April 2017. FIME Group released their limited edition Vepr 308 model (model FM-AK 308-22). I had a chance to tried it out at a local range. The retail price is $1249.99 with an expected street price of under $1200.
The Las Vegas, NV, based FIME Group is the latest US importer of the Russian Molot Vepr. Due to the ATF importation laws, the Vepr models that came into the country all have a wooden hunting stock with a thumb-hole grip. This new FIME Vepr 308 model is a factory conversion that turned the Vepr back into the Kalashnikov look.
The receiver of the FIME Vepr 308 is made from 1.5mm thick steel, and it’s in the more robust RPK style construction with a double-pinned heavy trunnion. The combination of both those factors makes the Vepr’s receiver 3 times stronger than the typical AK stamped receiver design. An optic side rail is located on left side of the Vepr 308 receiver. Its US-made handguard has internal metal heat-shield.
Two polymer magazines come with the FIME Vepr 308, a 10-rounder and a 5-rounder. FIME is considering making higher capacity magazine for their new Vepr 308. What I would really like is for them to embedding metal reinforcement into the locking tabs at both the front and back of those magazines.
Trigger time at the range. As part of the factory conversion, the FIME Vepr 308 has their new US-made AK trigger kit and it feels better than the stock Molot trigger unit. The gun’s handling is quit good and it feels lighter than it’s 10 pound weight. According to FIME, the accuracy from the 20″ barrel is 1.25 to 1.5 MOA average. At the range, we were able to do head shots at 85 yards with the stock iron sights and firing the budget American Eagle 150-gr ammo. That’s not too bad for an AK derivative.
The recoil is actually not bad and it kicks less than my lightweight DSA FAL. Although, I would still suggest adding a muzzle brake like the one by VG6 Precision. Under the small thread protector, the FIME Vepr 308’s barrel is threaded to accept any AKM style muzzle device and it has the spring loaded detent pin on the front sight tower. The side-folder metal stock features a thick rubber recoil butt pad that also helps with the recoil management. I found the stock’s rotating cheek pad adds too much height when use with the iron sight. However, with an optic on the FIME Vepr 308, the extra height from the cheek pad would be perfect for that.