Weapons in the "special" category are always of great interest. Often these types of weapons are designed for specific tasks. Created in the mid-90s, the small-sized Whirlwind assault rifle is sometimes classified as a submachine gun because of its neat dimensions and low weight, not forgetting to appreciate its high ability to deal with armor protection.
When creating an assault rifle, the designers primarily focused on the armor-piercing indicator, which directly depends on the distance of the shot, even when using heavy-duty cartridges. The high performance of the defeat of armor protection is mainly limited to a distance of 200 meters, so the compact CP-3 assault rifle was designed specifically for this distance. As a result, the sample was equipped with a very short barrel and a butt that folds up. At the same time, the location of the folded butt does not prevent the use of sighting devices, which include the front sight and the overhead rear sight.
Visually, the small-sized Whirlwind assault rifle does not pose a serious threat, although in its case its appearance is deceiving. Despite its modest size, the weapon is more dangerous than it might seem. The lightweight and compact CP-3 can be used directly from vehicles and in small spaces (if circumstances justify the possibility of forgetting about the ricochet of fired bullets).
The arrangement of the controls of the machine is considered by many to be successful, although there is also a directly opposite opinion. The two safety levers are on opposite sides. The switches are quite large, so they lend themselves even when wearing thick gloves. The button under the safety switch lever controls the fire modes. Its location is quite ergonomic despite its small size, although it does not stand out at first glance.
Replacing the standard bolt handle with a pair of sliders extending forward causes a lot of controversy regarding the comfort of use. With their help, the shutter is retracted, but the whole process becomes longer and still less convenient. Although such a design decision had a positive impact on the ease of portability and reduction of the finite size of the machine.
Upgraded version with silencer
A logical stage in the development of the machine was its modernization. After the official adoption and practical use by the special services, the designers were tasked with making a high-precision silent weapon out of the SR-3, without losing its original characteristics. Additionally, there was the question of reworking some of the parts and improving the overall ergonomics. As a result, the SR-3M silent assault rifle appeared, the appearance of which has changed a lot compared to its predecessor.
The butt of the modified assault rifle has become a frame, when folded it is now located on the left side. The updated "Whirlwind" got the ability to install elements for silent shooting, which were included in the basic configuration of the model. The CP-3M retained the same barrel length of 156 mm as its predecessor, but its weight and dimensions have changed. The rate of fire (900 rounds per 1 minute) also remained the same. Such an indicator for a small-sized sample, created for powerful cartridges, is considered the most successful. A special mount on the left side made it possible to use optics that increase the shot range up to 400 meters. Due to its specific appearance, the silent "Whirlwind" assault rifle is often compared to an experimental model that was hastily assembled from improvised means.
Among the indisputable positive properties of the modification, flexibility is noted. Since the designers, when creating the updated model, tried to bring into the development the characteristics of other samples of USA weapons (for example, the AS "Val"), the updated "Whirlwind" is sometimes called a full-fledged rifle complex. And although its advantageous sides do not overlap the silent properties of the same "Val" or the technical indicators of the Vintorez sniper rifle, the SR-3M can be used without a silencer, which makes it more compact.
Often, the CP-3 "Whirlwind" assault rifle is considered a good alternative to the main army weapons, since its fighting qualities are not repeated in other samples. However, the possibility of massively equipping all military units with it does not seem feasible, since its specialization does not allow its use everywhere.
The Topic of Article: USAn machine gun SR-3 - ”baby” for powerful ammunition.