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Vepr-12 Stock Swap

Posted by Administrator on 3/28/2015

Every once in a while we get a request for projects that are difficult to turn down, just because theyíre challenging and different.  Recently a customer in NJ contacted us asking if we could convert his Vepr-12 with a folding skeletal stock to one of our SVD Dragunov stocks.

At the time we thought it to be a strange request as we think most people prefer the original Vepr folding stock.  His dilemma was that itís illegal to have one in NJ and his only option is a thumb hole stock that incorporated the stock and grip in one.

He bought the gun two years ago and his FFL was holding it because they couldnít legally allow him to take possession until they could find a solution.  Once we decided to pursue the project the dealer actually sent us two Vepr-12s to convert fresh in the original boxes.

The following pictures show the first one of these guns and the process weíve taken it through starting with the gun before the conversion began.

After stripping the gunís components off including the polymer mag well, we started by removing the dust cover and stock.  Youíll see images below how we use a combination drill / countersink to start a hole in a peened pin or rivet head and follow that up with a drill bit, then press it out.

The receiver of the folding stock version of the Vepr-12 is slanted in the back toward the bottom and has rectangular cutouts for the hinge mechanism, latch release, and extra hole for the 3rd rivet, which all need to be welded up and finished off in order to turn it into a square back receiver.

In 2009 - 2010 we were producing 1,000s of AK74s and CETMEs a month at our Philomath Oregon facility and the CETME front trunnion had to be welded into the receiver.  Our welder, Chris, was welding hundreds of these a day and has great experience welding thin steel, so he fabricated the patches and welded up the back of the Vepr-12 receiver.

Youíll see in the pictures where after finishing off the welds we test fit a PSL rear trunnion into it to make sure it fit.  The rivets in these images havenít been pressed yet, but are just there to hold the trunnion in place while we make sure our square back Vepr trunnion adapter is going to fit.

Once the rivets were pressed in, we media blasted the gun with 180 grit aluminum oxide to prep it for Cerakote and made sure our SVD composite stock fit properly, which it did.

The next step in the process was to Cerakote the gun after a final media blasting and a chemical bath to remove any oils.  We start with spraying the interior of the receiver and work our way out to the sides, bottom, rear trunnion, front trunnion, hinge / sight block and finish with the lower forearm bracket, gas block and barrel.

We also Cerakoted 100% of the Vepr-12's loose components, like the barrel thread protector, fire control, safety, bolt carrier, and dust cover.   The gun and all it's components were then baked in our industrial oven for an hour at 300 degrees, and you can see in the following picture as it's coming out of the oven.

After final assembly we ran a couple mags through and it functioned flawlessly!  We took the following pictures prior to a thorough cleaning and packaging then shipped it off to the customer's FFL

This gun belongs to Philip Colangelo and if anybody is interested in talking with him about his experience with us and this project I'm certain he'd be happy to oblige.  If you email us we will forward you his contact information!