The Shevchenko Pistol
Shevchenko PSh-4 pistol is an actual firearm. Designed and built in the Ukraine, Russia’s version of the dirty south, it is something of the ugly pistol messiah. A 15-shot 9×18 Makarov gun that incorporates oddball features from other guns, many of which you will also probably never see in real life. Bad news is it uses the same action as the 1900-period Gabbet-Fairfax “Mars” pistol, and we all know how successful that was. Combine this with all of the styling of your favorite $15 Marksman air pistol and there you go. And yes, it does have two triggers.
The Shevchenko used a two-stage feed system, borrowed from the 1900-period Gabbet-Fairfax “Mars” pistol of British origin. This system, in which the cartridge is first pulled back from the magazine and placed on a lifter, then raised inline with the barrel and fed forward and into the chamber, was necessary because of the elongated barrel, which protruded back into the action. To further complicate the construction, its designer Shevchenko used a very rare gas-operated locking system first (and probably last) used in a WW2-era prototype Horn assault rifle from Germany. This system employs two small gas pistons that are forced by gas pressure sideways from the frame and into locking recesses in the slide. Another strange feature was a hand-cocking device, probably taken from HK P7 pistol, but in a twist – instead of full-hand cocking lever PSh employed some form of a second trigger, located below the “primary” trigger and used to cock the striker when pressed by one middle finger. If you still not have enough of this design, it also had a ribbed, aluminium jacket on the barrel, and a very special sort of slide stop, that locked slide open once there was ONE cartridge left in the gun. The claimed purpose of this arrangement was to allow shooter to make its “deliberate last shot” – in its own head, probably. Not surprisingly, this weapon, “available” in 9×18 PM, 9×19 and .45 ACP, never went past magazine pages, and probably, a handful of prototypes.