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Passions around the VPO-208 self-loading carbine

Two seasons have been left behind since the publication of the article “VPO-208: non-standard “paradox”. Smoothbore SCS with a 14-centimeter rifled part of the barrel caused a mixed reaction among hunters and shooting people in General. First of all, the price strained, and second-difficulties with the purchase of non-standard cartridges .366 TCM. As usual, we gradually got used to the cost (especially against the background of all other events in the economy), and with ammunition, and modified, the issue is no longer so acute, and the carbine began to be actively purchased. All the more incomprehensible is the complete absence of any reports on real hunting with the VPO-208, and this is for the year of its production.

However, interest in this kind of weapon does not fade. In General, it was not as bad as the pessimists predicted, although not as rosy as the opposite side saw it. Below are two somewhat abbreviated stories by users of the carbine.

Review #1
Externally, the carbine is not much different from its combat predecessor, unless, of course, you look closely at the inscriptions on the receiver.

Disassembly also confirmed the full identity with the prototype, the differences only in the barrel. On VPO-208 installed smooth barrel with a rifled choke part of the length of 14 cm is a fact of partial slicing of the type “paradox” allowed to carry VPO-208 to shotguns, but precision, accuracy of fire and knockdown to get close to the cut. This attracted the attention of a large army of hunters and shooters who did not reach the “rifled experience”.

Rifling in the muzzle of the barrel.

Examining in detail the long-familiar design, I am once again convinced of the complete authenticity of this sample to the Simonov self-loading carbine, with the exception, of course, of the barrel. At the same time, I also highlight some nice additions from the manufacturer, such as the external thread at the end of the barrel (covered with a protective sleeve), which allows future owners to use various DTC (muzzle brake compensator) to improve the shooting parameters.

The thread on the muzzle section is closed with a sleeve.

The main direction of testing was the desire to try out a new product in the case, so I go to the shooting range.

Unfortunately, from several possible variants of bullet cartridges .366 TCM were available only with a lead polymerized bullet, but I think this will be enough for now.

Cartridges .366 TCM. Lead bullet with polymer coating.

Having previously studied the forums and the reviews that appeared, I was morally ready for trouble in the form of frequent delays (non-releases), related primarily to the quality of the cartridge, and not to the decades-old design of the carbine. Looking ahead, I will say: after shooting a pack (20 rounds), I got only 2 delays. But the big trouble is the beginning, and over time everything will be finalized, better components will come, and the range of cartridges themselves will expand significantly, as well as the short-term shortage of them in weapons stores will go into the past.

The distances for shooting are 50 and 100 meters. it makes no sense to shoot further without an optical sight, especially since they are the most working, both on the shooting range and on the hunt.

I check the quality of the factory adjustment of mechanical sighting devices with several shots, at the same time I get used to the descent and tactile sensations. The descent is long, but smooth-a feature of all SKS, not a specific sample. The recoil is quite soft, despite the heavy bullet, and almost does not break the tab, which contributes to rapid readiness for the second shot. The sound of the shot is a “nice bass” (there is no ear-splitting crackle like a native cartridge), it is quite comfortable to shoot without headphones. The mechanical target remaining on the carbine from the progenitor is marked up to 1000 meters, which is not relevant in our case, but the fact that it is possible to select the necessary position of the target for a certain distance is very important.

Next, I shoot a series of 5 shots at the specified distances.

The 100-meter series, although subjected to wind demolition, turned out to be more uniform in the spread of the group of hits, without breaks, since it was shot without delay from one tab.

A series of 50 meters vertically fit quite compactly in 2-2. 5 cm, but the horizontal stretched because of the delay in the process of executing the series and, accordingly, changing the tab.

The performance accuracy was excellent: if fifty meters is comparable to a very well-trained smooth-bore gun, on the street, no way inferior to the SKS carbine in his native rifled caliber, and may jostle it.

Group of hits at a distance of 50 m.

Group of hits at a distance of 100 m.

Having tried shooting without stopping, offhand, I was also satisfied, the carbine is quite prikladist, the sighting line is quickly located and is combined with the selected target – as a variant of the weapon used on corral hunts, it will be quite good.

It is too early to draw any conclusions after a short acquaintance with a cartridge rather than a carbine, but there is a clear understanding that the domestic weapons industry is beginning to guess the desires and needs of buyers. And smoothbore Skis that are swept off the shelves are proof of this. I am sure that such a weapon has a future and its users will be both hunters who have not reached the experience for the purchase of rifled weapons, as well as Amateur shooters who often spend time on shooting ranges, and owners of “rifling”, whose purchase limit is exhausted, and the desire to own the legendary SCS, even in the smoothbore version, is available.

Author: Alexey Suvorov
Review #2
On one of the hunting forums in Russia, we found a review of the owner of this carbine. Here’s what the user writes – ” Slushkov»:

– I am the owner of the desired device. First I heard about the presentation (June 2015) and was looking forward to the start of sales. I bought just for the opportunity to shoot at 100-150 m.I did not have time to try it out on a real hunt, because getting Roh on this device just coincided with the closing of the season, and there was no place to run in.

In General, I will describe the negative and positive aspects of using it below. And conclusions-to buy or not-do it yourself.

Next, the user “Slushkov” describes the pros and cons of this carbine.

– Carbines are made from SCS that come from warehouses. They change the barrel, and that’s it. You may get an unused “Novye” that has been preserved, or you may get a donor with two repair stamps. I think this is a minus.

– It follows from the previous one: the new carbine must be completely disassembled upon purchase, everything must be soaked in kerosene and wd40. My paint got off the springs, also washed a certain amount of dirt (from the Vietnam war?). Be sure to check all the springs, etc. Agree, to get acquainted with a new gun with the purchase of a complete repair kit (on the SCS) and a thorough defect of the weapon, for which I gave 41,000 rubles. (I bought it when it just appeared, and at a predatory price tag), it’s not quite cool.

– In addition to the barrel, nothing changed in the carbine, while the magazine remained under the cartridge 7,62×39, and at first there were cases of sticking the nose of the bullet when feeding. By the way, this happens with SCS, and is treated exactly the same way. 20 minutes of work with pliers, and everything starts to feed wonderfully.

– Cartridges. This is a huge temporary disadvantage. More precisely, two minuses. The first is that Techkrim does not have time to produce cartridges in the right quantity today. Severe deficit. They promise to launch a rotary line and fill up the Homeland with a cheap (up to 20 rubles) cartridge, but so far only words. With a carbine, the store gives 100-200 pieces and that’s it. I managed to get hold of a couple of ormags at the expense of acquaintances, in addition to the regular 200 (I got a half-shell sp15), excess cartridges (used in postrelushki), but in General people have a fierce tooth for ” Techkrim. And the second is the quality of these cartridges. The caliber is new, not fully rolled, and there were technical problems. First with gunpowder questions (at minus burned poorly, the speed of the bullet jumped), then with a primer. In the cold misfires gave. Plus, by the end of the year, the bullets were poorly sealed, and periodically (about 1%) the bullet after firing the capsule flew into the barrel, passed its smooth part and hung on the rifling. The gunpowder did not ignite and fouled all the insides of the carbine. The bullet was knocked out with a ramrod. There was a case when a certain shooter after such a spat in the barrel did not check the barrel channel and hit the second cartridge. As a result, the barrel burst (to the credit of “Techkrim”, they replaced the barrel at their own expense on that carbine). Although from the shooter’s side there was a terrible jamb with TB, in my opinion.

– Mortar. I thought for a long time and noted that this fact should still be described. The bullet is quite heavy, and despite the good speed, it sags quite heavily. That is, vertical corrections should be made when shooting AFTER 100 m. The situation is somewhat reminiscent of a hunting air rifle. The bullet still has good energy to lay down the target, but the trajectory forces you to make corrections. You do not need to enter corrections UP to 100 m. With my optics height (70 mm above the barrel level) from 50 to 100 m, the vertical deviation is up to 3 cm, and I ignore them. The first zero is about 50 m, the second zero is about 90 m, the 100 m drop is 3 cm. In the same elk, I think it will not matter.


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