The VPO-209 is a Russian civilian rifle developed from the AKM, it has almost identical appearance, weight, and dimensions.
The VPO-209 is chambered in .366 TKM, which classifies the firearm as a shotgun in Russian law. Smoothbore firearms are easier to obtain a licence for than rifled firearms, which makes the weapon commercially appealing.
The first development, or notion, of such civilian "shotgun" had at least been present by parent-retailer and manufacturer, Molot-Oruzhiye. Pre-production prototypes emerged in 2014, and were simply surplus-purchased AKM assault rifles that were converted to only feature safe, or semi-automatic firing. Further development arose by the rifles recieving a rechambering to feed .366 TKM, and then the barrels would be made smooth-bore to adjust for qualifications of being a 'shotgun' under Russian law. Retail for the VPO-209 would emerge in early 2015, and sales have been active since the debut.
Interestingly, yet understandable, the firearm does not have one designated appearance as many other firearms may take. This is because Molot-Oruzhiye uses demilitarized AKM rifles and converts them into the aforementioned cartidge. Further development is seen in the process of making the original AKM-manufactured barrel smooth-bore to fit shotgun classifications under Russian law. Despite external apperance, Molot-Oruzhyie still puts distinctive "ВПО-209" markings on the reciever of the firearm, rendering a notable difference from the original AKM counterparts.
However, since the success of the platform with sales, more organization has been put into newer VPO-209 models. The most notable difference is that the firearm no longer consists of a plethora of surplus AKM, or AKMNs, but rather their own production-grade parts. Many pieces such as handguards, magazines, and dustcovers are still taken from demilitarized AKMs.
Magazines from other AK, or AKM platform firearms will feed properly into the VPO-209, however the original 7,62x39mm cartridge will not fire out of the rifle. Furthermore, most magazines are based on the 6L10 design, and can be purchased additionally. The ammunition, .366 TKM, is almost exclusively manufactured in the Russian Federation, and is rare in other nations.
Further modifications can be undertaken by the owner, such as the replacement or adding of AKM-compatible aftermarket accessories. This allows for the platform to seek ultimate-modularity to the owner, and allows for mainstream customization on the firearm to be possible.
The VPO-209 lacks the Warsaw Pact Rail as it is based upon the AKM not the AKMN. Aftermarket components can be installed to install optics.
VPO-209 receiver markings.
VPO-209 with an owner's manual.
A VPO-209 featuring many modifications.
A standard production VPO-209, as of 2019. Note the early AK6L4 magazine.