GunLab’s VG1-5 Now Available For Preorder

For those who thought the GunLab VG1-5 project was très chic, the first example is now complete and awaiting BATFE approval. Even better, Allegheny Arsenal is now accepting preorders! The guns will cost $4,000 each (despite the decidedly inexpensive construction of the VG1-5 design, there is expected to be only a small run of weapons, thus negating any real economy of scale).

A VG1-5 reproduction would certainly be a totally unique addition to any collection. Ammunition is available through Prvi Partizan, making it both a conversation piece and (by virtue of not being an original example) a great shooter, too. The price tag means the VG1-5’s second coming probably won’t result in hordes of inexpensive but serviceable selfloading carbines in the hands of everyone who can hold one, as the designers intended, but for the collector with a full wallet who wants not only to own but also to shoot the ultimate example of economy engineering, these reproductions are hard to beat.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Called. Gave CC info. Ordered.
    Big thanks to Matt over there.

    • wetcorps

      You’ll have to review it 🙂

  • David Lowrey

    Great another rifle most of us will never be able to get our hands on. It will only get worse when they stop making them and then the price skyrockets. I just can’t express how dissapointed I am, but I cant say I didn’t see this coming. For the money your better off getting a smg guns fg42. I can only hope a larger manufacture would be willing make them, but knowing how most of these reproductions go that will never happen. I really do appreciate the effort put into it to bring a old gun back to life. I was hopping that this might just be the WW2 reproduction that most of us could afford.

    • You’re not really a glass-half-full guy, I take it? 😉

      • David Lowrey

        Nope, especially when I won’t be able to drink said half glass lol. It’s hard to collect firearms when your young. You just don’t have the money for this kind of stuff. I wouldn’t mind as much if I knew I would still be in production by the time I could buy one. It sucks when guns like this go the way of the PTR44.

        • Don Ward

          Actually it’s quite easy to collect firearms when you’re young. You just have to have reasonable expectations. There are plenty of neat sub-$200, $300 and $400 guns out there that are interesting, fun to shoot and even good. You just have to know where and how to shop.
          On the other hand, if you’re young and poor you really should be working on ways to alleviate that latter category and buying lots of guns is not the way to do that. Sure, have your carry gun, hunting rifle, shotgun and whatnot, but you shouldn’t be making a habit of dropping large bills on every fancy piece of metal you see in a gun magazine. That’s how THE MAN keeps you down.

        • I’m probably about your age. Unlike our Alex, I own a handful of guns and don’t have the money to seriously collect them, so I understand. As Don said below, it’s important to have reasonable expectations. There are a lot of neat firearms available for less than a thousand dollars, and by buying and selling and trading you can get your hands of a number of weapons for some time without having sunk a ton of cash into a huge collection you can’t really afford.

          • Tassiebush

            There is a special kind of pain seeing anything you really want but can’t buy. In my case it’s legal restrictions as much as financial ones that create a barrier but ultimately I am very glad that some folks still get to enjoy owning them. Having someone like Ian review them means a lot to me as does reading about them on this blog Nathaniel. Aside from that buying what you can afford/legally own and really savouring the experience of using them is the best consolation. Anyway I never thought this gun would be reproduced so congratulations to those who get in on the action! Perhaps once the production run is finished and no more runs are likely maybe they’ll sell plans to hobbyists?

          • Funny, I would give up everything I own if I could get back to Tasmania.

          • Tassiebush

            That’s always the way isn’t it! Grass is always greener. I do love it here. When and where were you down here?

          • I took a 3 week road trip around the island in 2012. Flew into devonport, then went to stanley, strahan (favorite), hobart, the freycinet peninsula (beautiful), then Launceston. I would move there tomorrow if I could get a visa. By far the best place I have ever been.

          • Tassiebush

            You picked some great spots to go to! Strahan is awesome. The whole west coast is actually. I’m down in Margate at the top of the channel just below Hobart. Very glad you had such a good time 🙂

          • I understand that. Thanks for the kind words about the blog. 🙂

    • wetcorps

      It was very clear from the beginning this was going to be a limited run for collectors. They don’t make it professionally but as a hobby. They never promised to mass produce it for everyone to be able to get one for cheap.

      How can you be disappointed?

  • Ian McCollum

    Coming soon to a 2-gun match near you (well, near me, anyway)! 🙂

    • dan citizen

      That is something I will eagerly await. Like so many others, I have been fascinated by this weapon since I first learned of it. I never thought there would be a reproduction.

    • DOBIS

      Hey Ian, I would just like to take this moment to say that I consider you when of the coolest people alive today. No one puts as much time and effort into educating the firearms community as much as yo do. Thank you for forgotten weapons and inrange tv.

  • andrey kireev

    Well, dang it ! I would love to have this rifle ! But as Unique as it is, I just can’t justify spending $4K on a pipe gun… one of the things I look at when I get a new firearm is Pirice/Originality/track record/ parts and ammo availability/ features and technology…. I would gladly pay $1500-$2K for something like this… Cudos to the Gun Lab guys for all the hard work they have done making this !

  • Not sure about “hype”, I just think they’re really neat!

  • Webley

    Rather than a pinpoint accurate historical replica, I’d rather have something more true to the spirit of the original. Instead of investing a lot of money in stamping them out in an industrial manor, a few pieces of sheet metal bent and welded together would do the same job – perhaps move the next project into developing a dirt cheap variation?

  • Yellow Devil

    Personally, I have not interest in this firearm, nor willing to pay 4000 greenbacks for it, but if someone wants to do it I have no issues.

  • allannon

    So…it’s a $4k gun designed to mostly look like a gun with notably meh performance but be cheap to manufacture?

  • MountainKelly

    Good deal in! Now, rp46 top covers…

  • iksnilol

    What about also making a cheap version that uses 5.56/AR mags or 7.62×39/AK mags? To y’know, fulfill the original purpose of the weapon (cheap selfloader that everyone can have)?

    • Ian McCollum

      IMO, that goal is better filled by the SKS or AR. Both of those are far superior in practical terms to a rechambered VG1-5.

      • iksnilol

        True, but how can you make them cheaper? Could you make a 300 USD AR-15 or SKS? That’s the question I am sort of looking for the answer to.

        • It would be a lot cheaper to source parts from an existing design than to make something totally new with cheaper construction, I should think.

        • Ian McCollum

          It’s irrelevant, IMO. The only way to get a gun like that is through economy of scale, by making a zillion of them. However, there is not a market to sell a zillion of them, so nobody is going to tool up to do it. Yes, it is theoretically possible, but it is not realistic in today’s circumstances. Instead, the way you get a super-cheap gun like that is to take advantage of some other entity having already paid to produce them, and buy one second-hand (ie, SKS).

          • Tassiebush

            To ask a hypothetical question. If there were a contemporary post Dunkirk Britain type scenario where the surplus market and existing commercial options were either non existent or demand overwhelmed supply what utility design or system would most logically fill that niche? Would this be it?

          • iksnilol

            So best bet is to use existing parts or just go for something used? I can live with that.

  • Ian McCollum

    They are my full time job.