Wolf will be importing Vepr rifles from Russian manufacturer Molot in both Vepr 01 and 02 configurations. They will be importing right- and left-handed versions of these high-end AK variants, and they will be available in standard Russian and Western hunting and varminting calibers, but also the hard-hitting yet wallet-friendly 7.62x54mmR.
Veprs are hunting and recreational shooting arms but their ancestry is pure military. Veprs are patterned off the RPK light machine gun and are constructed with thicker 1.5mm steel receivers and outfitted with enlarged machine gun trunnions and heavy-profile barrels.
Unlike military hardware, however, Veprs are quality sporting rifles and finished to a higher standard than equipment issued to general infantry. Molot is renown for their attention to detail, even satin finishes (that are also exceptionally durable) and precision fitment. They also have really pretty Turkish walnut thumbhole buttstocks and handguards.
Vepr 01s are the standard Veprs that most people are familiar with (if you’re familiar with these rifles at all) and feature AK-style sights with a 1000 meter adjustable rear. Vepr 02s have a combination gas block front sight and an adjustable flip-up partridge rear sight designed to be as minimal as possible. It is sighted at 100 and 300 meters. While it seems that the 02s sights are less practical, in reality they’re minimized to allow for the most optic options as well as not to stick out and catch on vegetation while stalking.
As stated, these thumbhole buttstocks will be of both left- and right-handed versions, but it should be mentioned that the other controls remain standard and on the left side of the receiver, with the optic mount on the right.
Veprs come standard in chamberings, 5.45x39mm, 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington, 7.62x39mm, 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester and 7.62x54mmR. 7.62x54mmR is exciting because very few semi-automatic rifles have been imported that use that cartridge, which is plentiful and dirt cheap. Wolf is also working on bringing in more magazines as they are otherwise very hard to come by.
While we are sad to report that Izhmash, the original home to the AK rifle is undergoing bankruptcy and restructuring, they’re definitely not the only company with AKs in the game. Molot is one of the best examples of how this military rifle can be repurposed for sport and well worth the price premium.
Veprs range in price, depending on the configuration, between $650 and $1000. Vepr 01s and 02s are often at the lower end of that range. And do we ever look forward to taking one in 7.62x54mmR for a spin…
Photo credit Oleg Volk.