WIST-94
WIST-94 is a Polish semiautomatic pistol designed in the early 90-ties by a team under the leadership of Wiesław Starek from Military Institute of Armament Technology (Wojskowy Instytut Techniczny Uzbrojenia). Polish Ministry of Defense gave the Military Institute of Armament Technology an order in 1992 to develop a semiautomatic pistol chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. After receiving a technical and tactical outlines for new design, the team of Wiesław Starek began working on new construction. In 1992 the prototypes designated as P-93 A-01 and P-93 B-01 were built. P-93 A-01 with rotating barrel locking system was based on Colt 2000 (Colt All American), but P-93 B-01 locking breech system was chosen under the WIST-94 name designation. WIST-94 was adopted in service by Polish Armed Forces on March 23rd 1999, replacing P-64 "CZAK" and P-83 "Wanad" pistols chambered for Soviet 9x18mm 57-N-181S cartridge. Wist-94 has been manufactured by Prexer, and its name designation purposely resembles the name of the famous Vis Mod. 35 pistol.
WIST-94 V.S. MAG-95
WIST-94 was tested against competing MAG-95 construction during qualification trials performed by Polish military. MAG-95 was a semiautomatic pistol designed by construction team of Marian Gryszkiewicz from Technological Research Center at Radom State Arsenal. MAG-95 had steel frame which was not compatible with technical requirements of the military. Besides it was too heavy, too bulky, and it wasn't equipped with loaded chamber indicator. On the other hand, during the testing round performed in 1995, MAG-95 proved to be more reliable and resistant to abuse than WIST-94 pistol. For example, WIST-94 failed safety test by firing a cartridge while subjected to a drop from height of 1 meter. After the qualification tests in 1995 Marian Gryszkiewicz design team came up with modified MAG-98 construction having aluminium frame. Despite changes MAG-98 was still too heavy, and not fully compatible with requirements of technical outlines.
WIST-94 design
Other WIST-94 version
WIST-94L with laser sight
WIST-94L is a version with integral ML-9-PREX laser sight under the front of a frame. Laser is powered by 2 AA type batteries located in compartment in the rear portion of pistol grip. Laser ON/OFF switch is located on the left side of the frame above the magazine latch. Standard WIST-94 also has a compartment for 2 AA batteries, but lacks internal wiring for laser hook-up.


WIST-94 Compact is a version with shortened barrel and slide, which do not protrude out of frame. This version never entered mass production stage.


Based on WIST-94L a laser aim training version was developed. There is no ON/OFF switch, but laser is activated by a trigger pull. Trainer can fire 9mm Para. blank ammunition only. This version also never entered in mass production.
Reliably Issue
According to opinions of the soldiers, WIST-94 is not a reliable weapon due to frequent jams and many malfunctions, such as broken triggers, loose sights, magazine bottoms prone to cracking upon impact, broken firing pins e.t.c. During early deployment, there were many cases of misfires reported by the personnel, which were ultimately caused by Polish made 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition having hard primers. That ammunition is primarily manufactured for Polish PM-84P submaschine gun having very strong firing pin, so misfires are not an issue in it. Problem was alleviated by manufacturing ammunition with softer primers, but in my opinion modification of PM-84P firing pin would be a better solution to a problem of misfires. In addition, the problem was aggravated by results of the tests performed in controlled laboratory conditions stating, that supposedly soldiers themselves provoke jams and malfunctions due to negligent handling of their weapons.
WIST-94 summary
WIST-94 is given very low score marks by soldiers using it. Gun is not reliable. Pistol must be equipped with special magazines for left hand shooters due to location of magazine latch on the right side of the frame. On the other hand, the pistol is ergonomic and accurate. Many soldiers might have formed their opinions about the gun even without ever using it. Eventhough WIST-94 was adopted by Polish Armed Forces as a standard issue side arm, the P-64 "CZAK" and P-83 "Wanad" pistols still remain in service.
WIST-94 is a short recoil operated locking breech semiautomatic pistol with a cam shaped below the barrel. Locking is accomplished by three lugs on the barrel above ejection port. Recoil spring is located beneath the polygonal barrel. The gun has a polymer frame, with a slide extending in front of it. the slide catch stop lever is located on the left side of the frame. Pistol has DAO trigger mechanism operating a firing pin. There is no manual safety or decocker. Safety is effected by internal trigger safety, internal sear safety, and automatic firing pin blockade. Loaded chamber indicator is located on the rear of the slide. Pistol is chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, and is fed from double column, single feed, 16-round magazine located in pistol grip. Magazine latch is located on the left side of the frame near a trigger guard. Magazine latch can be relocated to the right side of the frame. Pistol with magazine latch on right side must be fed from non-standard magazines, but guns with right-hand configuration could utilize both standard and non-standard magazines. Pistol can not be field stripped when cartridge remains in chamber. This is meant as a safety feature, but it complicates field stripping procedure. Pistol has fixed front and rear sights set for 25 meters. Sights have tritium inserts for shooting in darkness.
version
WIST-94
cartridge
9x19mm Parabellum
muzzle velocity
360m/s
muzzle energy
560J
barrel lenght
114mm
lenght
190mm
witdh
33mm
height
135mm
mass
665g without magazine

740g with non load magazine

935g with full load magazine
magazine
double column for 16 round
WIST-94 Field Stripped. (Photo courtesy of Paweł Malicki, co-author of Militarypedia)