A lot of people from my “Legendary Russian Hunters” list will be from the Far East, for a good reason – the best way to become a legend is to hunt dangerous game, and in no other part of Russia are there so many tigers, leopards, and bears. But my next hero, a native of this land, never hunted big cats – for the indigenous peoples of the area it was a taboo.
Of all shotguns made in Russia, for hunting or clay sports, the easiest ones to answer the “What model is that?” question are the Tula TsKIB over/unders. On most markets they were sold as Vostok, but on some as Baikal (and, of course, there will always be gun dealers for whom every Russian gun is a Baikal). The model name is right on the barrel flats; you don’t even have to remove the barrels to see it – just break the gun open, look at the left side next to the upper edge of the fore-end, and there you have it! There will be the Cyrillic letters МЦ (which some transcribe as MTs, and others as MC, and some even as MU) and the number that follows them is the model number. Here, for instance, you have a MTs 6.
The number that follows the model number after a dash is the submodel code. Knowing it, you may be able to tell Continue reading
I already mentioned “The Montreal Gun”, created by Leonard Vassev for the 1967 World Expo, in the post about Izhevsk’s best engraver. Thousands of people from all over the world admired this unique specimen of gunmaking art; many were able to appreciate the amount of talent and toil that went into it, but none of them knew what drama lurked behind those graceful lines – or that the gun was in fact No2 of an unvoluntarily matched pair.
One-two-stop, one-two-stop; as if in a Vienna waltz I go through pages of Joh. Springer’s 22nd Classic Auction catalogue, from Merkel over/unders to Art Nuveau engraving to a few British pragmatisms to possible but unlikely royal provenance, with an occasional nod to a sewing machine – click “More” and dance along! Tra-la-la-la-la!
With all due respect to the mandatory matched pairs of Purdeys, the real queens of this ball are Koersten-type over/unders. I didn’t realize – although it makes perfect sense – that many Ferlach makers built their guns on this platform.
I’ve spent a few joyful hours today admiring the catalogue of Joh. Springer’s Erben 22nd Classic Auction over a cup of coffee, and while I’m not really into handguns, this 1897 Roth-Theodorovich that graces the cover of the catalogue is definitely something else. Its ugliness is so complete that it approximates beauty. But the action is not just about ugly pistols – click on “more” to see some of the beautiful and unusual rifles and combination guns that will go under hammer on April 20.
No, this is not a belated April Fools joke. The Facebook page of the Kalashnikov magazine reports that the pump-action version of the Saiga rifle (the civilian version of the AK) will be presented to the public in June, at the IPSC World Rifle Championship in Moscow. Only one or two rifles, chambered for .223, have been made specifically for the IPSC rifle event.
The rifle will probably never be mass-produced, but you never know – much would depend upon how the public welcomes it. Speaking of which, what do you think about the concept:
In January and March issues for 2017, Russian Hunting Magazine ran Elisaveta Tselykhova’s interview with Sergei Minkov, who used to do pre-production tests of new hunting guns at a model hunting preserve ran by VNIIOZ (Research Institute for Wildlife Management and Fur Farming). Talk about a dream job for a hunter and a gun nut! Sergei handled just about every new item of a hunter’s inventory introduced in the USSR from 1978 to 1991; here I’m reprinting here the part of the interview that deals with the MTs-19 rifle.
Facebook keeps suggesting me an old Outdoor Life story about world’s most legendary hunters. Understandably, most people on the list come from either the U.S. or Britain and its former colonies. Yet, Russia has a number of hunters who deserve the status of a legend, and I’ll try to tell you about some of them. Today’s story is about the Jankovskis of the Pacific Far East, the land where the taiga meets the tropics.