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A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing in Z111 Factory -The Firearm Blog

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:

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.

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Machining Centers in Z111 Factory.

Vietnamese workshop

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Machining Centers in Z111 Factory.

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.

Vietnamrse investment casting wax molds.

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Wax patterns; pistol frames on the left – folding stock hinge on the right?

Vietnamese investment casting.

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Hot ceramic molds handling.

Vietnamese metal casting.

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Molten metal pouring into the mold.

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.

Vietnamese Jericho frames.

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Cast pistol frames.

Above we see a selection of finished cast pistol frames. The final product is likely a licensed copy of the IWI Jericho 941.

Vietnamese factory makes Jericho clones.

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – IWI Jericho 941F (Image Credit: IWI)

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.

Vietnamese STV-380

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – STV-380 documents.

Vietnamese STV-380

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Introducing the STV-380.

Vietnamese STV-380

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – STV-380 handguard and charging handle.

Vietnamese STV-380

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Re-assembling the bolt carrier group and piston of the STV-380.

Vietnamese STV-380

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – Closed bolt waiting for the installation of the return spring.

Vietnamese STV-380

A Look Into Vietnamese Firearms Manufacturing – STV-215 in the foreground, STV-380 in the background; the only obvious difference between the models is the barrel length.


All images from VTVcab, via Youtube, unless otherwise specified.



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