AS Val and VSS Vintorez

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AS Val and VSS Vintorez
VSS (top) equipped with the PSO-1-1 and 10-round magazine. VAL (bottom) with a 20-round magazine
TypeAssault rifle (AS Val)[1]
Sniper rifle (VSS Vintorez)[2]
Place of originSoviet Union
Service history
In service1987–present
Used bySee Users
WarsIraq War[3]
Russo-Georgian War
2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine
Production history
Pyotr Serdyukov and Vladimir Krasnikov
ManufacturerTula Arms Plant
VariantsASM and VSSM
Mass2.5 kg (5.51 lb) AS (empty)
3.54 kg (7.80 lb) AS with PSO-1-1
4.95 kg (10.91 lb) AS with 1PN51
2.6 kg (5.73 lb) VSS (empty)
Length875 mm (34.4 in) AS (stock extended)
615 mm (24.2 in) AS (stock folded)
894 mm (35.2 in) VSS
Barrel length200 mm (7.9 in)

ActionGas-operated, closed rotating bolt
Rate of fire800–900 rounds/min
Muzzle velocity280–295 m/s
Feed system10-, 20-, 30-round detachable box magazine (shared with the SR-3M)
SightsOpen sights: Rear notch on tangent (graduated from 100 to 425 m) and front post mounted to suppressor housing
"Dovetail mount" for optics

The AS Val "Shaft" (Russian: АС «Вал»; Автома́т Специа́льный, romanized: Avtomát Spetsiálny "Val", lit. 'Special Automatic')[4] and VSS Vintorez "Thread Cutter" (Russian: ВСС «Винторе́з» Винто́вка Сна́йперская Специа́льная, romanized: Vintóvka Snáyperskaya Spetsiálnaya "Vintorez", lit. 'Special "Sniper" Rifle'),[5] 6P30 and 6P29 (GRAU designation) respectively, were a Soviet-designed assault rifle featuring an integral suppressor based on the prototype RG-036 completed in 1981 by TsNIITochMash.[6] The two rifles hereafter are referred to as the Vintorez and Val. The Vintorez (beginning in 1983) and Val (beginning in 1985) were developed by TsNIITochMash to replace modified general-purpose firearms, such as the AKS-74UB, BS-1, APB, and PB, for clandestine operations, much like the PSS Vul. Manufacturing began at the Tula Arms Plant after its adoption by the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union in 1987.

The ASM (6P30M) and VSSM (6P29M) are modernized variants of the AS and VSS respectively The VSSM is equipped with an aluminium buttstock with an adjustable cheek and butt pad and a new 30-round magazine was introduced to be intended for use with the ASM. Both rifles are also outfitted with a Picatinny rail on the top of the dust cover and on the sides and bottom of the suppressor, forward of the handguard. The mounts which shroud the suppressor can be removed. Deliveries began in 2018.[7]


The AS Val and VSS Vintorez are integrally suppressed and chambered for the 9×39mm subsonic cartridge. Four rows of nine holes are drilled in the barrel which follow the rifling and allows gas to escape the barrel behind the projectile into the expansion chamber which surrounds the barrel and extends ~20 cm forward of the end of the barrel where three baffles are located. The baffles are stamped out of a single sheet ~1 mm thickness and welded to a removable frame which is pressed against the front of the suppressor housing by a spring placed between the baffle assembly and the end of the barrel. The suppressor effectively reduces muzzle flash and muzzle report of the firearm to 130 dB. There are no design features which reduce the noise of the action.

Manipulation is similar to many AK-type rifles: charging handle on the right side, tangent rear sight, magazine release button behind the magazine well, and safety lever above the trigger guard. The fire selector is, however, located behind the trigger within the trigger guard. The rifle also has an "AK-type" Warsaw Pact rail for various optical sights, namely the PSO-1-1, PSO-1M2-1, and 1-PN-51 calibrated for use with the 9x39mm cartridge. The standard open sights are graduated from 100 to 425 m in 25 m increments.

Instruction sheet of the AS Val that includes a field strip model of the rifle

The action is also similar to that of AK-type rifles with a similar long-stroke gas system with the piston located above the barrel. However, the design characteristically uses a rotating bolt with six locking lugs and a milled steel receiver. The AS and VSS share the same standard 10 or 20-round double-stack detachable box magazines and are compatible with the 30-round magazine of the SR-3M. Many of the components are shared between the AS and VSS with the main discrepancy being the fixed wooden buttstock on the VSS and tubular metal buttstock which folds to the left on the AS. The AS can be fired with the stock folded but the mounting of an optic will not allow the buttstock to close completely (like many other rifles with similar mounting solutions for optics). The handguard, pistol grip, and magazines are made of a synthetic polymer.

Both the AS Val and VSS Vintorez can be disassembled to fit into a special compact case for transportation.


An ASM with a 30-round magazine
A VSSM with a 20-round magazine

The SR-3 Vikhr (Russian: СР-3 «Вихрь», romanized: Spetsialnaya Razrabotka "Vikhr", lit. 'Special Development') was designed for improved concealability by replacing the stock and omitting the integral suppressor and charging handle. The design process began in 1989, manufacturing began in 1994, and the rifle was adopted in 1996.

  • The SR-3M is a modernized variant of the SR-3 that replaces the original SR-3 stock with one similar to the AS Val and introduced a new 30-round backwards compatible magazine. The handguard was also redesigned to include the rear sight and a folding foregrip.
  • The SR-3MP is a further modernization of the SR-3M which allows for the folding stock to be mounted at the base of the pistol grip for users wearing helmets with face shields or head-mounted night vision devices. The handguard was also redesigned to include two picatinny rails on the sides.

The 9A-91 and VSK-94 (Russian: ВСК-94 Войсковой Снайперский Комплекс, romanized: Voyskovoy Snayperskiy Kompleks, lit.'Military Sniper Complex') are cost-reducing redesigns of the two rifles by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau completed in 1992 which also omit the integrated suppressor. Manufacturing began in 1994.



AS Val carrying National Guard of Russia troops wearing ATACS FG and maroon berets in the 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade.

Former users[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "9 mm special assault rifle AS | Catalog Rosoboronexport". Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  2. ^ "9 mm special sniper rifle VSS | Catalog Rosoboronexport". Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  3. ^ Besedovskyy, Vlad (2 May 2023). "VSS Vintorez used by Ukrainian special forces in Iraq". Safar Publishing. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  4. ^ "9 mm special assault rifle AS | Catalog Rosoboronexport". Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  5. ^ "9 mm special sniper rifle VSS | Catalog Rosoboronexport". Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  6. ^ AS Val, VSS Vintorez, OTs-14 Groza, and more: 9x39mm with Max Popenker, retrieved 7 May 2023
  7. ^ "Modernized ASM and VSSM". YouTube. Retrieved 7 May 2023.
  8. ^ "Как обеспечивается баланс сил в Закавказье". (in Russian). 14 July 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Ствол, с которым идут в разведку | Еженедельник "Военно-промышленный курьер"". Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Спецподразделения Грузии". АЛАНИЯинформ (in Russian). Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Armament of the Georgian Army". Archived from the original on 9 March 2012.
  12. ^ P, Rajat (19 July 2019). "Elite special forces of Army, IAF, Navy get major weapons upgrade | India News – Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  13. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / В ВВО поступила партия модернизированных снайперских винтовок "Винторез"". Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  14. ^ a b "— " "". Archived from the original on 21 February 2007.
  15. ^ Neville 2016, p. 229.
  16. ^ ИЗДЕЛИЕ 1ПН51 ТЕХНИЧЕСКОЕ ОПИСАНИЕ И ИНСТРУКЦИЯ ПО ЭКСПЛУАТАЦИИ [Product 1PN51 technical description and operating instructions] (zip) (in Russian). January 1992. p. 11. АЛ3.812.076 ТО-ЛУ.
  17. ^ "ЦАМТО / Новости / Разведчики ВВО в Приамурье получили партию специальных автоматов АСМ 'Вал' последней модификации". Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  18. ^ "ЦАМТО / / Разведчиков ЦВО в Самарской области впервые вооружили модернизированным бесшумным оружием".
  19. ^ "ЦАМТО / / Около тысячи автоматов АК-12 получил спецназ ЦВО в Новосибирской области в 2021 году".
  20. ^ "Фотовиставка: 'Служу українському народу і спецназу!' :: Товариство учасників бойових дій 'Спас-Україна'". Retrieved 15 May 2021.
  21. ^ Neville, Leigh (25 August 2016). Modern Snipers. General Military. Osprey Publishing. p. 190. ISBN 9781472815347.