The Questions and Answers Page.

Have a question about a hunting shotgun made in USSR/Russia?

Model identification, when it was made, how to date it, proof marks, export can I shoot steel through it, what loads to fire in is, choke dimensions, engraving, the meaning of inscriptions and markings, what gun is better, opinions and comparisons, ejectors and extractors, disassembly, fixing and gunsmithing tips, wood and finish, value, price, Tula, TOZ, Baikal, Vostok, Izhevsk, Zlatoust, Vyatskie Polyany, TsKIB (CKIB), Bekas, Saiga, Vepr, MP, MTs (MC), side-by-sides, over/unders, semiautos, single shots, what is the best and worst Russian gun ever – and anything else you’ve been wondering about.

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158 thoughts on “The Questions and Answers Page.

  1. Tommy Hofstad says:

    Thank a lot for that! 👍 Good to know that steel is no good. As for the date of the gun, you narrow it down to 3 years, and that’s way better then not have ping a clue. Again, thanks! 😊


  2. Wally says:

    I have a baikal o/u 12ga the model number is IJ then I cannot make out the rest I am looking for the wood for it if you know where I could buy it and the model number thanks Wally


    • Wally, “Ij” is not a model number, it’s the maker’s name. Model number is a number – “12”, “27”, etc. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good news for you, outside the former USSR stocks for Russian shotgun are almost unobtainable.


  3. Marios Souzou says:

    Hi Aleksei

    what is the current value of the Vostok MTs7 brand new if still in production?
    Found one used in very near new condition .
    Wonder what is worth. In the UK they are not much appreciated . It has 29.5 inches barrels choked Imp Cyl and 3/4 double triggers which makes me wonder if that is how it came out of the factory – usually they were 1/2 and Full.

    Thanks from sunny Cyprus



    • Hi Marios,
      MTs-7 is no longer in production; MTs-7C that TsKIB has been making until recently is a different design. It was priced in the neighborhood of 200,000 rubles, which would be 3 to 5 thousand Euro depending on exchange course, but I don’t think you can really compare old 7 and new 7C. Old guns were much better in quality, but didnt’ have many important features. All Soviet TsKIB guns in the West are underappreciated: zero brand recognition. As for the chokes, most guns came from TsKIB with standard chokes, but you could really have any configuration if the gun was made to order. If the chokes are standard, they would be marked ДС1 and ДС3.


  4. Peter van Walraven says:

    I think I have a Baikal 58.
    Seriøs number E04823.
    Do you have any idea about the year of manufacture?

    Best regards

    Peter van Walraven


  5. Daniel Herder says:

    Hi I was looking for more information and specs on a ussr izh-17 single barrel shotgun made in 1966 12 gauge, I inherited it from my grandfather but there is not much info online about it. Mainly looking for information of what ammo I can use with it, including modern ammo, and possibly value. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • Daniel, sorry I didn’t reply at once. The Izh-17 single shot is the same gun as Izh-18 (Remington Spartan 1xx, MP18) but with external hammer. The action is strong and will handle any modern shell. The choke was not designed for steel shot, however, so you’d better limit yourself to lead or soft-as-lead shot. As for the value, I’m afrait it’s mostly sentimental.


  6. Dear sir/
    I am Tayyab Gul fom Pakistan . I purchase one shot gun Baikal 155 in Pakistan market can you help out me this gun is original or not I write the gun serial number .
    Please varifiy this number 1615519075.
    Best Regards
    Tayyab Gul
    My contact number is 00923009764598

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Tayyab, I’m not associated with the maker in any way, so I can’t verify if the gun with this number left the maker. The number itself looks genuine for 2016 mfg (first two digits) model 155 (digits 3-5), and 19075 is within the production voluem of the model.


  7. Damian Kochery says:

    I recently purchased a second hand SBS shotgun which is good condition, The owner claimed it to be Russian make . But there is no name or anything written on the gun , except some engraving and marks .. Is there any method to identify the make of this gun ??

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Tom says:

    Hi Aleksei,
    I have MU 111-12 SS. Serial no. N800475 What is there to be said about this shotgun and its value. For images just send me an email and ill reply u.
    Thanks in advance, Tom

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I recently acquired a shotgun from a local gun show and I believe it is a Baikal but am looking for more information on the date of manufacturing. The model is an IJ-18 and the serial number is P07956. On the side of the barrel it reads MFG IJEVSK USSR MODEL IJ-18 28″ 12GA23/4″M. On the bottom side of the barrel when removed from the stock I see an INC inside a diamond and on the side of the barrel I see a marking that looks like a slanted upper case “I” inside a trapezoid. The last marking I can find is inside the receiver below where the barrel latches in and I see what looks like an upper case “E” inside a diamond shape. If you could help me out with this it would be greatly appreciated!


    • Hi fsmoesby,
      your gun seems to have regular proof marks: ГИС in a diamond is the State Proof House stamp, Н in a trapezoid is a Nitro proof stamp (Cyrillic Н sounds like Roman N), and what you describe is E in a diamond will have to be the barrel proof stamp.


      • Glad you know that information. Thank you for sharing. Do you have any information on dating records for the gun? I have been trying to search for sources on the internet that would lead me to find a manufacturing date for the gun but haven’t been able to find any records online or anyone with a similar model and markings.


  10. Bjorn says:

    Hi I just bought a Baikal IJ58M and would like to find out when it was produced. It has the Izhev stamp and the nummer E04823


    Liked by 1 person

  11. David Wysocky says:

    I have a IJ-12 and would love to know more about it. Serial nnumber is A17010.
    I already had a Mp-94 12/223 and a Mp-221 in 45/70. I love the Baikals and hope to get more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, David, my congratulations. Izh-12 is the second generation of Baikal’s variation on Browning Superposed; most of them came with very tight chokes. Its replacement with the Izh-27 was mostly a marketing move, technically the guns were almost identical same. Izh-12, however, was built with more hand labor, and tends to be higher-quality. Your gun was probably made in 1966.


  12. Jarle Tonheim says:

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I inherited the shotgun so I want to sell it, so I want to know the value and what I can annotate it as. I have several good pictures I can send you if it helps you.

    Greetings Jarle


    • Jarle, I don’t usually comment on price and value (too many variables, too much responsibility). But currently an MTs will sell for less than it’s worth; if you can (e.g. have the necessary license), I’d advise to hold on it for a few years. In any case, the person who’ll be interested in buying your gun will probably know everything about TsKIB, but you’ll have to show that you know it’s not just another old Russian gun. So start your description with “Made by TsKIB, a small gunmaker that made guns for the Soviet elite and best competitive shots” or something like this Follow with the basic details (gauge, etc.) and I think that will be enough.


  13. Paul Prideaux says:

    My 12g db is USSR stamped,it is quite old,excelkent working condition.It has the numbers stamped K00500.It is totally original.The registration certificate refers to it as a IJ58.Thankyou.


  14. Dykand says:

    Hi Aleksei
    Could you please help describing important differences between 20 gauge, – МЦ-6 and 5?
    Which production date is МЦ 5 with serial number: 8690763?

    Thanks in advance


    • The most important difference would be barrel length: MTs6 would normally had 750 mm barrels, MTs5 675 mm. Otherwise the guns are pretty much identical. Badge engineering was not only Capitalist thing.

      The gun with serial No 86xxxxx would be started in 1986, and could be finished the same year, or at a later date. Somewhere in the blog there’s a story about a double rifle made for a former Yugoslavian VIP, which took nearly 10 years to finish.


  15. Dykand says:

    Hi Aleksei,
    What does serial number: 690764 tell about an 20G, MTs-5 ?
    Age, new price & and eventual production history/-details..?
    Thanks in advance for your help.



  16. Keith says:

    Hi thank you for your time.
    I was given an old 12 gauge but I can’t find any info on it. The markings on it are.
    Made in USSR
    12 with a circle around it
    Some Russian letters and a 17
    Nowhere is the shell size.
    Any info would be great.
    Thank you again for your time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Walid,

      sorry, but I prefer not to comment on price and valuation. Low brand recognition and small numbers of TsKIB guns on the market make estimation of true and fair price too difficult, especially if we’re talking about different countries.


  17. Brian Hennessy says:

    I am looking at a side by side Baikal 12 ga. Model IZH-43E IC-M. I was looking for it in my Gun Book of Values and they did not list an “E” model. They reference a Field Model and a Traditional Hunting Model, I believe it has a 28″ barrel and boxlock action.


    • Hi, Brian. E stands for automatic ejectors. If the “IC-M” is a model description (and not choke size) it would stand for a single-trigger ejector gun, and it would correspond to the “Field” model in the book.


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