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Education / Training IZH-61 Sight Options – Part 1

IZH-61 Sight Options – Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier

Guest blogger
This is CJr’s first guest blog for us, although he’s already been very active and helpful by contributing to the blog comments. As many of you know, the IZH-61 is a rifle that any shooter can appreciate and enjoy, and CJr shows us some ways to modify the its open sights.

If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me.

Bloggers must be proficient in the simple html that Blogger software uses, know how to take clear photos and size them for the internet (if their post requires them) and they must use proper English. We will edit each submission, but we won’t work on any submission that contains gross misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

by CJr

I was interested in configuring my IZH-61 rifles with sights that are compatible with competition shooting regulations. I don’t intend to use them for competition, just to gain experience shooting with the different optical devices. That means no magnifying lenses are allowed, so I purchased some diopter peep sights to see if they would work for me. I also want to have one IZH-61 configured with a scope for general target practice and plinking. Since I do all of my shooting indoors on a 10-meter range, I must be able to sight in any optical device at that distance.

I have four IZH-61 guns. One is scoped with the UTG BugBuster 6×32 scope, another has a Beeman Sport Aperture sight, the third has a Daisy Avanti Precision diopter sight and the fourth has the original open sight. Here’s what the three guns with altered sights look like:

Top to bottom: Beeman Sport Aperture, Daisy Avanti Precision diopter and UTG Bug Buster 6×32.

I tested the Mendoza diopter sight but couldn’t get it to compensate for shooting too high. I don’t show it here because I returned it to Pyramyd AIR and replace it with the Beeman. More on the Mendoza later.

Scoping the rifle
The IZH-61 is a short rifle with a very short scope rail. The only scope that made sense to me was the UTG 6x32AO Bug Buster Compact, and it’s an excellent fit when used with the UTG 11mm to Weaver adapter. The Weaver adapter prevented scope creep and allowed me to position the scope further forward, giving me better eye relief. Look at the following picture to see that a shorter scope is necessary, especially if your body requires a shorter pull.

This shows the relative positions of various scopes if they were mounted without the Weaver adapter. The stock of the gun is at its fullest extension. The front scope ring of the Bug Buster (bottom) is positioned just short of the back of the magazine-release button. The other scopes shown are a BSA 4-16x40IR at top (15.5 inches) and a Ruger 4×32 (11.5 inches). The Bug Buster is just 8.25 inches long.

The Weaver mount, because of its construction, lets me position the scope far forward while still giving me access to the magazine-release button.

Note the magazine-release button under the mount overhang. Also note how the scope is all the way forward in the rings in order to move the scope as far forward as possible.

The Weaver adapter’s rear mount screw is actually hanging off the back of the gun’s scope rail. It’s constructed in such a way that tightening it provides a positive grip on the rail, aiding in the prevention of scope creep.

I had to shim the back scope ring to compensate for a lot of barrel droop. In hind sight, I wish I’d used the B-Square 10101 1″ Interlock Adjustable Rings. I did use them later on a Daisy Powerline 953 TargetPro with very good results.

Watch for part 2, which will appear in tomorrow’s blog.

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.

53 thoughts on “IZH-61 Sight Options – Part 1”

  1. All these interesting posts, I really need to learn more!

    BB, I was looking for pellet suggestions to add to my scope and ring order and found your post


    It seems most of those are discontinued, at least from the PA website. Are there any new suggestions, especially ones that would be appropriate for small game hunting with a Big Cat 1200?

    Thanks again!

  2. One issue I hope the second blog touches on: Are there sight/scope mounting issues that differ between the metal and plastic receiver versions of the IZH-61?

  3. CJr,nice blog,good pics…an envyable collection,to be sure!I would love to see an example group from your favorite combo!I hope you get compensated ,like Wacky Wayne with his Air Arms rep. position…LOL maybe some stock options?{and I don't mean length of pull} thanks,Frank B

  4. CJr,

    Nice writing! You and Matt61 have got the experience with this one for sure! Josh still enjoys ours with his kids plinking and close range rat hunting in the trailer park..

    Wow, 4- IZH-61s … Why four of the same gun? Group fun? Spare parts? or just the different modes of eye practice with the same gun?

    That's very helpful on the different sighting options and how to mount them.. Thanks for your work on the subject..

    I got the Evanix Blizzard S10 .22cal in yesterday. I mounted a 8-32×56 AO side focus last night and quickly got on paper.. Nice not to need adjustable mounts..

    It was too late to test it last night.. so later today a report.. B.B. will give a full report someday, so I'll just compare to our other PCPs.. and hopefully the Marauder will be here today as well..

    But, first impressions out of the box:
    I got a very nice stock with a beautiful heartwood stripe on the bottom half of the butt into the well carved and finished thumbhole pistol grip… This stock is very well finished, much better than the AR6 or other Korean guns we tried.
    The bluing is well done as well.. very good fit and finish..

    The side lever is not as easy or smooth as the Air Arms S410.. not even close.. too soon to know how well it advances.. later on that.

    The trigger is adjustable if you take the action out of the stock.. this one is not bad out of the box, but I'll be setting it a little lower if possible..

    The magazine is all metal, (it comes with two), seems built well, it holds the 10- .22 cal kodiak real firmly, but I'm not sure how well it will advance.. just not as smooth as the Air Arms.. maybe it will smooth out with time.

    The fill probe is like the FX line, looks like it might interchange. It has a pressure gauge for the air tank, which is nice..

    The fully shrouded barrel is pretty quiet, for all it's power.. twice as loud as my .177 cal AAS410, but still no problem indoors in the echo of the pool room range.. I'm guessing it's just a little louder than a AAs410 in .22 cal..

    I'm a little worried that it might be too powerful.. the first sight in shots looked like they hit sideways.. not a clean hole in the paper, so I'll be looking closely at the pellets at different distances, to watch for pellet tumble.. I wish this had adjustable power!
    more later…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  5. Wayne-
    "That's really what got me hooked… more shots per session..by a "one hole" lot:)"

    Your above quote is a summary of my #1 quality in seeking an airgun, tied with the quietness of being able to use it nearly anywhere.

    Although i recognize the general differences in carbine vs rifle and .177 vs .22, can you give your perspective on these issues for the AAS410 in particular?

  6. I have taken a different approach to scoping the IZH 61. I mounted a 3/4" weaver V22 A. This scope is 12 1/2" long, so it could be mounted on both the front and rear dovetails.

    The Weaver is an old .22 rimfire scope that I bought at a gun show for $10. The scope is so old that the lenses are not coated.

    I use this gun mainly for shooting pigeons off the power lines behind my back yard. From my back door the shot is about nine meters at a 45 degree upward angle. This combination works very well, usually knocking the birds off the powerline. I then dispatch them on the ground.

  7. Nice Report CJR,
    I have the mendoza notched blade, and with the slight barrel droop of my Crosman Storm XT, i think im going to have to send it back, because it wont adjust low enough. I was going to ask, with the regular post front sight on my storm, can i use a peep sight? Or will i have to get a new front sight to be able to use a peep sight? Thanks,

  8. John R,

    I wondered if anyone got that one..

    Yes, for me after shooting a lot of different styles and models within styles..
    It boils down to number of: quiet, accurate, shots per session…. and varied power (for different types of sessions)..

    ..so that means a PCP with a large tank, good valve system, high quality barrel, 8 or 10 shot magazine, and easy side lever cocking.,, so one can keep the gun in the bench rest or on ones shoulder, easily cock and fire again and again.. change mags, and keep going for at least 5 mags..

    Our AAs410 .177 cal will let me keep going for 130 shots at 750fps, if I deal with a little loss of POI for the last 30 shots, that's why I have 15 magazines!)

    So a carbine is nice to carry in tight spaces and long distance, but you get less shots per fill..

    .22 cal is better for hunting, but it's louder, and you get less shots per fill.. It's no good for field target, if you ever get into that..

    Our AAs410 in .177 shoots faster on high power (JSB 10.2 @ 1041 fps), than I've seen reported elsewhere… so we might have a special gun somehow..

    So ours is fine for squirrels, but it can take two shots to kill them..
    An Eunjin 16gr. 177 cal will tumble over 900fps with most guns, but it can still be accurate enough for squirrels at 30 yards, and then you have a one shot pellet. I would use them for larger prey like a raccoon, counting on follow up shots.

    Kodiak are my favorite hunting pellet, either in .177 or .22, they carry the most foot lbs at a distance, and are the most accurate at a distance.. at least that's our experience so far.. but if you can hit the target with the Eunjin, you do more damage with one shot.

    I hope that helps…

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  9. I look forward to part 2. I have a plastic-receiver IZH60, that is currently scoped with a Tasco Bantam 2.5X32 shotgun scope.

    In the past, I too have tried various sight combinations on my 60. One of my favorites for indoor shooting was an old Anschutz diopter and a clear disk aperture in place of the front post.

    Another trick that works well on the little black Russian is to remove the front sight post and file a small V groove in the top, then reinstall it. I found that the front post is too wide for precise close-range shooting. I'm a big fan of these little guns.

    Jim in PGH

  10. Phil L,
    I only have the plastic receiver versions (which is very good quality, I might add) so I am unable to make the comparison you'd like to see. The dovetails on my IZH-61's do not have a hole for a scope stop pin, but what I can say is that none of the sighting options I used have experienced any scope creep, in spite of the plastic construction and typical springer abuse.

    Frank B,
    The only compensation I need is to know you enjoyed the post and found something useful in it (LOL). No, seriously…

    I have three grandkids. Actually I have done a blog post before but I have confused Edith by using a different by-line. My previous posts were by Chuck but I switched to CJr because it required fewer key strokes. One of my previous posts was:

    I have the four guns to prevent fighting over who gets to shoot next and who damaged what and to have one for myself that won't get the abuse caused by the training phase. It's good to be able to say now, that in retrospect, there has been no abuse. They are very respectful of their charges. The side benefit is that I don't have to swap and re-sight sights whenever I want to play.

    Anonymous V22 A,
    The dovetail on my 61's is behind the magazine release button and it is only 2 1/2" long – not much to work with. There is no dovetail in front of the release button. It looks like they could have put one there but they didn't on my versions.

    You will probably have the same problem with barrel droop with a Mendoza peep sight, also – I did, and I said a little more about it in tomorrow's Part 2 post. Ask me again tomorrow if you need more info after reading it.


  11. CJr
    I like your collection:)Any group
    comparason to the 953?

    Sorry for the off topic folks and hope this isn't too political but
    HEY AARON and other michiganders:
    Information posted on the Yellow forum about an existing Michigan law.

    I'm not tryin to start any arguments with this,just thought folks should see it for themselves.
    sure hope this doesn't spread!

  12. Regarding the long Weaver .22 scope on the IZH 61: the front dovetail mount is not on the receiver, but on the forward barrel support, where the sporting leaf sight is mounted.

  13. Great blog. Looking forward to the next.

    I mounted the Daisy Avanti Diopter sight to my IZH 61. It works very well. However, the sight would slip out after a 100 shots. So I epoxy welded it to the plastic receiver. Have not had a problem since.

    I use Crosman premier 7.9 dome for my Izzy 61. Normally I shoot at 10 meter range.


    I also shoot the Avanti 747 and the Daisy 853c (with AirForce diopter rear sight). Right now I also use the Crosman premier 7.9 dome. Would you recommend that I use the heavier 10.9 Crosman premiers?

    Thanks again.

  14. Chuck,

    What a gorgeous collection, and it's nice to see someone actually succeeding in mounting the various sights. I couldn't make any of them work except for the scope which works very well. It is possible to clamp the Bug Buster right onto the scope rail with medium Accushot rings, and after tens of thousands of shots, scope creep is barely perceptible, not enough to bother fixing.

    I thought "diopter" meant there was magnification built in.

    Let us know your favorite sighting arrangement. I believe that within the range of the IZH 61, the scope and open sights should be about equal. Also, I think to really get into competition format, you need to install a globe front sight, and Derrick has a method for doing that.

    Wayne, wow 130 shots on the S410 for low power is about double what is advertised on the PA site. That is quite a recommendation. I believe that the FWB field target rifle advertises something like 180 shots per fill; maybe that's why they're so expensive.

    Let us know your impressions of the Marauder as soon as possible.


  15. Anonymous Weaver .22 scope,
    I checked for that dovetail on my 61's and there is none on the forward barrel mount, either. Must have been a design change.

  16. We would love to see a side-by-side comparison of Marauder and Evanix Blizzard S10. Marauder seems to have a flimsy plastic magazine and very small air reservoir compared to heavy weight of the S10.

  17. Anonymous 953 group comparison,

    I can shoot either gun (IZH-61/953) equally well (1/4" and better at 10m). I like the 953 better because springers go boing whereas the 953 has virtually no recoil, and no twang. However, lately I have been enjoying a twangy Gamo Recon springer that for some reason I always shoot first during a session. Maybe it's the thumbhole stock and the less need for the artillery hold.


  18. Matt61,

    Wayne's AA S410 in .177 caliber does sound like a special gun. When you read his comments he get's 100 shots on low power (750fps) but shoots another 30 with a little loss in poi.

    My .22 caliber AA S410 on medium/plinking setting (670-690 fps as I recall) gives me 7 magazines (70 shots) at 30 yards without loss of poi. After that the poi shifts down about a half a mil dot. I have ten magazines and fill them all before shooting and for the last 30 shots out of 100 shots I compensate for the loss of poi with holdover.


  19. Chuck & Brody,
    Add me to the Mendoza Aperture sight club. Way too high. Its on my 36-2 currently, but I have to holdover at less than 30 yards.

    I don't really like the aperture as well as open sights, anyway, or I would cut and lift the front globe, which I may end up doing anyway so as to use the Mendoza open sights which look better made than the stock ones.

  20. Aaron,

    Edith checked and it is a valid law. Michigan declares ALL airguns to be firearms (against federal regulations–the Dole Act of 1986, which may no longer be valid), but they only regulate those under 30 inches because they consider them to be handguns.

    Pyramyd AIR will be stopping ALL shipments of guns to Michigan that are quieted in any way because of this law.


  21. stingray…I tried some heavy pellets in my 853C. What I found was a drop off in accuracy and that when target shooting they weren't going fast enough to punch a real clean hole in the paper, making close shots a chore to score.
    CowBoyStar Dad

  22. Pellet Trajectory. Saw a test today. AA Field 8.4gr pellets. Gun was sigted at 25yards.

    10yards-poi was slightly below the bullseye. Group was 11mm.

    20yards-poi was almost completely in the bullseye. Grouping at 8mm

    25yards-poi dead centre. Grouping at 5mm.

    30yards-poi exactly like 20yards and same grouping.

    40yards-poi drops way out of the bullseye,very low. Grouping at 15mm

  23. Sorry at above post, all distances were in metres. My question is, why is the 10 metre grouping below the bullseye? I taught it should have actually been higher.

  24. Ishaq,

    You have discovered the two points of intersection–20 to 30 yards/meters. A gun sighted for 25 yards is on at 20 to 30 yards–the perfect place to sight a pellet gun!

    The group is below the aim point at 10 yards because the sights are above the barrel. Put the target so it touches the muzzle–now where do the pellets group, relative to the sights? They continue to do that out to 20 meters because the line of sight slants downward very slowly–until it intersects the flying pellet.


  25. Ishaq,

    The pellet is on the way up and then peaks on the arc at 25 yards.. then it's on the way down..

    So the distance that you can use the crosshairs centered on the target without adjustment is 20 to 30 yards.. aim lower closer and farther.. seems weird but true..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  26. Ishaq,

    B.B. and I were typing at the same time.. I think we are saying the same thing, but I'm still learning this game too..

    I think the line of sight is slanted downward to compensate for the arc of the pellet..

    B.B., Kevin, & All is that right?

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  27. Wayne, dont you mean aim higher?

    Oh well anyways, I bought lead free dynamic SN1 pellets today. 0.48inch 5-shot group at 25yards. I plan to make them my main pellet and sight my gun in with them. Just wanna try something different.

  28. Chuck,

    Can you compare the range of the 953/IZH 61? I would think that the power is comparable. But someone wrote that the 953 is useless beyond 30 yards, and someone else on the blog has claimed to hit cans regularly at 80 yards with the IZH 61.


  29. B.B.



    No, I mean low.. close in (under 20 yards)..

    .. and low also on shots farther than 30 yards)..

    ..the pellet is on the way up under 25 yards, and on the way down after 30 yards..

    I lost my first field target contest (missing almost all the close easy shots!.. making the 30 to 50 yard shots!!), because I didn't get this point either.. It seems like the pellet would always be on a downward slope as it leaves the gun.. but no, it goes in an arc..

    .. depending on the power of the gun and weight of the pellet, the arc is higher or flatter..

    This is what makes the field target game so much fun.. or so frustrating.. depending on your attitude!!

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  30. CJr
    thanx for the comparison now I don't
    want the izzy quite so bad:)

    Aaron sorry for opening that can of
    worms but I had not researched it
    yet and wanted yall to be aware of it.Hope you all in MI don't hunt me down because PA is stopping shipments

    BB and Edith
    Thank you for tracking that info down so quick.Hope it doesn't cause too many problems for PA.

    I'm the one who posted the link to
    the MI law on the yellow and it had me sorta rattled so I forgot to sign on

  31. BGFarmer
    shame on you pickin on that yankee:)

    Wacky Wayne
    maybe I need to think about it more
    If POI is lower aim higher Is what I'm thinkin,you said aim lower
    O.k what am I missing?


  32. Thanks,
    What i meant was can i use a peep sight with just a post front sight. The IZH has the hood, to line up, but my storm has just a post. Will i be able to use it? I was just wondering in case i decide to buy a peep sight on a whim.

  33. JTinAL,

    Yep.. I'm still thinkin backward!!

    One would aim high if the pellet is going to hit low, because it's on the way up..
    I got the logic right, but not the action!!

    Thanks for the help!
    It's a hard one for my brain.. but I got it now..

    Wacky Wayne

  34. Aaron
    Please don't say things like that on a public forum even in fun,too many ways for things to go wrong.Besides we aint
    through pickin on ya yet:)

    I wasn't tryin to be picky cause every time I start to adjust sights or scope
    I have to stop and think about it.Then I
    go ahead and do it wrong anyway:)DOH!


    P.S that post sure disappeared from the
    yellow awfully fast.Violated the rule
    about not discussing silencers at all.

  35. hey all!

    Guess what just arrived..

    Yep, the Benji .177 cal Marauder!

    First impressions:

    Nice light weight, but very plain beech stock, not well finished..

    Bluing pretty good.. not as good as the Blizzard.. or AAs410

    Shoulders well, balanced nicely..

    Only one magazine with it, and it's plastic.. about as good as the poor quality ones that come from the factory with the AAs410.. I wonder if RCmachine will make after market ones for it too..
    They make a big difference in the AAs410..

    Fairly hard to pull back the cocking lever compared to the AAs410 sidelever.

    You don't have to take out the action to adjust the power.. but it's not an easy thing like the small knob on the AAs410.. you set it with an allen wrench and leave it, mostly.. not as useful in my opinion, but better than none at all like the Evanix Blizzard s10..

    I'll get a scope on the Marauder and report more later.. I'll run the Blizzard and the Marauder through the crony next..

    Ashland Air Rifle Range

  36. Ishaq,

    if you are still a bit confused, try this link:


    Aaron, I sincerely recommend you don't involve the police or the local District Attorney or Attorney General or whatever the justice department calls themselves in MI, in questions like this but go to a friendly lawyer, perhaps one that is involved with the NRA, to answer your legal questions. Probably nothing will come of this entire issue as they're more busy with firearm issues but why even raise the question with them?

  37. Matt61,
    I wish I could test range for you but I have only a 10meter range (conveniently) available. I do have access to a firearm range 30 mile away and some day I'm going to take my air guns out there.

  38. Cjr-Chuck,
    Nice blog. Those black Russian airguns have be interesting to me for a while now. Just not on my short list of must haves.

    Lots of legal changes may come our way. But lets not go looking for problems. Try the organized method of supporting NRA ILA.


  39. CJR, Thanks for the long waited post on scoping this great gun. (IZZy 61)! I bought one after reading BB's Blog post "My gift to you" featuring the rifle. I now have the 61 and the steel breech 60. I think this is the most underrated rifle in Air Gun history. I have seen very few articles of scoping this gun and it was a delight to here your suggestions. I hope PA is also listening, because they should have a package deal that goes along with the gun to include the scope and mount! Job well Done!!
    Dave Sawyer

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