The Kriss Vector is a fairly new submachine gun on the market. The military version recently became very popular due to it’s fire rate and method of managing recoil. The Kriss Vector was introduced in 2007 and fully marketed between 2009 and 2010. The fully automatic Vector operations at a extremely high fire rate between 1200 rpm and 1500 rpm which makes it very attractive to gun enthusiasts.

We got our hands on a Kriss Vector SDP-SB that we are showcasing here at the range. Unfortunately, we were not able to get access to the fully-auto model but we do have the SDP-SB (Short Duty Pistol w/Stabilizing Brace) version that we are going to breakdown and give you an overview on how to operate the semi-automatic version.

Quick History

The company Kriss USA was originally Transformational Defense Industries (TDI) and transitioned into the company Kriss USA during development of the Vector. TDI originally named the Vector the “K10” during the prototype stages. The design makes the Vector a very unique weapon on how fast it shoots and how it handles the recoil from the rate of fire.

Firearm Overview

With the way the Vector handles the recoil, the bolt travels downward instead of back which reduces the muzzle climb so that recoil is limited. TDI also managed to hit a 1500 rpm with their prototype but reduced it to 1200 rpm when the company changed to Kriss USA to meet production needs. The semi-auto version is similar. The full-auto function was removed and the semi-auto version is featured here.

Check out the images below for reference:

Kriss Vector Breakdown

Colt M1911 Breakdown
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The long cylinder where the round is shot out of

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Magazine/Magazine Well

The part of the handgun that locks the magazine in position for feeding cartridges into the chamber of the firearm

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Front and Rear Sights

Reticle device for aiming the weapon. Standard iron sights are pictured here with front sight and rear sights.

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Activates the firing pin which fires the round.

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Charging Handle

Handle that loads and/or ejects a round from the magazine once pulled

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Magazine Release

(Under Thumb) Button that releases the magazine so it can be changed out

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Reinforced Grip

Handle to wrap your hand to aim. Reinforced with textured gripping

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Bolt Release

Closes the bolt if the bolt is open – an open bolt exposes the inner gun. Also loads a round if new magazine is loaded

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Ejection Port

The port where the used empty shell ejects from after fired

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Thumb Safety

Manual safety you switch with your thumb

Once you have a good idea of where these important gun components are located on the weapon, you should know what is referred to in this “how-to” article.

Loading the Magazine

Kriss Vector Load Magazine

Magazine Type

If you are a Glock fan or use Glocks on a regular basis, you are in luck. The Kriss Vector uses Glock magazines so if you have spare Glock magazines in your disposal, you will be setup great. Of course, the caliber of the Vector and Glock magazines you have will determine whether they will be compatible.

This Kriss Vector is chambered in .45 ACP with standard Glock 21 magazines. These magazines hold 13 rounds. The extended Glock 21 magazine is very popular with the Vector due to higher capacity and the longer magazine being easier to hold the Vector with.

How to Use

Get started by grabbing an empty magazine in the off hand and use the fingers of your precision hand to get a round. Hold the magazine well in your off hand and align the round with the top of the magazine. Make sure it is facing the correct way and push it down so it is pushed underneath the lips of the magazine. Glock magazines have been know to be very easy to load. Around round 10 is where it will really start getting hard to put in another round. Keep adding a round to the magazine until you cannot add anymore.

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Load the Kriss Vector

Kriss Vector Load Gun

Insert the magazine

Now the magazine is ready to be loaded. Pick up the loaded magazine in your off hand once again (if it is not already in your hand) and make sure the ammo in the mag is pointing away from you. Pick up the Vector with your good hand with the pistol grip. Line up the magazine with the open magazine well on the Vector. Push the magazine all the way up into the magazine well until it cannot go any further. Give the bottom of the magazine a good tap up to make sure the magazine is seated well inside. The gun will not cycle if the magazine is not seated correctly so be aware of that.

NOTE: If you have an extended Glock magazine, the bottom half of the magazine will stick out due to the size.

Loading a round

The Charging handle is positioned on the left side of the Kriss Vector so pulling it should be fairly easy. Use your off hand to grab the charging handle. It’s not sticking out so you are going to have to pull the tab which extends it out so you can pull it with some force. Make sure to pull it all the way back. Once you have pulled it back, you will see the ejection port open on the right side. This will signify that the Vector is chambering a round to be fired. Let go of the charging handle to close the bolt and ejection port. The charging handle will return to it’s original position at the front of the Vector. A round is now loaded and ready to shoot.

Warning: You now have a loaded weapon. Make sure your finger is off the trigger until ready to shoot.

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Firing the Kriss Vector

Colt M1911 Fire Gun

Flipping the Safety

Kriss conveniently has the manual safety located right above the trigger and grip. When the switch is in the down position and the red icon appears, the safety is off and is ready to fire. Use your thumb to flip the switch and turn the safety off so you can shoot when ready.

Lining up your shot

Now your Vector is ready to shoot. Use any stance you feel you are comfortable with to line up your shot at a target. With two hands now on the Kriss Vector with your off hand holding the front of the magazine well and the shooting hand holding the grip. Use the sights so you can line up your target accurately. You will want to put the front sight dot in between the back sights to aim properly. Use the picture for reference. Once you are lined up correctly with your target. Pull the trigger to fire. Semi-auto means you will fire once per trigger pull. Keep firing until satisfied or empty.

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Reload the Kriss Vector

Reload Colt M1911

Magazine Swap

With the vector only shooting on semi-auto you should have plenty of shots before you are empty. If you are using the extended magazine, you should have around 30 rounds to shoot before you have to reload. When you do have to reload, hopefully you have more than one magazine. If you do not have a loaded magazine, go back and repeat the Load Magazine section to repeat the process of loading the magazine you have with new ammo. If you do, lets take out the old one and insert the new one.

When ready to reload, the thumb of the hand that is holding the front of the magazine well should hit the magazine release button. When you hit it, use the same hand to guide the magazine out of the magazine well and pull it out. Put the empty magazine away or to the side and grab the new fully loaded magazine with the same hand. Make sure thing are lined up correctly with the ammo facing away from you. Put the magazine up in the magazine well of the Vector as you did once before and give it a tap to ensure that it is seated properly.

Hit Magazine Release and pull out magazine
Prepare fully loaded magazine
Hit Magazine Release and pull out magazine
Prepare fully loaded magazine
Insert new loaded magazine
Hit bolt release to chamber new round
Insert new loaded magazine
Pull slide back or hit slide release

Chamber New Round

As you may notice, on the right side of the weapon, the bolt and shell ejector is open so you can see inside of the Vector. Once you have your new loaded magazine in, you will want to hit the bolt release to close the open bolt. This will reset the bolt for firing, close the ejection port, and load a new round from the new magazine. 

Warning: You once again have a loaded weapon

Turn the safety back off if you have turned the safety on. Reassess your target to be fired upon once again. Repeat the Firing section to continue firing.

Clearing the weapon

If you are completely done firing, turn the safety on. Remove the magazine as you would when reloading. Instead of putting a new magazine in, put it away or to the side. Pull back the charging handle and look in the ejector to see if there is a round in the chamber still. If there was, pulling back hard on the charging handle would have most likely ejected the round for you. The weapon should now be clear of any ammo.


It was awesome to get my hands on the newly famous Kriss Vector to try out. It might not have been the fully-automatic version but, a Vector is a Vector and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I encourage everyone to get your hands on one to try even if it’s only the semi-auto version. I am dying to try the fully-auto version if I can get a hold of it in the future.

If you wanted to buy yourself a pair of shooting gloves, our favorite pairs of shooting gloves are listed in our favorite gloves for shooting. Get your self a pair. They are not necessary but they really come in handy.

All in all, get better by learning as we are. To do this you have to practice. Practice Makes Proficient.