The Vepr is a Ukranian assault rifle designed by the National Space Agency of Ukraine and shown to the world in 2003, the Vepr is a bullpup conversion of the AK-74 assault rifle.
The Vepr ("wild boar" -Ukrainian language) has been announced in 2003 as a new Ukrainian-designed assault rifle. Ukraine is a former Soviet republic and since dissolution of USSR its armed forces used Soviet-era small arms, including the Kalashnikov AKM and AK-74 assault rifles. The Vepr has been advertised as a major improvement over AK-74, but, in fact, it more than yet another conversion of standard AK-74 into bullpup layout. The standard AK-74 is stripped from its furniture, and the buttplate is fitted directly to the receiver; polymer cheek rest is fitted to the receiver cover, and pistol grip is fitted ahead of the magazine; the cocking handle is moved to the left side of the forearm, but the safety/fire selector lever remained in the same position, now well behind the pistol grip and almost out of reach when gun is shouldered. Vepr is fitted with adjustable open sights and a standard side mount for day or night scopes. Relatively large red dot scope of Ukrainian manufacture is fitted as a standard. Latest version of the Vepr also feature an integral 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher, with dual trigger arrangement (front trigger controls launcher, rear trigger controls the rifle).
It is yet to be seen if the Vepr will be procured and issued to Ukrainian forces in any numbers, but the claims of "clear superiority to AK-74" from Vepr manufacturers seem to be rather optimistic, to say the least.
There were plenty of conversions of Kalashnikov rifles to bullpup layout before the Vepr, like Russian OC-14 Groza, Finnish Valmet M82, Chinese Type 86 or South African CR-21. Just the first of these had achieved sucess so far.
- Caliber: 5.45x39mm
- Action: Gas operated, rotating bolt
- Overall length: 702 mm
- Barrel length: 415 mm
- Weight: 3.45 kg empty
- Rate of fire: 600-650 rounds per minute
- Magazine capacity: 30 rounds