HS Produkt VHS Rifle

I really like the design of the VHS and would love to own one. Firearms Guide made this (long) video about the rifle …

I like that the grenade launcher replaces the lower handguard, keeping the gun compact.

[ Many thanks to Vicario for emailing us the video. ]

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.


  • TangledThorns

    Coming to the USA yes or no?

    • charles222

      WTF is with the hostility to this guy’s post? He’s asking if the rifle is going to be imported.

  • Hominis Solus

    *cough cough* Famas clone? *cough cough*

    • W

      not remotely

    • Noir

      Only if vz.58 is AK clone..

  • Jonathan

    The amount of time he mentions “clip” is disconcerting.

    As is the complete lack of muzzle discipline and the number of times he points the gun with the magazine in it, at the production manager.

    I guess over there they don’t really care much about gun safety? I also guess I shouldn’t make a generalization about Europeans’ gun safety etiquette based on one person.

    Thank you for sharing the link.

    • Bryan S.

      Perhaps everyone involved was fully aware and shown that the firearm is unloaded.

      I would hate to see the bores of some of your guys rifles, because if you are cleaning them you must be begging for your hand to be shot! (even though you’ve cleared and confirmed and double checked that there is no ammunition anywhere near the thing)

  • Nathaniel

    “*cough cough* Famas clone? *cough cough*”

    Err, no, the FAMAS is lever-delayed blowback, where this is clearly a rotary bolt design driven by an AK-style piston.

    I do wonder at what point 3.5 kg became “lightweight”, though.

    • W

      absolutely right. i dont know why in the hell everybody keeps screaming “FAMAS copy!”. It is not a FAMAS copy. no sane person would copy such a expensive, complicated, finnicky, pain in the ass rifle like the FAMAS.

      again, people judging by appearances…

      • Mike Knox

        As if you’ve actually used a FAMAS at all..

      • snmp

        FAMAS is simple weapon with less parts than many rifle. In plus, you could swtich in few second the ejection side. FAMAS is rugged and the main problem that’s many Rifle are holder than soldier.

      • W

        “As if you’ve actually used a FAMAS at all..”

        Says the one that keeps saying other bullpups are copies from the FAMAS. jesus christ, im not even going to respond to you anymore. have a glass of STFU.

        “FAMAS is simple weapon with less parts than many rifle. In plus, you could swtich in few second the ejection side. FAMAS is rugged and the main problem that’s many Rifle are holder than soldier.”

        the FAMAS, compared to the AR15 and AK, have more parts and are more complicated. Their advantage is that they dont have a gas system, but any assault rifle with a notoriously mediocre magazine and rate of fire of 1000 rpm is going to be less than reliable. Of course, nobody talks about the FAMAS’ unreliability, simply because France only deploys small contingents of soldiers in Afghanistan, with very few units being engaged in combat. The FAMAS is not exported in any respectible numbers worldwide, simply because it is more expensive than competing rifles. Of course, it looks cool and futuristic, though my point is that if anybody is going to copy a weapon design, it will not be the FAMAS. As far as im concerned, it is on the bottom of the totem pole compared to other rifles out there.

      • Mike Knox

        HAH! WOW! Burn on the first comment. Obviously you haven’t used a FAMAS at all. AH-HA-HA-HA! BAZOOS!!!

        Another thing to add, Giat Benchmarked Over the Beach Tests with assault rifles for NATO using the FAMAS. Being Delayed blowback makes it more tolerant with humidity, moisture, and a waterlogged barrel.

        And why’s the video not working?..

    • ragnarok220

      I think French Army should consider this rifle as one of the potential replacements for Famas.

  • Merc

    I was really interested in what they had to say about it up until they decided to call the magazine a ‘clip’.

    • Stella

      English is not their first language. It can be very hard to keep nouns straight especially if the difference in casual English is effectively nothing.

  • Nathaniel

    Our host there is lying through his teeth about the gun being light with low recoil.

    From what I can tell, it recoils just like an AK, which is to say more than an AR-15, and it’s 3.5kg, or as heavy as an EM-2!

    • Doesitmatter?

      You have strong point Nathan. A rifle, if is to behave (and Iam talking intermmediate round) and to be sufficiently rugged for every eventuality, it should have around 3.5kg empty. This looks kind like Mattel’s GI Joe.

      • Nathaniel

        5.56mm weapons have no business being 3.5kg. AR-15s are plenty rugged, clocking in at nearly a kilogram lighter.

        Don’t come to me with your eight pound crap, go back to the drawing board, and do it right this time.

      • Nathaniel

        If you don’t like the AR-15 as an example, AKs clock in at just over 3kg empty, and they’re made of steel.

      • W

        Nathaniel, you have damn good points LOL

    • Mat

      5.56×45 doesnt recoil more or less as all rifle actions are closed until bullet leaves the barrel .Its mostly mass of weapon vs round recoil as most military rifles only have flashhiders not muzzlebrakes. Also the gun is full auto capable and gas piston guns are a bit heavier

  • noob

    Somebody should make a BetaMax rifle and tout superior performance, albeit at higher price.

  • “It has to be simple…so simple that a kid almost can learn to disassemble and assemble it again.” Haha. They’ve got an interesting mindset over there.

    • charles222

      It’s a very 1980s NATO mindset: Keep It Simple For Dumb Grunts. :p

      I think bullpups will probably be big news again when caseless ammo gets into operational use. Caseless ammo will fix the left/right ejection issue, which IMO is the biggest issue facing bullpups; even if you’re not left-handed, you’re going to potentially have to weak-side fire at some point or another.

  • Will

    Nice rifle from the same company that developed the precursor to the XD. Anybody remember the HS2000? In any case I had a hard time paying attention after watching the hosts total lack of muzzle discipline, and the rifles even had magazines in them. Hard to believe he put his hand over the muzzle, and pointed the rifle at his face, and the other guys chest a few times. Oh well maybe bullets aren’t as deadly in Croatia.

    • Doesitmatter?

      Yeah, you are right, the guy acted little ‘jittery’. It takes away from otherwise expert presentation. You can call it “jitterbug’s gun”. (smile)

  • So is the inside of the rifle just polymer(where the bolt carrier rides)? He said the only metal was the barrel, gas chamber, and bolt. But at 3.5kg(~7.7#), it is still heavier than an M4(6.36#).

  • That Cracker

    I dislike the safety on this weapon. I think that the transition from safe to semi-automatic would be too slow, because as a right handed user (as all users of the weapon in its current state would have to be) you would have to move the safety lever towards your finger, an awkward motion.

    • boskone

      I would withhold judment on the safety until I have a chance to use it a bit; it could be the best thing since sliced bread. It does seem clumsy, but really I don’t think it can be said at this point. Unless a Croatian soldier reads TFB and happens to chime in.

      My two comments would be on the short sight radius (although as backups, I’m sure it doesn’t really matter much), and that it would be nice to see the ability to use AR grips.

      • MJ

        Yeah, I guess we should reserve judgement on the safety. But the idea of fumbling around inside the trigger-guard in order to apply the safety sounds highly dangerous to me. Looks like it would be incredibly easy to bump the trigger with the base of your finger whilst reaching through for the catch.

        The sights mounted high up on a carry handle seems a retrograde step too. But yeah, let’s wait and see until an experienced and objective 3rd party has had a play with one.

  • Doesitmatter?

    Now comes the biggie: if the body of gun is sprayed with bug repellent or any chemical agent for that matter, will it warp or even worse? How about effect of prolonged firing? If there is no other mettalic component to hold the barrel….. wow (we have still fresh in memory G36 story).
    As for myself, I’d never go to all plastic receiver.

    How about smacking someone with it, will it survive. Presenter sounds way to confident.

  • Vitor

    That’s one big op-rod on the bolt-carrier group. Even if it’s outside looks like FAMAS, the insides is much more Tavor.

  • charles222

    Probably not. M1 tanks to backwards governments like Saudi Arabia=ok, small arms manufacturers from tiny Eastern European countries=ANARCHY WILL ENSUE.

  • Mike Knox

    FAMAS wannabe? Nice try but no banana.

    Something about this rifle reminds me about that Deus Ex game..

  • Tinkerer

    Regarding the complaint that “3.5 Kg -about 7.5 pounds- is too heavy, when a M4 weights 2.8 Kg -about 6.6 pounds”, it is a misleading comparison:

    The M4 has a 14.5 inch (370 mm) barrel, and most modern iterations lack a carry handle.

    The VHS has a 19.7 inch (500 mm) barrel, with a quite large carry handle/top rail with BUIS.

    The true fair comparison would be to a M16 with it’s 20 inch (508 mm) barrel length, which weights 3.26 Kg (7.18 pounds), while sporting a shorter carry handle that doesn’t double as an accessory rail.

    Viewed that way, comparing rifles of SIMILAR BARREL LENGTH, the weight difference between the VHS and the M16 is of 0.24 Kg -about half a pound-, while sporting a full length barrel for optimum ballistic performance, and STILL REMAINS SHORTER THAN A M4 WITH A EXTENDED STOCK (765 mm -30.1 inches- for the VHS, versus 840 mm -33 inches- for the M4.

  • Mat

    HS product developed and still manufacture all XD/XDM pistols and are at the moment one of worlds biggest handgun manufacturers and also produce a number of military only weapons so they know what they are doing.

    ”The HS2000 (Hrvatski Samokres (Croatian Pistol)), or XD (X-treme Duty) are a series of semi-automatic pistol that are polymer-framed and striker-fired. Manufactured in the city of Karlovac, Croatia by HS Produkt (formerly I.M. Metal), the Springfield Armory XD or XDM is the marketing name for the weapon, which is licensed and sold in the US by Springfield Armory, Inc.”

    • Will

      I know they still manufacture them. However the HS2000 was supposed to be sold in the US. The earliest marketing materials show the HS2000 without an accessory rail. Later, there were photos of an updated HS2000 with a rail, different patterns on the grip, and new slide serrations. That version looked nearly identical to the first XD. It was about that time that Springfield came in and made arrangements to sell it as thier XD. Which makes sense since Springfield is a well known name in the US and has the marketing in place.

      Four thumbs down?? Really?

      • Stella

        I think the rail was added after SA bought the export rights to the pistol, perhaps at their behest. Also, importantly, around 2006 SA changed the finish: before using the melonite process XDs/HS2000s would rust if you so much as touched them.

        I get the impression that much of the pistol’s development (the expansion of the line well beyond the 9mm “service” model and the XDm/XDS) seems to be driven by SA’s need to compete in the American market. The Croatian military likes the HS2000 and certainly would not have requested, for example, a compact .45 ACP version let alone a single stack anything.

        The HS2000 was imported at a very aggressive price point. Lets hope the same will be true of the VHS.

  • Lance

    Looks like a FAMAS updated copy. Maybe France should buy the design.

  • Paul

    The unfortunate part of this rifle is that the name all but assures that this rifle will be obsoleted by the upcoming DVD and Blu Ray rifles.

    • I, for one, welcome the idea of Blu Ray rifles.

      Manpack energy weapons FTW!

  • Peter

    I personally prefer the Betamax rifle over the VHS rifle 😉

    • Paul

      I personally like my LaserDisc rifle, but the ammo is a bi*** to store. 😉

  • These guys do make good weapons though. The HS2000, now marketed as the XD by Springfield in the US is a pretty good design. As far as gun handling and safety goes, the gun culture in the US has become pretty PC when in comes to safety. That is not a bad thing, but we have to be aware that not everybody is as safety conscience as we are. I think the same PC thing could be said for nomenclature. We’ve gotten all anal in this country about “clip” vs. “magazine”. I don’t think most other places really care.

  • @Paul:Naturally both will be replaced by the “streaming” version.

    • Paul

      Well played, sir.

  • marcellogo

    Seems I have to reiterate always same things everytime the subject is VHS rifle.

    Operating system has nothing to do either that of Famas (del.blowback), or M16 (dgi).
    It’s a “modern tappet” system like those of Scar: gas goes in a chamber and push a cilindrical piston against a long rod piston similar to the one of Ak or Fal.
    In that manner it got both the advantages of long rod (endurance) than of short rod piston (flexibility) system, with the extra of a built in cooling system as the piston, untouched by hot gases, thet remained in the tappet only part, act as a fan.
    You can see it clearly when he disassemble it: rod piston and gas chamber are two separated part (so it’s no a “classiacal” long rod system) and gas chamber itself is not connected to the barrel (so no short rod system).

  • Seb

    Here is the deal with the VHS; altough not yet officialy adopted, croatian army recived 1000 preproduction examples for evaluation, some of those ended up in Afghanistan. I’ve had the oportunity to hold the rifle and it is well balanced and comfortable. Some of the problems are the location of the fire selector, unability to be fired from the left shoulder and the quality of finish on some plastic parts. HS produkt guys said it will be fixed on final production version. As a bullpup it shares all the pros and cons of such designs but that’s the matter of personal preference (for civilian users that is). Personally, I’m not a fan of a bullpup design and prefer the G36 also issued in limited numbers and also resent the price of VHS wich is similar to that of H&K. That said, I’m not a soldier nor do I use a rifle on a daily basis so my personal preference doesn’t really matter. All in all for a not fully developed product it shows good perspective to evolve in to a fine service rifle. First pistol HS produkt (then IM metal) developed was probably one of the worst handguns ever and look at HS/XDm now

  • marcellogo

    Two very interesting videos depicting the real thing used by its primary intended customer.

    In the first one you could also compare it with M4 used by US agressor squadron member.
    In second there are (herzeg-)bosnian troops still fielding M-16, so here there is the real comparison.


  • Tony

    Springfield Armory need a 5.56 rifle that takes ar15 mags to sell
    They got the m1a for .308
    the XD/XDM series is selling well for them and it is from HS Produkt

    They should bring this rifle into the US considering the IMI Tavor, Steyr, and MSAR just announced getting back into the game.

    I tried emailing them but no dice maybe more people should voice their concern

  • marcellogo