KRISS Vector Out Of Battery Detonation

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Here is a rare occurrence. A KRISS Vector having an out of battery detonation.

Tyler Moore, sent me pictures of his Vector’s malfunction. Here is the brass that caused the problem.

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According to Tyler on KRISSTALK.com:

Sooo, on my fifth round at the range this weekend, my vector failed to fully seat a round. This is not irregular, however, this time the thing fired! The charge blew the shell open, burning my hands. The pressure caused cracks on both sides of the lower receiver. I am dealing with Kriss now, they want me to send it in for warranty repair. The problem is with the one year warranty. What happens if this occurs again outside of the warranty? Should I ever even trust this gun again? Have any of you ever had this happen?

My Vector was purchased in 2010 and came with a lifetime warranty. Since KRISS updated their website, they changed the warranty from Lifetime to just one year. If you register your Vector on their website, the warranty is extended an additional year. This is not to be of any concern. Of the few malfunctions that people have been reporting on KRISSTALK.com, they have all been fixed by KRISS USA without issue.

If you look at the failure in the polymer housing below you can see the cracks. Tyler was lucky. This could have been worse. Just look at out of battery detonation in polymer handguns.

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Here is a picture I took a while back when I removed my polymer lower housing to get it cerakoted. The lower polymer housing wraps around a steel skeleton.

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It is a little bit hard to tell with the housing gone, but if you look at the steel skeleton, that empty void is where the buffer slider moves. In front of that is where the magazine would be. So other than the polymer housing, nothing else is supporting the magazine. So when the round detonated it took the path of least resistance and blew the magazine out. This is one reason why I no longer hold the Vector by the magwell. You can see Colion Noir and Jerry Miculek below. They use the magwell as a hand hold even though these shooters usually use a c-clamp grip when shooting an AR.

Colion KRISS Miculek vector

Just like an AR, it is not recommended to hold the weapon at the magwell in case of an out of battery detonation. You can actually control a Vector carbine by grabbing the shroud. I modified a free float and there are companies like Diamondhead USA that make a free float handguard for the Vector.

Me vector

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Now of course this only works with a Vector CBR. If you have a SDP or SBR this wouldnt work. You could use a vertical grip and that would be much more preferred than holding the magwell. In the case of the SDP, you cannot legally put a vertical grip on it, so I recommend using a modified AFG design. This way your hand is not wrapped around the magwell and you can control the barrel a bit more.

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Back to Tyler’s Vector. You would be glad to know KRISS Arms fixed his Vector and all is good now. According to Tyler, they replaced the lower housing, hammer, and hammer spring.



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 nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • KestrelBike

    Meh, am I wrong to expect lifetime warrantees when it comes to firearms? Especially when it comes to KBs??? Sure, if a recoil spring goes down, that’s OK. but if there’s a catastrophic breakdown and I wasn’t using my home-brewed ++++P .40 in my 9mm barrel, I think the manufacturer better have some answers beyond 1 or 2 years.

  • John

    My KWA, made in Taiwan, gas blowback, fully licensed trademarks, full auto with burst Kriss Vector won’t ever fire out of battery. The trigger isn’t set when it’s out of battery and the bolt isn’t fully closed. Just saying.

    • Cuntfucious

      You mean the Airsoft gun? What?

      • An Interested Person

        The airsoft Kriss is almost identical, internally and externally, to the real one. John is making a comment about inherent safety of the trigger system of the airsoft replica, because it is very likely identical to the real one.

    • Nicholas Chen

      Thanks but the Airsoft version is still different from the real Vector. I have both. The biggest difference is how the hammer works and most importantly the mechanics of firing a bullet vs a 6mm pellet. The Airsoft and real Vectors may be only a couple of percent different from each other but it is a big difference.

      As long as the hammer can swing and hit the back of the bolt to hit the firing pin, and the firing pin can make contact with the back of the bullet, then the round will go off.

    • ChuckyTee

      Because real guns and airsoft are different. Gunpowder and all.

  • Joe Hooker

    What kind of ammo was it? Factory or reloads? If factory who made it?

  • Giolli Joker

    I’m kinda puzzled by this article… on one side we’re told that the gun is safe and the limited warranty isn’t an issue, on the other we’re clearly advised not to hold it as the designers clearly meant to avoid injury in case of out of battery detonation…
    The fact that the Company has drastically reduced the warranty period doesn’t sound comforting as well.

    • Xanderbach

      Indeed. What advantage does this have over say- Any other PCC in existence? Since the super-fancy down-recoiling action is really only useful in full auto, why buy something this pricey, finicky, heavy and possibly dangerous?

      • Giolli Joker

        Well, actually I’m not meaning to bash the Vector design.
        I find it at least very interesting and I really wish I could have a chance to try at the range… apparently, should that time ever come, I’ll need to wrap my left hand somewhere else.
        On the full-auto part, however, Alex C. told us a different story on the supposed advantages of this system.

      • Nicholas Chen

        One occurrence does not denote all are bad.

    • Nicholas Chen

      As a Vector owner I am not concerned about malfunctions. It is a man made object. It will malfunction eventually through wear and tear. Kriss Arms has been great with my repairs and the few I have seen in KRISSTALK forums.

      I was trying to inform people, who have or may yet shoot a Vector, that if something bad happens, it is not a good idea to hold the Vector by the magwell. This train of thought can be applied to many guns and not specific to shooting a Vector.

      • USMC03Vet

        uh, want to explain what repairs you’ve had done?

        Seems like the product has a history of issues and considering they drastically changed their warranty policy that is probably going to be another issue for owners.

        • Nicholas Chen

          After about 3k rounds my Vector was having some FTE. The brass would get stuck. It started happening more frequent. So I sent it back and they updated most of my gun. I told I wanted to keep my upper receiver as is. It has different markings and has the original selector switch positions.

  • sianmink

    According to my cheat sheet you could stick a bipod onto the bottom rail and hold onto that, and it isn’t a forward grip.

    That the Vector can go off that far out of battery is worrisome. Don’t they have a firing pin safety?

    • Nicholas Chen

      Be careful you don’t use a grip pod though. That can be construed as a vertical grip. But yes a true bi pod would work.

  • Peter Balzer

    Soo, the company AND the gun suck? Good for them

    • No the company doesn’t suck they are good folks to work with and do stand by the product regardless of the change in warranty time.

      • Peter Balzer

        I know about your undying love for them. Again, they tried to have legislation put into effect in Switzerland that would allow the government (aka the guys with the black helicopters) to actively “ping” for guns. For that, they have earned my undying, unrelentless hate. You don’t do that to the people who buy your products. I hope they go under! When it happens, I will be celebrating for three days. – Feel free to delete this post (it has happened in the past).

  • dan citizen

    ***I apologize in advance that this post read as harsh of mind. I do not mean it that way but can’t english good this morning. I am only thinking of technical aspects. I highly respect Nicholas C. and KRISS products and feel confident the aspects I raise have likely already been addressed.***

    I find it disturbing that the vector dropped hammer on an OOB round.

    I know many weapons will, but coupled with a habit of failing to fully chamber a cartridge it results in what I would consider an unworkable firearm/cartridge combination.

    I would like to here more as to why the KRISS/ammo combination is failing to chamber.

    • The only difficulty I had when testing one was with Wolf ammo. Steel cased rounds tend to stick in the chamber and don’t eject.

  • USMC03Vet

    I’d be pissed.

    Those aren’t cheap.

  • worldwideREB

    this is not that rare with these guns. a gunsmith I Know was ask to fix two of these with the similar failures within two months time. I saw one of them that fired out of battery and even though it is a nice ergonomic gun I would NOT trust my life to it.

  • Jimmy Ray

    Wasn’t this company making a .50 cal rifle with the same operating mechanism? Won some Army contract??

    • Not that I’m aware of—-

      • Jimmy Ray

        I found it ”
        October 2006 to December 2007. The Super V system takes another giant stride when TDI wins a $617,000 competitive contract from JSSAP for a study of Kerbrat’s concept for a lightweight .50 BMG caliber machine gun. No doubt drawing on his extensive experience at FN Herstal on development of the 15mm BRG-15 machine gun and other projects, Kerbrat builds and delivers a working prototype to Viking Works. It is called the “Disraptor,” a play on words describing Gamma’s intention to disrupt the status quo with a light, simple, powerful, and fast firing gun that has the fearsome characteristics of the raptor family of predatory birds. Live fire experimentation and computer modeling guide the design’s subsequent development, carried out at Viking Works and Picatinny. With minor modifications, notably the addition of a special hydraulic buffer system from Enidine, the mechanism proves markedly superior to a standard M2HB in the program’s two critical objectives: 40% less weight and half the recoil impulse of the M2HB (95% reduction compared to theoretical maximum). Again, ARDEC engineers via the CRADA and consultant Curtis Johnson provide significant support to this effort.”

      • Jimmy Ray

        Also here,

        “Company officials said the Super V mechanism can be adapted to any caliber weapon. Work currently is under way on a 12-gauge shotgun. And the company has won an Army contract valued at a little over $1 million to develop a lighter-weight, more user-friendly .50-caliber machine gun, Kushell said.”

        http://hamptonroads.com/node/343981

  • bbmg

    A semantic point but is “detonation” the correct word to use? High Explosives detonate, Propellants deflagrate.

  • Duray

    “Just like an AR, it is not recommended to hold the weapon at the magwell in case of an out of battery detonation.”

    Have you ever seen anyone whose hands were injured specifically from holding the mag well of an AR? Pressure follows the path of least resistance. Gun designers know this, and I have a hard time believing that the solid aluminum mag well would rupture before the flimsy polymer floor plate pops off my P-mag, never mind the open ejection port directly adjacent to the chamber. Does the same go for pistol shooters? Do they need to avoid placing their hands around the magazine?

  • Will

    I would tend to be VERY leery of a company who offers a LIFETIME warrantee then changes it to ONE YEAR.
    WHY?????

  • AK™

    Funny looking Glock with an OOB oops. Glad the guy is ok.