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Thread: VEPR .308

  1. #1
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    VEPR .308

    The Rifle I Bought



    I recently bought a VEPR in .308. Once I got it home I performed the unusual ritual of actually reading the instructions. Per instructions, I cleaned the preserving oil off, and (per my usual cleaning procedures as the manual didn't really say what to use) proceeded to put white lithium grease on the places where parts slide together. I sprayed the recoil spring guide rod and spring with oil, reassembled, and proceeded to rack the bolt f few times for everything to work together a bit.

    I took the rifle to the range the next day to zero it in. The first 5 rounds went fine. However, starting with the next magazine every shot the bolt carrier would sick in the rear position on every shot. It would only take a small bump with the hand on the charging handle like with the M1 Garand to get the bolt to go forward and chamber the next round.

    I took the dust cover off and worked the bolt a few times by hand and nothing seemed wrong but if I pulled the bolt carrier as far back as could it would stick. I can’t see anything wrong but I did notice that if I hit down on the rear of the of the bolt carrier, it would stay stuck to the rear. However if I ever so gently tapped on the bolt carrier up close to the gas tube, the bolt carrier would slide home with no problem. This made me pull the gas tube to have a look. I couldn’t see any wear where it might be sticking.

    My friend has an M1A and he said that Springfield is a big believer in putting grease on everything but the piston or in the gas tube. So we proceeded to lube everything up, more than I’ve ever had to lube any other gun except maybe my Mac 11 (which I just spray the bolt with oil until it is dripping and then put it back in the gun and fire till it quits smoking). He wanted me to put some grease on the recoil spring and guide rod but I told him that it was the one part that I had dripping (almost) with oil when I reassembled the gun.

    This didn’t really seem to solve the problem but it seemed as if maybe it was a little less inclined to stick and it took less of a bump for the bolt carrier to slide home. Since we had put grease on everything else the only thing left was the recoil spring so I tried that. There was an immediate improvement but it would still stick some. So I put a LOT more grease on the recoil spring and guide rod. That seemed to solve it. It doesn’t stick anymore and I ran about 100 rounds through it yesterday.

    My concern is this (sorry for the long preamble), I have a Yugo AK 47 and I only use a little bit of lithium grease on the sliding parts (just as I did initially on the VEPR) and it works fine. So even though the VEPR works when I utilize a lot of grease, is this indicative of some problem?

    Secondly, in looking for additional mags (20 rounders for prefrence) I came across refrence to not being able to use them due to parts count. I thought I understood the law but now I'm not so sure. Can anybody educate me?

  2. #2
    Administrator imanaknut's Avatar

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    Welcome to the group !!!

    While the VEPR is one of the finest of AK variants to enter the country, and more a true RPK, they are not immune from having issues caused by tolerances of build.

    You are correct in assuming that AK varinants shouldn't need much lube. In fact many of mine are just sprayed lightly with Breakfree CLP and wiped down before going to the range.

    Others of mine I have used a high teflon grease on the moving parts, but not much more than a film.

    As to the recoil spring assembly, I usually just spray it down as well with CLP and wipe it down.

    It sounds like your bolt/carrier assembly is moving too far to the rear. I would suggest a Blackjack buffer to keep it from travelling so far back. The other thing to check is the hammer. Is the carrier catching on the hammer, or is it actually popping slightly out of the rail. If the hammer, you can file a little off the top of the hammer contact area to allow the carrier to slide over it easier, but don't take off too much or the hammer won't reset properly. If the carrier is coming off the rail slightly, suggesting it is coming back too far, the buffer is the way to go.

    In honesty, since I pay for all repairs on my firearms, the Blackjack buffer is a cheap insurance policy against the bolt battering the rear of the receiver. Many AK/AKM variants show witness marks from the carrier on the rear trunion. The buffer will prevent this as well as any over travel.

    Funny you post about your VEPR, first the .308 version is high on my want list, and second my best friend called yesterday to again thank me for "forcing" him to buy one about a half dozen years ago!

    As to the mags, those could be problems as I believe the VEPR uses a proprietary mag. There might be other mags that can be modified to work. As to the parts count, ATF (and a president who didn't understand Vietnam) decided that more than 10 imported parts on any rifle made it an evil baby killing weapon. 10 or less makes it an angelic sporting rifle. I don't know what parts the .308 VEPR uses to meet the sporting purpose clause of the new second amendment also known as 922(r) and if that wasn't enough, now Title 27 CFR 478.39.

    Good luck and again welcome!!!

  3. #3
    Conributor 09/13 slamfire51's Avatar

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    Welcome to the board.

    I've found that on everyday AKs (Romamian, etc.) the bolt carrier will hang on the hump on the hammer when charged gently by hand. I ground and polished the hump down to where the bolt carrier traveled smoothly over the hammer.

    I too am not familiar with the VEPR's parts, but it might be something to look at.
    There's no problem an AK can't solve...........


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  4. #4
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    I've ordered the buffer because during the troubleshooting I looked and thought the bolt might be coming just a bit far back and that was the cause of the problem. Not being as AK savvy as I am with some other platforms I decided to ask before I jumped to conclusions.

    I found a source for ProMag 20 round VEPR magazines (Made In the USA) so, from what you said about part counts (which matches what I remembered) there isn’t any legal problem to them.

    Thanks all so much for your input.

  5. #5
    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

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    I put very minimal lube on any AK I've ever owned. Massive quantities of Lubriplate Lithium grease says to me something is VERY wrong. I never lube the recoil buffer springs on any of my AK rifles, they run dry. Only the bolt stem and the rails get a drop or two of a gun oil.

    BTW, what ammo were you shooting in it; 7.62x51 NATO or off the shelf .308 Winchester ammo? NATO spec ammo is 48,000 PSI, .308 spec ammo can be as high as 60,000 psi and still be in spec. Also what bullet weights? NATO is 147 gr., .308 could have up to 200+ gr. bullets. The .308 spec ammo could have a lot more recoil force and this could be causing your issue.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schuetzenman View Post
    I put very minimal lube on any AK I've ever owned. Massive quantities of Lubriplate Lithium grease says to me something is VERY wrong. I never lube the recoil buffer springs on any of my AK rifles, they run dry. Only the bolt stem and the rails get a drop or two of a gun oil.

    BTW, what ammo were you shooting in it; 7.62x51 NATO or off the shelf .308 Winchester ammo?

    "]Actually I used both Surplus and PPU "Match" ammo which is (if memory serves me correctly) 168 gn. This did not seem to impact the issue.

    NATO spec ammo is 48,000 PSI, .308 spec ammo can be as high as 60,000 psi and still be in spec. Also what bullet weights? NATO is 147 gr., .308 could have up to 200+ gr. bullets. The .308 spec ammo could have a lot more recoil force and this could be causing your issue.
    Secondly, to you and anybody else in this thread. Does using 20 round magazines make this a rifle that has to have 10 or less import parts according to 922(r)? I can't really seem to tell from the wording. Additionally, since the gas tube isn't mentioned in 922(r) can I replace that without reprecussions?

  7. #7
    Administrator imanaknut's Avatar

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    Yes the gas tube is not a counted part, and I personally would not worry when using an "after market" magazine.

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