Building a VSS Vintorez in the USA

CAD rendering of the project's

A group of netizens from the weapon forum /k/ have bandied together to build a clone of the infamous Russian VSS Vintorez suppressed rifle.

A (original) VSS Vintorez. Photo by Vitaly V. Kuzmin

A (original) VSS Vintorez. Photo by Vitaly V. Kuzmin

They wrote on their Tumblr blog

For those who don’t yet know, we are a group of guys from /k/ who are dedicated to the cause of bringing the VSS Vintorez to civilian hands. The way we intend to accomplish this is through reverse engineering. Through extensive research we’ve managed to get our hands on a lot of information about the rifle, and using this research we’ve begun the process of recreating the VSS in CAD, deducing themeans of production, and ensuring we have the materials and tools necessary to complete the job.

Along the way, we will use this site to keep people informed of our progress. Stay tuned.

According to subsequent blog posts they believe they will have a functioning prototype by the end of the year. They would like to be able to sell the final product for under $2000.

Thanks to T.G. for the tip.





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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  • Casey Baker

    If the Chinese can reverse engineer any gun they can get their hands on, I don’t see any reason why a bunch of tech savvy web users couldn’t do the same. I think their aim of making it available for under $2000 might be a little bit of a stretch though…

    • floppyscience

      It’s considerably harder to reverse-engineer a firearm you’ve never even seen in person, and for which little techical data is available on the internet.

      • Giolli Joker

        Yep, and “the Chinese” is not usually a group of tech savvy web users, but a full firearm company with plenty of engineering and manufacturing capability…
        However, good luck to the team!
        (If they manage to design a stamped receiver that can be produced like some AK build kits, maybe they can even hit the goal of under 2000$)

    • Bobby

      So when should we be expecting the SVD Dragunov?????

  • milo

    i imagine it would use an ammunition other than 9×39

    • Paul Strealer

      One could readily build it in 7.62×39, and use 230gr bullets for a very nice subsonic load.

  • milo

    i would imagine that the techies have a large plate on them, but its for a noble cause.

  • Fuddleton

    /k/ is tech savvy? /k/ has industrial experience? /k/ has engineering experience? Whaaaaa??? All the best to them, but seriously, I doubt this will pass the “hopeful dreaming stage

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      To answer your questions, I would say yes to all of them.

    • /K/ommando Joe

      /k/ommando here. Don’t underestimate us. People think /b/ is full of basement dwelling CP hoarders, but that is where Anonymous was born. Also, /b/ really is full of basement dwelling CP hoarders.

      • Jilu Khan Spandiary

        Do it, and I will be the first to buy one.
        And, if I may make some suggestions, how about an SVU, or a 9a-91

    • Zergface

      Don’t let the facade of 2edgy4u teenagers and the language used fool you. Some of the the individual boards on 4chan are quite knowledgeable on their dedicated subject. When it comes to /k/ you can name a profession and I can guarantee you that you can find several anons that work in that field.

      /b/ is still a shithole though.

    • Strelok

      This /k/ommando is an engineering student with an internship.

  • VSS project member

    Dear readers, that image is a quick mockup and does not represent the true modifications including the needed changes to the gas system for a 16″ barrel. Please keep that in mind.

    • Another Project Member

      @disqus_hwQSVzi0gM:disqus The initial plan is to offer in 7.62×39 and then do some test batches
      of hand-loaded 9.3; basically doing what the Russians did and necking
      7.62×39 cartridges up to accept a 9.3 bullet and use commercial rounds
      available from hornady and the like for big game hunting.

      Obvioiusly there is some very severe skepticism, and understandably so. I’m not gonna lie, there’s a good chance this won’t get past the drawing board as we all have lives outside of this. It’s honestly more of a hobby for now. Like restoring an old junker car. You’re not going to pour your entire life into it. Especially with the 3-4 people we have on it.

      I’m kinda curious as to why someone on here would choose to write about this, though. Never thought an whimsical project like this would catch any attention outside of /k/.

      • Carlos V. Quevedo

        Because VSS’ are universally cool.

        • Another Project Member

          I suppose that IS very true. Hence our wanting to do it. We also have a number of other projects lined up after this if we ever do finish it. Ones that seem a bit more inside the realm of possibility. Honestly, this will progress faster once we get more experience respectively. We’re all going down career paths that make this fairly feasible, though, as someone said below, we’ve never actually picked up and touched the rifle ourselves, so we may not have a carbon copy, but we have close to 5GB of different reference pictures, original schematics, technical drawings, etc. The problem is finding the time to put it all together.

        • MDS

          ^This guy (C.V.Q.) should know. He built an airsoft Vintovka Snayperskaya Spetsialnaya from scratch.
          http://www.filairsoft.com/forum/showthread.php?t=96683

        • mikewest007

          ‘sup RC? 😀

          • RedScare

            Mini Arnies reunion?

          • mikewest007

            Something like it.

      • It’s about guns and the creative abilities of those interested in making an unusual gun. We try to find interesting gun projects to share with the readers.

      • MegaXPEH

        In Russia produced commercial ammunition 9×39.

      • Possible Buyer

        Why not attempt a chambering in 300 Blackout?

        • Anonymoose

          You could just make it in 7.62×39 and make it function reliably with heavy subsonic loads of that.

          • Chatterbot

            There is no factory produced subsonic 7.62×39 ammo in US.

          • Anonymoose

            Doesn’t mean you can’t handload it.

          • Chatterbot

            Ah, yes, let’s take a rifle with limited appeal and then limit it further by requiring the owner to be a reloader too. At that point, you might as well go all in and sell it only as a silenced short barrel rifle.

          • Anonymoose

            Oops, in my first post I meant to say that you should make it able to function reliably with BOTH supersonic and subsonic 7.62×39 loads, to increase the effectiveness of the suppressor, not to make it only able to fire subsonic loads.

      • MrTorben

        good luck, I am looking forward to more updates.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      Thanks for letting us know. Feel free to email me updates on the project at editor@thefirearmblog.com so I can share them with our readers.

      • VSS project member

        Absolutely, we will be sure to provide any information your readers will be interested in.

    • Spencedaddy

      Solidworks guy here, how do I get into contact with you guys to try and help! Also have access to a 3D printer.

      • VSS project member

        You can contact me at avenexaleasalutonexalea@gmail.com I can put you in contact with the right project member from there. Thanks for the offer and we look forward to hearing from you!

    • Matt Ware

      Will it be adequate for removing kebab?

      • Anonymoose

        It will be far more than adequate.

    • HSR47

      Why bother with the longer barrel length if you’re planning to build them as integrally suppressed guns anyway? A two stamp gun should take just as long to transfer as a single-stamp gun.

      • VSS project member

        Because not everyone wants a gun they need special papers for. There should be a non NFA version in addition to a suppressed SBR.

        • HSR47

          I’ve yet to meet an individual willing to spend over $2,000 on a custom-built firearm chambered for a wildcat caliber who didn’t already own multiple NFA items.

          Furthermore, if the entire purpose of the wildcat cartridge is to improve suppressed performance, then why bother using it unsuppressed?

          • VSS project member

            Because people asked us to, we had people specifically request that there be a non NFA version.

            Just because you personally have not met them does not mean they don’t exist.

  • Carlos V. Quevedo

    MAKE IT IN 300BLK!!!

    • Paul Strealer

      Oh hell naw. There’s nothing you gain from 300blk in this platform that you can’t do with 7.62×39 subsonics easier. The primary appeal of 300blk is that it fits in an AR bolt head.

      • AlphaHotelActual

        When was the last time you bought Subsonic 7.62×39 at WalMart? The VSS is chambered in 9×39 anyway, so what’s the point?

        • Paul Strealer

          When was the last time you could fine 300blk anywhere?

        • dilby

          Remove bullet. Dump some powder. Return bullet. Subsonic 7.62×39.

          • A2H

            You’re not a reloader, are you? That’s a recipe for a KB.

    • dskeet

      Yeah, let’s not make it in a relatively cheap and common caliber.. instead lets make it in a niche caliber that is expensive as hell. Awesome.

    • Jon

      It would be better in 338 Spectre. 300 grain Sierra HPBT Matchking bullet and this weapon would make a very good combination.

  • PCP

    I don’t know why they are complaing about the SP-5, sure its parameters are bizarre but it’s still a conventional cartridge. Now if they want a challenge, something to REALLY complain about they should try cloning the PSS pistol and the SP-4 cartridge. Now that will not only make the design and research team go crazy but also their production engineers.

  • Bibbidybobbidybobbyaaa

    REVERSE ENGINEER THE SVD DRAGUNOV!!!!!!!!!!

    • Another Project Member

      Already talked about it. That would be INFINITELY easier as I actually have access to one and could take a pair of calipers to them for the dimensions rather than just going off pictures. The thing is though, besides being a cultural icon with gun enthusiasts, it’s really not that great a rifle. As well, it’s banned for import by name. Both the Chinese and Russian models (The Romanian PSL/FPK is actually a COMPLETELY different rifle). I’m not sure what legal problems that would entail.

      And it’s no VSS. We want the unicorn. Not the donkey.

  • A2H

    Project leads, please contact me. I work for a hole in the wall suppressor manufacturer/machine shop, and this is right up our alley. A VSS without an integral suppressor is simply blasphemy. Offer both versions, and I guarantee you both models will sell like hotcakes. Hope to hear from you.

    • A2H
      • TCBA_Joe

        Have you contacted Long Mountain Outfitters? I know they keep a considerable reference collection and do lots of temprary imports of exotic foreign weapons for study. They might be able to provide you with more information that straight up drawings won’t give you.
        I also suggest trying to build it as originally designed, full auto using an SOT, and basing the semi-auto gun off that design. If your F/A design works, it will significantly help with building a semi-auto gun.
        Looks like a very cool project, wish I could help, but there may be COI issues.

  • Doom

    oh god, this is just what we need………..

  • JP

    Wow, this is getting a lot farther than I thought it would, and I will never forget the thread where you guys tried to buy a mag from some Russian guy and he thought you were OMON

  • bbmg

    Awesome idea but beyond pretending to own Soviet hardware, I don’t see the point. It would seem to make more sense to make a “conceptual clone”, using more accessible Western components.

    First off, a chambering in 300 blackout makes sense. It fires a bullet 15% lighter but 10% faster and with 28% lower frontal area, meaning a flatter trajectory and greater energy at the muzzle. Combine that with a basic AR action fitted with an optical sight, fixed stock and integral suppressor and there you have it. Something like this: http://samlin.com/cs/20120301-300Blackout_SBR2.jpg

    If you want the VSS “feel”, a custom wooden skeleton stock wouldn’t be hard to conjure up, and a PSO-1 scope or similar side mounted Soviet rig can be bolted to the side of the action. Making a similarly sized and configured integral suppressor would also be feasible.

    • VSS project member

      You entirely missed the point. This is not a rifle that will be used in combat or in competition, this is a VSS Vintorez, that’s all it needs to be. We are not trying to bring some new hip super weapon out to “Revolutionize” the arms industry, or even trying to gain fame by making something that has “Never been done before” We are simply working a labor of love to realize the dream of having a rifle we never thought we could have.

      Isn’t that enough?

      • bbmg

        Appreciated, but it won’t be a Vintorez, will it?

        You’ll basically be this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50A9wjJ40Dk

        Don’t get me wrong, I love that you’re doing this and if you can make it happen, brilliant!

        Some references if you haven’t seen them already:

        http://sadefensejournal.com/wp/?p=372

        http://www.firearmsworld.net/russain/sp9mm/vss/vss.htm

        • VSS project member

          I appreciate the links, but the implications from your comment and video are slightly insulting. This is not an AK dressed up like a VSS, nor is it a VSS receiver with VZ58 parts in it, this will be a from scratch built rifle with all applicable dimensions copied directly from the russian issue military rifle.

          Yes, it will have a 16″ barrel, and yes, it will be semi auto and unsuppressed to start with, but that does not make it an impostor, it is still a VSS rifle. Just because we lengthen the barrel and remove the fun switch does not mean it is suddenly another gun. Just like how a civilian “AKSU” with “barrel extension” and no 3rd hole is still an AK.

          Again, thank you for the links and info, I do not mean to be confrontational, just want to be clear on the goal of the project.

          • bbmg

            To me, what is appealing about the VSS (aside from the fact that it’s Russian made) is the calibre and the suppression – remove those elements and it loses its allure in my view.

            That’s just my personal view though, if th goal is to make an aesthetic clone made as close to the original as possible that is still something to aspire to and I wish you the best of luck 🙂

          • VSS project member

            But it will be in 9×39 and you can file a form 1 to suppress it. If it doesn’t end up being offered in a suppressed version to begin with.

            Anyway, I see your problem with it and the VSS is obviously not a perfect weapon, but thanks for the support, this really is a life dream for us on the project and others interest just makes it more fun.

          • michael cleveland

            if this goes well for you, and i hope it does could you do the same thing with the SVD? i always wanted one but there rarity makes them so expensive its beyond my reach under 2k i could do but 4k is just to much for me good luck on your project im looking foward to seeing one in person

          • mikewest007

            The ammo got me puzzled, how hard is it to get it outside of Russia? It doesn’t really have civilian uses, as of now…

  • Bucking the Futz

    Appreciate anyone that tackles a labor of love and hope that if/when it hits production I have the scratch to pick one up if only for a while……

    • sianmink

      It would be possible, but then it wouldn’t really be a Vintorez/Val, would it?

    • VSS project member

      The VSS has a standard russian side rail milled into the receiver, it’s actually one of the defining characteristics of the rifle. You can mount any SVD scope or aftermarket rail system that can attach to Russian scope rails.

  • Nicholas Mew

    I was hoping for the cheap lever delayed blowback TKB-517.

    • Giolli Joker

      I’d say that ALL of Korobov designs deserve to be brought back to life…

      • Avery

        No kidding. That TKB-022 bullpup deserves another look at. Unfortunately, it’ll need some real access to the prototypes to find out how the feed system really works.

    • WarFairy

      You have my attention. Do you have any details, pictures, schematics or anything else regarding this rifle? I really like the look of it.

      • Nicholas Mew

        No. Information about it is unfortunately rather scarce.

  • Ripley

    Loved it since S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

    • Masoo2

      S.T.A.L.K.E.R. <3

      • Jon

        Try Misery 2.0

  • wetcorps

    Hell yeah! The Vintorez is one of the coolest firerarms ever.

  • Patrick Keogan

    I still can’t figure out- since Russia joined the WTO- why we can’t import these in quantity.

    • Tuulos

      Patrick, if I remember correctly it’s US import laws & regulations that stop you from importing Russian military weapons combined with Russia not selling them.

      • sianmink

        Russia is really stingy about exporting anything 5.45 or 9×39.

        • Tuulos

          It somewhat depends on the country too and now that Izhmash almost went bankrupt they’re hopefully going to focus more on exporting.

          • bsnighteye

            Went bankrupt? They received 400 mln $ for “Vikhr-1” guided missile for helicopters just before they were emerged into Kalashnikov Inc.

          • Tuulos

            They even wrote about it in here, although my memory failed me a little. It wasn’t almost went bankrupt, they went bankrupt.

            http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2012/04/23/izhmash-officially-bankrupt/

          • bsnighteye

            24th July 2013
            Headline: Izhmash has won the competition for the supply of missiles “Vortex-1”

            Text: NGO “Izhmash”, included in the GC “Rostekh”, is the winner of the tender for the supply of Russian Ministry of Defence missiles “Vortex-1” for 2013-2015. Appropriate contract with the Russian Defense Ministry has concluded. According to him, the company will manufacture and supply missiles “Vortex-1” worth about 13 billion rubles by the end of 2015.

            Link: http://vpk-news.ru/news/16797

      • Patrick Keogan

        Wouldn’t the US be in violation of intl law by interfering with commerce?

        • Tuulos

          And who would judge US for it? Also countries can have their own import restrictions and when they restrict guns it seems nobody cares. Except us shooters of course.

  • Yojimbo556

    9×39 is really gonna force me to start handloading….

    • mikewest007

      The Soldiers of 4Chan.

  • SERIOUSLY?

    16″ barrel, no suppressor, different gas system so you can’t chop the barrel and add a suppressor… why not just make an airsoft gun?

    Make it a 30″ barrel, electronic trigger, .68 paintball, a big hopper on top, make the tube out of a PVC, and paint it pink.

    You’re breaking my heart. So much time and work to make a look-alike when the same amount of time would make a real VSS. I’m gonna go puke.

    • Snøball

      Git out.

      • Guest

        Except that the neutered version is for the people that want the appeal of the VSS without going through all of the ATF forms. Reading Comprehension is your friend. How about reading through the comments from the people on the team instead of making an ass of yourself

        • Guest

          That was to @9b325936277ff399280182f9600bc9c3:disqus. Not you @snball:disqus . Sorry. Lmao

    • VSS project member

      Because a paintball gun can’t kill a bear. A super sonic 9x39mm round puts out serious energy on impact. If nothing else, this rifle has sheer firepower on it’s side. And you get to make 9mm jokes.

  • Stephen Lucas

    To quote Kaylee: “Why’s everybody so mad?”

    Dudes. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. It’s that simple. As for me, if they succeed, I’ll buy one (particularly if they go ahead with the 7.62×39 rechambering). It’s a cool rifle and a cool design. Further, it’s their project, so they can do what they want.

    To the project guys: Do you have a list somewhere for people who might want to buy one if you can get it into production?

    • Lazy

      Not yet. It’s still pretty early in the game for that. But don’t worry, we’ll make sure to tell TFB and /k/ if/when we do go into full production. Free advertisement? Why not.

    • Mal

      I salute your firefly/serenity reference my good sir…

  • Masoo2

    If they can make this, that means, most likely, THEY COULD MAKE AN AS VAL! 😀 I WOUD LOVE FOR AN AS VAL! And god that 9×39, but, in all seriousness…If this gets made…..

    • VSS project member

      The AS-VAL shares a 70% parts commonality with the VSS, the difference primarily being the furniture. We will be looking at a zombie ninja mall slayer version with AS-VAL furniture and some other tacti-cool improvements. Nothing, however, is set in stone at this point.

      • Masoo2

        Well, yes, I know, but, if this (VSS) did become a real thing, the possibilities would be endless. I wish you and the team the best of luck!

        • VSS project member

          Thanks man, we appreciate the support.

      • A.K. for T-7

        If you do it I will work my way to legally import one to Brazil. Awesome add to my russian collection.

    • bbmg
      • Dr. Daniel Jackson

        Yes but it it fires a much weaker cartridge.

  • Karina

    I want to belieeeeeeeeeve!

  • Blake

    You know, the patents on this thing have most likely expired. You could probably contact someone at the Tula plant where it was originally made & get some factory data on it.

    It’s worth a shot…

  • Blake

    There are shops doing pretty well selling De Lisle carbines (what I would give for one of those…) based on Enfield actions, so don’t discount the possibility of NFA sales.

  • Justin

    On a side note, have you thought of doing a 9×39 saiga conversion? The round seems to be a great idea, and a semi-affordable platform could really help it take off.

    And yes, i get that the point is to make a VSS.

  • I’ve been fascinated with the Vintorez since playing America’s Army 2 like 8 years ago … would LOVE to buy one! Course the 300 Blackout and other wildcatting solutions will give similar performance I guess, but I still want one of these!!

  • Vic

    Butterfly what is your wisdom?

  • Secundius

    During WW2, the United States fielded a similar design called. The DeLisle Commando Bolt-Action Carbine, which fired a .45ACP (11.43x23mm). Rate of fire was between 20 to 30-rpm, had and effective range of 200-yards and a maximum range of 400-yards. It also came with either a 7-round or a 11-round magazine. And came with either fixed or folding stock. With the exception of the butt stock, they look very much alike.