I have had good luck with the newer O/U models. From what I have read, the O/U Browning knock-off is one of the hottest selling shotguns going right now. I've looked for one of the S/S models but have not been able to find one -- in most cases dealers are sold out. Check out European American Armory, Corp. at www.eaacorp.com.
You can go to Baikal's website at www.baikalinc.ru. Be sure to click English version when the page pops up unless you can read Russian! Has lots of information and you can even contact the company via email.
Baikal shotguns have been around in the UK for a long time now. They are very simple and honest hardworking guns that will give many years of service. I own two Baikal shotguns (both singles) and I often choose them instead of my Beretta 391 semiauto. Prices in the UK for new baikal guns are about:
single all gauges ï¿½89
side by side ï¿½260
You can choose to have fixed or multichokes.
I recently purchased a Baikal 12 g. SXS with the 28 inch barrel. I have used it about 4 times shooting clays at the farm. My first impression was that it was LOUD. Since I use ear protection, this was really not a problem. Second thing: it kicks pretty well. Even though it had a kick pad already, I just bought a slip-on one at Wal-Mart. Initially, I felt that the gun was a little stiff, it didn't break open easily. Since I have used and cleaned it now about four times, it is loosening up nicely. I can hit with it. I do plan to change the sights. The ones on it are too small. For the money, I am thrilled with the result.
I looked long and hard for an O/U IZH-27 in 16 guage and finally was able to purchase one. I have run about 7 boxes throught it now and really do like it. It shoots really well and I can connect pretty good with it. It was really stiff at first but has now limbered up quite well. I would certainly recommend these guns for the price.
I recently purchased a Baikal IZH43KH Bounty Hunter 2 SXS 12g. with a 20 in. barrel. First impressions is very tight to open it up, but getting broke in better. Very noisy to shoot also, will need ear protection if target practicing or shooting for long periods. Also needs a better kick plate, will bruise your shoulder after awhile of shooting even with light load ammo. Would recommend this gun to anyone however, very fun to shoot.
I have had a model 27 O/U for ten years now. I just got home from trap shooting,some calculations with my buddies and we figure 10,000 rounds through it. It had to go in once for a minor repair.Less than 100 dollars. I located the parts on the net easily. It has chrome moly barrels so I can use steel shot in it. Truly a fun and reliable shotgun.
Purchased a 20ga. Baikal SxS with 26 in. Barrels, single selective triggers, choke tubes. Love it. For $330.00.
I recently purchased a Baikal 12 ga SxS with selectable trigger, screw in chokes and the ejector option. I paid $335.00, and it is one heckuva nice gun. I own a Beretta semi-auto, as well as a Browning Belgian A5 light twelve, and can't think of a better value than the Baikal. I'm thinking about picking up a 20 ga too!
Baikal shotguns Have been described perfectly in all the previous answers they are a great low investment utilitarian shotgun, that you won't be afraid to use. It will not gain any value except sentimental. memories afield or that first 25 straight.
I am not a gun collector and my eyes do not glaze over at gun shows ( which I rarely frequent) I have been an avid hunter since I was ten years of age. I am now 63. I do appreciate a good firearm. My criteria is both functional and aesthetic. I know guns. Like many of you who live on limited salary, it is difficult to cough up the shekels for a high quality gun. People, I am convinced Baikals are junk. Period. I too am occasionally deluded into thinking that I might find a gun which is high quality for a low price. I bought a Baikal o/u. It was so stiff upon opening the action that you practically had to break it over your knee. The seller at Sheels assured me that it would loosen up with use. It never did. The lock was extremely poorly designed and was wedge shaped keep the action tight. It would jam in so tight that I had to take my gloves off to exert enough pressure to open the gun. The safety quit working within three weeks. I tell you people that the lock designs and machining of the two Baikals I have owned would never be considered or tolerated by a gunmaker who had an inkling. Fooled once, your fault; fooled twice, my fault. I was stupid enough to try another Baikal. I know good design and craftsmanship and something in my gut kept saying - "there is no free lunch" but, not wanting to spend what it takes to buy surefire quality, I suckered again. As I have aged my hands really freeze up if I don't wear good insulated gloves. I have always hunted with a pump 870 but can't get insulated gloves into the trigger guard or feel the safety very well. I have always thought a nice side by side would be fun. Big trigger guard and thumb safety. So I bought a Baikal. This action is better designed in that the lock is smoother and not "wedge designed". The first thing I noticed is that it is really loud and kicks more than it should. The varnish ( or whatever the wood was finished with) wore off down the wood on the grip in one season. I only used it for hunting so I could live with that. The action problem is that the second barrel often does not go off. I hunt a lot of pheasants over a pair of German shorthairs and often get a chance at doubles. This is particularly disturbing. Pick any one of a thousand Brownings, Rugers or Weatherbys and they will function flawlessly. It really irks me that the sales people will lie through their teeth when you ask them if people have problems with them - that is when you buy a Baikal. However, when you trade them in they will admit that the complaint rate is high. I implore you not to be sucked in by trying to get quality for cheap. Ain' no such thing. Look closely at the machining - see the grinder marks etc. What do you think it looks like on the inside of the action. A good double is polished where it needs to function flawlessly. You might think that you're getting a Browning knock off, but Baikal does not possess the structural integrity that the Japanese knock offs do. Also, you won't by a super cheap Japanese knockoff. The problem is this. A Baikal has that first impression eye appeal and I suckered for it. Closer examination is another thing. I now hunt with a Browning.
I have owned a Baikal side by side in 12 gauge and successfully hunted ducks for 25 years and because I have to use steel shot now I will have to change to a pump or auto loader. My Baikal never malfunctioned during the quarter century of use. I abused it and used it for things that it was not made for such as disciplining the dog, paddling the boat after the paddle was stolen, I dropped it in the water and shot with it straight away and it never let me down. Other types have laughed at it but hey I am happy with it and it works for me.
SOME ADVICE FROM ONE WHO LEARNED THE HARD WAY: Based on owning two low cost Baikal double shotguns and follow up research at gun shops and on the net.
PREMISE; BUYER BEWARE WHEN BUYING A LOW COST SIDE BY SIDE OR OVER/UNDER SHOTGUN.Double guns are spendy compared to other type action shotguns. True?The reason is that a double requires more labor and the parts are more sophisticated to produce - especially for a single selective/automatic ejector double. Anything less than perfect will give problems galore.
In recent years the cost of high quality double guns has gone through the roof.Yet, Mr. Joe average hunter who lives modestly on a working man's wage would sure like to own a double. The demand is there if the price is right.
In the wake of this, some foreign gunmakers and U.S. companies have teamed up to fill the need. Remington imports Baikal doubles under the Spartan name, Mossberg imports cheap Turkish doubles and so on.
I have a problem called Raynaud's Syndrome. It is the frosty finger phenomenon.If I get my hands cold, they lose circulation - a potentially dangerous situation. As it progressed I could no longer get my heavily gloved finger in the trigger guard of my shotguns. A double has a large guard and a thumb safety so that was the perfect solution. Besides, a good double is a beautiful thing to shoot and behold.
So, having no idea about the state of the contemporary double gun as to cost, quality source etc., I went looking. I was bowled over by the cost of doubles - even the cheap ones. I finally settled on a twenty gauge Baikal O/U. It seemed extremely stiff but the salesman assured me it would loosen up with use. Wrong! It never did. A few weeks later the safety quit working.
I took it back under warranty and the salesman acted like I was the problem rather than the gun. He finally agreed to refund my money. I thought this was probably a fluke lemon. I then purchased a Baikal side by side. With field loads, it just sucked air on the second barrel. The finish wore off down to the wood in one season. I sent it in and had it fixed but haven't tried it out yet. They replaced a sear lifter.
So, I began to research and read all of the information I could find on the cheap imported doubles.Here is what I found. I talked with gun salesmen and gunsmiths as well as reading many testimonies on gun forums on the net. Even gun magazines are not reporting the facts because - guess how they make their money.
The hype on the web forums: This revealed the buyers psychology rather than standing up to the cold facts and objective research. When you talk to a guy who has recently purchased a car they always tell you how great a deal they got and how great the car is - right. Every time. The guys on the web sites sang the same song. Great workhorse guns - even drive a truck over them. Great entry level ( whatever that means ) guns. Read those reports and then carefully read between the lines. Reports like, "My Baikal really is great - although it is really hard to open when it gets hot when I shoot trap. Or, my Baikal is worth every dollar. I do have one little problem - the solder on the rib gave way. Give me a break. I really like my Mossberg Wal-mart o/u but the firing pin broke. Give me a break! Here is the psychology as I see it.
1. Like me, guys are in love with the idea of getting a good solid affordable double.
2. They go looking. They can't afford the spendy quality guns. Like a fly to the web, they are drawn to a cheap double. The cosmetics are often fairly attractive and the assumption is that the function, metal quality, internal fits, parts and finishes will be good also. Most of us would not know a well designed action from a poorly designed action and, since we probably have had good luck with guns in general, we naively trust that these guns are made with integrity.
3. They buy the gun, then justify the purchase come hell or high water. Objectivity flies out the window and personal bias takes control of their better judgment.
Gunsmiths opinions. All of the gunsmiths I interviewed gave the same opinions and reactions.
When I asked them about the low priced doubles, they expressed pure unadulterated disgust. The following are common complaints.
1. Soft metal on parts, pins, screws - therefore wear, scarring, burring were common with very little use.
2.Lack of uniformity of parts. (One guy on the web said he had seen more than one Baikal that couldn't even be assembled out of the box.)
3. Functional problems with aspects of action. Safety problems, opening and closing problems, selective trigger problems, doubling problems.
4. Solder problems.
5. Wood finish problems
6. Inferior bluing.
These are objective opinions and not based on fanciful speculation. One dealer told me that, out of 50 cheap Turkish doubles that came through, 47 had problems.Another told me that they had quit stocking Baikal because of such a high return and problem rate. Same with Cheap Turkish doubles.
Personal opinion: You get what you pay for. A gun simply MUST function dependably. If not, somebody might get killed. At the least, if you carry an undependable gun, you will be nervous and anxious all the time.
I'm the guy with the side by side Baikal. Sent it to Florida at Christmas time to be fixed. After a month and a half no word from them. Wrote a letter of inquiry a couple of weeks ago asking to be appraised of the situation. So far no response. Tell you anything?
Not sure what the questioner is actually asking; but I'll toss my hat into the ring anyway. I bought a IZH27 and could not be happier. Yes, you get what you pay for...and you also must understand what you are getting. What you get is a tool. It is rough but functional. For the price you pay, you can beat the heck out of it and not give it a second thought. It shoots and it shoots straight and well...as good as any other gun out there. Over 1000 rounds in several months and not one hiccup. The wood on my gun has a good fit and has an unbelievable tiger stripe pattern. A little stiff to break when new, but after 250 rds, this had eased considerably and gets better with each use. Automatic safety works every time, selectable barrel (trigger operated) flawless, selectable ejectors easy to use and tosses the empties a good 10 feet. I'd recommend one to anyone.
I HAVE A OLDER MODEL PUMP ACTION BAIKAL 3.5" AND FOR SOME REASON THE BACK OF THE RECEIVER IS CRACKED FROM THE BOLT SLAMMING INTO IT !
IT LOOKS LIKE IT FIRED WITH OUT THE BOLT BEING LOCKED , NEVER COULD DUPLICATE IT AGAIN! BOUGHT 2 OF THESE ABOUT 12 YEARS AGO AND THE OTHER ONE IS DOING FINE!
Baikal shotguns have been around in the UK for a long time now. They are very simple and honest hardworking guns that will give many years of service. I own two Baikal shotguns (both singles) and I often choose them intead of my Beretta 391 semiauto. Prices in the UK for new baikal guns are about: single all guages L89 side by side L260 over/under L340 You can go to Baikal's website at www.baikalinc.ru. Be sure to click English version when the page pops up unless you can read Russian! Has lots of information and you can even contact the company via email.
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