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Zaphod
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Posted: 10/27/2009 10:28:17 PM
[Last Edit: 10/27/2009 10:51:08 PM by Zaphod]

THE IMAGE ABOVE IS A PAID ADVERTISEMENT
One of the more mysterious variants in the AK family has been the Krebs KTR-03V, built from the Robinson Armament VEPR K. Like many others, I instantly fell in love when I saw it for the first time, and immediately began looking for one to add to my stable.

Like many others, however, I was too late to get one when I found out about it; ROBARM had stopped importing the VEPR K and Krebs had ceased doing any of the work, even on existing rifles. The result was an exceedingly rare AK variant seen only online or in the very rare occasion you stumbled across someone who had one. I never had that luck.

That changed a while back when a member here decided to sell his and remembered that I had been interested in one. I am now the proud owner of what I consider to be perhaps the most beautiful combat weapon available to civilians anywhere.

I was recently contacted by someone hoping to do a VEPR to KTR conversion on their own. I had considered doing this myself at one point, which is why I own both a KTR and a standard VEPR K. I had already gotten the VEPR when the KTR came in over the transom.

In order to help those who have seriously considered such a project, I decided to take some pictures of the two rifles side by side so everyone could see the differences as well as appreciate the amount of work Krebs put into these things. So without further ado, on with the pictures!

This is the VEPR K (in 7.62x39mm):



...and this is the Krebs KTR-03V (in 5.56x45mm):



Both of mine are in 5.56mm.

At first glance, the main differences are pretty obvious:

- AK74 Brake installed
- Front sight and gas block removed, the gas block replaced with a Galil-style gas block/front sight
- Rear sight removed, and an A2 rear sight installed along with a short rail atop the top cover
- Front hand guard and stock ventilated.

At first glance, it seems simple enough, but it isn't. Let's begin with the comparisons. I apologize in advance for the less-than-Penthouse-quality pics, but I was in a bit of a rush when I did this. I can accommodate reasonable requests for better ones if needed.

Exhibit A: Barrel Assemblies, with the KTR on top and the VEPR below



Notice that the barrel was chopped back from the original, with the AK74 Brake being pinned on to keep the barrel length at 16 inches. More importantly, note that the entire rear sight block was removed. That requires the removal of the barrel (short of just hacking the thing off), and results in the next problem:


Exhibit B: Gas tubes, with the KTR on top and the VEPR below



Obviously, Krebs extended the gas tuba a good two inches. The extension was made from the point where the standard gas tube mounting section begins and extends back from there. The end of the KTR tube has been modified to fit into the receiver.

Exhibits C and D: Receiver front ends, with the KTR on the right and the VEPR on the left, and a closeup of the KTR




The removal of the rear sight on the KTR requires a replacement. Krebs did this by custom-machining a combination rail and A2 sight and bolting it to the top of the top cover.

Exhibits E and F: Top covers, with the KTR on the right and the VEPR on the left, and a closeup of the underside of the KTR




Continued next post....
You live and learn........ or you don't live long. - Robert A. Heinlein
Zaphod
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Posted: 10/27/2009 10:43:27 PM
[Last Edit: 10/27/2009 10:58:48 PM by Zaphod]
Regarding the front hand guards, there is more to the modification that just the ventilation slots. To begin, the hand guard was chopped back by almost a third:

Exhibit G: Hand guard comparison, with the KTR in back and the VEPR in front



Additionally, Krebs riveted in the aluminum heat shield. Nice touch.

With the hand guard cut back, the usual mounting point for the hand guard screw is no longer useful, so Krebs installed a mount around the barrel that accepts a screw that traverses the hand guard laterally, holding it in place:

Exhibits H and I: Hand guard mounting hardware on the Krebs:




Almost done, another less-obvious modification was the addition of a thumb safety:

Exhibits J and K: Comparison of KTR Safety with standard VEPR, with the KTR at the top and right, and the VEPR bottom and left:




The last obvious modification was that Krebs ventilated the stock on the KTR.

Exhibit L: Comparison of stocks, with the KTR at the top and the VEPR on the bottom.



One pittance of an annoyance was that Krebs apparently refinished the weapon after doing their work, resulting in the nice VEPR markings being obliterated:

Exhibit M: Comparison of markings, with the KTR at the top and the VEPR on the bottom:




Well, I hope that helps, or at least informs a few curious minds. I love these things, and the KTR has rapidly become my favorite rifle based on looks alone. I'm looking forward to finally SHOOTING the damned thing once life here settles down a bit.

Aside from the Ace stock, the only other mod I plan to do is the installation of a Galil-style charging handle and a set of AR night sights. No optics, probably no light. Nice and simple.

Enjoy!
You live and learn........ or you don't live long. - Robert A. Heinlein
Death_Delirium
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Posted: 10/28/2009 12:24:49 AM
I have never seen the KTR-03V before, it is a very nice rifle. Thanks for sharing.

bmwguy
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Posted: 10/28/2009 11:26:30 AM
[Last Edit: 10/28/2009 11:28:54 AM by bmwguy]
Appears that you have one of the earlier KTR-03Vs.

I have a later KTR-03v and the Picatinny rail on the dust cover is full length.

You also had an option on the barrel, at least I did. I opted for the 14.5 + permanent brake, but you coulda ordered it with a 16" and brake. When I picked the rifle from my FFL, whom had a KTR-03V in 16" + brake. My dealer commented that he like the 14.5 + brake as it balanced better and is not as front heavy as the 16".

They are great rifle and everytime at the range, I get questions as to what it is.
Everyone that's shot it are instantly in love with it, they just can't believe the follow up shot with this AK.

It has to be one of the best(if not the best) AK variant out there.

Zaphod
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Posted: 10/28/2009 11:30:08 AM
Originally Posted By bmwguy:
Appears that you have one of the earlier KTR-03Vs.

I have a later KTR-03v and the Picatinny rail on the dust cover is full length.


I guess so, but I'm not sad. I actually prefer the rail as it is.

You also had an option on the barrel, at least I did. I opted for the 14.5 + permanent brake, but you coulda ordered it with a 16" and brake. When I picked the rifle from my FFL, whom had a KTR-03V in 16" + brake. My dealer commented that he like the 14.5 + brake as it balanced better and is not as front heavy as the 16".


I didn't know a choice was available, but I still would have picked the version we have. I only wish it was a FS rather than a brake. Maybe someday I'll have a smith change it, but it's not going to be a priority.
You live and learn........ or you don't live long. - Robert A. Heinlein
nictra
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Posted: 10/28/2009 7:39:36 PM
tack this thread
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Zaphod
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Posted: 10/29/2009 10:41:42 AM
Originally Posted By nictra:
tack this thread


If people find it THAT useful, I'll be happy to take better pics.
You live and learn........ or you don't live long. - Robert A. Heinlein
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