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Over the last hundred years, the military mantra where ammunition is concerned has been “bigger isn’t necessarily better.” Battle rifles moved from .30-06 Springfield to 5.56 NATO. Handguns and SMGs went from .45ACP to 9mm Para. And even the king of the battlefield, the heavy machine gun, is being downsized from .50 BMG to .338 Lapua. The reason is pretty simple: Smaller rounds mean a more controllable gun and a higher ammunition capacity. KRISS disagrees. They think the future of the submachine gun isn’t paved with tiny shell casings. Instead, they favor a return to the roots of the gun . . .

One of the first functional, effective, and widely used submachine guns was the Thompson SMG. It’s one of my favorites, mainly because of how controllable the gun is even when flipped to full auto. Seriously, despite the .45ACP ammo diet, the gun doesn’t move an inch. Unfortunately most of that recoil absorption comes from the fact that the thing doubles as an effective anchor for the battleships, making it somewhat difficult to carry around all day on the battlefield. The fine folks at KRISS wanted to find a way to make a controllable pistol-caliber carbine SMG that uses the same .45ACP cartridge while still being lightweight enough to be useful in modern tactical situations. Their solution — the KRISS Super V System.




The idea behind their recoil system is to direct the force from the gun’s recoil downwards, counteracting the natural tendency for the gun to “walk” upwards as it fires. This illustration shows the recoil system locked in place and ready to fire — the system is a closed-bolt design, and the trigger is actually housed in the upper portion of the firearm instead of below the action. When the gun fires, the bolt moves backwards and rides up the sides of the red highlighted buffer. This imparts the force of the bolt into that moving mass, which then moves downward and counteracts the muzzle-climb tendency of the firearm.




Here we see the bolt and buffer at the extreme end of its travel. At this point, the gun is indeed pretty balanced. The felt recoil is counteracted and the sights stay pretty much on target. But there’s a problem — you can never completely cheat Newton out of his equal-but-opposite reaction. We’ll get to that in a second, though.




Visually, the gun looks very boxy and awkward — and it feels that way too. The fire controls are ambidextrous, but the ammunition-feeding controls are dedicated for right-handed shooters. There’s no southpaw option on the other side of the gun. So if you’re a lefty you’ll need to use your weapon hand to activate the controls on the gun to load and reload. The charging handle is probably the worst offender, since not only is it fixed to the left side of the gun, but it’s extremely tough to operate after you put a few rounds through the gun.

Speaking of reloading, the gun uses standard GLOCK magazines. I always appreciate when a manufacturer uses magazines from other popular firearms in their new contraptions — especially the less widely produced ones — as it makes the job of finding spare magazines much, much easier. It also allows you to only carry one type of magazine for both your long gun and your handgun if you run a GLOCK 21.




Moving on to the fire controls, they’re . . . different. With most SMGs, the safety on the gun does double duty as the fire-control selector. On the MP5, for example, the same lever takes the gun off “Safe” and sets it to whatever flavor of happiness you desire for that moment.

On the Vector, the ambidextrous safety and the mode selector are in two different places. The safety is where you’d expect to be, but the mode selector is way out in front near the hammer assembly. There’s a positive side to this arrangement, namely that you can pre-select your rate of fire with the safety engaged and leave it there. Then again, if you need to quickly switch from one mode to another it might take a second or two to find the thing let alone move it to the desired rate of fire.

You’re not going to want to move it, though.




On semi-automatic, the gun is a dream. The recoil is pleasant, and the trigger is actually not too bad, for a sub gun, that is. When you move that selector on to one of the full-auto modes, though, everything turns to crap.




This is what the gun does in two-round burst mode. The first shot is consistent and groups well (lower left), but the second shot is always high and to the right. This target was shot at 10 yards, by the way. It does this every. Single. Time.

Like I said, you can’t really cheat Newton out of his equal-but-opposite reaction. While the downward moving mass does soak up some of that recoil, it re-applies it right back into the gun when it slams into the top of the receiver at the top of its movement. The effect of that unexpected additional upward force just at the moment the gun fires is obvious from the target — shot number two is consistently much higher than the first.



Exacerbating this problem is the extremely high rate of fire for the firearm. The Thompson SMG ran somewhere around 600 rounds per minute which is a nice, comfortable rate of fire that allows the shooter to keep things pretty well in hand. The Vector fires at twice that rate, a finger-scorching 1,200 rounds per minute. In something small like a 9mm SMG, that might be acceptable, but when you’re throwing 220 grains of lead downrage with every fall of the hammer things get hairy.

Throw the gun into full-auto mode and the gun is nearly impossible to control. My definition for accuracy in a full-auto SMG is being able to put every round into the above silhouette target at 10 yards, but I was only able to accomplish that feat with the Vector with much application of concentration and muscle.




The Vector has some great things going for it, namely its compact size and the easily suppressed nature of the ammunition. But if you look on the Wikipedia page, where there’s usually a “Users” section for firearms to name the military and law-enforcement agencies using the gun, that section is noticeable by its absence. It’s an interesting design and definitely a fun gun in semi-auto mode, but when you’re in a CQB situation where missing the target isn’t an option, there’s a reason the professionals have transitioned to smaller cartridges.

Sometimes smaller really is better.

KRISS Vector SMG Specifications:

Caliber: .45 ACP

Barrel Length: 5.5 inch barrel

Size: 24.3 inches extended, 16 inches compact

Weight: 6 lbs. empty

Capacity: 25-round magazines

MSRP: $1,895 (civilian semi-auto variant)

Overall Length Collapsed: 18.5 in.

Overall Length Extended: 27.9 in.

Operating System: Closed Bolt, Delayed Blowback

Action Type: Select Fire

Stock: Ambidextrous Side Folding Stock

Color: Black

Weight: 7.45 lb

Barrel Material: 4140 Chrome Moly

Barrel Finish: Black Nitride (QPQ)

Twist Rate: 1:10″ RH 

Trigger Type: Pivoting, Single Stage

Sights: Flip-up, polymer Magpul MBUS sights

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):

All ratings are relative compared to the other weapons in the gun’s category.

Accuracy: *

It’s damn near impossible to control in full-auto mode. Even in two-round burst the thing throws alpha-charlie groups.

Ergonomics: * *

Southpaws need not apply.

Ergonomics Firing: * *

Recoil isn’t just present — it’s different. Very different. Also, the fact that the knuckles on your left hand are about an inch behind the massive fireball that this thing spits doesn’t help.

Customization: * * *

There’s a Picatinny rail and a threaded barrel, but not much in the way of aftermarket parts for the gun itself. Although I hear rumors that new products will be coming very shortly.

Overall Rating: * *

Pass. The fact that it fires a .45 ACP cartridge is cool, but I value keeping the sights on target more than sheer weight of fire.

More from The Truth About Guns:

SHOT Show Range Day: Shooting the New KRISS Vector .22 LR

New From KRISS USA: California Compliant Vector CRB

Gun Review: SIG SAUER MCX Rattler SBR

Gear Review: Tech Smith MFG B&T Tailhook Brace Adapter and Angled Foregrip

KRISS Vector Gen II & SMG Review

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  1. I got over pistol caliber SMGs when I realized that the AR and AK platforms let you pack far more firepower into a similar package.

    • 1+

      I like SMGs but can’t justify them anymore. A SBR AK is just as handy and controlable (when suppressed) but offers mich more range.

    • I generally agree, but pistol caliber SMGs still have a role in situations where overpenetration is a concern.

        • I was surprised when I learned that many pistols can penetrate better than a 5.56mm because of the greater mass of the bullet, regardless of the increased velocity of the rifle round. I think a lot of people don’t know this. In fact, I was in a major gun shop recently where a salesperson told a customer that a Tavor would be a really bad choice for home defense because the 5.56 would over-penetrate. He suggested a 9mm or 40 S&W pistol, and he gave no other justification other than that these would be less likely to over-penetrate, which is entirely wrong.

      • i disagree that pistol caliber weapons don’t over penetrate the 9mm can blow through multiple targets with no problem.But using specialized ammo does reduce the risk, how ever with modern body armor being so easily accessible the use of rifle ammo has to be used anyways

    • I always though the benefit of an SMG was –
      1. Maneuverability – They were generally smaller and lighter than rifles. These days not so much.
      2. Easier to control – The recoil was supposed to be easier to maintain than a full size rifle round. I can’t comment though, I’ve never fired anything pistol caliber on full-auto.

      Honestly, anything with a 16″ barrel is going to be of limited usefulness. If pistol caliber civilian carbines were cheaper I would understand, but the price of many are about the same cost of a low end AR-15. Kel-tecs are unicorns and the Hi-Points are supposed to be decent but offer their own limitations in terms of capacity and weight.

      Go to a real SMG length barrel, never mind all the ATF rules you have to deal with, and a carbine does suffer from excessive muzzle flash. I’m not sure how much of an issue this really is though since the shortest barrel I’ve fired a rifle round through was the approved 16″.

      Perhaps this is why you see fewer and fewer SWAT teams with MP5’s these days? The M16 platform, in the form of the M4 and some specialized close quarter versions of same offer too many advantages over the MP5.

      • Muzzle flash is only an issue if you don’t have the right muzzle device or ammo. There are 300 AAC loads that are designed to be used with a sub 10″ barrel.

      • the truth about guns please please do tell the truth these guns suck bought 2 of them
        both jammed factory could not fix them at least they returned my money thank god
        ive only sent 1 other gun back to the factory in my 30 year gun buying history and when they
        couldnt fix it they sent me a new one never had an issue again iam no hater just a gun lover
        stay away from kriss i can e-mail all the proof other than their claim to be a police and military supplier
        what police agency and military agency uses these weapons i like the idea of the kriss 45 and it being
        made in america but when it comes to reality it sucks wouldnt trust my life with it like truth about guns
        but this time they are not telling the truth

        • I believe and SBR is actually better suited for CQB than a Pistol. Ok hear me out.. if maneuverability is the main concern try this….hold a pistol out (as u would in a ready to fire position) measure from ur back to the tip of the muzzle (best way is put ur back against the wall) now try with a SBR and see for yourself which is shorter in length. Now mind u I am not an “operator” or SWAT team well verve in CQB. But this is just my observartion.

        • also by no mean I am endorsing KRISS Vector personally I think its a neat futuristic hollywood type firearms for “preppers” to show off to their fellow conspiracy end of world doomsday zombie apocalypse Tin foil hat wearing geeks. 🙂

  2. Did you try a suppressor on it? Would help with recoil.

    Also can’t help but think those mags are long for the cartridge.

    • If they are Glock 21 compatible magazines, then they are about 1/4″ longer than single stack 1911 magazines. Not bad for a 90% polymer double stack.

      • 13 rounds for a 1911 length mag? Could be more, if made properly. Would be wider but that is a non issue, just make the frame and grips thinner like on the Para Ordnance 1911s. They manage 15 rounds for a 1911 length mag.

        • Meh… 13 vs 15 is a minor detail. The point is that it is a well designed magazine. The extra length on the 25s and 30s is to accommodate the extended length spring.

  3. Im building an SBR AR in 9mm.

    Everything this gun does, but far more cheaper.

    Funny enough the AR once again does everything this gun does.

      • Cost. 9mm ammunition is 3/5ths the price of 5.56 these days, which is why I too built a 9mm AR.

        That said, 9mm ARs are fairly heavy.

        • I fire 5.56 at indoor ranges all the time. With a can or good ear pro it’s not an issue. It’s not going to be pleasant, but neither is a 12ga.

        • No way, 5.56 is almost never “hearing safe” even with a suppressor. Plus it’s always supersonic and you get a whole ton of noise from that. A 9mm SMG is FAR quieter. A suppressed 5.56 rifle will come in just a hair under 140 dB with a good can. A suppressed 9mm shooting subsonic ammo can come in around 124 dB. This is a HUGE difference and the 5.56 would be perceived by most people as a volume level over 3 times louder (actual sound pressure is over 6x higher) than the 9.

      • 556 in a sbr may be slightly more effective than a 9mm. but if you think about the way the 556 is designed to perform, (fragmentation within the body at certain velocities) id much rather have a short pistol caliber sbr instead. ultimately a 10mm auto, but of course they are rare and expensive and ive only seen 1 place to get an upper and mags. i think however that a 300 blk out would be perfect for a situation where small and compact still needs to pack a punch. just my 2 cents lol

        • If you have a glock 20, you can turn it into a pistol caliber carbine using standard glock mags and factory 10mm ammo…even accepts ar accessories.
          Check out Mechtech ccu.
          I have one for my 1911 and they are a blast.

        • try the mech tech out in 460 Rowland or 45 acp suppressed or 10mm or 40 cal suppressed and you will throw a kriss away.

    • Eh, I don’t know. 9mm ARs have some issues that people don’t like to talk about, namely that they’re heavy and tend to break bolt catches. Recoil also tends to be rather heavy due to the straight blowback action.

      • goes against the ammo price justification but if you want a truly effective, suppressible (indoor hearing safe) SBR yuo really shouldnt be looking at anything other than a 300 BLK. With subs you have a 45ACP equivalent “pistol” caliber carbine, and with supers you have WAY more muzzle energy than a 5.56 of equivalent length, especially in <10" barrels. and until you get below 9" (full powder burn length) you don't have any real muzzle flash. The only part on you AR you need to change is the barrel. and youare good to go. But again, ammo cost or time spent reloading. I would still take that over any 9mm AR I have even seen.

        • I agree. I recently shot a friends suppressed 300 Blackout AR with 220 grain subsonic rounds. It took two days to get the grin of my face.

  4. It seems more like an expensive toy to me. This lack of control on auto was echoed on ( I think ) a Tactical response show on Sportsman Channel. I had a Sub2000 as a toy but it only cost $350. wish I still had it.

    • You’re never going to get your hands on a new full auto anything, anyway. So what difference does that make? You might as well complain that the F-16 gets atrocious gas mileage at Mach 2. Were you planning on hopping in the cockpit any time soon?

      • I will never get my hands on a new Ferrari or Lamborghini either. However I love watching Top Gear and reading about them… because I can.

        Oh, and yes you can shoot them, go to Vegas and try out a machine gun rental. The M249 SAW is a literal blast.

  5. I wouldn’t say the .338 MG could be considered as having replaced 50 BMG. Especially considering that they are calling it a medium MG, and the M2HB (and the GAU 19) are still Heavies.

    It would be more accurate to say that the SAW effectively nudged out the M60 (replacing 7.62 with 5.46), and its absence is being felt. Once thing I do find weird is that the .338 has a longer range than the 7.62, but it also has a much flatter trajectory, and the whole point of a medium machine gun is suppression and tactical use of the “beaten zone” that the steep falloff in trajectory affords while maintaining a lot of the rounds energy – something neither the SAW not this new .338 MG can do.

    It seems to me a better idea would be to bring back the 7.62, with all the benefits that new lighter, stronger materials can bring to bear. The weight being one of the issues the SAW addressed, though mostly with ammo – the .338 will have the same issues.

    Sorry for the topic tangent.

    • I loved the M60 (as long as I wasn’t the one carrying it) and the M240 is even better. I liked the ROF of the SAW, and the weight, but 5.56 wasn’t as effective as 7.62 overall. I don’t think you’ll ever see the .50 completely replaced – there’s a lot of value to having a weapon you can put on an APC that will punch through other APCs, helicopters, aircraft (if you’re lucky enough to hit one) etc. in addition to troops.

    • Well, while we’re off topic.

      The SAW concept was still relatively new when I was in ROTC and we didn’t incorporate it into our training exercises. Partly because we didn’t have access to any and also because all of our training was at the platoon level (After all, this was prepping for future officers).

      I’m not sure the SAW nudged out the M60 so much as there really wasn’t a squad level support weapon for a very long time. I’ve seen various weapons that have tried to fill that gap through the US military history but nothing has really taken hold. Yeah, yeah, there was the BAR, but even that had its drawbacks and I don’t think its original purpose was as a squad level weapon.

      The military still uses the 7.62mm machinegun, now in the form of the M240. Technically it is still considered a “crew-served” weapon with the intention of a gunner and assistant gunner manning it. Ever fired an M60 by yourself? I have, it’s an awkward process but entirely doable. However, it is much easier with someone feeding the weapon and sharing the load. 7.62mm belts are heavy and we were issued 800 rounds at a time. We wouldn’t use most of that in an exercise but we still had to carry it. No idea what an actual infantry load is, but even if it is “only” 500 rounds, that is still a lot to be carrying around.

      For fire suppression, you’re darn right I’d rather have 7.62mm than 5.56mm, but if my choice was 5.56mm or nothing, I’ll take the 5’er. Even better if I don’t have to carry it.

      Here’s the real crux of my digression. The individual infantryman doesn’t just have to be able to maneuver their weapon, they potentially have to carry it around for hours. The first time I picked up an M16 my first thought was “Wow! This sucker is light as a feather!” 5 hours later, it didn’t feel so light. Same thing with the M60. It didn’t initially seem that much heavier than the M16, but then try carrying it all day plus the ammunition. I think the focus on the infantryman going with lighter weapons is really about what they can effectively lug around all day. Not every squad is going to be so lucky as to have a gorilla from some farmstead in Nebraska to lug a medium machinegun around all the time.

      Of course, our ancestors humped M1 Garands through the fields of Europe, so maybe we’re just getting fussy.

      • An old DI trick is to make a boot hold a rifle up with their thumb and index finger at arms length for a few minutes. That puppy gets real heavy real fast. God help you if you drop it.

      • Regarding MGs, now in modern times i would go for a modernized PKM. Chamber it in 308, titanium receiver, aluminum wrapped thin steel barrel. Should be about 5-6 kg that way (13 pounds add or take a pound).

        • Unfortunately, current US doctrine ADDS weight to these weapons in the form of heat shielding. If you look at the weapons the M249 and M240 are based on they are a lot slimmer and trimmer. I seriously doubt it is the end-users asking for heat shielding but probably some committee who decided it is a good idea.

          You couldn’t get a PKM type weapon issued as is. They’d want to add a bunch of extraneous junk onto it that would increase the weight and thus defeat the whole purpose.

        • Also don’t forget the PKM is an…wait for it… EVIL COMMIE WEAPON, that is horrible by the way. Can’t have your troops using that.

          It would be interesting, that lightened version of the PKM I mentioned. An entire MG that weighs 5-6 kg empty, that is sniper rifle weight (308 and the like, not those high caliber monsters).

        • I was purposefully ignoring it’s Eastern Bloc origins, but yes there is that.

          Even beyond that though, I just don’t see anything like it passing the current selection process. Remember that the weapon selection process is almost exclusively handled by REMF’s and former duty consultants that probably have not served active duty on the front-lines in at least a decade or more.

      • The M60 WAS that “squad level support weapon” for many years, until the SAW came along.

        “Ever fired an M60 by yourself?” Yes!

      • I believe infantry loads have actually gone up – not down – since WW2. I’m not 11-series so I’m not sure, but there are a lot more electronics in use, and those need batteries, etc. etc.

        • DJ,

          We’ve gone from a steel helmet, to a helmet (composite, but still not light) plus body armour that’ll stop rifle bullets: great for keeping troops alive, but heavy. Add in other theatre-specific stuff for current ops, like ECM gear to defeat remote-control IEDs, and infantry troops are routinely carrying twice what their WW2 predecessors did; combat loads of well over 80lb are routine because the weapons and ammunition aren’t that much lighter (for the quantities carried – .30-06 or .303 weighed more than 5.56mm but then we tend to carry two or three times as many rounds) but now there’s so much more essential kit on top of weapon, helmet, ammo and rations to haul around.

      • Put on a full load of modern times. Then we’ll talk.

        The modern infantryman carries many TIMES the amount of weight than people carried in the past. Many USMC infantry that go foo 4 years get skeletal issues from it. I know one guy that was 3/4″ shorter when he finished than when he started. It is a known issue that modern infantry carries MUCH more weight than at any other point in history, and the military is dedicating tons of money to attempting to fix that.

        That has nothing to do with the firearm itself. The difference between 7 lbs and 8 lbs in a weapon is not about the load you’re wearing…especially since I’ve literally seen people load up 200+ lb packs. I don’t think they gave a crap about 1 lb here or there.

        It’s not a comfort issue, it’s a tactical one. Especially true for urban combat. The way urban combat works, the tactics that are effective are made MUCH more effective by smaller/lighter firearms.

  6. The system is delayed blow back, maybe they can beef up the bolt or somehow tune it to drop the RPMs below 1000. Cutting it in half might take a lot more work. I could never own one anyway (NY).

    • it’s actually not delayed blowback, it’s a straight blowback system that mimics delayed blowback by having the first few millimeters of travel require significantly greater force than the majority of its travel.
      there is no locking mechanism.

  7. Malarkey! and it is especially troubling to see this on a website that names itself “the truth”.

    the mechanism by which it reduces muzzle climb is putting the bore axis inline with the shooter’s main hand, and nothing else. the “forcing it downward” is entirely transparent horsepoop if you have even a basic understanding of newtonian physics, if the gun forces a mass downward the equal and opposite reaction, would be for the rest of the gun to move upward.

    Kriss obviously wants to obscure the real reasons behind its design because they inevitably lead to a discussion of the drawback: that barrel length is tiny for the overall size of the weapon. For TTAG to omit the truth either means they are unable to analyse the design or they are complicit in KRISS’s obfuscation; either way it is not the truth.

      • No not the whole article this one is just a pet peeve of mine. It’s understandable for the gun companies to attempt to spin facts their way, it just irks me when the gun media lets them get away with it.

    • From KRISS’ website:

      “Unlike any other firearm ever invented, instead of having all the recoil force slam back into the shooter’s shoulder, causing massive amounts of felt recoil and resultant muzzle climb, the KRISS System absorbs and redirects these forces downward and away from the operator thus enabling him to better control and keep the KRISS firearm on-target. More control equals more rounds on-target, more of the time.”

      • Did the gun have a noticeable downward thrust? I would think the diagonal motion of the bolt would be more of a twisting/muzzle up motion. At least linear recoil goes though the shoulder stock.

      • And Nick’s response in the article:

        Accuracy: *
        It’s damn near impossible to control in full auto mode. Even in two-round burst the thing throws alpha-charlie groups.

        What are you complaining about?

  8. Good review. Thanks.

    My thought on this is that the whole benefit of the new mechanism is to greatly reduce recoil/muzzle climb while on full auto. Since we can’t civies purchase full auto, we would not get the one benefit from the new system.

    Kind of like 5.7 without the AP ammo.

    • MPA defenders are the MAC10 of the 2000s, literally. Closed bolt, surprisingly accurate, picking up and fixing flaws in the original and being priced properly. The Vector is more like the Calico of the 2000s. Novel, fun as hell to shoot, overpriced, and unable to displace a gun like the MP5 from its coveted spot. I’ll stick with my MP5K clone, it’s a system that has withstood the test of time, being around for 50 years as a standalone and over 70 years as a system (delayed roller blowback) overall.

  9. Cool action but one of these in .308, or .338 Lapua would make more sense, as they have more recoil to tame. A sniper-level platform or a machine-gun would be good, too.

  10. Fired one at the SHOT 2014 range day… the position of the bolt catch killed it for me. Without a vertical grip, the natural hand position for a right-handed shooting places the thumb conveniently over the hold-open, thus locking the bolt occasionally under recoil. Considering I was warned about this in advance, and did it twice while actively thinking about it (thumb on top of the catch, it did NOT lock, but I only got a burst or two in before the KRISS rep caught the mistake), I can only imagine what could happen in a ‘stressed’ situation. And let’s be honest – this gun was created for ‘stressed’ situations…

    • I have a Vector and you’re not kidding about the bolt latch. Between that and the magazine release button, this thing is an ergonomic nightmare. I can’t put a foregrip on it without paying lots of money to the ATF, so I’m constantly hitting one of those buttons or the other.

      • I have the carbine, for me, it shoulders great, accurate as all get out and never a jam. For my lefty friend, different story. it’s awkward for him to use. I also handled one of their SBR’s and that balanced perfectly. Would not buy the pistol version, already have a Glock, no need to add the weight of a Vector. .45 silences nicely, may be a future upgrade for me. .45 penetrates less than 5.56 or .300 Blackout, but it still can penetrate two interior walls, 4 layers of sheet rock, not much power after that, but still could kill someone, something to factor in. I haven’t shot the Vector full auto, but I have seen some people handle it well and get a mag in a pie plate size target, over and over. But, as another person mentioned, my AR in .300 Blackout, subsonic ammo and suppressor just brings a smile to my face. Probably why the Vector spends a lot of time in the safe.

  11. I had one of the first models for testing. Jam monastic plus the stock Brock from a 3- inch drop on to a carpeted floor. I sent it back and the promised to send me another after the problems were fixed. Never did hear from them again

    Thanks for the honest article, Nick

  12. add to the review KRISS’s dubious customer service and you’ve got a fine waste of money

  13. I like how low the barrel is in relation to the trigger and grip. Recoil pushing the top of the hand. Looks good. I’d like to see a more radical firearm with a trigger above the barrel, the center of recoil between the middle and ring finger for minimum vertical hand movement.

    Nowadays I prefer a suppressed assault rifle with a shorter barrel (SBR to 16″) to an SMG for traditional SMG work. Controllable enough for full-auto encounters indoors, with superior stopping power, and far more versatile if I need greater precision or range. If I’m shooting an SMG, it had better offer far superior full-auto accuracy/controllability. If the Kriss in this review is representative, then I consider it unworthy of real-world use. I think that .45 ACP for an SMG is generally a bad idea compared to 147gr 9x19mm. If it’s not going to let you easily empty a magazine fairly accurately into a target in 1-3 seconds, then you might as well be shooting bursts of 5.56 or 5.45. If machine gun registration was still open I’d probably first look to a Tavor or X95 (Micro Tavor).

  14. I’ll stick with my Thompson, especially miss my 10mm Tommy, but until something better comes along, I like my BOAT ANCHOR, eat your Wheaties and quit your whinin!

    • 10mm Thompson? Would you mind doing a review? Sounds interesting.

      I also like the Thompson, especially those older versions with the fast ROF(1200 rpm). Work well against DIY armor, remember my uncle commenting how the armor some guys wore would only be punched through by the Thompson and the Mauser.

      Also I don’t understand the weight complaints. You shouldn’t complain about weight if it isn’t heavier than 5.5 kg (13 lbs).

  15. Huh. I had a friend who fired one and thought it was super awesome. Maybe the giant surpressor out front was doing more for recoil than the fancy recoil system. (shrug)

  16. SMGs are a hold-over from the end of WW1 when the infantryman was armed w/a 4 foot long BA rifle inside a trench that was 6 feet wide (that’s why Shotgun/grenade was so popular in the trench). This held over till the end of the Korean war. Old biases die hard, especially when they are in the TO&E. Believe it or not the M-14 was a supposed replacement for the SMG. The assault rifle changed all that and the AR family, with it’s modularity revolutionized it (TY Mr. Stoner). Caliber choice is a whole ‘nother argument!
    Do SMGs have a place? The TSA seems to think so!

    • @esitue, uh…TSA doesn’t have any SMGs. They are not a law enforcement operation and do not even have any pistol carriers.

      • I think the fellow meant USDA, not TSA, since they just put in a request for a select fire .40S&W SMG for who the hell knows why.

  17. I have one, too; the “pistol” version, which means this exact same gun without the stock. I like the ergonomics, overall. True, I would prefer to attach an AFG2 to the under rail, to give me a little longer reach and support with my left arm, but that would be true of any firearm in this category. That falls under preference, though, and doesn’t impact performance at all. The mag realease is right at index finger position. The charging handle is on the left side, readily manipulated with the weak hand.

    I’ve never shot the full auto version, so I can’t replicate Nick’s experience with follow up shot placement. In semi, though, firing sequences of double taps as fast as I can consistently puts two rounds through the same hole.

    I don’t know how much the vector system really contributes to reduced felt recoil. Wheresoever the bolt ends up, there’s still that initial, inescapable in-line thrust. I’d say it’s the Kriss’ 6 lb. mass in general and the additional mass of the slider hardware that soaks up felt recoil. Compare that to the G21 at what, about two and a quarter pounds?

    There’s also the balance of the pistol: all of that cycling action takes places forward of and generally below the trigger. That’s completely different from a traditional SA handgun. Not only is that where the action and the mass is, but there’s an expansive magwell doubling as a foreward grip. This allows maximum purchase and a very strong counterforce in your grip.

    So I’d say technically it isn’t the vectoring per se that reduces felt recoil. That is, it’s not the redirecting of the bolt, it’s the repositioning of the entire bolt activity relative to the rest of the firearm (and the greater mass) that reduces felt recoil and provides a powerful and accurate close quarters sidearm. The vectoring just gives the bolt more distance to travel within a more confined area, which may or may not be the only way to achieve this same effect.

  18. Working at a range that rents full auto, I’ve shot plenty of different designs. My favorite?
    1928 Thompson. With the vert grip and compensator it’s more controllable than even an MP5. The only thing smoother would be a Sten (VERY awkward to hold and aim) or a Swedish K.

  19. Each time I’ve been with people using the semi-auto version of the VECTOR it has proven to be a frustrating series of fail to extract, or fail to feed, or fail to eject properly.

  20. I’ve probably said it before but I’m partial to the MP5, even though I really like this one. Personally a M4 with a 10.5 inch barellel is a good option too. But there is deffinately a place and time for a pistol caliber sub machine gun.

  21. There are features in the design that are worthy of further development like the low line of the barrel. How many years of development has this had? The design looks like it has a future if enough development is given to it the way the action hammers the frame when it closes or a total redesign of the action ( it has the look of a pet design that the person who came up with it can not see its faults but that is just a guess) the weapon might in time have a future but the double shot spread shows that it has a way to go to get there.
    A most interesting review Nick, of the sort this site does so well.

  22. Do a Mech Tech Review!
    Many people may feel that SBRs have replaced the pistol cal carbine but I can think of a few niches in which they would still be useful. Pistol cal carbines are still useful when weight constraints are such that only one flavor of ammo is ideal. Or when only one set of magazines is desired as used in the Kel-tec sub 2000s. However I think they could be most useful as an accessory for a pistol. I think products like the Mako Security Roni (or whatever they call it this month, I think they are now calling it the POS-2?). Products that allow you to convert a pistol easily into a carbine are really the future for the pistol cal carbine in my opinion. However, any product that stocks-a-glock will require registration as an SBR. So instead, TTAG please review the Mech Tech carbine upper for Glocks. That’s where I think pistol cal carbines can be useful, as pistol accessories.

    • I’ll have one later this month for the 1911 version.
      I’ve had it for a while now but haven’t had time to put enough rounds through it to really comment with any authority.

  23. This gun is comparable in price to a USC with a UMP DIY conversion, but lacks the finesse, look and accuracy of the USC.

  24. I had the semi auto carbine. FTF with everything except +P 45 ammo . too expensive to shoot and enjoy given the tendency to burn through a whole magazine. Single and double taps produced decent accuracy. I kinda liked the recoil compared to a UMP or other 45 platforms. I think Kriss may be onto something going forward but stay away for now. Sold mine for more than I paid so no damage done. Too bad they released it too soon. More research and development needed. Review pretty much nailed it.

  25. I wish more companies would revamp classic proven designs. Like the m1 carbine would be amazing if someone brought it back in 45acp. New stuff is cool but mostly sucks

  26. I got through the review and about half the comments before deciding to post. I don’t know about the NFA version FA/SBR weapon, and I don’t know how many people that are ranting about them REALLY owned one at all.
    But I can say that I actually own the CRB carbine model, for about 3 months now. I’ve fed it about 600+ rounds of 10+ types of ball, HP, and even some crappy reloads. I’ve used glock mags, with and without the kriss extention, and some crappy aftermarket mags that I grabbed out of my local shop just for testing.

    I have had exactly 1 malfunction, FTF with a crappy aftermarket no name mag during the first 100 rounds, which I would conceder a break in period on any new firearm.

    I have a 512 eotech strapped to it, and it functions accurately and flawlessly for me so far, I’ve been shooting from 15-100 yards, and the recoil shooting rapid fire 2-3 round body taps is amazing.

    Just thought I would give my two cents as an actual owner.

    Just a side note, I do have the latest updated model with the reworked bolt and carrier along with a few other small improvements made that differs from the originally released models, which no one has cared to comment on for some reason.


  27. I shot one of these here in Canada, where we have no select fire, and I was surprised how accurate it was. I’d always heard it was inaccurate but firing one shot at a time at least works well. I was getting tiny groups at 25 yards with normal flip up ar15 style irons.

    Considering the high rate of fire, you probably wouldn’t be able to pull the trigger fast enough to be adversely affected by the weird recoil.

    That said, the gun is uncomfortable. It was rubbing on a part of my trigger hand.

  28. I shot one of these at a see-and-shoot booth run by KRISS. I fired off a mag with the same mentality that I would use firing an AR platform and I did ok hitting bowling pins at 20 yards. I kept a firm grip on the weapon and kept the stock tight against my shoulder, as I was trained to shoot. Before I could load the second mag, the KRISS rep. came up to me and coached me some with the gun. He said to keep a good grip on the weapon like I was, but not to pull the gun tight into my shoulder and let it travel. This actually made the gun more controllable in rapid shooting and kept my hammer pairs in seriously tight groupings. I wonder if the author would have different results or if he knew not to try to muscle this gun around? Eh, either way I think its a great gun that shot like a dream. The only reason I don’t own one is the prohibitive price of the gun. I could walk away with a seriously nice AR platform for the cost that will out perform, out range, and still save a little.

  29. Did no one else notice that the they were shooting a silencer with recoil booster installed? It’s also called a Nielsen device and intended to allow recoil operated pistols to still function reliably despite having a large mass attached to the end of the barrel. No wonder perceived recoil has high. It beats the hell out of your gun when using a booster with a fixed barrel.

  30. I used to own a Vector, and sold it not long after I bought it. Once I spent time with it and shot it, I felt like I should have spent more time thinking about the purchase and realized I blew my money. Mine was the newer version just to clarify.

    Accuracy with the Vector isn’t any better than any other firearm given the price. The recoil system isn’t so revolutionary that it changes the game entirely. It’s different, but not different enough to make it anything more than a gimmick. It’s not worth the money they are asking for it.

    Build yourself a pistol caliber SBR. Then put a Franklin binary trigger in it. You’ll still have money in your pocket and a firearm that is far more fun to shoot than the Vector. And probably just as accurate.

    • Oh, don’t let the people who own them fool you by saying that you are jealous or don’t know what you are talking about. They are only trying to justify spending way too much on a firearm that they themselves know is a bulky gimmick that takes up way too much room in their safe.

  31. Perhaps I payed less than others because the price point right at a grand didn’t feel too wild to me (much less than my daniels d MK18). The SBR With just an A2 style break its recoil is manageable in multiple shot strings of fire. I don’t think this guy by any means replaces is a rifle caliber but sometimes target and backdrop penetration discretion is of value. I’m only a few thousand rounds into mine but I’ve not noticed any mechanical issues ( i dont know when the gen 2 came out but i have the second gen model). The charging lever was pretty stiff at first but wore in during the break in to a much lighter pull. I’m tickled pink with mine. Its tough to pick between my scorpion SBR or this when going shooting there both a good time. Give it a try.

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