Skip to main content

RPK-style rifle to be available in the USA

RPK-style rifle to be available in the USA

Marco 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.

Among the new rifles I got to handle while visiting "Molot" Arsenal in town of Vyatskiye Polyany in Russia was the new Vepr-1V. Essentially a, sporterized RPK, the Vepr-1V embodies all the features of its original predecessor. Save one: selective fire.

I could hardly contain my excitement when the rifle was brought out during our meetings at the Director General Offices. The gun was dressed in black (updated for RPKM-74) plastic and sported the desirable side-folding stock. This particular rifle was chambered in 5.56x45 NATO (.223), but the plant technical director said that models in 5.45X39 and 7.62X39 will also be available.

I have written about the RPK during Soviet times. There are conflicting opinions about its effectiveness and the role it plays within a unit. Some try to compare it to the PKM light machine gun. Obviously, a lighter gun firing a smaller cartridge comes out a loser. In my opinion, the RPK's bad rap is undeserved, and the comparison to the PKM is a mistake at best. I think both come from simple ignorance.


The fact is that the RPK is an excellent weapon when used properly. It is essentially an AK on steroids. That makes it a great addition to a squad. There's no need to retrain the operator and it takes the same magazines, which is very important in a gunfight.


But what makes it special are a longer and heavier barrel and 30%-50% larger capacity magazine. The heavier barrel allows longer bursts and the larger capacity magazine provides longer intervals between reloading, which makes RPK a great support weapon.

Obviously, it does not come close to the PKM in firepower. However, the ability to fire it as a conventional rifle and a lower weight that allows the gun to be easily maneuvered makes an RPK a very valuable addition to any dynamic close-contact firefight.

The attached bipod and lack of recoil make the RPK a formidable weapon at distance as well. We utilized these guns with great effect in Afghanistan. So the RPK was ever present on any combat mission my unit was involved in.

Now this very weapon is a part of the new "Molot" lineup. Obviously, in order for the Vepr-1V to be importable, it has to comply with laws and regulations, and as such will have to have some features removed or modified. The U.S. version will have a thumbhole stock instead of the sexy folder, and there will be no bipod or flash hider.


However, the gun will come with correct front furniture, proper for an RPK length barrel, adjustable rear sight and side-mounted optics rail. We should catch a glimpse of this new rifle at IO, Inc. booth at upcoming SHOT Show.

The RPKS-74 has all the attributes of its military ancestor: the bipod, folding stock, flash hider, etc. The Vepr-IV will have a thumbhole stock for import.


Many authorities have pooh-poohed the RPK, but Vorobiev says it was a formidable weapon in the right hands, providing support fire as seen here in Afghanistan.

The Vepr-1V will come with a 10-round box-type mag and a drum. But don't get excited; the latter is a regular 10-round magazine cleverly disguised as a drum.

Some features will have to be removed for importation. No folding stock and pistol grip, but a thumbhole stock instead; no bipod and no flash hider.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Citadel Boss 25 Magazine Adapter

Citadel Boss 25 Magazine Adapter

Will Dabbs gives a rundown on how to limit the magazine capacity in your Citadel Boss 25 to stay in compliance with hunting laws.

DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine

DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine

Patrick Sweeney tests out the DL Sports SLR 762 Carbine, an AK47 has been refined and civilized by Dave Lauck and DL Sports.

Brownells Model BRN-601 AR-15 Review

Brownells Model BRN-601 AR-15 Review

Firearms News editor Vincent L. DeNiro took the Brownells BRN-601 AR-15 to the range for a test drive.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a helluva deal!Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP Review Handguns

Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP Review

Patrick Sweeney - August 12, 2020

In the golden age of daily carry options, the Springfield Armory Hellcat OSP pistol is a...

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous Soros-backed St. Louis prosecutor, are slated to speak at next week's Republican National Convention.McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC 2nd Amendment

McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC

Mark Chesnut - August 21, 2020

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous...

Unless Democrats rescind their proposed Gun Issuing Board, threats and anti-rights promises don't matterGun Control Speeches at DNC Misleading 2nd Amendment

Gun Control Speeches at DNC Misleading

JPFO - August 21, 2020

Unless Democrats rescind their proposed Gun Issuing Board, threats and anti-rights promises...

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and allow gunmakers to be sued if their lawfully made products are used for criminal purposes.New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals 2nd Amendment

New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals

Mark Chesnut - August 19, 2020

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in...

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

Rikk Rambo took the NEMO (New Evolution Military Ordnance) Arms Omen Match 3.0 rifle on a nine-month Alaskan adventure.Firearms News Presents: NEMO Arms Omen 3.0 Match Rifle (VIDEO) Rifles

Firearms News Presents: NEMO Arms Omen 3.0 Match Rifle (VIDEO)

Firearms News Staff - October 21, 2020

Rikk Rambo took the NEMO (New Evolution Military Ordnance) Arms Omen Match 3.0 rifle on a...

The design of the Kel-Tec RDB-S carbine is outside of the traditional box, but it performs well and is a solid survival gun.Kel-Tec RDB-S Carbine Review Rifles

Kel-Tec RDB-S Carbine Review

Scot Loveland - August 31, 2020

The design of the Kel-Tec RDB-S carbine is outside of the traditional box, but it performs...

The Savage Arms 110 Ultralite is now available in KUIU Verde 2.0 camo.Savage Arms' 110 Ultralite Now Available in Camo Rifles

Savage Arms' 110 Ultralite Now Available in Camo

Firearms News Staff - November 19, 2020

The Savage Arms 110 Ultralite is now available in KUIU Verde 2.0 camo.

The Ruger Mini 30 is a great “Woods Carbine” ready for deer or hogs! Plus, a review of the Pulsar XM50 Thermal Optic!Ruger Mini 30 Review Rifles

Ruger Mini 30 Review

Patrick Sweeney - October 07, 2020

The Ruger Mini 30 is a great “Woods Carbine” ready for deer or hogs! Plus, a review of the...

See More Rifles

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now