Kalashnikov Concern has announced that the National Guard of the Russian Federation (aka Rosgvardiya) has adopted two versions of the Lebedev pistol – MPL and MPL1. According to Dmitry Tarasov, the CEO of Kalashnikov Concern, test samples of the pistols are already issued to Rosgvardiya units for field testing. Earlier, in February 2021, it was announced that these pistols had successfully passed the government trials and were recommended for adoption. At the time of writing this article, it is unknown how many pistols the Rosgvardiya is planning to order.
Designed by Dmitri Lebedev in 2014, the first version of this pistol, the PL-14, was introduced in 2015 during the ARMY-2015 arms exhibition. Later, the modernized version of the pistol called PL-15 and its compact version, PL-15K, were announced.
The latest iteration of this handgun which is tailored to the requirements of Rosgvardiya became known as MPL (PLK being the compact version). MPL (МПЛ) stands for Modulniy Pistolet Lebedeva (Модульный Пистолет Лебедева) which means Lebedev modular pistol. The MPL1 is basically the suppressor-ready version of the same pistol which comes with a longer (5″ vs 4.4″) threaded barrel, suppressor height sights and a suppressor. Additionally, a civilian version of this pistol called SP1 was released in 2019.
The MPL and MPL1 pistols are chambered in 9x19mm and fed from 16 round magazines. These are locked breech pistols with a tilting barrel action lockup. The ambidextrous controls consist of a push-button magazine release, manual safety and slide release lever. The overall length of the MPL pistol is 205mm (8.07″) and it weighs 0.8 kg (about 28 oz). The MPL1 equipped with a suppressor is 400 long (15.75″) and weighs in at 1.15 kg (a little over 40 oz).
To learn more about the early development of these pistols, read Vladimir Onokoy’s article titled “An inside look at the history of Russian Lebedev PL-14/15 pistol“.
This article first appears on our sister site TFB.