Sunday, December 2, 2007

Vepr 12 tactical / practical shotgun (Russia)

Vepr 12 tactical / practical shotgun, right side, with butt opened

Vepr 12 tactical / practical shotgun, left side, with butt opened

Vepr 12 tactical / practical shotgun, left side, with butt folded

Vepr 12 mod.01 (modification 01) with longer barrel and optional removable forward grip

Vepr 12Vepr 12 mod.01Vepr 12 mod.02
TypeSemi-automatic shotgun, gas-operated
Gauge / Caliber12 Ga, 76 mm (3") chamber
Length1057 / 725 mm1147 / 815 mm1307 / 975 mm
Barrel length430 mm520 mm680 mm
Weight3,9 kg4,0 kg4,2 kg
Magazine capacity8 rounds

The Vepr 12 shotgun has been developed as a direct competitor to "tactical" versions of the Saiga 12 shotgun. The key niches for Vepr 12 are sport shooting under IPSC rules, as well as use for civilian home defense and for security purposes. Vepr 12 is produced by "Molot" factory, which also makes RPK-74 machine guns and Vepr brand semi-automatic hunting rifles. All "Vepr" brand rifles and shotguns are broadly based on the RPK-74 light machine gun designs, adapted for civilian purpose and appropriate ammunition.

The Vepr 12 shotgun is gas-operated, semi-automatic shotgun which uses long-stroke gas piston located above the barrel, and a rotary locking bolt. Gas system is self-regulating and does not need manual adjustments. Gun is fitted with modified AK-style safety that has additional lever that permits faster "safety on" operation (mostly useful for IPSC shooters). Safety lever is also duplicated on the left side of the receiver. Other useful addition that is not found in AK or Saiga 12 is bolt hold-open device which holds the bolt open when magazine is exhausted. Magazine housing is provided with extended magazine tunnel, which permits for faster magazine insertion (without typical AK-style rocking movement, necessary to lock the standard AK-type magazine). Furniture includes a detachable or fixed flash hider on the barrel, a side-folding skeletonized butt with polymer coating, and plastic pistol grip and forend. Bottom handguard and bottom of gas block are fitted with Picatinny-type accessory rails, additional rail is provided on the receiver top cover, which is hinged to the receiver at the front. Standard sights are of AK pattern as well, with front sight installed on the gas block and adjustable rear sight on the receiver. It is worth to note that Vepr 12 shotguns can use both proprietary 8-round magazines and Saiga 12 magazines, but Vepr magazines will not work in Saiga 12.
Vepr shotguns are produced in three basic versions, standard (with 430 mm / 16,9" barrel with removable flash hider), Vepr 12 mod.01 (with 520 mm / 20,5" barrel with fixed flash hider) and Vepr 12 mod.02 (with 680 mm / 26,8" barrel with interchangeable chokes)

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