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Shotgun Review: Low-Priced Baikal MP 153 Returns to U.S.

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September 12, 2011

Shotgun Review: Low-Priced Baikal MP 153 Returns to U.S.

By Phil Bourjaily

Since Dave and I get crabby letters whenever we write about anything that costs more than $500 it pleases me to report here on the return of a great, cheap semiautomatic shotgun to the U.S. market.

The Baikal MP 153 enjoys a reputation as a no-frills, inexpensive, very reliable semiauto and unfortunately, it hasn’t been available in the U.S. since 2008, until now. Originally imported from Russian by European American Armory, the MP 153 became the Remington SPR 453 for a couple of years when Remington introduced its “Spartan Gunworks” line of imported Russian Izmech guns. Since the Spartan line went away in 2008 the MP 153 has been unavailable here. Now EAA is bringing it into the country again, at a price so low I would be suspicious of it if the gun didn’t have a proven track record.

A 3 ½-inch 12 gauge gas gun, the MP 153 is not much to look at, some of the parts aren’t very well finished, and it is not high tech: you adjust a collar inside the barrel ring with an included wrench to make it function with light or heavy loads. It also has its action spring on the magazine tube, where it is easy to inspect and clean.

I shot mine with a variety of ammunition from 3 dram, 1-1/8 ounce trap loads, high velocity 1-ounce field loads all the way up to 3 ½-inch high velocity steel. It functioned fine, both on the range and in the dove field, and recoil with the 3 ½-inch loads was surprisingly manageable. My test gun weighed less than I expected from a Russian 3 ½-inch 12--a little under 7 ½ pounds with a 26-inch barrel. The stock dimensions are 1 ½ at the comb, 2 ½ at the heel over 14 ¼-inch length of pull.

The gun comes with four extended choke tubes either in black or brown camo. The best part is that the black models list for $427 and I have seen them for sale for much less. You can look at them on the EAA website.

Comments (45)

Top Rated
All Comments
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I own a 12gauge over 7x57 Baikal combination gun that I bought about 10yrs ago and like Phil says, its not much on frills or cosmetics but the thing can shoot. The rifle was dead on and shoots great groupings out to 300yds with factory loads. The shotgun like the MP 153 can handle any size shell or load and patterns great. I have also shot a Baikal model 58 and was very impressed with its functionality. It makes a great bird gun.

Thanks for this review Phil, I had looked at getting a 153 a few years ago but put it on hold. I hadn’t even realized they had stopped bringing them over here. Glad they are back, maybe its time to break open the piggy bank

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

With the introduction of this shotgun, perhaps the other manufacturers will follow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Just what I need. A shotgun that requires a "wrench" to make it operate! How long will the greatest percentage of "hunters" be able to hang onto a cheesy, stamped metal "wrench"?

Bubba
P.S. - I'll take my old Rem 870 ANY day! I can adjust it with my hands!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I've got the "whine" Phil. Just need you to "cut the cheese"!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

When will these folks realize that you get what you pay for?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian Jackson wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Wonder if Bubba realizes that new 870's come with choke tubes....and a stamped metal wrench to change them with.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I appreciate that this company is supporting the NRA and advertising in NRA publications. They have some good-looking ads, to boot.

These seem to be high-functioning firearms without the fancy finishes and prices that must accompany the fancy part. There will always be a market for this level of gun. I think I'll buy a couple to raffle off in support of our local hunting club.

Good luck Baikal!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I looked at the Baikal O/U rifle shotgun packages for a while too, but they were just a little too ugly for my tastes. Of course I figured they shot like they looked. Thanks for the info VA Hunter... EAA has been importing a lot of really cheap guns for a long time, and in this economy it may be a very good thing for them.

I can't believe it only weighs 7 1/2 pounds. My Rem 1100 weighs 8.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from willie boy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Jacksjb_44 u can take choke tubes out with anything from a car key to a coin...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dann wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I handled one of these a few weeks back at the trap range. Looked and felt much like any other semi-auto I've seen.

The owner reports it shoots as well as some of his high end scatter guns and faster than some.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I had 2 Baikals, (Imported by Remington), they both shot well but I bought a Remington Mod. 32 and sold all the other shotguns EXCEPT my 870's So all my long guns are Remington except the M-1 Carbine. (one of those made by Remington are in High Dollar collections of impoosible to pry from the owners hands.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

impossible! sheeshe!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sir Phillip, some guys b*tch it you would hang em with new ropes! Keep it up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Won a Baikal shotgun at a DU banquet a number of years ago. The darn thing is reliable and rattles off shots as quick as you can pull the trigger.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If you want a "no frills" shotgun, you can usually find one for $200 or under. It will usually be well used, likely have a bit of rust showing, and the stock may have some finish still on it. If you want really cheap, look for one sold out of the truck of a car by some fellow in a parking lot after dark. Hint...he won't take a check. However, I for one do not care to read about such shotguns. Good post, Phil...you're doing fine. I enjoy reading about the fine classics but if my kids saw me drooling over one, they would have me in the home before nightfall.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Phil,

Now that didn't hurt did it?

Personally, I have no problem with the "over $500" gun reviews, it's just that mixing it up a bit is refreshing.

As for this gun, it's just good to know it's on the market, that you tried it and a few contributors had comments on it after shooting one.

And we know that you're not so thin-skinned as to cave in to "whiney" readers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Phil,

Thanks for the "price point" review for some of our hunters and shooters. While I am not a shotgun gourmet, I am about as unlikely to buy a $2,500 shotgun as I am this one, but I like to read about them!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

So, in the cheap imported autoloader department, which do you recommend? This? The Stoeger? The CZ? The Weatherby? Is the H&R Excel Auto worth a darn?

I'm thinking Stoeger.

I'm not interested in autos in the first place. I already know the two I'm interested in, and it's none of the above.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If I'm shooting trap or skeet I'm fine with a "fancy" shotgun that cost me a $1000. But when I'm in the field I want something that cost me less than $500, is dependable, and practical. And yeah, that might just mean butt-ugly too! Thanks for the review!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian W. Thair wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I shoot a couple of Baikals: o/u 12 and a s/s 20. True, they aren't as well machine-finished as many others. I don't really care. They fit me, they shoot.
PB: you have to remind new owners to carry a blade screwdriver in their shooting/hunting vest. Parts fall off. Need say no more.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Shane --
My favorite "cheap, imported" autoloader is the most expensive of the bunch, and it's built here: the Beretta 3901 sells for $599 and is made in Maryland.
I have shot the Weatherbys a fair bit. They work, they are very light, and they have a high percentage of satisfied owners. The Stoeger 2000 is light, it kicks hard. It has fans and haters, with the former outnumbering the latter.
The CZ seems fine, I don't know about the H&R.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from PbHead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I can't believe we got this far and nobody has mentioned the Mossberg 900 series.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dallastexan wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My Remington 1100 is still going strong. I have had Weatherbys, Rugers, etc, etc.

That old 1100 still brings the doves home.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I still shoot the Model 12 my dad bought me at apawn shop for $50 in 1965. I point it, the birds die.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

PBhead -- I was remiss in not mentioning the Mossbergs. I had a couple of 935s. They were ugly and had many plastic parts but they worked quite well with anything over a high velocity 2 3/4-inch, 1 1/4 ounce load even though they are rated for 3- and 3 1/2 inch only.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks, Phil. Be sure to let us know if any other 'ex-SPR' types come back (and are better).

The only one of those I really wanted was their single-shot. Being a lefty, I like such things. When I held it finally, the term "not quite finished" would have been putting it very mildly.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks for the good review...
My 2 cents worth is to put a plug in for a relatively
ignored semi-auto of yesteryear. The Carbine Williams design...Winchester Model 50...an oldie but goodie. It is not a long action gas actuated type, but works on Carbine Williams "short piston type", same idea as his famed .30 carbine. Essentially, an inertia system like the expensive Benellis,etc. The barrel is fixed. It will digest any loads without adjustment..light, heavy..only has a 2 & 3/4" chamber. Choke tubes can be
fitted by Briley & others if wanted. Mine works so good, its my first choice. I've seen them for as low as $200, and you have a piece of History of having a Carbine Williams design. I have heard that Winchester was pressured into discontinuing the design, as the barrel could be removed & fired from the floating chamber...so the ATF got nervous about a no barrel firing shotgun, under the jacket a la Doc Holliday. This last remark may or may not be true, I can't verify it. Anyway, no flies on the Winchester Model 50 & 59.
Best Regards, Tom from Cody

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kps87218 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have an SPR453 that I bought for $320.00 in 2007. It was a little stiff at first and would not cycle 1-1/8 oz. loads and still does not do well with less than 3 dram loads. It has done everything I've asked of it and it shoots very well. The finish is not good and it likes to rust pretty quickly. Who cares, some oil and a wipe is all it takes to restore it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

from jacksjb_44 wrote 20 hours 3 min ago
Wonder if Bubba realizes that new 870's come with choke tubes....and a stamped metal wrench to change them with.

Yes, I do. It's kept safely in the closet with the collection of "choke tubes" for "my" 870. But I "don't" need to tote a wrench should I, and envariably I do, end up with a mixture of differing loads in my hunting vest! LOL!!!

Yes, I'm a "new rope/whine" sorta guy!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Mossyturd 900 series? I thought the topic was "great, cheap shotgun..", not POS????

-2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Here's where I have skepticism. No journalist gives a gun a bad report. I have never heard one. Every gun they get to shoot, is a good gun. That applies to fishing equipment as well. I have never read a bad review for a fly rod. There are lots of shotguns hitting the USA market made from everywhere, and they all are good.
The retailers know that the USA bulk of the market doesn't have the money, or is unwilling to pay more than about $600 for an auto...so you see cheap autos for around $600. I could be wrong, maybe they are good, but the first time reports come out there are defects, the owner won't be able to sell it for $200

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I don’t have any experience with Baikal shotguns but their rifles and pistols are typically outstanding when it comes to accuracy and functionality. Their firearms have been used successfully in international competitions by Soviet and Russian shooters for decades.

Admittedly, the appearance of Baikal guns generally falls somewhere between “has a nice personality” and “butt ugly” but if you just want a gun that works well and is built like a tank, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one of their products.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from PAShooter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

When my son began hunting pheasant with me, I gave him my pristine Win Super X-1. After hunting for several years, he told me that he would rather carry a gun that he didn't have to worry about scratching. So I purchased a Baikal/Remington SPR 453 after watching a You Tube demonstration. It showed a Baikal shooting after being buried in mud and water. Since that purchase, the gun has shot everything from low brass to 3 1/2" mags flawlessly (with no wrench adjustments). It is now his go-to gun. Although I am a two barrel gun guy, I was thinking of taking it with me to the Dakotas next month to accompany my sxs and o/u guns.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

jacksjb_44

That's probably why I always seem to have the "wrong" choke tube for the situation I'm in!
Last spring, the gobbler that showed up at 40 yards went down hard, but didn't succumb right away! Only later did I realize how lucky I was. The "X-tra Full" choke tube I "thought" was in place turned out to be the "Modified" I shot dove with Sept of '10!!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from GuyGene wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

PAShooter, that is a great point about your son not wanting to carry a gun he has to worry about getting banged up. I do like fine quality guns, but I HUNT with my guns! Hunting means they are going to get scratched up, banged, maybe dropped, etc., and my guns have to take it. Hmmm, maybe I will take a look at this Baikal, but, man, I sure do like to buy American made...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Phil, did you ever look at the Baikal/Remington Spartan SxS or OU shotguns? What was your opinion?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Phil, did you ever look at the Baikal/Remington Spartan SxS or OU shotguns? What was your opinion?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

007 I have had both I Baikal sxs 1 Remington SR10 o/u , I know I am not up to Sir Phil's stature but that's my 1 1/2 cents worth. But they both shot well.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

But they were fugly :(

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kansasjeff wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I will say this for the russians they may make "Fugly" guns, but they do work realiably (the AK and the SKS come to mind)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PAShooter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Guygene, I didn't care if the Super X-1 got scratched I too hunt with my guns and I don't plan on getting rid of it. The Super X-1 with its stainless steel receiver is a little heavy and doesn't shoot 3" shells. The Baikal is lighter, shoots 3 1/2" shells. The flat back finish and composite stock is what my son likes. His favorite deer rifle is a 7600 all weather 30-06 even though I offered to give him a Sako. He likes the idea that in a pinch he can use the gun as a walking stick.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

007 - "Functional" is the kind word for the Baikal doubles and O/Us. They are bulky,heavy and crudely finished, but the ones I have shot worked fine.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

kansassjeff, I have heard incoming rounds from AK & SKS, (If you heard it they obviously missed, ;-) they do indeed make reliable weapons, IF you don't get a knock off from some other 3rd or 4th world country.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 357 wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

hummmm i might have to check this out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Surprised. I first thought the *Spartan* line was a Turkish gun.

Phil, What's the *path* of these central and eastern European guns parent company? I

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Brian Jackson wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Wonder if Bubba realizes that new 870's come with choke tubes....and a stamped metal wrench to change them with.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from straightshooter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I don’t have any experience with Baikal shotguns but their rifles and pistols are typically outstanding when it comes to accuracy and functionality. Their firearms have been used successfully in international competitions by Soviet and Russian shooters for decades.

Admittedly, the appearance of Baikal guns generally falls somewhere between “has a nice personality” and “butt ugly” but if you just want a gun that works well and is built like a tank, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy one of their products.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from PAShooter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

When my son began hunting pheasant with me, I gave him my pristine Win Super X-1. After hunting for several years, he told me that he would rather carry a gun that he didn't have to worry about scratching. So I purchased a Baikal/Remington SPR 453 after watching a You Tube demonstration. It showed a Baikal shooting after being buried in mud and water. Since that purchase, the gun has shot everything from low brass to 3 1/2" mags flawlessly (with no wrench adjustments). It is now his go-to gun. Although I am a two barrel gun guy, I was thinking of taking it with me to the Dakotas next month to accompany my sxs and o/u guns.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I own a 12gauge over 7x57 Baikal combination gun that I bought about 10yrs ago and like Phil says, its not much on frills or cosmetics but the thing can shoot. The rifle was dead on and shoots great groupings out to 300yds with factory loads. The shotgun like the MP 153 can handle any size shell or load and patterns great. I have also shot a Baikal model 58 and was very impressed with its functionality. It makes a great bird gun.

Thanks for this review Phil, I had looked at getting a 153 a few years ago but put it on hold. I hadn’t even realized they had stopped bringing them over here. Glad they are back, maybe its time to break open the piggy bank

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

With the introduction of this shotgun, perhaps the other manufacturers will follow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Just what I need. A shotgun that requires a "wrench" to make it operate! How long will the greatest percentage of "hunters" be able to hang onto a cheesy, stamped metal "wrench"?

Bubba
P.S. - I'll take my old Rem 870 ANY day! I can adjust it with my hands!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from davycrockettfv wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If I'm shooting trap or skeet I'm fine with a "fancy" shotgun that cost me a $1000. But when I'm in the field I want something that cost me less than $500, is dependable, and practical. And yeah, that might just mean butt-ugly too! Thanks for the review!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Shane --
My favorite "cheap, imported" autoloader is the most expensive of the bunch, and it's built here: the Beretta 3901 sells for $599 and is made in Maryland.
I have shot the Weatherbys a fair bit. They work, they are very light, and they have a high percentage of satisfied owners. The Stoeger 2000 is light, it kicks hard. It has fans and haters, with the former outnumbering the latter.
The CZ seems fine, I don't know about the H&R.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from dallastexan wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

My Remington 1100 is still going strong. I have had Weatherbys, Rugers, etc, etc.

That old 1100 still brings the doves home.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I still shoot the Model 12 my dad bought me at apawn shop for $50 in 1965. I point it, the birds die.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

PBhead -- I was remiss in not mentioning the Mossbergs. I had a couple of 935s. They were ugly and had many plastic parts but they worked quite well with anything over a high velocity 2 3/4-inch, 1 1/4 ounce load even though they are rated for 3- and 3 1/2 inch only.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks, Phil. Be sure to let us know if any other 'ex-SPR' types come back (and are better).

The only one of those I really wanted was their single-shot. Being a lefty, I like such things. When I held it finally, the term "not quite finished" would have been putting it very mildly.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from white bison wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Thanks for the good review...
My 2 cents worth is to put a plug in for a relatively
ignored semi-auto of yesteryear. The Carbine Williams design...Winchester Model 50...an oldie but goodie. It is not a long action gas actuated type, but works on Carbine Williams "short piston type", same idea as his famed .30 carbine. Essentially, an inertia system like the expensive Benellis,etc. The barrel is fixed. It will digest any loads without adjustment..light, heavy..only has a 2 & 3/4" chamber. Choke tubes can be
fitted by Briley & others if wanted. Mine works so good, its my first choice. I've seen them for as low as $200, and you have a piece of History of having a Carbine Williams design. I have heard that Winchester was pressured into discontinuing the design, as the barrel could be removed & fired from the floating chamber...so the ATF got nervous about a no barrel firing shotgun, under the jacket a la Doc Holliday. This last remark may or may not be true, I can't verify it. Anyway, no flies on the Winchester Model 50 & 59.
Best Regards, Tom from Cody

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kps87218 wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I have an SPR453 that I bought for $320.00 in 2007. It was a little stiff at first and would not cycle 1-1/8 oz. loads and still does not do well with less than 3 dram loads. It has done everything I've asked of it and it shoots very well. The finish is not good and it likes to rust pretty quickly. Who cares, some oil and a wipe is all it takes to restore it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from GuyGene wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

PAShooter, that is a great point about your son not wanting to carry a gun he has to worry about getting banged up. I do like fine quality guns, but I HUNT with my guns! Hunting means they are going to get scratched up, banged, maybe dropped, etc., and my guns have to take it. Hmmm, maybe I will take a look at this Baikal, but, man, I sure do like to buy American made...

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I've got the "whine" Phil. Just need you to "cut the cheese"!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

When will these folks realize that you get what you pay for?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Proverbs wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I appreciate that this company is supporting the NRA and advertising in NRA publications. They have some good-looking ads, to boot.

These seem to be high-functioning firearms without the fancy finishes and prices that must accompany the fancy part. There will always be a market for this level of gun. I think I'll buy a couple to raffle off in support of our local hunting club.

Good luck Baikal!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tim Platt wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I looked at the Baikal O/U rifle shotgun packages for a while too, but they were just a little too ugly for my tastes. Of course I figured they shot like they looked. Thanks for the info VA Hunter... EAA has been importing a lot of really cheap guns for a long time, and in this economy it may be a very good thing for them.

I can't believe it only weighs 7 1/2 pounds. My Rem 1100 weighs 8.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from willie boy wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Jacksjb_44 u can take choke tubes out with anything from a car key to a coin...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I had 2 Baikals, (Imported by Remington), they both shot well but I bought a Remington Mod. 32 and sold all the other shotguns EXCEPT my 870's So all my long guns are Remington except the M-1 Carbine. (one of those made by Remington are in High Dollar collections of impoosible to pry from the owners hands.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Sir Phillip, some guys b*tch it you would hang em with new ropes! Keep it up.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Won a Baikal shotgun at a DU banquet a number of years ago. The darn thing is reliable and rattles off shots as quick as you can pull the trigger.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Phil,

Now that didn't hurt did it?

Personally, I have no problem with the "over $500" gun reviews, it's just that mixing it up a bit is refreshing.

As for this gun, it's just good to know it's on the market, that you tried it and a few contributors had comments on it after shooting one.

And we know that you're not so thin-skinned as to cave in to "whiney" readers.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Phil,

Thanks for the "price point" review for some of our hunters and shooters. While I am not a shotgun gourmet, I am about as unlikely to buy a $2,500 shotgun as I am this one, but I like to read about them!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

So, in the cheap imported autoloader department, which do you recommend? This? The Stoeger? The CZ? The Weatherby? Is the H&R Excel Auto worth a darn?

I'm thinking Stoeger.

I'm not interested in autos in the first place. I already know the two I'm interested in, and it's none of the above.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brian W. Thair wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I shoot a couple of Baikals: o/u 12 and a s/s 20. True, they aren't as well machine-finished as many others. I don't really care. They fit me, they shoot.
PB: you have to remind new owners to carry a blade screwdriver in their shooting/hunting vest. Parts fall off. Need say no more.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

from jacksjb_44 wrote 20 hours 3 min ago
Wonder if Bubba realizes that new 870's come with choke tubes....and a stamped metal wrench to change them with.

Yes, I do. It's kept safely in the closet with the collection of "choke tubes" for "my" 870. But I "don't" need to tote a wrench should I, and envariably I do, end up with a mixture of differing loads in my hunting vest! LOL!!!

Yes, I'm a "new rope/whine" sorta guy!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Here's where I have skepticism. No journalist gives a gun a bad report. I have never heard one. Every gun they get to shoot, is a good gun. That applies to fishing equipment as well. I have never read a bad review for a fly rod. There are lots of shotguns hitting the USA market made from everywhere, and they all are good.
The retailers know that the USA bulk of the market doesn't have the money, or is unwilling to pay more than about $600 for an auto...so you see cheap autos for around $600. I could be wrong, maybe they are good, but the first time reports come out there are defects, the owner won't be able to sell it for $200

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

jacksjb_44

That's probably why I always seem to have the "wrong" choke tube for the situation I'm in!
Last spring, the gobbler that showed up at 40 yards went down hard, but didn't succumb right away! Only later did I realize how lucky I was. The "X-tra Full" choke tube I "thought" was in place turned out to be the "Modified" I shot dove with Sept of '10!!

Bubba

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Phil, did you ever look at the Baikal/Remington Spartan SxS or OU shotguns? What was your opinion?

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from 007 wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Phil, did you ever look at the Baikal/Remington Spartan SxS or OU shotguns? What was your opinion?

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

007 I have had both I Baikal sxs 1 Remington SR10 o/u , I know I am not up to Sir Phil's stature but that's my 1 1/2 cents worth. But they both shot well.

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from kansasjeff wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

I will say this for the russians they may make "Fugly" guns, but they do work realiably (the AK and the SKS come to mind)

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from PAShooter wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

Guygene, I didn't care if the Super X-1 got scratched I too hunt with my guns and I don't plan on getting rid of it. The Super X-1 with its stainless steel receiver is a little heavy and doesn't shoot 3" shells. The Baikal is lighter, shoots 3 1/2" shells. The flat back finish and composite stock is what my son likes. His favorite deer rifle is a 7600 all weather 30-06 even though I offered to give him a Sako. He likes the idea that in a pinch he can use the gun as a walking stick.

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from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

007 - "Functional" is the kind word for the Baikal doubles and O/Us. They are bulky,heavy and crudely finished, but the ones I have shot worked fine.

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from Dann wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I handled one of these a few weeks back at the trap range. Looked and felt much like any other semi-auto I've seen.

The owner reports it shoots as well as some of his high end scatter guns and faster than some.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

impossible! sheeshe!

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from PbHead wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

I can't believe we got this far and nobody has mentioned the Mossberg 900 series.

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

But they were fugly :(

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from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 31 weeks ago

kansassjeff, I have heard incoming rounds from AK & SKS, (If you heard it they obviously missed, ;-) they do indeed make reliable weapons, IF you don't get a knock off from some other 3rd or 4th world country.

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from 357 wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

hummmm i might have to check this out.

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from Mark-1 wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

Surprised. I first thought the *Spartan* line was a Turkish gun.

Phil, What's the *path* of these central and eastern European guns parent company? I

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from Tom-Tom wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

If you want a "no frills" shotgun, you can usually find one for $200 or under. It will usually be well used, likely have a bit of rust showing, and the stock may have some finish still on it. If you want really cheap, look for one sold out of the truck of a car by some fellow in a parking lot after dark. Hint...he won't take a check. However, I for one do not care to read about such shotguns. Good post, Phil...you're doing fine. I enjoy reading about the fine classics but if my kids saw me drooling over one, they would have me in the home before nightfall.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

Mossyturd 900 series? I thought the topic was "great, cheap shotgun..", not POS????

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