I believe few will contest that the VEPR series of AK’s are excellent rifles. From torture tests to general reputation, VEPR rifles from Molot are solid weapon systems. Using “RPK” thickness receivers, heavier barrels, and stock wooden furniture, they are commonly “battle-ready.”
My personal favorite part is that they are available across a wide variety of calibers. Yes, they cover bases including “standard” 7.62×39 and 5.45 Russian, but they also have some larger bore options including .308 and 7.62x54R, the latter make excellent SVD clones.
However, due to “sporting” rifle import restrictions, the weapons arrive with limited capacity magazines. Typically, the 7.62x54R only comes with a single 5 round magazine, which for a semi-auto rifle is peanuts. However, going higher capacity with the rimmed cartridge can be difficult, as the rim keeps the cases from stacking nicely in the magazine.
Killing two birds with one stone, SGM tactical offers a 10 round single-stack magazine for the 7.62x54R versions of the rifle. The magazine is constructed of polymer and for those so keen, keeps the aesthetic design of the base VEPR magazine. The SGM model is easily disassembled for cleaning and maintenance.
On the flip side, SGM only rates the magazine for “standard” and “light ball” ammunition. They warn that
“Sniper/Heavy” ammo can cause damage to the magazine and rifle (which does kind of defeat the purpose of any SVD clone).
For those interested in a review of the magazines, Sootch00 received a few and has found them to be excellent performers. They retail for $50 each.