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OTs-23 / OC-23 "Drotik" automatic pistol (Russia)

OTs-23 / OC-23 "Drotik" automatic pistol (Russia)



Type Double Action select-fire
Caliber(s)  5.45x18 MPTs
Weight unloaded 850 g
Length 195 mm
Barrel length 125 mm
Magazine capacity 24 rounds


The OTs-23 “Drotik” (Dart) machine pistol was developed by Russian Central Design Bureau for Sporting and Hunting Arms (TSKIB SOO, located in the city of Tula) during the early nineties in an attempt to provide a type of micro-sub-machine gun for law enforcement operatives. At the time of its introduction the 9x18 and 9x19 armor piercing ammunition was still in development, but many criminals used body armor, so Igor Stechkin proposed the use of small-calibre 5.45x18 ammunition, which is known for good penetration against soft body armor. To provide some ‘stopping power’, Stechkin also proposed to use a burst-fire mode with very high rate of fire (about 1 800 rounds per minute). In theory, the key idea was to hit the “bad guy” with three rounds almost at once, and to create more wound shock. However, in real life the tiny 5.45 cartridge lost most of its already diminutive energy quite quickly as distance increased, and even at short ranges and in burst-fire mode (3-round bursts) its effectiveness was rather unspectacular. Very few OTs-23 pistols were produced, and the main achievement of this design was to create the developmental basis for more practical weapons such as 9mm OTs-33 machine pistol.

The OTs-23 is blowback-operated pistol; however, the barrel is allowed to recoil against its own buffer spring and is used as an additional weight to slow down the slide at the end of its rearward movement. To further decrease muzzle jump, the barrel and slide are ported at the front. The trigger is double action, with an exposed hammer. The safety / fire selector lever is located at the slide, and also doubles as a decocker. Magazines are double stack; the magazine release lever is located at the base of the trigger-guard. Sights are fixed, and the frame has an integral accessory rail below the frame.

Manual safety:levers at both sides of the slide. Rotate lever to horizontal position (marked with white dot) to engage safety (it will lock the hammer either in cocked or half-cock position). Rotate lever down to first position (marked with one red dot) to set to semi-automatic mode; rotate lever further downwards (to position marked with three red dots) to set it to burst fire mode. To safely decock the hammer, rotate lever up from “safe” position until the hammer falls to half-cock position, then release it; the lever will return to “safe” position

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