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Vepr-12
Vepr-12 ARMS & Hunting 2012 01

Carbine ВПО-206 (VPO-206) with collapsible stock
Type Semi-automatic shotgun
Place of origin  Russia
Service history
In service  Russia

 NATO[1]

Production history
Designer OOO "Молот-Оружие" (OOO "Molot-Weapons")
Manufacturer Molot Oruzhie Ltd.
Produced 2003 — present
Variants 4
Specifications
Weight (Without rounds) 4,2-4,55 kg
Length (With out-folded stock) 867-1227 mm
Width (With out-folded stock) 75 mm
Height (With out-folded stock) 290 mm

Action Gas-operated, rotating bolt
Effective range 100 m
Feed system 2, 5, 8,10, and 12 round box magazines, 20 and 25 round detachable drum.
Sights Tangent[1]

The Vepr-12 is a multipurpose shotgun, created by Molot-Oruzhie Ltd. It is patterned after the original Kalashnikov rifle, and built on the heavy RPK light machine gun receiver.

History[edit | edit source]

Early versions of the Vepr-12 were produced by Izhmash, with production moving to the Molot factory where the shotgun was redesigned and mass produced. The Vepr-12 is intended to be a direct competitor to the widely popular Saiga-12 shotgun already produced by Izhmash. Like the Saiga, the Vepr-12 was designed to be a versatile weapons platform, capable of being used by hunters and professional shooters alike. With these considerations in mind, Molot introduced unique features, such as the ambidextrous safety selector and the bolt hold-open mechanism.

Features[edit | edit source]

Due to the large difference in size between the 7.62x39 cartridge and 12 gauge shells, the extractor port has been lengthened, allowing the shotgun to eject spent shells without risk of causing a stovepipe malfunction. Like all rifles with the Vepr designation, the Vepr-12 receiver is patterned after that of the RPK Light Machine Gun. The receiver is reinforced, thicker, and more heavily constructed than a standard Kalashnikov pattern rifle. The Vepr-12 also incorporates a unique safety catch and bolt release mechanism. A side folding stock is present on most models, however Vepr-12 shotguns are offered with fixed stocks as well. Instead of the standard AK safety selector, the Vepr-12 has an ambidextrous safety that can be manipulated from either side of the rifle. An unusual feature among rifles in the Kalashnikov family, the Vepr-12 sports a bolt-hold open mechanism. That is, the bolt locks to the rear of the receiver after the last round has been ejected. To facilitate rapid reloading of the shotgun, a bolt release lever is located inside the trigger guard, allowing the user to release the bolt without breaking grip.[2] The addition of a magwell, another unusual feature for this type of rifle, allows for "straight in" magazine insertion, as opposed to the standard "rock and lock" found on standard AK rifles. The Vepr-12 is also chrome lined throughout, including the gas block, barrel, and chamber, affording the rifle excellent corrosion resistance. Unlike its cousin, the Saiga-12, the gas system on the Vepr-12 is self regulating, allowing it to cycle any commercially available 12 gauge load without risking damage to the rifle. The Vepr-12 lacks the normal AK side mounting rail, instead using a picatinny rail mounted to the dust cover for optic mounting. The dust cover is hinged to the rifle, allowing the user to open and close the cover, without losing the zeroing of a mounted optic.

Purpose[edit | edit source]

The Vepr-12 is geared toward the civilian and military market, with applications ranging from hunting, self defense, and competition use. In particular, the shotgun has carved out a niche among both IPSC competition shooters, one of the Vepr-12's target audiences. With its self regulated gas system, the Vepr-12 can effectively cycle a multitude of 12 gauge loads, making it a highly versatile semiautomatic shotgun platform. Much like its cousin the Saiga-12, the short sight radius on the Vepr-12 makes it a somewhat poor shotgun for Clay Shooting.

Variants[edit | edit source]

The Vepr-12 is manufactured in numerous variations, each with a unique designation.

  • (ВПО-205-00) - Default model
  • (ВПО-205-01) - Sporting model, includes a permanently fixed muzzle-brake and can be fired with the stock folded.
  • (ВПО-205-02) - Competition model, includes a 27 inch barrel and fixed muzzle brake.
  • (ВПО-205-03) - Compact military model, includes a 12 inch barrel. This model has the capability of fully automatic fire.

Export and Legal Status[edit | edit source]

The Vepr-12 is exported world wide. Ownership in Russia requires only a Smoothbore-gun license. Due to Russian law, domestic and many export versions of the shotgun are equipped with a disconnector that will render the gun unable to fire while the stock is folded. The shotgun is also imported into the United States. However, BATFE import regulations mandate that the accompanying magazines hold no more than 5 rounds, and the folding stock (on applicable variants) be welded in the open position. In the states of New York and California, the Vepr-12 in its factory configuration is considered an "assault weapon", and is therefore banned in these areas, due to its ability to accept a detachable magazine. Due to Molot-Oruzhie being a subsidiary of Kalashnikov Concern, Vepr-12s, as well as all other Molot products, were banned by executive order 13662 issued by President Barack Obama on July 16, 2014.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

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