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Thread: Baikal IZH 18-MN - Am I convincing myself to buy a bad rifle?

  1. #1

    Baikal IZH 18-MN - Am I convincing myself to buy a bad rifle?

    I have a dilemma. Or rather I should say that I have a series of dilemmas, over choosing a rifle.

    It starts with wanting to find a centrefire which would be legal (and ethical) for all deer in all of the UK, and ideally be capable of taking boar as well.

    It continues with my being left handed, and more to the point, blind in my right eye. Whilst I can and have shot right hand bolt actions from the left shoulder I can't help but feel that I lose the main benefit of a magazine/bolt combination, which I see as being the ability to loose a second or even third shot without disturbing my shooting position and therefore aim.

    So, as you can imagine I have looked at left-hand actions. Apart from the fact that there is a pretty limited selection (fair enough most people will want R/H after all) there are even fewer L/H actions available in what I laughably recognise as my price bracket.

    Sure there are some great looking packages on, for example, Savage Axis rifles, but I really don't want to be spending 400-600 on an R/H action that I'm going to end up using like a single shot. Which got me to thinking about single shot rifles. Surely there must be some true ambidextrous single shot rifles out there. When I was a cadet we had .22 rifles some of which were No.8 Enfield actions, and some of which were Martini-Henri actions, and I always shot pretty well with the latter.

    So I looked, and found a couple of references to the Baikal IZH 18-MN break-barrel in .308 Win. The opinions that I've seen about it seem divided, but the only really serious sounding problem seems to be that the trigger is very rough and heavy. In all other aspects it seems to be a lot of weapon for the 100-200 they seem to command second hand.

    What am I missing? Is this a great chance for a lefty like me to begin shooting full bore, or am I likely to end up with an unsellable lump? Any advice, especially from those who have stalked with one would be really welcome!

    Many thanks,
    steerpike

  2. #2
    A rough trigger? You have no idea...imagine grinding broken glass. A mate keeps one and occasionally brings it to the range. I honestly couldn't imagine stalking deer with it.

  3. #3
    Cheers scotsgun - that's exactly the sort of up front advice I'm after!

  4. #4
    The trigger can be sorted by any competant gunsmith, it is the manufacturers name that puts people off - some folk are real snobs !!!
    I have seen the Baikel doubles in 30-06 and .308 being used on driven boar trips to great effect, some times better even than my Blaser. They can be used to dig vehicles out of snow and still be used perfectly well afterwards.
    If you can live with the name, you have a gun that will give good service and last a lifetime.

  5. #5
    I had one in .223, agricultural sums it up well.
    I spent a bit of time on the trigger, and it had been played with before, in the end it was passable.

    Once out in the field to zero another problem reared it's head, the dovetail was not true to the barrel.
    I managed to zero at 50 yards but used all the available windage to do so, on moving out to 100 yards the rifle shot 2 feet to the right
    That said it was very accurate, 5 shots in less than an inch, but only really useable at the zero range, also the dovetail is only long enough
    for a pair of narrow rings and the turret section of the scope, so no room to adjust for eye relief.
    It hasn't put me off single shots, but I would look for a better made rifle, the Brno Effect is high on that list ?

    Neil.
    Last edited by Hornet 6; 05-04-2013 at 22:20.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by steerpike View Post
    I have a dilemma. Or rather I should say that I have a series of dilemmas, over choosing a rifle.

    It starts with wanting to find a centrefire which would be legal (and ethical) for all deer in all of the UK, and ideally be capable of taking boar as well.

    It continues with my being left handed, and more to the point, blind in my right eye. Whilst I can and have shot right hand bolt actions from the left shoulder I can't help but feel that I lose the main benefit of a magazine/bolt combination, which I see as being the ability to loose a second or even third shot without disturbing my shooting position and therefore aim.

    So, as you can imagine I have looked at left-hand actions. Apart from the fact that there is a pretty limited selection (fair enough most people will want R/H after all) there are even fewer L/H actions available in what I laughably recognise as my price bracket.

    Sure there are some great looking packages on, for example, Savage Axis rifles, but I really don't want to be spending 400-600 on an R/H action that I'm going to end up using like a single shot. Which got me to thinking about single shot rifles. Surely there must be some true ambidextrous single shot rifles out there. When I was a cadet we had .22 rifles some of which were No.8 Enfield actions, and some of which were Martini-Henri actions, and I always shot pretty well with the latter.

    So I looked, and found a couple of references to the Baikal IZH 18-MN break-barrel in .308 Win. The opinions that I've seen about it seem divided, but the only really serious sounding problem seems to be that the trigger is very rough and heavy. In all other aspects it seems to be a lot of weapon for the 100-200 they seem to command second hand.

    What am I missing? Is this a great chance for a lefty like me to begin shooting full bore, or am I likely to end up with an unsellable lump? Any advice, especially from those who have stalked with one would be really welcome!

    Many thanks,
    steerpike
    To be honest you are probably better off looking for a left handed bolt action. They are generally more consistently accurate than single shots due to various bedding issues and you do have the option of a more readily available second shot. Having just had a quick look on guntrader.co.uk there is a secondhand Remington 700 that Steve beatty has in that would tick the deer legal, boar capable boxes very well. The Remmie action may not be flashy but it is reliable (battle proven) and has more parts available so you can upgrade whatever you want to your hearts content. Therefore if you fancy a better trigger, synthetic stock, detachable magazine system etc you can do that very easily. Over the years I have owned many rifles including Sako, Tikka, Anchutz etc but currently have 2 remmies and a tikka in deer legal calibres. If you are sold on the idea of a single shot then the Ruger number 1 falling block rifle is worth looking at
    There is also a secondhand Tikka T3 in cack handed format for sale on this site that I have just seen that would do the job and be far better than a Baikal though the 6.5 cal may be marginal for Boar
    Last edited by srvet; 06-04-2013 at 00:14.

  7. #7
    Savage. Affordable left handed bolt guns that shoot straight.~Muir

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Savage. Affordable left handed bolt guns that shoot straight.~Muir
    And highly under rated.Nutty

  9. #9
    Actually if one looks at the proof marks the MH 18 break actions rifles are manufactured at Ishavik (Selling?)

    As for the poster with off centre dovetails ............................ knowing that they are small , about 3/8", I'll wager he used soem cheap rim-fire rings and it was likely those which were out of kilter .............................................. but nope it HAD to the the Russian made rifle .

    What I have never understood is why the shotguns wiht eh same basic action and trigger mechanism can be given a good trigger from the factory yet the rifles are all very heavy. I suspect the American litigation market I the cause of this.

    The trigger mech is fairly simply and it's no brain surgery to reduce the pull weight. Removing the creep is more difficult though. This is the trigger of he MH 18:-



    ​Mine was in 222 Rem. I had not problems with a scope:-



    using decent rings that is.

  10. #10
    I don't totally rule out single shot rifles but in the long run I think you will be better served by a left handed bolt action rifle especially if it's going to be the only rifle.
    Buy a few tickets for the SD prize draw in aid of H4H when they go on sale, you never know you might win the Browning X-bolt rifle and that can be had left handed in the calibre of your choice.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

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