Obscure Object of Desire: The Soviet Stechkin

Developed in 1949, the Stechkin is a select-fire, straight blowback pistol in 9x18mm capable of firing 750 rounds per minute accurately out to a distance of 200 meters…or so it was claimed.

Igor Stechkin, the inventor and namesake of the pistol, wasn’t a one-trick pony. In addition to this design, he created a variety of other firearms, including more machine pistols, various assault rifles, a revolver, and even a 3-shot pistol disguised as a hardside cigarette case. Arms development was in Igor’s blood. His uncle, Boris Stechkin, helped develop four-engine airplanes that were used as bombers during WWI and the Tsar Tank, a WWI tank that looked like a bizarre, backwards tricycle on steroids.


The Stechkin pistol utilized a 20-round magazine and was fitted with a Bakelite stock that doubled as a holster, much like the wooden design for a Luger. After a couple years of development and redesign, the pistol was adopted in 1951 and used in a variety of settings ranging from artillery crews to law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, the gun was not without its shortcomings. High cost, limited range, a fragile stock, and time-consuming production led to the gun’s demise.

The safety switch has three positions: forward for safe, down for semi-auto, and rearward for rock-and-roll.

Exactly how many made it (legally) into the US is unknown, but there weren’t many…making this a true obscure object of desire.

(Firearm courtesy of NRA Museums)

Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.


  1. avatar anonymoose says:

    I wouldn’t say “obscure,” as many, many Americans desire one.

  2. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Well, you could certainly run it dry in a hurry with that 20 round mag…

    No, thanks.

  3. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Be fun to shoot one.

    A Mak on steroids……

    Kind of like that BRNO field pistol that Jeremey tested.

    1. avatar MikeJH121 says:

      Know a gunsmith/collector who has one complete with stock. He also has an M14 and a PIG (M60) his basement is a vault and full of others.

  4. avatar neiowa says:

    Air Force accuracy – everything hits the earth. Somewhere.

    1. avatar Prudiikal says:

      that was the funniest thing i’ve read all day

  5. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    i like most stuff with makarov chamberings. this is another case where i would make a slide safety exception.

  6. avatar Jefferson Steelflex says:

    I fired one at the 2014 O.F.A.S.T.S, owned by the gents who had happened to hit a house with a 105mm the night beforehand (article if you crave more details http://www.koamtv.com/story/25862613/homeowner-assesses-damage-after-14-inch-artillery-shell-enters-house.)
    It was a delight, but well summed up by other comments. The RPM is a bit steep for its magazine capacity. Accuracy was more tentative though, with proper stance and bursting you can keep this thing minute of barn side at around the 200 meter mark. Which I’d say is plenty close enough for what Igor was going for with this thing.
    Definitely one of my personal favorites of the more exotic stuff I have shot.

  7. avatar Mike says:

    I wanted one since I read Jack Higgins novels.

  8. avatar mandrake the magician says:

    i imagine that it wouldn’t last too long with sustained, full-auto fire;
    maybe: ‘three-round’ bursts;
    IIRC, there was a Beretta pistol from the early 1970s that fired 3-rnd ;
    bit of a collectors item now;
    there’s a reason why sub-machine-guns all have special, heavy ‘bull’ barrels…….

  9. avatar Michael Bane says:

    The one I shot was pure rock and roll…not QUITE as cool as a CZ-75 full auto, but definitely not chopped liver!

    Michael B

  10. avatar 3 of 11 says:

    Take the stock off and modify the frame to take a semi auto only fire control group, and you got a “regular” handgun. Wonder if someone would ever make some from “parts kits”

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Russian handguns have been banned from import for the past 25 years or so, but you might be able to get away with a parts kit.

  11. avatar barnbwt says:

    I honestly don’t get the passion for this particular gun out there (I assume it was great in some video game is why). It makes even less sense than the SVD fan worship out there (that gun is at least fairly well made and has a storied service record)

    1) Impractical as a pistol
    2) Massive compromise as a rifle/carbine
    3) Unremarkable ballistics as a PDW
    4) Not particularly high quality or mechanically interesting
    5) Other than ‘being carried’ not particularly notable historically

    1. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      Because it is different and we can’t own it.

      Only owning American and West European guns would be boring as hell for me.

  12. avatar little horn says:


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