Click pictures for a larger version.
KRISS Vector SDP semi-automatic 45 ACP pistol.
Ambidextrous safety levers.
Disassembly is quick, easy, and requires no tools.
Hammer is contained in upper receiver.
Bolt, slider, and mainspring assembly.
Bolt latch (top), bolt release (bottom).
I have been fortunate enough over the past
few years to get to play a bit with the KRISS Super V semi-auto
carbine as well as the select-fire submachine gun version of
that same innovative weapon. The KRISS is like nothing I have
ever seen before, with a unique delayed blowback design that
greatly attenuates the felt recoil and almost eliminates the
muzzle rise of the weapon. Compared to other compact 45 ACP
sub-guns with which I have experience, the Super V system is a
radical leap forward in innovation, ergonomics, and
The KRISS is manufactured by KRISS Arms Group
in Biel, Switzerland. The US importer and subsidiary is KRISS
USA, Virginia Beach, VA. The design
represents something truly different in weapons system design,
yet the concept and execution is very simple and practical. The
heart of the system is the relationship of the bolt and the
slider assembly, which includes the mainspring and buffer. Upon
firing, the rear lugs of the bolt engage a cam track which
forces the slider downward against spring pressure. This
operation is similar to the straight rearward movement of a bolt
and carrier in other weapons, but by forcing the slider downward
instead of straight back, the recoil forces are used to keep the
muzzle rise to a minimum, and the whole thing works quite well.
In the carbines and submachine guns which I have previously
fired, muzzle rise is negligible, as is the recoil impulse on
the shooter’s shoulder. Both of those weapons had folding
buttstocks. The version of the KRISS shown here has no
buttstock, and is sold as a pistol. Adding a buttstock to this
short-barreled version would effectively and legally make it a
short-barreled rifle (SBR) in the US, and would require federal
registration, along with the accompanying paperwork and
government extortion fee. KRISS does sell an SBR version, for
those who want the buttstock and are willing to go through the
process, but for many who want such a weapon, this pistol
version greatly simplifies ownership of a KRISS Super V weapon.
Owning the KRISS that is capable of automatic fire is pretty
much not going to happen for civilians in the US, with the
exception of law enforcement agency purchases. However, buying
the SDP shown here is as simple as buying any other
semi-automatic pistol for most of us in the United States.
While I had fired the KRISS Super V semi-auto
carbine and select-fire sub-guns, I had never disassembled one,
and was a bit apprehensive to do so. I take guns apart almost
everyday, but with this being a departure from conventional
weapons design, I did not know what I would find inside, nor
what parts might go flying out into the woods. However, the
design is very simple, and there are no small parts nor springs
to easily lose when the weapon is disassembled for cleaning. The
KRISS takes down easily with the removal of four large pins, and
no tools are needed to do so. The weapon goes back together just
as easily, and maintenance is about as simple and uneventful as
anyone would want. The KRISS pistol is also shipped with an
excellent Otis cleaning kit, along with
The KRISS is chambered for the wonderful 45
ACP cartridge, and uses readily available and inexpensive Glock
21 magazines. The G21 mags are available with either ten-shot or
thirteen-shot capacities, and a thirty-round version is
available as well. The KRISS pistol is equipped with thirteen
inches of Picatinny rail on top, and another three and
one-quarter inches under the barrel. Above the barrel is a
receptacle made to hold a Surefire flashlight. The SDP came
equipped with an excellent set of adjustable folding sights. The
barrel has a threaded muzzle for attachment of a sound
suppressor, muzzle brake, or flash suppressor, but it has
left-hand threads, so keep that in mind if ordering an accessory
for that. The lower receiver is made of steel and aluminum with
a reinforced polymer outer shell. The upper is aluminum,
finished in a matte black anodized to match the lower. The fire
control parts are contained in the upper receiver, and the
hammer swings forward and downward to strike the firing pin,
keeping the bore at a lower axis. The charging handle is a
folding design, placed on the left side, and does not
reciprocate with the bolt. By lifting the charging handle, but
not pulling rearward, the operator can easily do a visual check
of the chamber to determine whether or not it is loaded. On the
left side, above the magazine well is the bolt lock and bolt
release, and both are easy to operate. The trigger pull is very
smooth on this SDP sample gun.
Critical specifications are listed in the
chart below. Weight is listed in pounds and ounces. Linear
measurements are listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed as
pounds of resistance. Height includes sights (folded) and
magazine base. Maximum width is measured across the ambidextrous
safety levers. Barrel length is measured from muzzle to bolt
|Weight with Empty
||5 lbs., 15 oz.
I tested for velocity with my
chronograph set at twelve feet from the muzzle, and an air
temperature of thirty-eight degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative
humidity of seventy-three percent. Velocity readings were taken
at an elevation of approximately 541 feet above sea level.
Velocities are listed in the chart below, and are listed in
feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is
a jacketed hollowpoint. DPX is an homogenous copper hollowpoint
bullet. Glaser is a specialty pre-fragmented bullet inside a
copper alloy jacket. PB is Pow’RBall.
LWSC is a cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet. Velocities are listed
in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in grains.
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|WCC 1911 Ball FMJ
The velocities registered by the five and
one-half inch barrel were pretty much as expected, offering good
performance with easy portability. Accuracy was superb. Every
load tested for accuracy would group five shots into less than
two inches at twenty-five yards, shooting from a Target
Shooting, Inc. Model 500 rifle rest. The sights are very
easy to use, and fold out of the way for use of an optic such as
a Trijicon Reflex dot sight. The
safety levers push forward to fire the weapon, and are within
easy reach of the shooter’s thumb. The single-point sling
attachment at the rear of the SDP makes carrying under a coat
practical, and also makes the pistol more fun to shoot, for me
Functioning of the KRISS SDP was perfect,
with every brand and type of ammo tested feeding, firing, and
ejecting perfectly, even the lead semi-wadcutter handloads.
As a concealed carry 45 for everyday use, the
KRISS is a bit large for most of us, but that is not the weapon’s
intended role. This is a semi-auto version of the superb KRISS
submachine gun. It has all the handling attributes of that
weapon, minus the folding buttstock and automatic fire
capability. Still, this SDP will fire off a magazine full of 45
ACP firepower as quickly as the trigger can be manipulated, and
it does so with negligible recoil and muzzle rise. The KRISS SDP
is as close as most of us will ever get to owning one of the
best sub-guns ever built.
Check out the line of KRISS firearms and
accessories online at www.kriss-usa.com.
To order quality 45 ACP ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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Click pictures for a larger version.
Vector uses Glock 21 magazines of 10, 13, or 30 round capacity.
Excellent adjustable fold-down sights.
Kriss vector pistol proved to be very accurate from the bench.
Vector comes with excellent Otis cleaning kit.