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Stupid name, great rifle...


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This new Croatian rifle, named VHS, was recently presented on iKA, an annual innovation display in Karlovac, Croatia.

Externally, it may look like a fuse of Tavor, Tavor 2 and FAMAS, but internally, there's a different story; when fired, gun powder gasses push the bolt backward via piston, that much is the same as in almost all assault rifles. However, the unique feature of this gun is that it has additional gas vent that leads some of the gases into a chamber located BEHIND the bolt. As the bolt moves backward, it's gradually slowed down and then softly stopped by a gas cushion, rather then coming into an abrupt stop as it reaches it's most backward position, causing recoil. This feature makes VHS, well, not recoilless, but very low recoil and easy to fire.

Some other features of the VHS rifle are the following; length 750mm, width 448mm, height 255mm. Barrel length 500mm(!) Calibre 5,56X45mm NATO

Cyclic rate of fire- 600rpm, single/auto/safe fire selector

Weight (without flash light, grenade launcher, bayonet or magazine)- only 2,3kg(!)

Pistol grip placed in weapon's center point, making it possible to fire with one hand.

Integral bipod that folds entirely into a serration in the grip.

Dove tail mount located under the barrel, infront of the pistol grip- for mounting flash light, laser or IC light.

Easy mounting 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher- when lower part of the front grip is removed, the GL mounts on the gun in the same manner as the bayonet.

Any kind of optical sight can be mounted ontop of a carry handle, which is also equipped with iron sight that shooter uses with both eyes open- apparently, this feature is common in some hunting rifles...I'd appreciate any additional info on that. (I'm familiar with military rifles, but know next to nothing about hunting rifles or shotguns...)

The VHS is developed by HS Produkt, the same factory that makes HS2000/ Springfield XD pistols. It's been thoroughly tested by HS Product team and presented as finished product, not prototype. It's currently undergoing testing by Croatian army. Rumour has it it's even been offered to US army...

Possible date of adaptation by Croatian army- some say Croatian contingent of MPs in Afghanistan will be equipped with VHS soon, other sources say the earliest VHS can be adopted is 2008...

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However, the unique feature of this gun is that it has additional gas vent that leads some of the gases into a chamber located BEHIND the bolt. As the bolt moves backward, it's gradually slowed down and then softly stopped by a gas cushion, rather then coming into an abrupt stop as it reaches it's most backward position, causing recoil.

Neat concept, but can you say "don't over oil the bolt guide rails"? I bet the action on that thing is a pain to clean and it could develop problems if unburnt powder accumulates in there. Does it not use any form of recoil spring?

Any kind of optical sight can be mounted ontop of a carry handle, which is also equipped with iron sight that shooter uses with both eyes open- apparently, this feature is common in some hunting rifles...I'd appreciate any additional info on that. (I'm familiar with military rifles, but know next to nothing about hunting rifles or shotguns...)

Unless it's something new used in Europe, only thing that comes to mind is your standard aperture sight. Some optics can be used with both eyes open, mainly red dots and so on, but irons are tricky. Anyone else have some info on that?

The VHS is developed by HS Produkt, the same factory that makes HS2000/ Springfield XD pistols.

Nice handguns... Too bad they're now in the $500 range since Springfield took over importation rights. They used to be in the $300 area.

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Neat concept, but can you say "don't over oil the bolt guide rails"?  I bet the action on that thing is a pain to clean and it could develop problems if unburnt powder accumulates in there.

The rifle should definately be field tested to see how much maintenance it requires to keep it running. I don't think the U.S. military likes the bull pup design however.

Anyone know how the 5.45 x 45 AN-94 performs in the field? I heard it is not a user friendly rifle to take apart.

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Yeah...and even if the mechanism works flawlessly straight off the production line it will still be hampered by the same thing that all bullups are.

Main 2 are:

1: forget shooting from your "weak" side unless you want to cop a facefull of hot brass. That seriously limits you when it comes to finding shielded places to fire from.

2: Hopelessly complicated to do quick mag changes, heck you have to stick the new mag just about up in your armpit. Tried doing that manuvre on a FAMAS while prone and it's just about impossible to do quick and smoothly.

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VHS exploded view

I managed to get this (unfortunately low res) exploded view of VHS rifle.

Neat concept, but can you say "don't over oil the bolt guide rails"? I bet the action on that thing is a pain to clean and it could develop problems if unburnt powder accumulates in there. Does it not use any form of recoil spring?

Not sure about that...I examined the exploded view pic and for the life of me, I can't find a recoil spring. However, note that it's a CG pic made probably by the blueprint. On the actual rifle, you can see a little hump right behind the carry handle- on those CG images there's none to be seen. So the rifle might differ a bit from the original concept.

I first heard of this rifle some 6 month ago, from a guy that works in HS Produkt and goes into the same gym. While pumping some iron, he told me about a military rifle they (the firm) are developing there. He couldn't tell me much (because when he was being inquisitive about the rifle, they would tell him "don't ask!"), 'cept the rifle was tested continuously. I mean fired non-stop, both single and full-auto, clip after the clip, then taken apart and examined for wear and tear, then assembled and fired again. So we are talking about AT LEAST 6 month of extensive factory testing before the rifle was presented.

The rifle should definitely be field tested to see how much maintenance it requires to keep it running. I don't think the U.S. military likes the bull pup design however.

I agree 100%- factory testing could never substitute field testing. The rifle could have some "soft spot" that factory men were tiptoeing around, but infantry grunts sure won't be. If there's anything to be broken, miss-assembled or otherwise screwed up on this rifle, just give it to the grunts for a day, and they'll find it for you...

2: Hopelessly complicated to do quick mag changes, heck you have to stick the new mag just about up in your armpit. Tried doing that manuvre on a FAMAS while prone and it's just about impossible to do quick and smoothly.

Snow, not meaning to put you down, mate, but it's also the matter of training- you were trained (as was I) to fire and reload standard assault rifle, and switching to a bullpup design is bound to take some training and getting used to the concept.

French with their FAMAS, as well as Brits with L85A1 (SA80A1), Austrians, Aussies, Irish with Steyr don't seem to have problems...

I have to say that Croatian soldiers have some experience with bullpup- they were field testing Tavor, back when the production begun. I believe the idea was for the rifle to be produced here for both armies, as costs of production would be lower if produced in Croatia, but the problem was Israel is not allowed to spend US donated money (which they planned to finance the project with) other then to either buy US weapons or produce their own on their soil, so production was moved to Israel.

1: forget shooting from your "weak" side unless you want to cop a facefull of hot brass. That seriously limits you when it comes to finding shielded places to fire from.

You seem to have the point there. I know some of the bullpups are ambidextrous, but not for instant use- they can be converted to eject brass and be cocked from either side. (TAVOR, Steyr) However, it requires taking the gun apart and putting it back together- definitely not suitable for switching shoulders rapidly.

I guess not even a case deflector wouldn't help much there- at least not one of conventional design. Maybe one designed like a hood that would force the brass to fall straight down, but that might cause a jam...

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A bull pup design would probably give U.S. troops about an eighteen inch barrel.

If United States troops were to get the 77 grain bullet 5.56 x 45 ammunition with an eighteen inch barrel the effective range of the rifle would definately surpass the M-4.

Edited by Militiaman
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Snow, not meaning to put you down, mate, but it's also the matter of training- you were trained (as was I) to fire and reload standard assault rifle, and switching to a bullpup design is bound to take some training and getting used to the concept.

French with their FAMAS, as well as Brits with L85A1 (SA80A1), Austrians, Aussies, Irish with Steyr don't seem to have problems...

Your prefectly right about that mate, training is the key to get to know your weaponsystem and that was one thing I didn't have. Even with training though the movements you have to go through to change mags are slightly more complicated on a bullup than on a conventional design.

You seem to have the point there. I know some of the bullpups are ambidextrous, but not for instant use- they can be converted to eject brass and be cocked from either side. (TAVOR, Steyr) However, it requires taking the gun apart and putting it back together- definitely not suitable for switching shoulders rapidly.

I guess not even a case deflector wouldn't help much there- at least not one of conventional design. Maybe one designed like a hood that would force the brass to fall straight down, but that might cause a jam...

As far as I know all miliraty bullups apart from the L85 can be modified to eject from either side, but as you said it's nothing you will go through out in the field. Even a case deflector woundn't help on a bullup as the eject port is situated exactly where you would rest your cheek, fair enough that you might not get a facefull of brass but youd have to contend with an uncomfortable cheek position.

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nice bit of gear, I think this it replaced the Beta rifle, this on will most likely be replaced buy the new improved DVD assult rifle

:P  :)

:tumbleweed:

Japan will probably come out with a 80mmVHS developed by Sony :rofl:

:rofl: nice one.. Will the new DVD version come with surround sound system, or a silenced version.... :blink: Sweet lookin' rifle BTW

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Hmm it seems to be a revolutonary rifle. I Plan on going into the milltary whe ni get old enough. Right sided brass ejection port? thats usually used for all designs but it should be able to be switched of nessesary.

Yes it is difficult to load a Bullpup design because the magazine is at the butt part of the rifle and on a standard rifle its located at the mid-section of the rifle making it a easy task.

But yes it is true that if the U.S. army adpots it with the rounds we use it would defintely be a improvement.

I wonder if there is any added velocity to the 5.56 mm cartridge or not

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nice bit of gear, I think this it replaced the Beta rifle, this on will most likely be replaced buy the new improved DVD assult rifle

:P  :)

:tumbleweed:

Japan will probably come out with a 80mmVHS developed by Sony :rofl:

:rofl: nice one.. Will the new DVD version come with surround sound system, or a silenced version.... :blink: Sweet lookin' rifle BTW

a modifcation to support 3200watts PMPO speakers hahahaha! :D

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What really bothers me about a lot of these new guns is that they will never be made available to the public even in semi auto mode. It used to be that you could pretty much buy a lot of the same guns that the military used, and even in full auto mode. We need Micheal Peroutka in office.

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Peroutka is too intent on shoving Christianity down everyone's throat.  I vote Badnarik (and did).

Thats interesting that you say that, because he opposed Bush's faith based initiative on grounds that it violated the separation of church and state.

BTW where does Badnarik stand on full auto firearms?

This would not be considered a political discussion would it?

Edited by jchung
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