Munition of the Week




Designed by Vladimir Simonov and incorporated into the Soviet Union’s arsenal in the 1970’s, the APS underwater assault rifle improved upon the stopping power and range offered by the SPP-1 underwater pistol. The rifle weighed 7.5 lbs loaded, had a length of 32.4 inches with the stock extended and a magazine size of 26 rounds. The effective range of the APS varied depending on the depth at which it was fired (For example, at 16 ft under the surface, the rifle was able to reach distances of 98 ft). The rifle fired needlelike 5.66 mm cartridges from the unusual magazine, the shape of which was designed to best accomodate the longer than normal ammunition.

The APS was used by Russian “guard frogmen,? the SPN PDSS, a unit created to guard naval bases as the threat of underwater sabotage from “attack frogmen? increased in the 1970’s. The APS proved effective in submerged combat at penetrating reinforced dry-suits and breathing apparatuses. In addition, it proved a worthy tool for deterring anti-frogmen dolphins, which are equipped with a nose mounted device that is capable of injecting large amounts of carbon dioxide into divers. Since discontinued, the APS was an important step in the process of designing a reliable underwater assault rifle.