ASM-DT amphibious rifle

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ASM-DT Underwater Assault Rifle
ASM-DT podw.svg
The ASM-DT Underwater Assault Rifle
Type Underwater assault rifle
Place of origin Soviet Union / Russia
Service history
In service2000s
Used byRussia[ citation needed ]
WarsUnclear due to secrecy
Production history
DesignerProf. Yuri Danilov
Manufacturer Tula Arms Plant
ProducedEnd of 1990s
Length620 mm with stock folded
Barrel  length430 mm

Cartridge 5.45×39mm (cartridges for the above-water shooting)
5.45×39mm MGTS (for underwater shooting)
Caliber 5.45mm
Action Gas operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire Above water: 600 r/m, below water: 500 r/m
Feed system30-round detachable box magazine (Above water)
26-rounds detachable magazine (Underwater)

The ASM-DT is a Russian folding-stock underwater firearm. It emerged in the 1990s.

Underwater firearm Firearms that can be effectively fired underwater

An underwater firearm is a firearm designed for use underwater. They are in the arms inventories of many nations. A common feature of underwater firearms or needleguns is that they fire flechettes or spear-like bolts instead of standard bullets. These may be fired by pressurised gas.


History and design

The introduction of the APS Underwater Assault Rifle solved the problem of how frogmen guarding a naval base could be armed, but there remained the problem of how to arm naval Spetsnaz combat frogmen when they were deployed on assault missions. These forces required a weapon able to provide them with a level of firepower that would be the same whether they were on the surface or underwater. The APS was of little use out of water, because under those conditions it was inaccurate, with an effective range of only 50 meters. In addition, when it was used out of the water, it wore out quickly, with a barrel life dropping from approximately 2000 rounds to only 180 to 200 rounds.

Naval base port for naval ships and other assets

A naval base, navy base, or military port is a military base, where warships and naval ships are docked when they have no mission at sea or want to restock. Usually ships may also perform some minor repairs. Some naval bases are temporary homes to aircraft that usually stay on the ships but are undergoing maintenance while the ship is in port.

Spetsnaz is an umbrella term for special purpose in Russian and is used in numerous post-Soviet states.

For this reason, the naval Spetsnaz forces often fell back on using the SPP-1 pistol for underwater fighting, and the AK-74 rifle for combat out of water. The commandos thought that this arrangement was unsatisfactory, and there continued to be demand for a new weapon, an underwater automatic rifle that would be as effective as an APS underwater and as an AK-74 out of water. As a result, in 1991, at the Artillery Engineering Institute in Tula, Russia, the ASM-DT project was created, with Professor Yuriy Danilov as the rifle's project engineer.

AK-74 Soviet assault rifle to replace earlier Kalashnikov models

The AK-74 is an assault rifle developed in the early 1970s by Russian designer Mikhail Kalashnikov as the replacement for the earlier AKM. It uses a smaller 5.45×39mm cartridge, replacing the 7.62×39mm chambering of earlier Kalashnikov-pattern weapons.

Tula, Russia City in Tula Oblast, Russia

Tula is an industrial city and the administrative center of Tula Oblast, Russia, located 193 kilometers (120 mi) south of Moscow, on the Upa River. Population: 501,169 (2010 Census); 481,216 (2002 Census); 539,980 (1989 Census).

To meet the requirements, it had to be considered that a long smoothbore barrel was best for the new rifle to fire underwater, but a rifled barrel was necessary to gain any significant range while above water. To solve this problem and get a true 'hybrid' design, the rifle would have to fire two types of projectile, one underwater, and another above water. The rifle was designed with two feed slots, able to accept two magazines at the same time, to make the transition seamless. Professor Danilov designed the ASM-DT to fire both 5.45 x 39 mm 7N6 (a version of the standard Soviet ammunition), adapted to the caliber of the ASM-DT, and also 5.45 x 39 mm MGTS, underwater ammunition like that of the existing APS. The ASM-DT uses the same magazines as the APS while under water, and AK-74 magazines above water. The magazine release shifts forward when using AK-74 magazines, and the gas system automatically adjusts for firing out of water. To enable accurate shooting when outside of water, the barrel is rifled, however it has shallow grooves running along its length, which expel some gases ahead of the bullet and blow any water out of the barrel. This prevents the barrel from bursting if the rifle should need to be taken to the surface quickly, and fired outside of water without being drained first. In addition, the rifle can be equipped with a GP-25 grenade launcher, a bayonet, or a PBS sound and flash suppressor.


A smoothbore weapon is one that has a barrel without rifling. Smoothbores range from handheld firearms to powerful tank guns and large artillery mortars. The majority of shotguns are smoothbores and the term can be synonymous.

Caliber internal diameter of the barrel of a gun

In guns, particularly firearms, caliber or calibre is the specified nominal internal diameter of the gun barrel bore regardless of how or where the bore is measured and whether or not the finished bore matches that specification. It is measured in inches to an accuracy of hundredths or thousandths of an inch or in millimetres. For example, a ".45 caliber" firearm has a barrel diameter of roughly 0.45 inches (11 mm). Barrel diameters can also be expressed using metric dimensions. For example, a "9 mm pistol" has a barrel diameter of about 9 millimeters. Due to the inaccuracy and imprecision of imperial dimensions "converted" to metric units, metric designations are typically far out of specifications published in decimal inches. True "caliber" specifications require imperial measure, and even when cartridge designations only specify caliber to even tenths or hundredths of an inch, actual barrel/chamber/projectile dimensions are published to at least thousandths of an inch and frequently tolerances extend into ten-thousandths of an inch.

GP-25 grenade launcher

The GP-25 Kostyor ("Bonfire"), GP-30 Obuvka ("Footwear") and GP-34 are a family of Russian 40 mm under-barrel grenade launchers for the AK family of assault rifles. They were first seen by the west in 1984 during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. The GP-30 was lightened and the redesigned sighting system was moved to the right.

Additional accessories include: flame arrestor, a blank firing device for low-noise shooting (UPMS), various types of optical and night sights, and tactical lights. The rifle has a folding stock, which, along with the pistol grip and handguard, are made of impact resistant plastic.

The combat effectiveness of ASM-DT is comparable with the AK-74 and APS when fired in air and water environments, respectively. The Russian Federation accepted the ASM-DT into service in the year 2000.

See APS amphibious rifle for considerations involving shooting power underwater.

See also


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