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New “Molot” products bound for the US Vepr-12 Tactical Shotgun

by Marco Vorobiev   |  November 2nd, 2011 12

Vorobiev was a member of the elite Soviet Spetsnaz in Afghanistan in the 1980s. He’s a U.S. citizen now and conducts training courses that draw on his special forces training. He’ll have a new installment every Wednesday.

I have written about my recent trip to “Molot” Arms Plant in Vyatskiye Polyany, Russia and my visit to their shooting range. Today I want to talk about another new and exciting “Molot” product that is about to hit our shores.

Considering the immense popularity of Izhevsk “Saiga-12″ shotgun in the States I was naturally drawn to one of the newest offerings from “Molot”. Among the array of various weapons that were laid out on the table for our shooting pleasure was a new 12-gauge shotgun dressed in tactical configuration and looking remarkably similar to “Saiga-12-30″ series. Except it was not made by Izhmash, but made by “Molot” plant the Vepr-12.

As I’ve mentioned it was dressed as a tactical shotgun. It had a folding tubular stock with rotating cheekpiece and Molot pistol grip, hinged Picatinny rail atop of action cover, thumb safety coupled with modified traditional AK safety, mag well, polymer handguards with Picatinny rails, combined gas block and front sight with Picatinny rail underneath. With all this coolness there was more: the bold hold-open feature and BHO release button to the right of the trigger. This is a long-awaited feature that will be appreciated by the American shooters. The threaded barrel was tipped with a cage-type flash suppressor.

Without further ado, I loaded eight rounds in to the magazine and went to work. This thing kicked like a mule—No! Like a Clydesdale Stallion. By round five, I was ready to quit, but I didn’t. I finished first mag off and reloaded it with high-brass 3-inch shells we were shooting that day. Through the entire exercise I was grinning and may have dropped a happy expletive or two. I managed to “kill” a rifle crate that served as target backing. It toppled over and by the looks of it wasn’t going to get up. Shooting the Vepr-12 was just too much fun.

Now, although the gun we shot was fully equipped like a tactical shotgun with all the bells and whistles, the US model will have a slightly different configuration. It will have 18º-inch barrel with no muzzle device of any kind (though the gun could use a muzzle brake), it will not have Picatinny rails under the gas block/front sight or handguards, it will, however retain the coolest rail on the hinged top cover, it will not have the folding stock feature and it will come with five-round magazine. Nevertheless, we should be able to see it at I.O., Inc. booth at the upcoming Shot Show in January.


The new Vepr-12 is the coolest-looking 12-gauge shotgun Vorobiev’s ever seen. It includes all the desirable features that a tactical shotgun should. The top cover Picatinny rail, mag well, folding stock, modified safety, Picatinny equipped hand guards, flash suppressor, just to name a few.


As cool as new Vepr-12 appeared, the American version will lack several of the cool features. It will have a folding stock, no muzzle device, no Picatinny rails on handguards and FSB. Other than that, it will keep the others.


Though this gun kicked like a mule, shooting it was fun. It shot extremely well with no malfunctions of any kind.


One of the features that the American model will keep is the bolt hold open function. Moreover, there is a bolt release button just above the trigger.

  • pneeley

    How much will it cost?

  • Martin

    I like my Vepr 12, but it works only with 12/70 and 12/76 with at least 32 gramm or more.

  • Vlad

    When available?

  • Anthony

    Good Bye Saiga 12…

    • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001281311055 Cameron Hadley

      Saiga 12 is not going anywhere. After market parts drive these weapon and I see a major screw up with this weapon as far as the sight set up goes.

      • Esh325

        Izmash is bankrupt. It might take Izmash a while to get reorganized as new entity.

  • Dogshark

    Glad I held out on a Saiga.

  • Theodre

    Izmash bought Molot …. se saiga version 30 – 31 in saiga -arms.ru

  • Coldsniper

    I doubt that IzhMash could buy Molot – don't think this is true. Izmash's Saiga-12 looks a lot similar to Molot-produced Vepr-12. The main difference is that Molot's Vepr-12 is based on the Russian Kalashnikov Machine Gun (in russian – RPK – Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova – see http://world.guns.ru/machine/rus/kalashnikov-rpk-… and to a certain degree is more reliable, than the Saiga 12 – which is based on Kalashnikov Assault Rifle (AK-47 and later mods).
    Official Molot-Arms website: http://www.molot.biz/product/molot205.php

  • NJguy

    I have the Saiga 12 IZ433 type 030 and it is almost identical to the VEPR 12. Only diffrences are the safety and does not have the RPK receiver. Has the AK handgaurd rather than the RPK style. But, living in NJ I can not have the VEPR 12 because of the pistol grip. The saiga can come the the sporter version which IS legal here. The conversion is easy enough to do and will be moving in 2 years to a free state. I just wanted to get one before the ATF bans the importation of them(which they were talking about BEFORE the Sandy Hook deal). Its a fantastic shot gun and works flawlessly. LOVE the auto adjusting gas plug. Havent found a shell it doesnt like yet.

  • Darith

    I love my VEPR 12, got it for 1000, now it's selling for 1500 on some sites. Very lucky!

  • Matthew

    I want them to bring in their SKS

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