Izhmash subsidiary Molot to manufacturer Russian AR-15 rifle!

In a Russian AK manufacturer Molot, who are a subsidiary of AK-74/AK-1xx maker Izhmash and who make the VEPR AK-style rifles, announced at the Moscow ARMS & Hunting ’11 expo that they would be producing an AR-15 style rifle called the HPE-140 (впо-140). The rifle is in a M4 configuration and includes a quad rail, ergonomic pistol grip and muzzle brake. It weighs ~7 lbs.

I never thought I would see the day that a subsidiary of Izhmash would produce an AR-15. It is a pity Eugene Stoner did not live to the worldwide popularity of his invention.

[ Many thanks to Russian Surt for emailing me the photos. ]



Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • Silver.spirit

    there is the American made AK47 and now we have the RUssain made Ar 15 !! what a fuck up world ???

    • jdun

      This isn’t some Russian gun company. It’s Izhmash. It’s like saying Colt is making AK.

  • Schnurz

    It seems to be Izmash distrubution BUT German Schmeisser (licensed) production! See the Schmeisser logos on the lower receiver and the front ras.

  • Dare to correct inaccuracies in the information.
    1. Molot – the plant does not depend on Izhmash. And the quality of this plant is higher than that of Izhmash
    2. VPO – so Vyatsko- Polanski
    3. Indeed, the first few thousand copies to be licensed by the German Schmeisser rifles AR-15, but I hope that the culture of weapons in this country has finally reached the heights

  • Jim

    This has to be some sort of twisted Russian April-Fool’s joke. In October.

    Would actually be interested in learning more about Schmeisser’s decision to make an AR15 too.

    • The Chinese have their own New Year, why not a Russian Fool’s Day in October?

      Seriously though. Les Baer makes ARs. Ruger Makes ARs. Mossberg makes ARs. In Turkey they’re making .410 bore ARs. Why shouldn’t Molot make ARs too?

  • Axel Nordberg

    “HPE-140 (впо-140)”

    Is HPE-140 the international name and VPO the Russian name?

  • crisara722

    thats cute

    now lets all be friends and huge

  • kvalseth

    Looks like it’s actually called the Вепрь-15 or Vepr-15.

    • Denny

      Actually, that may be offensive to some. Vepr = Pig!

      • kvalseth

        Wild boar

  • yes, Molot actually will assemble VPO-140 “vepr-15” rifles from German-made “Waffen Schumacher” (trademark “Schmeisser”) parts plus its own cold hammer forged, crome-lined barrels
    Also, Ukraine is also assembling Ar-15 rifles (using various US components) at the private Zbroyar company

    you can see some photos of both in my blog: http://mpopenker.livejournal.com/1365828.html

    • Denny

      Mr. Popenker: my admiration for your page Guns.ru. It is good reference point for any military technical history lover.

  • Denny

    Hahaha, I love this. Ruskies are coming and this time for real. Isn’t it OK though, if U.S. companies (and there are many and growing) copy Russian stuff. Even that lately mentioned 6.5 Grendel is basically Russian; well with Finnish bulet in front.

    • Anthoni814

      when they dont have millions of aKs

  • Ilgar Ö.Değirmenci

    When will Russians join NATO anyway ?

    • 6677

      I wouldn’t bet on it being any time soon

  • jamieb

    The circle is now complete.

  • Anthoni814

    Is it confirmed chambered in 5.56? It might be in 7.62×39

    • kvalseth

      Says .223 Remington right on the gun…

  • Hrachya Hayrapetyan

    What quality it will be and how much it will cost ???

    • quality is unknown. price is quoted as ‘about 60 000 roubles’ in basic configuration, which roughly equals to Us $2,000

      • GarryB

        As many of the components are German made I would expect a very good rifle will be the end result.

        This will mean that they can charge “full price” for the German/Russian product and still sell well on the domestic market.

        Of course all the limitations and problems with selling Russian weapons on the US market, I would expect they should have similar barriers to US weapons on the Russian civilian market even if the Russian market is much much smaller.

        This rifle will need to be good for Russian domestic users to use it in preference, but a few heavy tariffs could make the choice a bit easier too.

  • Will Litten

    So this is what a snow storm in Hell looks like.

  • Other Steve

    Odd it has an M203 notched profile barrel.

    Those wide hand guards are truly awful to use.

    Looks like rubberized grip.

    I very much like the pictograms vs “safe” “fire”

    Based on the above, I am guessing this is going to be an export gun only. I don’t see the Russians using this in any fashion.

    • It is for domestic civilian market
      Local shooters grew tired of locally sold Saiga rifles, which are basically rejects from export contracts.
      IPSC is a growing sport in Russia and from what I know Ar-15 is quite popular among IPSC shooters here

      • GarryB

        Hopefully the Ak-200 and the next gen Russian assault rifle will offer a better choice than an M4 knock off.

  • Lance

    We make semi auto AKs here in the USA now the Russian make semi auto ARs its a small world.

  • JamesD

    Could be be so lucky as to have someone introduce a cheaper, but still good AR?

  • Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

    This though does not mean the AK is losing popularity. More, the AR platform has matured long enough that any jams and failures nowadays are more due to operator error or ammunition than design flaw, and it’s reliability is starting to come to its own as well as the fact that this versatile platform will still have a long service/career life.

  • Brandon

    Too bad import restrictions will prevent it from being sold here. It’d be interesting to see what those Ruskies can build.

    • Lance

      Yeah for complete guns but lower receivers may be dirt cheap.

      • I too would like to see more Russian made hardware in the US. In many respects, they have some nice light and heavy arms.

  • Mobious

    Considering the advent of the Russian-made 5.56 AKs it’s not totally out of the blue (or red~) but considering who’s manufacturing them really makes for a surprise. And what’s the likelihood of Russian Elite troops/SWAT utilizing this AR platform for certain operations? I’ve seen special Chinese troops train alongside other Chinese troops (maybe special police) with decked out ARs, so this could be a trend in rise?

    • Helix

      I’ve seen photos of Interior Minsitry troops using AR platforms during training and for photoshoots.

  • Steve

    If I’m not mistaken, Georgia (former Sov. state… NOT the souther US state LOL)… purchased large quantaties of RRA-made M-4’s (or clones, there of). So…. “M-16’s” actually have been used for a while in that part of the world.

  • GarryB

    Molot makes RPKs, not AKs…. in other words they make light machine guns not assault rifles.
    Right now the Pecheneg is being adopted to replace the RPK series in the LMG role because while it is heavier it is also more effective and offers better fire power.

    This is nothing like Colt making AKs… and if you look at the number of western countries who improve their AR knockoffs by giving them pistons… ie making them more AK like, then Molot making a few AR knockoffs on the side for their civilian production (which considering the firearms situation in Russia is mostly aimed at the west anyway) is no great surprise at all.

    Financially it makes sense as western customers are used to spending thousands of dollars for ARs, and the main market for Molot now is western civilian customers.

    It would be like the company that makes Makarovs starts making 9mm and 45 calibre pistols to sell to western civilian customers just to stay afloat… it doesn’t really mean anything… it is just business.

  • Lance

    The Russians are not looking for a new rifle. They have so many AK-74s they told arms makers to halt all orders till after 2014. Russia is working on newer AK-74M configs but most money in the Russian defense budget goes to fighters tanks and new subs The AK-74M isn’t going anywhere.

    I can 100% certain about Russian pride they would never adopt the American M-4 for military use.

  • Ragnar

    Sorry guys, but this gun on the picture is made in Germany!
    It´s build by Schmeisser ( http://www.schmeisser-germany.de ) you can see the Schmeisser sign on the lower and on the handguard 😉
    Cheers

    • GarryB

      Molot are most likely producing them for Schmeisser under a licence agreement so it would have Schmeisser logos on it because they hold the copyright for the regions that Molot want to sell to.

      For all we know Molot might just be assembling the weapons for the Russian market paramilitary forces and perhaps the former CIS markets.

      Looking at the AK-12 I rather doubt most Russian military professionals will be interested in AR knockoffs even at greatly reduced prices when they can get an improved local product with all the features they like on the ARs but with the AK reliability and look and feel.

      Unlike the western market in Russia it is mostly military and government customers for weapons like these, whereas in the west the civilian market is huge.

  • SHeffMasteR

    Бурные дебаты радуют! Ребята, не парьтесь, скоро и гражданскую версию B2 выпускать начнем))) Привет из России.

  • The military makes decisions and one thought is always “can we fire the enemies ammunition?” The answer to this weapon seems to “Yes we can!” Sounds rather familiar doesn’t it?