Russian FSB Operatives Love these Western Weapons

Russia has had a unique relationship with the West throughout its history. During the reign of Peter the Great at the turn of the 18th century, Russia adopted Western fashions, while the Russian army was reorganized according to the modern guidelines of the Western powers. Russia’s efforts to westernize continued during the Russian Revolution of 1917. While such westernization efforts were withheld during the Soviet era, after the collapse of the Soviet Union there was a renewed concept of westernization.

But Russia still retains its own identity today. Its military has rarely relied on foreign equipment or small arms. As the world’s second largest exporter of military hardware after the United States, Russia continues to develop its own unique rifles, machine guns, and small arms.

However, a certain westernization has continued. Even the notorious Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) – the main security agency in Russia and the main successor agency to the Soviet Union’s KGB – is not immune.

The Glock 17, produced in Austria, is a favorite of the FSB. The handgun took the world by storm after it was released in the early 1980s and then served with the military, paramilitary and police forces around the world. The Glock 17 is more expensive than Russia-made alternatives, but remains popular.

As reported by Russia Beyond, a standard Makarov or Yarygin pistol only costs around $ 300. But a Glock 17 will set an FSB agent back about $ 2,000 because of the fees and taxes gun owners must pay to buy the gun. The additional cost is well worth the difference, as domestic handguns can do 4,500 “guaranteed rounds” while the Glock can fire more than 300,000 guaranteed rounds.

The use of the Glock in the FSB even led the Kalashnikov Corporation to develop the MPL and MPL1 pistols to show that the Russian small arms industry can design and produce a high quality handgun.

AK alternatives

Although it is the nation that developed the first successful assault rifle with the AK-47, some Russian units prefer the German-made MR308. This is not entirely surprising as the AK was (at least) heavily influenced by the German StG44, which was a far more sophisticated weapon.

The MR308 has caught on with FSB shooters, even if the latest generation of AK-based rifles are still in the hands of the average Russian military ground-rammer. Like their predecessors, the current generation of AKs are unbreakable, require minimal maintenance, and can go down many laps.

Although Russia continues to produce some notable sniper and sniper rifles, it appears that some Russian FSB operators have remained loyal to the Steyr Mannlicher SSG (sniper rifle) range of bolt action rifles. Russia’s FSB may be loyal to the motherland, but it will defend the country with the weapon that has been proven to work best.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites. He writes regularly on military small arms and is the author of several books on military headgear, including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on

Image: Reuters.

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