All since mid-1990s I’ve been hearing how TsKIB’s workforce, both designers and the “hands” who actually build the guns, are dissatisfied with the management and are quitting their jobs en masse. And all the time I’ve been waiting for some of them to start their own gunmaking business. Well, looks like it finally happened!
“Levsha-Tula” (a reference to a Tula gunmaker character from classic Russian literature) is an gunsmithing, engraving and bladesmithing shop in Tula, Russia, started by former TsKIB employees and specializing in MTs guns. Now they set out to reclaim some of TsKIB’s past glory in hunting shotguns, and here is their first own gun. Despite my doubts about the future of this project, I wish them all the luck in the world!
This is a pre-production sample, built for tests and trials, thus no finish – a pinless sidelock with Holland type hand-detacheable locks, and incorporating some classic TsKIB design features in barrel hinging and lockup.
It is 12 gauge double trigger non-ejector, with 70 mm chambers, 750-mm barrels, and weighs 3.4 kg. It will be made to order and would cost about 180,000 Rubles (about $2,700 at today’s rates) – or more, depending on the finish.