Banned Russian Short Barrel 12 Gauge: Molot VEPR-12-04 Overview

    In this episode of TFBTV, James gives you an overview of the Molot VEPR-12-04. This gun is unique in that it is a factory-configured short barrel shotgun, and it isn’t being imported into the United States anymore. James takes one out to the Nevada desert along with a representative from FIME Group, the Vegas-based importer of these shotguns.

    The Molot Vepr 12 (VPR-12-04) is an original Russian production 12-gauge short barrel shotgun with folding stock. Imported by FIME Group, this semi-automatic shotgun is designed for self-defense, hunting, and 3-gun competition and has upgraded US made parts insure 922R compliance when using ANY magazine. The pistol grip, fire control group, gas puck, and RPK style hand-guards are all made in the US. Adjustable padded cheek piece accommodates both left and right handed shooters and it also has an ambi-safety as well as an extended right-side safety lever. Features a bolt hold open button to manually lock the bolt back. The bolt also locks back on an empty magazine. To release the bolt, either pull it back slightly or use the bolt release button. Magazines go in and out of the VEPR enlarged mag well very easily, and do not require “rocking” them in as on the Saiga. Empty magazines drop free of the gun when released. Press the release button on the left side of the receiver, and the stock folds to the left locking up tightly against the receiver. The release is easy to access, ergonomic, and intuitive to use, but will not unlock accidentally. The VEPR folding hinge is the original factory Molot unit. Spring loaded pin on top of the dust cover latch must be depressed in order to push the button in and remove the top cover. This prevents the dust cover ever coming off if the gun is dropped or during recoil. The bolt of the shotgun is machined steel. The VEPR comes with a Picatinny rail attached on the top of the dust cover for use of magnified or red-dot optics. A 12” chrome lined externally threaded barrel (same thread as Saiga) with removable flash hider completes the gun, and allows easy attachment of flash hiders, muzzles brakes, chokes, and sound suppressors. Ships with (1) 5-round and (1) 8- round magazine.

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    Transcript ….

    – Hey, guys, James again with TFB TV.

    As many of you know, there is a de facto ban on Russian firearms coming into the country, so I’ve got something that has become somewhat of a rarity, and that is the Molot VEPR 12.

    This is a 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun in a Kalashnikov pattern.

    It’s being imported by the FIME Group, or rather it was imported by the FIME Group, but now you’re not gonna see any more coming into the country, so this is kind of cool that they’re out here letting me shoot this gun.

    As you can see, this comes from the factory in a 12-inch variance, so of course, 18 inches being the, I guess you could say legal limit for a shotgun.

    It needs to be 18 inches or longer in order to buy one without having to get a tax stamp.

    This one, you can get it straight from the factory in this configuration.

    This hasn’t been converted by a third party.

    A lot of you guys that, if you remember when Saiga 12’s first started coming into the country, I had a converted Saiga 12.

    But you would get it, it would be in like a sporting shotgun configuration.

    It had the sporting stock, and you would have to move the fire control group forward to put a pistol grip on there, gunsmithing to put a butt stock on there.

    It didn’t have a last round hold open.

    It was a rock and lock magazine, so if there was a closed bolt and you didn’t have that last round bolt hold open, you really had to elbow those magazines in.

    This Molot VEPR 12 already comes with the butt stock, with the pistol grip, last round automatic bolt hold open, or manual bold hold open, and the best part, you have straight-insert magazines.

    So you saw, I just closed the bolt on it, straight insert, mag goes directly into the shotgun.

    Now, I think this 12-inch model’s gonna be a little bit of a wild lady to control.

    I’m gonna go ahead and take a few shots with double aught buck, which I regret.

    They asked me, they said, “Hey, James.

    “What do you like to shoot out of a shotgun,” and I said, “Double aught buck,” and you know, I probably should have done bird shot.

    (rifle clicks) Woo.

    (gun bangs three times) oh, that’s not so bad.

    (gun bangs seven times) Wooo! Guys, I gotta tell ya, for that being double aught buck, and in this kind of configuration, that’s pretty manageable.

    I mean, it really shines whenever you have a semi-automatic shotgun that’s got a substantial recoil system.

    The recoil reduction really shows through.

    And I gotta say, for this being a, not a wire-stock per se, but this folder stock that’s similar to what comes on the SAM7SF, it’s not as uncomfortable as I thought it would be.

    All right, so I’m gonna load up a few more mags, we’re gonna set up some targets, and we’re gonna shoot this thing.

    (gun bangs repeatedly) Remember, these are not coming into the country any more, so they’re not gonna be cheap, so you’re looking at $1699 MSRP for the Molot 12 in this NFA configuration, but when you do the math, it’s actually really not that bad of a deal.

    Remember, if you buy the standard configuration, you’re probably looking at street price around a thousand bucks, and then to do all the modifications, next thing you know, you’re gonna be at or beyond $1699, and that’s just the MSRP, so we’ll see how it shakes out street price.

    You do get two Russian magazines with this gun, an eight-round and a five-round.

    As you can see here, this is the 10-round.

    They’re around 125 bucks, which is more or less about the same price as the imported mags have always been, just because, in my opinion, the American market really hasn’t done that good of a job with replicating the quality of the original import mags, but they still demand a premium, especially now that they’re going to be a lot harder to get.

    So with an MSRP of 125 bucks, again, not cheap.

    All right, Pete old buddy.

    – The VEPR 12-04 is an SBS, a 12-gauge.

    You have the safety, standard AK-style safety, you can use the finger or knuckle to put it on safe or fire.

    It does have a last round bolt hold open, manually it’s behind the magazine release, (rifle clicks) or on the last round, once that locks back, drop down tab here, and you can use that to release the bolt as well.

    You’ve got a pic rail, you got a US-made muzzle break, now we do have a US-made gas puck.

    We have a trigger group on the inside, an FM trigger group, our hand guard, our pistol grip.

    All those are US-made, so it’s fully 922R compliant.

    You’ve got a folding stock, this is the takedown lever.

    Fold the butt stock, it locks solid, and here’s the release.

    Press down, it will release and lock back into place with a rotating cheek rest.

    High and low positions for both sides.

    It will fire when folded.

    It will not come undone until you reach inside, press down and left on the lever, and open up.

    It has the pic rail, and it’s also hinged, so any type of ball pic or red dot you wanna put on there, it’ll stay mounted.

    – And guys, when you’re shooting 12-gauge, of course, you’re talking about a lot of power, so fortunately, the VEPR 12 has a 1.5 millimeter RPK stamp receiver, compared to the usual stamp receiver thickness of one millimeter.

    So it’s going to be a little bit more robust, and it’s gonna take a lot more abuse than the standard stamp receiver.

    Also, kind of funny, it’s got the RPK-style sights on it that go all way out to a thousand yards.

    If you’re going to take this gun and shoot something at a thousand yards with it, let me know, because I’ll put you on TFB TV.

    So if your in the market for a top of the line NFA SBS 12-gauge, if you like the AK, if you like the Ak-pattern shotguns, I’d give this gun a really hard look, and I wanna say thank you to FIME Group for letting me borrow this and run the piss out of it out here in the Nevada desert, picked up all of our shell casings, all of our junk before we left, so you might see a lot of death and destruction in this video, but of course we left no trace.

    So I wanna say thank you again to FIME Group, thank you to you guys for watching, subscribers, paid transporters, everybody, I will see you next week.

    (marching band music)


    James Reeves

    • NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
    Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
    • TFBTV Executive Producer
    • Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
    • Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
    • GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
    • Lawyer
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