SDS Imports have carried some Saiga-based AK shotgun clones for a while now, but the new VP12 features a magwell and feeds from VEPR-pattern magazines.
We’ve looked at imported AK shotguns before, but most on the market have been patterned after the Russian Saiga-12. Back when Russian-made shotguns were legal to import, the Saiga was the more common and less expensive of the two makes, but VEPRs were universally regarded as the nicer option. There were many reasons for this, ranging from general build quality to extra features, but one of the biggest differences between the two guns was the style of magazine they used. While Saigas used more traditional AK-style rock-and-lock mags, the VEPR featured a magwell and straight-inserting magazines like an AR. This feature made the VEPR-12 the go-to option for competitors who opted to use an AK platform shotgun, but these have been banned from importation into the U.S. since 2017, and the only clones available in the meantime have been Saiga-pattern. Answering the call for a budget 12-gauge AK shotgun that uses VEPR magazines, SDS Imports has just released the VP12.
As mentioned, the biggest new feature of the VP12 is its ability to feed from VEPR-12 magazines. OEM mags from Russia have been very expensive since the import ban, but thankfully aftermarket mags from companies like SGM are available and more affordable (including 25-round drums). The biggest advantage of this change from Saiga-pattern is that it will enable faster, smoother reloads. Like the VEPR-12, the VP12 also has a last-round hold-open feature. Other features shared with the VEPR include a railed dust cover for mounting optics, a three-inch chamber and an M22x0.75 RH threaded barrel, but that’s about where the similarities end.
The biggest departure of the VP12 from Russian-made AK shotguns is its left-side charging handle, allowing right-handers to charge the weapon without removing their firing grip. This should help expedite reloads as well, making the VP12 even more appealing to competitive shooters. The VP12 also features a 4-position manually adjustable gas regulator as opposed to the VEPR-12’s “self-regulating” system, so make sure to appropriately dial it in for whatever ammo you happen to be running if you get one. Each VP12 includes one 5-round mag, has an MSRP of $489.95 and they are available now.
For more information on the VP12, please visit sdsimports.com.
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