Russian Hunting Shotguns

Leonard Vassev – a Legendary Engraver of Izhevsk.

Vassev Guns

Leonard Vassev, quite possibly, could have become a painter, were he born in another time or place, but for an Izhevsk boy in the heat of WWII, an apprenticeship at the gun works was a surer ticket to survival. Leonard’s skill in etching on metal soon attracted the attention of his co-workers, especially those who had been transferred to Izhevsk from the Tula Armory, and he was asked to engrave one of the shotguns that were being made to commemorate the upcoming victory in the war. The battle scenes with which he covered an IzhB36 model sidelock impressed his superiors so much that in 1945 Vassev was sent to Suhl for an apprenticeship at Gebruder Merkel.

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