In the gun world, Russia is best known for the classic AK-47 rifle, but one of the best rifles ever built comes from the Molot factory in Vyatskiye Polyany, and those rifles are called the VEPR.
In 1940, the Vyatskiye Polyany factory was built to supply PPSh submachine guns to the Russian army during World War II. By May of 1945, the plant had manufactured 2.5 million PPSh submachine guns for their comrades to help stave off the German invasion.
After the war, production of the RPK light machinegun was moved to the Vyatskiye Polyany facility, and here begins the genesis of the famed VEPR rifle as we know it today. In 1992, the Vjatskie Poljany Arsenal and Manufacturing Plant was officially named “Molot”, and two years later they began manufacturing a civilian line of rifles built in part from the RPK machinegun. The VEPR was born.
Now, 30 years later, the FIME Group and K-Var are introducing a rebuilt and upgraded Molot VEPR for a new generation. The FM-AR is, at its core, a standard Molot VEPR with RPK DNA, but a lot has been changed and modified in order to create a new, unique offering for 2020. Let’s take a look.
First and foremost, the FM-AR is built with RPK-inspired components, such as the larger trunnion block, the 1.5mm stamped receiver, and the reinforced, heavy “bull” barrel that is built to take the heat. On the left side of the receiver is a handy optic rail. They come with fully adjustable RPK style sights. Black polymer handguards and pistol grips by Arsenal and Magpul replace the standard wood furniture and decrease the overall weight of the rifle. The rifles weigh between 8.6 and 9.1 pounds sans magazine, depending on the model you choose. Instead of the slant cut on the rear-end of the receiver where the buttstock normally fits, the FM-AR is fitted with an AR-15 style buffer tube and comes with a Magpul collapsible stock. You can replace this with any mil-spec stock of your choosing. The triggers have been replaced with the excellent double stage fire control group by FIME, providing the feel and action of a familiar two-stage trigger with an approximate five-pound pull.
The FM-AR comes in two long-range calibers that are not often available on the VEPR platform, the proven .243 and the ultra flat-shooting 6.5 Grendel. A 14×1 mm left-hand suppressor ready muzzle thread is covered by a removable Arsenal AK-20 heavy-duty muzzle break, a new offering designed for the AK-20 line that works beautifully with the VEPR.
Both calibers come with a 20.5 inch barrel option, and the 6.5 Grendel is also offered with either a 16.5 inch or a 23.2 inch barrel. The 6.5 Grendel comes with two 10-round magazines, and the .243 ships with two 7-round magazines.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. sided with the Ukrainians during their conflict with Russia, and one of the resulting sanctions against the Russians blocked the Molot VEPR from importation. What this means is that the only VEPRs available to buy are the ones that made it through the transition process before the bans were enacted. What is currently in stock is likely to be all that is ever available. Don’t miss out on your chance to own one of these highly collectible rifles. They are built like a tank, extremely accurate, and with decent care should last through lifetimes.
FM-AR .243 (20.5-inch barrel): https://www.k-var.com/molot-vepr-243-02-1
FM-AR 6.5 Grendel (16.5-inch barrel): https://www.k-var.com/molot-vepr-fmar-65g-01-1
FM-AR 6.5 Grendel (20.5-inch barrel): https://www.k-var.com/molot-vepr-fmar-65g-02-1
FM-AR 6.5 Grendel (23.2-inch barrel): https://www.k-var.com/vepr-65-grendel-232-in-barrel-ar-15-stock-magpul-handguard-arsenal-pistol-grip-two-10rd-mags
Sign up for K-Var’s weekly newsletter and discounts here.