(Article courtesy of Tactical Life)

The Russian Federation emerged as an independent state in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It inherited most of the Soviet military and industrial potential as well as most of the problems that led to the ultimate failure of the socialist state. Among those problems were serious issues with organized crime, the economy and nationalist movements in various parts of the multi-national country.

At that time, the newly established Russian army and various law enforcement organizations were using weapons of the Soviet era. The most widespread soviet pistol was the Makarov PM, which was a standard-issue handgun of the military, police and state security forces. Others included the Stechkin APS (in very limited use, mostly by Spetsnaz) and the PSM.

Recognizing the deficiencies of the existing guns, the Russian army initiated a research and development program for a new service pistol, codenamed “Grach” (rook). Trials started in the early 1990s and included:

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