7.62x54R Vepr Magazine Solution – Csspecs
When it comes to a DMR or any semi-auto rifle in 7.62x54R, there are not a whole lot of options in the U.S. Before writing this article I did a quick search on Gunbroker and there was one Dragunov at $7000, then a half-dozen each of PSL’s and Veprs around $1000 each. I was too young to get a Dragunov, but I have owned a PSL and currently own a Vepr. Both are fine rifles and reasonably available, the Vepr is of higher quality with a heavy barrel but the accuracy is about the same on both.
Both rifles have a fatal flaw when it comes to choosing a “fighting” rifle. There are basically no magazines available. Would you choose an AK or AR platform for your home defense, SHTF, or go-to-war rifle if you could only ever have two magazines for it? Probably not…
PSL magazines can be difficult to find and when you do they are either expensive, in bad shape or both. (As of this writing the only ones I could find were rusty and bent for $44 each) With the Vepr you really were not any better off. Each rifle came with two polymer five round magazines, without any real availability to obtain more factory magazines. There is an aftermarket polymer 10 round magazine, but from all of the reviews, the reliability was spotty at best. I decided to hang on to my cash instead of gambling it on an unknown magazine.
I was almost ready to sell my rifle, as I did with the PSL, because without magazine availability I did not want to put money into the rifle when it had no real use. Luckily Csspecs came to the rescue. At the time I didn’t realize they were working on a solution. One of my community members mentioned it to me and I immediately ordered a couple to test.
The magazines I received fit nice and tight with no need to file or fit anything, and have run flawlessly for me. There is one requirement to use these.
During 2014 the Vepr’s bolt was reshaped from a chamfered side to a dished section. These magazines require the chamfer on the bolt to work correctly. My rifle was already in the correct configuration, so no modification was necessary. If required I would have made the modification. If you are not that brave, Csspecs can do it for you. More information on the bolt issue can be found here.
The only drawbacks to these magazines have to do with the decision to make the Vepr single stack instead of double stack. The magazines are long front to back. 7.62x54R, being a long rimmed cartridge in single stack configuration are somewhat difficult to load, however the included loading tool makes the job much easier. The long dimension front to back along with the narrow width can also make it tricky to line up in the magwell, and is easy to get a little too much twist while trying to rock and lock it in.
The other problem with single stack is that the height of the magazine. These ten round magazines are almost as long as a standard 30 round AK magazine. A 15 or 20 round version will be too long to shoot in a prone position.
It’s too bad that the Veprs were banned from import. We could have finally had an easily obtainable Eastern Bloc DMR. Why a Russian AK derived DMR when M1A’s and AR10’s are readily available? Why not? Thanks to the mass Mosin-Nagant imports, 7.62x54R is plentiful and cheap, even new production non-corrosive. Besides, we all know the real reason… We all want that Dragunov we can’t have…
Overall I am very pleased with the quality, construction, and function. I plan on purchasing more magazines, adding a scope, bipod, and swapping that flash hider for a brake. I have not found any mag pouches that these will fit in, but if you have found some, let me know.
You can order your Csspecs Vepr magazines directly from Csspecs.
I receive no compensation for this endorsement, I just want to spread the word to other Vepr owners and endorse a quality product.
Below is my video overview: