Vektor CR-21
The Vektor CR-21
TypeBullpup assault rifle
Place of originSouth Africa
Production history
Designed1997 (1997)
No. built200
VariantsCR-21 carbine
Mass3.72 kg (8.2 lb)
Length760 mm (29.9 in)
Barrel length460 mm (18.1 in)

Cartridge5.56×45mm NATO
ActionGas-operated, rotating bolt
Rate of fire700 round/min (full auto)
Muzzle velocity980 m/s
Feed system20 or 35-round detachable R4 magazines
SightsFiber optic illuminated reflex sight

The Vektor CR-21 is a South African bullpup assault rifle ("CR-21" being an abbreviation of Combat Rifle 21st Century) chambered for 5.56×45mm NATO ammunition. It was designed by Denel Land Systems as a possible replacement for the South African National Defence Force's Vektor R4,[1] though Denel Land Systems has since shifted focus to offering an upgraded R4 rifle to the SANDF instead.[2] The rifle is being marketed for export customers and has seen service with the Peruvian Armed Forces and National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela.


First unveiled in 1997, the CR-21 has a sleek, futuristic design and uses the bullpup layout. This enables the rifle to be as short as a typical carbine, whilst still retaining the muzzle velocity of longer assault rifles. However, this makes the CR-21 only capable of being fired from the right hand as the ejection port is located on the back right side of the rifle. The port can not be changed from side to side.[1]

Internally, the CR-21 uses a slightly modified version of the Kalashnikov action found in the R4 assault rifle, which is known for its reliability and relatively low weight.[1] The rifle also makes significant use of high-impact polymer, with the only exposed metal part on the rifle being the front of the barrel with its integral flash suppressor. Both of these result in the rifle having a low loaded weight, of 3.72 kg (8.2 lbs).

The CR-21 comes standard with a 1× magnification optical sight with an illuminated reticle that does not require batteries.[1][3] This sight is mounted on a sight rail, allowing easy removal and attachment, as well as the use of a range of different sight options. The forward handgrip has been specially designed to be easily removed and replaced with an underbarrel grenade launcher such as the M203 grenade launcher.[1]

A CR-21 carbine was said to have been developed by Vektor. Both of their 35-round magazines are based on those from the R4 and IMI Galil rifles.

A map with nations who use the Vektor CR-21 in blue


See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Max Popenker. "Vektor CR-21 assault rifle (South Africa)". Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  2. ^ Leon Engelbrecht. "Denel showcases a 21st Century R4 assault rifle at AAD". Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  3. ^ Omutumua Oshili. "Vektor CR-21 Assault Rifle". Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
  4. ^ Issue; V3N3; Volume 3. "Peruvian Small Arms: Gunning for the Shining Path – Small Arms Defense Journal". Retrieved 2022-10-26.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Poder, Factores de (2021-04-05). "Detenido Emilio Enrique Martínez, alias "Chiche Smith", jefe del Cartel de Paraguaná en Semana Santa 2021". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  6. ^ "wiw_sa_venezuela - worldinventory". 2017-03-06. Archived from the original on 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2022-10-26.