White Whale Spotted: KWA’s KRISS Vector

The Duke Nukem Forever of the airsoft world, the KRISS Vector SMG, reared it’s head in actual functioning form this year at SHOT Show 2012. This comes as only a mild shock, as it’s actually the third time an airsoft Vector has been shown at SHOT.

Credit where credit is due, I applaud KWA for coming to SHOT with a real prototype as opposed to the real steel in glass cases nonsense from last year (not to mention the wise decision not to move forward with the rather hideous K10 concept model). This is a very encouraging step in the right direction, particularly after the rumors that were popping up last summer that KWA was having extreme difficulty replicating the delayed blowback system of the real steel with a gas bolt.

A lot of people forget, but KWA isn’t the first company to have problems delivering on the Vector. Way back in 2008 Madbull of all companies brought a non-functioning, unpainted proto of a GBB Vector to SHOT show, with the intention of releasing their version later that year. Note the second-gen folding stock:

Nothing more was heard for over a year (sound familiar?), and Madbull quietly killed the project sometime in early 2009, citing prohibitive development costs. KWA was quick to pounce on the TDI license, but we all know how that has been working out for them thusfar. If KWA actually delivers on their “sometime this year” promise, the airsoft world will have waited an astonishing five years since the product, in some shape or form, was announced.

But what would an airsoft KRISS announcement be without more ambiguousness and confusion, right? Don’t worry, KWA’s reps have it covered.

Is it a 70 round magazine?

Or a 50 round magazine?

In other videos making the rounds you can see such wonders as Evike’s spokesman claiming you can use existing KWA glock mags in the Vector (false), and KWA reps looking off-camera for answers that never come to such probing questions as release date, price, FPS, magazine capacity, etc. I guess they didn’t look at the company website.

Sigh.

On to my scattered thoughts of the actual gun now that we’ve seen the proto:

  • It’s interesting to note that it looks like KWA is going with an enclosed follower for the magazines, which is great for realism but will definitely make loading the extended magazines more more of a chore compared to their MP7 mags, where you can lock down the exposed follower and reload at your leisure.
  • The fire selector seems to be not in-line with the current-gen Vector.
  • Judging by the numbers on KWA’s Vector product page, ROF and FPS will probably be comparable to the company’s currently-available line of GBB SMGs, continuing the baffling practice of making CQB guns shoot way too hot for CQB out-of-the-box.
  • Top-tier externals and top-tier magazine construction quality are pretty much assured. Questionable additional “airsoft/kwa” trades are pretty much also assured.
  • Two-round burst is awesome. I couldn’t think about a snarky line for this even if I tried.
  • Takedown to get at the barrel assembly and hop looks to be far less of a pain in the ass compared to the MP7, which is a relief.