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Vepr 5.45 closer look


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#1 Captain Hero

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:28 PM

Since I havent seen anything like this posted as of yet, Im going to do it for future reference and those wondering the differences in these rifles vs. the Saiga series.

We all know the basic differences the Vepr rifles bring, and where they are made. So no need in stating the obvious.

One thing I havent seen on one until now, was a factory threaded barrel.
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The internals are laid out in traditional fashion, and already comes with the trigger assembly in the correct position, and the tall rear trigger guard rivet. It also has a retaining plate instead of a crook.

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The trunnion is marked rather neatly from the factory. These marks will appear throughout the rifle.
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The rear sight leaf is numbered to the rifle on the underside.

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The gas tube is not vented, and is also numbered to the rifle. These rifles will accept any standard Russian gas tube.
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The gas block is chrome lined, as is the chamber and bore like usual. It is also pressed one, and is not vented. There is a clamp that is pinned to the barrel that holds the walnut handguard in place securley.
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More of those pretty marks on the barrel near the trunnion.
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These rifles have no dimples in the reciever, but they do have heavier duty guide rails. Also note the recess in the front trunnion for the magazines to clear without modification. Another military feature the Saiga sporters lack.
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The RSA is another part that is different from the standard AK. The bottom pic shows the difference. Vepr on the right, standard AK on the left.
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The bolt carriers appear to be damn near identical. Vepr on the left, 100 series on the right from an SGL31.
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The pistons are different as well. Vepr on the left, standard on the right. Notice how the Vepr piston is much thinner than the one that came in my SGL.
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The bolt is also different, lacking a black finish, also having the pretty markings, and notice how the bolt head and extractor are numbered to the rifle.
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Also, the front trunnion rivets are in different locations, likely for the heavier barrel, but still retains the "3rd" rivet to aid the bolt in unlocking.
Vepr on right, SGL on left.
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Hopefully this will help clear up some confusion that some may have when it comes to these rifles. The overall quality is higher on these vs. the standard Saiga's as one would expect. I look forward to getting my hands on a Saiga M series to do a better comparison between the two.

Overall, I feel these rifles are worth the price. From muzzle to buttstock, these rifles really are quality.

Edited by Captain Hero, 16 September 2012 - 01:31 PM.

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#2 Russian Hammer

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:34 PM

i'm really liking these vepr 5.45s, does anyone have experience fixing the slant cut on these? i plan to get one and turn it into an rpk74m, weld up the slant cut, put an rpk74 barrel assembly on it and rpk74m stock set
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#3 Captain Hero

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:39 PM

The only thing I can think of off hand is the reciever block that is made for these. You'll have trim your buttstock to fit, but the ones I seen that were finished looked great. Something like this. http://store.carolin...-Adapter/Detail

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#4 Russian Hammer

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:42 PM

The only thing I can think of off hand is the reciever block that is made for these. You'll have trim your buttstock to fit, but the ones I seen that were finished looked great. Something like this. http://store.carolin...-Adapter/Detail


well i want to install an rpkm folder, so that means i'd need to weld up the slant cut and put in a new rear trunnion, i know a good welder who will do it for me but any tips from people who have done it would be appreciated, time to start crossing guns off the bucket list and a russian rpk74m is towards the top, lol
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#5 Captain Hero

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:55 PM

I havent done that either. But for the folding trunnion installation, theres a thread about an AK105 that was done pretty damn good and it has lots of good pointers in it.

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#6 Russian Hammer

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:57 PM

I havent done that either. But for the folding trunnion installation, theres a thread about an AK105 that was done pretty damn good and it has lots of good pointers in it.


that's another problem, the rpk74m trunnion is totally different from the ak100 version and i haven't seen anyone with experience installing one
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#7 Captain Hero

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

Now that you mention it, the only trunnions Ive found for RPK's have been for fixed stocks. And they are different from the 100 series. That may be a task Hammer. But worth it. You better post pics when you start this project.
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#8 Russian Hammer

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:27 PM

Now that you mention it, the only trunnions Ive found for RPK's have been for fixed stocks. And they are different from the 100 series. That may be a task Hammer. But worth it. You better post pics when you start this project.


i can get the stock sets and trunnions, they are expensive, but they can be found, my biggest problem is finding a barrel assembly and fixing that slant cut and then installing the trunnion, i'll make sure to post pics, but it might be a while, tula krink and vepr12 come first
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#9 Agent Lemon

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

I wonder if RPK barrel components would fit on these?

That thick barrel on that small diameter 5.45 looks so sexy. It would be awesome if you could add an rpk retainer/gas block/bipod/FSB.

Hell, could even reuse the FSB since its all pinned and barrel already threaded.

Drooling over the idea of vepr RPK conversions being done like Saigas AKs are being done now.

P.S. cant help but notice that the GB is of the 45 degree variety? I thought that when the Soviets changed over to 5.45 they changed to 90 degree gas blocks to avoid shearing of the bullet? Perhaps the thicker barrel allows for the 90 degree section that then turns into 45 degrees to allow for usage of previously available 45 degree glocks without changing of tooling?

Can you stick a punch all the way into the barrel from the gas block?

Edited by Agent Lemon, 16 September 2012 - 02:56 PM.

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#10 Captain Hero

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 02:58 PM

I wonder if RPK barrel components would fit on these?

That thick barrel on that small diameter 5.45 looks so sexy. It would be awesome if you could add an rpk retainer/gas block/bipod/FSB.

Hell, could even reuse the FSB since its all pinned and barrel already threaded.

Drooling over the idea of vepr RPK conversions being done like Saigas AKs are being done now.


I dont know if they will fit or not. When I get paid next week Im going to find out. I'll keep you guys posted on the results when I find something out. The thick barrel does look good on these. I was glad I scooped it up before someone else did.

I may leave this one just the way it is except for a bullet guide and muzzle device. The wood looks so damn nice in person.

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#11 Captain Hero

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 08:01 PM

P.S. cant help but notice that the GB is of the 45 degree variety? I thought that when the Soviets changed over to 5.45 they changed to 90 degree gas blocks to avoid shearing of the bullet? Perhaps the thicker barrel allows for the 90 degree section that then turns into 45 degrees to allow for usage of previously available 45 degree glocks without changing of tooling?

Can you stick a punch all the way into the barrel from the gas block?


Lemon, the GB is indeed a 90 degree block. When looking into the block with a good light, you can see the hole coming strait up from the bottom when the hole was drilled prior to being put on the barrel, and I did try the small punch method and it wouldnt go. It doesnt show any sign of being slanted at 45 degrees other than the GB body.

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#12 Agent Lemon

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:51 AM

Cool. It just kinda looks like a 45 from the outside. I wonder if possible future vepr RPK conversions will be limited to using 90 degree blocks from RPK 74s due to the way that the barrel is drilled?

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#13 Captain Hero

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:40 AM

If I had to guess, Id say you would. I do like the 45 degree look though.

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#14 zagumennyyilya

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:54 AM

How thick is the barrel before the gas block and how thick is it under the front sight block?

#15 YWHIC

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:26 AM

The gas tube is not vented, and is also numbered to the rifle. These rifles will accept any standard Russian gas tube.
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I was reading thru the WPA site and caught this information..

Keep in mind if you go with a VEPR Ver 02 with the 1-300 rear sight.. the gas tube is 7 3/4" long and not the standard AK sized 6 7/8".. this may become an issue later for Ver 02 buyers..

The ultimak AK tube (Model M3B) will not fit the Ver 02 as its 6 7/8" long... I have an email out to Ultimak to see what they say on that..

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#16 Captain Hero

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:12 PM


The gas tube is not vented, and is also numbered to the rifle. These rifles will accept any standard Russian gas tube.



I was reading thru the WPA site and caught this information..

Keep in mind if you go with a VEPR Ver 02 with the 1-300 rear sight.. the gas tube is 7 3/4" long and not the standard AK sized 6 7/8".. this may become an issue later for Ver 02 buyers..

The ultimak AK tube (Model M3B) will not fit the Ver 02 as its 6 7/8" long... I have an email out to Ultimak to see what they say on that..


Im glad you brought this up.
I stand corrected on the gas tube. After looking at it, the standard Saiga tube will not fit all the way in. It will seat, but the cam on the RSB is not able to rotate to lock it in. However, I do feel that with slight modification, any standard Russian tube should work. I did measure the standard Saiga tube and the Vepr tube, and they both came out to the exact same length.
The problems are as follows.

The spring on the standard tube is hitting the barrel, not allowing it to fully seat for the cam lever to close.
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The cam doesnt lack much.
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Here is a pic of the differences in the two on the end that matters.
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ETA:
Sorry for the shitty pics, not very good lighting.

Keep in mind that my Vepr is an 01 and has the same length tube as the standard AK.



How thick is the barrel before the gas block and how thick is it under the front sight block?


I dont have my micrometer with me, but the best I could tell with my small tape was 13/16" before the block and 5/8" for the diameter just before the FSB.

Edited by Captain Hero, 23 September 2012 - 10:41 PM.

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#17 Captain Hero

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 05:27 PM

I also think that the 02 models, or the Super Vepr's, have a longer barrel, or the fact of the integrated sight wich may be why there is a longer tube, but Im not sure on that.

Edited by Captain Hero, 17 September 2012 - 06:14 PM.

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#18 zagumennyyilya

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:44 PM

The gas tube is longer because the rear sight is a different style, no more ak style latch for the tube, you pull back on the top of the rear sight to remove the tube on the 02 models. I think that kinda sucks because no more rear sight graduation for elevation but only a 100 and 300 meter settings.
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#19 Captain Hero

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:52 PM

Thanks for the info. That does kinda suck, but still not a deal breaker as I hope to have one eventually.

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#20 Captain Hero

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 02:51 PM

Well I got to shoot it today with the bullet guide from CSS installed and it shot and fed flawless as I expected. And it is more accurate than standard AK's. No rest shooting today though. Just running it through its paces. I was able to wear the hell out of a 3" limb that had fell down a few days ago from about 80 yrds out with irons. I was very pleased.

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#21 GunFun

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:04 PM

It actually looks as if the workers care about the quality of what they are making.
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#22 Captain Hero

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 07:00 PM

I finally got around to getting some more pics. I really wanted to be able to run standard '74 mags if I decided to so I knew I was going to have to make a few basic mods.

I got the bullet guide from CSS installed. I went ahead and removed some material to clear the bolt when it rotates into battery with a small flat file. I left the ramp portion alone all together.

The only reason I did this was mainly due to my Saiga .223 bolt kissing the guide, and to avoid it if possible. Tapping the trunnion took a good deal longer on the Vepr trunnion vs. the Saiga trunnion for obvious reasons. Just went slow and didnt rush anything and it came out great.
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I then had to deal with the mag catch. The catch on the Vepr rifles is a tad more beefy than on the Saigas. I'll explain that later. Again, it took about twice as long to get the catch down enough to let the mags seat fully and lock in. Then had to smooth them out a bit with some sandpaper to get the ruff spots out so it wont drag and eat on the locking tab of the mags.

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Heres a few differences in the mags.

I used my standard 10 round Izhmash mag that came with my SGL31 as a comparison between the two.
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As you can see, the Vepr mags out of the box will have something similar to a built in bullet guide vs. the Saiga mags, although this Saiga mag came from Arsenal and does not bear the samebuilt in bullet guide feature.
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The locking tabs on the Vepr rifles are much smaller and slimmer than those found on the Saiga and standard AK mags. This feature of the mags means that more material will likely have to be removed from the mag catch on the Vepr.
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More shots of the built in "bullet guide" of the Vepr mag.
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The front tabs are different as well, but either should be able to work in either gun, so long as the mag has been modified to clear a bullet guide.
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Floor plates are different.
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The end result is worth it if you ask me, and isnt really that hard.

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I'll post more as I get the pics. Hopefully this will help others and give them a little insight.

Edited by Captain Hero, 24 September 2012 - 06:57 PM.

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#23 YWHIC

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:28 PM

Not to be a nut buster.. but I'm guessing you installed parts for 922r compliance when you modded this for the surplus mags you show in that last picture.. I would think a G2 and gas piston all USA made is inside.. Posted Image

Otherwise a great review and write up.. Need some range pictures and target pics..

Edited by YWHIC, 24 September 2012 - 10:30 PM.

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#24 Captain Hero

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

Yes. It is 922 compliant. I had that taken care of after I shot the pics in the OP. I'll get some pics of shooting results hopefully next weekend.

Edited by Captain Hero, 24 September 2012 - 10:41 PM.

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#25 liberty -r- death

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:52 AM

Did you by any chance try the saiga mag before reomving any material from the reciever? Wondering if Saiga mags worked in it before mods.
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#26 Captain Hero

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:01 AM

The standard Saiga mags should work, as they have a feed ramp built into them similar to the factory Vepr mags. And after putting the bullet guide in, the rifle will run either, so long as you remove the material on the mag to clear the bullet guide.

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#27 liberty -r- death

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:57 AM

Cool. Looks like I may be able to use all of my Surefire/SGM mags then.
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#28 Captain Hero

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 11:24 AM

If I had to guess, Id say you can. But the only thing you may have to do Liberty, is you may have to file the catch down some to let the locking tabs at the rear lock in. The Vepr mags are slimmer at the rear tab like in the photos above. Ive never used the SGM mags, so I dont know what the rear tabs look like or how big they are compared to the Vepr mags. You'll see what Im saying once you look at the mags in person when you get your rifle. Its not a big deal either way bro.

ETA: But this may be caliber specific. It may be the 5.45 is the only mags that come this way. Hard to say until I get to see some other mags that prove otherwise.

Edited by Captain Hero, 28 September 2012 - 02:20 PM.

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#29 liberty -r- death

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:41 PM

Soon as the .223 arrives I'll let you know if they work out of the box or if a it needs a mod.
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#30 liberty -r- death

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:56 PM

Is the forearm set up like the Saiga? It looks like it probably is.
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