Tag Archives: Molot

Roll that beautiful RPK-16 footage

Designed to be the Russian military’s new light machine gun, the 5.45x39mm RPK (Ruchnoy Pulemyot Kalashnikova)-16 sprouted from the Rostec state-owned Kalashnikov Group last year and is expected to be placed in service with the Rosgvardiya (think National Guard), internal affairs troops and Army to replace older RPKs.

It draws from the AK-12 program and comes in a few different barrel lengths while including a folding stock that, when swung shut, drops the overall length to just 25-inches. Weight without the detachable bipod and mag is 8.8-pounds.

End of the line for VEPR?

A classic Molot VEPR in .308 with the long 22-inch barrel and Counter Sniper Mil-Dot 4-16x44mm optic with illuminated reticle. Now more expensive than ever!

Back in January, I spoke at length with people over at Molot who were working hard on extending their exports of VEPR rifles and shotguns to the U.S. They were hopeful that the new Trump administration would be friendly to lifting some sanctions on Russian-based companies. Russian-made firearms were popular export items to the states until the conflict in the Ukraine and the resulting international backlash triggered a host of official embargos.

Per figures from the International Trade Commission, 204,788 firearms of all kinds were imported from Russia in 2013.

This figure plunged to just 9,556 in 2015 — mainly from Molot, the only large firearms maker not named in sanctions.

Well, it looks like that figure is going to be a lot lower in 2018…

Will Russian AKs and Korean war surplus M1s come ashore post-Trump?

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Some are hopeful the new management in Washington will be able to lift barriers to overseas firearm imports erected over the years, though the going could be slow.

President Donald Trump on Friday said it was “very early” to tell if the United States should lift sanctions on Russia, but that he seeks a “great relationship” with Putin and Russia.

On the campaign trail, Trump’s platform on trade concentrated on American jobs while floating the possibility of a tariff on all imported goods to help ease the current trade deficit. However, the Republican’s position on gun rights promised to curtail federal gun bans and limits. The two concepts, when balanced against one another, leaves open the possibility of action on foreign-made guns currently off-limits to buyers in the U.S.

I talked to industry insiders on both sides of the pond, the ATF, and the International Trade Commission to get the scoop on if bans going back to the 1960s could be reshaped.

More in my column at Guns.com

More than one way to skin a bear

So, the Russian arms firm of Molot is taking old SKS-45 and AKM rifles chambered in 7.62x39mm out of arsenal storage and re-barreling them to sell in that country as hunting arms. This is mainly due to import restrictions imposed in recent years by the Bush and Obama administrations which have basically cut off the supply of arms from Moscow to U.S. shores which flourished briefly after the end of the Cold War.

As 7.62x39mm is highly regulated, as are modern rifles, the AKMs are neutered to fire semi-auto only and both them and the 1950s era SKSs are being chambered for the very fat Techkrim 9.55x39mm (.366 TKM) round.

russian sks rechambered for 9.55x39mm 366 tkm

On each the barrels are only partially rifled– meaning they are actually shotguns.

The “new” SKS is the VPO-208 while the AKM is the VPO-209.

Yes, Ivanka, this is shotgun...

Yes, Ivanka, this is shotgun…

And so is this

And so is this

Inside Izhevsk

Russian blogger Ilya Varlamov got a chance recently to visit the Kalashnikov Concern in the Ural Mountain town of Izhevsk to take a tour of the Motherland’s great arms works. Founded originally in 1807 by Tsar Alexander I to build muskets for his immense army gearing up to fight Napoleon, the plant has remained in production for over two centuries, with minor upgrades.

Besides the traditional AK-series rifles (in their most modern AK-103 and AK-12 variants shown below, hold your horses), the plant also makes Saiga-branded rifles and shotguns for export and Molot “animal farm” rifles for civilian sales in Russia.

Oh yeah, you know what I like....

Oh yeah, you know what I like….

I wonder how many of these are California legal

I wonder how many of these are California legal

The AK-12. Test firing these must be a hard job, but Ivan has to do it.

The AK-12. Test firing these must be a hard job, but Ivan has to do it.

We hear nothing feels better than a Vityaz-SN sub machine gun right off the line

We hear nothing feels better than a Vityaz-SN sub machine gun right off the line

Can we please get these in the U.S., complete with EoTechs. And yes, that is a Saiga 12 sp.340– dig that muzzy brakejob, but Ivan has to do it. We hear nothing feels better than a Vityaz-SN sub machine gun right off the line Can we please get these in the U.S., complete with EoTechs. And yes, that is a Saiga 12 sp.340– dig that muzzy brake

Can we please get these in the U.S., complete with EoTechs. And yes, that is a Saiga 12 sp.340– dig that muzzy brakejob, but Ivan has to do it.

More at Guns.com