Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12
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Author:  ReverendFranz [ Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

I know this is all likely superfluous with the possibility of V12 steel mags coming from Csspecs in the future, but, I wanted to give Csspecs some feedback as he was kind enough to send me a mag to experiment on.

These magazines are available now, and at what I would consider a great price for an unparalleled product

First off, let me start by saying this magazine is exquisite, as a long time AK Shotgun enthusiast, this is everything i was looking for in a magazine for these shotguns. Heavy, durable, all steel construction, reliable and impressively finished. I have tested these mags in both the Saiga - 12 and the Vepr - 12 (details on that to come) and am nothing short of impressed. Even the care taken in packaging these magazines is impressive, I have no doubt they would last forever in the original unopened packaging.

I did experience a rimlock type failure once, impact forced a round forward out of its channel and bound in place, this was not an error I would expect in normal use, and not one I was able to recreate, I just wanted to post all of my results.

I will also note that the two mags I have tested were the early Beta mags, and I understand there may be some differences between this and the final production model, which I only received a few minutes ago. (Thanks Csspecs, You guys RULE!)

BeefcakeBo already posted a thorough review of the mag in the S-12 here, so I will just focus on the testing i did with the Vepr-12

In order to test these magazines in the V-12, I did a two stage approach, first with, and then without the magwell. Obviously, with the magwell is the more important test, but there are some things you need to know and I will detail my approach here.

Removal of the magwell is a simple process, but requires a few tools. The first is a punch to drive out the crosspin that holds the magwell at the magcatch, and the second is a slotted type screwdriver to remove the front spanner type lock nut. I have heard that an AR-15 front sight tool will work and fit the nut fine, but i made a simple driver out of a S12 muzzle wrench I had laying around. Slotting a wide blade screw driver with a dremmel is probably the easiest solution. Removal and replacement of the magcatch and spring is always a pain, but there are some tips and tricks discussed elsewhere, like this video from CSS . The Vepr is slightly different with the addition of the magwell, but the principles are the same.


Once you have removed the mag well, you will notice the front of the magwell opening is longer than it is on a S12, and that the receiver lacks the S12's lip for the front edge of the magazine lug. In order to use this or any other S12 magazine, we are going to have to make a locking lip/mag adapter. I made one (with some help) from a piece of 1/4in aluminum angle, Obviously if I was planning on running this for any significant amount of time, I would use steel, but this is what, again, I had laying around, and was suitable for testing.


As noted, I reused the original T bolt that held on the magwell, as I did not want to make a new bolt, or modify my handguards. If you want to skip the countersink to clear the base of the existing bolt, you can easily clearance the portion of the rear of the handguard (the tongue that fits into the receiver) to accept a standard bolt, which would result in less bulk to the assembled adaptor, as the existing bolt is quite long.

Once fitted, the majority of Saiga 12 magazines should lock in with ease, but will be pushing on/bending your LRBHO lever. The lever should be removed before trying to fit any magazines. This is an excellent opportunity to break out the old S12 drums for kicks.

The Csspecs magazine, however, will not lock into the Vepr with the magwell adaptor without modifications. The Vepr front trunnion is significantly different in design than the Saiga front trunnion and has two rear support legs that are riveted to the receiver on either side of the magazine well. This is of course a stronger design, but it also means we have to modify these mags to clear the rivet heads.

I did smooth the rear lug of the magazine, and modify the feed lips slightly, but this was a modification that was suggested by Csspecs even for the S12 mag. This is, again, a Beta mag, and I am not sure the final model would require any modifications in these locations. I will update this post once I can examine the Production Model in depth.


At this point the magazine was tested in the Vepr-12 and performed quite well - no issues.

I did not experiment with modifications to restore LRBHO functionality at this point, because I was eager to test the magwell modified version, so lets jump straight to that.

If you simply place the Steel mag into a magwell, you will see dimensionally, we are right on target, the mag fits the magwell beautifully. However, several things will prevent it from moving into locking position, those are the things we are going to address. First the front lug outstamping, of course, and also the side mag stabilizing outstampings.


I went ahead and installed a Russian steel magazine well for testing, there are two reasons for this, and something anyone who is interested in using these magazines should consider. One is that this, like any fitting process, requires multiple forcefull insertions and then continued fitting to determine binding points, the force of inserting the magazine repeatedly, is going to put stress on the factory polymer magazine well. The second reason is, even after fitting, Steel = stronger than plastic. It may not seem dramatic, but I can guarantee you that with continued use, the steel magazine will wear into the polymer magwell. I have also seen this the other way around, polymer factory mags wearing and becoming loose in the steel magazine well. The number of magazine changes to effect wear or the amount of wear to be seen is not something I can speak on, definitively, but it is something you should be aware of. The internal dimensions of both magwells are identical, so there the magazine modifications would be the same.

Csspecs offered to send me a magazine with-out the outstampings that form the front lug and side stabilization points, and in hindsight, I should have accepted his offer, this is some very stiff steel. However, I wanted to see what needed to be done to an off the shelf mag, and think I ended up with a slightly tighter mag because of it.

Hopefully Csspec does not get mad at what I will suggest next. As the front lug needs to be removed in order to create a flat surface to interface with the magwell, we could carefully grind down the outstampings until they are flush with the front of the mag. This will however leave a gap in the front of the mag from where the outstamping was.

This is not what I did. What I did was put the magazine on a stake in a vice and beat the holy hell out of it with a 8lb sledge. This steel is tough, very tough, and it took a great deal of finessing to get it back flush. There is no way these are going to deform or wear in any significant way with normal use. Once the front of the mag was flat, i gave the same treatment to the outstampings on the sides of the magazine, but I did not make them entirely flush, just a little bit thinner to better fit the magwell from side to side, I then filed and polished these contact points left by the outstampings, I also beveled the top edges to minimize binding, this would be especially important to minimize plastic shaving if you were using a polymer magazine. This was enough to allow the magazine to insert and lock into the steel magwell, and testing with a polymer magwell shows the same results.


I was initially worried I was going to have to trim a significant amount of the magazines rear reinforcement rib, but in fact all I had to do to get insertion smoothed out was taper the top edge of the rib, as it is quite square as it comes from Csspecs and tends to hang up on the edge of the magazine well. The rear rib is actually what is going to push against the rear of the magazine well and keep the front edge of the magazine tight. It really could not have worked out any better.

As the magazine sits further forward than it did with the magazine adaptor you may have to clearance it more aggressively to allow it to clear the trunnion rivets, if you were shy about this step before. As well, in my initial testing, I did have several low feeds, but this was also, again, with a beta mag that was known to low feed, before I made any of the suggested feed lip modifications. If, and this is a big if, the production mag also low feeds, we will need to modify the feed lips to allow the round to feed at a slightly steeper upward angle. this is easily done with a file or dremel wheel.

So there you have it, this is a basic overview of the use of the Csspecs Saiga 12 steel magazine in the Vepr -12, and one happy customer.


Author:  7.62M43 [ Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

I hope they are able to get a mag ready to "plug and play" for the V12 soon - one that operates the LRBHO! :D

Author:  sunnybean [ Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

Awesome write up!

I order a few in hopes of doing just this to fit the magwell guns. Its nice to see you've tested the waters first.

Author:  BigSal [ Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

Nice write-up!

Author:  GunFun [ Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

Nice review.

Author:  hdskumm [ Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

I was thinking of buying a saiga 12 just because of these mags.

Author:  Csspecs [ Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

Well we finally have a Vepr coming our way.. Hope to make a batch of magazines shortly.

This should take a lot less time than the Saiga-12.

We also have the non-magwell Fury shotgun coming in as well. Figured that they are similar to the Vepr-12 so it may be possible to make a couple parts cross compatible to save R&D costs.

Author:  BigSal [ Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12

Csspecs wrote:
Well we finally have a Vepr coming our way.. Hope to make a batch of magazines shortly.

This should take a lot less time than the Saiga-12.

We also have the non-magwell Fury shotgun coming in as well. Figured that they are similar to the Vepr-12 so it may be possible to make a couple parts cross compatible to save R&D costs.

Glad to hear this!!! 8-)

Author:  GunFun [ Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12


A 10 shot mag I could stick in my JTE magwell would be great. Even if I have to modify one made for V12/030 types.

Author:  hdskumm [ Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Csspecs Mag Conversion - Vepr 12


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