Vietnamese weapons aren’t particularly mainstream in the Western world, however, we catch a glimpse of them, from time to time. Recently Vlad showed us the latest products of the Z111 Factory, the STV-380 and SVT-215. Now, thanks to the TV channel VTVcab, and its YouTube presence, we can see a few of their details and have a brief tour of the manufacturing facility.
We read about this factory tour from the tweet of Lee Ann Quann, who arguably first offered the English speaking audience the chance to know about the TV reportage:
“Morning with the Z-boys”
Z111 with its workers and products being covered in a TV program. Being one of the prominent armament factories of Vietnam People Army, Z111 is responsible for the production of various firearms. pic.twitter.com/Q20W5ZATNn
— Lee Ann Quann (@AnnQuann) October 6, 2020
Here below we can see the full video. Unfortunately, nobody in the TFB staff speaks the language, nevertheless, the clip is interesting and informative.
While we can hope that a reader speaking Vietnamese will help us in deciphering the spoken content, we can go through a few screenshots.
How many machining centers can you count? While manufacturing of AK based rifles is usually associated with stamping, it seems that the Z111 Factory is fully equipped to handle mass production of CNC milled components.
The capabilities of the workshop aren’t limited to machining, apparently. Investment casting, also known as lost-wax casting, can be a fascinating process. In the top photo, we see several “trees” made by connecting together patterns molded in wax. These assemblies will be coated with several layers of refractory ceramic slurry; once everything is fully dried, the wax will be burnt off in a furnace to leave cavities ready to be filled by metal. It’s not uncommon to have operators manually placing the preheated ceramic mold in front of the crucible that will pour the molten metal. Once the parts are detached from the casting sprue, they can be finished by machining or manual processes.
Above we see a selection of finished cast pistol frames. The final product is likely a licensed copy of the IWI Jericho 941.
STV-380 and STV-215
After the brief shop tour with some focus on QC, the clip focuses on the newest product of the factory: the STV-380, a Galil derived 7.62x39mm assault rifle. The journalist handles the firearm and she’s invited to re-assemble it: with some guidance, she appears to do it fairly easily. This sequence allows us to see up close the features differentiating the model from its Israeli counterpart. Specifically the charging handle on the right side and the AK style safety selector.
There are two separate sections of rails on the top side, one on the removable dust cover with rear sight and one above the trunnion area. The bottom of the polymer handguard has a rail for accessories, the sides simply have features to improve grip.
The shorter barrel STV-215 is shown as well on racks.
All images from VTVcab, via Youtube, unless otherwise specified.