The OTs-12 "Tiss" compact machine gun appeared in the late 1980s, when a curious situation developed in the USSR arms industry.
The design bureaus entered into an unspoken competition, but the main efforts of the gunsmiths were directed to the development of submachine guns. But the Soviet designers also did not ignore machine guns. Law enforcement agencies poured oil on the fire, criticizing the current models of machines because of their inadequacy for certain situations.
Prerequisites for the appearance
So, a good shortened machine gun AKS74U with the unofficial name "Ksenia" ricocheted strongly in an urban environment. To replace it, the engineers proposed other options: the CP-3 "Whirlwind" and 9A-91 models produced by various design bureaus. These assault rifles used SP-5 and SP-6 ammunition, more suitable for the urban environment due to their subsonic speed.
For ammunition SP-5 and SP-6, a model of the Groza grenade launcher was also developed. The design was based on the AKS74U machine gun. However, the Groza device, despite the basic sample taken, had significant discrepancies from the same Ksenia, both in individual details and in the general layout. The new weapon, the OTs-12 assault rifle, which also received the unofficial nickname "Tiss", was decided to be closer to the original AKS74U layout.
Construction and main details
The first tests of the model started in the early 90s. Following the initial concept of maximum copying of the base weapon, the Tiss assault rifle externally and internally turned out to be very similar to the AKS-74U. From "Ksenia" OTs-12 received practically unchanged folding stock, forend, sighting devices, but at the same time, the sight design was created for new ammunition. The base model "Tissu" also inherited the receiver, along with all the internal elements.
The main design features of the OTs-12 "Tiss" received because of the SP-5 and SP-6 cartridges, for which the machine was created. The model received an original open sight, the size of the magazine changed, the capacity of which was reduced to 20 ammunition. The lower part of the forend was also modified.
As a result, "Tiss" began to differ slightly in size from its prototype. The OTs-12 barrel turned out to be slightly shorter than that of the AKS74U, and the machine itself is lighter by about 0.2 kg. By the speed of fire, "Tiss" surpassed "Ksenia", its rate of fire was up to 800 rounds per minute. The machine gun can fire both bursts and single shots.
The 9x39 mm ammunition used in the assault rifle helped to reduce the ricochet effect in an enclosed space, which was a technical problem for the AKS-74U with 5.45 mm cartridges. Also, the "Yew" design made it possible to increase the efficiency of fire and improve the stopping effect.
To a certain extent, the OTs-12 "Tiss" assault rifle, differing little from the basic model - a shortened Kalashnikov model, turned out to be a more durable, reliable and easy-to-use weapon, and in some respects even surpassed its prototype. However, the mass production of the new machine was not organized, although until the mid-90s a certain number (according to some sources - tens, according to other sources - hundreds) units were manufactured.
With all the visible positive qualities, including inexpensive manufacturing, OTs-12 did not become a serious competitor to other models, for example, "Vortex" or 9A91. There is no exact data on the practical use of the "Tissa": the weapons were left only at the training ground or were partially used by the security forces - history is silent. By and large, the OTs-12 remained a prototype.
The Topic of Article: Automatic machine OTs-12 ”Tiss” - a successful experimental sample.