PDA

View Full Version : Vepr Hunter 7.62x54r Review Ongoing


zomie
09-21-2012, 2:36 AM
Starting Off:
I know there has been quite a bit of interest in this rifle, and I am one of those who feel for it as soon as found out I could use my mosin ammo in something that is semi auto with 10 round mags. It also seemed like one hell of a hog gun.

I ordered this guy about a month and half ago from Atlantic Firearms. They gave me a small discount for being a calguns.net member and had it shipped within several days to my ffl.

It came in a single layer cardboard box that received a bit of damage. The bolt handle had come through the rubber protector and was protruding from the box. The box was a bit caved in but the rifle was perfectly functional except for some paint missing on the bolt handle. I was overall pleased I didn't have to return it and went on my way.

I got it home and added a Millet 4-16x scope and a cheek pad to get me up to par with the scope. I realize putting a $350 scope on a $1200 rifle is horrible and I should be beaten with a wet noodle for such an offence but hey I just got it and it is what I had.

Day 1 at the Range:
I was all setup to write a review. I had 5 types of ammo and I was going to get some accuracy tests in to show how amazing this rifle really was. I had brown bear, wpa, ppu match, 47 Russian surplus, and 78 surplus.

I started sighting in the rifle at the 50 yard range. The guy next to me had an overbuild ar15 who sat down after I did. The first thing I noticed was the nice .223 dents in the side of my nice Russian walnut stock from his extractor. He was really quite proud of his work and the force his gun ejected rounds ;) I wasn't so pleased so I got a basic sight in and moved to the 100 yard range.

At the 100 yard range things didn't go well at all. I had about 40 rounds through the rifle before I started encountered some issues. The rifle refused to cock the hammer. The catch wasn't locking in with the hammer all the time. I got about another 20-30 rounds off before it became unbearable. The accuracy was also horrible with surplus netting me around 6MOA. I had several range masters coming over when I had the whole gun apart. We couldn't locate the issue. It was clearly something with the latch in the trigger.

I got upset and went to the tin can range with the 357 to blow off some steam and put the rifle away.

I got home that night and weighed my options. I could send the rifle back to Atlantic Firearms and or Wolf depending on the Warranty. I could also take it to a local gunsmith. The last and probably least intelligent option was what I went with.

I decided to check into myself. The first thing I noticed was that the stock was very loose. This was easy of course (blue loctite). The next thing was the scary part. The lever that engages with the hammer to hold it back was machined wrong. The cut wasn't actually 90% to the length of it but more like 70%. It was clearly a manufacturing error. There was a small point less then a mm that was trying to hold the hammer back. I took the trigger mechanism apart which was very easy as it has a nice modular design. I took out the latch and put it in a padded vice with a straight edge and very carefully filed a bit off at a time until I had it at 90 degrees. I put the contour back into the edge as I saw it on the remaining good side. I then polished all of the internals of the trigger and oiled it. I dried fired it a few times and presto it worked like a champ. I weighed the trigger at 3.1 pds.

The next part was a tough decision. The stock came unfinished and was a beautiful Russian Walnut but unprotected. Sadly it wasn't cut from one piece but two glued together. None the less it had a wonderful grain. I decided I had to do something to protect it after the AR incident from before. I first raised the dents up with some steam and ended up using Danish Oil in three coats. I think the rifle came out beautiful and it was a solid gamble.

Now the accuracy issues ... This was fairly easy ... the recoil of this beast destroyed my Millet 4-16x scope. I need to check into the warranty on it. I put a cheap 8.5-25 SightMark on it and shockingly has held zero very well! I do need to invest in better optics though.

Day 2 at the Range:
The second day to the range proved to be more fruitful. I had guests so I couldn't really do any true testing other then sighting in the scope. The rifle at 50 yards was sub 1MOA on surplus. We eventually took it to the 100 yard tincan range where it was amazing to say the least. We all know and love the 7.62x54r round for a reason :) It shot completely flawlessly. I had at least 6 different people stop by and investigate the rifle. One range master event took off his shift early to try a few rounds though it. It certainly turns a few heads. I got around 120 surplus rounds though her with no hitcups that day. It made a heck of a splash at 100 yards and made my buddies AR15 look like a ...

Conclusion so far:
She is a bit of a, "Game Changer ...". Actually she is a show boat. She is fairly heavy and would be a beast to haul hunting. She is very reliable when you work out the kinks. She handles recoil very well both when bench and shoulder fired. I have never had a sore shoulder. The muzzle brake and weight work in its' advantage here. The quality is ehh ok. The trigger is excellent. I wasn't overall impressed with the machining done on the internals. The wood stock would be nice if it had been one piece. She also gets quite a bit of attention at the range. I can't totally say she is a match rifle yet, but I am confident she is of Hunting caliber.

The bottom line, would I buy it again?!
Yes I think I would for bang for buck on ammo and overall fun to shoot this one is a solid B+.

What is Next:

In the next few weeks I will get range with an ammo and accracy test at 100 yards. I will also be testing out some of the new 10 round magazines.

Here are some pictures of the beast. I apologize that I have no Kittens or half naked women to pose with the rifle (g/f got upset when I suggested it) :(

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8038/8008558731_94690f5239_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8445/8008558891_637ef498c8_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8443/8008559047_e820dc70d3_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8173/8008565164_dba215327c_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8457/8008559571_610817b0ed_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8180/8008565724_8463ff919d_c.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8313/8008565906_ffd5103fc4_c.jpg

*Disclaimers:
-Yes I am aware I probably voided warranties with my modifications. I am extremely happy with how they came out though. Customization is a personal taste thing.
-Yes I have no doubt Atlantic firearms would have taken care of my trigger issues. I didn't want to deal with shipping it back and forth when I could spend a hour do a bit of minor gunsmithing myself to resolve the issue.
-Yes I understand Vepr's have a great reputation and my experiences may be the odd case. I am just stating what I ran into.

Atlantic Firearms
09-21-2012, 4:05 AM
Thank you for your review that is great info how is the 10 round mag working for you ? Just to let you know we ship all guns double boxed so the Original Vepr box would have housed the gun and then a outer brown unmarked box was the outside shipping container. We can not ship boxes with gun markings on them and double box shipments to try to avoid damage.

gotshotgun?
09-21-2012, 7:44 AM
Greta write up zombie.

Can you tell us specs such as weight and length?

mallard
09-21-2012, 7:53 AM
do you think the 10 round magazine can be made to work with a mosin nagant ?

Capybara
09-21-2012, 8:03 AM
Thanks for the thorough and thoughtful review Zomie, very nice of you. I love this rifle and am thinking of buying the non-hunter version from Atlantic. It is a little disheartening to hear about the poor workmanship with the internals but it seems like with a lot of Russian guns, this is a given, no different than the Saiga 12.

I look forward to hearing how it performs for you once you spend more time with it.

berg
09-21-2012, 9:08 AM
do you think the 10 round magazine can be made to work with a mosin nagant ?

Won't work. The Mosin has a completely different design for its fixed magazine.

bloodhawke83
09-21-2012, 9:15 AM
I love the stock, I'll get one next year.

Cadre
09-21-2012, 9:16 AM
she's a beaut bro...let us know how the 10 rounders work....nice review.

ElvenSoul
09-21-2012, 9:37 AM
It's a big AK! You gotta show it who is boss by taking it apart and grinding off some metal. A good whack with a hammer may be called for as well. :)

raceraxe
09-21-2012, 9:59 AM
OP, What kinda bipod adapter did you install? I have Vepr hunter in .308 and have been looking for bipod adapter for it. Could you give me the make/model of the adapter? Thx for your help

zomie
09-21-2012, 10:10 AM
Thank you for your review that is great info how is the 10 round mag working for you ? Just to let you know we ship all guns double boxed so the Original Vepr box would have housed the gun and then a outer brown unmarked box was the outside shipping container. We can not ship boxes with gun markings on them and double box shipments to try to avoid damage.

Yes I didn't see the outer box. The ffl tossed it before I got there. I just saw the vepr box. I haven't had a chance to test the 10 round mags. I am hope to this weekend. They sure look very impressive though :)

Greta write up zomie.

Can you tell us specs such as weight and length?


From:
http://wolf-arms.com/vepr_hunter.html

The VEPR Hunter in 7.62X54R
Model Number Cartridge Magazine Barrel Length Overall Length Weight
WPA-VH-54R-21-01-M
7.62x54Rmm
5 rounds
21.5"
43"
8.2lbs

It feels more like 12 - 13lbs with everything I got on the gun now.


OP, What kinda bipod adapter did you install? I have Vepr hunter in .308 and have been looking for bipod adapter for it. Could you give me the make/model of the adapter? Thx for your help

Haha yeah I was curious if anyone would catch that. This was it's own little nightmare. I removed the original as it wouldn't directly mount up to this:
http://www.amazon.com/UTG-Swivel-Stud-Picatinny-Adaptor/dp/B0053EQNA4

I ended up custom engineering my own M6 bolt as the threads for that were M5x.5 (impossible to find). I actually tapped it for m6.

J.D.Allen
09-21-2012, 11:16 AM
Good Lord that thing is SEXY. I want one so bad

Bangzoom
09-21-2012, 4:58 PM
I love mine..got the Dragunov style one

and i put an 89 dollar lepers scope on...lol...it takes the recoil fine

smog7
09-21-2012, 5:09 PM
Why is putting a $300 scope on a $1200 rifle a bad thing?

AK all day
09-21-2012, 5:16 PM
Ditto smog7.

Can you get any variation of the VEPR 7.62x54R in California? Thanks

PhalSe
09-21-2012, 5:48 PM
I've been a fan of mine so far although I find the grip to trigger distance a little long for my shorter hands. Not a huge deal tho. I got it from Atlantic Firearms shipped to MDT in SJ. No scope on it yet because I plan to put the SWFA 5-20x I got through this summers group buy when it arrives. Once that's mounted I'll test the accuracy difference of russian and polish surplus vs. Hornady SST rounds.

I've been considering staining the stock and I like the look of that Danish Oil. I'm going to have to look into a finish for it. Also did you swap out the front sling swivel?

zomie
09-21-2012, 6:33 PM
Why is putting a $300 scope on a $1200 rifle a bad thing?

LOL typically you want to spend at least half as much as the rifle if not as much as the rifle on the optics according to the optics snobs ;) This cheap one I got on there now is actually working out very well. I have been convinced yet to upgrade.
http://www.amazon.com/Sightmark-Triple-Duty-8-5-25x50-Riflescope/dp/B000T3A7ZQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348277659&sr=8-1&keywords=sightmark+8.5

Ditto smog7.

Can you get any variation of the VEPR 7.62x54R in California? Thanks

Well this one is featureless (big reason I got it). The others require a bullet button but you can get them here.


I've been considering staining the stock and I like the look of that Danish Oil. I'm going to have to look into a finish for it. Also did you swap out the front sling swivel?

If I had to do it again I might try tru-oil. I am happy with the finish though. It gets attention. I am always curious if I did a poor job because people ask me did you do the stock yourself?! and say Ahh afterwards :P

Yeah I swapped it out. You basically have to as it isn't standard.

zfields
09-21-2012, 6:36 PM
I'm a big fan of truoil, gives it a much "harder" finish compared to danish.

Dont_Shoot_im_Chinese
09-22-2012, 2:24 AM
I also have a 7.62x54r vepr and I can say that it is very fun to shoot and is a different beast compared to a AK

zomie
09-22-2012, 3:56 PM
I put 40 rounds through it today on the new 10 round mags. They are extremely stiff and hard to load the last 2-3 rounds. The first 20 fired fine but after I started experiencing stove piping and fails to eject. I ended up packing up and heading home as it was hot and the g/f was annoyed. I will test them some more later.

Dont_Shoot_im_Chinese
09-22-2012, 4:00 PM
With the factory five round magazine, I never had a issue

zomie
09-22-2012, 5:15 PM
With the factory five round magazine, I never had a issue

Me either :) Why I say more testing is needed. I was out with folks I couldn't exactly document it to it's fullest. It was the first time I have had these issues though.

kel-tec-innovations
12-08-2012, 12:35 AM
Any updates with different grain weight? or bullet brands like Prvi, Wolf gold, surplus from different country etc.

bloodhawke83
12-08-2012, 12:40 AM
Where is the safety on it? I don't see it.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

zomie
12-08-2012, 12:59 AM
Any updates with different grain weight? or bullet brands like Prvi, Wolf gold, surplus from different country etc.

Ammo Report:

In all out honesty the lighter bullets seem to shoot best. The ppu 150 gr hunting rounds give me the best group of around 1.5moa.

The PPU Match 168 gr ammo is kind of ehh but better then surplus. It gets about a 2moa group.

The heavier 200 grain hunting rounds shot just like the surplus and were not much better. These were the brown bear 203 gr softpoints.

The big thing to remember is that surplus is horribly inaccurate in this rifle. It gets around 2-3 moa.

I seem to be getting a 2.5 inch by .75-1.25 type groups out of it which leads me to the me to believe that I should bed the stock and as the action is most likely moving around. Sadly due to the nature of the rifle you can't add pillars.

Reloading:

She is also a brass eater. I would say a good 5-10% of brass comes out so beaten up that it wouldn't form out in a die.

I honestly have not spent the time yet to reload for it. I believe the rifle after some bedding and good bullets would be capable of 1.5moa. You honestly don't get something like this though to reload for, you buy it because it eats horrible disgusting ammo from the cold war and brings a smile to your face.

I emailed WPA to get the bore diameter and got this back:
xxxxx,

It should be the larger .311, but we have not slugged the bore ourselves. If
you do, please let us know what your results are as the factory is only
giving us tolerances and not actual ideal sizes so far. It appears to be a
translation issue when we ask for the barrel i.d.

xxxxx

Optics:

I also experimented with 3 different scopes before going with a Redfield 4-12 as that is all the magnification that was useful with this rifle while shooting surplus.

Final Thoughts:
I am debating about selling it. She is a beautiful and fun beast but just does scratch that itch I was hoping for. She does bring a smile to everyone's face at the range and is quite a bit of fun for plinking. I often break her out for new shooters as the recoil is manageable while giving them the chance to shoot a decent size rifle round.

zomie
12-08-2012, 1:00 AM
Where is the safety on it? I don't see it.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

The safety is by the trigger group. It works fine and in my opinion preferred over the traditional AK style.

kel-tec-innovations
12-08-2012, 2:00 AM
Thanks for the update ! I just purchased my Vepr 7.62x54r hunter!! I search far and high for one and ships to Komiefornia. Centerfirearms teases me with the low price tags and 19 availability instock but shows no love to CA. Luckily I just tracked one down at RRC firearms, the last one. Can't wait to get mine. I'm probably going to skip out on the 10 rds. I have a modified PSL (shorten barrel, recrowned, HK style muzzle break, adjustable trigger kit etc.) to compare the Vepr.

kel-tec-innovations
12-08-2012, 11:44 PM
Picked up the last vepr hunter at rccfirearms.com they still have .308 and regular 7.62x54r and 7.62x39mm and 5.45x39mm veprs. Great customer service, let the know Kelvin sent you went you check out.