Baikal IZH-46M Review

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★★★★☆
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daharrod's review of Baikal IZH-46M

★★★★★

“I got a Baikal IZH-46M as a 55th birthday present to...”

Written on: 02/03/2005 by daharrod (1 review written)

Good Points
Extremely accurate right out of the box.

Bad Points
Instuctions are sketchy regarding trigger adjustment (5 different screws!), with no information on disassembly to replace the provided seals and o-rings.

General Comments
I got a Baikal IZH-46M as a 55th birthday present to myself. As a teenager, I had used a Crossman CO2 revolver to shot NRA qualifications at 25 feet in my parent's basement, and it had been 30 years (and two strokes!) since I had used a pistol.



Well, my first day on the range, I shot a 323/400, without even adjusting the sights! When I noticed that the rear sight could be rotated 180 degrees to provide a narrower slit (two sizes on the same plate), I remounted it, and then had to use a benchrest to re-zero it.



Another reviewer complained about adjusting the sights to the limit of their travel ... it turns out that the rear sight blade has about 3/8 inch of travel from left to right, so it can easily be re-centered so that the windage is close to the center position ... I had to do this after I turned the blade over to use the narrower slit.



There are also narrow and wide replacement front sight blades provided, but I found the one already in place to be sufficient ... your height (and the length of your arm) will determine what combination of front and rear sight widths provide the best sight picture for you.



My only caution is the two small o-rings on the bolt ... if one of them falls out, the pistol will start shooting about an inch lower because of the loss of pressure. (I've already had to use one of the two replacements that came with it.)



The two piece grip was a little loose ... removing it, cutting two pieces of thick paper to use as shims (on either side), and reassembling the grip solved the problem. A bit of sanding in a few places also made it more comfortable.



There is an article (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=108433) about using Wing Walk Compound to provide a slip-proof grip, but it's obvious from the accompanying photos that the author has a very small hand, so if that is also your problem, then this looks like a good solution. For me, adjusting the heel plate on the grip gave me a solid lock ... not quite like a glove, but very comfortable and stable.



Now that I have it, my only problem is that there are no air pistol matches in my area. OTOH, it will take me a while (months?) to work my way up to the 522/600 average I need to really enter competitive shooting, and driving to matches in other states will involve an overnight hotel stay.



The bottom line is that buying this pistol gives me the best reason I've had in 20 years to stop smoking ... not just because it will improve my breathing, but because it costs $10 in gas just to get to the "local" range (60 mile round-trip), plus $12 an hour to rent a lane (need 2 hours for 60 shots), so the $35 a week I was spending on tobacco will have to stop if I want to go to the range once a week. :-)



If you just want to shoot tin cans, this is Too Much for you. If you feel that you are ready to move up to the next level in your shooting, then this is an ideal choice, and the single pump is more in the spirit of the hobby than using compressed air from a scuba tank ... after you've fired a 60 shot session, your left arm may feel more tired than your shooting arm!

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