IZH 46M target pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH 46M
IZH 46M single stroke target pistol.

Part 1
Part 2

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • The test
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • JSB Match Light
  • Sights?
  • Other pellets and holds
  • The new hold
  • RWS Hobby
  • RWS R10 Match Light
  • Best for last
  • Discussion
  • Summary

Today I test the accuracy of the IZH 46M target pistol. We already know it’s a bit more powerful than the standard IZH 46, but how is it downrange?

The test

I shot off a bench at 10 meters. The pistol was rested several different ways that will describe as we go. I used a 6 o’clock hold, the same as when I shoot competition. I shot 5-shot groups that allowed me to test more pellets.

I had no idea of where the pistol was sighted, but since it has open sights I started right at 10 meters. Open sights may be a little off, but they don’t have the alignment issues associated with scopes.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

First to be tested was the RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellet. I looked through the spotting scope after the first shot and saw that it hit the bull, so I didn’t look again. But the group was large. Five Meisterkugeln went into 0.672-inches at 10 meters. This is not the pellet for this pistol.

IZH 46M Meisterkugeln Rifle group
The IZH 46M pistol put 5 RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets in 0.672-inches at 10 meters.

JSB Match Light

The next pellet I tested was the JSB Match Light. It was another one that’s not suited for this pistol Five went into 0.557-inches at 10 meters

IZH 46M JSB Match Light group
Five JSB Match Light pellets made this 0.557-inch group at 10 meters.

Sights?

I haven’t adjusted the sights yet. I know that each pellet will go to it’s own place, so adjusting the sights at this point seems futile, but since I did want to report how they responded to adjustment I cranked them down and to the left following this group. As I reported earlier, the adjustment knobs are clearly marked, and the sights do move with distinct clicks that I can feel but not hear. That may not mean much, though, because these days there are lots of things I can’t hear.

Other pellets and holds

For the first two groups I was holding the pistol at arm’s length. The pump cylinder was resting directly on the sandbag. I was holding the grip with two hands. But I noticed that this hold put a strain on both arms. The pistol seemed to be still, but I decided to try a different hold for the next group.

The new hold

This time I brought the pistol closer to me. I was wearing reading glasses that enable me to see the front sight sharp and clear against a slightly fuzzy bullseye, and since that is the secret of accuracy with open sights I felt this hold was better.

The pump cylinder was still resting on the sandbag and I was still holding the grip with both hands so the pistol was steady as a rock, but the front sight was clearer with this hold.

RWS Hobby

The next pellet tested was the 7-grain RWS Hobby. The group was lower in the bull and also moved to the left a little. Five Hobby pellets went into 0.457-inches, so I think the sight adjustments work well.

IZH 46M Hobby group
At 10 meters 5 Hobby pellets gave me the first decent group, though I expected better from the IZH 46M. These measure 0.457-inches between centers.

The new hold also seemed to be working better than the first one so I continued it. I didn’t adjust the sights anymore because each pellet was going to its own place.

RWS R10 Match Light

The next pellet I tested was the RWS R10 Match Light. My past experience with this 7-grain wadcutter is sort of binary. Either it works well in an airgun or it doesn’t. However, having said that the group I got was just average. Five pellets went into 0.56-inches at 10 meters. Even though it doesn’t look that bad I would say this is a case of not being right for this pistol.

IZH 46M R10 Match Light group
If this group was made by most airguns it would be okay, but it’s not good enough for a 10 meter target pistol. Five RWS R10 Match Pistol pellets are in 0.56-inches at 10 meters.

Best for last

After last Friday’s test of the IZH MP532 target rifle I saved what I thought might turn out to be the best pellet for last. After all, both the rifles and the pistols have hammer-forged barrels that are made in the same factory. You would think they would share some things.

I’m referring to the H&N Finale Match Heavy pellet that did so well in both IZH MP532 target rifles. I didn’t watch the target with the spotting scope as I shot because I wanted nothing to distract me for these five shots.

And the reward was the best group of the test — five pellets in 0.24-inches at 10 meters. Now, that is a group! It’s what I had been looking for all along. If laid over the center of the target it could score a perfect 50 points. I’m not saying it’s the best I have ever done with a 10-meter pistol — far from it, in fact. But it is a good group.

IZH 46M Finale Match Heavy group
That’s what I was looking for! Five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets went into 0.24-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion

This was a quick and dirty accuracy test. I did shoot other pellets that were about as accurate as the Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets, but I didn’t bother showing them. If I were going to compete with this pistol I would test all premium match pellets in every head size I could find.

Summary

The IZH target pistols are no longer available to us in the United States. They are good target pistols but not world class. They have triggers so good that most shooters have never felt anything like them, and the accuracy is acceptable to almost every shooter. They respond to regular care and above all to oiling the pump cup. And in this series I have shown you how to revive those tired old seals through a process of flexing during shooting to warm and soften them. Don’t forget the value of oiling hardened seals with ATF Sealant.

A lot came with these pistols when they were new. This IZH 46M now goes back in the box with all that extra stuff so it will remain a complete package. This one will stay pristine and my other IZH 46 will be my Russian shooter.

28 thoughts on “IZH 46M target pistol: Part 3


  1. BB,

    I know many here may not realize it, but this is my favorite air pistol. 😉

    When I bought mine at the 2009 Roanoke Airgun Show, I immediately came over to your and Mac’s table and discussed with you what would be the best ammo to feed her. You told me to try RWS R10 Match Pistol .449mm. I bought a tin and also a tin of H&N Finale Match Lights. Although she likes the H&Ns, mine really likes the R10s. I have been feeding her that ever since.

    Since I bought mine new, the price of a used one is double what I paid. Even before the sanctions, the price of these had climbed to that much. These are very well made air pistols. With proper care they should be shooting for generations.

    Yeah, I like my Izzy.


    • RidgeRunner,
      You sound just like my buddy, Pete, who let me shoot his Izzy.
      He LOVES his Izzy…his favorite air pistol…and will not part with her for any amount of money. =>
      Take care,
      dave


      • Dave,

        When you have fooled with one of these for a bit, you become addicted to them. Anything else seems sort of unnatural.

        No, mine is not going anywhere. My grandson and his children will learn what it is like to shoot an Izzy.


  2. BB ,

    I have noticed the same thing with the 8.2 grain pellets. The thing that is surprising is the 8.2 shoot pretty close to the 7 grains in velocity ! Maybe You can convince a US company to produce this in Stainless Steel . I bet it would be a expensive undertaking , possibly not financially feasible ? . Stainless would prevent the corrosion in the valve body area . Oh well, a guy can dream . I was really bummed when the sanctions hit , these were good guns for the money .


  3. When I first saw one, I was in Colorado Springs in the late 90’s, and shooting with a sport pistol club that shot at the Olympic Training Center.
    I was just starting out in air pistols, and was looking to upgrade from my Gamo Compact for air pistol competition.

    One of the other club members had a “pair” of russian air pistols he would trade me for an AMT Lightning .22 rimfire pistol I owned.

    When he handed me the case he said, the danged Russians “can’t even make 2 pistols the same size!”

    I traded, and shot both, and decided I liked the 46 better than the 46M.

    The 46M went to a friend that was wanting to get into air pistol competition.

    Some people are gun people, some people just know its a gun and it goes pew pew when you pull the trigger..

    Ian


  4. Hey guys. If you had to buy a selection of pellets to test in a gen 2 marauder 22, what would be on your list? I have a pretty good selection of JSBs, crosman HPs, domes, and their copper coated pellets (sticker says 15.9 grain but PA ssys 14.4 grain). Out of those, the copper coated did the best at about 0.78″ at 30 yards. But they are pricey. I’d like to find something better, or at least as good but less expensive if possible. Any suggestions? Thanks.


    • 45 Bravo,
      I own first gen Marauders – .177 and .22. In both cases, the Crosman Premiers (14.3 gr for the .22 and the 10.5 gr for the .177) gave me the best results. In both cases, I found filling to 2800 psi per the rifle gauge gave me the most consistency across 30 pellets fired – about a 12 fps difference.

      Now how will your Gen 2 rifle do? I think your barrel used different mfg technique from mine so have a fun time testing. But, imho, Crosman makes darn good barrels at this price point.

      Fred Happily in GA


    • Captain Bravo,

      If you have a new 2nd gen Mrod it should not be as pellet finicky as the early ones. That said the JSB pellets have been the best for me, but mine was an early gen2 before they changed the barrel mfg. The newer guns have a new barrel manufacturing process and machining.

      You have an airgun that has a multitude of tuning knobs, it can be frustrating. Mine shot best with crosman pointed pellets in the beginning but only out of one tin. It has never duplicated the same results with any other tin of crosman pointed pellets.

      For 25 to 40 yards I would use the JSB 15.89 pellets and work on the trigger and adjustment knobs on the velocity to optimize the accuracy.

      For longer distances I have been having good luck with the JSB Monster pellets “Redesigned” 25.39 gr pellets in other guns. I replaced the barrel on my 2nd gen M-rod and have not tried the JSB Monsters but think they may be good.

      Every barrel is different but the Crosman guns seem to like Crosman pellets and the JSB pellets are top notch.

      Good L uck
      Don


  5. I looked and found that the ‘favorite’ pellets are available in two head sizes. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve been shooting the H&N Sport pellets, at 7.56 grain, and have not been seeing results as good as you got with the heavier pellet. Not bad, but not as good… I can always use a little help so I know the results (good or bad) are all me!

    Steve


  6. On an unrelated issue, I’ve been doing some pellet testing with my old Remington Airmaster 77 rifle. Had’nt used it much for a few years, and it seemed to not like it’s older favorite pellets. I had a tin of Beeman Silver Bear hollow point pellets that, so far, it seems to shoot about the best. I’ve had that tin for a few years too, so decided I’d better check into availability. I was surprised yesterday to find that the more expensive Beeman pellets seem to all have disappeared from the face of the earth. One can still buy the Chinese made Beeman “coated” pellets.these coated hollow points look very much like the Silver Bears, but are a dull grayish in color, whereas the Silver Bears are a shiny silver. Then I couldn’t find a Beeman website to check there.
    So, says I, what gives here? The Remington had, just the day before, been shooting the cheaper coated hollow points pretty well. Then I cleaned the barrel, and they didn’t shoot so well. Maybe if I “cure” the barrel by shooting a bunch, the accuracy may come back. But, what’s going in with Beeman? I think the premium line of Beeman pellets used to be well respected. Pyramid Air now only lists the cheaper coated Chinese Beeman pellets.


  7. B.B., I’d had my eye on this pistol since I first started being interested in airguns a year ago.
    I couldn’t justify the cost vs. my skill.

    But.

    With all the IZH pistol/rifle posts lately, you broke my will and wallet.
    It arrived tonight, actually, and I’ve just shot my first 10 pellets through it, and oh my, it’s lovely.

    Low-recoil, incredibly accurate, and what a feeling when first opening the box and seeing the brown paper wrapping it, and just the bare necessity of it all.

    So thank you kindly for the inspiration!

    P.S. I will need to make left-handed grips for this too, though! I’m enjoying all the areas that airgunning is making me learn skills in.


  8. B.B.

    Have you ever tested an FWB 65 or 80? Or a FAS 604 (not the new Chiappa 6004)? If not, I think you should. It would be interesting. And those are the used 10M manually-cocked pistols that compete best with things like the Izzy or the new “SIG”.



    • RR,

      Sounds like quite the bit of fun. Not sure where I saw it a (few years) ago,…. but there was some nice pics of just such an event. Very casual, well put together, prizes, pot-luck type food, at the home of the sponsor,…. type,… “thingy”. Could it be the same event? Got pics? 😉

      Chris


      • Chris,

        No, it was not that event. No prizes, but Lloyd and his wife supplied us with coffee, donuts and sandwiches. We just spent the day shooting, gee jawing and playing with Lloyd’s latest invention.

        Now last year I did leave with a nice shooting bench frame and this year I left with a Feinwerkbau rear aperature. No, they were not free, but very reasonable.



      • Shootski,

        This is a very informal event. First you have to get to know Lloyd. Then you have to have a very flexible calendar.

        It was originally scheduled for the 16th, but it was too windy so we rescheduled for the 23rd, but it was rainy, so we rescheduled for the 25th. It was a beautiful day for airgunning.

        We are going to try to do this quarterly. When? Who knows.



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