Kalashnikov Group to launch manufacturing of PL-15 pistol, SVCh sniper rifle in 2020


Russia’s Kalashnikov Group (a subsidiary of the state corporation Rostec) will launch serial production of two new firearms: the Lebedev PL-15 9mm pistol and the Chukavin SVCh 7.62mm sniper rifle, in 2020, Director General Dmitry Tarasov told the news agency Udmurtia.


Kalashnikov Group to launch manufacturing of PL 15 pistol SVCh sniper rifle in 2020 1
Live-fire tests with an SVCh-54 sniper rifle at Kalashnikov's test range during Army-2019 (Picture source: Army Recognition)


"Next year, the Lebedev [PL-15] pistol and the SVCh sniper rifle chambered for the 7.62x54[R] cartridge will see serial production," said Tarasov, adding that the serial manufacturing of the Kalashnikov AK-12 5.45 mm assault rifle had started in 2018. "We have fulfilled our commitments for 2019 ahead of schedule and the Concern is launching the shipping of hardware scheduled for delivery in 2020," said Tarasov.

The Chukavin SVCh-54 semi-automatic sniper rifle is a new precision weapon system developed by the Kalashnikov Group, based on direct input from snipers from several Russian elite special forces units. It is intended for precision engagement of individual targets at ranges of up to 1,000 meters or greater, depending on the version, Modern Firearms reports. The SVCh rifle is being developed for the three most common military rifle cartridges, the 7.62×51 NATO, 7.62x54R and .338 Lapua Magnum (also known as 8.62x69mm). Between the two 7.62mm versions, the rifle has a very high commonality of parts. The .338LM SVCh-8.6 rifle, however, has a necessarily larger receiver, magazine housing, and bolt group.

The SVCh rifle has an inverted U-shaped receiver, made from steel and a solid top that offers a stable platform for optics, with integrated Picatinny rail. The trigger and magazine housing unit are made from lightweight alloy. The rifle features short-stroke piston gas-operated action and rotary bolt locking. A manual gas regulator ensures smooth and reliable operation under all conditions, with or without a sound suppressor. The rifle is fed from detachable box magazines. In the 7.62x54R version, it uses magazines compatible with the Dragunov SVD sniper rifle. In 7.62×51 NATO and in .338LM it uses proprietary magazines with standard and high capacity. This rifle features ambidextrous controls. A side folding stock is adjustable for length of pull. Standard accessories include detachable folding bipod and quick-detachable tactical sound suppressor.

The Lebedev PL-15 pistol is a new service-type handgun designed by Dmitry Lebedev who is working at Kalashnikov concern in Izhevsk, Russia, Modern Firearms explains. Development of this handgun started in 2014, with intent to create a pistol suitable for use as a sidearm for military and law enforcement personnel, with specific modifications intended for “professional handgunners” use (i.e. SWAT type police units that use pistols as primary weapons) and for sport (IPSC, IDPA) shooting. The pistol was designed “from the scratch” with great deal of input from Russian top IPSC shooters and Spetsnaz officers. Key concepts behind the PL-15 handgun are: human engineering (gun has excellent ergonomics, low bore axis, optimal balance and points naturally in the hand); extreme reliability and durability (service life is expected to be no less than 10,000 rounds of very hot 7N21 AP Russian army service ammunition, and probably double or triple of that with commercial-grade 9mm ammo); completely ambidextrous use; maximum safety of handling.

The Lebedev pistol was originally introduced in 2015 as PL-14, and changed its designation to PL-15 in 2016, following some internal and external improvements. A compact version, designated PL-15K, was introduced in 2017. Also, an alternate trigger system, with Single Action trigger, was introduced as PL-15-01 and PL-15K-01.


Kalashnikov Group to launch manufacturing of PL 15 pistol SVCh sniper rifle in 2020 2
Lebedev PL-15 pistol displayed at Kalashnikov's test range during Army-2019 (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)


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