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 Post subject: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:31 am 
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I've been looking for a small shotgun. Something in 20, maybe even 410, to use for some small game and to use for teaching small statured shooters. Kind of a 'guest gun'. I don't want to spend much on it, but I don't want junk either. I'm looking for the mythical happy medium.

I looked at the Stoegers and asked about them here. Thanks for the replies there.

I have also been keeping my eyes peeled for what turns up locally, but it seems small double barrel shotguns are either rare or (more likely) those who have them don't let them go. The used guns I've seen may have been made of pure gold for the prices they were asking.

As the search rolls on, I have noticed the Baikal shotguns. I know Remington imported some and put their name on them. They are priced right. Are they any good? Better than a Stoeger?

I'm not expecting Rolls Royce for a Buick price tag, but I don't want a Yugo for a Buick price tag either. I just want a decent, durable shotgun to pop rabbits with and to let the kids and grandmothers shoot.




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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:42 am 
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I think the Baikal is a reasonable choice for what you're wanting to do. Unlike some of the other low-cost options, the Baikals have a reputation for reliability. People knock them for being ugly and crude, but generally say that they go bang every time.

The stocks on the Baikals are short, which would seem good for your intended purpose. FWIW, I had a Baikal 20 gauge side by side for a while. The stock was so short that I added a spacer. It still slapped me in the cheek pretty good. My wife wouldn't shoot mine. She said it kicked too much. I finally sold the gun.

A couple of guys I shoot with have used the Baikals over/unders and they've generally been satisfied with them. One guy uses his 12 gauge Baikal exclusively (probably 150 rounds a week) with no problems.


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:22 am 
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Like most utility guns, for some reason the fit isn't right for most people. Even the little gauges stomp and swat like a young mule in a swarm of bees. They do go bang, you can use then as a jack handle or a coon club if you run out of shells with no problem. For grandma I would want to wrap the stock in bubble wrap and expect her to drop it after the first shot. If I were looking for a gun for the purpose you state, I'd look for a used Mossberg 500 in 20 or .410. I know that differs greatly from what you are thinking, but in my opinion it's a good solid inexpensive gun that won't abuse most shooters and will hold it's value well.

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:59 am 
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"Fit" doesn't mean much for your intended purpose since multiple people would be shooting it and that can be tweaked a bit for very little cost. Very light loads would also tame things down considerable. A 20ga would make the most sense due to the cost and availability of ammo. As to the Baikal... they are a utility gun. They are ugly to most and very rough around the edges. However, the general opinion seems to be that they are of the best and most reliable of the inexpensive utility guns, especially with double triggers. I think that a 28" 20ga (if that bbl length is available) would be a good choice for what you want to do.


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:53 am 
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"Even the little gauges stomp and swat like a young mule in a swarm of bees."

LOL I'm going to keep that one. :)

"they are of the best and most reliable of the inexpensive utility guns"

Best of the worst. Durable maybe, but they're essentially unshootable just as Oldfarmer says.

People want side-by-sides for the "coolness" factor. I mean, who wouldn't want to be like this guy?

Image

The fact is, if you're on a tight budget (and in the shotgun world, fewer than 4 figures is a tight budget) it's a mistake to get a double barrel. Oldfarmer is right on, again.

Decent doubles are the most expensive of the common shotgun types. You can get a quality pump gun for a small fraction of the price. That's why pumps have remained so popular for so many years.

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:03 am 
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Keep an eye out for a Savage/Stevens 311, the quintessential working mans double.

A lot of these were sold to Sears, (JC Higgins) and Western Auto (Revelation) the department store name makes these guns a real bargain. Pretty sure there are other department store brands on them too.
I have a JC Higgins Model 50 .270 rifle. It's one of the finest guns I own. It's got pretty nice wood too! The Action is a Belgian FN commercial Mauser, and the chrome lined barrel is by High Standard. I have always meant to have the stock checkered. One of these days. The gun is a real tack driver. I put a higher end Bushnell 3-9 scope on it.

I have a couple of them. Yes they handle like a pig on a shovel. But they are pretty durable and economical. Usually the 26" guns are choked I/C and Mod, the longer barrels are choked Mod/Full.


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:29 am 
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Oldfarmer wrote:
If I were looking for a gun for the purpose you state, I'd look for a used Mossberg 500 in 20 or .410. I know that differs greatly from what you are thinking, but in my opinion it's a good solid inexpensive gun that won't abuse most shooters and will hold it's value well.



I confess, I wondered why the OP wasn't considering something like this . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:59 am 
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See above. :P

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:06 pm 
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I tried one in 12 gauge magnum for waterfowl. It worked, it was tough, it was heavy. Did not kick bad at all for a magnum 12 SxS. Like most Russian guns it was geared more to durable than aesthetically pleasing. Fore end split and they replaced it fast. I would have no problems with one as long as that was what mattered to you. I must admit I feel sort like SxS as I do about women. Life is too short to carry an ugly gun. I sold it.

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Thanks for all the replies.

I have considered a used pump action and have not taken it off the table. Aside from the obvious desire to be as cool as those guys from Deliverance, I have a couple reasons pulling me toward a double. One is the shortness of the action. Given same length barrels, the break action is a good half a foot shorter over all. I find that excessive length adds to the tendency for people to want to lean back to 'counterbalance' the gun. That being a big hurdle for newbies in my observation. I also like how easy it is for everybody within eyeshot to see that the action is open when it's open. It just instills confidence for everybody knowing it can't go boom, and that conversely when it's 'straight' it's in go-boom condition. Easy to load, easy to handle. And, of course, they look cool. Non gun people seem to like them. Seems odd when you think about it in conjunction with the pic BarryD posted. I bet they think Elmer Fudd more than they think "Squeeeeeel like a pig!". At least I hope so.

Ricklin, old 'store brands' are something I keep an eye out for too. Seems I remember seeing them by the bushel when I wasn't looking for one, but I haven't seen much lately. Maybe something will turn up. I'll bet as soon as I find something to spend money on, I'll see an old Wards or Sears 410 for half the money.


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:15 pm 
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I've seen several of them at the range...

It's really hard to explain why these guns are unpleasant but I can try...

When a gun is fired, it produces a lot of kinetic energy. A lot of that energy is transmitted as recoil, but not all. A good chunk of that energy causes things to vibrate at different frequencies. Some of it you can hear, and some of it you can feel. In higher grade guns, a lot of research goes into figuring out how to dampen the frequencies that humans find harder to tolerate than others. Some shooter refer to this as how "smooth" the recoil is. It's really a feel thing and hard to explain but there's more to a shotgun than strapping an iron pipe to a 2x4 with a pin on the end that sets of primer. Premium guns are "tuned" to produce the least offensive recoil. Depending on how the stock is vibrating during the recoil event, the recoil can be perceived as more or less severe depending on what kind of vibrations are transmitted through the stock. The recoil itself isn't any smaller...that's just physics, but how a shooter perceives that recoil depends on how sensitive the shooter is to the frequencies transmitted through the stock...and how those frequencies change over the course of the recoil event. This is reflected in everything from choice of materials to the shape of the bore profile.

That being said, Baikals made with zero regard toward this aspect of shotgun craft. As others have said, they will go "bang", but how pleasant an experience that will be isn't really the focus. Baikals are some of the more jarring and unpleasant guns I've ever shot...even more unpleasant than an old Blaser I shot a couple of times.

Furthermore, their quality control is not as good. I've seen Baikals with POI's that are more than 12" apart between the barrels, let alone from one gun to the next.

I've also seen some that shoot perfectly fine (except for the very unpleasant recoil). If you are considering using it as a guest gun, you should think about whether you're trying to turn people on or off to shotgun sports. I know plenty of people that would have never picked up another shotgun again if I handed then a Baikal for their first shots. Instead I hand them one of my old 391's or my Beretta 687 and the fall instantly in love.

A Baikal is not a gun I would give if I was trying to get people interested in shooting. I'd much rather hand them a semi-auto Beretta or even a semi-auto Stoeger

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:39 am 
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I had a pre-Remington Baikal IZH-43 12 gauge sxs. In my opinion it was a mechanically well designed gun and would have been very durable. The reason I no longer own it is because it has the most poorly designed and the thickest stock I have ever encountered. Ruined the whole gun for me. I should have made a project out of re-shaping the stock, but like many here I already have a few too many projects. . . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:52 pm 
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Maybe a youth model pump-gun in twenty gage from Remington, Mossberg, or the benelli nova would be a better bet.


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:05 pm 
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There are older (as in 1950s or 60s) SxS guns from AyA or similar that can be found for around $250 or so, that were imported for Sears and others then that might work for your intentions. Check out www.gunsinternational.com

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:28 pm 
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It is most certainly true that people who are taught with guns that are too long and heavy can lean back to counterbalance the weight that they are too weak or slight of build to handle. The classic scenario is an 11-year-old that want to learn to shoot, so someone hands him/her a 12 Gauge waterfowler or a Citori that weighs well over 8 lbs., or worse yet, a full-on Trap gun that's even longer and heavier. I've seen it.

Good eye and good thinking! You're right that this is a real and common problem.

HOWEVER... Someone who is too weak or too small to handle a subgauge pump gun should NOT be taught with something like a Baikal that kicks like a mule! It will break them, if not physically, emotionally. They'll never want to touch a shotgun again after that experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:59 am 
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Sounds like the Baikal isn't quite the thing for what I want to do. Having taken in all the experienced and observations about them, I'm glad I asked. It's good to know that they are reliable, which isn't a given in that price range. I'd consider one as a 'coach gun' range toy for myself, but it's not the thing for what I want right now.

It seems that a pump action may be the way to go. Maybe an auto loader. I've been looking at some of the youth models that have sizable stocks. Looks like it's not a big deal to swap in and out the spacers so that a Mossy pump can be set up for anybody with out much trouble. That way I can have a kid size shotgun that I can take out myself, should I feel the yearn to do so.

I still want a sub-gauge double. I'll keep looking. Maybe a nice old Savage will come my way. Who knows.


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 6:02 pm 
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I have several of them (as well as Browning and couple of Remington). IZH43 in 20, TOZ34 and TOZ66 in 12 ga. I use all of them for different hunting. I never had any issue. I think for $300 you are getting a lot of a gun (new gun, I should add). I had Stevens 311 and was very disappointed. IMHO.

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:20 am 
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youth model pump 20 gauge.
Some twenty-five + years ago I bought my oldest son a Winchester youth 20 gauge pump shotgun. He doesn't get to use it that much anymore as he lives in Hawaii but it has been used by several young ladies over the years. It worked great just for that purpose if none other. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:58 pm 
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This is Baikal as well :) Mts 5-20

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Baikal double barrel shotguns?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:33 pm 
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I would suggest the Baikal. Have shot a few of their models and while they are not nice to look at or anything special, they are extremely durable!

My mother has a Baikal side by side 16 gauge from 1952, it was stored outside in a shed for almost 10 years before my dad got it. He cut off a few inches of the barrel, cleaned it and it has worked perfectly since.

If durability and reliability is what you want, Baikal is the way to go!



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