Mikhail Degtyaryov of Russian “Kalashnikov” gun magazine has visited Molot’s premises and published on his social media pages several images of a new Vepr rifle. The rifle will feature a quick change barrel system. It will be possible to switch between the 7.62x39mm, .366 TKM, and 6.5x39mm calibers.
It is not clearly specified whether it is the Russian 6.5x39mm cartridge or they mean the 6.5mm Grendel. In general, there is a very little information about this gun. The official release is planned to be in October 2017 during the “Arms & Hunting” expo which will be held in Moscow, Russia. Until that, we can only guess what other features the new rifle has by looking at the images.
In the above image, you can see the threaded portion of the front trunnion. The barrel probably slides into the front trunnion and gets fixed in place by a barrel nut. In the image below the sleeve around the barrel should be that nut. Judging by the U-shaped cuts on the nut, I think there can be some sort of a plunger detent system similar to the muzzle device retention of AK-style rifles. But that is just my assumption, the notches can just be there to fit a wrench.
Another difference from traditional AKs is the extended and upward angled charging handle. Note also that the iron sights are attached to the barrels and come out with them.
Reportedly, Molot also develops a barrel chambered in 5.45x39mm. Whether it will be a different rifle or will just require changing the bolt along with the barrel to switch to 5.45×39 is not clear yet.
Among other features that are shown in the images are the top Picatinny rails on the dust cover, the RPK-style rear sight with windage adjustment possibility, AR-15 compatible folding stock, adjustable gas system etc.
We’ll let our readers know more about this new Vepr rifle once it is officially introduced.