New Tactical MOLOT Veper-16 and Vepr-308

The Izhmash subsidiary Vyatskie Polyany Machine Building Plant (aka. MOLOT) have developed two new tactical-style versions of their VEPR rifle, one chambered in .308 Win. and the other in .223 Remington.

Veper-16 .223 Rem.

The biggest new feature on these rifles is non-reciprocal forward charging handles on the left side, a big improvement from the original AK-style charging handle, and in my opinion, a superior design to the AK-12 charging handle.

MOLOT VEPR-308 .308 Win.

Both the Veper-16 and Vepr-308 feature M4-style collapsable stocks, reciever picatinny rail and three baffle muzzle brake. The Veper-16 uses standard STANAG AR-15 magazines.

[Hat Tip: Raskin Guns]

[ Many thanks to Andrey for emailing us the link. ]

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.


  • FourString

    Do want.

    • Anonymoose


  • Darkness

    Shiny. Pardon me while I go run and hide my huge inst-a-boner now

  • Aurelien

    Funny enough, it looks like the new 5,56 Beryl running M4 mags.
    The thing about Molot (according to Schmeisser, the people importing them to the EU), they are pretty roughly made weapons. The guys at Schmeisser told me they buy them as kits and re-work every mobile part to insure smooth running.

    • Komrad

      I’ve never heard that. Over here in the US, they’re considered some of the best AK type guns out there.

      • lolinski

        Here in Norway they are a respected (albeit heavy) hunting rifle, since they are accurate and work(even though they are expensive people still buy them since Norwegian hunters buy a gun when they absolutely need one)

      • Aurelien

        Just what i heard from Schmeisser, not my own feedback.

    • Lance

      I wouldn’t call the 5.56mm Beryle a success most Polish units didn’t like them and Poland is making a new replacement rifle.

      • Esh325

        I’ve never heard they don’t like them.

      • Aurelien

        Well i did not call the Beryl a success now, did I ? I just stated a fact : designs are close.

  • JonMac

    Why oh why must everything have an M4 stock???

    • Tyler Marcoz

      Because its a good stock?

    • Tyler Marcoz

      Because it is a good stock? We have a tendency to reduce things down as we find the most effective combos. Plus, familiarity.

    • Trev

      It’s about twice as tacticool as an AK stock!

  • Nick H.

    Any one else notice the wavy and distorting in the video when it got close? what caused that?

    • Well, it’s rainy here. 🙂 Some water on lens caused that.

    • Hking

      Youtube has built in motion stabilization. So instead of having video all jumpy and bouncy like you usually see with cell cam and other handheld video, it tried to stretch and smooth the video based on a central focal point. It works better for video that has a distant focal point as it stretches the edges of the video, but in up close video the effects are more pronounced. Youtube/Google is working out the kinks.

    • Jeff

      Might just be me but the magwell looks kinda shoddy… in the .223 video seems like the magazine had a lot of play and was preventing the bolt catch from working. The guy had to push it in a pretty big amount

  • Well, Vepr-308 accepts FAL mags. 🙂

  • BushWacker

    CH is good. Stock is nice too. But the whole thing is so ugly… AK-12 is much worse, however.

  • Anthony H.

    I actually like the idea for the charging handle.

  • Murdoc

    I hope they found a way to make the dust cover fit on snug before they put the rail on top of it, otherwise it’s as good as useless.

    • Komrad

      Veprs are built off of RPK receivers which have a hinged dust cover if I’m not mistaken. In any case, RPKs have a more solid mounting system than your average AK.

      • Esh325

        My VEPR doesn’t have a hinged dust cover, and I’m fairly certain RPK’s don’t have a hinged dust cover either.

      • dan

        I believe the vepr 12 guage is available with hinged and railed top cover, as well as saiga 12. For example the new saiga 12’s imported by legion i believe, with frontsight gasblock combo.

  • Ian

    Let’s take the best part of an AK and ruin it with shoddy magazines.

    • Komrad

      Only if you use USGI mags with old style followers. P-mags and other similarly high quality mags should run fine.

    • W

      The Vepr has always used different magazines. for THAT specific platform, i guess the AR15 mags would be a good selection. definitely cheaper.

      • Kyle

        I’ve seen some VEPRs on Atlantic Firearms’ website that take traditional AK mags

  • 15yroldgunman

    Check out Ukrainian vepr and Vulcan it’s like a vepr and tar-21 made love

  • Komrad

    Personally, I’d rather have a folding than collapsing stock, but that’s just preference. Otherwise, it looks pretty slick.

  • Jeff

    Might just be me but the magwell looks kinda shoddy… in the .223 video seems like the magazine had a lot of play and was preventing the bolt catch from working. The guy had to push it in a pretty big amount

  • Jeff N.

    Wow… I was thinking of modifying a Vepr .223 to get something like this… I so want that.

  • Other Steve

    Takes AR mags, takes AR style stock, non-reciprocating charging handle, top rail for optics….. Reminds me of another 556 gun…

  • Khoury

    Wow the placement of that charging handle is definitely going to be a liability once you put 3-4 mags through it, you wont be able to charge the gun or do any remedial action drills without burning your skin pretty seriously.

  • fred

    Looks like a step back.
    Non reciprocating charging handles are less than perfect.
    Are they going to add a “forward assist” to go with the ar mags?
    If I want an ar I will get a real one..

  • Esh325

    As much as I love AK’s, I can’t say I’m too impressed. The AK-12 looks more more impressive.There’s nothing wrong with the original reciprocating charging handle. I don’t think they would be able to import a VEPR like this that can accept “hi cap” AR15 magazines.

    I would like to see Molot imported a railed dust cover VEPR. There’s nothing wrong with mounting optics on an AK’s dust cover assuming they made proper modfications to ensure it’s stable and can return to zero.

  • W

    i dont care for the charging handle. I think the AK12 has it down: a ambidextrous, interchangeable reciprocating charging handle. People complain about charging handles that move, but I actually prefer them because of their simplicity.

    As far as AR mags go, that is good news for US gun owners 😀

    Out of curiosity, I wonder how well that receiver cover holds the zero and what design characteristics it has, if at all, to keep from moving.

    • Nick

      I prefer reciprocating charging handles because they can functions as forward bolt assists like that of the AR-15.

  • robert

    Did any one else see the pistol caliber one laying on the table. What’s that one all about?

    As for the 223 and 308 I like the idea of using readly available mags but don’t like the new side charging handle and no back up iron sights.

    • dan

      9mm , takes tangfolio magazines

  • Andrey

    • Esh325

      Why does the select fire AKM have “VEPR” markings on it? Is it a newly made AKM or did they just put new markings on it?

      • chris

        Looks like he’s saying its a matching-numbers parts kit gun with a Molot-made receiver, but I don’t speak Russian.

      • dan

        he says its a vepr-k, semi auto and still fires semi in the automatic position. It looks as if it has a standard akm receiver, and he mentions it being very sought after by collectors for being an authentic classic ak. The trunnion markings isnt really explained in the video besides saying it matched. I wonder if its a new vepr, or a modified gun.

      • void

        He says, that this is fully authentic AKM, it has old soviet markings(year, number…), as well as new MOLOT’s markings. It has three firing modes, but both single and auto modes fire single shots. So this is a fully authentic/recovered soviet model, modified to fire signgle shots.

  • Lance

    I like the 308 caliber version looks like a awesome long range rifle for those who want a none US design. Theres a bit too much hype about the AK-12 its only meant for sec ops in Russia and like the AN-94 BIG hype about it but died in practice in the former USSR. I think the AK-74M is still a awesome rifle and is user friendly and is a nice weapon too.

  • Reverend Clint

    looks like a SKS with a carbon fiber stock in the background

    • Reverend Clint

      probably should have watched the m43 video before commenting

    • I actually think I have that same stock in black. The cheekpiece and fingergrooves are pretty distinctive. They were pretty common 15-20 years ago when you could buy a Chinese or Russian SKS for about $100.

      I thought the stock was made in the U.S.. So, I wonder, did Molot copy the stock, or buy them from A.T.I. or whoever makes it in the U.S.?

  • Sian


  • Cuban Pete

    Take the AK-style rifle, chamber it in .223 fiddle with it so that it can take both PMAG and mediocre AR-style mags, and you have a major seller for the US market.

    AK reliability, commonality with AR mag/caliber? PEN ME IN FOR A PURCHASE NOW!!!

    • HWI

      There is already AR mag adapter out for AKs chambered in .223.

      • Esh325

        That’s true, but I think an AK made to take AR15 magazines out of the box would work better compared to having to use an adapter.

  • -V-

    Nice, when can I get one? Stanag/Pmag/other mag compatible, LRBHO left sided forward charging handle AK? What is *not* to like about this.

    How to make this import friendly? Slap on there a saiga hunting stock and some metal flanges on the mag well that limit it to a “single stack” 10 round magazine and send them over. 10 minutes with a dremmel and we’re back to the original form and function. As for the comments of the charging handle getting too hot to handle, notice its not part of the gas tube, its a separate tube that runs just to the side of the gas tube, and either way that’s why you wear shooting gloves.

    As for forward assist, just put the standard AK bolt carrier into the gun with the normal charging handle. It looks like all the forward charging handle does is impinge on the BCG with a rod on the left side of the BCG to charge it. This is nothing drastic, or anything that can’t be done at home with about $10 worth of parts and some ingenuity.

  • dan

    The 9mm vepr looks cool, takes tangolio mags. Hope too see a square back vepr in the usa as well the 308 that takes fal mags , but some how i doubt it.

  • Reverend Clint

    they look pretty cool and I do like the ability to use mags I already have

    • John Doe

      Agreed. STANAG mags may be unreliable/inferior/etc., but they work fine and I have lots of them. I would take a gun running STANAGs over one running AUG mags or anything else.

  • Mike Knox

    Those are some freaky effects at 0:26 in the first video..

    • Griffin

      I think that’s from Youtube’s “steady” filter. If you shake the camera an insane amount and use the filter it will still do an amazingly good job but will cause those wavy/weird effects.

      • Mike Knox

        I did notice the same effects on my dash-cam just the other day..

  • Ivan

    Interesting, Molot/Izhmash has sure stepped up their game for civilian products. I won’t be surprised if these Vepr models become more popular than the Saiga.

  • Gabriel

    Sign me up. Want a .223, if that works well ill be back for the. 308

  • Blackhawk2001

    I like the possibility of using standard AR-mags, but putting the safety and the bolt handle on the left side of the receiver gives me the same issues I have with the AR series of rifles – not left-handed friendly at all.

  • Anonymoose

    .30-06 is probably the minimum I would want to use on a moose. Just sayin’.

    • Anonymoose

      Oops. Wrong article. Derp.

    • Anonymoose

      I meant to post this first comment in the .300BLK Handi-Rilfe article, but I can actually relate it to this article too:
      I think they should produce version of this new Vepr in .30-06 (à la their Vepr Hunter so it would be capable of hunting large game such as that found in the Russian wilderness.

    • Chuck

      I use mostly 308 and 458 Win Mag on bunny rabbits. You don’t have to worry about them charging when they are wounded.