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Vepr 12 not working

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by nebulabass, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    I need some advice here. I have a Vepr 12 that is acting like a single shot rather that a semi auto. It will fire a round and chamber the next round. I then squeeze the trigger and nothing. I have to remove the mag and eject a good cartridge, put the mag back in and charge it up again.
    I have fired over 300 rounds of federal 8 shot. So it must not be a break in problem. I have also tried to fire some military buckshot that I got from walmart with the same results.
    Please give me advice before I post a youtube video showing this problem.
     
  2. Sebastian the Ibis
    • Contributing Member

    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    Do you have to remove the mag, or will it work if you just crank the charging handle? I once had a similar problem with an AK with an aftermarket stock. The stock touched the back of the trigger by a hair, which caused it to not re-set properly. It was fine after a few strokes with a file- or when I used a strip of cardboard as a spacer.

    In general, I find most AK problems can be fixed by removing or tweaking aftermarket bits.
     
  3. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    thanks
    sabastian. It did not function straight out of the box. I am so frustrated that I paid 800 bucks for this thing and it does not function. I don't think I will ever buy a foreign made gun again. I am very surprised that I am not seeing any negative reviews for the Vepr 12.
     
  4. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    It looks cool as hell but it does not function! Buyer beware!
    I saw a review of this gun where the guy had to file down the bolt to get it to function. Do I need to pay a gunsmith to get it working after paying 800 dollars to buy the gun? How much will a gunsmith charge?
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  5. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    What are the specs on the Federal ammo that won't run? The Vepr's are hit-n-miss with the really cheap birdshot...some will run weakly with it while others won't have anything to do with it. I know you said you tried buckshot...but did you clean the gun thoroughly before trying it? From your OP....it sounds like the gun isn't cycling hard enough to fully chamber the next round. It is ejecting OK..yes? Have you tried firing a shot then hitting the op-handle to see if it's just out of battery which will make it not go bang?

    If it chambers from the mag when you pull and release the bolt...if it's getting kicked back far enough by the ammo it should run. Dirt or debris in the gas port could cause such a thing...be sure it's clean.
     
  6. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    Did you give it a proper and thorough clean and lube, including the trigger/bolt/firing pin assembly?
     
  7. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    Thanks RecoilRob. I am shooting the cheap target loads. Yes the gun is clean. The shells do eject most of the time. It is not cycling hard enough to fire the next round. The round gets chambered but will not fire when I squeeze the trigger.
    Do most Veprs act like this? Do I need to buy expensive ammo to get it to work right? How much will a gunsmith charge to make it work with cheap ammo?
     
  8. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    Well....there are different levels of 'cheap target loads'. If they are 7/8 or 1oz....going to a 1 1/8oz load might be enough to make it run. Look at the 'dram eqv' on the box...3 is about minimum from what I've read on the Russian guns along with 1 1/8oz or heavier shot load. If the dram eqv isn't listed...look at the velocity rating. The light shells will often be '1200' fps where the heavier loaded stuff '1250' or more.

    From the way it sounds...you need a bit more kick to cycle the gun...so a heavier loaded shell might be all that's needed. Be sure you're shouldering the gun tightly and offering a good solid resistance to the recoil because this will reduce the amount of shell power needed to run the gun. There is such a thing as 'limp wristing' with pistols and gas or recoil operated shotguns will behave in a similar manner if the gun is allowed to move too easily.

    It is concerning that the gun didn't run the buckshot...but you didn't say what kind it was. Some shells are not as strong as others and I find it hard to believe that a full-power buckshot load wouldn't run the gun. I've got several cases of Herters 9 ball '00' buck here that are listed as 1200 fps...and they're actually pretty darn weak. FAR less kick than full power hunting buckshot for sure, and they very well might not be able to run your gun.

    Of course...the gun could be tuned to run with just about any ammo you want to put in it....just be aware that making it cycle with the very light shells will also subject it to battering more should the very stout ammo be used. How many magazines do you have and do they all behave in the same way? Sometimes the magazine spring will push the round up so hard that it drags on the bolt and this can cause problems. If you only load two rounds...chamber one then fire it, will the next/last round fire? If so...then the mag might be an issue.

    Have you tried bumping the bolt after each shot just to force it fully home? If this works, then excessive bolt drag during feeding might be the culprit. I'm assuming when you load the gun that you're fully pulling back the bolt, so we can assume that when firing it's not coming back all the way?

    The hammer spring is made very strong so it'll light even the hardest primer when the gun is dirty, but that strong hammer spring also holds the bolt closed and must be pushed back during the firing cycle. I've played with several guns over the years that were finicky shooters and were cured by slightly lightening the hammer spring tension. This is something that you really have to do gently and gradually or misfires will happen and if you're not comfortable doing internal work it might be best left to a local smith.

    The Russian guns are very well made (I really like the Russian guns!) but they ARE assuming that you'll be using full-power loads and have the gun sprung accordingly. With hammer down, see how hard it is to pull back the bolt. That is the force that the gas system must overcome to cycle...and a slight reduction in this resistance will make it run much more reliably with lighter ammo. You might call around and see if a local 'smith would know what to do to help you. Good luck!:)

    Edit: something like this might help you. http://www.carolinashooterssupply.c...ng_hammer_spring_tromix_p/jte-main-spring.htm
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
    muzzleblast... likes this.
  9. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    By the same logic, I should never buy another American made gun because of all the dud Ruger pistols being produced these days.. ;)

    There are several things that can cause what you are seeing, weak ammunition, bolt drag or block/improperly drilled gas ports being the most likely.

    The first can be checked with some Winchester 9 pellet 00 Buck. If those don't cycle it, it's not an ammo problem.

    RecoilRob told you how to check for bolt drag

    To check the gas ports, take the shotgun down and look for the ports in the gas block. There should be, I think, five of them on the VEPR. You should be able to stick a unbent paper clip through each hole.

    That is of course assuming the problem is with the bolt not fully returning to battery.

    I don't run the VEPR, but the Saiga, so I have the advantage of an adjustable gas setting... but... Even then, 8 shot gets run with the ports full open. The guns really aren't designed for that. They are designed to run 00. Also, these things suck carbon up and foul quickly. 300 rounds is probably enough to gum it up. I would give the gas tube and ports a full cleaning then run some 9 pellet 00 at the range to see what happens before trying anything else.
     
  10. Cooldill

    Cooldill Member

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    Sell it and get a Remington 1100 Tactical. I've had great luck with mine shooting all kinds of shells with no failures and it holds 9 rounds of 00 buck, enough to handle any problem be it two legged or four.
     
  11. wally

    wally Member

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    You do have to clean the gas puck and piston or it will "short stroke", did you do this before you started shooting it? The AK shotgun is nowhere near as "maintenance free" as the AK rifle is.

    I had to buy an extra puck to let in more gas to reliably shoot the cheap low brass promotional "heavy dove loads". It is fun to play zombie slayer with shaken-up cheap carbonated beverages and cheap ammo and a 20 round drum, but it needs to be cleaned after a couple of hundred rounds or you get stoppages.
     
  12. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    Thanks again recoilrob wally and cooldill. I will try the better buckshot and see what happens.
     
  13. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    I just tried some Winchester Super X, 2 and 3/4 inch loads of 00 buckshot 9 pellet. The first 2 tries I had the same problem. I switched mags and I got it to fire 2 shots semi-auto. But when I squeezed the trigger a third time nothing happened. A round was in the chamber.
    I've decided that I will just cycle the bolt by hand a 100 times a day to see if that loosens things up.
    I thought about selling it, but I don't want to sell a gun that doesn't function right.
     
  14. Girodin

    Girodin Member

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    A number of years ago when I was into Saigas, it was pretty common knowledge that you may need to tweek and polish things to get good function with lighter loads. The plus side is they really aren't that hard to work on and when people had issues they generally were ones that weren't that hard to correct. The saiga and Vepr 12 are not identical but fairly similar (I've owned both).

    When it loads the next round and you say you squeeze the trigger but nothing happens. Is it dropping the hammer or is the trigger not re-setting after the first shot? When you say nothing happened what exactly is going on? Is the bolt hanging up and not going fully battery?
     
  15. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    That’s because they’re otherwise reliable.

    No.

    My Vepr 12 has been perfectly reliable. Likewise with my Vepr in 54r.

    Unfortunately you’ve gotten a bad example.

    Otherwise, the guns are well-designed and well-made, and worth the effort to get yours to function correctly.
     
  16. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    Thanks Girodin and jdc1244. When I squeeze the trigger the hammer does not drop. I believe the bolt is not going all the way back.
    I just got back from firing some more cheap target loads. One time I was able to fire 3 in a row. I do believe it is getting better slowly. Maybe I just need to keep on breaking it in.
     
  17. RecoilRob

    RecoilRob Member

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    If the empty shell ejects...the hammer is being cocked. If it's not dropping when you pull the trigger...the bolt isn't going fully home. Next time out, try bumping the oprod before each shot just to verify. This could be a 'limp shoulder' in effect causing the weak return possibly made worse by the magazine spring.

    By the way...how big a person are you? Some very slight people do have issues with some guns being that they don't offer enough resistance to the recoil.
     
  18. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    Thanks RecoilRob. I meant to try bumping the oprod but forgot. I am an average size guy. I weigh 170. I remember you saying something about limp wristing so I was sure to hold tight.
    I am not giving up on this thing yet. I really want to have an AK style shotgun. I already have a couple of Remington 1100's.
     
  19. Sebastian the Ibis
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    Sebastian the Ibis Member

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    When you squeeze the trigger, nothing happens and you open it up is the hammer up or down?
     
  20. nebulabass

    nebulabass Member

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    HI Sabastian. I never have checked that. I just assumed the hammer was up.
    When I was cleaning the Vepr tonight I put some grease on the parts that looked worn. Where the finish was scraped off. Maybe that will help.
     
  21. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    Does sound to me like the bolt is not going back far enough to set the trigger. My Vepr is 100% reliable on anything I put in it but I did all the upgrades to make it so which by the time I was done cost about the same as the gun when I bought it
     

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