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
No, this is not a belated April Fools joke. The Facebook page of the Kalashnikov magazine reports that the pump-action version of the Saiga rifle (the civilian version of the AK) will be presented to the public in June, at the IPSC World Rifle Championship in Moscow. Only one or two rifles, chambered for .223, have been made specifically for the IPSC rifle event.
The rifle will probably never be mass-produced, but you never know – much would depend upon how the public welcomes it. Speaking of which, what do you think about the concept:
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.