The SR-3 Vikhr (СР-3 Вихрь, Russian for "whirlwind") is a Russian 9×39mm compact assault rifle. It was developed by A. D. Borisov, V. N. Levchenko and A. Tyshlykov at TsNIITochMash (Central Institute for Precision Machine Building) in the early 1990s and was manufactured in 1994. It is based on the AS Val suppressed assault rifle but lacks an integral suppressor and has a newly designed folding stock and charging handle for ease of concealed carry. The abbreviation "SR" stands for spetsialnaya razrabotka — special development.
A right-side view of the SR-3MP
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Used by||See Users|
|Designed||1989 - 1994|
|Manufacturer||Tula Arms Plant|
|Mass||2 kg (without a magazine) (SR-3)|
2.2 kg (without a magazine), 3.2 kg (with an empty 30-round magazine and a suppressor) (SR-3M)
396 mm (15.59 inch): buttstock folded
640 mm (25.2 inch): buttstock extended
410 mm (16.14 inch): buttstock folded
675 mm (26.57 inch): buttstock extended
700 mm (27.56 inch): buttstock folded with suppressor
970 mm (38.19 inch): buttstock extended with suppressor
|Barrel length||156 mm (6.14 inch)|
|Action||Gas operated, Rotating bolt|
|Rate of fire||900 RPM|
|Muzzle velocity||295 m/s|
|Effective firing range||200 m|
|Maximum firing range||400 m|
|Sights||Iron Sights and various optical sights by the use of Picatinny rail or Warsaw Pact rail (SR-3M and SR-3MP only)|
Because the SR-3 Vikhr is a rather expensive weapon for its small size and weight, it was not mass produce for the Russian military. It was primarily used by Special Operations Forces and certain government officials' security details.
After the adoption of SR-3 Vikhr, the FSB established new operational requirements with a goal to combine the qualities of the SR-3, AS Val and VSS Vintorez, resulting in a new variant designated SR-3M (СР-3М). It features a quick detachable suppressor and a redesigned handguard with a collapsible foregrip. The iron sights have also been relocated to the upper front handguard as opposed to being located on the suppressor, apparently for when the gun is used without the suppressor attached. For this weapon a larger 30-round magazine was developed, which can be used also by the AS Val and the VSS Vintorez.
The SR-3 is a compact assault rifle chambered in 9×39mm subsonic cartridge. It primarily uses the SP-6 armor piercing ammunition with a hardened steel penetrator, that can penetrate a 6 mm steel plate at a range of 200 m. It also uses the SP-5 ball ammunition with a heavy bullet and PAB-9 ammunition, which is a lower cost version of the SP-6.
The SR-3 is based on the AS Val, but lacks the integral suppressor. As a result, it is much more compact than AS Val.
The SR-3 selective fire is gas-operated action with a long stroke piston and the same rotating bolt group from the AS Val. It has a more compact, top-folding buttstock and a simplified flip-up rear sight which can be set for 100 meters or 200 meters distance compared to the AS Val. The redesigned charging handle, made in the form of dual sliders above the forearm, must be grasped by thumb and index finger and then retracted to load the weapon. The trigger unit is generally the same as in the AS, but the AK-type safety is replaced by ambidextrous lever above the pistol grip. The fire mode selector is of cross-bolt, push button type and located behind the trigger, inside the trigger guard.
The SR-3 is a gas-operated weapon, which fires from a closed bolt. Such operating method is typically found on assault rifles and not on submachine guns. Another reason why it is considered to be a compact assault rifle rather than a submachine gun is of its caliber. In terms in size and weight, it is still similar to a submachine gun.
The SR-3M is an improved variant of the SR-3 Vikhr. It features an improved polymer furniture, a more convenient charging handle, AS-style controls (safety lever, semi-automatic/full automatic selector switch inside the trigger guard, charging handle), AS-style side-folding shoulder stock, a redesigned handguard with a folding foregrip and where the rear sight is now located, a specially developed quick-detachable suppressor (sound moderator), a Warsaw Pact rail for mounting day or night optics and other various optical sights on the left side of the receiver and a new magazine with a 30-round capacity which provides a more reliable feeding during automatic fire and it is still compatible with the 10- and 20-round magazines from the SR-3, AS Val and VSS Vintorez.
The SR-3MP is a modernized variant of the SR-3M. It is similar to the SR-3M but features a modified dust cover with a Picatinny rail on top of it for mounting various optics/scopes. The handguard also receives two Picatinny rails on each side for mounting laser sights, tactical flashlights and other tactical accessories. It is also capable on mounting its folding buttstock on the bottom of the pistol grip to allow the operator who wears a full-face shield mask, bullet-proof mask/helmet or night vision gear to still be able to aim by the shoulder without the stock getting in the way.
- Виктор Кораблин. Неизвестный "Вихрь" // журнал "Оружие", № 3, 2004. стр.10-15
- "Modern Firearms - SR-3 SR-3M Vikhr". modernfirearms.net. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
- ARG. "SR-3 Vikhr Compact Assault Rifle | Military-Today.com". www.military-today.com. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
- "SR-3 'Vikhr' MP: Russia's Elite CQB Assault Rifle". Guns.com. 2017-04-30. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
- "New Russian SR 3 MP "Vikhr" Submachine Gun - The Firearm Blog". The Firearm Blog. 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
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