This oddball converted Mosin uses oval rifling to escape Moscow gun control (VIDEO)

Russian arms maker Molot has released a bunch of info on their VPO-220 bolt action rifle that isn’t– the Lancaster-bore 9.6x53mm– designed to skin a gun control cat.

The Vintovka Mosina VPO-220 (ВПО-220) looks like a classic Mosin M91 rifle, a longarm familiar to Russia for more than 120 years and typically chambered in 7.62x54R. However, to comply with regulations in Russia since the time of the Bolsheviks, the gun is not “legally” a rifle, but uses a Lancaster Oval-Bore system instead to impart spin. The oval squeeze to the barrel is elliptical, turning to give the desired twist without traditional lands and grooves (stop us if you have heard this before– we are talking to you, Franklin Arms).

Named after Charles Lancaster, the British gunsmith who invented it in the 1800s, it has been around for a minute and the technology was fairly accurate, with even the occasional military sniper rifle chambered for barrels that used oval bores.

Not all had such good luck. As noted by the great Roy F. Dunlap back in the 1950s, “The Lancaster oval-bore was tried out by Charles Newton, but did not quite live up to expectations of accuracy.”

Why reboot a nearly 200-year-old gunsmith trick on a 120-year-old rifle? It’s all about getting around that gun control, kroška. You see, as explained by Kalashnikov, in the Motherland (if you are even “granted hunting rights”) you have to apply for a licence to buy a smoothbore firearm such as a shotgun and have that licence for at least five years before applying for a rifled weapon, which in turn must be registered. So, with such a non-rifle as the VPO-220, available in both polymer version and wood-stocked variant, Molot is able to sell to something more accurate to those who can’t get a rifle yet.

But all this gun control works, da? Well, Russia suffered a church shooting last week that killed five, so that is open for debate.

Well, how accurate is it?

In the above video, which is in Russian (Molot can’t sell to the U.S. due to sanctions so why dub it in English, right?) they get a couple of good groups on the big honking round.

From the vid:

Those are in cm, not inches, at 100m, which is not bad for a non-rifle. (Photo: Screenshot)

Those are in cm, not inches, at 100m, which is not bad for a non-rifle. (Photo: Screenshot)

And you know you want to see some gratuitous weird Russian rifle pics, so here you go:

(Photos: Mosin, err, Molot)

(Photos: Tula, err, Molot)

Vintovka Mosina VPO-220 Lancaster-bore 9 (6)Vintovka Mosina VPO-220 Lancaster-bore 9 (5)Vintovka Mosina VPO-220 Lancaster-bore 9 (4)Vintovka Mosina VPO-220 Lancaster-bore 9 (3)Vintovka Mosina VPO-220 Lancaster-bore 9 (2)

According to Molot, the first shipment has already been shipped to a company store in Moscow.

Source Article from

This article was syndicated from is a niche news web site that publishes original reporting on the wide range of topics within the gun world. We publish Monday through Saturday. Our approach is to explore the topic of guns through the widest lens possible, to deliver these findings as fairly and accurately as possible and to host the opinions and perspectives of our writers and readers as selflessly as possible, trying our best not to get in the way of our contributors. Our desire is to allow our writers and readers to tell their stories, no matter what the story is, as long as we believe a) it will benefit or interest gun owners and b) conforms to ethical journalistic methods and practices. Our headquarters are in Illinois but our contributors submit to us from across the United States — from Maine to California, from Texas to Alaska and every state in between.