While the VSS "Vintorez" silenced sniper rifle of 1987 proved excellent in its given role, it was an expensive end-product for Russian special forces and internal security elements. In the 1990s, The KBP Instrument Design Bureau headed a program to produce a budget-friendly alternative which begat the "VSK-94" silenced sniper rifle. The VSK-94 was a further evolution of the 9A-91 carbine automatic weapon introduced in 1993 (also by KBP) and incorporated its proven elements for the 1994 VSK-94 development. As in the VSS, the VSK-94 utilized the same subsonic Soviet-Russian 9x39mm cartridge (essentially the full-sized 7.62x39mm rifle cartridge body with a revised neck to seat a 9mm bullet) coupled with a silencer assembly fitted over the muzzle. This combination allows for a reduction in the telltale sounds of the exiting bullet while retaining a useful engagement range and repeat-fire qualities of an automatic weapon.
The original 9A-91 carbine assault weapon can still be recognized in the VSK-94 design. Key physical changes include the integrated double-strut, lightweight polymer stock and the cylindrical silencer assembly. The VSK-94 features the same receiver lines of the 9A-91 series as well as its straight detachable box magazine. The pistol grip adds ergonomic comfort and the oblong trigger ring allows use of a gloved hand. Magazines are inserted into the well ahead of the trigger group in the usual way. The charging handle is set to the right side of the body as is the ejection port. Thusly, optics are attached to the left side of the receiver - the standard fitting being the 4x PSO-1 series scope (backed by the 9A-91's iron sights). The PSO-1 series is a common sight for the famous Dragunov SVD sniper rifle family. Receiver construction is of all steel for rugged usability in-the-field. As with the 9A-91, the VSK-94 is fed from a 20-round detachable spring-loaded straight box magazine tied to the gas-operated, rotating bolt action. This allows a rate-of-fire of approximately 700 rounds per minute with a muzzle velocity of 270 meters per second out to an effective range of 400 meters.
The VSK-94 silenced sniper rifle remains in limited use by special Russian military and internal security forces and is called upon during clandestine operations. With that in mind, the VSK-94 has assuredly seen its fair share of combat service concerning the Russian special forces group SPETSNAZ.
Manufacturing KBP Instrument Design Bureau - Russia
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