At first glance, the KRISS U.S.A. Vector SMG may seem like a heavy, even blocky weapon. However, that is where looks can be truly deceiving. The oversized frame of the weapon houses its unique patented delayed blowback system that actually directs the recoil back and down instead of directly back towards the shooter.
The result is a .45 ACP or 9mm submachine gun that is reported to be easy to handle and more importantly keep on target even in full-auto mode. Whereas other submachine guns have a tendency to pull up and to the right, the Vector’s patented system, instead allows the block and bolt to recoil off-axis into a recess behind the weapon’s magazine well. In fact, the in-line design nearly eliminates the recoil and muzzle climb. The Vector fires from a closed bolt and is a select fire weapon offering semi-automatic, two-round burst and full-auto modes. In the latter it has a rate of fire upwards of 1,100 rounds per minute—a blisteringly impressive rate for a modern SMG.
The Vector SMG was developed to meet the needs of close quarter battle (CQB) and law enforcement SWAT operators, and the weapon’s mass has been placed very close to the shooter. The barrel is in line with both the shooter’s shoulder and hand much like a target pistol, and this further reduces the recoil and muzzle climb. It also allows for fast target acquisition and transitions but also makes the Vector SMG easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Unloaded, the Vector SMG weighs just 5.6 pounds and is a compact 18.5 inches with closed stock or 27.9 inches with the stock open. The Vector also features a compact “weapon radius” meaning that in close combat situations there is little mass for an adversary to try to grab.
The KRISS Vector SMG is available in both the aforementioned .45 ACP as well as 9x19mm, and the company even designed it to be fully compatible with standard Glock magazines (Glock 17 for the 9mm version and Glock 21 for the .45 version), which allow the operator to not only share ammunition between primary and secondary weapons but use the same mags in the field.
It is fitted with a full length Picatinny top rail, which allows the compact SMG to be used with a variety of sights and other optics. It is available for military and law enforcement user with a 5.5-inch barrel or a 6.5-inch barrel in the Gen II version.
For the civilian market there is the Vector CRB (carbine), a semi-automatic only version with a permanently affixed extension to the 5.5-inch barrel, extending it the required 16-inch length for rifles. It is fitted with a folding stock while variants are available for states with more restrictive laws.
Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He regularly writes about military small arms, and is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.