Hello, my character is a spetsnaz GRU working with a female KGB companion, should he use a Tokarev and leave a Makarov to the girl? Both with Maks as is a more modern model? Maybe he can keep his GRU sidearm for cover ops, or it will hint too much that he is a spy? Thoughs, please.

As I’ve said several times before, smaller guns
deliver more recoil into the user. There’s less mass in the pistol to
counter the force of the bullet, so that’s passed on to the user
regardless of their gender. As a result, when fired, heavier guns are actually easier to control.

The problem is, I have no idea when you’re setting your story, and if you’re asking, “what gun should my characters use?” Then “what year is it?” becomes a very important question to answer.

The Makarov PM was designed, to be a replacement for the Tokarev TT. The Tokarev entered service in the 1930s, and left production in the fifties. The Soviet military spent the next decade replacing the aging TT-33s with new PMs.

This means, after the mid-sixties, you wouldn’t see a Tokarev in service as an official sidearm.

The GRU was formed in 1949. So that puts it solidly in an era when the Tokarev was in service. The KGB was founded in 1954, two years after the Tokarev left production. The Makarov entered production in 1951.

So that, roughly sets your story sometime between 1955 and 1963. If it’s not, then all of these assumptions start to fall apart.

As with the Tokarev, the Makarov isn’t a great pistol. The Russian military has been looking for an opportunity to replace it since at least the eighties. In fact, modern Spetsnaz units don’t even use Makarovs, they transitioned over to the PSS in the early 80s. My understanding is that KGB and the later FSB also transitioned to the PSS, but I’m not entirely certain.

The Lebedev PL-14, MP-443 “Grach,” and MP-448 “Skyph” were all
developed with the goal of becoming the new Russian military service
pistol. I’m honestly not familiar with the internal politics that have
affected their decisions, though I believe the Grach was adopted as a
service pistol sometime in the last decade.

Of course, you couldn’t give a KGB agent any of those guns, because the Committee for State Security was dissolved along with the rest of the Soviet Union in 1991. It’s successor, the Federal Security Service (FSB) was founded in 1995. There’s nothing stopping you from giving an FSB agent a Grach or Skyph and calling it good. (The Lebedev hasn’t entered production yet.)

Interestingly, the push for a replacement pistol actually predates the fall of the Soviet Union. So, even if you’re using an alt history setting, where the Soviet Union never fell, you’re still probably looking at new pistols, that never existed in our world.

You don’t pick guns based on the gender of the shooter. With military weapons, you choose them based on the politics and doctrines that shaped their design and acceptance.


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