New Croatian VHS assault rifle

    Last month the Croatian Ministry of Defense unveiled the final design of the VHS assault rifle (Višenamjenska Hrvatska Strojnica – Multifunctional Croatian Machinegun). The rifle has been in development for many years by Croatian manufacturer HS Produkt who are better known for their HS 2000 pistol ( sold as the Springfield Armory XD in the US).

    The first version of the rifle bore a striking resemblance to the Israeli Tavor and Singaporean SAR-21:

    Picture 39-1
    Early prototype

    The early prototype rifle utilized an interesting gas system. Reading the patent and other info on the internet it seemed to be a new take on gas delayed blowback. A piston is used to push back the bolt and gas is piped behind the bolt to slow it down.

    800Px-Vhs-D Assault Rifle Remov-1
    The new final production model. Click to expand. (Photo by Remigiusz Wilk (REMOV))

    The new model bears more than a slight resemblance to the French FAMAS. The external design is without doubt inspired by the FAMAS.

    800Px-Famas Description-1
    French FAMAS (from Wikipedia)

    The gas system was ditched and the final production model uses direct gas impingement, the same system as the M16/AR-15, unlike the earlier model or the FAMAS, which uses a lever-delayed blowback action.

    The rifle will come in two models. The 20″ barreled rifle model called the VHS-D (pictured above,) the 16″ carbine model called the VHS-K (pictured below). The VHS is chambered in the 5.56x45mm NATO and takes STANAG (AR-15) magazines. The price is estimated to be €1000.

    According to Wikipedia the rifle will undergo trials in earyl 2009 and by 2012 60,000 will be in service with the Croatian army.

    VHS-K prototype. Very compact!

    This video clip show the rifle in use: has more info on the rifle.

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!