From The Battlefield: Burnt Up VSS By: Matthew Moss


Recently a very burnt VSS 9x39mm marksman’s rifle turn up on a Ukrainian auction site. The remains of the rifle are described as a trophy and photographs show most of the major metal components of the weapon including its bolt, main spring, receiver and suppressor shroud. The weapon’s stock, plastic forend and top cover aren’t present, however, the cover is probably lost and the stock/pistol grip and forend are probably destroyed by fire. The remains of the metal tab for the sling are still attached to the sling loop.

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From The Battlefield: Burnt VSS

Burnt VSS – note the gas vent holes cut into the barrel. Note also the remains of the sling still attached to the weapon (via social media)

The auction listing offers no details on where the rifle was obtained but has some great photos which give us a good look at the remains of the gun, including close-ups of the helical ports cut into the rifle’s barrel and the receiver and bolt group. Inside the suppressor shroud itself is a simple set of three baffles and large expansion spaces. Introduced in the late 1980s, the Vintovka Snayperskay Spetsialnaya (VSS) fires the 9x39mm subsonic cartridge which is said to reduce the report of the weapon to around 130 dB.

VSS (Vitaly V. Kuzmin)

The Ukrainian soldier’s social media post didn’t give much context about where or when the weapon was found but from the damage, the weapon may have been recovered from a burnt-out Russian vehicle or from a position captured by Ukrainian forces.

Burnt VSS – the markings on the gun are still visible – TB-00430 (via social media)

Burnt VSS (via social media)

The weapon’s markings are still visible on either side of the rifle on the magazine well, ‘TB-00430’ on the left side and possibly ‘KP-0244’ can be made out on the right. At the time of writing, the remains of the VSS are currently bid to around $540.

Considerable numbers of VSS, AS Val and ASM 9x39mm chambered rifles have been seen in use with Russian forces in Ukraine.