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?

  1. Baikal shotguns are more reliable than their price would suggest. You can depend on them.
  2. If you’re on a modest budget then a Baikal is a good first buy.
  3. A new over-and-under would be about £617
  4. A new side-by-side would set you back about £562
  5. They are made in the Russian city of Izhevsk in the Western Urals. So now you know.
  6. They probably aren’t created from melted-down battle tanks
  7. However they are built like a T34 tank
  8. In addition, the stocks probably aren’t created from recycled Trans-Silberian Railway sleepers
  9. They are tough customers
  10. They won’t win any beauty contents but …
  11. They will last for ages.
  12. Matt Clarke, editor of Sporting Gun says that a Baikal was his first gun and “it never let me down”.
  13. 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.”
  14. You can turn the ejectors on and off a Baikal over-and-under
  15. The guns fire bottom barrel first
  16. However push the trigger forward and the top barrel will go first, for the loaded pair of shots
  17. Not many Baikal owners know about point 15 and 16 above
  18. The finish is now much better than it was back in the 1980s
  19. Multichokes are available
  20. The stocks can be a bit on the short side
  21. There’s a good selection of barrel lengths on new and second-hand examples
  22. If you lose a Baikal rifle on a hunting trip you won’t have sleepless nights about the money you’ve lost.
  23. The factory that now makes Baikal shotguns once produced extremely tough military firearms
  24. Don’t like fancy stocks? Get a Baikal and you won’t be offended.
  25. The quality of the steel parts.
  26. If you’re a hedgerow shooter rather than a smart driven type then what are you waiting for?
  27. It will hold its own against much more expensive alternatives
  28. 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.”
  29. Owners become affectionately attached to their Baikals and won’t usually hear a word against them