VHS assault rifle tests

This video shows the relatively new Croatian VHS assault rifle being tested. It does not show anything extraordinary, but I had not before seen close-up video of it being fired so I thought it was worth blogging.

[ Many thanks to Pavao for emailing me the video. ]

Please do not turn the comments into a pointless bullpup vs. conventional argument.



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • I wonder when they’re going to come out with the DVD and Blu-Ray assault rifles. The VHS assault rifle is far better than the Betamax assault rifle.

  • Phil

    Well, I want one.

  • It’s nothing extraordinary because the BetaMax version is so much better.

  • Vojscak

    Okey the translation of the video (croation is not my first language so there may be a few mistakes)
    ACURACY OF THE WEAPON one round shot and short bursts (50m says on the target)
    TEST OF DURABILITY-angel +80° -80°
    -shot up to 3000 rounds
    -shot up 3000 to 6000 rounds
    -dry manipulation 6000 cycles
    TESTING EXTREM WEATHER CONDITIONS -extrem cold -40°C
    -ice rain -15°C
    -extrem heat +52°C
    WORKING WEAPON UNDER UNRECOMENDED CONDITIONS
    -salt bath (1,3,5,6) days
    -working of the weapon when its unoiled
    -test with a fake rain
    -dirtying it up with dust and sand
    -test with mud (sand + clay)
    ROUGF HANDELING OF THE WEAPON- drop test
    WORKING OF THE WEAPON WITH INTERCHANGELBEL PARTS

    • Vojscak, thanks for that translation! Much appreciated.

  • Dom

    I’m sure myself and all the other XD fans are eager to get our hands on one…after Springfield gets together with them and adds a little sexiness to it, of course.

  • Phil

    DVD is fast Superior to VHS

  • Jesse

    Technically the Croatian Betamax is the vastly superior rifle but this one will have cheaper to manufacture magazines that display porn so everyone will buy one anyway.

  • Vitor

    Funny to see the SCAR being bashed in the old thread, when today everybody praises it’s great balance that makes it feel quite light and the very light felt recoil compared to the M4.

  • vtb

    i wonder – why does this rifle have 2 triggers….

  • Freiheit

    Betamax was better.

  • Carl

    Cool. Needs central ejection though (behind the magazine or through a tube in front like the RFB and FN2000).
    And get rid of the silly top handle that nobody likes and put charging handles on both sides of the upper receiver.

  • clamp

    Meh, I’ll wait for the Blu-Ray version to come out.

  • Soleo

    It’s look like a French Famas…

  • zeonxavier

    I own an XD, and a Meopta scope… perhaps I am under the impression that Croatians make some quality stuff.

    These rifles live up to that, correct?

  • subase

    I think for your average army that has got pretty bad marksmanship training the bullpup that ejects from the side is an adequate weapon. The tavor for the Israeli is more intuitive to shoot with, has lesser recoil and is faster to aim than a conventional rifle. And they are arming a huge army with little resources they need a weapon for the grunt, not the much more highly trained American soldiers, who also practice shooting as a recreation.

    Same thing with the Swiss. Saying that the kel tec RFB has solved the crappy trigger problem in bullpups and that isn’t patented. So we’ll be seeing a superior triggers in bullpups from now on.

    Saying that the rifle looks like an updated svelte FAMAS, which is quite heavy. Look good.

    • subase, you are right triggers will be improved over time.

  • WSU_HK

    Warning bad joke follows…Is this the Beta version of VHS?

  • Neat stuff. So, when is Springfield Armory going to start importing them? Tee hee, I jest.

  • Matt

    I’m happy that they made a new rifle but where do I put my PEQ, TA31 and flashlight?

    If this is intended for military application the design falls extremely short.

  • Dave

    Glad to see the VHS is almost out of Beta…

    (Video Pun) 🙂

  • Matt Groom

    Don’t they know VHS is obsolete? They should get Blu-Ray!

    Speaking of obsolete, is this not a FAMAS? Are they buying them surplussed from the French, because I’m pretty sure the French are trying to get away from them.

  • J Star

    I wonder if we’ll be able to buy this from Springfield Armory soon? ;-D

  • Vitor

    Finally able to check the video! The -40 test was interesting. Quite a long way this gun came, from the special gas cushion to DI rumors and ending up being a long stroke piston that just works.

  • curtis

    why is he firing into the air at 1:10?

  • Lance

    Looks like a direct copy of a French FAMAS F2

  • El Duderino

    What about a VHS vs. Betamax argument? Just saying…

    Would be cool if it didn’t look like a polymer French FAMAS re-designed by the folks at Kel-Tec. Wait, they have a better-looking bullpup, nevermind.

    I love new military small arms, but can’t get into this one.

  • TZL

    Looks like a FAMAS

  • Carl

    Curtis, he’s just testing whether it works ok in that angle I would guess.

  • I_shoot_sky_pigs

    I love bacon and I shoot air for sky pigs! yes delicious sky pigs can only be harvested with fully automatic weapon test fire! so here was my chance to hog it up!

  • Tylermar

    It looks like an upgraded famas very cool

    • It looks like a FAMAS but it does not share any internals. Personally I find the design an odd choice. These days a flat top with a picatinny rail makes more sense.

  • Vitor

    To all folks comparing to the FAMAS, the VHS is very different. FAMAS is a delayed blowback, VHS insides is a long stroke piston, much more similar to the AK family. Let not be superficial folks. 😉

  • jdun1911

    Vitor,

    Who praised the SCAR? The SCAR stock is cheap, cheap rails (3 and 9 o’clock are made out of plastic). The rail is too short to place any meaning full items on it. The rail gets hot really fast. It is heavy. It has problems with third party optical mounts. And the most stupid part is why the military decided to use a reciprocal charging handle.

  • JoeB

    Is it just me, or does this look like a FAMAS? As in it IS a FAMAS?

  • snmp

    That’s not ambi weapon, You could not swicth Left to Right (vis versa) hand weapond like the FAMAS

    => http://world.guns.ru/assault/as96-e.htm

  • jaekelopterus

    I think a pointless debate would have probably been preferable to what happened here 🙂

  • subase

    Well croatia isn’t a big nation like the u.s who can afford thousands of optics, not to mention they aren’t in wars all the time.

    Australia has the optics on their Augs, but they have followed the u.s or britain to practically every war in the last 50 years. And they are a fairly rich country.

    Saying that how lame is it that the Steyr aug has been out for over 30 years has seen combat in numerous wars. (in australian hand also made in australia) Pretty much the only legitimate complaint I’ve heard is that when attaching a grenade launcher to the barrel the gun becomes unreliable. But it’s pretty lazy to a attach such a big weight to such a thin barrel, the Australians should be able to fix that without problems.

    The ‘super’ bullpups like the SAR 21, Tavor and now the VHS pretty much add zero to the what the Steyr Aug already brings to the table, sometimes less. (quick change barrels)

    Kel tec’s RFB is a real advance. The FN FS2000 is too bulbous and it’s thin barrel and all plastic design doesn’t feel like it will hold up to a high degree of shooting. Largely an ignorant prejudice admittedly. In anycase, only the saudi’s have adopted it enmasse and slovenia, big endorsement lol.

  • subase

    Another legitimate complaint I heard was the safety switch being activated/deactivated due to it’s position on the soldiers equipment. Quite a big liability but still fixable with more recessed safety switch and stronger spring.
    Another is the barrel bending after very very heavy shooting. Must admit the handle connected to the barrel does lend itself to that occurring.

    Saying that the F88 is made in Australia whit license from Steyr, so that’s probably why only the Australians have stuck with it. At first when the New Zealanders (country right next to Australia) used Steyr Augs made in Austria they all were very unreliable due to the propellant the Australians used in their ammunition. (which tolerates high heat in storage much better than normal ammo) So they switched to the F88 made in Australia and they stopped having problems.

    There were similar problems with the FAMAS and how it only worked with one type of ammunition.

    So I think as long as a country’s military is motivated to work out the kinks in a weapon it should be reliable. But experience is still the best teacher. The FAMAS and F88 (Australian version of the Steyr Aug) are the only truly reliable bullpups out there, due to them having been in numerous wars in harsh environments for extended periods of time and no complaints on their reliability surfacing. The Tavor is pretty much a pr campaign but you can be pretty sure the Israeli’s won’t be using a gun they feel is completely reliable. (from the FAL to the AK to now the Tavor, so it must be at least in the same ballpark of reliability)

  • tommy2rs

    VHS vs Betamax vs DVD Vs Blu-Ray? All are obsolete. H264 is the future. I can’t wait to be able to download a pirated rifle copy via bitorrent.

  • WJS

    It may look like a FAMAS but it’s entirely different. Long stroke piston internals look similar to what’s in the SAR-21 and Steyr AUG. The charging handle looks like it came off a SAR-21 too, right down to the way you have to pivot it to the side to rack it back.

    The FAMAS’ charging handle is like an upside-down trigger, and its bolt + bolt carrier is a 2-piece top-and-bottom assembly that used a cam/lever in between to accelerate the bolt carrier rearwards many, many times faster than the bolt face. Seems to me like only the FAMAS uses this method.

  • Tahoe

    Can everyone please, please, please stop with the Betamax jokes? And also stop comparing it to the FAMAS. Don’t you read the comments before adding your own? /rant

    I have always really been on the fence with bullpups. One side of my mind says, “More barrel in a more compact package? Sweet!” The other says, “There are two reliable, proven bullpups in service…and only two”. I’ve shot the AUG (A1) and the FS2000, and neither one really “did it” for me. The FS2000 feels flimsy and I really don’t like the feed mechanism. The AUG might be better in the later A3/A4 versions, and I probably needed more time on it to get comfortable with handling.

  • Rusty Ray

    OK I’ll break with tradition and actually discuss the subject in question, the new rifle.

    This baby don’t seem to kick less than any other 5.56mm plastic gat out there, running counter to a claim by the makers that the new gas system cuts recoil. What recoil are they talking about by the way? If your soldiers can’t take the ‘kick’ of a .223 weapon then you’re up shit creek without a paddle.

    This new gas system….Not soldier proof in my view. Gas should only used to push the bullet out of the barrel and the piston back somehow, end of. Do anything else with it and you are needlessly complicating the weapon. Another gas port to worry about, another kind of gas stoppage to cause misery at the wrong time. No problems should arise with good ammo, good handling and good care. But these are sometimes in short supply in the field, Google ‘M16’ if you need an example.

    Hope I am wrong though, the Croats made some great weapons in the past.

    What do ya’ll think? Cheers – Rusty

  • Probably a pretty good rifle but the short sight radius does not float my boat. I’d like to get a little range time with it.

  • G11

    Another “conventional” design bullpup in the era of the FN2000 and RFB. I guess left-handed users can drill and mount an optics rail on the left side of the receiver and shoot the rifle sideways. Ala gangsta-style.

  • Vitor

    Rusty Ray,

    You seem late to the party. 🙂

    The croats dropped the super cool gas system and went with a traditional long stroke pistol, basically the same system of the AK family.

  • Carl

    If your soldiers can’t take the ‘kick’ of a .223 weapon then you’re up shit creek without a paddle.

    It’s not about “being able to take it”, but getting the sights back on target faster after a shot. Less recoil is always better. Even .22lr target pistols have recoil buffers for this reason.

  • marcellogo

    Guys, one advice :there are other articles about VHS, more updated with photos and explanations in this same site.
    Please, pay them a visit and don’t make statements about a rifle only on the basis of a single video.

    In every case , I’ve consulted european patents about VHS, they are on web so you can retreive it also, so can gave you some reliable data:
    Operating System is neither DGI nor long strike piston, but “modernized tappet” like on SCAR (+ a soot deposit chamber inside the front sight).

    Confusion arised because there was another precedent prototipe that used DGI plus “gas-cushion” (the tavor looking one), fortunately It was immediatelygiven to Croatian SF and war veteran to test and they rejected it completely.

    There is a fundamental reason for FAMAS looking: SF operatives (that are actually ecquipped with G36) asked one single thing: not a bulge, not a lever or nail that protrudes from weapons body. Famas design guarantees that, so take it and be happy.

    Instead of gas cushion, there is a mechnical buffer recoil in buttstock (Ultimax style) plus a forced air cooling system (Pecheneg style)

    Well, there is a fondamental reason for that uncool carring handle:
    PLACE FOR SIX RAILS + iron sight+ integral grenade launcher aims+ integral rifle grenade aims, enought?.

    Rails are infact an integral part of VHS (that means multipourpose croatian gun) project and croatian grunts will have a lot of things to attach there, as in the optic of NATO policy of specialized production, Croatia decided to concentrate itself of individual ecquipment and humanitarian (post war) demining.