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.
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.