by B.B. Pelletier
I’m still in the hospital, but my best friend, Mac, has come to my house and is doing some testing at my request. I’m now able to evaluate current airguns again based on his tests. So, let’s do part 2 of the IZH Baikal MP655K.
I told you in part 1 that this is a different air pistol. And, indeed, it is. It shoots both BBs and pellets. Therefore, I’ll concentrate on BBs only in this report, as there are many different things you haven’t seen before that I’d like to cover.
BBs load in what we would call the slide in an accumulator on top of the gun. You simply pour them in, keeping the muzzle down. The BB circular clip is installed at the rear of this slide chamber and can be distinguished from the pellet clip by its magnet and an internal step in each hole that precisely orients the BB.
This gun holds up to 100 BBs; and in all testing, it didn’t misfire one time. That means that every time the trigger was pulled, a BB came out the muzzle. That, by itself, is noteworthy.
When you’re done filling the BB accumulator, push the slide backward and don’t overlook the final detent or hump for the slide to click into place. When the slide is moved, a slick gray pressure plate puts pressure on the BBs that are aligned with the circular clip. This plate is what ensures reliable feeding. In part 1, I mentioned that gravity is what the pistol uses. While gravity does play a part, this pressure plate is by far more important and a significant feature that other guns do not have. Also in part 1, I mentioned that the cleaning rod was used to install the clips. But Mac didn’t find that necessary during his tests.
Mac tested the gun with Daisy BBs. All shots that follow were fired double-action. Shot #1 went 372 fps. Shot #2 was 361, #3 was 345 and so on until shot #10 was 290 fps. An interval of 10 seconds between shots was allowed to let the gun normalize to the ambient temperature. On a hot day, you can expect higher numbers than those that I’m going to report. The next 10 shots varied between 294 fps and 316 fps, with an average of about 306 fps. Shots 20-30 ranged from 286 to 305 fps, with an average of 297 fps.
You’re probably thinking that the gun is low-powered and running out of gas. Watch this. Shots 30 through 40 ranged between 300 fps and 334 fps, with an average of about 320 fps. So, the gun is simply seeking where it wants to be. In all, Mac fired 90 shots, ending when the velocity was 253 fps. From shots 50+, the average velocity was below 300 fps.
At one point, Mac got so excited that he cut lose and fired the gun 20 times as fast as he could pull the trigger. Perfect functioning with no failures to feed!
The pistol performs more powerfully in the single-action mode. On one test, the average was 315 fps with a low of 306 and a high of 326. However, after pausing for several minutes, a second string without a new cartridge began at 370 fps. By the end, it had dropped down to 308. So, cooling plays a big part in how this pistol operates. The CO2 valve is isolated from your hand by the gun’s large grip. Therefore, the gun will regulate itself and may even perform different than expected on warm days. My gauge wasn’t able to measure the double-action trigger-pull weight, but the single-action pull was a crisp 5 lbs. Even part of the single-action trigger-pull involves advancing the clip. So, that makes the pull heavier than necessary. The actual single-action trigger-pull is more like 3.5 lbs. after the clip has been advanced.
Removing the CO2 cartridge
The owner’s manual states that you can’t remove the CO2 cartridge unless all the gas has been exhausted. However, Mac discovered that the CO2 cartridge screw has extremely fine threads, and you won’t have to dry-fire your gun until empty. When the gas is lower and you want to change cartridges, slowly unscrew the access plug to exhaust the gas very slowly.
Next time, we’ll take a look at velocity with pellets.