The Moscow Arms&Hunting show is the biggest event in the year of Russian gunners and outdoors people. Continue reading
A few weeks ago I received an e-mail with photographs of two MTs-7-12, which look just like an MTs-7-12 is supposed to look, except that they were marked “1”, “2”, and “Arthur Turner Sheffield” on the ribs. Continue reading
I long thought that document was lost, but this summer, why looking for some totally unrelated document at my parents’ place, I stumbled upon it: the “Passport” for Grandpa’s old gun.
The “Passport” is a gun’s individual identity document, that Soviet gunmakers used to issue with each gun. It is a piece of thick, glossy paper, which, when folded over, makes four pages of roughly passport size. Currently the identity tag is included in the Owner’s Manual, but until the late 1970s the Owner’s Manual and “Passport” appeared as two different documents.
What information does it contain? Continue reading
Medved’ (“bear”) is a series of Russian semiautomatic hunting carbines. Unlike some later rifles, Medved is not a sporterized military action. The first generation – there were four all in all – was designed in the early 1960s and were chambered for the 9.3x54R round. They were volume produced to supply professional hunters with something more efficient than Mosin, Mauser, and other bolt-action rifles left over from WWII. All Medved series carbines were developed and made by IzhMash. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
A glimpse into the issue
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.
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.
Many years, hunts and guns later, I felt the urge to get and hunt with a hammer double again.
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