arms&hunting Moscow outdoor show logo
gunmaking, Russian Hunting Shotguns

Moscow Arms&Hunting 2019: No Expectations

The Moscow Arms&Hunting show is the biggest event in the year of Russian gunners and outdoors people. Continue reading

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"Passport" of Grandpa's gun, front and back covers
Без рубрики, Russian Hunting Shotguns

All That Remains: Identity Tag for Grandpa’s Izh-54

I long thought that document was lost, but this summer, why looking for some totally unrelated document at my parents’ place, I stumbled upon it:  the “Passport” for Grandpa’s old gun.

The “Passport” is a gun’s individual identity document, that Soviet gunmakers used to issue with each gun. It is a piece of thick, glossy paper, which, when folded over, makes four pages of roughly passport size. Currently the identity tag is included in the Owner’s Manual, but until the late 1970s the Owner’s Manual and “Passport” appeared as two different documents.

What information does it contain? Continue reading

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baikal mp-156 inertia operated shotgun
gunmaking, Russian Hunting Shotguns

MP-156: Improvements and Features

Good news: MP-156, Baikal’s first inertia autoloader, is not as bad as my previous post made it sound. IzhMech responded to the customer complaints, and improved their guns significantly. The quality is still a lottery. But, while in the first lots the share of lemons was as high as 50%, today at least 9 out of 10 guns perform well out of the box. Not yet in the Benelli league, admittedly, but that at least makes it worthwhile to say something about MP-156 design. Continue reading

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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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BookYourHunt, Без рубрики

How to Survive High-Volume Dove Shooting in Argentina.

This is a story I wrote for BookYourHunt, an online platform that connects outfitters and hunters worldwide. If you’re interested in travelling to hunt, this is your place to go – over 2,500 hunting opportunities with about 350 outfitters from 43 countries, convenient search engine and personalized service, and a guarantee that you can’t find a better deal anywhere else. 

Argentina is the wingshooter’s paradise. For a devoted bird hunter, “Cordoba” is not “a town in Spain”, but “doves galore”; other Argentinean provinces, such as Santiago del Estero and Salta, are also famous for dove shooting opportunities, and pigeons as well, and in the province of Entre Rios you can vary your hunting experience with perdiz (partridge) and ducks. The limits on pigeon, perdiz and ducks are generous, and on doves there’s no limit at all – in Argentina, they are pests that do immeasurable damage to agriculture. Hunting is the most efficient of legal crop protection methods, and hunters are often farmers’ only hope, so there’s no moral remorse and no reason to restrain yourself…

… except the amount of shooting you’re going to do. 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 “Izhevsk gunmakers”  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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