More images of VHS bullpup rifles in Iraq

Back in the 1970s-1980s, VHS was immediately associated with a Video Home System (thus, the name) created in Japan by the JVC company and which became highly popular worldwide. Nowadays, however, most people probably don’t even know what I’m talking about here on TFB. However, there’s a VHS 5.56x45mm bullpup rifle that is being used in the Iraqi War. Made in Croatia by a company called VH Produkt d.o.o. founded in 1991, whose main production facilities are now located in Karlovac, the VHS rifles are currently in official use by the Croatian Armed Forces. In December 2016, TFB showed (http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/10/21/vhs-k2-bullpup-iraq/) a single picture of the VHS in use by Iraqi Forces, with added details, via the manufacturer website, of the different rifle versions being brought to view. We have now obtained additional images of the VHS-D2 model (500mm barrel, 850mm overall length with extended stock) in the hands of Iraqi forces (Police and Security) during recent combat actions in Mosul.

The Croation-made bullpup rifle being fired from behind light cover. If you want to know the exact ejection path of empty cartridges, just ask the guy on the left, who was hit by one on the face…

A trooper holding his buddy’s shoulders while firing the VHS-D2 in Mossul. That was not to counter the very modest recoil of the 5.56x45mm rounds being fired from the 4kg+ rifle, but rather to direct him to the general threat direction.

A pretty good view of a VHS-D2 being used from inside a vehicle, ready for action with the ejection window cover open. Gun’s sights (flip rear aperture, protected front post) on top of railed carry handle are clearly visible here, as well as the integrated cartridge deflector on the cheek rest.

Sights? Who needs them? Notice that the rear sight of this gun (no front grip fitted) is mounted slightly more forward than on the other VHS-D2s shown in article. Yes, the operator here is the same guy who got the hot brass on the face

Another Iraqi trooper armed with the Croatian bullpup rifle. Can you help us ID the shoulder patch?

Iraqi soldier searching a dead (ISIL?) enemy while his friend watches with a VHS-D2, a vertical foregrip fitted to the lower STANAG 4694 rail.

Somewhere in Mossul, Iraq, a VHS-D2 takes a break in combat hanging on a wall adequately provided with a makeshift firing port. Just in case…



Ronaldo Olive

Ronaldo is a long-time (starting in the 1960s) Brazilian writer on aviation, military, LE, and gun subjects, with articles published in local and international (UK, Switzerland, and U.S.) periodicals. His vast experience has made him a frequent guest lecturer and instructor in Brazil’s armed and police forces.


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  • The Dude

    You just can’t keep a haji from firing over his head like a lunatic when allah drops that fat call to prayer beat.

    • JSIII

      I mean if enough of them fire like that Daesh breaks from the battlefield and goes home, then they are done fighting for the day right?

      • The Dude

        The problem comes when both sides start doing it and they both run.

    • John

      You know something? If you put a camera on the gun and a viewscreen on the soldier’s face, that famous Third World Squat would be a natural position to drop in behind cover while making the rounds go where they should.

      Also, it’s good to see the VHS in action.

  • Get over it fanbois

    The internet ninjas told me that bullpups suck and no real military uses them.

    • 8166PC1

      They need Nathaniel F to tell them they are stupid for fighting with bullpups

      • USMC_grunt2009-2013

        He’s got a lot of combat experience with 1st Force Ranger SEAL Team Six, you can tell just by looking at his warfighter physique.

    • forrest1985

      If the photos above are anything to go by “real military” is stretching it slightly!

      • 8166PC1

        They were trained by supposedly the best military in the world the US military.

        • forrest1985

          Yeah but not all kids pay attention in class

        • Juggernaut

          The NVA might take exception to that.

          • USMC_grunt2009-2013

            We would’ve crushed the NVA into goo if we were allowed to invade North Vietnam, but the politicians wouldn’t allow it.

          • mig1nc

            China invaded Vietnam after we left. It didn’t pan out well for them either.

          • Major Tom

            China’s performance in the Third Indochina War was comically incompetent compared to say the Marines at Khe Sanh or Hal Moore’s Army Air Cav at Ia Drang Valley.

          • 8166PC1

            The Americans couldn’t win the Vietnam war even with the help of the South Vietnamese,South Korea,New Zealand, and Australia. The French back in the 1950’s had a formidable fighting force and they lost too. I’m tired of American excuses for loosing Vietnam. You lost fair and square.

          • john huscio

            There was no will to see it through amongst the upper echelons of government. If they had been single minded about gaining victory, Saigon and the rest of North Vietnam wouldve been pounded flat and the vietcong would be bloody footnotes in the history books.

          • Mario AK

            The word is loost not lost, they loost the war, you wrote loose correctly and should be commended

          • El Duderino

            “Loost”? Are you Canadian or something?

          • Mario AK

            No, I’m just pissed

        • TexianPatriot

          Have you seen the video of our boys trying to teach them how to do jumping jacks?

    • n0truscotsman

      I love it when bullpup fans hack down strawmen because they can’t use coherent reasoning to justify their pet rock.

    • d s

      I’ll take yours. OK.

  • oldman

    The bullpup the beast that will just not die every time they kill it some place it pops up somewhere else.

  • tony

    that length of pull is horrendous

  • tony

    Those that know how to design real guns, namely Germans, Russians, Americans, don’t issue bullups

    • Vincent

      >Those who know how to design real guns
      lol.
      The Czechs, French, Austrians, Belgians, Swiss and quite a few others would like to talk to you.

      • herp

        I would add Turks.

    • Schmiss

      And that’s why the current German service rifle melts?

      • Juggernaut

        G36s melt?

        • Max Glazer

          Polycarbonate receivers soften under prolonged firing and zeroing shifts. They didn’t use glass-filled polyamide in manufacturing G36. The way the spec was written didn’t specify glass-filled polyamide as the required material, so cheaper polycarbonate was used.

    • S Spitz

      Tell that to the Israelis.
      They tend to combat test what they design.

      • Juggernaut

        The Israelis have not won a war while using Tavors

        • int19h

          Israelis are, fundamentally, fighting in one single long war since the year the state was established. And they’re winning in that war, so long as Israel continues to exist.

      • The Dude

        And it still sucks.

    • John

      Guess the Chinese need a copy of that memo. Pass it out to the Africans and whatnot.

      • mig1nc

        Even though I’m a bullpup fan, it seems the Chinese are ditching it with their next gen rifle.

        • EC

          Really that’s just speculation at this point, pushed to the forefront because of certain personal biases of some bloggers here.

          • forrest1985

            China has been looking to move away from bullpup for some time. France has done it. Just leaves Austria and Israel. Given half the chance the UK squaddies would make the switch also.

          • EC

            China has been looking for a better rifle, true. But whether this means improving the QBZ-95 (as they did with the QBZ-95-1 not too long ago) or adopting a completely new rifle is at this point speculation.

            All we have as evidence are the failures of such research programs, which have been the NAR series of rifles.

            If China wanted to ditch their bullpups in favour of a conventional layout, they could have just used the QBZ-03. But instead the QBZ-03 is relegated to second-line troops, while frontline soldiers get the QBZ-95.

    • Max Glazer

      Russian military divers use ADS, which is a dual-medium rifle and is a bullpup. Also special forces had been issued with ASh-12 12.7x55mm bullpup rifle.

  • Jared A. Faber

    Anyone up for some Halo 2?

    • Major Tom

      Needs more round counters and a scope.

  • Raptor Fred

    What ammo are they running? Pretty sure they use a lot.

    • ReadyOrNot

      Came across a video of them loading green tip M855 into those funny looking mags

  • alex archuleta

    Suddenly, I have an intense urge to buy 5.11…

  • int19h

    Wait. It’s a bullpup with *adjustable stock*??

    What’s the min LOP?

    • Twilight sparkle

      Supposedly it’s 16 to 18 inches but these pics make it seem shorter than that

  • Dan

    Betamax is still better….oh wait.

    • bernardg

      It still better. If only Sony allowed porn industry to dive right into the format….
      Strangely, Betamax did fine in Asia.

  • Inb4 length of pull

  • 8166PC1

    You might be on to something. American trained Afghan army is notorious for its corruption.

  • jae34

    Patch is from Iraqi Emergency Response Brigade (E.R.B.), a CT unit under Ministry of Interior. I honestly only see them armed with the VHS.

  • forrest1985

    France and China are ditching the bullpup and any British soldier would happily do the same given the choice. That leaves Austria.

    • Get over it fanbois

      There is no evidence of the China or the Brits leaving the bullpup anytime soon. They have two service rifles, one for those used to lower gravity and another for the majority of their armed forces.

      • Megaman

        Right. Wet dreams of DI-AR15 fanboys…

        • The Dude

          Cri moar fgt

      • forrest1985

        All of the new rifle deigns out of china are non-bullpup standard layouts. Also I never said UK was, just everyone using the SA80/L85 hates it. The MOD is also looking at increasing and upgrading current C8 stocks. Not evidence enough of a full scale replacement, but evidence to suggest that the speciliased units within british army want something better and this has been acknowledged by government/MOD. Also in its history SAS/SBS have Never used it surely that speaks volumes of how great bullpups are!

      • Phillip Cooper

        “one for those used to lower gravity”??

        S’plain something to me……

  • Get over it fanbois

    In ranges videos are creatively edited and is known for his bias. So that isn’t valid evidence.

    • mosinman

      do you say that because the AK was outperformed by an AR-15? 🙁

    • USMC_grunt2009-2013

      Pissed that the Tavor fails in mud?

      Get over it, fanboy. 😉

  • mig1nc

    Yes, that’s absolutely true. The PLA was not very good, however they were ruthless as hell and didn’t give a f*ck what the media said (for obvious reasons of course).

    • Major Tom

      For all their “ruthlessness” and “not giving a f*ck about the media”, their battlefield performance was awfully subpar.

  • mosinman

    I want a VHS that can accept high capacity VHS tapes

  • Dougscamo

    Heck….everyone knows “It never rains in Calif….oh, wait….Israel”….

  • Joe Schmoe

    The ejection port was covered by 3 inches of thick mud… same thing would have happened to any other rifle whos ejection port was blocked. A simple shake forward of the gun would have cleaned it off enough

    • USMC_grunt2009-2013

      Bullshit. If an AR had that much mud on it’s ejection port….it would’ve blown off when the first round fired and the bolt cycled. That’s one of the advantages of direct impingement that nobody ever mentions, the gases from the barrel blow gunk out of the receiver when the weapon is fired.

      • ss

        I understand your thesis, but the shortcoming of the stoner system system is the heat, as it constantly shoots the gas into the chamber.

        • USMC_grunt2009-2013

          That’s true.

  • 8166PC1

    Politics are just as important as boots on the ground.

  • Southpaw

    Is this rifle left-hander friendly? Is the ejection port ambidextrous and can be converted to throw brass to the left? Better yet eject the casings to the front or straight down like in some bullpups.

  • PistolPete037

    VHS originally stood for Vertical Helical Scan. JVC backronymed it to Video Home System because it was easier to market. Either way, six magazines of one, half a clip of the other.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Notice in the video of the AR-15 three things:

    1)- The mud consistency is much looser than the Tavor version

    2)- First firing set, the ejection port cover is closed and there is hardly any mud over it. In addition, he gives the rifle several shakes and then bangs against the metal wheelbarrow to knock of the mud, he didn’t do the same for the Tavor.

    3)- In the second set, he explicitly clears the ejection port area with his finger from all the mud.

    Leave the testing to the professionals in a closed environment testing with equal testing procedures laid out. The nonsense biased approach in those videos is pointless as a point of comparison.

  • LCON

    Still waiting on my Blue Ray carbine.

    • throwedoff

      I’ll hold out for the 4k ultra HD!

  • bernardg

    Don’t forget Aussie with their own version of Steyr Aug.

  • JJ

    Looks very similar to a FAMAS bull pup of times gone by. Funny the French are looking at this for future use. What goes around, comes back around.

  • Hossi Blumengaarten

    how good is this rifle compared to other bullpups like the sa 80 and steyr aug???

  • MichaelZWilliamson

    Is there a Beta version?

  • Marcello Gusberti

    Shoulder patch is the one of the Rapid rResponse Team (oralso translated as Special intervention unit) i.e. the best unit of the Iraqi Police.
    The unit is the real spearhead of the forces actually retaking Mosul and the VHS (in the K version) is a sort of trademark of them.
    Actually there is a whole shitload of videos in Youtube and liveleak in which you can see them both in action, kicking ISIS ass at industrial scale.