You may laugh. You may scoff. However plenty of contributors to Shooting Times and Sporting Gun think that Baikals are very decent guns. So why is that?
- Baikal shotguns are more reliable than their price would suggest. You can depend on them.
- If you’re on a modest budget then a Baikal is a good first buy.
- A new over-and-under would be about £617
- A new side-by-side would set you back about £562
- They are made in the Russian city of Izhevsk in the Western Urals. So now you know.
- They probably aren’t created from melted-down battle tanks
- However they are built like a T34 tank
- In addition, the stocks probably aren’t created from recycled Trans-Silberian Railway sleepers
- They are tough customers
- They won’t win any beauty contents but …
- They will last for ages.
- Matt Clarke, editor of Sporting Gun says that a Baikal was his first gun and “it never let me down”.
- Shooting Times contributor and reviewer Charles Smith Jones has commented: “Baikal shotguns are built to put up with a great deal of use and neglect, shoot straight and rarely go wrong.”
- You can turn the ejectors on and off a Baikal over-and-under
- The guns fire bottom barrel first
- However push the trigger forward and the top barrel will go first, for the loaded pair of shots
- Not many Baikal owners know about point 15 and 16 above
- The finish is now much better than it was back in the 1980s
- Multichokes are available
- The stocks can be a bit on the short side
- There’s a good selection of barrel lengths on new and second-hand examples
- If you lose a Baikal rifle on a hunting trip you won’t have sleepless nights about the money you’ve lost.
- The factory that now makes Baikal shotguns once produced extremely tough military firearms
- Don’t like fancy stocks? Get a Baikal and you won’t be offended.
- The quality of the steel parts.
- If you’re a hedgerow shooter rather than a smart driven type then what are you waiting for?
- It will hold its own against much more expensive alternatives
- Former footballer, film star and fieldsports fan Vinnie Jones told Shooting UK that as a youngster he saved up his beating money to buy a gun and chose “a Baikal over-and-under, non-ejector, double trigger. It cost me £169.”
- Owners become affectionately attached to their Baikals and won’t usually hear a word against them
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