New Croatian VHS assault rifle

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

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:

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.

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.

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
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!

More by Steve Johnson

Join the conversation
3 of 40 comments
  • Marky Marky on Aug 26, 2011

    I would like to ask anyone here with experience with this VHS rifle for your comments about it?

    It is being sold at our local gun store yet I don't know anyone outside the people who got it from the lgs who has bought it. I'd like a fair and balanced review please. I've been trying to get a FAMAS for the longest time but the prices being given are too high so I guess this will have to do given the limitations. I was going to get a Chinese AK but this particular rifle is bullpup and I don't have a bullpup.

    I would like to add this to my collection.

    To those who will ask why I have access I am from the Philippines so basically you can have any high-powered select fire rifle you want if your budget allows it.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Chris Chris on May 28, 2012

      @Marky If you want to see 18 min presentation of VHS rifle go to and click under VIDEO section. Presentation is filmed in HS Produkt factori in Karlovac, Croatia.

  • Chris Chris on May 28, 2012

    If you want to see 18 min presentation of VHS rifle go to and click under VIDEO section. Presentation is filmed in HS Produkt factory in Karlovac, Croatia.