VSS Vintorez – Silenced Sniper Rifle

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

The VSS Vintorez is a designated marksman rifle produced in the former SSSR. It is a silenced sniper weapon intended to support urban or other close-quarter scenarios. The VSS Vintorez is chambered in 9 mm caliber and it is still very popular among Spetsnaz (Russian Special Forces) operators.

VSS stands for “Vintovka (rifle) Snaiperskaya (sniper) Spetzialnaya (special-purpose). And “Vintorez” means “thread-cutting plate”.


The reason why the VSS Vintorez is chambered in the 9×39 mm caliber is that the 9 mm eliminates the sonic crack and is more controllable should you need to use full auto, which is more likely in closer quarters where the enemy may stumble on to you. In fact, VSS Vintorez is the light, compact, extremely silent (all you hear is the bolt, really), no visible flash.

It was designed by two Soviet engineers, Petr Serdjukov and Vladimir Krasnikov during the 1980s. The first rifle went out of the Tula Arms Plant in 1987.

AS Val vs VSS Vintorez rifle
AS Val (above) vs. VSS Vintorez (below) comparison (Photo: XY)

The weapon is easy to disassemble and could be easily smuggled in a suitcase, which makes it perfect for concealed carry and secret operations. And yes, the VSS Vintorez is reliable as an AK. Subsonic rounds that do not “whizz” as they fly by. The gun comes with the mounted PSO-1–1 optics adjusted to include the peculiar ballistics of the round used. Night vision optics can be mounted as well as suing an appropriate mount. The night vision optics used is 3.46x NSPUM-3 (1PN75), a special version of NSPU-3 (1PN51).


The commonly used cartridge for this weapon is armor-piercing SP-6 cartridge (9×39 mm) capable of penetrating body armor that stops Kalashnikov rounds. It is a very powerful round especially if you acknowledge that VSS Vintorez has the ability to fire full-auto.

The only drawback is the limited range (up to 400 meters because the bullet is slow and heavy), but as a special operator, you probably do not fire from a mile away.


The newest variant of the VSS Vitorez rifle is dubbed as VSSM (ВССМ) GRAU 6P29. It is the most modern iteration of the rifle featuring an aluminum buttstock with an adjustable cheek and butt pad. Additionally, it is fitted with Picatinny rail on the top of the dust cover and sides and bottom of the suppressor. Deliveries started in 2018, according to the Arms Trade.


VSS Vintorez is not a perfect weapon. It has a lot of disadvantages. Its main disadvantages are the muzzle velocity and range. With a very poor muzzle velocity, the round has barely enough power to penetrate body armor at 300 meters. With a poor velocity, the range is limited, and shooting moving targets becomes increasingly difficult.

Its advantage occurs in the remarkable ability for being disassemblable into three modules that fit into a suitcase and using a subsonic round for special operations.

What is the US counterpart to the Russian VSS Vintorez silenced rifle?

So there are many rifles that can do a similar role to the VSS Vintorez. They can be tailor-made to requirements or they are available on the shelf. That can include integrated sound suppressors or detachable ones. And many different types and sizes are available.

It is a major improvement on older 9mm SMGs like the MP5sd that was commonly used in anti-terrorism work. About doubles power and accuracy. It has a similar performance to 7.62mm x 39mm Russian Ammunition found in AK47 ammunition and a similar-sized bullet. Giving it a range of over 300m.

Technical specification of VSS Vintorez

Manufacturer: Tula Arms Plant, Russia
Type: gas-operated
Caliber : 9×39 mm
Barrel: 7in (200 mm)
Weight: 5.73 lbs (2.6 kg)
Magazine capacity: 10 or 20-round detachable box magazine
Cyclic rate of fire: 700 rounds per minute
Magazine capacity: 10 or 20-round detachable box magazine
Cyclic rate of fire: 700 rounds per minute
Effective firing range: 300 meters
Maximum firing range: 400 meters
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