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…
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
With all this talk about assault weapons, let’s look at what they are talking about. Just what makes something an ‘assault weapon’ and how does this term compare to the concept of what lawmakers are looking to regulate.
The first true assault rifle was born in 1943 Germany. Invented by firearms engineer Hugo Schmeisser, it was a select-fire (either full auto or semi-auto at the flick of a switch) rifle that fired an intermediate caliber round (larger than a pistol but shorter than a rifle round), and had a large detachable magazine that could be changed quickly. This gun was dubbed the StG44 or ‘storm rifle model 44’ and was a crucial addition to the German arsenal in the end of World War Two.
This rifle was very popular and the Soviets soon had a modified version they adopted a few years later as the AK-47. The current assault rifle of the US military is the M4A1 carbine, which has a select-fire trigger, 14.5-inch barrel, and can fire at 750-rounds per minute until its ammunition is exhausted. For a private citizen to own one of these types of weapons, it has to be made before 1986 as the Hughes Amendment banned production of select-fire weapons for private sales that year. Even if a ‘pre-86’ gun is available, they run upwards of $10K and take 3-6 months to transfer from a Class III dealer after an extensive ATF approval process that includes a $200 tax stamp.
AKS-74U ‘Krinkov’ of the Russian Army. It is 19-inches long with a 8.3-inch barrel and fires 30 rounds of 5.45x39mm at about 700 rounds per minute. Its a true assault rifle…..now lets talk about the mythical creature that is an ‘assault weapon’…..
Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk.com