New from Kalashnikov: VS-121 Bullpup Rifle

 VS-121 (courtesy

Despite arming tens of millions of revolutionaries, counter revolutionaries, tin pot dictators and drug thugs the world over, Izhmash hasn’t been doing all that well lately. As you’d expect in a post-Soviet Union world, where profit replaced politics. Or not. AK clones are kicking butt in the Land of the Free. Foreign gun salesmen are invading previously Soviet-only markets. And the AK-12 has yet to set the world on fire (literally or figuratively). In April of last year, Izhmash went bankrupt. The reorganized gunmaker is now banking on a new product to help get them back on their feet: the VS-121 Bullpup sniper rifle. [See: big ass scope and “extended” barrel.] According to the presser [via] the VS-121’s got an “up-to-date trigger and firing mechanism.” It accepts 7.62×54mm and 7.62×51mm cartridges as well “advanced new ammunition currently developed by the Izhmash design-engineering center specialists.” ‘Cause God knows we need another bull pup caliber (cough PS90 cough). If it’s dead nuts reliable . . . maybe. What are the odds?



  1. avatar Boosh says:

    but thats not an AK clone… that looks to be the SSP Dragunov/Tigr design which other than asthetically have nothing in common with an AK

    1. avatar sdog says:

      +1 totally different, short stoke design instead of long (a la ak), adjusrable gas system (2 position),bolt hold open ( svd design 1963, pre dates the sgl 26, new izmash design with bolt hold open)

  2. avatar Tim U says:

    If the price point is acceptable here in the US, I’d consider scooping one of these up.

    1. avatar KeithF says:

      Agreed, I am a fan of 7.62x54r. I’m considering a poor man’s dragonuv build off a vepr right now but we’ll see when (if) this hits the market

      1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        I did a poor mans Dragunov from my Saiga .308. It looks pretty good although it is a short barrel. I just need a bipod, scope and mount and it’s ready to go.

  3. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    I’m already pretty AK’d up, but it would be cool to have an evil-looking black rifle to shoot all that cheap 7.62x54r without having to risk the money on a POS PSL. A Mosin that’s reliable and 3MOA accurate is better than a $700 PSL that’s unreliable and 3MOA.

  4. avatar Hryan says:

    Never fired a bullpup rifle before; am I missing out?

    1. avatar Human Being says:

      They’re more compact and quick on point for their barrel length. That’s the upside.

      On the downside – you have to learn new reloading drill, for some reason they tend to be slightly heavier than the average would suggest for their barrel length despite being smaller overall, and due to the extended linkages their triggers tend to suck. My first thought on seeing this: “wow, if it’s a bullpup *and* it’s designed by soviet-era engineers, its trigger must really suck.”

      1. avatar William Burke says:

        Also a superior design in really close quarters.

        1. avatar Lars says:

          Not true at all.

      2. avatar Robert M says:

        They also have more of there the weight on the back side of the gun so holding the rifle is much easier.


    2. avatar Lars says:

      You are not missing a thing, especially the target. We have a few bullpups at our range and the only people who shoot them are newbies who quickly move back to more familiar rifles.

      1. avatar Hryan says:

        Thanks everyone. I’d like to try a Tavor if I can, but I think I’ll wait before I drop the money on one.

  5. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    “If it’s dead nuts reliable…”

    Methinks it will be. What the Ruskies lack in pizazz, they make up tenfold in solidity. Usually.

    Not that I’ve ever particularly liked bullpups, but I do understand their adantages at a purely intellectual level.

    On another note, it it just me or is that scope slightly out of whack? To me it looks to be angled down just a tidge.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Good eye. It does appear angled…
      I’ve owned High Standard, Steyr, and now my p-90. Love them. Ergonomics are very nice. I think the p-90 is my all time favorite for close work. Bonus, is that it fit in my harley saddle bag, so I got to carry it. (and write it off).

  6. avatar Jeh says:

    Id grab that, not a fan of the magazines, but that is very nice. Looks like they took a Dragunov and fused it with that QBU-88(?) bullpup rifle.

  7. avatar SD3 says:

    There’s still some room in my gun safe.

    1. avatar My Name Is Bob says:

      Then you don’t have enough guns 😉

  8. avatar Eric says:

    I think it is one big “ugly” stick, but even ugly guns need good homes

    1. avatar SD3 says:

      ‘Zacktly. Just put a paper bag over it & pull the trigger.

  9. avatar Matt Richardson says:

    Did you just say something negative about FNH?! *gasp*

    A certain someone around here is going to have a fit…

  10. avatar In Memphis says:

    If its selling for (a lot) less than a Tavor and the magazines wont be some expensive hard to find oddball, I might consider this. I am curious about bullpups.

  11. avatar Aharon says:

    Bullpups are the way to go. If all you have is an AR then you are now obsolete.

  12. avatar Moosepoop says:

    If it is anything like the ordinary SVD it will be pretty awesome. Especially since this looks like it has a free floating barrel.

    Unfortunately only 10 round magazines but extremely reliable and should shoot good even with surplus x54r

  13. avatar Anonymous says:

    I like it. I want one. Why hasn’t TTAG put up a link where I can buy.

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      Because they wont allow just any bullpup to take away the spotlight from their precious…. umm I mean Tavor.

      Just messing with you guys!

  14. Hey… I love my PS90… When I can get ammo…

  15. avatar Lolinski says:

    Omigod!!! That is a bullpup Dragunov!

    *Insert fangirl screaming here*

  16. avatar Krud Bigrig says:

    Is this rifle actually coming to the U.S. market, or are we just getting excited over nothing?

  17. avatar Aharon says:

    It’s long. It’s black. It’s phallic(k). Now I know why Herr Diane Feinstein from San Francisco hates so-called “assault weapons”: she couldn’t get a real human one if she paid for it.

  18. avatar Ensitue says:

    Kel Tec BP 308 has it beat, at least at 500 yards, and since it is actually available and can be fired south paw I declare it a total winner, even over the Tavor.
    An additional Plus is that the KT does not weigh 18 pounds

  19. avatar 8up says:

    AK clone? Ha! It’s a clone of a Tula SVU and SVU-A the SVU was first made in 1975 and got the fun switch in 1991.

  20. avatar LouB says:

    I’ll take one or two or three!

  21. avatar jwm says:

    The reasons for buying the mass produced Russian guns in the past have been reliability, low cost for the guns and the ammo, and less tangible is the fun factor with these guns.

    If this new rifle sticks to those parameters it will likely be a hit.

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    According to the presser, this bullpup weighs just a smidge under ten pounds, and that’s before optics etc. I know that ten pounds of bullpup can feel more balanced than ten pounds of conventional configuration, but still.

  23. avatar WLCE says:

    thats nice, but where in the f^ck are the dragunov’s?????

  24. avatar Ki says:

    What’s up with the enormous bias in the opening post? If you’d compare the VS-121 to anything you’d probably have to look at DTA SRS. They look pretty similar except for some minor design differences. Other than that, Russian arms manufacturers are transitioning to a stock rail design, which is a good development.

  25. avatar Crunkleross says:

    Looks like they are doing it wrong. A bull pup should be short, that ain’t, a sniper rifle should have a good trigger..bull pup not so much, bull pups are muzzle light..precision rifles need some weight out front. Every advantage a bull pup offers is not a feature of this rifle as far as I can see. Surprising they would produce this abortion.

  26. avatar Lars says:

    A big BOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Bullpups suck in all calibers and types.

  27. avatar GarryB says:

    The main issue I have with the original SVD was it was probably too light.

    It was very long but balanced nicely, but it had a firm recoil.

    Just looking at this image I suspect the much heavier barrel will increase its weight and make it rather more comfortable to fire and of course the heavy barrel will improve accuracy and follow up shot recovery.

    The angle of the scope and the sheer size of the scope suggests this rifle is for the Army (SVU was for police and paramilitary use out to only about 400m) , and along with the heavy barrel I would expect this rifle is intended for 800m use in the old calibre, and possibly more in the “new” calibre.

    It has a long barrel for a bullpup, so I suspect accuracy is a priority with this design, with the bullpup design resulting in a smaller weapon without losing barrel length.

    The SVU shortened the barrel to make it more compact, though the horrendous muzzle blast required a fairly large muzzle can to be fitted to make it tolerable to fire.

  28. avatar Lolinski says:

    Why do people immediately assume since it is russian that it is innaccurate?

  29. avatar JSF01 says:

    I think there may be a slight translation error or bad reporting because the “It accepts 7.62×54mm and 7.62×51mm” I do not think is possible. Probably should be “chambered in 7.62x54mm or 7.62x51mm”

    1. avatar GarryB says:

      It will come in three calibres… 7.62 NATO, 7.62 Russian (ie 7.62 x 54mmR), and a new calibre they originally developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s but had no money to adopt called initially the 6 x 51mm and later 6 x 49mm that was supposed to replace the 7.62 x 54mmR round in Russian service.

      There was an SVD variant designed to fire it and a PKM variant, but there was no money.

      Now there is and they have likely further developed the round designed with low drag long range but high velocity round.

  30. avatar Steve says:

    With time the Russians will lose more and more sales to China as the Chinese are known to steal Russians weapon systems.

  31. avatar GarryB says:

    The Chinese make copies of every sort of weapon from every country. They are generally not as good as the original but are much cheaper. For many customers the top priority is low price, but for the Russian military the focus seems to have changed from easy production, simplicity, and utter reliabiliy in all weather conditions, to all of that plus improved accuracy. Of course improved accuracy means more than a new rifle with a long heavy barrel… it means consistent clean burning ammo, optics tha allow long range target acquisition and identification and of course the training needed to hit targets at long range.

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