Oleg shoots the VEPR 12

Over at All Outdoor Oleg Volk shoots the VEPR 12 shotgun and he likes it….

The shotgun comes equipped with RPK light machine gun open sights. At first, I was confused by the decision to make 1,000-meter adjustable sight with fairly short radius on a shotgun, but range use showed it to be a brilliant idea. The gray rear sight makes it easy to focus on the front post. It is adjustable for windage without tools, and the machine gun and the shotgun have something in common: both are made for creating beaten zones, with the difference of one doing it over time with bullets and the other simultaneously with shot. Great range adjustability also comes in handy when regulating for slugs of different weight and velocity. For example, the lowest 100 meter setting works perfectly for 25 yards with Brenneke Home Defense slugs, which cloverleafed right at the point of aim. A 0.6 center-to center group fired over open sights from kneeling is quite respectable, to my mind.

Sadly, the VEPR 12, which is produced at the Kalashnikov owned Molot factory, can no longer be imported into the USA. If you want one, you better buy it quickly.

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.


  • allannon

    Wish I had the budget right now to run out an get one. 😐

  • J

    I knew I should have picked one up before the price gouging started.

  • Jay

    That looks more like Olga than Oleg. 🙂

    • CrankyFool

      One of the things I like about Oleg’s photographic choices is that he tends to not use the typical Operator as a mannequin. If you look at the article, he has a relatively old man, and that young, svelte, woman. It feels much more inclusive.

  • Vhyrus

    After doing some thinking (and the latest ban) I have decided I am over the box mag shotgun. It’s greatest strength (the magazine) is also it’s biggest weakness because unlike rifles or pistols you can’t keep a shotgun mag loaded long term. It will deform the plastic shells and cause a misfeed. I found this out first hand with my Saiga. This makes it useless for a home defense gun. Not only that but you have to buy the extra mags at roughly $50 bucks per pop. This is all on top of the fact that Saigas and Veprs are significantly heavier and larger than tube fed guns and it really makes you realise their limitations.

    • Left my Saiga 12 loaded with Federal LE Buck for many months on several occasions. All rounds fed and fired just fine. I’ve heard this story before, but never experienced it.

      Rim-lock, however, is a different story.

    • Oleg Volk

      Saiga mags have higher spring pressure than Vepr or mka1919 magazines, so the deformation is more likely with them.

  • Tim U

    Was going to get one, but not going to participate in the frenzy. I missed out and I’ll just have to be ok with that. At least I have a saiga.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Tim, please see my comments above. From what I can tell, there is no frenzy, at least not yet. It’s still a bit different from other situations such as the perceived ammunition shortage of the past couple of years, and sundry other stampedes.This would therefore still be a good time to get a VEPR-12 at a decent price if you act quickly enough and take the time to shop all the appropriate reputable vendors as well. In the end, it’s still your judgement call regarding the purchase.

  • DiverEngrSL17K

    I was fortunate enough to get a VEPR-12 sometime ago when AIM Surplus had a sale on brand-new, original VEPR-12’s with the OEM tubular metal stock at a sub-$1000 price point. Since then, I have noticed assorted firearms web sites such as AIM Surplus, Arms America, Classic Firearms and Atlantic Firearms offering the VEPR-12 in both metal stocked and classic AK-style polymer stocked configurations for as low as $799.00-$899.00. This held true up until just a few days ago, when the Russian AK ban became a Presidential edict. However, you should not give up the search if you really want one at a reduced price as it is just possible that there are still some available at the old prices due to stock overage ( if so, this will probably last only for a short time to come for obvious reasons ), although there are also no guarantees this will be the case.

    At any rate, I will say that the VEPR-12 is a truly excellent tactical / military shotgun by any standards, bar none.

  • n0truscotsman

    All of the improvements many shooters wanted for the Saiga were applied to the Vepr. Molot did some homework and put out a excellent product.

    I have no particular love for magazine fed shotguns and think the concept is flawed in many ways, although I bought a Vepr for a reason and will not part with it now.

    • Eric S

      This is true. I picked up an EAA Saiga 20 for $200 NIB, and that’s about what it is worth. Never part with it cause I could never replace it, and it’s fun, but un-modded, it’s less than reliable. VEPRs interest me greatly though, I wanna gut one.

    • DiverEngrSL17K

      Agreed. To be fair, though, the Saiga is still a terrific gun if one leaves it and uses it in pure bone-stock configuration, or goes the whole hog with carefully-chosen mechanical upgrades and modifications. From what I have seen, it is mostly ( though not always ) when partial haphazard mechanical upgrades are incorporated without sufficient consideration for the overall balance in performance of the weapon, that issues start to surface.

      I suppose if one has to put it in a nutshell while drawing up a certain parallel, the Saiga is the Chevrolet 305 of semi-automatic shotguns — it works well as is, has a lot of untapped capability and is therefore far from fulfilling its full potential, is basically well-built and bullet-proof while being far from perfect, is amenable to a lot of modifications, has a huge after-market parts availability, and lends itself to no end of modifications.