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.
While at the "Molot" Arms Plant rifle range in Vyatskiye Polyany, Russia I got a chance to sample a few guns that are bound for the U.S. market in the near future. It appeared that "Molot" and its Importer I.O., Inc. of Monroe, N.C., are trying to address the US AK (read as Russian) gun needs.
One such rifle that I was able to put my meaty paws on was New Vepr-1V-E Tactical (or Assault) rifle. Built on robust RPK receiver, it features a tubular folding stock with rotating cheekpiece, 16-inch heavy barrel tipped with RPK short cage-type flash hider, standard RPK front and adjustable rear sights, side rail for mounting optics and dark plum polymer furniture.
This particular gun was chambered in .223. However, it will be available in all three calibers for sale in the US. The Vepr-1V-E American version will not have folding stock and flash hider, but will retain all other features.
One of the things that stood out for me as I pulled the trigger was a lack of any appreciable recoil. I guess the heavy receiver and barrel ate it all up. Knocking bricks over at 75 meters with open sights didn't feel like a challenge. The rifle was slightly on the heavy side, but in line with some of the Yugoslav variants.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by way the rifle felt and handled. I am curious about the way it handles 5.45x39 and 7.62x39 ammunition. But I guess I have to wait and see when they become available from I.O., Inc. early next year.
The new Vepr-1V-E is a typical representative of Kalashnikov family of assault rifles. It combines AK and RPK features in an attractive package.
Although the rifle was configured as closely as possible to the AKS, some of the features like folding stock and flash hider have to omitted for the import.
The Vepr-1V-E has a tubular folding stock equipped with rotating cheekpiece, a necessary addition for Russian optics that sit much higher on AK type rifles.
Handling the Vepr-1V-E was superb, with no significant recoil. This is most likely attributable to gun's RPK pedigree with heavy receiver and barrel.