It’s hard to believe that more than a decade has past since the development and release of the original KRISS Vector. By now, if you haven’t shot a KRISS, know someone who owns one or at least handled one in a gun store, it’s safe to say you’ve been seriously lost: we are talking Tom-Hanks-desert-island kind of lost. Love or hate the design and ergonomics, this is what firearms innovation looks like. And now, after all these years, KRISS has finally released the Vector in the the sledge hammer-force caliber of 10mm.
Here’s the deal: if you are looking for earth-shattering reveals in this review, be prepared to be disappointed. Aside from the caliber change, this is the same Vector that has been shot and reviewed hundreds of times over on the internet and in print. In fact if you just plain hate to read, I’ll summarize the review in a few short words: reliable, good and bad ergonomics, 10mm, heavy, fun, bore height, 10mm, quality and 10mm.
Still here? Good. Let’s lay it all out.
Probably the most controversial aspect of the Vector is the articulating mechanism and delayed blowback operation that works to reduce felt recoil and prevent muzzle climb. At the end of the action’s travel, the inertia block and bolt are forced down into a recess behind the magazine well. The theory is that the lines of force are directed downward rather than back toward the shooter as perceived in-line recoil.
It’s an interesting concept that has been debated for years and I will say that the select-fire versions of the Vector are extremely flat shooting, especially for their dizzying rates of fire. The semi automatic 10mm version also had little to no muzzle rise. But without some scientific equipment (or modeling) I am unable to discern if the inertia system, the gun’s weight or a combination of the two should be given the credit.
This version, the SDP, is the pistol variant of the Vector. Carbine and Short Barreled Rifle (SBR) models are also available. At the end of the review I’ll offer my two cents about which one I’d grab given the choice.
Included below is the official 2016 specification sheet for the Vector Second Generation SDP. My one highlight here is the weight: this “pistol” clocks in at nearly six pounds – unloaded. Forget extended one-handed point shooting, the Vector is a beast.
I’ll pose this next question like the beginning of a bad joke: “How do you shoot an almost seven pound pistol chambered in 10mm?” Answer: Carefully. But seriously, the other important specification that makes the Vector SDP manageable is a single-point sling attachment on the pistol cap. More on that later.
Last note on the weights and measures. The Vector’s barrel is threaded in a standard right-hand 9/16 x 24 pitch. Most .40S&W and .45 caliber suppressors can handle 10mm.* So repeat after me: “I will be suppressing my new KRISS with a dedicated silencer.”
* Check with your manufacturer before jerking that smoke wagon.
III. HANDLING THE VECTOR:
I really like the overall handling of the Vector – it seems to fit my shooting style. Bring everything in close to the body tight and compact. The support hand seems to fit perfectly on the
integrated vertical foregrip VFG magazine well. (Remember form our AOW discussion a few weeks back, a pistol with a VFG falls within the boundaries of the National Firearms Act (NFA). But since the support hand grip area is purpose-built as a magazine well, feel free to use it as you wish.
In my opinion, the pistol cap single point sling attachment is really what makes the Vector SDP useable as a “pistol”. Once attached, pushing forward with your strong hand creates a sturdy shooting platform that almost mimics having a stock. Almost. But it definitely helps manage the KRISS’s hefty weight.
If you didn’t already know, all of the Vector variants utilize Glock magazines, which is great for many reasons. For one, all of Glock’s products are built to work – including the magazines. Second, if you own a G20 (10mm Glock) you now have two guns that share the same ammunition feeding device. Always a bonus.
For now you are limited to the stock 15-round capacity since the magazine extension available for the .45ACP version will not work with the 10mm magazines without “serious modifications”. Suck it up: if 15 rounds of 10mm and a few magazine changes won’t get the job done, that T-Rex just isn’t going to go down.
The build quality of the Vector really is confidence inspiring. If you have ever had the displeasure of holding a shoddy-feeling polymer gun, fear not. The KRISS is the opposite of cheap.
IV. SHOOTING THE 10mm KRISS VECTOR:
I’ll get my gripes out of the way first:
With normal strong-hand positioning, the safety selector seems to dig into my knuckle when switched into the ‘fire’ position. After shooting a few hundred rounds, the feeling wasn’t pleasurable. I’m willing to admit that my personal shooting style or hand positioning could be to blame. But no matter how many grip positions I tried, I couldn’t get it to work for me.
On the other hand (literally) my support grip seemed to interfere with the bolt hold open lever. Every three or four rounds, the bolt would stay locked to the rear. And adjusting my grip didn’t seem to help – my palm seemed to always find its way back to the lever, perpetually riding the hold-open setting.
Again, this could simply be my personal hand placement or grip style, meaning other shooters might not ever notice the issue.
Let’s face it, the Vector is a close quarters gun. And it’s built for that duty in every way but one: the height of the sights above the bore line. With the included Magpul flip-up sights, the point of impact feels miles below the shooters point of aim. For CQB-style shooting, I like to envision the worst case scenarios – like taking a well placed headshot at seven yards.
Using the Vector for hostage-type shots is a challenge. My offset was so high that the intended target was completely obscured. I didn’t bother trying to adjust the site elevation either – even if there was enough movement, which there isn’t, zeroing at ten yards would leave all other range distance estimations skewed to the nearly unusable.
Now for the good news: everything on the 10mm Vector ran flawlessly. As big and weighty as it is, the KRISS is fun to shoot, accurate and I didn’t experience a mechanical stoppage of any kind. Recoil was light and sweet. Ejection of spent cases was at a textbook three o’clock position. Working the action was tight and repeatable and the trigger had a satisfying and useable pull and reset.
Again, the KRISS is one of those guns that gives you confidence just to hold it, but being chambered in 10mm is just icing on the cake.
Ok, so, would I buy this gun for myself? Probably not. Here’s why:
- I don’t reload or stock 10mm ammunition.
- The hand and control placement options don’t work for me.
- The bore line is too far below the sight picture for close shots.
Would I dissuade anyone else from buying the KRISS Vector in 10mm? No. Here’s why:
- If you own a 10mm Glock pistol, the Vector is a great complement with native magazine interchangeability.
- The ergonomics may be a perfect fit for you.
- It is a smooth shooting package that is fun, reliable and accurate.
Hand positions aside, I could easily see myself getting behind a suppressed Vector SBR in 9mm. I’m guessing that setup would be super-fun.
My one regret with this review is that I wish I had some real “full powered” 10mm loads to run through the Vector to rate its felt recoil-reducing operation. Next time.
KRISS VECTOR SDP GENII IN 10MM – MSRP: $1,349
From the KRISS USA Website:
The KRISS Vector GEN II is the next evolution of the Vector platform, taking it from a firearm into a multi-caliber weapon system and is compatible with the ubiquitous Glock magazine. Changing between calibers can be done in seconds, without any tools. The KRISS Vector GEN II is more ergonomic with a redesigned trigger, a short throw ambidextrous safety lever, and a more comfortable pistol grip.
The KRISS Vector SDP is the Non-NFA semi-automatic pistol variant of the KRISS Vector platform. It features a short, threaded, 5.5” barrel. A rear quick detach sling point assists with carrying the firearm. Additional standard equipment on the KRISS Vector SDP are the Magpul MBUS sights, full length picatinny top rail and a Glock Magazine. Although this SDP maybe small, it still has the same capabilities as its larger counterparts and is civilian legal in most states.
The SDP is available with either a 5.5”” threaded or non-threaded barrel.
A very special thank you to ARMSCOR USA for providing plenty of 10mm ammunition to test the new Vector. The next time you are shopping for rounds, please consider ARMSCOR’s line of quality and affordable ammo.