From the reign of Peter I until today
TULSKY ORUZHEINY ZAVOD, PJSC
A town of gunsmiths has become an arms capital of the Fatherland since the foundation of the first government arms plant in the country. Indeed for all country military enterprises, TOZ has become that efficient seed which gives the life of domestic Military Industrial Complex (MIC) and in the first place Tula defense industry.
Established under the Decree of Peter I dated of the 15th February 1712, Tula Arms Plant owns many glorious pages of its gorgeous history.
The arms produced by Tula gunsmiths and craftsmen have assured numerous great victories of the Russian Army. It is here, in the plant shops, the remarkable Maxim machine gun, Nagant revolver and Three-linear Mosin rifle have been manufactured. It is here splendid traditions of the gunsmiths of the past are kept up and developed even today, new craftsmen are trained in praise of Russia.
Thanks to the gunsmiths, in the end of the XVIIIth century Tula made five of the largest industrial centers in Russia, while the arms produced in Tula was recognized as a master sample with one of the Tsar's decrees. In 1720 the plant produced 22 000 reliable light infantry and dragoon guns, flintlock pistols to equip the Russian soldiers and since 1749 the mass production of cold arms i.e. blades, sabers, backswords and rapiers was arranged.
The second half of XVIII century is marked with the prosperity of Tula gunsmith craft. At that time artistically decorated Tula arms and civilian articles were in great demand. The invention of unique and smart technique as the miter cutting on steel as well as the other ways of metal finishing and wooden articles were rooted then.
It is become notorious not only in Russia but beyond the borders of the country the names of remarkable gunsmiths such as Ivan Pushkin and Ivan Lyalin were the inventors of double-barrel breech-loading flintlock shotgun; Pavel Zakhava – an inventor and constructor of new lathes for the initial and final stock treatment; Ivan Polin — a designer of one of the first models of a multicharged firearm; Ivan, Petr and Nokolay Goltiakov – representatives of the oldest working dynasty (the engravers, woodcutters, engravers).
Reconstructed in the XIXth century Tulsky oruzheiny zavod became one of the best plant in Europe due to its craftsmen. In 1879 the well-known Berdan rifle with a modificated sliding bolt was put into production. In an exemplary shop the original models of different small arms and hunting guns were created. The output of various goods increased: single-barrel and double-barrel muzzle loading guns, centre-fire breech-loading guns, smooth-bored and joint guns. A talented designer S.I. Mosin took part in devising the damascus steel technology which was used in the barrels manufacturing.
For several years S. I. Mosin had been designing the different magazine rifles. In 1891, after complex tests of two rifles of the I.S. Mosin’s design and of the Belgium manufacturer L. Nagant’s design, the rifle of a Russian or to be more precise Tula designer S.I. Mosin under the name "Three-linear rifle Model 1891" was in service of the Russian Army.
In 1902 a fully mechanized mass production of hunting shotguns viz. hammerless shotgun of “A” model, a hammer shotgun of “B” model and then shotgun of Ivashentsev’s system were set up. Tula Arms Plant was the only plant in the world to manufacture a remarkable 1910 Maxim- machine gun with complete interchangeability of parts.
In the 20s of the past century the plant developed and produced the hunting shotguns of "P" Model, rifled carbine NK-8.2 designed by Kochetov, small bore rifles TOZ-1 and TOZ-2, single-loading rifles with sights TOZ-7 and TOZ-8, a shotgun TOZ-10 intended for sport shooting.
In 15 February 1912 to celebrate 200 years of Imperial Government Tula Arms Plant the monument of its founder - Peter I was unveiled.
Taking into account a historical significance of Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod as the oldest Russian arms plant, a Museum of Weapon is founded. The origin of its collection starts in 1724 with the Decree of Peter I “… ancient guns and fusils shall not be melted or destroyed but to be put in the storerooms as amusing samples”.
With the aim to unite all designers of the plant, the planning and designing office was created in 1927. The result of that union was the invention of air machineguns PV - 1 and ShKAS.
In the beginning of the 30s the first spinning machines were designed and produced in the country, a new step of textile machinery construction was made.
In 1939 F.V. Tokarev created SVT – 38, a self – loading rifle, it was equal to M1 Garand, one of the best self-loading rifles during WWII.
In 1932—1939 the manufacture of milling machines was mastered by Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod, it was put into the production of three models: universal, vertical and horizontal millers. At the same time it was started the production of the ShKAS and UB aircraft machine guns, cannons B-2 and Tokarev’s SVT-38, the most quick-firing rifle in the years of World War II.
In the years of hard trials, in the period of 1941- 1945 Tula gunsmiths output self- loading rifles SVT -38/40, aviation gun Shvak, Nagant’s revolver and Tokarev’s pistol. During the days of Tula defense, the main part of the plant was evacuated into Ural where the firearms production was made at the first onset. Using old remained equipment already at the end of 1941, the gunsmiths started to output and repair of mortals and firearms. The feat of arms and the feat of labor of Tula gunsmiths during the WWII are written with gold letters in the History of Russia. 27 employees of the plant were honored with the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
In May of 1945 to train highly qualified specialists for assembly, adjustment and artistic finishing, training and industrial shop was established, later that shop was entitled as Arms Craftsmanship School.
The post-war time was the time of fruitful and hard work in the creation of various sporting and hunting firearms. Such models as double-barrel hammerless shotgun T0Z-25, the "BM" double-barrel hammer gun and small-caliber rifles TOZ-8M, TOZ-12, TOZ-16, TOZ-17, TOZ-18 were designed in these years. At the same time the plant output 7,62 mm Simonov's carbines SCS.
At the beginning of the 70s it was arranged the production of a reliable over-and-under double-barrel shotgun TOZ-34 designed by N. I. Korovyakov and V. P. Ochnev.
In 1961—1982 Tula Arms Plant entered the production of 6 versions of the worldwide known Kalashnikov assault rifle as well as anti-tank guided missile as the part of the "Malyutka", "Fagot", "Konkurs" complexes; underbarrel grenade launcher "Kostyor".
The beginning of new millennium was complicated for the domestic MIC but due to its centuries old “iron” strength, the plant has survived and succeeded to do hardly impossible things, i.e. to save itself, its century old traditions and its unique personnel potential. With the efforts of a new team, led since 2012 by I.N. Kurilov, Director General of Tulsky Oruzheiny Zavod, PJSC and with the assistance of the government Rostec Corporation, the holding company High Precision Weapons, the enterprise takes the leadership again in the domestic defense industry, step by step it restores previous positions in economic and industry domains. The plant receives government contracts regularly and works with partner enterprises which are developers of modern types of weapons.
For a successful development, TOZ, PJSC owns production basis equipped with high-technological equipment and the personnel which is oriented professionally to solve special tactical and strategic tasks. Due to these issues a financial and economical stability has been obtained for the recent years.
The year of 2014 is a crucial one for the enterprise for many sides. The enterprise has paid off the debts for the last two years, executed the government contract successfully, enlarged the current production and started to master new productions.
For the first time for many years, the gunsmiths have managed to build and put into operations new shops and production cells as well as to reconstruct and equip with high level equipment the active plant units what has led to the enlarged range of the output production.
Like previously in the history of TOZ, the employees dedicate a lot of production time to military subjects. According to the Governmental Contract the enterprise produces two new articles such as ASM, 9 mm Modernized Special Assault Rifle and VSSM, 9-mm Modernized Special Sniper Rifle. These articles are intended for special units of Russian Ministry of Defense and other military branches which carry out special combat missions.
The output capacity of ATGM “Konkurs-M” is increased, the output of ATGM “Kornet” new modifications is mastered. Within the bounds of the “Ratnic” federal program, the contract of firearms production including Special Sniper Rifle is implemented. The output of hunting weapons is revived.
The aim of the enterprise’s management team is not only to keep and hold the positions occupied on the firearms world market but to start cooperation with many domestic and foreign partners in new economic conditions.
Scientific and technical development policy of TOZ, PJSC is constantly oriented at the improvement and usage of technological and managerial staff potential, at the competitiveness and quality increasing of the output products.
As per the complete plan of the TOZ, PJSC scientific and technical development, the enterprise continues to make work preparations to put into the production the units and components of 9M133-1 article. It is planned to finish the instrumentation, to produce first sets of components and assembly units of the Steering Gear Unit, Container and Electronic Delay Unit and Board Delay, to conduct qualification tests and to start the serial production of assembly units entirely.
At the same time there is the technological and instrumental work of another 3 units of the article such as Sustainer Engine Unit, Booster Engine Unit and War Head as well as components and assembly units which are parts of the main article. In future it is planned to produce preparation lots, to conduct qualification tests and to start the serial production of assembly units entirely.
To assure a complete fulfillment of the given tasks, a new shop will be established on two floors of former territory of the arms production in the first and second box buildings where the construction and mounting works take place to make new workplaces.
Today more than 3 thousand people work at Tula Arms Plant, the conditions for the fruitful work and good vacations are created . Everybody can do physical exercises in own sport centre, to visit a church of the Resurrection of Christ. The gunsmiths have the opportunity to have rest at health resorts and health centers. The veterans are also not forgotten.
For more than three centuries old history, the plant has passed great and glorious way. Craftsmen’ new generation has created its unique and inimitable style which consists of all known arms artistic techniques, using gold, silver, bone and nacre.
Today, TOZ is in the same rank with leading defense enterprises and follows its glorious traditions of the first Russian arms plant. The most important thing is nowadays the enterprise not only maintains its reputation but is to look forward, to the future with strict plans of constant developing and assurance of the next day.
The brainchild of Peter the Great has been living and developing for 305 years. The plant not only has returned temporary lost positions but has been consolidating them. The gunsmiths are used to be always the first so they stay the first!