baikal mp-156 inertia operated shotgun
gunmaking, Russian Hunting Shotguns

MP-156: Improvements and Features

Good news: MP-156, Baikal’s first inertia autoloader, is not as bad as my previous post made it sound. IzhMech responded to the customer complaints, and improved their guns significantly. The quality is still a lottery. But, while in the first lots the share of lemons was as high as 50%, today at least 9 out of 10 guns perform well out of the box. Not yet in the Benelli league, admittedly, but that at least makes it worthwhile to say something about MP-156 design.

Most inertia operated shotguns have the inertia module, with the spring that is compressed when the gun recoils, and expands to cycle the bolt, inside the bolt. This is the optimal solution, as it makes the gun more simple, compact and light – and, apparently, more reliable too. With MP-156, however, Baikal took a different route.

If you look at MP-155 and MP-156 parts lying next to each other, you may have a problem telling which is which. Because Baikal placed the inertia module right where the MP-155 has the gas piston! The logic was to simplify the production. With this approach, IzhMech can use not only the same receiver, stock, trigger assembly and barrels, but also the same bolt, and the same action links, to make both the inertia MP-156 and the gas-operated MP-155.

MP-156 inertia operated autoloading shotgun by Baikal

The inertia module in MP-156 is where gas autos have gas pistons. Photo by the Kalashnikov Magazine

Needless to say, it doesn’t deliver the main advantages of an inertia gun: less weight, fewer parts, and better balance. There’s no free lunch in Newtonian mechanics, and the inertia spring now has to do extra work moving the additional mass of the action link and the inertia module body, with more losses on friction, bending in the action links, and more. The links may drag on other parts of the gun, leading to jams, too.

If I know anything about firearms, this design will never be as  light, simple, and reliable as a conventional inertia-operated shotgun, all other things being equal. On the other hand, there are quite a few Russian gunners who are quite satisfied with their MP-156. I don’t think I’ll ever get one (in fact, last year I was offered an MP-156 for free, and declined the offer, as politely as I could). But you’re free to do with your money what you wish.

Photos (c) the Kalashnikov Magazine.

Advertisements
Standard
Izh-54 gold on black background relief engraving
Без рубрики, Russian Hunting Shotguns

A $10,000 Baikal? You Bet!

Behold a Baikal Izh-54, made in USSR, that in 2018 sold at the Rock Island Auction for $9,775, with the estimate of $4,000-7,000 (link). Read on to learn more not only about this particular shotgun, but also about various Izhevsk engravers, their artistic style, and a small linguistic investigation.

engraving right side falcon and ducks

The gun, allegedly a gift from Brezhnev to Pompidou, is decorated with relief gold scroll and game scene on black background. Image by Rock Island Auction Co

Continue reading

Standard
Без рубрики, Hunting in Russia, Russian Hunting Shotguns

My Memory of Spring: TOZ-66. By Ilya Gurin

The farther away in the past are the best moments of your life, the stronger the memories. I can still remember my first hunt, not in details now but as an emotion. It was a youth hunt with Sverdlovsk hunting club, tutored by Irina Ermakova, a great huntress and mentor. Her worn TOZ-BM hammer side-by-side was the first gun I ever handled. I can still remember its weight, the sounds of hammers brought to full cock, and the awesome impressions of a 15 year old kid first time out in the woods, waiting for woodcock to start its mating flight.

TOZ-66 Russian hunting shotgun

Many years, hunts and guns later, I felt the urge to get and hunt with a hammer double again.

Continue reading

Standard
MTs-11 presented to Nikita Khrushchev in 1959
Без рубрики, Russian Hunting Shotguns

Two Interesting TsKIB Guns on Upcoming Auctions

Two interesting TsKIB guns are featured by international auction houses this year. One is  a good sample of Russia’s best gunmaking at a reasonable price. The other is a collector’s piece with a hell of provenance and a price tag to match.  Some gun porn below. Continue reading

Standard
Russian MP-155 Shotgun in "Profi" grade.
Без рубрики, Russian Hunting Shotguns

MP-155 “Profi” Grade

Since 2018 the Baikal MP-155 semiautomatic shotgun is available in the “Profi” grade. The difference from the standard model amounts to a) Ceracote-coated receiver, and b) hand-checkered walnut stock and fore-end. Everything else is your regular MP-155, and even the plastic-tipped fore-end, as far as I know, is now standard for all wood-stocked MP-155.

Continue reading

Standard
Moscow arms hunting expo 2018
Без рубрики, gunmaking, Rifles, Russian Hunting Shotguns

A (somewhat belated) Report on the Arms&Hunting Moscow 2018 Expo

The Arms&Hunting Expo Moscow, which takes place annually in October in the Gostinny Dvor Expo Center, is, to quote Russian Hunting Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Mikhail Krechmar, a way to tell what the next year will be like for the Russian hunting and hunting gun industry. This is, of course, only partially true: like any attempted futurology, an analysis of the expo can’t account for black swans. Allowing for this, let’s see what’s going to be in store for the Russian civilian gun industry as of October 2018. Continue reading

Standard
mts111
Без рубрики, Rifles, Russian Hunting Shotguns

Auction Prices for TsKIB Guns in Europe

“How much does my gun cost?” is one of the most common question about Russian guns – especially MTs (a.k.a MC, a.k.a. MU, a.k.a. Vostok) by TsKIB, Tula. Usually, with high-end guns, the best hints on the gun’s price come from what the hammer falls on at gun auctions. But the produce of the “Soviet Purdey’s” seldom grace the halls of Holt’s, Julia’s, and other auction halls. However, as many as five MTs guns could be found in the catalogue of Joh. Springer’s Erben XXIII Classic Auction (Nov. 9, 2017, Vienna, Austria). Continue reading

Standard