In our previous coverage of modern Vietnamese small arms development on display at Indo Defense 2018 we spent some time looking at locally produced M79’s, Lee Enfield No.4’s, a rotary grenade launcher, and even a 9x19mm Bizon! In this post we’ll be looking at some of the other developments that we weren’t able to fit in the first one.
One point to mention here is that many of the VDI guns had early production serial numbers, even to the point of multiple firearms with “00001” stamped on them. Maybe the firearms on display were one-offs intended for the show, but one certainly wonders what the VDI officials had in mind when it comes to their serialization systems.
Our first VDI product is the UBGL that would appear to be a mix between the chambering/handguards of an M203, the trigger system of a GP30, and the pivoting barrel that is starting to become more common on many UBGL and standalone launchers these days.
Galil ACE manufacture began in Vietnam several years ago and we are starting to see more of the Vietnamese Army being armed with IWI Defense-based products, in addition to variants of the Tavor as well. VDI produces the GK and STK series of 7.62x39mm rifles and carbines, which are all Galil ACE-patterned/licensed models. Note that while the ACE intentionally has the charging handle on the left side of the receiver to facilitate more recent manipulation methods, the Vietnamese variant retains the position of the charging handle on the right side of the rifles.
Possibly the oldest design that VDI has reproduced are the Tokarev-patterned handguns that were on display. One variant has a shorter pistol grip and magazine capacity (8 rounds) and is VDI designated “SN7M”, while the other has a longer pistol grip and higher capacity (13 rounds) and is called the “SN7TD”.
We first caught wind of the KSVK being produced in Vietnam in January of this year, where it will be joining several anti-materiel rifles already in service with the Vietnamese Army such as the OSV-96 variant as well. VDI has designated the locally produced KSVK as the “SBT12M1” Sniper Rifle in technical phamphlets.