SGM Tactical VEPR 10 Round 7.62×54 Magazines

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. 

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • John Yossarian

    SGM Tactical mags are crap! So far as I know, none of their products have metal reinforced feed lips.

    Specifically, the 10 round 7.62x54R Vepr mags are known to have their floppy feed lips spread so wide (that’s what she said!) they won’t fit properly into the magwell.

    I was also not impressed with their Saiga .308 mags. My advice: Find a better option.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Nobody likes floppy feed lips.

      • Anonymoose

        I know right? It boggles my mind that some people enjoy stretching theirs out, and even hanging weights from them, but once you’ve reached that point you can no longer open beer bottles with them…

      • Billy Jack

        One man’s roast beef is another man’s roast beef…

    • Aono

      Not only will they not fit into the magwell, they won’t even hold 10 rounds without bulging the lips and spitting them out. I wish I had only bought one to try out, they are absolute junk. They have been saying for years that they want to release a 20 rounder, which is a sick joke considering how bad the 10 rounders are.

  • politicsbyothermeans

    I am drawing a blank here. How could the type of ammunition damage the magazine? Assuming “heavy” or “sniper” ammo (whatever that is?) would have the same measurements as standard or ball, why would it matter?

    • Aono

      My attempt to follow their reasoning: heavier bullet weights will increase bolt velocity and outrun the mag spring, and the resulting malfunctions adversely effect the feed lips, constructed as they are from month old rotten celery.

      • Flounder

        Supposedly semi auto 7.62x54r rifles cannot handle heavy ball, it stretches the receiver and cracks trunions. There is some evidence for it but no one really wants to try. Keep in mind the vepr is just a big AK not an actual svd design.

        The gas system is not really adjustable and heavy ball definately puts more wear and tear on the parts than standard ball ammo. Now is it as bad a a garand with commercial ammo? probably not, but it is a similar situation.

        No idea why they say it could damage the magazine though. My guess is that they are just erring on the side of caution

        • Stan Darsh

          What weight is considered heavy or “sniper” here, just the 181 gr or does that include the 174 gr as well?

          • Flounder

            It’s anything over 147 grains. Which is the Russian light ball load. The heavy ball loading is 170-180 ish.

        • Aono

          Overgassing will kill receivers and trunnions quicker regardless of caliber, and the extra mass of a heavier projectile will impart even more energy to the cycle. Molot has shipped adjustable gas blocks before, it sure would be nice if they would make them available again. One relatively elegant solution is to drill and tap the angled gas block port and screw in set screws that are pre-drilled with smaller ports.

          As for why SGM is erring on the side of “caution:” their product is junk, and muddying the waters on why it misbehaves is a simple CYA tactic. Nice of them to send the rare working examples to Sootch who dutifully kept his 100% positive reviews streak intact.

        • iksnilol

          Semi auto 7.62x54mmR rifles can handle heavy ball, only thing is that PSLs and AK variants weren’t made for it which causes them to beat themselves to death.

          • Flounder

            That is what I said right? One round probably won’t do anything neither will a hundred. But after that my understanding is you start risking big problems. Like a cracked trunion or a stretched out reciever.

          • Aono

            As you indicated it is very similar to the Garand situation. The only real remedy in both cases is to regulate the gas system to bring bolt velocity back down.

          • iksnilol


            Nothing an adjustable gas system can’t solve, though.

      • politicsbyothermeans

        Interesting. I’m not sure I follow the reasoning though. Thanks for the explanation.

  • Houston Moore

    Couldn’t it be modified to take PSL mags?

    • Anonymoose

      I’m waiting to see the Vepr Hunters in .30-06 brought to the US market. Molot USA lists them (and gives an MSRP of $2k), but I haven’t found any for sale on dealer sites (Atlantic, etc). If those could be modified to take BAR mags, we could have a viable alternative to the much pricier and heavier OOW BAR.

      • Stompy

        The 30.06 veprs were imported for a short time a few years ago. The so called super veprs were also in 30.06 as well saiga 100 in 30.06. They just didn’t sell very well and the lack of spare parts, expensive proprietary mags and other parts that didn’t fit on any other veprs caused them not to be imported any more.

        The sgm mags are complete garbage. CSS Specs is working on metal 15 and 10 round mags for the 54r vepr. I have their vepr 12 mags and they are the best vepr mags available.

        • Aono

          More unicorn mags. All I want from Molot are adjustable gas blocks.

    • Twilight sparkle

      I’ve read of one group doing it, but since psl mags are double stack and veprs are single stack the people that did it said they would never do it again and they expressed concern as to how well the gun would hold up in the long run. It sounded like some material had to be removed from the trunion or something.

  • Joe

    Here is a thought, PSL mag design or SVD mag design is superior. Obviously they are not plug and play but the whole single stack design is just bulky for no reason. It looks almost as big as a standard AK 30 round mag. Is there a double stack design for this gun?

    • iksnilol

      SVD mags are superior to PSL mags, IIRC PSL mags aren’t plug and play for most of them.

  • Jeff

    My 54R only functioned reliably with steel cased ammo. Brass cases would get dented while feeding, sometimes to the point of not being able to go into battery. I ended up trading it for a used DSA Stg58 that needed an extractor. If I feel the need to shoot 54R, I’ll grab my M39 or one of the other Mosin variants…

  • John Yossarian

    +1 for bringing the Lahti conversion to everyone’s attention. Short of CSSpecs releasing a mag for this application, that would appear to be the best option.

    A Vepr in 7.62x54R has such amazing ammunition availability and can be both quite accurate and reliable. So sad that it’s been held back for so long by magazine availability.

    • SirOliverHumperdink

      There is a guy on the Akfiles board who may be thinking about tooling up for the Lahti conversion. He does nice work and he is backlogged with work right now. He goes by ‘turbothis’. I do have another machinist buddy, but ak’s aren’t his ‘thing’, so I haven’t asked him yet.

      • Billy Jack

        There’s a guy on Youtube called AvE who does machining and electrical stuff (pretty sure he’s a elektrical eng w/ a phd career wise) and he does bullet stuff with Taofledermaus sometimes. I think he might be up for figuring out what u guys need and a way to do it yourselves. Worth a shot to ask him.

        • SirOliverHumperdink

          Thanks, someone could make a small business from this.

  • myndbender

    Are the VEPR 7.62×39’s AK mag compatible, or are they single stack as well?

    • Wayne Fincke

      Double staggered…

  • A Fascist Corgi

    I’ll never buy another magazine that doesn’t have steel-reinforced feed lips. I’ve seen way too many horror stories of polymer magazines breaking when fully loaded and stored for long periods of time.

  • Ben Pottinger

    I had a SVT-40 a few years back and that was definitely the “funnest” way to shoot 54r I’ve ever owned. I ended up selling it to buy a garand (and a couple cases of ammo, I got a great deal on the SVT and the guy I sold it to didn’t get as great a deal.. Lol)

  • Guys all of our magazines have a lifetime warranty. If you are not happy with our magazines we will replace them or arrange to have your money returned from where you purchased them. Also on the 54r magazines the rimmed cartrides will shave a little polymer off the inside of the feed lips. They were designed like this on purpose, the difference between ammo manufactured in the 70’s with steel cases and new brass produced ammo the rims are sharper on the older ammo.
    So in short, send the magazines back if you have issues and we will replace them. We have maintained a less than 1/10th of 1% return rate over 10 years of making magazines. Will some be bad sure but the vast majority of our products are still in use after 10 years without replacement.
    Also to answer questions about the ammo damaging the magazines, this has only happened when the yellow tip “Heavy Ball” ammo was on the market. What the importers and dealers failed to mention was the ammo was machine gun ammo and very hot. The PSL/FPK rifles were getting warped rear trunions and cracking of the rear tangs. Even metal mag feed lips were being damaged. We contacted Molot about the ammo and they said the Vepr could handle it but wouldn’t recommend shooting it. Also just a fyi, Molot has been using some of our 10round magazines since they were released and the Molot open team also uses some of our Shotgun magazines.

    • Wayne Fincke

      I’ve had not problem ONE with these 10 round mags in my VEPR 54R …shooting 174 grain and lesser weighted projectiles…

    • Wayne Fincke

      Now…if you’d just get the 20’s on line…I’d be a happy little Infidel…YUT!