Designed by the great Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1950 to use the same ammo as the Makarov PM, this personal defense weapon was, in the end, beat out by the Stechkin APS.
Back in the Tsar’s days, the Imperial Russian Army and police often used semi-auto pistols such as the Mauser C96 and FN Model 1903, which used a wooden combination holster/shoulder stock, and the Soviet military inherited these and found enough merit in the concept to rehash it in 1950.
While the very Walther PP-like Makarov PM was adopted to replace the Tokarev TT33 semi-auto pistols and Nagant M1895 revolvers, Kalashnikov’s AK series had been selected the Red Army’s submachine guns to include the vaunted PPSh-41 and PPS-43 burp guns of WWII fame as well as the SKS rifle.
But a need still existed for a compact select-fire pistol-sized weapon in 9x18mm that could be stored and used in very tight spaces by vehicle operators and artillery crews, as well as in special operations.
This led to a competition in 1950 between a few different designs, all with the same general concept, which saw Igor Stechkin’s APS pistol pitted against Kalashnikov’s own room broom. In the end, the Stechkin came out on top of the heap at the end of the shoot-off while the Kalash machine pistol never reached production.
You can win em all, comrade.