Без рубрики, Russian Hunting Shotguns

“They Don’t Make’m Like That No More!” – endurance tests of Baikal MP-153 and MP-155

“How long will my gun last?” – an important question not just for a shooter on a budget.  Some brands measure estimated service life of their shotguns in thousands of shells the gun will fire. For example, Baikal MP-153 semiauto was guaranteed to last 3,000 Magnum rounds (1050 Bar service pressure), and so is its successor, MP-155. How well do the Russian autoloaders live up to these promises? In the natural course of events, the search for the answer would be long and difficult, as few hunters keep accurate records of shots fired and all hunt under different conditions. To make things faster and somewhat more scientific, some journalists and marketers run endurance tests, with thousands of rounds fired in the course of a few days.

But before I tell you how well (or badly) MP-153 and MP-155 performed at such tests (and show a couple of videos with MP-155), let me offer you something absolutely vital for correct interpetation of the results. Continue reading

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Без рубрики, Russian Hunting Shotguns

The Drama of Perhaps the Finest Baikal Ever

I already mentioned “The Montreal Gun”, created by Leonard Vassev for the 1967 World Expo, in the post about Izhevsk’s best engraver. Thousands of people from all over the world admired this unique specimen of gunmaking art; many were able to appreciate the amount of talent and toil that went into it, but none of them knew what drama lurked behind those graceful lines – or that the gun was in fact No2 of an unvoluntarily matched pair.

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Leonard Vassev’s “Montreal Gun”, right side, “Lenin Afield”. Photo by Mikhail Krechmar.

Continue reading

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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

The First IzhMech Repeater.

It’s  a 3-shot semi-automatic announced as a new development of IzhMash (later Baikal) in 1959 (so it’s metaphorically if not technically the great-grand-daddy of MP153). It has alloy receiver with A-5-ish humpback profile and from the description it works on Browning’s long recoil principle. The prototype had replacable chokes with Cutts compensator.

imsemi

What you think is tubular magazine is not – it’s just a hold for the barrel to travel over. Apparently, the two-shot mag is somehow housed in the receiver and/or the grip (sorta Cosmy-style).

I’m trying to figure out if it was an original development or, like many Russian guns, had  a prototype in a Western gun. Any ideas?

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Rifles, Russian Hunting Shotguns

What’s Going on with Baikal.

This year saw numerous articles in the national gun and hunting magazines covering the Kalashnikov Group – a holding company that controls a number of Russian gunmakers and defense industry enterprises. The group, apparently, is trying hard to improve Russian gunmaking industry, and the stories about it mean to fill you with hope. This includes Izhevsk, the home town of the Baikal brand. Continue reading

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