OTs-14 "Thunderstorm": advantages and disadvantages
In the late eighties, during the execution of combat missions, Russian special forces personnel used such grenade launchers such as Silence and Koster. As the experience of special operations showed, these models had their drawbacks. The special forces of the FSB and the internal troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs needed a similar, but improved weapon. They became the automatic grenade launcher complex OTs-14 "Thunderstorm".
The complex "Thunderstorm" OTs-14 was developed in the city of Tula, in TsKBI (Central Design and Research Bureau). The OC index designates all models of weapons created at the Tula Arms Plant. The MC index is used for marking sport and hunting weapon models. The main designers of the complex: Valeriy Telesh and Yuri Lebedev. 1992 was the year when work began on OTs-14 Thunderstorm. Two years later, the designers presented the first prototypes.
During the tests of the “Silence” and “Koster” complexes, the developers revealed several significant shortcomings that should be corrected.At first, these two models had poor balancing and had too much weight, which negatively affected the mobility of their modular structures. In addition, the use in close combat of these complexes was unsafe for the shooter himself: the weapon ricocheted very strongly. OTs-14 “Thunderstorm” was supposed to be the most compact and mobile weapon, with high penetrating ability, very effective and safe in close combat.
What has been done?
The OC-14 "Thunderstorm" became the base of the AKS-74U, which has worked well in the Airborne Forces. The issue of compactness of the complex was solved by reducing the length of the “landing” machine gun. For this purpose, the OTs-14 “Thunderstorm” developers used the “bull-pop” scheme. It allows you to have a store with ammunition not in front of the handle, but behind it. 750 mm - a “landing” machine gun has such a length with a spread out butt. The Thunderstorm OTs-14 obtained the required compactness through the use of the bullpup system. The size of the complex does not exceed 600 mm.
The designers were tasked to equip a new weapon with a GP-25 grenade launcher. Frequently, servicemen spoke negatively about GP -25. In their opinion, this grenade launcher, integrated into the AK, heavily weighted the front part of the machine gun, which made the shooting process more difficult.We managed to solve this problem by weighting the back of the weapon. In addition, the pistol grip, trigger guard and trigger were removed. This greatly facilitated the OZ-14 Thunderstorm grenade launcher. The photo below presents the features of the exterior design of this complex.
The weapon is a modular complex. In addition to the grenade launcher, the kit includes:
- Front tactical grip. If necessary, the grenade launcher can be removed and set the handle. This will enable the fighter to use this weapon as an assault rifle. This design feature is appreciated by employees of special forces units: weapons are very effective when firing at both short and medium distances.
- Silent firing devices. They provide an opportunity to use the complex for the silent destruction of the enemy group. These devices can also be used at night: when shooting, not only the sound itself, but also the muzzle flash is eliminated. Having such a “silencer”, a fighter can safely use a night vision device: nothing will happen when he is fired.
- Optical sights.Allow to eliminate the enemy at a great distance.
The modular design of the complex allows the fighter to own three different weapons.
OTs-14 was specially designed for 9x39 mm ammunition. From the outset, it was planned to use 7.6 mm ammunition for the Thunderstorm. But since the optimal distance for which it was designed is up to 800 meters, the 7.62 mm ammunition of the Tula gunsmiths was considered dangerous for shooting in confined spaces. Since the new complex was created primarily for combat at close distances and in urban environments, the choice fell on a 9x39 mm cartridge. It has already been used for such Russian special weapons as the Val, Vortex, and Vintorez sniper rifles. The popularity of this cartridge is due to the fact that it has a subsonic speed that allows the use of ammunition in weapons equipped with PBS. Using a 9x39 mm cartridge and a weapon with a “silencer”, the shooter goes unnoticed: from a distance of ten meters from him only a barely audible click is heard. Even more likely to go unnoticed by a fighter who performs sniper shooting from this complex in combat conditions or in a busy urban environment.
What is a bullet?
The 9x39 mm cartridge is equipped with a long and heavy 9 mm bullet. Getting into the body of the enemy, it has a very powerful stopping effect. Due to the heat strengthened steel core, the bullet quietly pierces the steel plate (0.8 cm thick) and body armor, which has a third level of protection. This result could not be achieved with a Kalashnikov assault rifle using a caliber of 7.62 mm. Such a slaughter of ammunition allows you to use the complex as an ideal weapon in melee.
Strengths of weapons
The advantages of the complex include:
- The weapon is compact and has a small mass.
- The complex is well balanced due to the bull – pop scheme. As a result, during firing, the barrel does not throw up.
- In terms of reliability, the complex is not inferior to the Kalashnikov assault rifle.
- Subsonic bullet speed provides silent shooting.
- Ammunition is characterized by sufficient slaughter and high stopping power.
- Complex "Thunderstorm" has good accuracy. High rate of fire allows it to be used as an effective small arms.
- The design of the complex allows the fighter to use the complex as an automatic rifle, a grenade launcher and a sniper rifle.
What are the disadvantages?
The weaknesses of the complex include:
- Because of the short sighting line, the aiming process is difficult.
- The shooter often has difficulty changing a store. The reason is the use of the bullpup scheme.
- Automatic shop has a small capacity.
- The process of transition from the grenade launcher to automatic and back is slowed down.
- For optical and night sights, additional dovetail mounts must be installed.
- Extraction of sleeves is carried out to the right. As a result, it is impossible to use the left shoulder (traditional for small arms).
- When firing a queue, the space near the face of the fighter is strongly saturated with powder gases.
Weapons adapted to any combat situations. Depending on the situation, the shooter can use the base OC – 14–4A in the following variants:
- Assault rifles (ОЦ – 14 4А – 01). The weapon is ready for use after detaching the grenade launcher, muzzle and replacing the trigger in the pistol grip with a similar version, equipped with a single pusher.
- Compact assault rifles (OC – 14 4A– 02). Muzzle is replaced by a simple sleeve. Due to the small size of the weapon is held with one hand.If for shooting it is necessary to rest the butt against the shoulder, then the hand holding the weapon needs to support the other. As evidenced by the testimonials of fighters, it is inconvenient to shoot in this way, which is not the case with weapons, in which the forend is provided. Nevertheless, the use of assault small-sized machine gun is very effective at short distances.
- Special assault rifles (OC – 14– 4A - 03). Muzzle is replaced by PBS and optical sight. The “silencer” cover is a rubber casing. PBS can be used as a handguard.
To perform combat missions, the army special forces of the Russian Federation use assault rifles OZ-14. "Thunderstorm-4" - small-grenade launchers are used by special targets of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation. A large number of shelters and short distances - a typical situation characteristic of urban conditions. It was for combat in a limited space that the OC – 14 Thunderstorm complex was created.
Airsoft: non-combat model
Today the market for “Russian” airsoft weapons is represented by such models as Val and Vintorez. Recently, the company-manufacturer GHK Airsoft, specializing in the manufacture of non-combat entertainment weapons, is scheduled to release such a product as the airsoft OTs-14 Thunderstorm.This will be the first stykbolny "Kalash" with the system "Bullpup", which provides the following characteristics:
- Handguard made of aluminum.
- The body of the machine of steel.
- Combat equipment store will consist of 40 6-millimeter balls.
- Without a CBE, the length of the weapon will be 49 cm.
- The inner trunk will have a length of 24.5 cm.
- The mass of weapons - 3 kg 300 g.
- Rate of fire - up to 120 m / s.
- For weapons provided single and automatic modes of fire.
Included with the airsoft OTS-14 "Thunderstorm" is attached:
OTs-14 Thunderstorm received its baptism of fire in Chechnya. Despite the fact that in the first Chechen campaign this complex was used by Russian special forces as a very effective weapon, it did not get into mass production. Today, this complex is made in very small batches. Used OTs-14 "Thunderstorm" by special forces of the Ministry of the Interior and personal security of the President of Russia.