[DSE Vietnam 2019] SVN-88 Less Lethal Pistol and Riot Control Weapons

    This year, Vietnam had its first large international defense exhibition, DSE Vietnam 2019. The expo was located in Hanoi downtown, next to all the museums and government buildings, just a two-minute walk Vietnam Ministry of Public Security.

    Not surprisingly, the Ministry of Public Security had the largest booth at the exhibition, where they showcased some of the Vietnamese made firearms. For me, the most notable firearm was SVN 15 pistol, but there were other guns I’ve never seen before and could not find anything about them on the internet.

    SVN-88 pistol

    SVN-88 pistol

    While SVN 15 looks like an H&K USP copy, SVN-88 resembles an earlier generation of handguns that were made without the use of the polymer. I would say that SVN-88 looks a lot like a less aesthetically pleasing Bersa Thunder. Updated: TFB readers troubleshooterBerlin and Kovacs Jeno noticed that SVN-88 looks identical to a blank firing gun Röhm RG 88 by Umarex. Thank you for the update!

    Both SVN 15 and SVN 88 are chambered for less-lethal 10x22T round that has a rubber bullet. Back in the day, we experimented a lot with this round and the hottest loads easily went through a car door. The highest velocity we recorded exceeded 400 meters per second (1,300 feet per second).

    While I personally consider pistols with rubber bullets useless for self-defense,10x22T was the most capable round among others.

    SVN-88 pistol

    SVN-88 pistol

    Unlike SVN 15, SVN-88 uses a single stack magazine and has a traditional magazine release button instead of an H&K style lever on the trigger guard. What is unusual about the magazine release button is its location, it is right under the slide, next to slide release. Unfortunately, no one could explain to me why this location of magazine release was deemed necessary.

    SVN-88 pistol

    SVN-88 pistol

    There were other less-lethal weapons presented in the same booth, particularly an “ANTIRIOT GUN’ designated SPQN-3Q-E112.

    ANTIRIOT GIN SPQN-3Q-E112

    ANTIRIOT GUN SPQN-3Q-E112

    ANTIRIOT GIN SPQN-3Q-E112

    ANTIRIOT GUN SPQN-3Q-E112

    There was another weapon designated SBL-E112 and again, no additional information was available.

    SBL-E112

    SBL-E112

    While DSE Vietnam 2019 did not really have a lot of interesting firearms, I hope that the next exhibition will actually have a display of Vietnamese weapons. Vietnam has a lot to show for – they produce their own version of Kalashnikov, Galil ACE, PP-19 Bizon, pistols, all of that would definitely make a fascinating display.

    Vladimir Onokoy

    Vladimir Onokoy is a small arms subject matter expert and firearms instructor. Over the years he worked in 15 different countries as a security contractor, armorer, firearms industry sales representative, product manager, and consultant.

    His articles were published in the Recoil magazine, Small Arms Review, Small Arms Defence Journal, and Silah Report, he also created several video series such as “Gun myths”, “Kalashnikov: around the world”, “Larry Vickers in Russia” and “Kalashnikov: evolution” that are available on YouTube.
    ► Email: machaksilver at gmail dot com.
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