At the dawn of the 21st century, service pistols face a new challenge that threatens to render them all but obsolete: Body armor capable of stopping standard service pistol cartridges is becoming widely available.Currently there are two trends in military handgun ammunition to address this growing concern.One is the development of small-bore, high-velocity, armor-piercing rounds.

Muzzle velocity is a sedate 1,033 fps, which generates a lackluster 98 ft.-lbs. Despite the low velocity, the 5.45x18mm’s projectile diameter and design allow it to penetrate 30 to 45 layers of Kevlar. Strengths: A small round chambered in an easy to conceal handgun, good penetration of soft body armor, mild recoil, easy to suppress.

Intended for high-ranking Soviet officers, the PSM was light and easy to carry yet still capable of penetrating the U. Weaknesses: Underpowered, poor terminal performance, largely unknown outside of Russia.

5.7x28mm In the 1980s, lightweight personal body armor was becoming more prevalent among Soviet units.

A tiny bottlenecked round, the 5.45x18mm was designed specifically for the compact Pistolet Samozaryadniy Malogabaritniy (Pistol Semi-automatic Miniature or simply PSM) pistol.

Dimensionally it has a caliber of 5.45mm (.214 inch) and a case length of 17.8mm (.701 inch).

The projectile is a gilding metal clad, steel-cored flat point.

Projectile length is approximately 14mm with a weight of 41 grains.

The other is an attempt to extend the life of the 9x19mm through the development of modern armor-piercing loads.

Both approaches are an attempt to keep the standard service pistol a viable weapon on the modern battlefield.