Posts Tagged ‘Baikal’

The IZH-46M.

To ready the 46M for shooting, grasp the grip in your right hand and grab the end of the cocking handles with your left. Pull the cocking handle away from the grip until it extends well in front of the muzzle. When the cocking handle reaches the limit of its travel, the bolt will pop open. Next, return the cocking handle to its original position. This pressurizes the action.

The IZH-46M with the pump lever fully extended.

The breech ready for loading.

Slide a pellet into the rear of the barrel and press the bolt down until it snaps into place. The 46M is now ready to fire. Raise the pistol, alight the sights, take the first stage out of the trigger, and squeeze. With a pop, the pellet goes downrange. Velocities with light pellets are nearly 500 fps. An earlier model, the IZH 46 (no M), had a shorter pump tube and typically produced velocities 50 fps slower with pellets of the same weight.

The best part of the Izzy is the trigger. It is crisp, clean, and adjustable to below a pound. For the price, I know of no other air pistol that delivers a trigger as good, and I believe you’d have to spend much more to do better.

To get ready for the next shot, pump the action again and go through the same routine. I shot a season of 10-meter air pistol competition with a 46M and never had a mechanical problem or failure of any sort.

This is Steve Ware's IZH-46M configured for Unlimited Standing Silhouette. Photo courtesy of Steve.

But as I indicated in Part I, there is a lot more you can do with an IZH-46M beyond 10-meter air pistol. Steve Ware has twice won the IHMSA Unlimited International Championship with an IZH-46M, and once he won the Pan American Unlimited Standing Championship with an IZH. He likes it because it is economical, accurate, not dependent on SCUBA tanks or CO2 caplets, and can be adjusted to a sub-one-pound match trigger with just a screwdriver.

Charles Cammack uses his IZH-46 for air pistol benchrest competition in the New Mexico Senior Olympics Dona Anna County. For the last four years, he as qualified to shoot in the state summer games and has won several gold and silver medals in both the county and state games.

Larry Bowne uses this IZH for silhouette and pistol field target. Photo courtesy of Larry.

Larry Bowne uses his IZH-46M for both air pistol silhouette and field target competition. It’s quite a treat to seen him dropping field targets at the Easter Field Target Competitors Club in Wappingers Falls, NY, with the same model pistol that I used for 10-meter competition.

Bowne uses a custom scope mount made by Fenton Sandlin, an experienced silhouette shooter. Sandlin’s custom intermounts for the IZH have built-in droop that compensates for the height of the scope and the trajectory of a low velocity pistol. (Another way to mount a scope or red dot on the Izzy is to use the B-Square #17900 IZH-46 Weaver Adaptor Rail.)

After trying a lower power scope, Bowne mounted a Bushnell Trophy 6-18 scope with a scope knob that is calibrated out to 55 yards. His IZH-46M shoots JSB 8.4 grain exacts at 440-450 fps. He experimented with lighter JSB Express pellets, but found the heavier 8.4 grain pellets more stable for shooting groups at longer distances. Using this setup, Bowne has knocked down field targets with a 1.5 inch kill zone at 40 yards, which is impressive indeed. (This is not hearsay, either; I have personally seen him do it.)

If it seems like I am very keen on the IZH-46M, you’re right – I am. It is darned-near a do-it-all air pistol. The trigger is excellent. The accuracy is superb. You don’t have to worry about recharging it with air or CO2. It’s extremely easy to shoot well. You can compete in multiple disciplines with it and even control small pests at close range. It’s very difficult to think of any other pistol that offers so much at such a reasonable price.

Til next time, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott

I had to grin the other day. Somebody had posted on the Forum, asking the denizens of the forum their opinion on three single-stroke pneumatic target pistols. One of them was the Baikal IZH-46M. The chorus of response to the posting was almost unanimous: Buy the Izzy!

When I mentioned this to Greg at Airguns of Arizona, he wasn’t surprised in the least; the IZH-46M is the most popular air pistol AoA sells, by a wide margin. So what is it about this Russian-built air pistol that makes it so popular?

It certainly doesn’t have the swoopy good looks of some of the high-buck
European match pistols . . . so what is it? I think it is simply that the Izzy hits a very sweet spot in the price/performance curve.

For less than $400, you get a wickedly accurate, self-contained match pistol that does a lot of things well, including 10-meter air pistol competition (that’s what it was designed for), pistol field target, air pistol silhouette, and I even heard of one fellow who shoots bench rest with one. In addition, if the forums are any indication, a number of Izzy shooters use them to control small pest animals at close range in the back yard.

The first thing you notice about the Izzy is that it has a very purpose-built air about it. If a part doesn’t need to be polished to function well, then it isn’t. Every part is designed with just one purpose in mind: to launch pellets down range as accurately as possible.

At stern of the 46M is a wooden ergonomic right hand grip that I found quite comfortable in my hand. (If you are a lefty, or you simply want dress up your 46M, custom laminate right or left hand grips and cocking handle are available from Airguns of Arizona.) At the bottom of the grip is an adjustable palm shelf. On top of the grip is the rear sight, which can bed micro-adjusted for windage and elevation. If you want a different width notch on the rear sight, the back plate of the sight can be unscrewed and flipped to give you a choice of notch widths.

In front of the rear sight is the bolt, which flips up to allow you to load a pellet into the rear of the barrel. There is a sliding assembly on top of the barrel that allows the bolt to be unlatched without cocking the gun and pressurizing the action. The barrel extends forward to a clamp that connects the barrel with the pump tube beneath. At the muzzle there is an assembly that holds the removable front sight blade and protects the barrel crown.

The pump tube is underneath the barrel. Beneath it, the cocking handle extends toward the trigger then angles away to the bottom of the palm shelf. At the end of the cocking handle is a small wooden block that cushions the hand while pumping the action. Together with a small metal shelf, the cocking handle encloses the two-stage adjustable trigger.

That’s all there is to the IZH-46M – a simple, unassuming, but highly functional air pistol.

Next time we’ll look at shooting it.

Til then, aim true and shoot straight.

– Jock Elliott