You've probably seen the Kriss Super V Vector SMG on the popular television show "Future Weapons" or perhaps read about it in Popular Science. This new submachine gun has generated a huge amount of interest because of its radically different operating system that reduces the effects of recoil and also controls muzzle climb.
The Kriss Super V system eliminates the linear recoil of a heavy bolt moving backward in line with the bore. Instead, the forces of recoil are re-vectored downward, and this movement not only reduces muzzle climb, by as much as 90 percent according to the company, but it also reduces the force of recoil transferred to the shooter's shoulder. The company says the Kriss Super V Vector SMG has up to 50 percent less recoil than other subguns.
Introduced to the shooting community at the 2007 SHOT Show in Orlando, the Kriss Super V Vector SMG is being developed by Transformational Defense Industries (TDI), a U.S. corporation based out of Virginia Beach, Va., that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Switzerland-based Gamma Applied Visions SA.
The Kriss Super V Vector SMG—offered initially in .45 ACP—operates with a delayed blowback action and Kriss Super V action. When the weapon is fired, the bolt travels rearward just enough to extract the empty casing from the chamber before beginning its downward path. The bolt is linked to what TDI calls a "slider," which is the heart of the Kriss Super V action. Using the lightweight bolt's momentum, the heavier slider redirects the energy down and moves along a shaft or guide rod and compresses a spring around that rod. As the spring is compressed it forces the slider back up the shaft and moves the bolt forward, stripping another round from the magazine and chambering it.
With the energy deflected like this, the recoil is dissipated and muzzle climb negated. Less recoil, less muzzle climb equal more rounds on target in less time with less shooter fatigue.
Designed for the Shooter
For weight savings the weapons housing is manufactured from a tough, impact-resistant, nylon-filled polymer. The top of the weapon features a Picatinny rail and there is also another rail in front of the magazine well, just under the barrel and hard points from additional rails on either side. There will be a host of accessories offered by TDI including detachable iron sights and vertical foregrips.
Above the barrel is a receptacle that TDI engineers purposely left open for those that want to mount a tactical light without modifying the gun. The light receptacle was specifically designed to take the Surefire E1L with a special Kriss adaptor (sold as an option). On both sides of the receiver are indentations for the placement of a pressure pad for the light.
TDI has developed one of the best folding stocks that I have used. It is button activated and folds flat against the right side of the weapon and locks solidly open for wobble-free use. With the stock folded the weapon's overall length is just 16 inches.
Its buttplate possesses a rubber butt pad. It's not needed so much for recoil protection as it is to keep the butt pad in position on the shoulder and prevent it from slipping when used by a shooter wearing a vest. The length of pull can also be adjusted and that's a big selling point considering shooter sizes and different styles of ballistic vests. The stock can even be removed if the shooter so desires.
The Kriss Super V Vector SMG's operating handle folds flat against the left side of the receiver. Pulling the lever 90 degrees to the receiver allows the shooter to see into the funnel-shaped ejection port. This makes it possible to quickly "press check" the gun without extracting the round from the chamber. There's also a bolt lock/release lever located on the left side of the receiver.
The Kriss Super V Vector SMG also has its selector lever on the left side of the receiver. It goes from semi-auto to a two-shot burst to full-auto.
There's an ambidextrous safety lever conveniently located at the top of the pistol grip. It pivots at its front. Up is "safe" and down is "fire." Its location felt very natural to me as I do a lot of 1911 shooting, and the motion and location had that old familiar feeling.
TDI built the Kriss Super V Vector SMG in .45 ACP and designed the weapon to use Glock model 21 magazines. As one TDI executive told me, "We're in the firearms design business, not the firearms magazine design business."
But for a full-auto SMG the 13-round Glock 21 magazine just does not possess enough capacity. MagPul, working with TDI, developed the Kriss G30 MagEx magazine extension kit, which increases the capacity to 30 rounds. The magazine extension has an inner and outer sleeve of injection-molded composite material for strength and dimensional stability. ISMI manufactures the proprietary spring but the kit uses the standard Glock follower, magazine body, and base plate.
TDI engineers put the magazine release on the left-hand side of the receiver toward the front of the polymer housing. It is not ambidextrous.
I had the opportunity to fire the Kriss Super V SMG at this year's 2008 SHOT Show. Unfortunately, my experience with this SMG was limited to 13 rounds. I chose to fire the weapon with its selector set on two-round burst and my gun was outfitted with folding iron sights and an EOTech holographic sight.
Holding the dot on the center of a silhouette's head, the target set up about 20 yards downrange, my first shot hit dead center. The second shot of the burst broke the top of the target frame about six inches higher than the first shot. My next burst I held at the bottom of the chin and found that my second shot hit just about between the eyes.
The cyclic rate on the full-auto Super V is between 800 and 1,100 rounds per minute and is adjustable. I'm sure that my groups would have been tighter if I'd had the opportunity to put more rounds downrange. I watched a couple of TDI's staff members use the weapon and they were incredibly accurate with it.
Recoil was amazingly light—just as advertised and the center dot of the EOTech never recoiled off target. Keep in mind the unloaded weight of the Kriss Super V SMG is just a hair over five pounds. That's another big selling point for the special teams operator that often spends much more time standing around waiting for orders or holding a perimeter than actually clearing rooms. Less fatigue makes for a more accurate shooter, and this gun is far lighter than many weapons now in use by SWAT teams.
TDI engineers purposely made the Kriss Super V Vector SMG with fewer parts, all of which are robust in nature so that they don't fail. As their sales literature states, "The Kriss Super V System consists of only two major moving parts; no tiny springs or complicated buffer systems to deal with. The mechanism is uncomplicated and straightforward. Pull two pins and the entire two-part operating system comes clear of the frame in just seconds without any special tools."
A Civilian Model
With the huge military and law enforcement interest in the Kriss Super V Vector SMG, it was certain that a civilian-legal model of the SMG would be offered. TDI made the announcement at this year's SHOT Show that the company would be offering the semi-auto Kriss CRB/SO (Special Ops) for civilian consumption.
I also had the chance to fire this model at this year's SHOT Show and found that with its 16-inch barrel and faux suppressor adding weight out front, that the gun was even more controllable than the SMG. With this carbine I was laying my shots right on top of each other at 20 yards. It's a fun gun to shoot.
Like the SMG version the CRB/SO has a folding stock (where legal) and comes with two 13-round magazines. There was some talk about offering the gun with a fixed stock and 10-round magazine to comply with some states' gun laws.
Accessories like the detachable folding iron sights and vertical foregrip that were developed for the SMG will also work with the semi-auto carbine. The CRB/SO System includes the base weapon, folding stock, custom Kriss flip-up sights, two Glock 21 13-round magazines (where legal), and cleaning kit. The CRB/SO Tactical System includes all of the above, plus a custom case, full optics and light/laser system, and a single point sling and sling mounts.
More Calibers Coming
If you're thinking that the Kriss Super V action is a brilliant concept but think that you'd rather see it in a different caliber for law enforcement use, you are not alone. But the executives at TDI had to start somewhere, and they chose the .45 ACP cartridge to prove that their concept would work.
The Super V action can be adapted to virtually any caliber from pistol cartridges to intermediate rounds like the 5.56 NATO to heavier calibers like the 7.62 NATO.
Kriss-TDI has even been awarded a U.S. Army contract to extend its Kriss technology to a .50 HMG platform. Phase I test results have been completed, and the Kriss system has demonstrated its ability to reduce theoretical peak impulse loads at the trunions by as much as 95 percent and total system weight by nearly 40 percent compared to the M2HB system.
TDI is also working on an auto-loading shotgun that will feature a three-inch chamber and a downward eject/feed system. Claiming a reduction of more than 50 percent in recoil and muzzle climb over competitive gas or recoil-operated shotguns, company officials say that it will be the world's fastest cycling and lightest gun in its class.
You'll be hearing much more about the Kriss System in the future, as TDI-Kriss continues to adapt its recoil fighting concept to other weapons.
The Kriss Super V Vector SMG is now available for full test and evaluation by qualified law enforcement units here in the United States and abroad.