KRISS Vector 9mm Carbine and Pistol Review

The KRISS Vector is now available in 9mm and is yet another great offering in the 9mm pistol caliber carbine market. However, the interesting recoil mitigation technology housed within the gun makes the 9mm Vector a real sweetheart to shoot.
In this episode of TFBTV, Alex and Patrick take a look at both the carbine and pistol versions of the Vector 9mm to see what each brings to the table.

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Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV. A native Texan with a penchant for gun collecting combined with a degree in History from Baylor University have contributed to a passion for both early and modern firearms. You can reach Alex at acapps@gocapps.com.


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  • overlander

    Cool design, love the recoil mitigation system, but I keep hearing complaints about reliability. Glock mags may not have issues, but if the gun itself turns into a brick…

    • Mister Thomas

      I’ve read these same reviews. But a company can’t make a defective product and stay in business. Unless all of their LE/MIL customers get the good ones and they don’t care about their civilian customers. Is this company as bad as Kel-Tec?

      • GlocksInMySocks

        What LE/MIL customers are you speaking of? Pretty sure no institute has adopted the vector.

        • Mister Thomas

          They sell a select fire version of the Kriss Vector. I have no idea how many they have made or who has ordered them. I’m sure they would love to have some agency adopt them, and that’s kind of the point as to why they made this in the first place, I would guess.

          • GlocksInMySocks

            From what I understand, but I could be wrong, there has yet to be a single agency adopt the vector.

          • Popular Science has had the picture of the flying car by the same idiot every year on their magazine cover and yet no one has one. Just because some one is selling a product it does not mean there is a sucker out there buying it. The SMG has pretty much been dropped due to lack of penetration on soft armor as well as the likely hood of over penetration on barriers incase of a miss. It seems like a oxymoron to say that but its the case that 5.56mm is much better for military and LE roles.

          • iksnilol

            Yeah, .45 acp subgun in the 21st century is at the very least on the top 5 of stupid ideas.

        • Ben Loong

          KRISS actually recently won a contract for the Philippine National Police’s recent 9mm SMG requirement. They beat out CZ (Evo III), B+T (ACP9), and IWI (X95) during the bidding.

          Apparently the PNP had previous experience with smaller numbers of the .45 version as well.

    • GlocksInMySocks

      I have a first gen Kriss vector sbr and when I first got it, the reliably was pretty poor… It went back to the factory to get fixed, but I honestly haven’t shot it since it got fixed 2-3 years ago. It’s sort of a gun that doesn’t really have any real role in my collection, so it’s been relegated to the back of the safe. Maybe I’ll bust it back out now that there is a 9mm conversion.

      However, I want to point out something. Due to the way the vector is made, if you have a 45 version sbr, you will have to get a second stamp when you get the 9mm conversion half.

    • For a SMG type of gun a dual column, single feed position magazine is the worse type of magazine. They are a PITA to load, they require high spring loads when the magazine size is large and are much more likely to fail than a dual feed position magazine. The Swedish K or Beretta SMG magazines are much better magazines. Some will say you want magazine interchangeability with your handgun but that is really a ridiculous argument in any scenario less than SHTF/WW3. For police, magazine compatibility for emergencies is a non issue.

  • TDog

    Never did care for it. Having fired it a few times, failures of all stripes were its hallmark.

    Even the recoil system, which is meant to mitigate recoil, isn’t all that awesome. The same effect could be achieved by strapping a nine-pound weight to the bottom of your gun. All in all, I’m not its biggest fan (in case you couldn’t tell).

    • iksnilol

      I dunno, if the gun weighs less than 9 pounds I’d deem it a success.

      • TDog

        Why do folks always take my comedic exaggerations literally?

    • JumpIf NotZero

      It’s not a hard recoiling gun, but it’s also not light. Maybe it’s got some merit in auto, I don’t know, never shot a sample Vector.

      All the same, there is no reason any 9mm should be rocking someone Alex’s size back on his heels like at 1:20. Esp not a gun with a “special” recoil system… Then again… There is the stance at 6:40-on that… I can’t even… Maybe it’s not the gun.

      • Bill

        Here’s where I’d say “Stand up and fight like a biped.”

      • Kevin

        Checked the URL. Nope. I’m not on ENDO.

      • Nicks87

        That stance is a proper gentleman’s stance circa the early 1800s. Alex executes it perfectly. It’s not tactical but it was considered very fashionable at the height of it’s popularity.

  • UD

    Had to go back and watch the “drive by” a couple of times, laughed each time.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Fun times and all….. for the first scene. For the second scene… I don’t care how cute you think you’re being. The driver was down range of the shooter – that’s not ok.

      Well… It’s probably A-OK here at TFB. Where safety rules can be ignored… because… ?

      • DancesWithGlock

        When was the driver downrange?

        • JumpIf NotZero

          When he was driving. In front of the shooter.

          • Patrick R.

            The sunroof is directly above the driver, I had the muzzle well over the windshield past Alex.

          • Tassiebush

            Man that looked fun!

          • JK

            What video were you watching?

      • Actually on that car, the sunroof is directly above the driver and passenger. Patrick was standing on the center console and leaning as far forward as possible. I was well behind the muzzle .

      • mosinman

        i re-watched the scene in question and didn’t really see the driver in harms way

  • Bill

    A 9mm needs a recoil mitigation system?

    • Mister Thomas

      If you don’t like the 9mm KRISS you can always buy the .45 ACP KIRSS.

  • Vitor Roma

    Frankly, the EVO recoil was less than the mp5, at least visually and if you put a giant barrel like the Kriss had, it would recoil basically the same.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I’m really not sure on comparing a 16″ with a faux suppressor to the CZ and MP5 8″ barrels at all.

      I’d say with 147gr and a can, that the CZ isn’t harder or softer than my MP5 with the same ammo and can. They’re different. The trigger on the Evo is terrible, but so is the MP5 for different reasons.

      I’d give the edge to the MP5, but not by much.

  • Mister Thomas

    I’d like to see this loaded up with a Korean 50 round drum.

  • Less of a recoil mitigation system and more like what the Chiappa Rhino and some Olympic target pistols do with the low bore axis.

    Recoil’s not that bad on a Vector, for sure, but the lack of muzzle rise is thanks to the low bore axis. You can’t fight physics, contrary to some of TDI/KRISS’s promotional materials. 😉

    • ostiariusalpha

      I don’t know if it’s so much a matter of fighting physics, as trying to get physics to stop fighting the shooter. Any blowback SMG is going to have a relatively heavy bolt, and that mass is going to move stuff around when it cycles during shooting. On a conventional layout like an Uzi, where the bore axis of the barrel is above your hand, you’ll get some muzzle flip. That’s just physics. In a layout where the bore axis is lowered to be in-line with your hand, the muzzle rise is naturally reduced without needing any funny tricks engineered into it, just as you’ve stated. But… that bolt has to go somewhere, and your stupid hand is now in its way. You can just make the action longer to accommodate this, making the gun more front-heavy and less compact, or try to do engineering tricks like the Vector does with its redirected bolt, and maintain compactness while not gaining any muzzle flip in the process.

      • Right, except KRISS/TDI’s marketing material has in the past explicitly talked about the hockey-stick bolt track “redirecting” the recoil, which is, um, horseshit.

        • ostiariusalpha

          Well, the bolt recoil is somewhat redirected, but that’s not the same thing as actual mitigation. The idea that the back-and-down recoil has more of a rooting effect on the shooter then straight back recoil is not entirely absurd, but there’d have to be some seriously rigorous testing from an independent source before I’d believe that the Vector does anything like that.

          • No, the bolt recoil is not redirected. That is impossible.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Not as impossible as you think. Momentum from the bolt is transfered to the mass of the buffer, and the buffer is directed downward. There are all kinds of engineering techniques out there for redirecting kinetic energy.

          • No, that would violate conservation of momentum.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Ah, conservation of momentum, that’s a perfect lens to look at this through! *puts on engineering beanie* Okay, so let’s paint a word picture of the recoil process.

            First, we consider how angular momentum can be changed without violating conservation. If I have a length of rope with a weight on the end, and start swinging it around in a circle, both the weight and I are changing our angles of momentum while preserving conservation; like Pluto and its moon Charon circling their common center of gravity.

            How does this apply to the Vector? When the cartridge is fired, the energetically expanding gas pushes the projectile in one direction, and the bolt in the opposite direction. The bolt cams on the slider buffer, imparting some rearward momentum on it, but the slider can’t move straight back. It has to follow the recoil assembly channel, which is angled downward. In order for the slider’s momentum to change its angle something else has to have a reciprocal change of angular momentum. Just as the weight & I are constrained by the link of the rope to exchange angular momentum (and Pluto and Charon linked by gravity), the slider is mechanically constrained to exchange with the frame of the gun. As the slider goes down and back, the entire frame rises as it is pushed back, which splits the vector of momentum. This is what causes the supposed recoil mitigation. There are other devices that divert momentum vectors, such as the good old-fashioned muzzle brake and compensator. Clearly muzzle brakes are effective at recoil mitigation, so conceptually it’s valid.

            As to where I’m getting “rooting effect on the shooter” silliness, that’s also conservation of momentum. When the slider has bottomed out at the end of rearward recoil and momentum has leveled off, the stored mechanical energy in the recoil spring pushes the slider up and forwards. Conservation of momentum will push the frame in the opposite direction, down and back. The effect of this is probably pretty marginal though.

          • Os, you’re so far as I can tell completely right about the momentum diagram for the Vector (I diagrammed it shortly after it came out, but that was years ago now). What I think you’re missing were the very explicit claims TDI/KRISS made about the recoil mitigation which involved violations of CoM. Without those advertisements handy, though, I can’t really show you.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Not really missing the claims so much as ignoring them; these are the same bunch of marketing and sales geniuses that think ambidextr-ee-uhs is a word. You’ll get no more argument from me that defends that load of horsecrap.

  • Rbatty

    I have a theory on the Vector: If you took a full size hand gun, say a long slide glock, and put it in a chassis that held it forward with the bore in line with your wrist. And it weighed about 5lbs total, I bet it would be as “recoil mitigated” as this

    • Giolli Joker

      This sounds like a job for Demolition Ranch…

    • Rbatty, you’re exactly right, and in fact one company conducted the test you describe, proving it, although it’s not for me to say who…

      • Giolli Joker

        Now we’re curious…

    • Nicks87

      Endo stock FTW baby!!!

  • USMC03Vet

    Well now it comes in OD green…….I need one.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    Can it extract a live round yet?

    • GlocksInMySocks

      Ha, a fellow owner??

      • JumpIf NotZero

        No, but I had considered one and did the research. When they came out I was in the industry more.

        If they would have had them available, priced right, and in 9mm about four years ago I’d definitely own one.

  • Beomoose

    That side shot of Alex with the pistol looks like it should be the cover of “Gentlemen’s Cap-Busting Quarterly.”

    • That stance does harken back to a more civilized era of cap busting.

      • MR

        “Verified Chick Lean”

  • TangledThorns

    On my list for next firearm purchase, just not certain if it will be this year :/

  • An over engineered solution for a question no one ever asked but hey if you ever go canoeing without a paddle you can always use a Kriss to paddle.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Enitrely this. But no doubt they nailed the styling they were going after. The Vector will always be popular in movies and games.

      In reality… The magazine release, I can’t even sort of think what they were going for.

      • Some Guy

        If you use the front of the magwell as a foregrip of sorts then the mag release looks like it’d be in an okay spot. Not exactly conventional but not pants on head retarded either.

        Note: haven’t actually shot one. It could suck.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          It’s small. It’s inset. It’s the exact opposite of what I’d want for a mag release. MP5 and Evo3 nail it with the paddle. On the Evo you can use support thumb or strong index.

          • iksnilol

            #PaddleReleaseMasterRace

  • allannon

    I’m not sure that comparing a faux rifle (I’d be entirely unsurprised if the carbine doesn’t have a couple inches on my AR) to a shorty when discussing recoil is really valid. I mean, my 11-87 has milder felt recoil than my 20ga NEF; while some of that’s certainly due to the 11-87 being semiauto, but it’s also because its longer and heavier.

    The cracked feed lips are slightly worrisome, though. Perhaps a Lancer A5-ish solution would be advisable for CZ; steel feel lips on a plastic mag.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Definitely on comparing the carbine to the SBR. At least they had multiple shooters of varying skill.

      As to the CZ mags, CZ posted on instagram or twitter or some BS that they had one bad batch since 2009 and it was sold to mostly the American market. And that despite being cracked, they haven’t yet seen one that didn’t continue to work.

      • allannon

        I did say “slightly worrisome”. 🙂 It was cracked, but seemed to shoot just fine.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Yea, I get it, I agree.

          But at $20 MSRP and no actual failure.. I’ll buy 3 for every single MPX mag and still go have a nice lunch. 🙂

          • Sgt. Stedenko

            SIG crybaby.
            So predictable.

  • Don Ward

    And today’s edition of “Power Tool or Plasticky Firearm” we present the KRISS Vector!

  • davidio flavio

    I wonder sometimes what some writers get for promoting overpriced, needless, junk?

    David Fortier and his penchant for putting 3k scopes on 800 dollar rifles for example.

    Free samples? Trips to see the stuff, all expenses paid?

    • I got a hat one time.

      • MR

        Next Friday field strip video, you should wrap it up with a picture of the hat, and the voice-over:”I got a hat one time.”

    • We get paid mostly in the finest silks from the Orient, blood diamonds, and dragon eggs.

      • iksnilol

        For some reason I imagined you as a rich and wise man from the middle east clad in robes when you said that… then Alex goes “I got a hat one time”.

        Laughed out loud because of that.

        Should make a comic or something out of it 😛

  • hydepark

    Did you guys notice if either of the two versions you tested out shot very low? As in did you have to max out the red dots or iron sights all the way down to bring your POI up? It’s a common issue with all versions of the 45’s that nobody seems to have a good fix for.

  • Brocus

    dat mp5 tho!

  • John

    For something that big and bulky (and homely) it should be “recoil-free”.

  • Cytoxan

    “9mm mitigation recoil technology” – really? How bout you slap on a testosterone patch and get a firm grip on a Glock 17, and control recoil with proper shooting technique. IMO – The Vector 9mm “pistol” is a over engineered solution for what should be a minimal problem – minimal recoil from a 9mm.

    • Edeco

      Well, you know, I use the one-hand classic-military/olympic technique with regular handguns, as opposed to the isoscoles-weaver-squirrel-with-an-acorn hold that’s all the rage. Some would say I get lower aimed ROF this way, and it might be true. But I’m not concerned; two-handing it is just one of many weird, hassle-laden ways to increase possible rate of aimed fire. One could also bolt the pistol to a car battery for ballast.

      The point being from my perspective most people over-solve the recoil/stability problem in 9mm handguns, so using the added bulk/cost/complexity of the Vector is just a matter of degree. So it somewhat makes sense to me.

  • gunsandrockets

    Sounds like a new channel, “Next on Chris’s Cool Toys”.

  • GlocksInMySocks

    Yeah, so just the people buying dealer samples. No actual LE/MIL agencies…

  • GlocksInMySocks

    Again, just because they sell it, that doesn’t mean anyone uses it.

  • Hokum

    Nice!

  • Pmdata

    How’s the trigger?

    No comparisons using suppresses between the three? I’m interested in blowback (or lack thereof).

    Also, I wish there were drop in .40sw conversions for the Vector.

  • HH

    Good vid. Thanks again. I wonder if KRISS altered their threads with this model. I’m having issues mounting my AAC Tirant can to my .45 KRISS SBR. They seemed to not have relieved the barrel enough near the threads I’m told (by AAC at least). Yeah…$1600 is a bit steep for the 9mm KRISS semi but $1300 and if SBR then I’ll consider adding one. They changed their stock. I hope the SBR version’s stock is a folder.

  • HH

    perhaps the kriss with the long barrel/fake can didnt rise up as much on you as the evo SBR due to difference in barrel length and weight, no? Better to compare SBR to SBR.

  • Xanderbach

    Does the charging handle still need 12K lbs to pull correctly? I remember that being an issue with the .45 Vector… Also, for $1300, you could get a good .300blk AR and a can. It would be quieter and hit harder, and you could build it to be lighter.

  • Malthrak

    It appears odd to me to be comparing a Vector with a 16″ barrel and faux suppressor hanging on it to a Scorpion or MP5 with a naked barrel that’s half the length when looking at muzzle rise…one would obviously expect the heavier Kriss (with more forward mass as well) to have notably less muzzle rise, im not sure what anyone was expecting that to prove.

    Also, contact CZ about that mags, nobody has had issues mags produced after April/May-ish of 2015 (or from early 2014) as far as I am aware (the mags have a date stamped on them). I have two that have been loaded sincr November and theres nothing wrong with them.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    technology housed within the gun make the 9mm Vector a real sweetheart to shoot.

    Typo, “makes”

    look at both the carbine and pistol version

    Typo, “versions”

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    The overcomplicated/costly/heavy/bulky/ugly definiton of “a solution looking for a problem”…

  • northafrican

    the mp5 and the kriss vector are both approx 690 mm in length ( both fully extended ) but the mp5 has a 225 mm barrel vs 140 for the vector

    • ostiariusalpha

      Having the bore axis of the barrel above your hand gives more room for a longer barrel and straight recoiling bolt. It’s a trade-off in increased muzzle flip.

  • Why insult a writer when we have said it time and again we don’t get free stuff unless you count t-shirts maybe a hat.
    KRISS was coming down to the area anyway to demo to some police departments. We aren’t paid for reviews as some publications are. WE write them up and send them back.

    • MrEllis

      I think everyone on the internet saw that was 100% facetious but you.

      I ain’t even mad about your bias. This is funny.

    • davidio flavio

      I think you miss the point, we all KNOW DJs don’t get paid off to play certain songs instead of others anymore. What they do though is play songs people want to hear or their ratings go down.

      Why feature a scope in a review that virtually no-one will ever buy, at least not the average working man?

      Same thing about the Kriss system?

      When I first saw it featured years ago on the discovery or History channel, I thought it was neat if I ever get the chance to buy a NEW machine gun in 45 caliber, that doesn’t have bad recoil and looks like the most unergonomic firearm I have ever seen.

      And when the first even more unergonomic civilian models came out and featured nothing but problems at a ridiculously high cost, I found even less reason to ever look at or venture into this system again.

      Now you feature an article that ignores on the only selling point this had, ie lower recoil, in a large caliber, when it’s just not needed in a 9mm carbine. Hell, you couldn’t justify this system in a hand held M11 submachine gun, if only because of the reduction in reliability.

      So five years later, why have I wasted bandwidth on a failed system, that I will never buy, let alone recommend to a customer?

      Sure it’s interesting to a mechanical tech head or two, but not to the average Joe “Everyman”, who may be actually looking for something they can afford and put to use.

      Ultimately, these articles pay the bills by advertisers who advertise their stuff here, I just don’t see the return on the investment to portray in good light, a flawed weapons system, that no legitimate end user has bought into.

      So the question begs, what other reasons out there, are there for Dunsels to be featured prominently, unless it is to point out why they are something that exists but has no use?

      Unless of course there is something beneficial in return for the promotion thereof?

      It’s stuff like this which has driven me away from sources like the Shotgun News, I just can’t hand it to other gun owners without being asked “so who, other than doctors or the government spends 3k on a rifle scope, or 1.5k on a pistol that is so big it’s useless or just plain, won’t work?”

      I mean if it’s just getting to play with toys we can’t then at least be honest and tell us that’s why you wrote it.

      Otherwise, some of us are going to roll our eyes and assume you have been handed a play list with an unspoken quid pro quo.

    • MrEllis

      I take it back, you and that guy. I forget I’m surrounded by literalists here. I was saying it to make fun of people getting worked up about plugs. I have yet to see Alex or Patrick hold back in these videos, beyond being a bit polite, when they say something sucks.

      Alex most likely has a bed made of automatic weapons and vintage rifles, I doubt they could butter him up with anything much less a hat. Unless that hat was the shit and every time he got a pumpkin spice latte the Starbucks’s cup was covered with barista numbers because of it.

  • Ullan

    The gun that will NOT EFFING DIE.

  • Secundius

    A Kriss Vector “Plasma Pulse Blaster” I can see, BUT a 9-mil Carbine. I’ll stick with an “UZI” instead…

  • Miguel Raton

    Hmm, the Vector also seems to have a 2x longer barrel than the others [the Evo & MP5 are subgun styled; the Vector seems to have the OAL of a M16A2, at a glance.] That might have a bit to do with the “less recoil” and “staying on target” accolades heaped on it.

  • rdsii64

    I want to see the vector carbine shot with a suppressor. I’m in the midst of starting a move out of california back to North Carolina. My first firearms purchase will be something I couldn’t own as a California resident. You guys are making it hard for me to make up my mind LOL.

  • UVB76

    Alex/Nathan: Do we know the thread pitch for the new KRISS 9mm or other offerings? Once you two get a SBR version – let’s see some run and gun posts for more modern SBRs (MPX, AKX-9, B&T TP-9, B&T APC9, and a MP7 (if you can find a loaner)! Cool and fun video.