The VHS 2 was developed in 2007 and became the service rifle for the Croatian military in 2009. This is made by SH Product out of Croatia and this is the same company that makes the Springfield Armory XD, XDM, and Hellcat. The Hellion is the newest addition to the Springfield Armory line. It’s a bullpup design, so it means it’s really compact—even though it has a 16-inch barrel, it’s in the 5.56 caliber, and it uses standard AR-15 magazines. This firearm is something that I just didn’t expect. So, when Springfield Armory said they were sending the VHS 2, which is their Hellion, I was pretty excited about it. This is a very soft shooting firearm. It’s fully ambidextrous. There’s just a lot of cool features and so we’re gonna really check it out. We really appreciate Springfield Armory for sending the Hellion for this test and evaluation.
The Springfield Armory Hellion is imported by Springfield Armory and it is produced by SH Product out of Croatia, designed in 2007, and then adopted into the Croatian military in 2009 as their service rifle. In 2013, it was updated to the VHS 2. Now one of the funny things is is that when you say VHS I think of DVDs and blu ray, but this is a state of the art rifle. It’s already served in a number of conflicts, including the Syrian Civil War, and also in Iraq and other areas of the world where Croatian forces were deployed. There are about seven other countries that use the VHS as their service rifle or for police agencies. The US military actually bought 500 of these, and they’re doing testing on them. SH Product is the same company that produces the XDs, the XDM and the Hellcat for Springfield Armory—these are imported. Now one of the things I love about a bullpup is that it still has an over 16-inch barrel, I believe it’s 16.14 inches, and yet it’s a very compact size—very maneuverable, very easy to get into tight spaces, and again, it still has the capability of having the same accuracy as a standard AR-15 rifle with a 16-inch barrel, yet considerably smaller.
One thing I do want to mention, because this rifle has not been modified, it also does come with a P mag and we do have one of the five-round limiters in there because YouTube will not allow for you now to show 30 round magazines. So this is actually a 25 round magazine, and we just wanted to get that straight. This rifle also has a lot of similarities to the FAMAS, which is a bullpup design used by the French military for a number of years, which they just evaluated the VHS 2 for the trials and it came in second next to the HK 416.
Bullpup designs are very compact, they fit right to your shoulder, but with this short-stroke gas piston system, it’s a very soft shooting and flat shooting firearm. The recoil is really nice and there’s hardly any noticeable muzzle rise. One of the things about a bullpup is because it’s so short, it does make it really handy because the action comes all the way to the end of the buttstock, it makes it a totally different experience when you’re shooting. Now because it’s so small and compact, it’s a whole different manual of arms but it doesn’t take long to get up to speed. Everything is very intuitive and because it’s fully ambidextrous, you know all the controls are on either side, whether you’re right-handed, left-handed, or you’re shooting weak hand. Now again, it does take some getting used to in finding out where the controls are. But to me it’s kind of a natural place for each part.
This is a really solid rifle. If you get a chance when you’re in a gun shop, just pick it up and handle it because it’s just got a really great feel to it. Of course, they already make the XD, the XDM and the Hellcat—so the quality is established. But then when you get it to the rifle, it takes it to a whole other level. Again, we really appreciate Springfield Armory for sending the Hellion and also just for importing the VHS 2 for us civilians here in the US. It’s just great to have the availability for these really incredible world-class rifles.
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