View Full Version : Atlantic Firearms, Csspecs mags, VEPRs, and more.

July 20, 2017, 20:15
I had been sitting on the fence about getting back into .308 VEPR's, had many Robinson Arms imports which I sold maybe a decade ago now. No easy means to attach a flash suppressor, only 10rd factory mags available, and the IMI Galils I replaced them with were calling me. Had my eye on the FIME .308-AK folder, but with my FALs, AR 10 and JLD PTR 91 that I don't shoot so often anymore, did I really need yet another .308? With expensive magazines, albeit 20 rounders? Ponder and procrastinate.....

Anyway, after the Trump VEPR ban figured I'd better act now or never and started poring over the web on a frantic buying spree, and hence this multi-faceted review, which I hope you find both informative and amusing....

First purchase, from Centerfire Systems, was a wood thumbhole stocked 20" .308. They had four or five in inventory, so tap tap tap and it's on it's way to my dealer, whose FFL they already had on file. Curiously, Centerfire Systems provides zero shipping or tracking info, and while they ship promptly (in my experience with several gun purchases) you don't know the gun is there until you call the dealer and he confirms that it has arrived. Cost me about $840 including his $20 transfer fee. Boring yes, but I figured I could always modify it later to make it look more authentic. When I picked it up and handled it (first time I'd ever handled a wood stocked VEPR) I was actually kind of impressed. The wood was pretty nice, nicely fitted, nice rubber buttpad, tiny little European sling swivels, basically the whole thing said European hunting rifle all over it, like I used to see in the gun shops of Frankfurt when I was a young GI. And it actually hefts and balances quit nicely....so maybe I'll just keep it as is and shoot;

The .308 folder I got from Atlantic Firearms. Now understand, that they quickly sold out of this model before I could order one, so I clicked to be notified when more came in (as the site indicated they expected, more), never thinking that I'd ever get such an email. Much to my surprise, a few days later I did get that email and was even more surprised to see it was at the pre-ban price, $ 1,199, which I ordered without delay. This was my first purchase from Atlantic Firearms and am beyond pleased, they promptly shipped FedEx and I was notified via email of the progress of shipment, right up to the morning of delivery a day earlier than they had calculated. Needless to say I hauled tail back to my FFL to sign the papers and take possession. This baby too was perfectly finished, well modified by FIME group, and to me, if you squint it looks like those old Valmet .308 ak's with the bipod that I read about as a teen in Swat and SOF but couldn't afford. Hell back then I couldn't even afford centerfire ammo.. Have since fired 50 rounds through it (more on that in a minute) to get my battlesight zero, and it shoots very nicely. Trigger pull isn't bad at all (922 U.S. made components mind you), recoil is no more nor less than any other .308 battle rifle, and accuracy was fine. I wasn't expecting any surprises in firing the rifle, and all went well. Curiously, I have yet to figure out how to release the folding stock mechanism, and am afraid to force it lest I have to sent it to Gunplumber to repair all the damage I may do to the finish when I get impatient, as has happened before. I'm not into folding stocks anyway, one of the reasons I held off was hoping they might offer a fixed stock version for $200 less (like the 7.62x39 model) which I would have jumped on right away. As far as I'm concerned it could have been welded open like my VEPR 12, would be more secure but whatever, it's fine.

No, I didn't fire those 50 rounds using the ho hum (although uber reliable and very durable) factory polymer mags. Once I placed the first rifle order, I ordered three 20 round mags from Csspecs. American made specifically for the .308 VEPR, and I am now a big fan of this company and their products. Ordered directly from their website, and these babies arrived packed as securely as anything I'd ever seen. Wrapped in vapor paper and then sealed in plastic, there is no doubt you're getting a factory fresh product. They look a lot like IMI .308 Galil mags, very solid steel that appear very well made. The parkerizes-like finish is a little thin, which is probably a moot point in my case because the humidity in which I live causes rust on parkerizing like flies on a carcass. Practically unavoidable. I would have much preferred they be enameled like FN made FAL mags, but am very happy otherwise. I was sort of unhappy though, upon opening the package, to see a sheet of fitting instrucitons showing three places where the mags might need to be modified (as in, with a file or dremel tool) if they don't insert into the magazine well or fully lock in when they do. I'm thinking "crap, I don't want to have to screw with that", and fortunately, I don't. All three of the mags lock into both of my VEPRs as though they were manufactured with them in the same factory. Literally fit as well, in and out, as any magazines I've ever inserted into any rifle. Very very impressed with these mags, and will be ordering more.

The 50 rounds of 1981 South African ammo I fired came from a sealed battlepack that has been stored in a shipping container in the Texas summers for six years now. What kind of storage before that is anybody's guess, but they've been exposed to years and years of heat since I've had them. Upon opening the battlepack everything looked fine, upon opening several of the boxes, uh oh, a bit of tarnish about mid way on some of the cases. Not too heavy, just a little purple crust. Nothing on the mouths, nor heads/rims of the cartridges. They chambered and fired fine, neither accuracy nor velocity seemed to be affected, and they each got a nice little bend in them upon ejection so good thing they're not easily reloadable, because this VEPR is similar on brass to an HK 91. Minus the flute-marks. I am going to preserve the remaining 90 rounds from that battlepack in the same storage conditions and shoot 10-20 rounds a year, to monitor reliability of ignition/function, as I'm doing with the remnants of a case of 1994 Norinco 9mm. Store it in the heat and fire it as an experiment.

As a footnote, in between ordering VEPR number one and number two, I hit Buy It Now from Wholesale Hunter, on Gunbroker. Their auction indicated they had four in stock, I hit Buy It Now!, Gunbroker sent me the congratulatory email that I have won that item, etc etc. Come to find out, Mr. Wholesale Hunter doesn't see that as an offer and acceptance, a done deal, but rather that is merely a peek at their constantly changing inventory, which had previously sold out and they hadn't killed the Gunbroker auction yet. Although they did conveniently bill my Visa card. I figured I'd wait it out (although I contested the charge on my CC, which I pay in full monthly and was coming due) and see if I might end up with number three (number two from Atlantic having now already arrived), which would have been fine but won't be the case, and since I've got my two and I'm happy I am probably not going to bother pursuing, but still a fairly crappy way to do business and I'm sure in violation of the spirit of Gunbroker if not the actual rules, and probably of the rules too.

The MOLOT folding buttstocks have an adjustable rubber cheekrest, which when I'm holding my head higher, looking over the firearm and down the barrel of the VEPR 12 shotgun, provides a perfect cheekrest. When I'm hunkered down low on the rifle using the iron sights, the cheekrest gets in the way and actually prevents me from a comfortable, natural sight picture, so I flip the cheekrest over and out of the way. Frankly on the .308 I'd be just as happy if it weren't there, but since I can rotate it out of the way, no biggie.

Hope ya'll enjoyed my review, if you can get a VEPR, pretty much any VEPR, at a fair price I'd advise it. They're solid as a brick s**thouse and I really doubt we will ever see them in the U.S. again, what with all the Russiaphobia going around. All feedback, comments, or questions happily entertained.


July 21, 2017, 07:40
Great write up, pictures?

July 21, 2017, 08:48
Glad you enjoyed it. Unfortunately I've never had much luck posting photos on the Falfiles.