There’s just something about a submachine gun that has the ability to reach into the deepest, brightest parts of your soul and tickle your inner child. You can put me behind a minigun for three hours with unlimited ammo, and I’ll still grin from ear to ear after only shooting a few rounds through a submachine gun. What’s even better is when it’s chambered in .45 ACP. There’s nothing more sinfully satisfying than launching a round the size of a donut hole just a few feet per second slower than the speed of sound. I can’t think of a more noble death for a .45 ACP bullet than to send it hurtling towards the broad side of a steel target.
But what happens when you’re a mere civilian and can only play with the carbine semi-automatic version of said submachine gun?
You get the Vector CRB from Kriss. The CRB is a bastardized version of the Vector SMG, the fully automatic short-barreled version. The CRB sports a 16-inch barrel, serving as the greatest killjoy and purpose-destroying feature ever added to a gun. But if you can get past the phallus-inspired barrel, this gun is a hell of a good time.
You won’t believe me, but the Vector CRB is an agile gun. Most of its mass is towards the back, creating a virtual fulcrum. It is thus more maneuverable than its visual profile suggests.
The trigger looks chunky and slow, but looks can be deceiving; in practice the trigger breaks clean and will shoot as fast if not faster than the person behind the gun. The reset is prominent and loud. The more I shot the gun, the more I liked the trigger.
Ergonomically, the Vector CRB felt natural, which is odd considering it looks like someone tossed it off an alien spaceship. However, I have to say that you should put a vertical fore grip on this thing, unless you’re willing to make a conscious effort to not hold on to the bolt release, which I did consistently. Doing so caused the bolt to lock back when I didn’t want it to, because I accidentally had my hand on it.
The iron sights on the gun are really good, but a little too low for my liking. So I opted for an Aimpoint Micro T-2 red dot with a LaRue mount, which worked perfectly for me.
Shooting the Vector CRB was a very novel experience. Everything about this gun is unique, from the way it looks to the way it recoils. The recoil is freakishly linear and soft, but to say it is non-existent is a bit of a stretch.
While transitioning from target to target, I spent half the time wishing it were an SBR and the other half feeling like the barrel wasn’t that bad. But then I would go right back to wishing it were an SBR.
The gun can be insanely fast if you can shoot it that way. You can clearly feel that it’s a fully automatic gun masquerading as a semi-automatic.
It’s when you really start moving around with the gun that you start hitting the limits of the 16-inch barrel’s agility. Running with the gun becomes this awkward dance where you’re constantly trying to figure out what the barrel is doing.
Flat out, I hate the safety. It’s not intuitive. Maybe I am doing it wrong, or I have the hands of a dwarf, but I felt like I had to take my entire hand off the grip to engage it, and that was incredibly annoying.
No matter how you slice it, the Vector CRB is an incredibly unique gun. Yes, the barrel is an unfortunate consequence of misguided legislation by people who think anything less than 16 inches is dangerous and evil. But the CRB is a treasure trove of features, like a light receptacle cover for SureFire Executive Series lights and a Picatinny rail under the barrel for vertical fore grips, which I believe are essential.
The charging handle reminds me of a combination of a crowbar and torque wrench, giving you leverage to rack the bolt. And you’ll need it, as the springs in the 30-round Glock 21 magazines are stiff. The magazine release can stand to be looked at again and possibly modified. The magazine release isn’t bad, just kind of slow to perform reloads if you try to do them at speed.
The Kris Vector CRB is a gun in its own lane. It tries to stand out from the crowd and it succeeds. I like the gun, I really do, but in the same way as the single mother who sometimes takes her frustrations out on her son because he looks so much like his father. The Vector CRB just keeps reminding me of how frustrating the NFA laws are. I feel that in SBR form this gun would be incredible. Looks like I have another tax stamp to pay for.