider every solution, however, just for this alone, the work of the designers is worthy of respect. The shot that the pistol could withstand is 10 thousand shots, far from a record, of course, but also a very good result for an experimental sample, if it corresponds to reality.
If we abstract from the appearance of the pistol frame, then we can confidently talk about a completely modern weapon with the now popular design and general concept of the pistol, instantly ready for use and at the same time safe.
The frame of the gun attracts attention with its color for a reason. As it turned out later, it was the weapon frame that became the main problem. Insufficient strength, exposure to ultraviolet radiation and other joys made the weapon unsuitable for mass production. In addition, many people are wary of plastic even now. The question remains, why didn't the designers "play" with aluminum alloys?
With the characteristics of this pistol, everything is very ambiguous. There is information on the Internet according to which the total length of the weapon is 161 millimeters with a barrel length of 140 millimeters. These figures could not be believed even if the power supply scheme proposed by Shevchenko was used, and judging by the location of the window for ejection of spent cartridges, the weapon's layout is "classic". According to the same data, the weight of the pistol without cartridges is 800 grams, which seems to be true.
The main positive point in the weapon is its constant readiness to fire and, at the same time, the safety of wearing even with a cartridge in the chamber. Subject to all safety rules, the weapon will never fire spontaneously, although accuracy suffers from this, due to the large force when the trigger is pulled. But the pistol throws less when firing due to the low-set barrel. Unfortunately, one is not compensated for by the other, since a heavy trigger takes the weapon away before firing.
The downside is the same trigger mechanism that could be done with a pre-cocking or double action with a safe release button for the drummer.
However, talking about the pros and cons of the experimental model, as well as about mass-produced models of weapons, is not entirely correct.
As a result, we can conclude that the weapon did not have flaws that could not be eliminated, apparently something else prevented. Perhaps, by the standards of the mid-90s, this pistol was too "bold" in terms of the totality of decisions, nevertheless, looking at modern samples, we can say that many decisions were correct, that is, the designers, definitely, correctly predicted further development pistols.
Very often you can find information that the serial production of this new weapon was hampered by corruption or lack of funding, limited opportunities for enterprises. It seems to me that the reasons should be considered in the aggregate, and not separately, against the background of all the events and situation in the country.