My friend Vadim brought over his friend Ryan who recently acquired a Dissident Arms KL-12. The KL-12 is Dissident Arms’ flagship race gun. It is a tuned Vepr12 with a hefty price tag at $3500.
Vadim brought out a stock Vepr12 and a slightly modified Vepr12 that he had done to compare against the KL-12.
Right off the bat, the overall feel of the KL-12 is apparent. The moment you put the magazine into the mag well and pull the left side charging handle you can feel everything has been smoothed out and made to race. Racking the charging handle is effortless and smooth through out the entire stroke travel. Even the safety is effortless. You can see in the photo below, there is some added material that has been curved. The Vepr12 come standard with a safety that can be actuated with the firing index finger. However it is a simple bent piece of steel. While shooting the stock Vepr12 I immediately noticed the corners of the metal dug into my index finger. The modification by DA alleviates that issue.
The extended mag release is more convenient however the actual paddles that your index finger pushes on are somewhat smaller than I would like and the corners are not as rounded as they should be. Ryan, the owner of this gun, said he cut his finger a couple to times trying to hit the mag release. All DA needs to do is add a larger curved piece of metal like they did with the safety.
The left side charging handle is one of the better improvements on the KL-12. Normally you would have to either reach under or roll the gun over to rack the charging handle with your left hand. Or you could rack it with your right hand. But with the left side charging handle you don’t need to waste time moving anything other than your left hand. As an added bonus you can see into the the gun with your left eye, similar to the Faxon ARAK21 you can spot malfunctions faster and easier from the left side.
DA also modifies an ALG Defense AK trigger and gets it down to 2lbs. World of difference from the factory trigger.
Another huge feature is the use of Briley Internal Choke system. For regular Vepr12 shotguns, your options for chokes are limited. The Vepr12 barrel is threaded externally and so you need to add a choke tube to the outside of the barrel. Some choke tubes, like the SGM Tactical choke tubes are threaded to add a muzzle brake. However, you can imagine trying to change the choke tube with a muzzle brake on is tedious. With the Briley Internal Choke system, you can swap out choke tubes just like any regular shotgun.
Here is a video of Vadim shooting the KL-12 with a little stage we set up with some clay stands, the club’s plate rack and my Shoot Steel popper/clay thrower.
You will notice he is using a 28 round extended Vepr12 magazine. Unofficially dubbed “The Mammoth Tusk”
For fun I dumped an SGM Tactical drum mag out of Vadim’s Vepr-12. One issue with the KL-12 is that the flared magwell is not compatible with drum mags. However, I have been told they are working on a new design that will b compatible.
Here is the build sheet for the K12
DA makes a slightly more affordable competition ready shotgun, their CR-12. Here is the comparison sheet.
If you buy the KL-12 you save $250 over the CR-12 and adding the extra features.