PPK-20: A further development of Vityaz SMG

A man shooting from PPK-20 submachine gun A man shooting from PPK-20 submachine gun
A man firing rounds from his PPK-20 submachine gun in the shooting range (Photo: XY)

The PPK-20 is a recent Russian submachine gun, representing a further development of the PP-19 Vityaz, which is utilized by the Russian police, certain law enforcement units, and the FSB security agency. Initially known as the Vityaz-MO, it was tailored to meet the requirements of the Russian military, diverging from its law enforcement origins. Eventually, its designation was changed to PPK-20. In 2022, this submachine gun was widely used by Spetsnaz units during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Design

The 9mm PPK-20 submachine gun distinguishes itself through its compact dimensions, reduced weight, the addition of an optional quick-detachable sound and flash suppressor, a folding telescopic polymer buttstock, an ergonomic pistol grip, and an ambidextrous fire selector switch. It combines the reliability and ergonomics of the modern AK-12 with a subcompact size.

PPK-20 submachine gun, a successor of the PP-19 Vityaz
PPK-20: The successor of the Vityaz submachine gun (Photo: XY)

The PPK-20 operates on a blowback mechanism and is chambered for standard 9×19 mm ammunition. When utilizing the 7N21 armor-piercing rounds, it can penetrate certain types of body armor. Besides the 7N21, PPK-20 can also use all types of 9×19 rounds.

Featuring a Kalashnikov-style combined safety and fire mode selector switch, the PPK-20 may be considered somewhat cumbersome to manipulate, offering settings for safe, semi-auto, and full-auto modes. The weapon is fed from detachable 30-round magazines and comes equipped with simple iron sights. However, the sighting line is notably short, resulting in subpar accuracy.

Left side of the PPK-20 submachine gun
Left side of the PPK-20 submachine gun (Photo: XY)

Equipped with a Picatinny-type accessory rail and scope rail, the PPK-20 can accommodate various attachments such as tactical flashlights, laser pointers, and red dot sights. Primarily designed for close combat within buildings, its effective range in open areas extends to around 50 meters. Despite its short barrel, it remains lethal at ranges of up to 200 meters.

Variants

The PPK-20U is a lighter and more compact iteration of the PPK-20, boasting several improvements. Unveiled in 2021, it was specifically designed for military pilots as a personal defensive weapon. Weighing in at only 2.5 kg and measuring 41 cm in length, it is approximately 600 g lighter and slightly shorter than its standard counterpart. The barrel and receiver have been shortened to achieve more compact dimensions.

Close look at the PPK-20 fire selector
A close look at the PPK-20 fire selector (Photo: XY)

In terms of accuracy, it falls short compared to the PPK-20 and standard RPK-20. It features a new polymer grip, trigger guard, and handguard, along with an ambidextrous fire mode selector switch for thumb operation. Additionally, it sports a new folding, adjustable stock. The PPK-20U is capable of mounting a sound suppressor.

Thanks to its compact dimensions, the PPK-20U can be stored within a pilot’s seat or emergency backup, making it suitable for other units requiring a highly compact submachine gun, such as bodyguards, undercover security officers, and vehicle crews.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Russia
Manufacturer:Kalashnikov Concern
Caliber:9×19 mm (7N21)
Weight (loaded):3.65 kg
Weight (with empty magazine):3.1 kg
Weight (unloaded):2.9 kg
Length (stock extended):700 mm
Length (stock folded):475 mm
Barrel length:233 mm
Muzzle velocity:380 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire:800 rpm
Practical rate of fire:30 – 90 rpm
Magazine capacity:30 rounds
Range of effective fire:50 – 100 m
Mounts:Picatinny rails on the handguard, top and bottom M-LOK on the sides
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