More news on what the Kalashnikov Group is up to from Evgeni Spiridonov. All right, so it is not a shotgun, but as much as I can judge, this nice light little .308 carbine deserves a second look.


This rifle is not without history. At about 1972 Leonid Brezhnev expressed the desire to own an autoloading hunting carbine for the .308 Winchester. His wish was the Soviet gunmaking industry’s command, and Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant (IzhMash), the country’s leading maker of automatic small arms (AK, SVD, SKS and a number of hunting rifles) started to design a carbine for the Secretary General – and that ended up with the Izuybr (the name means East Siberian Red Deer). Brezhnev didn’t get to hunt with this rifle – TsKIB was a little faster – and Izyubr remained for a long time as one of the “ghost models”, described in every gun book but very seldom seen afield. Personally, I haven’t seen one even in a gun shop.


Now things may be different, and the Izyubr is said to be on its track to mass production. It is gas-operated, with gas chamber above the barrel and the bolt locking by tilting – a  completely civilian action, totally unrelated to the plant’s military designs. Novel features include integrated Piccatini rail. The receiver is solid, and permanently fixed to the barrel, so the scope is likely to keep zero, but you won’t be able to clean the bore from the breech. Like with any Russian weapon, you’ll have to wait until the first mass-made carbines roll out of the factory to pass any judgement, but sure looks like Izyubr deserves rifle lovers’ attention.

Images are from Eugeni’s blog, and there’s more where they came from.