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The STV-380, STV-215 assault rifle (Vietnam)

The STV-380 assault rifle is a standard issue infantry weapon of the People’s Army of Vietnam. Adopted in 2020, it is produced locally by the Z111 factory. The STV is an acronym for the Súng Tiểu-liên Việtnam, or, literally, “submachine gun, Vietnam”, as in the local military nomenclature all assault rifles are designated as “submachine guns”. The numbers after the name signifies the barrel length, which is 380 mm for a standard issue rifle, or 215 mm for a compact version.



The STV-380 assault rifle
The STV-380 assault rifle


The STV-380 assault rifle is based on the Israeli-made Galil Ace 32 assault rifle, which was adopted by the Vietnamese army in 2012 and produced locally under the Israeli license. Interestingly, the STV-380 adopts some “retro” features from the even earlier Galil rifle, such as the non-adjustable shoulder stock and the non-ambidextrous Kalashnikov-style safety lever and right-side reciprocating charging handle. Apparently, these “old style” features were retained to simplify transition from the old Kalashnikov rifles which are still widely used in Vietnam.



The STV-380 assault rifle
The STV-380 assault rifle


The STV-215 assault rifle
The STV-215 assault rifle


The STV-380 assault rifle is a gas operated, select fire weapon. It features a battle-proven Kalashnikov action with two-lug rotary bolt and long stroke gas piston. The receiver is machined from a block of steel, and features a detachable top cover, stamped from the sheet steel. Charging handle and safety / fire selector lever also follow the Kalashnikov system, and the rifle is designed to fire 7.62x39mm ammunition from the AK/AKM compatible magazines. The folding shoulder stock design is based on the original Israeli Galil rifle. Iron sights also follow the Galil pattern, with the front sight mounted on the gas block, and the diopter-type rear sight mounted on the top cover. The top cover, gas tube and forend feature integrated Picatinny style rails that can be used to mount various accessories, including the Israeli-made Meprolight red dot sight and domestically made 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. The STV-380 rifle has a bayonet mount, while the shorter STV-215 rifle has no bayonet lug, and cannot be used with an 40mm grenade launcher.

The STV-380 and STV-215 assault rifle specifications:

  • Caliber: 7.62×39 mm
  • Barrel length: 380 or 215 mm
  • Overall length: 825/600 mm (STV-380) or 660/435 mm (STV-215)
  • Weight, empty: 3.6 kg (STV-380)
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds
  • Rate of fire: 700 rounds per minute

special thanks to Con Gau Khung Bo & WGVN team for the photos and info