CNIITochMash developed a relatively new assault weapon system - the SR-3 "Vikhr" (meaning "Whirlwind") - designed around the subsonic 9x39mm cartridge. The cartridge was developed in the 1980s with the need to arm special operations units with a more powerful subsonic round under low velocity. The cartridge has since been introduced into a full line-up of Soviet/Russian weapons including the impressive AS "Val" and VSS "Vintorez" silenced assault/sniper (respectively) rifles. One of the unique qualities of the SR-3 itself is the very compact form that the base weapon takes on (more akin to a submachine gun than an assault rifle). This makes it highly suitable for special forces use as well as airborne infantry. Production of the SR-3 has been undertaken out of the famous Tula Arms Plant to which a modified form - the silenced SR-3M - has since emerged.
The SR-3 is a conventional gas-operated weapon utilizing a rotating bolt action. The received is slab-sided and rectangular in its general shape with a conventional pistol-grip/trigger unit and forward hand guard around the barrel/gas system. It sports a rate-of-fire of approximately 900 rounds per minute with a muzzle velocity of 970 feet per second. The weapon is generally effective within ranges of 200 meters but can be used beyond to approximately 400 meters. There are two known versions of the SR-3, the extended design being the aforementioned "SR-3M". The base SR-3 production model is fed by way of a 20-round detachable curved box magazine while the modified SR-3M is seen with a 30-round magazine. Iron sites are provided for base accuracy. The SR-3 features a collapsing stock which folds over the receiver and forward hand guard. The SR-3M accepts a sound suppressor (fully removable) and features a vertical foregrip under a revised hand guard as well as a skeletal folding buttstock. Optics for this model are optional.
The SR-3 weighs in at 2 kilograms while the SR-3M is 3.2 kilograms. Overall length is 640mm for the SR-3 and 970mm for the SR-3M. In either form, the barrel remains 156mm in length.
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