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VSS Vintorez 9x39mm Silent Sniper Rifle (ВСС Винторез бесшумная снайперская винтовка) 9h39

Tula Arms Plant
Tula Arms Plant
Central Scientific Research Institue of Machining TSNIITOCHMASH

Weight 2.6 kg or 3.41 kg loaded w/scope (5.7 lbs or 7.5 lbs)
Length 894 mm (35.2 inches)
Length of Barrel 200 mm (7.9 inches)
Height 159 mm w/ten round magazine (6.26 inches)
Width 59 mm without scope (2.3 inches)
Caliber 9x39 mm SP-5, SP-6 cartridge
Muzzle Velocity (max) 295 m/s (968 fps)
Magazine Capacity 10 or 20 rds
Effective Range with scope 100 m to head, 200 m to chest, 350 m to body
Optical Sight Day: PSO-1, 1P43, Night: 1PN75

The VSS Vintorez was created out of a need to have a rifle that could be used at medium ranges using ammunition that was both lethal and accurate traveling at subsonic velocities. Attempts to use the M43 7.62x39 ammuniton failed to get the required accuracy for a sniper rifle and modifying the 7.62x25 cartridge with the 7N1 sniper bullet failed to be consistently lethal at subsonic speeds. Eventually in 1985 the 9x39 cartridge was settled on and the VSS rifle were accepted for production.

VSS Vintorez

VSS Vintorez with 20 round magazine. There is a special PSO-1 scope (PSO-1-1) that can be used with the VSS that has balistics calibrated to the SP5 9x39 cartridge. The elevation turret has settings up to 400 meters with imcrements at each 25 meters. The reticle is similar to the PSO-1 for the Dragunov but does not have any hold-over chevrons at the 1000 to 1300 meter distances. Photo by RomanS

The VSS can fire in single shot or burst mode. Firing fully automatic can create reliability problems if the silencer becomes fouled with carbon. Sound reduction is also negatively affected by automatic fire and is to be used in emergencies only..

VSS Vintorez detail

Shooting prone is harder with this long magazine.

VSS sniper prone


VSS Vintorez

Ten round magazine in VSS mag well. Photo by KardeN

AS VAl and VSS Vintorez

AS Val (top) and VSS Vintorez. Both fire the 9x39 cartridge. The VSS is the DMR version of the AS Val, though both have a side rail scope mount. Note difference in magazine capacity. According to this post, The AS Val costs the Russian military about $220 a piece.

The 9x39 SP5 and SP6 armor piercing (7N8 and 7N9) ammunition are special subsonic cartridges designed specifically for use in silenced weapons. According to this discussion the 9x39 cartridge is a military only item and cannot be legally possessed in Russia.

9x39 ammunition

The rifle can be dissassembled into a small package for easy transport.

VSS taken down

The short chrome-lined barrel has six groove right hand twist rifling.

VSS barrel

There are six rows of nine holes in the barrel and the spring locking ring ensures the supressor is always attached perfectly centered. The VSS should never be fired without the silencer attached.

VSS Vintorez detail

The receiver is manufactured from milled steel instead of stamped sheet metal. It was a suggestion from engineers at Izhmach that a milled receiver would created a more accurate rifle. It is also a more stable platform for the scope rail and reduces scope wobble during use.

VSS Vintorez hand guard

VSS Vintorez receiver

VSS Vintorez hand guard

VSS bolt buffer

The VSS has a polymer bolt buffer at the rear of the recoil assembly. This helps reduce the noise of the bolt carrier cycling during firing.

VSS Vintorez

VSS and AS Val magazines

20 round and 10 round plastic magazines.