Izh-58 16-gauge and Izh-43 12-gauge
Russian Hunting Shotguns

The Artemida Gun Shop in Moscow and What I Did There

Dropped by the Artemida gun shop in Moscow a couple of weeks ago, to put a couple of guns up for sale. One is a 16-gauge Izh-58, “transitional model” with a “round” receiver like on the “M” and “MA/MAE” series guns, but not yet marked “M”. These were made between 1968 and 1971. It had been an impulse purchase that proved itself a little treasure, and became my go-to gun for a number of years.

The other a 12-gauge Izh-43 that I used very little. I bought it for my Dad in 1996, but he would always put off registering it into his own name, and then when I got married and my wife became interested in hunting and shooting I gave it to her. She wasn’t overly fond of this gun, though, with its square shaped wrist and everything, and could never shoot it well enough. Don’t want these guns just sitting in the safe when they could bring a bit of pleasure to someone else, so up they go for sale.

Artemida is the place to go in Moscow if you’re interested in old, vintage and uncommon hunting guns. If you wanna see how a Purdey Beesley-patent self-opener compares to MTs-11, for example, they are likely to have both on display (unfortunately, Russian gun laws do not allow the salesperson to hand a gun over to a customer who doesn’t possess a valid purchase license). They have good connections with the Austrian and German best gun makers – just before the pandemic they had Johann Springer of Joh. Springer’s Erben with a lecture on gun auctioning and Werner Zodia to look over a few fine guns with a gunsmithing problems. And if I ever need help with an import or export permit for a hunting gun, Artemida would be the first place I go.

A 1969 vintage MTs7 double rifle in 9x54R anyone?

The mark of a good gun shop is that you get to learn something new every time you visit it. Before coming over, I surfed their website to find out what prices I could expect for the guns, and one Izh-43 up there was uncommon. Most 12-gauge guns made by IzhMech (a.k.a Baikal) in 1963-1991 have the same barrel dimensions – bore: 18.2 mm, length: 725 mm, chambers: 70 mm, chokes: half (0.5 mm) and full (1.0 mm). But that gun was different: 1988 vintage, it featured 750-mm long barrels choked IM (0.75 mm) and F (1.0) mm. Sorry, no pics – the gun was sold by the time I came there. But it goes to show there are exceptions to each rule.

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Без рубрики, Russian Hunting Shotguns

Russian Gun FAQ.

In preparation for my wild boar hunt, I decided to equip my old go-to Izh-58 with a red-glow sight. This allowed me to get an empirical answer to one of the most frequently asked questions about Russian hunting shotguns: is the front sight screwed in?

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And the answer is… Continue reading

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Russian Hunting Shotguns

Baikal Model Identification.

Model identification of Russian hunting shotguns that were exported through official channels is usually very easy. Most guns proudly bear their model designations stamped on the action or barrel(s). Sometimes, however, it’s a tricky thing (if you need help with identifying or dating your Russian shotgun, click here and leave a comment). This is a query I recently received from a very knowlegeable Russian gun enthusiast in Pakistan:

Sir, please confirm the model
Nothing is written on it like IJ-58 or anything else😏

Pak Izh-58d

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Russian Hunting Shotguns

Export of Soviet Guns, Part II.

Part I.

Export was a big deal for Soviet gun works, because it allowed them a chance for something they couldn’t otherwise get – contacts with foreign (preferably Capitalist) countries. People who never lived under the Iron Curtain can’t imagine what it meant to even know someone who routinely went abroad and could bring you blue jeans or the Beatles LP. In every provincial Russian town there used to be a riddle “What’s long and green and smells of consumer products?” (answer: the train from Moscow), but Tula is only a couple of hours ride from the capital (where you could more or less get anything), while Izhevsk is about 1000 miles away from anywhere.

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Exhibition grade Izh-12. Photo by http://www.baikalinc.ru

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