Sunday, October 28, 2012

Molot VEPR 12 Review

Well, Molot finally got through all the US legal import related red tape and their VEPR 12's are on American shores and in American's hands.   The gun arrived dripping with some sort of preserving lubricant in a cardboard box with 1 factory 5 round magazine (higher cap mags from SGM are on the way).  I unboxed it yesterday, cleaned/lubricated it, and started putting rounds through it.    So, far I've got 250 rounds of various ammo (#4 buck, #1 buck, 00 buck, slugs, and some low brass range ammo) with 0 failures of any kind.  Here's some of the features of the gun along with what I've found...

-100% reliable thus far
-Hinged dust cover with a 1913 rail.  I mounted a red dot and opened/closed it repeatedly and it held zero
-The action is extremely smooth; much more than any Saiga 12 I've ever shot
-Original Molot polymer grip.  Much more comfortable than many AK factory grips out there
-Molot self-regulating gas system.  This one's key to the 'why is this better than a Saiga 12?' question.  Izhmash has a version of this system but reliability reports are still hit or miss with the low brass ammo
-Original Molot competition magazine well.   Allows for fast reloads eliminating the need for rocking and locking the mags
-Molot factory AK adjustable rear sight.  This is essentially a beefed up RPK rear sight
-Molot original AK enhanced safety lever.   It allows for easy disengagement of the safety when shouldering the gun
-Cost.  The gun is available many places for $1000.   Considering what it costs to buy a Saiga 12 and convert it to this configuration that's not too bad
-Factory chrome lined barrel,  chamber,  receiver shaft and  gas chamber
-Factory threaded barrel.  Treads are the same as the Saiga 12 so there are lots of brakes/flash hiders available
-The fit/finish are superb.   It's as nice, if not nicer, than any AK platform gun I've ever seen
-Machined bolt assembly, gas blocks etc.  As far as I know there is no MIM on this gun at all.  Every part feels very solid

-Bolt hold open feature doesn't function on the gun 100% of the time (see video below for a better explanation)
-The safety was so tight from the factory that it was almost unusable.   I fixed it with a little filing but just beware you may need to adjust it a bit

Here's a video review where I test out the gas system, do some shooting with slugs from 100m, disassemble/assemble the gun, and discuss some or the features of the shotgun:


  1. Thanks for this great review--it was interesting, accurate, and very helpful. I have been looking for a good semi-automatic shotgun and decided to go with the VEPR 12.

    I made my purchase earlier in December and received the VEPR 12 just before Christmas. With heavier loads it performs flawlessly. I have tried to cycle through some cheap Winchester #7-1/2 shot [from Walmart] and it jams on ejecting the shell practically every time (it is easy to clear, but just annoying). Do you have any suggestions that might fix this?

  2. Pretty! It was really a wonderful blog. Thanks for the provided information.