VKS Vykhlop: Silenced sniper rifle chambered for the 12.7mm subsonic round

Author: Eric Sof

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VKS Vykhlop is a specially designed silenced sniper rifle chambered for the 12.7×55mm STs-130 subsonic round. Developed in Russia by Tula Design Bureau, this rifle is designed as a bullpup anti-material sniper rifle with a straight-pull bolt-action and is magazine-fed. It is originally designated as VKS (ВКС) or VSSK (ВССК). During the development program, the rifle was dubbed Vykhlop (Выхлоп, eng. Exhaust). It was developed around 2002 for the special force units of FSB.

Introduction

VSS Vintorez is a silenced sniper rifle chambered in 9mm. It is designed to allow the shooter to eliminate the target without triggering an alarm. The rifle is so quiet that the enemy won’t ever understand where the lethal lead came from. The VSS Vintorez has only one disadvantage – short range of fire, not more than 400 meters.

VSS Vintorez silenced sniper rifle favored by Spetsnaz operators
VSS Vintorez silenced sniper rifle favored by Spetsnaz operators (Photo: Spetsnaz)

The 12.7×55mm VKS Vykhlop silenced sniper rifle is intended for special operations that require silent firing and penetration much superior to that provided by the 9×39mm VSS Vintorez silenced sniper rifle. Typical targets for the VKS Vykhlop are combatants in heavy body armor or behind the cover.

The OSV-96 is a sniper rifle chambered in 12.7 mm caliber. Its effective range is 1500 meters. While at shorter distances, its super-powerful round allows the destruction of light armored vehicles. But its shot is extremely loud. The sound and barrel flash unmask the shooter. But what to do if a super-powerful cartridge, long range of fire, and sound suppression need to be combined meanwhile removing all the disadvantages?

Development

Specialists from Tula Instrument Design Bureau introduced a suppressed 12.7mm caliber VKS sniper rifle. According to the manufacturer, there is nothing like this super-weapon today. Silenced large-caliber 12.7 mm sniper rifle VKS Vykhlop was developed in 2002 for the SPETSNAZ Center of Russian FSB. The 12.7 mm round, specially made for the VKS Vykhlop, is many times heavier than a regular round, has considerable stopping power, and can penetrate a 16 mm thick steel sheet at 250 meters.

Design

The VKS Vykhlop has a bullpup layout. The magazine isn’t located in front of the grip but behind it in such a layout. This fact allows for shortening the weapon’s dimensions significantly. Thanks to the manual reloading of the rifle, designers got rid of the complex automation systems, which, in turn, allowed VKS to be incredibly light. With its suppressor and loaded magazine attached, Tula’s long-range puncher weighs only 7 kg.

Vks Vykhlop Sniper Rifle
VKS Vykhlop silenced sniper rifle chambered for 12.7mm round (Photo: XY)

That means that a shooter armed with this rifle will move much easier, and he will save strength to accomplish his mission. VKS Vykhlop is a unique sniper rifle. No other firearm combines a long range of fire, super-powerful ammunition, and a lack of unmasking factors. Tula designers created an absolute weapon feared by terrorists and envied by Western Special Forces.

Suppressor

In short, the VKS Vykhlop is a short-range, almost noiseless, silenced sniper rifle. The suppressor comes off, but this is described as for storage or transportation by the maker. The straight pull, bolt action bullpup rifle is designed around and to only be used with the suppressor on, with its highly specialized subsonic ammunition.

Ammunition

The entire family of totally new 12.7×55 mm rounds was developed especially for the VKS. High-accuracy rounds and high-power rounds are some of them. For example, this rifle can hit the enemy’s APC 200 meters away to destroy communication devices like antennas or to set a radar station out of order. Even a wall cannot save the target from the VKS. One meter thick wood or 15 cm thick brick… everything will be turned into pieces after impact or armor-piercing round. If a shooter with VKS needs to make a shot upon targets located too far away, he can use special sniper rounds. They are able to reach the enemy at distances of more than 1,5 km.

VKS Vykhlop fires special subsonic 12.7 mm caliber rounds. Thanks to these rounds and their effective suppressor, it is possible to use it indoors without special ear protectors. The sound of VKS’s shot will be virtually indistinguishable in open terrain. That means a target will never know where the round came from, and the shooter will remain undetected by the enemy.

Vsk Vssk Ammunition
VSK Vykhklop Ammunition (Photo: XY)

The majority of large-caliber sniper rifles have two disadvantages – long length, about 1.5 m, and they are not light more than 10 kg. However, VKS Vykhlop is unique even in this field, thus surpassing its large-caliber colleagues in every aspect.

The special round has an overall length of 97 mm. The accuracy is claimed as 1 Minute of arc at a 100-meter range with precision bullets.

Cartridge variants

  • SC-130 (СЦ-130) – standard
  • SC-130U (СЦ-130У) – for training
  • SC-130PT (СЦ-130ПТ) – increased accuracy (59-gram bullet)
  • SC-130PT2 (СЦ-130ПТ2) – increased accuracy (solid bronze bullet)
  • SC-130VPS (СЦ-130ВПС) – increased penetration (76-gram bullet) capable of penetrating 16 mm of steel at 200 meters or body armor up to GOST 5 at 100 meters.

The VSS Vykhlop (an exhaust) rifle was proved so successful that a special large-caliber assault rifle is already being developed on its basis. The same designers had already created a 12.7 mm assault rifle designated as an ASh-12.

Technical specifications

Manufacturer:Tula Arms Plant, Russia
Type:Bullpup Anti-material sniper rifle
Caliber :12.7×55mm STs-130
Barrel:450 mm
Weight:7 kg (total weight)
Magazine capacity:5-round detachable box magazine
Length:1120 mm (overall length with suppressor)
Sights:folding iron sights or telescopic sight
Effective firing range:600 meters
Maximum firing range:1000 meters
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