Russia’s brand new ‘Boa’ pistol may soon replace legendary Makarov sidearm

Russia’s brand new ‘Boa’ pistol may soon replace legendary Makarov sidearm
A state-of-the-art pistol, nicknamed ‘Udav’ may soon become a new sidearm of the Russian military, which is hastily seeking a proper replacement to its time-proven but aging Makarov’s weapon.

The newest pistol successfully withstood all trials held by the weapons manufacturer and the Russian Defense Ministry, the arms producer, the Central Research Institute for Precision Machine Engineering, said in a statement. ‘Udav’ (Russian for ‘Boa’) was tested for reliability in harsh weather conditions and performed very well in both frost and heat, the statement said.

The trials have proven the pistol’s high functional capabilities, its durability and [demonstrated] its functional performance in extreme conditions,” the weapons manufacturer pointed out. ‘Udav’ is fed by 9х21mm cartridges and its detachable box magazine can carry as many as 18 rounds.

It also said the pistol was pushed to its limits during a series of separate tests carried out by the military last year. ‘Udav’ was “recommended for adoption” by the military, a Defense Ministry official told TASS.

The exact features and detailed layout of the new weapon remain classified. However, judging by an image published by website, there is nothing unconventional in its shape or design.

At a glance, ‘Udav’ looks similar to foreign analogues, such as the German-made Heckler & Koch USP – a popular side weapon adopted by the US and other militaries. Being a 21st-century pistol, ‘Udav’ features a short rail enabling mounting a laser or a tactical flashlight under the barrel.

Russian media said the weapon is the likeliest candidate to replace the famous Makarov pistol. The PM / PMM, which is a Russian abbreviation for the pistol, was designed as early as 1951. Back then, it became a standard-issue support weapon in military and police forces in Russia and dozens of other countries.

Time-proven Makarov pistol (PM) has been in service since 1950s © Global Look Press / Sergey Kovalev

Army and police users around the world appreciate Makarov’s small size and weight but do complain about its powerful, over-the-top blowback and insufficient firepower. The PM family is widely regarded as a well-balanced weapon due to its simple and reliable design.

However, it became less suitable for modern warfare in which a sidearm should be powerful enough against armor-protected targets.

This is not the first effort to phase out the legendary PM. Other Russian-made 9mm pistols have been considered in the past, including the GSh-18 and Yarygin pistols, but all potential successors either had reliability issues or had a too complicated design.

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