August 2013

‘Lo-Cap’ AK-47s: We Compare K-VAR VEPR, CIA N-PAP Rifles

Two companies make rifles with the famous Kalashnikov action that are round-limited out of the factory, but are ‘upgradable,’ depending on your jurisdiction. Are they worth the effort?

With everything going on in the world today, interest in self-defense rifles has skyrocketed. Until recently, semi-automatics were flying off dealer shelves and prices were sometimes double what such guns sold for only nine months ago. Naturally, many shooters are having trouble finding what they want, which usually means rifles that can accept standard-capacity (20- or 30-round) magazines. However, you may be able to find and more easily afford a category which we’ll loosely call “low capacity” rifles — e.g., those made for single-stack magazines and which arrive from the manufacturer with 10-round magazines.

We recently tested a couple of lo-cap rifles to see if they could live up to their standard-cap counterparts that can be so hard to find. The Century International Arms N-PAP M70 7.62x39mm, $750, is an AK-47 manufactured by Zastava, a Serbian arms manufacturer, and its receiver is cut to accept a single-stack magazine. Our test gun came with two plastic single-stack 10-round mags. Going head to head against the PAP is the K-VAR VEPR AK-47 imported by Arsenal. The VEPR has a reinforced receiver manufactured by Molot in Russia and and ours came with two plastic 10-round mags. Both rifles can be modified to take standard AK-47 magazines, but in some states that is not an option now, so we tested both in their as-delivered capacity. Here’s how our testers assessed them:

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