View Full Version : Baikal SxS----Any Good?

October 9, 2001, 11:41 PM
I saw a Baikal 12ga SxS at the dealer for $299---it has choke tubes---single selective trigger---selective ejectors---26in barrels---and some decent looking wood--although the wood to metal fit wasn't the best--but for $299---what the heck. Are these any good?? Could I expect this to last a long time if I bought it??

I grew up using my dad's old spanish SxS and have wanted one for a long time---I just don't have the $3000 for a Berreta or any of the others. For $300 bucks I think this would be a good buy----if it would last more than a season or two.

Any help you can give me??


Dave McC
October 10, 2001, 07:19 AM
It'll last a season or two, unless you shoot more than the Olympic team. Odds on, it won't last as long as a high ticket Beretta,Browning, etc.

Cheap doubles have longevity problems, convergence probs, and oft smoothness glitches. One fellow I know slightly bought a cheap O/U, and had to take it apart and polish the heck out of the bearing surfaces to get it to open and shut.

October 10, 2001, 08:29 AM
I bought a Stoeger 12g sxs several years ago for the very same reasons-had always admired the balance, look, and feel of a double but couldn't swing the big $$. I checked with several Cowboy Action shooters who used the Stoeger Coach Gun without any complaints about its reliabilty or durability. Granted, the fit and finish would make Burton Spiller cry, but for my needs (upland hunting) and my limited budget, it made sense.

Dave R
October 10, 2001, 10:42 AM
One suggestion...

Baikal also makes a model with twin triggers. I would go for that. The option of switching chokes instantly (by switching triggers) has a lot of value.

Mad Man
October 10, 2001, 12:46 PM
I bought an IZH-43 (twin trigger) for a friend of mine for Y-mas last year. It cost me about $200. brand new.

He still hasn't shot it -- his fiancee keeps "scheduling" wedding planning events whenever we decide to go shooting, poor guy -- but it appears to be very solidly built. Opening it was kind of stiff at first, but became easier after working it for a while.

Sorry I can't tell you any more about it.

Baikal's web site is: http://www.baikalinc.ru/

There is an option for English available at the bottom of the web page.

October 10, 2001, 03:20 PM
Mad Man: you bought a shotgun for a friend? Can I be your friend?:)

Jack R-NJ
October 10, 2001, 10:35 PM
Rugerfreak----you might give some thought to looking for a used Savage/Stevens 311. I've bought three of them over the last ten years(most recently 1998 for $100) it had a little rust near the muzzle(cleaned up &cold blue don't look too bad now) good shooter and made in the USA

October 11, 2001, 04:09 AM
I'll second what JohnPL posted. The Stoegers have a very good reputation with the Cowboy shooters for being able to take it. The fit and finish of my Stoeger is just a hair better than the Baikals I've seen too, but this may just be a one of a kind type thing since I've also seen a couple nasty looking Stoegers.

October 12, 2001, 11:02 AM
Can someone explain to me "choke tubes" and what differences there are with these.

I plan on going to look at some Baikal sxs this weekend, since my local guy doesn't carry the Stoeger line.


Dave R
October 12, 2001, 12:11 PM
Choke tubes screw into the end of your shotgun barrel, allowing you to change the choke. Almost all new shotguns use choke tubes. Lots of people are retrofitting choke tubes into old shotguns, if the barrels have enough metal to support it.

It adds flexibility. Imagine if you are hunting upland game, and the birds are skittish and flushing far out. Put in your full choke tube. If the birds are holding and flushing close, put in an IC or modified choke tube. If you're hunting Turkey, put in your extra-full choke tube.

On doubles, its either less useful or more useful, depending on your point of view. My SXS has a (fixed) modified and full choke. Its hard to imagine a situation that can't cover. But I suppose a double with choke tubes would let you go IC/Mod for close work, or full/xtra full for long range, or IC/full if the birds are all over the place.

October 12, 2001, 12:19 PM
It might be worth checking out Huglu shotguns. From what I hear, they are a step up in fit and finish from the Stoeger/Baikal/Stevens level, with a somewhat higher price tag. Also, American Rifleman did an evaluation of inexpensive doubles several months ago. They found that although the Stoeger and similar types are no-frill guns, they do serve the purpose.

October 12, 2001, 01:28 PM
So if I understand how the chokes work correctly,

Full - extra full - keeps the pattern very tight, whereas

IC\Modified - fans them out more?


October 15, 2001, 09:29 PM
Well I bought it-----everything works perfectly(no filing or polishing for me to do---lol). The inside was coated with a heavy grease and the gun looks and works better than I thought it would in the store---now that it's all cleaned up. Now I just need to shoot it---hopefully next weekend for the South Dakota pheasant opener.

PS----now that its clean--I can see that it has chrome lined bores too.

October 15, 2001, 10:21 PM

Think of it more this way:

Full choke has tighter constriction. IC has less constriction.

The lighter chokes don't 'fan out' anything, but rather limit how much the pattern fans out naturally. An unchoked gun ('cylinder bore' is the term used) will fan out relatively quickly- because there is no choke there to constrict the shot as it leaves the barrel. As you go up in progression of chokes, you get more constriction, and hence progressively tighter patterns.

(Yes everyone, I'm oversimplifying)

Once you grok that in fullness, Dave McC will explain how tight chokes can lead to shot deformation and "bigger" patterns, and we'll have you really confuzzled. :D


Dave McC
October 16, 2001, 06:18 AM
Be nice, Mike(G)....

J, over on Shotgun Report, the Technoid can tell you more than you'll want to know about chokes.

Basically, choke is a way to control the pattern and give a dense, even pattern at a given range.

On birds, clay targets and small game, a pattern 24-30" across will give us the best results, and changing the choke can make that happen.

For HD, choke is nigh meaningless, almost all shots at at ranges so close that the shot charge hits as a semi solid mass. Here, the longest shot possible in Casa McC would mean the pattern from my chokeless(Cylinder bore) HD 870 runs 3-5", the size of a shirt pocket.

October 16, 2001, 07:13 AM

It is interesting that you should ask about the Bakail.
I just shot mine for the 2nd time Sunday.

I, too, wanted a nice double, but had to keep the cost within reason.
I had previously had a Stoeger o/u, but it swung like a lead pipe.
The Bakail sxs seems to be better balanced and finished.

(It seems to me, that if there is any problem with a given gun, or only one lemon at the factory, I will find it.)
I found a small problem with mine the first time I shot it.
If I had the right barrel selected, and fired the right barrel, sometimes the trigger would not reset, and I couldn't fire the left barrel.
If the selector was set to fire the left side first, the gun appeared to work ok, with both barrels firing as needed.
I boxed it up and shipped it back to the factory.
Got it back about 3 weeks later.
It has been in the safe for several months, just no time to shoot it. (I know, not smart.)

Took it out Sunday, with the selector set to the right side, and guess what....? The problem is still there.
Well, rather than fight it, I'm going to leave the selector set to the left.
There is a chance that the problem will go away when the gun is broken in.
I'll have to shoot a few 100 rounds through it before I am comfortable with it.
For my needs and budget, I think it will be ok.

Good luck,

October 16, 2001, 10:50 AM
Thanks guys.

I think I am getting it :D

I must admit, that I am learning a lot by reading all of this and occassionally something really clicks.

Mini, I don't like the sound of that problem you are having with the Baikal :eek:

When I go back to my local store, I am going to take a very long hard look as to why I shouldn't buy the Remi 870. ;)

Dave McC
October 16, 2001, 11:47 AM
J, there's gotta be a reason to not get an 870 but damfino it.

A case can be made that any shotgun battery w/o an 870 is not nearly as versatile and durable as it should be.

In fairness, there's other pumps out there, lots of folks whose opinions I respect give the newer Winchesters, Mossies and Ithacas high marks. The ones I've shot have done everything I wanted them to.

But, with the proven track record of the 870, it's hard for me to consider another pump.