Military Review

Croatian VHS machine

Among the variety of firearms weapons very rarely someone pays attention to those patterns that are created by small countries. However, such weapons are sometimes quite interesting, and the solutions that are used in it are very unusual and not very common. One of the clearest examples of this is the Croatian VHS machine gun, which, although it has lost most of its unique features during mass production, was initially not a normal weapon.

Croatian VHS machineAt the beginning of the 2000's, the Croatian army was in dire need of replacing the machine gun that was in service at the time. The reason for this was that Zastava M70, which was one of the many AKM clones, was very outdated, moreover, it did not fit the requirements of weapons of NATO countries, primarily because of the ammunition. Instead of doing “little blood” and creating weapons based on AKs chambered for 5,56х45, as others did, it was decided to start work on creating their own sample of weapons, namely the VHS machine gun. The work on the project of the new machine gun was headed by Marko Vukovich, famous for the HS 2000 pistol.

Already in 2005, the first result of the work that could shoot was presented. The weapon was made in a bullpup layout with extensive use of plastic and light alloys. The appearance of the machine was similar to the Israeli machine gun Tavor, although this resemblance consisted, in fact, only in the layout of the weapon and the safety bracket, which completely covered all the fingers of the shooter and could act as an additional handle when held. Inside the weapon was quite an interesting recoil damping system when firing, which worked on powder gases discharged from the barrel. So when fired, in addition to the fact that the powder gases were pushing the bolt, they were also diverted to the gas buffer behind the bolt group, which allowed smoothly stopping the bolt and bolt, reducing recoil when firing. As it turned out later, such a recoil damping system, although it was quite effective, reduced the number of gun shots without cleaning, and also had a negative effect on the reliability of the machine gun. It should be noted that when using high-quality ammunition, such a system worked like a clock.

Since high-quality ammunition costs money, it was decided to greatly simplify and redesign the weapon design. From the layout of the bullpup, of course, no one refused, but the braking of the bolt group with the help of powder gases disappeared, and the appearance of the weapon has undergone some changes. The updated sample was demonstrated in the 2008 year, however, and the demonstrated sample was different from the production samples.

Based on this sample, two weapon versions were created: VHS-D and VHS-K with a millimeter 500 barrel and a millimeter 400 barrel, respectively. The body of the weapon is made of impact-resistant plastic, for convenience of aiming, the sights are placed high up on the handle for carrying the weapon, which reduced the length of the line of sight, and, accordingly, complicated shooting at the limits for the weapon. This disadvantage is compensated by the fact that the picatinny-type fastening straps can be additionally fastened to the weapon carrying handle and additional sighting devices can be mounted. Under the handle for transportation there is a folding shutter handle, which remains stationary when fired and can be bent to the left or right. Quite interestingly made translator fire modes and switch fuse, which is located in front of the trigger. It is difficult to judge how convenient it is, but the fact that with such an arrangement of this element a maximum switching speed is achieved is indisputable. Below the weapon on the forearm, there is a mounting plate for a grenade launcher.

The automatics of the Croatian automaton is built according to a scheme with removal of powder gases from the barrel bore, the barrel bore is locked by turning the shutter. Ejection of spent cartridges is carried out only to the right side, which causes certain inconveniences when shooting from the left shoulder. The weight of the weapon in the compact version is 2,8 kilogram, the standard version weighs 3 kilogram. The total length is respectively 660 millimeters and 760 millimeters. The machine feeds from detachable box stores with a capacity of 30 cartridges. The rate of fire is equal to 750 shots per minute.

In 2009, the weapon successfully passed all the tests and was purchased to arm the army of Croatia. However, as time has shown, the weapon meets the requirements for it, far from fully. This was the reason for the further rapid development of the machine and the emergence of VHS2 and VHS DO2, which were presented very recently.

The main distinctive feature of the new weapons is the increase in ergonomics. So, the butt of the machine became adjustable in length, which is a very infrequent phenomenon for the bull-pap layout, in addition to this, a cheek stop appeared on the butt. The handle for carrying the weapon was changed and began to be a rather long seat in the form of a Picatinny-type plank, while the aiming devices became removable, and the distance between them increased significantly. The translator of fire modes and fuse switch was also changed and began to be a turning element located above the handle of the weapon on both sides. The handle itself also changed its shape, as well as the safety bracket. Changes of these elements are aimed at making the weapon more comfortable when using warm thick gloves, but at the same time so that in the warm season the machine does not lose its convenience. But the main difference from the previous models is that the ejection of the spent cartridge case can be carried out both on the left and on the right side, which significantly increased the usability of the weapon.
Photos used:

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  1. Reddragon
    Reddragon 7 May 2013 06: 51 New
    For me, Famas recalls that. Although the characteristics are similar to FN FNNX, which Croatia bought a batch of 2000 Famas machines (in 100). That as though may hint.
    1. Canep
      Canep 7 May 2013 06: 55 New
      Very similar, here is his image. Although in my opinion this is the M-16 converted to bullpup, although not sure.
      1. Vladimirets
        Vladimirets 7 May 2013 07: 55 New
        Look at the weapons in the bullpup layout, almost all of them look similar to each other in appearance. The same store behind the handle, sighting bells and whistles, as a rule, carried up, revolutionary new little. All differences are inside. And Famas, IMHO, even looks like PM on TT.
        1. Reddragon
          Reddragon 7 May 2013 08: 57 New
          By nuances, it can be externally divided into: Famas (such a stick), AUG (right triangle) and Futuristic in the style of NF Ф2000 (so huge).
          You can generally combine all hand weapons into one whole: the barrel, the trigger ...
          So look at it as childish
      2. the47th
        the47th 8 May 2013 14: 11 New
        The M16 has gas exhaust automation, the FAMAS has a half-free shutter.
    2. avt
      avt 7 May 2013 09: 16 New
      Quote: RedDragoN
      For me, Famas recalls that.

      Yes, obviously they repelled him.
  2. The comment was deleted.
  3. -Dmitry-
    -Dmitry- 7 May 2013 07: 18 New
    Yeah, obviously not without FA MAS.
  4. bazilio
    bazilio 7 May 2013 10: 49 New
    To the author +, Thanks Cyril, as always, do not let me get bored.

    It seems that the barrel looks good, and the last option follows the latest trends in weapons fashion - plastic, picatinny, etc.
    I think for the creators of this model when creating, the goal was not to surpass, but simply to do "like everyone else", "so that it would not be worse." And apparently the designers succeeded.
    The layout of bullpup - here you can argue for a long time, so we won’t.
    The cartridge is standard, which means that the main combat indicators will be approximately "like everyone else".
    At the expense of similarities with Famas, well, of course there is something.
    Automation - in this barrel, automation is similar to M16 automation, that is, the removal of gases into the bolt group, with all the consequences ... Therefore, we can assume that the reliability of this barrel will be at the M16 level
  5. Nova
    Nova 7 May 2013 11: 01 New
    The French would not hurt to adopt some of the solutions in the VHS2 layout. A good ergonomic “work on bugs” would be for the “cleron”.
  6. smprofi
    smprofi 7 May 2013 12: 09 New
    VHS-D2 / VHS-K2 passed information on the possibility of using various ammunition: 7,62x39, 6,8 SPC and 5,56 × 45. it is not exactly known whether these will be different modifications of the rifle or whether a quick transition in the field is possible.
    Well, the commercial from the Adriatic Sea Defense & Security Exhibition (ASDA) 2013. The commercial is in Croatian, but the main points are clear

  7. Torang
    Torang 7 May 2013 13: 39 New
    It’s quite a European trunk, nothing new, high-quality and not in large quantities. As Mausers 98 darned different modifications in almost every European country, and now ... like brothers who are cousins ​​(famas) who are second cousins ​​...
  8. Chicot 1
    Chicot 1 7 May 2013 13: 46 New
    Nice looking machine. Particularly attracted the attention of the adjustable butt. This is of course kag-be plus and convenient, but its installation (as far as I can tell from the photos provided) slightly increased the total length of the weapon, and therefore the distance between the butt plate of the butt and the pistol grip (even in comparison with other bullpups). I don’t presume to judge how convenient it is to use a weapon with a more extended arm, but it’s for sure that it’s unusual and takes some time to get used to ...
    Regarding the general survivability of the structure, its reliability and other things, other things, the answers to these questions can only be given by many years of operation, including in the combat zone ...

    This is not the first time that Croats have presented original samples of small arms. For example, 20 mm (cartridge 20x110) RT-20 anti-material rifle. Its name translates as "hand gun", which in general (based on the ammunition used in it) is not far from the truth. An interesting feature of this weapon is that to parry the recoil part of the powder gases is diverted back (similar to how it is done in recoilless systems).

    "Hand gun" RT-20
  9. shinobi
    shinobi 7 May 2013 15: 35 New
    In general, we can say that since the advent of the AK47, G3, AUG and of course the M16, all changes concern only the appearance, layout and material in the manufacture.
    1. Ch0sen1
      Ch0sen1 8 May 2013 16: 44 New
      Absolutely, you just need to add to the novelties of a system with balanced automation and Abokan, everything else is just plastic surgery.
  10. alex-cn
    alex-cn 7 May 2013 16: 42 New
    article +, a review of infrequently encountered weapons is always useful. a rifle for sure - like everyone else who tore off something added. the truth is that the spaced apart mechanical sight on the piccatini is a bit confusing. I wonder if she would pass our state tests
  11. Mister X
    Mister X 7 May 2013 21: 08 New
    Thanks to Kirill for his inexhaustible energy and desire
    to acquaint us with another outlandish "gun".

    Abroad, many also write that the designers, creating a VHS assault rifle -
    inspired by Clarion and Tavor.

    This product has a flaw that is present in many, starting with M-16:
    the presence of small parts.

    How to present the disassembly and cleaning of this rifle in the field ...

  12. the47th
    the47th 8 May 2013 14: 24 New
    An interesting trend: countries that create their small arms for a long time (Germany, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Belgium, etc.), with rare exceptions, are not in a hurry to switch to bullpup. And the countries that make weapons from the power of 20 years (Singapore, China, South Africa, Iran ...) all want to see a newfangled layout in their army.
    1. Sanches
      Sanches 20 May 2013 13: 14 New
      Quote: the47th
      An interesting trend: countries that create their small arms for a long time (Germany, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Belgium, etc.), with rare exceptions, are not in a hurry to switch to bullpup. And the countries that make weapons from the power of 20 years (Singapore, China, South Africa, Iran ...) all want to see a newfangled layout in their army.
      despite the fact that the layout is purely police