Caliber 5.66 mm
Cartridge type 5.66 x 150 mm MPS or MPTS steel darts
Dimensions and weight
Total weight (with loaded magazine) 3 400 g
Total weight (with empty magazine) 2 460 g
Overall length 823 mm
Length (with folded butt-stock) 615 mm
Bullet initial speed 365 m/s
Bullet initial speed (under the water) 240 - 250 m/s
Magazine capacity 26 rounds
Sighting range 30 m
Range of effective fire (on the air) 30 - 50 m
Range of effective fire ( in 5 m depth) 30 m
Range of effective fire ( in 20 m depth) 20 m
Range of effective fire ( in 40 m depth) 10 m
The APS was developed as a combat diver weapon intended as a personal weapon for usage under water mainly against the enemy divers. The APS Underwater Assault Rifle has a unique design which has no analogues except a later Russian developments of the improved underwater assault rifle. Russian Federation is the only country which combat divers are armed with the APS Assault Rifles currently. The weapon is produced by Tula city firearms plant.
Until the development of the APS Russian combat divers were armed with a usual firearms which could not be used under the water. Combat divers used firearms mostly for landing operations. Usual firearms were carried under the water to the landing point and used only afterwards when divers reached shore. While under the water the combat diver could use only knive and was quiet defenseless.
Underwater Assault Rifles automatic is based on gas returning principle threw the gas chamber. It's automatic allows to execute fire on the air or under the water in single or automatic fire modes. In the last mention mode the APS executes short 3 - 5 shot series or a long series in 10 shots. A safety-lock is a fire mode changer at once. Overall the APS Special Assault Rifle has very much in common with the AK-74 Assault Rifle. However it has a lighter dimensions and weight comparing with the later mentioned assault rifle.
Rifle fires 5.66 x 150 mm MPS or MPTS steel dart cartridges with a 120 mm length dart bullet. The MPTS cartridges are the tracer one. The bullet dart has a weight of 26 g and is stabilized under the water by a cavitation effect. On the air this bullet isn't stabilized. Combat diver armed with the APS is able to defeat even shark.
On a usual fire trainings on the air the APS can fire a standard 5.45 x 39 mm Russian cartridges by changing it's smoothbore barrel into the rifled one chambered for the 5.45-mm.
The Rifle is fitted with a 26 round magazine. The magazine has uncommon shape determined by a long cartridge. The magazine is divided into two sections to prevent cartridge reloading failures.
Every APS is completed with two magazines and a knife-bayonet. Furthermore it has a folding inside the barrel box buttstock.
Underwater Assault Rifle is fitted with an opened triangle shape fixed sight. The underwater rifle has a depth of effective fire in 40 m. In the every depth a range of effective fire surpasses a range of visibility even in the clearest vision water obstacles. At a maximum range of effective fire the APS defeats combat diver wearing a hydro overall with filled with a foam thinner. It also proofs 5 mm wide organic plexiglas and defeats target covered by it.
Since it's development till the last decade the APS was the only assault rifle intended for the combat swimmers. The weapon is extremely effective under the water defending oneself from the enemy combat divers or rapacious fish.
Low range of effective fire on the air as the dart bullet isn't stabilized and has a low ballistic characteristics. The APS has a short service life in 2 000 shots under the water and only 180 on the air.
To sum it up the APS Special Underwater Assault Rifle is more likely to be suitable under the water than in the air. At the beginning of the last decade Russian designers developed a substitute for the APS. It was ASM-DT Special Underwater Assault Rifle which was approved by the Russian Armed Forces in the year 2000. The new Special Rifle has a greater characteristics and a service life comparing with the APS. It's range of effective fire on the air is similar to the AK-74 Assault Rifle and under the water - to the APS Rifle.