Molot VPO-215 "Gornostay"

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Molot VPO-215 "Gornostay" bolt-action rifle .366 TKM.
A photo of the Molot VPO-215 "Gornostay", a Russian bolt-action "shotgun" chambered in the .366 TKM cartridge. This photo sourced from the Molot website. This version has the 600mm (longest) barrel.

The Molot VPO2-15 "Gornostay" is a bolt-action "shotgun" created for the Russian civilian sporting market. It is manufactured by Molot Oruzhie and is chambered in the .366 TKM cartridge.

Due to containing a smooth bore, it is actually considered a shotgun under Russian firearm regulations, which are easier for average sportsmen to obtain. It features "Paradox" rifling, where most of the bore is smooth, with the last 140mm (about 5.50 inches) containing typical rifling. It also has other useful features such as standard Picatinny rail for mounting optics, as well as a threaded muzzle.

The word "Gornostay" ("горностай" in Russian), means "Ermine", also called "Stoat" - A type of small carnivore in the weasel family, though having shorter tails and smaller bodies than many of their larger counterparts.

This firearm is also prominently featured in the online first person shooter "Escape From Tarkov".


  • Action Type: Bolt-action
  • Ammunition Type: .366 TKM
  • Capacity: 4-round detachable magazine for .366 TKM & 9x39mm (5-round for .223 Remington VPO-193).
  • Other Features: Picatinny rail & threaded barrel w/ protector.
  • Effective range 300 meters (claimed by Molot).
  • Barrel Length: 420mm, 520mm or 600mm (~ 16.5 inches, ~ 20.5 inches or 23.62 inches respectively).
  • Overall Length: 912mm (w/ 420mm barrel), 1012mm (w/ 520mm barrel), 1092mm (w/ 600mm barrel).
  • Weight: 2.70 kg (w/ 420mm barrel), 2.82 kg (w/ 520mm barrel), 2.92 kg (w/ 600mm barrel) - 5.95 lbs, 6.22 lbs and 6.44 lbs respectively.


According to this page at the "Firearm Central" Fandom site, the VPO-215 is available with several different barrel length options:

  • VPO-215-00 - 420mm barrel (16.54 inches).
  • VPO-215-01 - 520mm barrel (20.47 inches).
  • VPO-215-02 - 600mm barrel (23.62 inches).

Other Versions in Family

  • VPO-183: A tactical-style variant, chambered in the Russian 9x39mm cartridge. It's unclear if this model is available to the Russian public. Other sources seem to claim the tactical stock for this rifle is available for the VPO-215, but this is also unclear.
  • VPO-193: Essentially the same as the VPO-215, but chambered in .223 Remington and has a 5-round magazine - one extra round. Also appears to feature the same variations in barrel length (420mm, 520mm and 600mm lengths) according to this site, but this needs verification.
  • Other Counterparts: Molot seems to produce various other firearms with similar or identical action to the VPO-215, such as the VPO-111 rifle, chambered instead in 7.62x54r.

In Pop Culture

Escape From Tarkov

Molot VPO-215 "Gornostay" in Escape From Tarkov.
A screenshot of the Molot VPO-215 "Gornostay", as it appears in the online first person shooter game "Escape From Tarkov". It is chambered in the .366 TKM cartridge. It seems the stock in-game version features a 600mm barrel, the longest factory offering.

The Molot VPO-215 is featured prominently in the online first person shooter video game "Escape From Tarkov". Early in a player's progress (or even later on with more advanced ammo), the VPO-215 can act as a solid, budget-friendly sniper rifle. Because of other features like built-in picatinny rail and threaded barrel, mounting a scope is a fairly straightforward task and won't require as much setup or cost as some other options in the game. Suppressors can become costly however.

Most rounds will be sufficient for headshots at decent ranges. Also, early ammo like solid zinc "EKO" bullets will allow fairly reliable penetration of Level 3 armor, meaning a typical 2-hit kill to the thorax if a player isn't confident in their ability to land headshots. Further, the option for high-level special .366 TKM ammo like Mechanic's custom loads featuring armor-piercing 9x39mm projectiles can allow for a one-hit-kill to the thorax, as well as the head even when confronting better-geared players with level 4 armor. However, it should be noted that this particular ammo suffers in accuracy due to using an improper caliber bullet for the cartridge and also suffers from increased recoil.

Other Articles

External Sites

  • Molot Manufacturer Site - The official website of Molot Oruzhie, showing their current products. Use Google Chrome's translate feature if needed.
  • Firearm Central Fandom - Contains various specs such as length, weight, etc. Note that each VPO-215 variant (and others) have their own individual pages on this Fandom wiki.

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