IZH 46M....This'un aint no toy!
Through several weeks of internet research, one pistol kept popping up. The IZH-Baikal 46M Match pistol was repeatedly heralded as one of the world's best single stroke pneumatic pistols made. The 46M has won many international competitions competing against some of the best German made air pistols, and it's available at less than half the cost! That sounded like the pistol for me. I placed an order to Pyramyd Air.
Today, I recieved a world class target pistol in the mail for a paltry sum of $269. The 0.177 caliber instrument (I hesitate to even call it a pistol) has a micrometer adjustable rear sight with replaceable steel blades. The front sight blade is also easily swapped out. It has a fully adjustable two-stage trigger that can be adjusted down to telepathy release. The IZH 46M will propel a pellet at 500 ft/sec.
As I stated, this precision instrument is no toy. There is not a shred of plastic on it. Even the knobs on the rear sight are aluminum instead of polymer. I wanted to monkey with the trigger, but I held off and read the manual first. That did not help much. The adjustment instructions presumed knowledge I do not yet possess. I decided to shoot the gun first.
I immediately noticed the Ruskies must have terribly small hands compared to us Americans. I had to sand the grip, especially the bottom piece to accomodate my ham fisted mitts. A little Dremel work, a little 320 grit, and some tung oil, and they were made just for me. Custom grips are available.
The real question though, is how does it shoot? I went out in the back yard and set up some informal targets about 20 feet out. I loaded up the pistol with Daisy flat nosed ammo and nailed every McDonald's toy I shot at. I hung up a few dot targets, and the IZH 46M showed every inadequacy I had shooting off hand. My groups were good, but I knew the gun could do better. So, I benched the pistol and rested it's cylinder on a couple of sandbags. With my inadequacies out of the equation, the gun was a consistent one hole shooter at 30 feet.
The under barrel cocking lever charges the pneumatic cylinder with almost no effort. There is no discernable recoil when firing. The sound it makes is an audible pffffffft. The sound of the pellet hitting the target is potentially more audible. If a shooter uses a padded backstop, a neighbor will never know marksmanship training is occuring next door. The IZH 46M is, of course, a single shot pistol.
Red dot scopes and Weaver scope mounts are available for this pistol. Baikal has a winner here. For under $300 you will likely not find a better made, more accurate true target gun anywhere.
Pyramyd Air Report on the IZH-46M