Home Blog  
Education / Training IZH 61 – Part 4 New gun – Now we’re cookin’!

IZH 61 – Part 4 New gun – Now we’re cookin’!

by B.B. Pelletier

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Today, I tested a brand-new IZH 61 to try to redeem the poor results from the past three posts. And, indeed, I did! The new rifle shoots more like what I remember from years ago. Let’s get shooting.

Rather than fool around with different open sights, I used a reader’s suggestion and mounted a Leapers Bug Buster II on the gun. The 2-piece rings I used are the thinner kind similar to these, with 2 cap screws instead of 4, so I was able to get the whole thing on the relatively short dovetail at the rear of the receiver. The negligible recoil of the 61 makes a scope stop unnecessary.

I tried a wide range of pellets: Crosman Premier 7.9-grain, Crosman Premier Super Match, H&N Finale Match, RWS Hobby, Gamo Match, RWS Supermag and a Chinese match pellet I use in 10-meter competition. At first, I got the same open groups I was getting from the other rifle, but then I had a breakthrough with Supermags.

This is a much better group than I got with the other rifle. It measures 0.432″ c-t-c and was shot at 10 meters with RWS Supermags. This group proves the 61 wants to shoot.

What happened?
I was shooting a spring gun, after all, and I had to use some technique. A LOT of technique, as it turned out! The pistol-grip stock of the 61 doesn’t lend itself to the artillery hold, but the gun needs it more than many others – even some breakbarrels. Let me show you just what happened.

Here’s a disappointment! Five H&N Finale Match pellets were tight side-to-side but strung out up and down.

The vertical stringing indicates radical velocity changes or something is loose on the gun or sight. Radical velocity changes aren’t likely to spread this much at just 10 meters, so we can rule them out. A group like this could also indicate something else. Do you know what that is?

This is the group that alerted me to what was happening. H&N match pellets. Do you have any idea what’s happening?

This was the telling group. Two tight groups in two different locations. Either something like the barrel or sight is loose on the gun, or the hold is EXTREMELY sensitive, and I’m making subtle changes. When I checked the gun and scope, nothing was loose, so I suspected the hold was the problem. The solution, of course, is to make sure nothing changes from shot to shot.

When I applied perfect technique, this is what happened. Also H&N match pellets.

And that’s what you get, when the technique is perfect. The dual groups with nothing loose told me the rifle was shooting to two different points, and the only way it could do that was by a change in the recoil pattern.

Final opinion
The IZH 61 is still an accurate air rifle that’s worth a lot more than the retail price. It’s a wonderful plinker and a good beginning target rifle to see if punching paper is what you want to do. It requires a lot of technique to shoot well from a bench, but offhand is more forgiving.

I do believe the rifle suffered when the steel receiver and metal clips were changed to plastic, but the basic goodness carries on. If you like plinking and general shooting, this is a rifle to try.

author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

116 thoughts on “IZH 61 – Part 4 New gun – Now we’re cookin’!”

  1. What would be Pyramydair’s policy on exchanging a questionable rifle? Let’s say you purchase a rifle, and after testing it yourself and having another person test it, and results are still like the previous rifle you had, then could you send it in for Pyramydair to test and get an exchange? JP

  2. BB,
    I bought a couple of 61’s last year after you called the gun a best buy, and I could not be happier with them. I did a clean and lube tune on them and replaced the stock screws (the original screws where not very ‘beefy’ and stripped the holes, they where also to long and the ends met in the reciever!).I adjusted the trigger to my taste and now both shoot 1/2″ groups (cpl’s) I can sometimes get five shots into a little over 1/4″ at ten yards although only about 450 fps. I rest the very front of forearm on a pad and support the rear of the stock in my left hand. Barely touch pistol grip with my other hand. Maybe an odd hold but it really works for the 61.

  3. I love my IZH-61. I got it just a few weeks ago and have been shooting with it almost daily. Benched, I get 3/4″ to 1 ” grouping at 10 meters using Crosman copperhead wadcutters.

    I am waiting for the arrival of the Daisy Avanti diopler sight which I hope will improve the rifle. The rear sight as it comes from the factory needs to be improved.

    I had to put treadlock on some of the screws (cocking lever) as it worked its way out.

    The new plastic magazine works for me; no complaints. However I have not tried the old metal magazine.

    I ordered extra magazines I don’t know if they will be plastic or metal.

    I would be very interested to find out what pellets work for the other owners.


  4. JP –
    I’d also second that about Pyramid. They’ve been excellent with customer service for me.

    BB –
    I was interested in that JB bore compound you mentioned – but have a sidelever rws 48. Can I still use the brush from the muzzle end or can I use it with a flexible otis rod? Also, should I use a nylon brush since the manual says to not use a metal brush?

  5. B.B.

    How did you like your 61 setup with the Bug Buster II scope and rings? Is it recommendable (or overkill?) for the 61?

    The rings you used are “similar to these”. Are you sure that the Pyramyd AIR rings cited will work with a BB2 scope, or do we need to confirm with Pyramyd Air?

    I love my 61s and have two of them, with red dots.


  6. Ozark,

    I would brush from the muzzle, because it’s way too cumbersome to use an Otis rod for this.

    You can use a brass brush safely in a steel barrel, which the 48 has. The warning is a carryover from brass-barrelled guns. A nylon brush won’t be as aggressive in removing the lead fouling.


  7. Bill,

    The Bug Buster doesn’t seem like overkill on the 61. I had to extend the stock all the way, but it was comfortabl;e and easy to acquire the sight picture.

    You don’t need to confirm the rings, as long as they are for a one-inch tube. Upon examination, I believe I actually used the Leapers rings, which were the ones I linked to. They certainly seem to be the same.


  8. BB –
    Another JB question for you on my 48 – in your blog about using the compound, you say:

    Run the brush through the bore in both directions at least 20 times.

    Do you mean rotating the brush clockwise / counter, or from the breech / muzzle directions?

  9. B.B.,
    Off subject question. Own a Techforce 99 which I never liked and could not shhot well. I thought you said something about putting in oil and standing in corner. I put several drops of Pelgunoil in battel and stood in corner for about six months. It now shoots like a dream. BUt, I zeroed it in at 10 meters. When shooting at 20 and 25 meters it is still extremely on target. Is this natural or am I doing something well that I don’t know about. Sure do enjoy reading your blog. Thanx.

    Bill D.

  10. BB,
    Late reply. I’ve no problem with a rifle: I’ve yet to purchase one from Pyramydair, but I was wondering how an exchange would go on such. I understand that an odd duck will appear on any manufacturing. How often do you yourself actually run into a badly behaved rifle anyway? JP

  11. Thanks, B.B., for your honesty about the accuracy change when they changed to a plastic receiver. I remember your original blog on this gun from long ago described it as having “Olympic Accuracy”, and though the gun in it’s current form still seems to shoot decently and provide a lot of fun, it is sad to hear your change of tone in comparison to the early all-out raves. I think the gun is ugly as sin but was always tempted because of the accuracy/price ratio, but now it’s not tempting any more. Sorry I didn’t buy one when you first told me to long ago!

  12. I was looking over an old blog review of the Daisy 953 and the comments that followed turned to the 61. At that time you described the 61 as capable of 1/10″ groups at 10 meters, so there is some serious change in the accuracy department. But also, back then the gun seemed to be considered forgiving and easy pretty to shoot, at least from what the comments suggest, so definately something else has changed, too, to make it now finicky about hold, wouldn’t you say? Do you think the 953 can take over the title for best accuracy at the cheapest price?

  13. Ozark,

    After the JB Paste just make sure you remove all the residual mess. Dry patches are what I use. I don’t oil the barrel if I’m shooting right away, but if the gun were going in the locker, I’d run a patch soaked with Sheath through the bore.


  14. JP,

    I am running a special posting tomorrow to address the returns situation at Pyramys Air.

    Regarding guns that don’t work; I test between 100 and 200 new airguns a year and the failure rate is about 1 or 2 guns. The IZH 61 I wouldn’t count as a failure because I pulled it off the Pyramyd AIR returns pile with the customer complaint that the gun was inaccurate. I thought I knew better, but the customer was right, after all.


  15. I have to say the BB2 scope on an IZH 61 “seemed” like overkill at first, but what you can do with it after makes it all the more worthwhile. I never even knew they made metal magazines.. I’ve had a few plastic ones go bad (failure to advance,etc.), but it’s still one of the most enjoyable guns to shoot. I’ve had a blast popping bottle caps and home-made spinner targets at close range, but with the mil-dot scope you can be a little more adventurous and extend your range well beyond 10 meters (as long as it is not windy). I hang cans at well over 50 yards and can peg them repeatably. Sure they might bounce off, but it’s still fun – and even more fun when it’s practically dark and you’re using the illuminated reticle. Crosman Premier hollow points 7.9 gr – economical, easy-feeding, great for all-around shooting.

  16. Hi BB, sorry this took so long. I had asked about the RWS scope mount windage loostening up after a few shots. I took your advice and tightened up the mount then set the screws. So far so good. Thanks again for the great advice.

  17. To bb, I now have a tx200,a drozd, and a izh61. What more could a guy want? The tx 200 is boring. One hole groups always. I put a laser sight on the drozd. I had to reduce the height of the front sight but the result was worth it. It is now my party gun! With the 20. 0z co2 upgrade it is well worth the the extra investment. I shoot nothing but beeman perfect rounds and have never had a proplem. My izh61 is another story. A great little gun but it sure takes a lot of shooting technique. Hobby pellets are the best. I don’t have a scope on it yet but time will tell. Thank you for all your info. I’ve been shooting and handloading for 40 years. This is an exciting new venture for me.

  18. Greetings B.B.! This is Varenyk writing.

    First of all, I love your blog. Even though I don’t own an air gun yet, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions before popping my marksman cherry.

    I live in a pretty cramped area, and shooting air guns is illegal if there is a house 150 yards in any direction. This is the reason why I wanted a quiet, $100 – 175$ air rifle that is durable, not too expensive to operate. I’m a big guy, so cocking effort doesn’t make too much of a difference. Killing birds, squirrels would be a nice option, but is not necessarily required. After reading numerous posts in your blog, I have my eyes set on either an Izh-61, Daisy 22 SG, or a Benjamin Sheridan Blue Streak.

    Do you have any suggestions? Comments? Could you tell me the things I would need to buy to maintain my air rifle? I want it to be in a good condition.

    Thanks B.B., I am waiting to hear from you.

  19. Varenyk,

    Definitely DO NOT get either of the two pneumatics (22X and Blue Streak). They are too noisy.

    What you want is a quiet spring gun. The IZH 61 is perfect, but a little light for killing animals.

    As for maintenance, buy NOTHING! Just use good pellets in the IZH 61 and it will function fine for many years. Cleaning isn’t necessary and the gun needs nothing else.


  20. This is Varenyk again.

    Thanks for the quick reply B.B. My garage is over 9 yards long, awhich should make a nice shooting range. Only question I have for you, what do you consider good pellets? It looks like you've gotten best groups with the RWS Supermags and H&N Finale Match. Also a person in this blog post stated that RWS Hobby pellets are great, any comments?

  21. Hi B.B.

    OK, so I finally got an IZH 61 & have to agree…
    It's a great gun for the money.

    Now with the H&N .177 FINALE MATCH being discontinued by PA, I just need to figure out what pellet to use with it, & I'm sure some of the other owners of this gun are curious too.

    BTW… I've always wondered what you've thought about the Beeman Lasers in general, & since we're talking about the IZH 61 in here, have you tried them in the IZH 61, & if so, how did they perform?

    I'm also wondering if you've tried the Crosman Silver Eagles in it?
    Because at 5.2 grains, they are lighter then the PBA & the Skenco (not that either of those two are very accurate, just making a comparison on the weight), so I'm thinking the Silver Eagle might be one of the best pellets for the IZH 61?

    Now with the Lasers being a lot cheaper & only 6.5 grains which are still are pretty light, this is why I'm curious of what YOU think of them.

    Lastly, while searching through pellets for this gun, I saw that one of the best values I could find for a light AND recogmized as an accurate pellet, is the RWS Hobby.

    However, it's 7.0 grains.
    Do you think that is too heavy for the IZH 61?

    I'm thinking that since the IZH 61 shoots at 490fps, The RWS Hobby should be OK for 10 meter target shooting, & is probably the best way to go for plinking, but what is the most accurate pellet for competion or serious target shooting for this gun?

    So, to sum it up;

    1) What do you think of the Beeman Laser pellets in general, & also for the IZH 61?

    2) Do you think the Crosman Silver Eagles would be the most accurate or do you recommend a different pellet now that the H&N's have been discontinued?

    3) Would the RWS Hobby pellets be the best overall value & are they still light enough at 7.0 grains for target shooting with this gun?


    – The BBA –

  22. BBA,

    I will venture a guess that Crosman Silver Eagles will be the most inaccurate pellets you could load into your 61. That's just a guess.

    Hobbys should be good, as well as Meisterkugeln. Don't worry too much about pellet weight until you get up over 9 grains.

    I haven't had much luck with Beeman Lasers. They are fast, but they never group for me.

    H&N Match have not been discontinued. If Pyramyd AIR has dropped them from the line, it's because of cost and low sales.

    Don't forget to try RWS R10s.


  23. B.B.

    Just to help me understand pellets more, why do you say that about the Silver Eagles?

    Funny you say that about the Lasers. I've had the same experience with them in pretty much every gun I've tried them with.
    I always seem to get inconsistent groupings, no matter what hold or position I shoot with or from.

    The only H&Ns PA has in .177 are the F&T, F&T TROPHY, & the SILHOUETTES. Nothing in a wad cutter style, & in .22 cal PA only carries the Sports now.

    I just happen to have a sample tin of just a few R-10s & will definitely try them once I'm sure I have the gun & my shooting technique dialed in (since I only have a few).

    I wonder if the R-10s will be better than the Meisterkugelns, or about the same?
    They're only $0.80 more than the Meisterkugelns, so if they're noticably better than the Hobbys, then that will probably be the way to go for serious shooting, but I think the Hobbys (for the price), will still be the best overall value for general plinking & practice if you plan to shoot it a lot.

    Thanks for your input.
    I think I'll dial it in with the Hobbys, & then try the R-10s & Meisterkugelns.

    – The BBA –

  24. BBA,

    I said what I did about Silver Eagles because of experience. They simply don't shoot in any gun in which I have tried them. There may be a gun out there they work in, but I haven't found it.

    I know PA has no H&N wadcutters. But that doesn't mean they aren't still being made. They are available at Champion's Choice.


  25. I just got a new 61 from the last batch that arrived a few weeks ago.

    I was a little dismayed with BB’s report on the lemon 61 he was testing,,was hoping I wouldn’t get a lemon as well,,,and with all the changes with the 61 since its first appearance, was a little leary about quality and accuracy.

    My first 15 shots were all over the place. Things weren’t looking good, thought about returning it.

    I took a break,,came back and relaxed more with it,,,very light hold, resting on a sand bag,,,then I started getting really good groups at 10 meters. Couple of times almost in the same hole!

    And with the feedback from the blogs here I was able quickly find how the cartridge works best; it did jam on me a few times. I found that pushing down on the release button ontop while the feed rod maintained a little tension trying to feed the pellet in – it just slipped in beautifully everytime once I found that trick.

    I used Crossman Premier Domed Lights, they fit a little loose but over all worked well

    So my conclusion concurs with BB,,it’s still a super accurate gun once one learns the proper technique

    I’m very happy with mine and will keep it.

    Thanks everyone for your input. Very helpful for me.

  26. B.B.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the Silver Eagles.

    And yeah, I know they H&N wad cutters are still being made,
    I was just saying what I saw in H&N that PA currently had available.

    BTW… Logun Penetrators are still available to, but I just can't seem to find them available anywhere in the US.
    I've found them on some UK sites, but the prices are pretty high & I'm sure the shipping will be quite costly, so I'm guessing the Kodiack Extra Heavys are probably the next best thing that PA carries in that type of pellet.

    I have a huge selection of pellets on stock & have a LOT of testing to do so I'm just trying get some tips & shorten the time it will take to find which ones work best & to stock up on.

    BTW…I picked up a Super Steak in mint condition for $200.00 & am wondering what the best pellet for it is.
    I'm guessing the CPHs & the Kodiack EHs will be the best ones, but since I have a couple of PBAs, it will be cool to hear that super sonic crack just for fun. 😉

    Thanks again for your input.

    – The BBA –

  27. BBA,

    So, you’re joking with me, right? Because CPH will not fit the bore of a Silver Streak, and I think you know that. All Sheridans are .20 caliber. The Kodiaks are a lightweight pellet in .20 caliber. And there isn’t a Raptor pellet made for a .20.

    Yes Logun Penetrators are available, but do you want to p[ay $20 for a box? Most people don’t, which is why they aren’t being imported.


  28. Hi BB

    Damn you are quick 😀

    I am in Czech republic now
    but i am ordering from german online shop (thx for EU)

    It comes with basic scope 4×20, pellets, targets, compensator and spring

  29. Johngotti, or B.B.

    Could you give me a link to a place where I could buy IZH-60? Every place I checked only offers 61. Thank you very much.

    – Patriotic Air Rifle Buyer

  30. Thanks B.B.

    I’ve found a couple of European stores that sell them, but unfortunately they charge in eurospolish currency which equals out to roughly 200$. I might as well buy a Diana 34 for that much or simply stick to the 110$ IZH61.
    – Patriotic Air Rifle Buyer

  31. Greetings B.B!

    So I got an IZH 61, and what an amazing rifle it is. Although it has plastic parts, you can really feel the quality and solitude of Russian guns.

    Just curious, what would you recommend for maintenance? And where should I store the gun?

  32. Gorodok,

    Virtually no maintenance on a 61. Just shoot it. No barrel cleaning is required. The grease on the mainspring will migrate forward to lubricate the piston seal.

    Store it in a safe dry place. Do not store it in a hard case with foam lining.


    • Hi BB, it’s Peter again. I’m catching up on all your articles on the IZH 60/61 from way back, so my apologies. Why not store this rifle in a hard case with foam lining? Is this because of ventilation issues?


        • sorry about that! 🙂 …..I found your blog about a month ago and couldn’t stop reading! thanks so much for all your reviews, tips and thoughts…..especially from one such as yourself who has so much experience and expertise. I hope you don’t mind me asking so many questions 🙂 I just started airgunning six months ago and found it to be a really fun sport. I was quite interested in the target shooting aspect of the IZH 60/61 rifles (and keep my arms and legs). Please keep putting out those excellent articles!


  33. Thanks B.B.!

    What do you think about the rod that comes along with IZH61? I’m a fairly new shooter, I’m guessing it is for cleaning out pellet jams. Instructions didn’t even mention anything about that extra spring or the rod.

  34. b.b.,

    I’m evaluating the IZH-61 for use in a youth biathlon program. For us, the 5-shot repeater capability, ease of cocking, and light weight make it very appealing. The price also makes it possible for almost anyone to get into the sport (esp. compared with FWB’s P75 or other biathlon-specific air rifles that run into the thousands of $$).

    But…Day 1 of testing was a major disappointment. Like you, I mounted the Beeman diopter sight on the IZH-61…but after over 50 rounds downrange, the rifle still shoots all over (3+” groups at 10m – and nothing consistent). I immediately picked up my son’s Daisy 853C to make sure something wasn’t wrong with ME and twice shot a 5 round group smaller than 1/2″.

    Seems to me that, with the plastic receiver and barrel there is a lot of movement. I am not a knowledgeable airgunner, but am a good marksman. I have read discussion here about different holds — including some that obviously wouldn’t work for biathlon. We’re dealing with skiers who will be wearing gloves, and will be breathing heavily in cold weather. A “light” hold seems unlikely to work.

    Any suggestions on something I’m not considering that might be going on here?

    Also, any other air guns to consider for biathlon? Daisy’s 853C shoots well but the cocking effort is a little much for some juniors and the magazine doesn’t seem to index well. I’d like to avoid PCP’s (price) and CO2 (cold weather).

    Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.

    -MA XC Ski Guy

  35. MA XC Ski Guy ,

    Well, the IZH should shoot much better than that. It should keep five under a half-inch at 10 meters. I think yours is flawed in some wa7 and needs to go back.

    There are real biathlon rifles, made by Haenel for Hammerli, but they are expensive. Maybe Anschutz has one, as well.

    Other than that, there are a very limited number of five-shot repeating air rifles.


  36. I think I’ve read all the posts on the IZH-61. I’ve read 4. Is that it? I just got one of these 61’s a couple days ago. Unlike some on this blog, I was very pleased with the look. I think it looks futuristic and I think my grand kids will love it. They haven’t seen it yet. I’m shooting under 1″ groups of 10 with one or two strays (I know, that makes them NOT one inch groups but I’m doing the counting:)) using only the open sights.

    Anyway, my answer and instruction to my gkids on cocking will be if you see three holes showing in the pellet loader do not cock! I think this is the most simple way to avoid dry fire.

    I like this rifle very much and it is stealing time from my Ruger Air Hawk. My one complaint is, even with glasses on, I can’t see the target very well at 30 feet. I need a scope. I think I can shoot 1/4 if I only had a scope. I’ve seen a couple posts about the BugBlaster and I’ll look into those.

    Has anyone come up with anything else? And, how the heck do open sight shooters hit the “X” at 30 feet or even the bull at 50 feet when the things are so small? Are they just good guessers?


  37. Chuck,

    I’m 61 and I wear bifocals, but I can still use open sights. I think it’s more practice than anything else. My distance vision isn’t that bad – 20/40 or so, but I have some astigmatism on top of that. There are days when I can’t shoot open sights.

    The bug Buster is a very nice scope and don’t overlook the Tactedge 4X40 scope from UTG. That one is clear as a bell and remarkable at close range.


  38. I have a question for Gazza: Gazza, you said you took off the muzzle brake and sight…I was able to get the muzzle brake off easy enough but cant seem to get the front sight housing to budge. Should it just slip off or is it threaded also?

    I’m doing this because I think it will interfere with a scope’s view. Does anyone know if this is true? Are you scope mounters using high rings?


  39. B.B.
    Seems like you and I are the only ones visiting this blog anymore. I just wanted to say that you have given me the incentive to pursue, a little more, open sight shooting with my IZH-61. I found that my progressive bi-focal lenses were distorting my sight picture significantly. I am off 3″ low between using my glasses and not. I then wore my single focus contact lens and now I am “tack driving”! I see the target better but the sights are still a bit blurry and take some blinking to get a reasonable view of them. The results are amazing, though. I’ll bet if I didn’t have the progressive lenses (which don’t work for me anyway) I would be able to tack drive with glasses on.

    Thanks for giving me hope:)

    If I should desire to do competition shooting should I put more emphasis on open sight shooting? Is that a requirement? I like scopes better because I can see things so much better.


  40. Hi.

    What is the difference beetwen a Beeman Sport Aperture Sight and a Daisy Avanti Precision Rear Diopter Sigh? Both are aperture sights but seems very different physically.

    I’m nearsighted and want to mount one of these sights in my izh-61. Wich one will you recommend for target practice at 10 meters?


  41. Hi B.B.

    Thanks for the suggestion, but the izh-61 front post is high enough for the mendoza sight?

    My recently purchased izh-61 was manufactured in 03-07-2008, and the trigger have changed. The trigger pull adjusting screw and trigger position screw are gone, only remaining the travel adjustment screw. So seems the gun is losing features, first the change from metal receiver and metal magazine to plastic and now the trigger…

    Also in the first 50 shots there are some vibration and recoil, but i hope it become smoother with more shots.

  42. Thanks for the reply B.B.

    Now i have fired around 200 shots and the izh-61 still vibrate and recoil a lot.

    The mainspring don’t seem to have grease, only a fine layer of oil. Maybe the mainspring need a little more of lubrication? maybe moly or pellgunoil? or a little of crossman silicon chamber oil by the muzzle will help?


  43. Hi B.B.

    Can I use moly to grease the mainspring? Will I need a spring compressor or can i do the job with bare hands?

    I dont have much time now, so is good enough to apply a couple of drops of pellingoil in the mainspring through the cocking lever slot until i have more free time?

    Thanks for the help.

  44. Hi B.B.

    Thanks for all the information.

    I bought a 61 but I will not open it till Christmas.. (self inflicted Christmas present)

    I bought it from a place in Florida… I think from the importer of the Russian guns including the IZH 46m…

    Anyway, I have no idea what the date of manufacture this this gun will be but I assume it will have the plastic parts unless it is an old-new-stock gun.

    What will bum me out is if the trigger is not as adjustable as the ones you tested.

    I do have one question though. The person who I spoke to when I purchased it told me I will need to use silicone oil shock fluid usually used for race cars, to get the cosmoline out of the barrel. Does this sound right and if so, how will I go about this since the barrel is fixed?

    Again, thanks for all your attention and testing on this gun so people like me can make educate purchases on a budget!

  45. rifmon,

    Good luck to you with your IZH 61. I never heard of the silicone approach to cleaning the barrel, but since I never cleaned a 61 barrel before, that’s not surprising. I would just shoot the gun and let it clean itself.


  46. B.B.,
    This week I bought Gamo Match Diabolo pellets from a local dealer for my IZH-61. What little I shot I really liked. I haven’t shot very many so I’m not giving a testimonial here. I did a search at Pyramyd and couldn’t find them offered so I searched GAMO.com and couldn’t find them there either. I thought I remembered a blog by you where someone replied regarding something about diabolos but my searched from one of your blog sites aren’t producing any hits. Do you have any info on these? Should I buy up all the store has in stock if indeed they really do prove great for me because they aren’t made anymore?


  47. Chuck,

    The diabolo pellet is a generic shape. Almost all pellets are diabolos.

    So strike that from the name and you have the Gamo Match pellet. Very good for the price and a mainstay of the company. Maybe they are changing the package, but I doubt they are not making it any longer.

    Are you sure about this?

    If that’s true, then stock up. But I think Gamo Match pellets will be made for the foreseeable future.


  48. B.B.,
    I have resolved my Gamo Diabolo question. I took another look on the Pyramyd.com site (Vince Lombardi Second Effort 🙂 ) and on closer inspection I did find the words Match Diabolo on the tin lid displayed but the description called it a "Gamo Match .177 Cal, 7.71 Grains, Wadcutter". The word Wadcutter does not appear anywhere on the lid, though. On the Gamo site they just call them "Match Pellets .177" but if you look real close to the picture of the tin lid you can see the word Diabolo.

    On another note – scoping the IZH-61: I was afraid to drill into the compression chamber so I tried placing a "Leapers 11mm to Weaver Adapter, Adjustable" on it and adding the 6X Leapers Bug Buster scope and it works perfect. The adapter converts the 11mm rail to a Weaver/Picatinny style rail. I did have to put two shims under the back mount to keep from over adjusting the scope upwards. Also, there is just enough room under the mount's front overhang to reach the cartridge ejector. I have not experienced any creep in the mount on the 11mm rails. The back end screw hangs off the rail but still clamps ok. The scope itself did creep in the rings until it hit the ring but that was no problem.

    Thanks for telling us about the gun. I bought three more for my grandkids (10yr old twins & a 11yr old) to use when they visit. They're going to get peep sites not scopes. I have a 10m gallery in my basement and they have a ball. I don't leave them alone and am always stressing safety. I hope I'm teaching them good habits.

    They are doing real good not cocking when they see three holes showing in the magazine, to prevent dry fire, but need to be reminded not to have their finger on the trigger when they cock the gun. I may need new ceiling tiles after Christmas break if they don't learn soon.

    Thanks again for providing such a great service to us plebes.


  49. Chuck,

    Well, that’s a good report – except for the ceiling tiles. Tell the kids that a famous TV star (I can’t reveal his name) shot himself in the arm two years ago because he can’t keep his finger off the trigger. The .22 pellet went 6 inches into the muscle of his left arm and had to be surgically removed.


  50. Thanks for the TV star anecdote B.B. My daughter would be very unhappy if I let that happen. Me too, of course.

    For anyone interested, if I may, here is the scope mount I used to fit the Bug Buster to my IZH-61:


    It works terrific! You’ll notice it has an overhang that mounts toward the front of the gun. There is enough room to get one of your fingers under it to trip the magazine release. It also raises the scope enough so that you don’t have to remove either the rear or front open sight. You will probably have to put two shims (provided) under the rear ring to comp for barrel drop. Get Weaver rings to fit the new mount if you buy the Bug Buster (sold by Pyramyd also)


  51. i want to start practicing 10m competitively. I am an adult, but a beginning shooter. Daisy powerline 953 or izh 60/61 for me? i am so confused at this juncture. I have been reading so much of your blogs trying to answer this. please give a final verdict! 🙂

  52. Zoltan,

    Between those two guns – the IZH 61 and the Daisy 953, there is no competition. The 953 is the better rifle for 10-meter competition. And 853 would be worlds better still, but I assume you want to keep the price under control?

    The 953 stock is much better-suited to adult use and the overall size and feel of the rifle is better for target shooting. The IZH 61 is CAPABLE of competition, but one would never pick it if there was a choice.

    The 953 trigger is not as nice as the 61 trigger and the 853 trigger wouldn’t be, either. But that aside, the 953 is the better way to go.


  53. Someone on this blog wrote about buying 10 magazines for the IZH-61 and found that not all of them produced accurate results. I became intrigued with this and wanted to see if I could duplicate it.

    I bought a 61 for myself and liked it so much that I bought one for each of my three grandkids. So, I had 8 magazines to play with. I did a blind test.

    First off, nothing to do with the test, I had marked each gun and each magazine with a grandkids first initial so that should a gun be damaged or a magazine be damaged or lost there wouldn't be any arguing over who's was who's or who did it. Grandpa ain't too dumb.

    This made it easy for me to identify each magazine, but only under close inspection because I used black marker on a black magazine. I guarantee I did not know who's magazine I was shooting with, yet, after a round of eight magazines, I knew which magazine to match up with which target. Next, before shooting, I mixed up all the magazines and laid them out in the order of the targets. I then shot them in that order, matched and labeled them on their targets, mixed them up again and shot another round at eight different targets. That was two groups of eight magazines each, five shots per target, 16 targets, total of 80 shots, hence the fatigue and concentration issue. I had to work harder on the second round of eight.

    Ok, my range is indoors and 10 yards, I used the same scoped gun with Beeman H&N Match Waddcutters at 8.0gr, I weighed each one on an electronic scale.

    The bottom line is bad groupings were due to shooter fatigue and lack of concentration, in my opinion. Some magazines that produced under 1/2" groups on the first round did not on the second and vice versa. All groups were 3/4" or better. Five were pretty close to 1/4". One magazine that did the worst on the first group of 8 did the best on the second. The first three targets of each round of 8 were inside 1/2". The magazines that did not shoot inside 1/2" I re-shot after a rest period and got them inside.

    Anyway, the real bottom line is I had a whole lot of fun and, by golly, I'm became a much better shot. I can't wait to see how a peep site will do on a test like this.


  54. B.B.,
    Thank you for your kind words. My ignorance is showing: I can create a blog using Google’s blog creator but how do I make it a “guest” blog? Can we discuss this offblog somehow? Or, do you have a blog that teaches creating blogs?

  55. For Zel and B.B.,
    I like the Mendoza sight. It’s comparatively cheap, very well built and adjusts nice with positive clicks. I really liked the price since I want to buy three of them. However, I put the Mendoza sight on my IZH-61 but I can’t get it to go low enough to shoot at 10 yards. I don’t even have to remove the rear sight it’s so high. My shots are about 2-3 inches too high.

    With the Mendoza sight adjusted all the way down the top of the front site needs to be almost touching the inside of the front sight hood to compensate. Even if I made a front sight that way it may still be hard to see the target without cutting the sight hood off.

    It sounds like you didn’t have this problem with the Beeman. Especially since you said it was so low you had to remove the rear sight.

    Sounds like if I want to peep sight three guns, it’s going to cost me double.


  56. Hello again,

    I posted a while ago I mentioned I was going to open a new IZH 61 at Christmas. I think I got a bad copy though. It seams that the barrel is pointing way off to the the right in relationship to the stock. Also the front and ear sight, although they ar in line with each other, are at an approx 20% angle off of level to the stock as well. The actual barrel is not bent but the culprit seems to be the synthetic stock. The triangular structure supporting the barrel is very crooked.

    Also if you look down on the gun from above, there is way more space to the left of the barrel than on the right. I know that is not too clear but basically, the entire rifle appears almost comical.

    I placed a call to the importer in Florida but I have not yet heard back. I guess I will need to wait till Monday. It’s really a bummer that I will need to try to reach them and pay for shipping an hope they agree with my observations to. I’ll be taking a few pictures before I ship it.

    Are any of my observations common to the IZH 61? Anyone have a similar experience?


  57. I hope EAA is a good place to deal with. I was told I needed to go directly to them. On hind sight, I wish I took more time to select a seller of this gun (like Pyramid). In my haste, I googled the model and pretty much bought it from the first distributer I came across. That distributer directed me back to EAA The 61 was sent directly to me by them in Florida. I guess I expected more of a turn-key return vs proving my observations to EAA direct by shipping it to them. Not real happy here so far.

    I’ll hold my final judgement after I speak to them in Florida. Maybe everything wlll turn out right in the end.

    I really don’t care if they If they replace or repair as long as I’m made whole.
    Thanks B.B.

  58. I hope EAA treats you well, but don’t ever expect a turn-key relationship with any airgun importer other than Pyramyd AIR.

    The problem is you are dealing with the gun exactly as it came into this country. Pyramyd AIR would have looked at it, because it is a Russian gun. They don’t have to do that with Weihrauchs, but they do with guns from other manufacturers.

    And to answer your question, yes, all airguns come with potential problems like this. It is usually the dealer or an impoirter like Pyramyd or Beeman who corrects the problems and doesn’t let substandard guns leave the building. And even then they don’t catch them all.

    EAA simply sent a box on to you from a pallet in their warehouse.

    Please keep us informed.


  59. OK,

    Even if it takes the few weeks one would expect, I’ll be fine as long as they make it right.

    I’ll keep you updated as to how EAA responds.

    I expect to finally get a good 61.

    By the way, it does appear that the trigger has lost some of the adjustments the earlier one had. I would probably be fine with whatever the factory setting is anyway….I guess every one is cutting costs!

    Thanks again.

  60. BB,
    I am trying to decide whether to get the Daisy powerline 953, the IZH-Baikal MP-514K, or the IZH-Baikal 61. I’m 13 years old and this will be my first air rifle. I want accuracy and I dont want to disturb my neighbors, as I live in the suburbs.

  61. I would really like for you to get the 953 because it is the most accurate gun and the easiest to shoot. The IZH 61 will be quieter, that’s for sure.

    But the 953 isn’t THAT loud, I don’t think. I really favor it for you.

    The MP-514K isn’t in the picture as it is toy-like and woefully inaccurate compared to either of the others.

    If the Hammerli 490 had a better trigger, I would vote for that. It’s quiet and accurate.


  62. Anonymous that’s looking into the daisy 953,

    I’m going to give you a link to read the article that B.B. did on the 953. Before that I’d like to suggest several things. In the article B.B. did on the 953 he has several suggestions for aftermarket sights. His first alternative sight is a daisy receiver sight (peep sight) which is good for close range target shooting. The second is a daisy electronic point sight (like a red dot). The red dot isn’t great in bright sunshine and doesn’t work at very long range. My first suggestion is that you learn to shoot with the open sights that come on the gun. If, later on, you want to change the sights you’ll know what range and what type of shooting you like to do with your new gun so the choice of sights becomes easier.

    Next, about the pellet that is most accurate in the 953. In the article above our comments (yours, B.B.’s and mine) on the IZH 61, B.B. tried 6 different pellets to find out what that particular gun liked AND B.B. IS VERY EXPERIENCED. The point is that not even an expert knows which pellet works best. Not all 953’s like the same pellet so I would suggest that you try many different kinds until you find the best pellet that shoots at short ranges and the best that shoots at long ranges. In the article I’m going to link you to B.B. has suggested several and I would suggest you also try the crossman premiers IN THE CARDBOARD BOX (not the tin) and JSB’s. You’ll need to cut and past this link:


    Good luck and have fun!


  63. New daisy 953/IZH-61 guy,

    I have both the 953 and the 61. I like them both very much but I would, as well, recommend the 953 for you if you can’t afford both. The reason I recommend it is because as a new shooter I think you will like the lesser recoil and vibration of the single pump over the spring action. I think you’ll get used to a single pump pneumatic faster than you will a springer. As you gain experience you will want to try the springers.

    Another reason I recommend the 953 is that you will have many more scope options. The 61 can take any peep, I think, but it is limited to a short scope. I had to go to the 7″ BugBuster with a dovetail to Weaver conversion to make things work for me. The 953 can take any peep or scope.

    I agree with Kevin about pellet selection but at your age you probably don’t have the funds to trying all the pellets out there so I also recommend you start with the JSB Exact 8.4g. They cost a buck more but they’re good. When you get down to your last tin of JSBs then try another brand. Just be prepared to re-sight your scope when you switch.

    Also, as a word of caution. I’m going to sound like your parents now so don’t read any farther if you won’t like that. You indicated you want to shoot in a suburban back yard.

    I think you need to look into your state and local ordinances about shooting in your back yard. Make sure you know what they are even if you intend to ignore them.

    In Illinois I may shoot all I want to inside my house but as soon as I go outside the laws become very restrictive. You cannot shoot into or over another persons property or into or over public land or in any manner that would cause a pellet to end up on another’s property whether intentionally or unintentionally. I would not want to see your new 953 confiscated by the local authorities.

    You can be discreet by having a quiet gun but if your neighbor sees you shooting you may have an issue.

    I want you to succeed and enjoy your air rifle as much as I enjoy mine so I also urge you to learn how to use this blog and keep checking it for information and recommendations from some very knowledgeable airgunners. We will be glad to help you enjoy your sport.


  64. Pyramid has a BUNCH of diopter rear sights.


    The problem is you don’t know who makes them or how good they are.
    The Daisy 5899 is known for slop in the mechanism.
    The made-in-China Avanti rear sight similarly has slop in the mechanism.
    Cannot tell who makes the Air Arms diopter. China or Spain.

    This is the one that I got. It is labeled Crossman, but is made by Gamo (at least the one that I have). And it does not have the slop in the mechanism.

    I have not tried my diopter on my version-2 (plastic receiver) IZH-60, so I cannot say if it has the adjustment to align with the front sight.

  65. Exactly how loud is the 61? Youve said before that its one of the quietest airguns of my time but being a newcomer i dont have a baseline avg. loudness so, if you can compare the sound of this to some common sound please tell.

  66. I am trying to decide whether to get the Hammerli 490, Daisy 953, IZH 61, Mendoza RM-200, or Crosman Storm XT. I basically need a gun that is really accurate and quiet, as I am 13 years old and live in the suburbs. This will be my first airgun. Any other gun that is quiet and accurate under $120 is ok w/ me. Thanks!

  67. Jason, first of all you might wanna pop over to the recent blog -/blog//. You can ask off-topic airgunning questions any time.

    The Storm XT is a full-powered gun that can be tough to shoot well. It has plenty of recoil, and unless you’re shooting 30+yards or hunting with it, it doesn’t sound like your best bet.

    The IZH61 is much (MUCH) lower-powered and quiet, but frankly I suspect the QC has gone down the tubes. Magazines can be a problem, if they are not made correctly the pellets get mangled when fed.

    The 490 is quiet and can be very accurate, and it is very easy to cock. It is also a full-sized and full-weight rifle, so if you’re on the smaller side it might not be a good fit for you.

    Never tried the Mendoza, but from my experiences with other Mendoza’s I’d be tempted to recommend the Daisy.

  68. Jason,
    If you are still here, I agree with Vince.

    I have the Daisy 953 and I would recommend it over the IZH-61 because it (the 953) is a nice smooth shooting single pump pneumatic rifle that doesn’t require a finicky hold. And it is reasonably quiet also plus reasonably accurate and reasonably priced.

    The IZH-61 (which I do like, also) is a spring piston rifle and a little finicky on how you hold it. However, it is accurate also and quiet and easy to cock. If you can afford both get them because you’ll learn how to shoot using two different techniques. If you can’t afford both, start with the 953.

    I’ll post this on the current blog Vince showed you in case you go there.


  69. Thanks for the quick reply! I was going to get the izh 61, but now I’m probably gonna get the 953 first then buy the izh 61 to “share” both with my little brother. I’ll convince my little brother to get it for his birthday. Thanks for the help!

  70. One last question-Which would be better, the Hammerli 490 or the 953? I am about 5’7” at 14 years old (my birthday was yesterday) so I should be able to handle the Hammerli with no problems. On the Pyramid Air website the Daisy is said to have a trigger pull of 6lbs, but the Hammerli has a 6.8 lbs trigger. Are those ratings correct? If so, which gun would be better(accurate, quiet, etc.)?Thanks Again guys!

  71. Jason,

    This is a tough question. The answer is to get the one you really want the most.

    The 490 trigger is heavy, but it can be learned. otherwise the rifle is very nice.

    The 953 has a lot of plastic on it and the trigger, while not as heavy, is very creepy. That means it starts and stops as you pull it through the final stage.


  72. Jason, neither of these guns is such a high-precision machine that you can count on the trigger pull being that consistent. You wind up with a Hammerli that has a lighter trigger pull than the Daisy, especially if some lube makes its way to the sear. The 490 has a ‘direct sear’ trigger, and if the factory is a bit off on grinding the sear angles the trigger effort will vary quite a bit.

    The 490 can be a very sweet shooter, but (being a Chinese Shanghai-built product) it might take some tweaking to do its best – especially in the lockup area. I suspect the Daisy would be more likely to ‘be right’ out of the box.

  73. Sorry for the late reply. I will be ordering within a week…can’t wait. I’m probably going to get the daisy because of the 5 shot magazine, it seems to be more fun that a single. Also, exactly what parts of the guns are plastic? Many people say that there is too much plastic, but how much is there exactly and how much does it affect performance/life of gun?

  74. Jason,
    You don’t have to worry about the plastic on the 953. Sure there is plastic on it but it’s solid and good quality. Don’t let that scare you away.
    The stock is a composite material.
    the trigger guard and trigger are plastic.
    The bracket that clamps the barrel to the stock is plastic.
    The cocking lever looks like plastic but feels as solid as metal.

  75. Regarding the Baikal, I just replaced the spring and my boss, who I am finding is an avid airgunner, says I should clean thoroughly, polish and lube with molybdenum. He also suggested "tarring" the spring to dampen the spring vibration. Is this necessary/ok to do with this gun?

  76. B.B.,

    you helped me a couple of years ago with my IZH-61. From my description of the problem, you thought the barrel might be leaded and suggested I use JB Bore Paste to remedy. That did the trick.

    I probably need to do it again and am wondering whether lead solvent and a brass brush are an option also.

    Thanks for your help,


  77. BB,
    Thanks for all your tips etc. and to the other bloggers here. I just bought a used IZH61 today at a gun show in Kansas and anticipate a lot of fun. The instruction manual shows the manufacture date is Feb. 26,2001. What is the average life span of one of these Ruskie guns? I have a Baikal Makarov 9×18 I bought back in 1998 and still plink but mostly keep at the ready per zombies 😉
    BTW, The composite stock appears a bit faded. What would you suggest to restore “original luster”?

Leave a Comment

Buy With Confidence

  • Free Shipping

    Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

    Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

    View Shipping Info

  • Shipping Time Frame

    We work hard to get all orders placed by 12 pm EST out the door within 24 hours on weekdays because we know how excited you are to receive your order. Weekends and holiday shipping times will vary.

    During busy holidays, we step our efforts to ship all orders as fast as possible, but you may experience an additional 1-2 day delay before your order ships. This may also happen if you change your order during processing.

    View Shipping Times

  • Shipping Restrictions

    It's important to know that due to state and local laws, there are certain restrictions for various products. It's up to you to research and comply with the laws in your state, county, and city. If you live in a state or city where air guns are treated as firearms you may be able to take advantage of our FFL special program.

    U.S. federal law requires that all airsoft guns are sold with a 1/4-inch blaze orange muzzle or an orange flash hider to avoid the guns being mistaken for firearms.

    View Shipping Restrictions

  • Expert Service and Repair

    Get the most out of your equipment when you work with the expert technicians at Pyramyd AIR. With over 25 years of combined experience, we offer a range of comprehensive in-house services tailored to kickstart your next adventure.

    If you're picking up a new air gun, our team can test and tune the equipment before it leaves the warehouse. We can even set up an optic or other equipment so you can get out shooting without the hassle. For bowhunters, our certified master bow technicians provide services such as assembly, optics zeroing, and full equipment setup, which can maximize the potential of your purchase.

    By leveraging our expertise and precision, we ensure that your equipment is finely tuned to meet your specific needs and get you ready for your outdoor pursuits. So look out for our services when shopping for something new, and let our experts help you get the most from your outdoor adventures.

    View Service Info

  • Warranty Info

    Shop and purchase with confidence knowing that all of our air guns (except airsoft) are protected by a minimum 1-year manufacturer's warranty from the date of purchase unless otherwise noted on the product page.

    A warranty is provided by each manufacturer to ensure that your product is free of defect in both materials and workmanship.

    View Warranty Details

  • Exchanges / Refunds

    Didn't get what you wanted or have a problem? We understand that sometimes things aren't right and our team is serious about resolving these issues quickly. We can often help you fix small to medium issues over the phone or email.

    If you need to return an item please read our return policy.

    Learn About Returns

Get FREE shipping on qualifying orders! Any order $150+ with a shipping address in the contiguous US will receive the option for free ground shipping on items sold & shipped by Pyramyd AIR during checkout. Certain restrictions apply.

Free shipping may not be combined with a coupon unless stated otherwise.

View Shipping Info

Text JOIN to 91256 and get $10 OFF Your Next $50+ Order!

* By providing your number above, you agree to receive recurring autodialed marketing text msgs (e.g. cart reminders) to the mobile number used at opt-in from Pyramyd AIR on 91256. Reply with birthday MM/DD/YYYY to verify legal age of 18+ in order to receive texts. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg frequency may vary. Msg & data rates may apply. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel. See Terms and Conditions & Privacy Policy.