Kriss Vector
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The original Kriss Vector hit the market around 2009, giving a tantalizing vision of what the future held. A unique bold travel design promised to drain all the recoil from the subgun, giving controllable full auto in a small package. I’ve had this specific model for a couple years now, long enough that subsequent court issues surrounding pistol braces have scared off many manufacturers from offering braced variants. So, consider as you read, that while my version is braced, that’s the only real difference between this and the other versions still produced.

We’ll cover my many range experiences with the Kriss Vector SDP-SB (Special Duty Pistol, SB Tactical brace) shortly.  First though, let’s look at the gun itself.

If you’re into foreign subguns/battle rifles, some features on the Kriss Vector will be familiar. The forward mounted folding charging handle is reminiscent of HK guns like the Mp5 and G3, as well as the FN FAL. It’s a great location, and it’s as smart to use it on the Vector as with the other guns. When you’ve opened up the bolt, your left hand is in position to hit the bolt lock, albeit a little awkwardly.

Kriss Vector
There’s your “control center,” with the bolt stop/release, mag release and charging handle all within inches of each other.

The mag release sits on the left side of the magwell, just below where it meets the receiver. If you wrap your hand around the Vector’s magwell, you’re in easy position to catch the mag as it drops free. The magazine release button is a little shy, I’d like it to poke out a tiny bit more so there’s more tactile difference with the surrounding area, especially with gloves on.

Finally, the humble safety. Ambidextrously applied on the Vector, the safety is perfect for me. Easy to hit with my thumb to get it on “fire,” and my trigger finger removed from the trigger well is in perfect position to flick back to “safe,” with its short 45-degree throw.

Kriss Vector
The safety is ambidextrously applied on the Vector making it perfect to hit it with your thumb and get it on fire.

While the SDP-SB (Vector from now on) came with flip-up iron sights that are perfectly serviceable, I’ve been running various red-dot optic’s (RDO) for most of the time I’ve owned this. Currently, a Bushnell TRS-26 is what I use.

The barrel is threaded for muzzle device/suppressor use, but Kriss chose the M16x1 LH thread pattern for the .45 ACP version, and I haven’t come across a good deal on an adaptor for my AAC TiRant .45 suppressor. This is one of the few design ideas I feel like Kriss really dropped on the Vector, when there’s so many American suppressor manufacturers making 5/8×24 mounted cans as their standard for this caliber.

That’s about it for accessories to the Vector. A forward (6-o’clock) mounted picatinny rail section is there for vertical grips and the like, but using the front of the magwell as a gripping surface is (for once) a sensical choice.

The recoil assembly of the Vector has the bolt traveling vertically, slamming downwards and opposing the muzzle rise you’d expect. View the photo below to see the vertical recoil element. When combined with a low bore axis, the Vector provides an interesting engineering experiment on how much recoil can be reduced mechanically.

Kriss Vector
Disassembly is easy, with only four toolless push pins to remove. Reassembly is weird, but only the first time.

When I shoot pistol caliber carbines (PCC’s), I get a rough zero at 10 yards, then a solid zero at 25 yards. The rest of the gun’s life is shooting steel between 5 and 100 yards.  Much like my original review of the Vector, I’m using HSM 230-gr. remanufactured FMJ’s, a large stash left over from when I closed out my gun shop. It’s good ammo for the price, reliable and accurate. Besides my initial range day years ago, the only time I shoot groups with this is when I zero a new optic.

Kriss Vector
When I shoot pistol caliber carbines, I get a rough zero at 10 yards, then a solid zero at 25. The rest of my shooting is at steel between 5 and 100 yards.

Most people who haven’t shot a Vector have seen it on a TV show like Future Weapons or a video game like Call of Duty. While the show did a good job showing off the unique recoil system, video games are designed to exaggerate systems to highlight their differences (and balance gameplay irrespective of reality). So, what’s shooting the Kriss Vector like?

Easy. This is a fun gun. The questions about ergonomics disappear once you start working the gun, which is exactly what you want. This is the case as long as you don’t have to lock the bolt back manually. It’s a little bit awkward, but the Vector has been reliable and has locked back on an empty mag every time.

Kriss Vector
Recoil is mild. My 12-year-old loves this gun.

Recoil is really mild, with the muzzle dropping nearly on the same spot it was pre-shot. There’s a small bit of “torque” during recoil, with the Vector twisting slightly, but again it returns to form on the forward stroke of the bolt. This is a minor curiosity, not a critique.

Kriss Vector SDP-SB
Kriss Vector SDP-SB

The trigger is better than I expected. I’m more used to Mp5 PCC’s/subguns than AR-type guns. An average trigger is to be expected on a gun like this, but a good trigger is what we get.  Less creep and a lighter pull by far than the average Mp5 trigger, this goes a long way towards the Vector’s accuracy.

Kriss Vector
My original Vector zero target. Groups just fine with budget ammo.

Dropping steel at 25 yards is a rhythmic joy. At 50 yards it is easy enough. At 100 yards though, the .45 ACP is doing its usual nosedive routine, so it’s time to holdover. A lot.

Muzzle blast is greater in the Vector than you’d think, but maybe that’s just a side effect of having the recoil/muzzle blast divorced from each other so significantly. All bark, no bite. My 12-year-old absolutely loves shooting this gun.

Reliable? Yes. In the years I’ve owned this, not one jam, misfeed or malfunction of any sort.

Bottom line, the Kriss Vector is an innovative design, built into a gun well made to take advantage of its technological advances. It shoots, it scores!



  • Model:  Vector SDP-SB
  • Caliber:  .45 ACP (9mm, .40 SW, 10mm available)
  • Magazines:  Uses Glock 21 mags
  • Barrel Length:  5.5″
  • Overall length:  24.25″
  • Operating System:  Closed Bolt, Delayed Blowback
  • Action Type:  Semi-Auto
  • Color:  Black
  • Weight:  6.7 lbs
  • Barrel Material:  4140 Chrome Moly Steel
  • Barrel Finish:  Black Nitride QPC
  • Twist Rate:  1:10″ RH
  • Barrel Thread Pitch:  M16x1 LH
  • Trigger Type:  Pivoting, Single Stage
  • MSRP: $1349.99 for the Vector SDP, non-braced pistol
  • Street Price: $1269

Ratings (out of Five Stars)

Accuracy * * * * *

As far as .45 ACP can accurately shoot, the Vector can shoot accurately.

Ergonomics * * * *
Locking the bolt to the rear is a little weird, but everything else is smooth as butter.

Reliability * * * * *
Shoots. And shoots. And shoots. And shoots. Hundreds, hundreds and hundreds of rounds, never one issue.

Overall * * * *
The Kriss Vector is a cool gun to look at, no doubt. Call me surprised then to have just as much fun shooting it. The Vector does a couple things well enough, and everything else it does really well. I’d like to see the price and/or the weight creeping down after this long on the market, but if you’re in the market for an accurate, reliable little .45 ACP semi-subgun, the Kriss Vector is well worth your time.



Read more articles and reviews by Jens “Rex Nanorum” Hammer or follow him on Instagram @Rexnanorum .





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  1. Fugly. But then some say that about me. Of the calibers listed I believe that I would get 9 or 10mm.

    Hundred yard shots would be a little easier.

      • It’s been described quite logically as an anti-bullpup (the longest, least size-efficient design relative to a given barrel length).

        It’s really only innovative in the marketing sense. One of the illusionist’s hands is flying all over the place enthralling the gullible about the novel pivoting bolt thingy, so they don’t bother to think about tradeoffs and proportionality on the other hand.

      • Umm, I thought it was a toggle link like on a Maxim or Luger that had been repositioned? Never really looked into it.

        • jwm,
          It doesn’t lock like the toggle / knee joints you mentioned. It throws part of the recoiling mass (the piece between the barrel assembly and the upper / grip assembly in the stripped photo) downward off the recoil axis, allegedly counteracting muzzle flip. One could add “without the need for long bolt travel”, except of course that it’s far longer behind the barrel than any conventional design that relies on bolt free recoil travel to absorb recoil energy.

        • I may have heard it wrong, Umm. I live in CA so these types of guns don’t show up in our shops.

        • You have my sympathies; I was stationed in the CSSR for quite a while. It does sort of look that way, and there is allegedly a delaying effect from the off-axis motion, but it definitely isn’t locked.

  2. These were hands down the best big-bore PCC until CMMG released their radial delayed blowback in meaningful calibers. In pistol or rifle form, the ergonomics are fantastic. But at this point, they just seem obsolete.

    Their biggest weakness becomes readily apparent in burst (2-round?!?!?) or auto fire. That bolt momentum has to go somewhere, and after going down, it must go back up: and immediately fires the next round. It’s much less noticeable in semi, and you can absolutely train yourself to counter it, but it just isn’t a familiar feeling. Add to that a rather different manual of arms, and your average person is much better of with some flavor of locked breech.

    Now if we could just get a 45 or 10 MPX or Stribog gen 3

  3. Have one in 9mm total jamamatic, fun to shoot and looks cool. It’s pretty much a range toy or soon to be trade fodder.


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