Caliber: 9x39mm SP-5 and SP-6 subsonic cartridges
Action: auto, selective fire, gas-operated, striker-fired.
Barrel length: 200 mm
Weight: empty: 2.6 kg, loaded w. scope PSO-1: 3.41 kg
Magazine: 10 or 20 rounds detachable box
VSS (Vinovka Snaiperskaja Spetsialnaya = Special Sniper Rifle) was designed for special operations. Designed at TSNIITochMash(Central Institute for Precision Machine Building) by team lead by PetrSerdjukov, the new rifle was intended to replace some AK-47/AKM rifles, fittedwith silencers, in the hands of various Special Operations (SpetsNaz) troops ofSoviet Army, KGB and MVD. To achieve desired lethality against targets,protected with body armor, TSNIITochMash had to develop a new subsoniccartridge, based on the 7.62×39 case, necked out for 9mm bullet. The bulletsused in new cartridges are long and heavy (about 16 gram), and of ball (SP-5)and AP (SP-6) type. The latter bullet features a hardened steel penetrator asthe core, and can defeat most military issue body armors at ranges up to 300-400meters. VSS is in use since late 1980s, and is widely used in Chechnya againstseparatists. VSS is quite popular among its users for its stealthy capabilitiesand great lethality of heavy 9mm bullets. The effective range of VSS is limitedto 300-400 meters.
The VSS is a gas operated, selective fire weapon. The longstroke gas piston is located above the barrel. The rotating bolt has 6 lugs andlocks into the receiver, which is machined from solid steel for greater strength.The trigger unit differs significantly from AK-47 type firearms, beingstriker-fired. The safety switch and charging handle are AK-style, but the fireselector is a cross-bolt button, located inside the triggerguard, behind thetrigger.
The barrel at the front has a set of tiny holes, drilled in therifling grooves, which lead into the integral silencer. The silencer is theintegral part of the weapon, and while it could be easily removed for storage ormaintenance, the VSS should not be fired wit silencer removed.
Standardsighting equipment consists of side rail on the receiver, which usually accommodatesthe 4X PSO-1 scope, graduated for 9×39 ammo. Any other scope or night visionsight can be mounted on appropriate mount. backup iron sights consist of tangentrear and blade front. Rear sight is graduated up to 400 meters.
The wooden,skeletonized buttstock is fitted with rubber buttplate and can be removed forcompact storage and transportation, the compact forend is made from polymer.
Feedingis achieved from 10 or 20 round box magazines, made from polymer.