Range Report: KRISS Vector 22 SDP

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Range Report: KRISS Vector 22 SDP

For under $800, customers can own a KRISS Vector — and though only a .22LR, it is likely the most fun version yet. KRISS has a unique design and history. When KRISS firearms hit the market with the first early Vector prototypes in 2007, they were (and remain) groundbreakingly unique and extremely high-quality firearms. The Gen 1 Vector was considered a premier pistol caliber carbine with extreme reliability with common Glock magazine compatibility. By the release of Gen 2 in 2015 with a few updated ergonomic tweaks, KRISS had a loyal following who appreciated and enjoyed the design and benefits of the Super V downward-traveling inertia carrier block. The Super V system offsets muzzle rise and recoil, delivering a near recoilless zero-muzzle-rise gun even in 9mm, .45 ACP and 10mm. Today, the KRISS Vector Gen 2.1 models remain highly valued, unique, fully customizable and unlike anything on the market from a design, look and feel standpoint. 

Nearly every gun collector wants a KRISS Vector in their collection; however, the barriers have been the $1,600+ price tag that’s out of reach of many gun owners and the required healthy appetite of pistol caliber rounds to feed the addicting shooting experience. KRISS heard the customer feedback screaming for a less expensive .22LR model and delivered the KRISS Vector 22 in an SDP (pistol format) and CRB (carbine format). We tested the Vector 22 SDP pistol format to understand its capabilities and reliability. The Vector 22 is extremely impressive.

More Than a Me-Too .22

The KRISS lineup of firearms has always been extremely high quality with incredible reliability, and the company wanted to ensure the .22LR models were not just dumbed-down look-alike versions of the original in a 3-D printed shell. The result is a rimfire firearm that anyone handling the gun would have a difficult time identifying as a .22LR model. With the exception of the magazine lip size and bore size, there is nothing externally that gives away any difference. The centerfire and the .22LR Vector versions have identical length, weight, width, features and feel. In no way does the Vector SDP 22 feel like a featherweight .22LR pistol.

The Vector SDP 22 can also share nearly all of the Vector line accessories, including forends and stock adapters. Notably, the Vector 22 is a unique rimfire design and is functionally non-compatible with centerfire upper or lower receivers.

For all practical purposes, the Vector 22 SDP looks and feels just like a KRISS Vector SDP centerfire — which is to say it feels substantial at 5.9 pounds and 16.75 inches long. Taking into consideration the better-than-expected accuracy and reliability, the Vector 22 may be able to deliver much more than expected. The $749 Vector 22 SDP is about $850 less than the $1,599 centerfire model. KRISS has made the proprietary .22LR 10- and 30-round “Glock .45 ACP sized” magazines affordable at $24.99 and $34.99 MSRP, respectively. Currently, the extended magazines are available in black, white and FDE.

Quality With Little Compromise

In order to hit the price point, most would think there would be some compromises; however, internally, there are surprisingly few differences between the centerfire and the Vector 22 models. The .22LR model features the same KRISS Vector upper and lower design, leveraging a non-captured four-pin retaining design, and some minor plastic vs metal choices, such as the ejection port. Where a lot of cost was reduced was in the simple straight blowback .22LR bolt versus a KRISS Super V inertia block system. The bolt and recoil spring are similar in design to an upside-down Ruger 10/22 bolt assembly, and the system works flawlessly while greatly reducing the cost and complexity of the Super V system. This design decision does create an unused cavernous space where the Super V system would operate, which has the possibility as a future storage area for ammo, candy bars, batteries and tools, with some creativity. The Vector 22 versions do not include a grip plug, which is one accessory added first for battery storage. The barrel length on the .22LR SDP does increase to 6.5 inches versus 5.5 inches on the centerfire Vector SDP models. KRISS presumably used a rather thick .22LR 1/2x28 threaded barrel to help boost the weight to equal the centerfire SDP models. The decision may have helped accuracy, as this heavy free-floating barrel appears to deliver groups far better than expected for this format of firearm.


All the expected features and controls are carried over from the original Gen 2.1 Vector centerfire models, including ambidextrous safety, low-profile flip-up sights, last-round bolt hold open and a 1/2x28 threaded accessory/suppressor-ready barrel. Part of the allure of the Vector models is the ability to customize with the various accessories offered by KRISS. On our model, we added KRISS MLOK rail, grip plug, folding adapter for retaining a non-braced AR-spec buffer tube, an ATF-letter-approved Thordsen Buffer Tube Cover to protect the finish, and a few KRISS 10- and 30-round magazines. Notably, all KRISS accessories could be mounted and removed in minutes, which is part of the configurability allure of the Vector design. 

Though I do not expect anyone to need replacement parts, KRISS does offer nearly every replacement part on the .22LR Vectors on their site should something become damaged or inoperable. With the folding adapter removed and the QD sling mount in place, the Vector 22 was simple to point and control with just the sling attached. 

Function and Accuracy

The Vector 22 was shockingly reliable and accurate. Vector 22 SDP delivered flawless feeding and functioning with recommended quality 40+ grain .22LR 950 fps velocity ammo. In this type of .22LR firearm, magazines can make or break the reliability. In this case, the magazines were fantastic, light to load from first to last round — and KRISS even integrated a first-round button assist to get the first round properly seated. With that noted, by round 200, your thumb is killing you, and a simple mag loader would have been handy. I hesitate to be picky, considering I only had two bulk-pack-ammo-related failures in over 700 rounds; however, I cannot help but wonder why KRISS chose only to design single-stack magazines versus double stack. The giant Glock .45ACP-sized KRISS .22LR magazine only has 10 rounds and the gigantic 10.5-inch magazine only holds 30 rounds. With that noted, they do look identical to the larger bore Vector models, and they functioned perfectly. The extremely good KRISS 2-stage trigger is also carried over into the Vector 22 models and greatly contributes to the accuracy of the firearm.

If buyers are unwavering on using a .22LR firearm for defense, the KRISS Vector 22 would get high reliability marks beyond even a Ruger 10/22 or MKIV pistol. The reliability was likely due to the sledge hammer-like firing pin strikes, which seemed to deliver much higher than average ignition of even very inexpensive bulk-pack ammo. All premium high-velocity and subsonic .22LR ammo worked flawlessly with zero failures as long as the velocity was above 950 fps. Match Lapua, SK and CCI subsonic rounds delivered the best overall accuracy and, particularly when suppressed, were a delight to shoot.

Even when a simple red-dot and 3X multiplier were added, 1-inch 25-yard groups with bipod support were the norm with good non-bulk ammo like CCI Blazer. As expected, the Vector 22 spreads groups to 2 inches with very cheap bulk ammo, but match-ammo groups were impressive, with SK Plus delivering a few sub-½-inch groups at the same 50-yard distance. Thankfully, my Vector 22 loves CCI Mini-Mags and printed a shockingly good bragable 10-round 50-yard group. The only notable issue was managing the 4-inch bore-to-sight offset of the Vector around a calculated .22LR optimized 40/75-yard dual zero sweet spot. The 40/75-yard dual zero offers a simple 1-inch-low 25-yard point of impact and a relatively flat +/- .6-inch trajectory for hunting and plinking between 30 and 85 yards. Buyers can zero to shorter 25-yard distances; however, the trajectory offset becomes difficult to mentally compute beyond that zero. The .22LR Vector SDP is more than accurate enough for fun shooting at longer distances.

Final Thoughts

With a $750 MSRP, a .22LR firearm has to deliver perfect reliability and something unique to get a customer’s attention. The KRISS Vector 22 SDP does that in a big way and adds shockingly good accuracy when fed with quality match-grade rimfire ammo. Though the KRISS Vector 22 SDP is most at home running fast and spewing brass, it does well when a magnified optic is added and can pull multiple duty as a trainer, plinker, small-game hunter and perhaps even a home-defense gun if needed.

Customers will buy the KRISS either because they already own a Vector centerfire version or because they have always wanted a less expensive KRISS Vector. Putting the Vector 22 SDP in customer hands will help them experience the quality and sell this tier of rimfire. Nothing about the KRISS feels cheap. As with all KRISS firearms, they can deliver a huge visual marketing impact and should be positioned as statement pieces to draw in customers. 

This is a very fun .22LR firearm format where even the 30-round magazines seem to get emptied fast, so packaging with extra magazines, KRISS accessories, and bricks of rimfire ammo is recommended. One thing is for sure: This will become one of the most-shot firearms for owners, as this format is incredibly addicting to shoot.

KRISS Vector 22 SDP Specs

Caliber .22LR

Capacity 10 / 30

Barrel Length 6.5 inches

Overall Length 16.75 inches / 425 mm

Operating System Direct Blowback

Action Type Semi-Automatic

Color Options - Black, FDE or White

Weight 5.9 lbs. / 2.7 kg

Barrel Material 4140 Chrome Moly

Barrel Finish Black Nitride (QPQ)

Twist Rate 1:16-inch RH

Thread Pitch 1/2x28

Trigger Type Pivoting, Single-Stage


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