Vietnam Begins Manufacture of 12.7mm KSVK, Expands Capabilities

Dat Viet, a Vietnamese language news website has reported that the production of Vietnamese made bolt-action, five round magazine-fed12.7x108mm KSVK anti-material rifles has commenced at the Israeli IWI built, Vietnamese MoD owned factory Z111 in Vietnam. The factory has churned out Galil ACEs for some time now, to also include Galil Snipers, Negevs, Uzis, and even Negev light machine guns for the Vietnamese Peoples Army. This would make Vietnam the first and only country to be fully equipped with the 7.62x39mm version of the Galil ACE.

Numerous videos have been posted to the Vietnamese Peoples Army’s Youtube channel of officials visiting the Z111 factory, showing various small arms in different stages of production and assembly, but none have shown the 12.7mm KSVK anti-material rifle. According to the Google Translated article, Vietnamese designers worked to re-engineer the rifle along with its ten power scope, which appears to be under the nomenclature of N12. Not mentioned was the source of ammunition. Although the KSVK is chambered for all types of 12.7x108mm ammunition, there was a specially designed 12.7SN/7N34 round to go along with the rifle. From the article-

12.7mm sniper rifle based on Russian KSVK sniper rifle and some improvements suitable for use in Vietnam. The guns are designed in a bullpup style, which is the bullet box behind the trigger.

This design has the advantage of increasing the barrel length without affecting the overall length. The gun uses a 5-round carton of 12.7x108mm size. The gun has a total length of 1.35m, long barrel 1m, weight 12.5 kg.

The gun is equipped with built-in optical viewfinder N12 made in Vietnam with a magnification of 10 times, a viewing range of 1800m. The N12 viewfinder is capable of withstanding humid weather, vibration, impact, rapid shooting angle, convenient. Effective range of 1,200m, head speed 840 m / sec.

During the design of the N12, the team worked closely with the authors on the research, design and manufacture of 12.7mm sniper rifles. Therefore, the two sniper rifles and viewfinders are completely compatible with each other, able to be put in sync, use immediately after production.

The N12 viewfinder has been manufactured in factory 23, Z199 (General Department of Defense Industry), tested in practice and accepted by the Scientific Council of the General Department of Defense Industry.

Experiment results show that the glass works well, taking a quick and easy shooting angle on the glass, proper shooting posture, ease of disassembly, Median and center distance) of the gun when viewed by the glass are within the allowed range.

Along with the N12 viewfinder, the manufacture of the 12.7mm heavy sniper rifle is an important turning point for Vietnam’s defense industry to access the modern sniper rifle technology of the world, step by step. The owner of the sniper rifle makes sure that the supply of arms to the military reduces dependency from the outside.

From Modern Firearms-

Caliber(s): 12.7×108 mm (.50 Russian)
Operation: manually operated, bolt action rifle
Barrel: 1000 mm
Weight: 12 kg w/o scope
Length: 1400 mm
Feed Mechanism: 5 rounds detachable box magazine.

This video shows extensive PKM medium machine gun production-

Somewhat related, but it appears that Vietnamese MoD workers are refurbishing Vietnam Era M16A1s in this video below. If there are any Vietnamese readers out there, we’d love to get a better description of what is going on in the videos-



Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • PK

    Excellent! I’m glad to see they’re continuing to expand production domestically.

  • John

    Not Vietnamese, but if I had to guess, either they’re refurbishing the M16A1s to resell to another country (the Philippines come to mind) or they’re modernizing them so they have an existing supply of 5.56 rifles for any military operations that require them.

    Given how China has been doing hostile things in the Pacific lately, and Vietnam is right on China’s border, I’m leaning towards the second option.

    • The Vietnamese State factories have been manufacturing the XM177-E1 domestically as the “M18” for years now. I can also assume they’re refurbishing existing M16s (although they’re equipping with the Tavor and the Galil ACE), but if I had to bet, I assume they’d be for rearline units and foreign sales.

    • Kivaari

      Vietnam and China are traditional enemies (Fire in the Lake). Most Vietnamese “Boat People” were Vietnamese of ethnic Chinese origins. I could see them having issues over disputed waters and land.
      PRVN adopting the Galil Ace is a very interesting step. Adopting the Uzi even more so.

    • B-Sabre

      Doctrinally, the Vietnamese have been big on “people’s militias” to defend the country. Having a large stockpile of weapons like the M16s could be intended for them.

  • Brett baker

    Any chance of the scope being imported?

  • iksnilol

    Why not shorten the barrel a bit? Really take advantage of the bullpup config.

    • Sticky-eye Rivers

      Speculative argument in favor for the longer barrel: [If] it results in significantly greater muzzle velocity, then less bullet drop would make it easier to aim well over longer distances. The decision maker here might think of its useful range in large unit combat as being the guns best feature, maybe the only interesting feature even?

      Increasing the accuracy of inaccurate soldiers, at the expense of the poor bastards who have to carry the bloody things, that is the most honurable mark of all generals everywhere it seems.

      • iksnilol

        I’m thinking there ain’t much difference in 12.7mm between 75 cm and 1 meter barrel. I mean, most 50 bmg rifles lean towards 75 cm barrel due to the whole man portable thing.

  • B-Sabre

    So what’s the story with the Tavors? Are they making those domestically?

    ::break::

    Dat Viet though…..

    – somebody had to say it…..

    • DR.NUMBERS

      Import restrictions on firearms from Vietnam were relaxed in 2016. I’d love for someone to bring in their ace and double stack tokarev.

      And yes… dat Viet 😉

    • Secundius

      Even Israel has it’s National Security Interests!/? And some of the time, “That Interest” DOESN’T include US (the United States)…

      • B-Sabre

        Calm down, Francis. I was wondering why Vietnam, which seems to have standardized on the 7.62 x 39 mm cartridge, has guys toting what is normally a 5.56 x 45 mm firearm and who they are.

        And besides, Vietnam seems to be aligning closer to the US since China has started laying claim to some of “their” islands.

        • Secundius

          Why should that be a Big Surprise!/? The Viet Cong were using 8×22 Nambu, 6.5×50 Japanese, 7.7×58 Japanese, .45ACP, .30 Carbine, 9×19, 7.92×57 Mauser and 7.5×54 MAS. And anything else they could get their hand on when the US were fighting them in the Vietnam War…

  • mazkact

    Israelis cavorting with NVA, I do not know about his.

    • Brett baker

      Means the Chicoms are in a world of s***.

  • survivor50

    Kosher…hardly !!!

  • Drake Bourne

    Refurbish AR is for “people militia” usually call the “red square star” they have unit in every district. Mostly the southern red square star squad will carry SKS, AR, RPG7 or 9, m79, SDV and grenade. The northern red square star will carry AK instead of AR and other things mentioned above. since logistic and easily distribute. Central land pretty mix match, every unit have weekly or monthly training. They’re steadily replacing with the same weapons, but brand new manufacture and the old will be put in storage for when the time to “defend the motherland”. Regular military personnel get an update ver of AK, nickel bolt, lighter trigger, bakeline mag. produce galil is just a step for Vietnam to strengthen their steel manufacture since they have the problem with barrel heating rapidly with only 2 mags through the gun.