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The PSS (Pistol Self-loading Special-purpose, Пистолет Самозарядный Специальный) was designed in 1983, as a replacement for derringer-like MSP and S-4 silent pistols.
It offered much more firepower, due to six cartridges in the magazine and semi-automatic action versus manually-cocked two-shot derringers. In the same time, it was not significantly larger, allowing it to still be used for concealed carry and clandestine operations.
PSS fires very unusual cartridges. The long cylindrical case completely conceals the bullet inside. Upon firing, case contains all the gases within itself, and impulse is transferred to the bullet through the plunger inside. Earlier versions had the plunger extending from the casing, prohibiting any semi-automatic designs. Thus, such cartridge construction completely stops powder gases from expanding out of the barrel, which provides very quiet shots with no muzzle flash at all.
To solve the problem with self-loading the PSS features unusual solution. The barrel is two-part - with fixed rifled part, and moving breech part, which is used both to dampen slide recoil (and minimise sound from it), and to help with loading.
Aside from that PSS has quite common pistol features - simple sights, one-stack magazine and manual safety switch.
Currently, PSS is used by elite counter-terrorist units of Russian army, as well as FSB.