KRISS Vector charging handle issues

Since May of 2012, there have been a few complaints from KRISS Vector owners about the difficulty in pulling the charging handle on their KRISS Vectors. It didn’t matter if it was a Carbine, SDP pistol, or SBR. Some owners have mitigated the problem with 500 rds+ of ammo as well as storing their Vector with the bolt locked open. Here Justin Bove shows how difficult it is to charge his Vector SBR.

Back in September 2012 I did experience a difficult charging handle at a local gun shop back in NY. I wanted to confirm the claims that owners were making on the forums. I had the store clerk pull the Vector Carbine off the wall and I proceeded to try charging the Vector. I was unable to lock the bolt back without shouldering the Vector.

In November of 2012, KRISS USA responded with this video. It shows the proper method to charging the KRISS Vector. The ease of racking the charging handle, is similar to my personal Vector Carbine. It is light and can be done with one finger. This video does mention one problem, but many of the Vector owner have tried this method and still have difficulty in pulling their charging handles.

Now only a few complaints have cropped up over the past 2 years. Some of those people were able to correct the problem and others just shipped it back and they came back fixed. So this may be an isolated issue. Hopefully the problem will be corrected and quality control will resume.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • iksnilol

    It is a tactical feature, it is to prevent someone untrained from taking/stealing the weapon and using it themselves.

    • Callum King-Underwood

      tacticooly broken

  • ColaBox

    He owns a Kriss Vector an yet he calls the mag a clip. That’s like owning Babe Ruth’s bat and calling it a hitty stick.

    • Geo

      Too bad knowledge is not worth as much as cash.

    • Justin_GA

      I said magazine in the beginning and “clip” at the end. OMG! It’s hard to break a habit. When I was growing up my father would always say “insert clip” and remove magazine. I mess up sometimes…I’m only human.

  • HKChad

    Mine works like the Gentleman says from KRISS, grab it close, works fine, grab it far out or put in a bind and it’s almost impossible. Took me a while to figure out what was going on b/c sometimes it would be easy others it was almost impossible.

    • Chungbot

      maybe that weekend warrior should man up and pull it with some strength. maybe he should make a video about the door handle on his car being too stiff so he couldn’t drive it. I’m 5’5, 130lbs and have had no problems operating this gun.

      • Justin_GA


  • Rick Burkemper

    Like most everything in the firearms world, it’s all about training and technique.

    • Joshua

      Lord forbid you are ever in a high stress situation and don’t just grab the charging handle just right…….It’s a poor design no way around it.

      • Rick Burkemper

        What part of training and technique do you not understand? We shouldn’t train until we get it right, we train until we can’t get it wrong. If you are not intimately familiar with your tools then you shouldn’t even HAVE them in a high stress situation. In terms of it being “a poor design” pick one up and actually use it before you make that statement.

        • Joshua

          So you’re perfect then? I guarantee you that you can train for years and you’re going to make mistakes.

          I was trained for years on the M4A1 and amazingly I still made mistakes at times during firefights, not often…but yes I mademistakes. I remember one time I had a double feed and what would normally take me 2 seconds to clear(something I practice alot of) ended up taking me close to 15 seconds, I screwed up and got nervous. It happens to the best of us, so yeah having a CH that only works when used just the right way is a bad design, because when shit hits the fan and your taking incoming fire you may just mess up.

          • Rick Burkemper

            Nope, not even close to perfect, never claimed to be. My whole point is that to call a design “poor” or “bad” because you are not familiar with it or using it properly is just plain silly. I’ve never once experienced a bind on the charging handle of my Vector. Granted I’ve never taken it into combat but when the SHTF I wouldn’t hesitate for one second.

            If I try to use a single pinky finger on my weak hand to pull the charging handle on a M4A1, which wouldn’t work very well, can I say that it’s a poor design? That’s essentially what you are saying. And for the record I’m no stranger to the M4A1 myself.

          • Joshua

            The difference though is that one is strength related(pinky on weak hand), and the other binds when not pulled correctly.

            Kind of an apple to oranges thing. A better example would be if the CH on the AR would bind if you did not use the whole pointer/middle finger pull like it was designed, in which case you can easily charge an AR with just your pointer finger grabbing the latch and pulling. It is even easier with an extended latch.

          • Rick Burkemper

            IMHO the real issue here is proper (or correct) usage.

            You say that in a SHTF scenario (or any, for that matter) nerves and stress can cause a person to make mistakes. I absolutely agree. Is that the fault of the device, or the operator? Your double feed, for example. Even after all of your extensive training you had a problem under fire. How is that any different than not pulling a charging handle correctly and having it bind? Not the fault of the design or the CH, it’s the meat trying to manipulate said device.

            Granted, my M4A1 example wasn’t the best one that I could have made, simply trying to relate to you. Maybe a better one would be blaming a manual transmission if the driver misses a gear.

            One thing I do know, as a Lefty, charging the Vector should be VERY difficult for me. I have to cross over the top and pull the handle back at a somewhat awkward angle. Funny thing is, it’s not hard at all. I practiced, worked out the technique, and now it’s muscle memory. Could I possibly screw it up? Sure I could. Is it the fault of the CH? Nope.

  • David_TheMa

    Company made a poor design. They should correct this issue.

    • gunslinger

      reminds me of the iphone antenna issue. “you’re holding it wrong”

      no, if the user has a “typical” way to do something, and your product causes it fail when used said way, that’s a problem.

      but…i never handled one, so i can’t say for sure how bad the problem is

      • Like I said above I’ve shot them a lot! I never even knew people were having problems until I read about it. I never had problem one on any I’ve shot whether it was a semi auto or the select fire. I still don’t get it it’s not fussy in any way when you use the charging handle.
        During media day at SHOT I tried to screw up the charging handle on a full auto version and couldn’t get it to hangup or give me any problems at all.
        I’d really like to go to the range with someone having problems and see what their doing to cause that.

        • hydepark

          This. I’ve been looking at and handling these ever since a couple ranges got in rentals years ago. Picked up one of the SDP’s late last year and I haven’t experienced any of the problems some people claim I.E. jams, shooting low, etc. And I never even heard of this problem until reading about it right here. Those two guys up above can twiddle each-other’s holes until the sun goes down, though. It makes me laugh.

          Kriss has had growing pains and I’m glad I waited for a while to buy one, but that being said it’s one of my favorite things to shoot. Never gives me any problems as long as I keep it lubed if I’m doing A LOT of shooting in one day.

          • Justin_GA

            Thats not really nice to say I should twiddle my hole to the sun goes down. I’m glad you never had issues. I wish I never had issues too. I’ve tried other vectors and have not had problems. There is a small percent that have problems like me. I wish I could let you charge mine. You would say what everyone who charges it says. Dude.. whats going on with the charging handle.

  • H.Crinkle

    What’s the appeal of those things again?

    • gunslinger

      reduced recoil design mechanism?

      • That’s a part of it but in all honesty if you shoot one a bit I’d bet most of you would really like it.
        It’s super easy to clean,lightweight and it’s fast to maneuver among other things. The select fire version is a blast to shoot and barely moves even on full auto. The burst mode is so smooth your rounds darn near make one hole in the target.

  • Guys I’ve shot these to death and I never once had any problems with the charging handle?

  • Marc

    The other big issue is that there still is no 10 mm version.

  • Dan Atwater

    The charging handle feels really stiff at first but a sharp tug on it always works. If you pick one up for the first time you might have an issue but I can’t imagine anyone who actually owns one not being able to figure out how to do it. It isn’t that difficult.

  • jackalo626

    People keep saying they never had trouble with them sound really condescending to the people who have. Because yours didn’t show the symptoms doesn’t mean that everybody else’s behaved the same way. What possible benefit could a person get by making up the story and sending in their firearm and being without it for weeks?

    • Justin_GA


  • desert dog

    My vector suffers this issue, even after 700 rounds. I am a VERY experienced firearms enthusiast, and have watched the Kriss video on proper technique (which does nothing to solve my issue. I rarely shoot my Kriss anymore because you literally have to force the gun against your leg and pull back HARD to charge the weapon. It is embarrassing when I let other people shoot the gun and they try to charge it and ask “how much did you pay for this”. I recently handled another Vector from a local gun shop, and it was easy to charge, about like the one in the Kriss video. I think I will send mine back.