IZH 46M target pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH 46M
IZH 46M single stroke target pistol.

Part 1

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • First test
  • Tip 1
  • Test 1
  • IZH 46M velocity
  • Tip 2
  • IZH 46 velocity
  • Test 2
  • Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
  • RWS Meisterkugeln
  • Pumping effort
  • Trigger pull
  • Storing with the breech open
  • Summary

Today I test the velocity of the IZH 46M pistol. Mine is new-old-stock. It was used as a display gun at an NRA show, but as far as I can tell, it has never really been used. When I got it, it had all the tools, parts and documentation that came with a new gun.

IZH 46M tools parts
A lot of stuff came with these airguns. You got a new pump cup seal, two new breech seals, a cleaning rod, a rear sight blade and two different front sight posts, plus the combo tool and pin punch needed to take the pistol apart.

First test

What it did not have when I got it was velocity. When I first tested the pistol it shot lightweight .177-caliber pellets at 200 f.p.s. I expected something like that because of all the time it has been sitting around. And here is your first tip. Single stroke pneumatics (SSP) are not left charged with air. So their seals sit around and harden. Multi-pumps are left with air in them when the design of the gun permits it, and that protects the seals, but an SSP uses the pump cup as the inlet seal to retain the air. It is recommended to not leave the gun charged for more than about 5 minutes because this seal isn’t designed for it.

Tip 1

So I oiled the pump cup. And, because I knew this one was probably getting hard, I oiled it with automatic transmission sealant. I have been telling you about this stuff for several years now and by now you should know that it does work! I have “repaired” many CO2 and multi-pump guns just by using this oil. I also fixed the two IZH MP532 target rifles with it, and they are both SSPs, too.

IZH 46M oiled
Oiling the pump cup with ATF sealant. This is a 46. The 46M doesn’t have the air inlet hole in the compression tube.

This advice applies to much more than just this one air pistol. I now use ATF sealant for most of my pneumatic and CO2 lubrication jobs. As Gene Salvino told us, no matter how much oil you put into these airguns, they cannot be over-oiled! Keep them well-lubricated for the best results.

Test 1

The first test I will do will show you the benefits of the second tip I’m going to give you. And you will also get to see an older IZH 46 that was resealed a couple years ago go up against this 46M that is supposed to be faster.

The IZH 46M is supposed to shoot lightweight lead pellets at around 450 f.p.s., according to the manufacturer. I have seen some of them go as high as 500 f.p.s. Let’s see what this one can do. I used RWS Hobby pellets for all the testing in this first test.

IZH 46M velocity

Before the test I lubricated the 46M with 5-8 drops of ATF sealant and worked the pump piston back and forth without allowing the compression build (just don’t complete the cocking stroke and the piston will move around without building pressure) to spread the oil around the compression chamber walls. Remember, this stuff also gets blown through the gun as it fires, so this is the way to get it on every seal in the gun.

For the first test I just opened the pump handle all the way once to cock the gun, then closed it again like you normally would, to shoot the pistol.

Shot………Vel.
1…………350
2…………365
3…………427
4…………443
5…………436
6…………419
7…………441
8…………447
9…………456
10………..455

The average for this string is 424 f.p.s., but it’s a meaningless number, as you can see. It’s obvious that the pump cup is warming up as I shoot.

The spread from the slowest to the fastest shot in this string of 10 is 106 f.p.s. The gun isn’t ready for shooting right off the bat, despite me oiling it beforehand.

Tip 2

This is where we boost the velocity of any SSP by changing the manner in which we pump it. I pumped the pistol partially 20 times and then shot it. Every shot thereafter was filled with one partial pump before the final complete pump. The partial pump adds no air to the reservoir. It simply flexes the pump cup. The pump cup stays warm and flexible this way.

Shot..……Vel.
1…………472
2…………481
3…………476
4…………477
5…………473
6…………481
7…………476
8…………478
9…………470
10………..482

By pumping the pistol this way the same Hobby pellet averaged 477 f.p.s. The variation in the spread was just 12 f.p.s. This IZH 46M with factory seals that were installed back in 2005 is shooting faster today than the 450 f.p.s. advertised velocity. That is what ATF sealant and my special way of warming up the pump cup can do. Now let’s look at the IZH 46.

IZH 46 velocity

This pistol was made in 1994, but I sent it back to Pyramyd Air to be resealed about 2-3 years ago. Gene Salvino told us that Pyramyd Air has produced the seal kits for these airguns (both the 46 and 46M), so they can always reseal one for you.

I oiled the 46 pump cup with ATF sealant, the same as the 46M. Then I shot it exactly the same way, but for the first string I just pumped it once and shot it. And I’m still shooting Hobby pellets

Shot..……Vel.
1…………389
2…………406
3…………394
4…………396
5…………410
6…………403
7…………415
8…………420
9…………421
10………..429

We see the exact same thing that we saw with the 46M. It starts out slow and then speeds up as the pump cup warms. The average for this string is 408 f.p.s. and the extreme spread is 40 f.p.s. By the end of the string the pistol is shooting faster than the advertised velocity of 420 f.p.s. Now, let’s see what my special way of pumping does! Same Hobby pellet, same 20 partial pumps before the first shot and one partial before each shot that follows.

Shot..……Vel.
1…………463
2…………459
3…………448
4…………454
5…………451
6…………455
7…………456
8…………452
9…………456
10………..458

Same results as for the 46M. That average velocity for this string is 455 f.p.s and the extreme spread is 15 f.p.s. Pumping it my way, the pistol becomes faster and more stable.

Test 2

Now let’s see what the 46M does with a couple other pellets. We’ll try one that’s lighter and one that’s heavier. I’m not going to test the 46 this time because we know that the relationship between the two pistols will remain the same.

Sig Match Ballistic Alloy

The Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter has proven quite accurate in other airguns, so I thought I’d give it a go here. It is made from pure tin, so it’s expensive, but also much lighter than lead. At 5.25 grains, it’s a real lightweight.

I will pump the pistol one time partially, followed by a complete pump for every shot. Let’s go!

Shot..……Vel.
1…………535
2…………522
3…………473
4…………492
5…………497
6…………522
7…………492
8…………518
9…………513
10………..503

Wow! That was all over the place! The average for the string was 507 f.p.s. but only a few shots were anywhere close to that speed. The velocity spread from low to high was 52 f.p.s. That is so much of a difference that I don’t think this pellet will do well for accuracy.

RWS Meisterkugeln

The last pellet I tested was the 8.2-grain RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle wadcutter. Ten of them averaged 455 f.p.s. with an 11 f.p.s. spread. Now that is something I can work with!

Pumping effort

The pistol pumps with 18 pounds of effort. I thought it would be a little heavier, but as long as you pump smoothly and don’t rush it, it’s that light to pump.

Trigger pull

I measured this for you in Part 1 and adjusted the trigger to 513 grams. I must have fiddled with the adjustments after that because today the 2-stage trigger required 11 ounces to get through stage one and the pistol fired at 14.8 ounces (419.57 grams). That’s too light for a match, but I’m leaving it where it is because I really like it.

Storing with the breech open

The IZH46M has two rubber breech seals. They can go flat and stop sealing well if they remain compressed so I advise opening the breech when this pistol is stored.

IZH 46M breech open
Whenever I store the pistol I leave the breech open like this., Just pull the spring-loaded latch cover forward to do this.

Summary

Well, the IZH 46M is turning out like I thought it would. It’s a little slower than I would have guessed, but for a 10-meter target pistol it’s right where you want it to be.

The next test will be accuracy at 10 meters, and since that is what this pistol was designed for, I have high expectations. Until then, stay tuned.

47 thoughts on “IZH 46M target pistol: Part 2


    • Yogi,

      If you buy one of these nowadays, none of your money will go to Russia. They have already been paid for it. You will just be lining US pockets.

      Do you help the Chinese out?


      • I help the Chinese as little as possible. They will be the next Nazi Germany.

        -Y
        FWIW-I help the Iranians, Cubans, North Koreans out also as little as possible.
        When the US Government lifts it’s embargo on Russian goods, I will buy an Izzy. Until then I am a patriotic American!



        • Yogi,

          You just never know, most especially when you get in bed with the politicians.

          Yes, China is going to be our next big bugaboo. We would learn to survive if they outlawed all Chinese imports.

          BTW, I bought my Izzy ten years ago when we were helping the Ruskies.


  1. BB,

    During my first endeavor into airgunning, back in the 80’s, I seem to recall that an argument was frequently made for spring guns over pump pneumatics because pump guns were not consistent in velocity, due to the fact that the air was heated during pumping and began cooling as soon as the pumping ended. The theory was, as I remember it, if the shooter took various times between shots, his gun would shoot at differing velocities.

    Your theory on pumping seems to be that the cup is warming and becoming more flexible and more efficient at moving air into the valve. Could it be that the extra pumping is just warming everything up, the pump face, cup, pump rod, pump cylinder, and that heat is being passed on to the air, causing it to expand and build pressure and giving higher velocity? If that were the case, this gun could also suffer from inconsistent velocity, if it were not fired right away each time.

    If I’m not completely mis-remembering this argument and if you think it is worth exploring, would you, at some point in a future report, try “warming the cup” and then shoot at different intervals to see how it impacts velocity?

    Half


    • Half,

      I tested this theory when I wrote “The Airgun Letter.” It didn’t hold up, as I recall. That was a Blue Streak multi pump. An SSP is different.

      Think about what you would like to see and maybe there is something to test.

      B.B.


  2. B.B.

    I have to give my FWB 100 the ATF treatment and try your “warm the pump” routine as it is not holding air. Winter is here and I do a fair amount of 10 meter shooting in the basement.

    During the gun hunt we have a lot of deer that come to stay close to the house where they are safe. We have a 2 1/2 year old 8-point that has been hanging around for a couple of days. He was one of our fawns and is comfortable with us. Yesterday he was bedded down in the front yard so I went out to talk with him and take a picture to share. I took this from about 25 feet and he didn’t even bother to stand up – obviously not concerned at all.

    Happy Monday!
    Hank



      • Yeah, I try not to shovel – have a BIG snowblower for that LOL!

        The buck is going a bit snakes right now – half a dozen does out front, a least 3 of them are in heat and he is chasing all of them all over the place. I yelled at him to CHOSE ONE but he didn’t listen … kids eh?

        Hank



    • Hank,

      Very nice! Wow,… you got drifts and everything. No such stuff (yet) in Ohio. I am on hyper-alert on the way to work at 4 AM. I see way too many. I do not get in a hurry and try to stay sub-10 limit at least. Shortens stop distance. Also,… a foot (over) the brake on blind hills and curves can be a benefit too. Both methods have saved me/my car more than I can count.

      Good for you to provide a safe place and good for them to be smart enough to take advantage of it! 😉

      Chris


      • Chris,

        Yeah, beautiful animals – make terrible hood ornaments though.

        For 30 years I commuted 2 hours a day through prime deer country, never came close to hitting one. Like you, took my time and kept a close watch out.

        The deer know the safe zone – can always tell when there is a pack of coyotes in the area by the number of deer hanging around the house. The coyotes have learned to keep away or risk being turned into fly tying material LOL!

        Hank


        • Hank,

          Pushing 60,.. I never hit one,…. till last year. Using the 2 methods I described,.. I managed to avoid any damage. A full size doe suddenly jumped out of a heavy brush/tree/fence area,… on a tight rural, paved, tight S-curve,…. on top of very bad weather.

          By the time I fully saw it,.. it was in front of the Rav4. I was maybe doing 20 mph and had slowed to maybe 5. It was there,… then gone,… and I felt the SUV rise up on the right side and I hit the gas. 6 miles later I stopped at a local gas station and checked things over. 0% damage and the deer was dead as I saw it on the way home. I basically knocked it over and then ran over it,.. I suppose.

          I am amazed at the number of people in full size, jacked up pick ups going as fast as they can. They think that they are invincible. Not to mention people in smaller cars than my Rav4.

          I am lucky we do not have Moose in Ohio as I hear that they can be unbelievably massive. Elk too for that matter.

          Good for you for surviving the 2 hr./30 year drive with nothing to show for it. “Nothing” is good in that case,.. by the way. 😉

          I do wonder,…. do you have any trouble with area hunters staking out your property borders? Given the sanctuary/feeding status of your yard,… I would suppose that the deer have a pretty well worn path in and out. Seems like prime focus area for a would be hunter? Maybe not?

          Good evening,……….. Chris


          • Chris,

            There is no public land anywhere around here and the area is built up enough (5 to 20 acre lots) all along the road that hunting with a deer rifle is not safe (or legal). A couple of people archery hunt but stick to their own property.

            There is one gang that rifle hunts on a farm in the “back forty” but a large swamp keeps them well away from the roads. These guys check their rifles the day before season opens and within an hour of the shooting the deer start showing up LOL!

            Hank


    • Hank
      He’s a beauty! It’s nice that you can provide a sanctuary for them. Do you provide any feed for them? I have a small dish out in the back yard and put about a half bucket of corn out for them. I don’t put it out everyday because they go through it too quickly. I have a trail camera setup to capture some video of them too. Our deer season just opened on Friday the 15th but I haven’t seen many hunters out. I used to deer hunt every year but now I just enjoy seeing them and have no desire to shoot one. They are so interesting to watch. Wish out deer were as tame as yours seem to be.
      Geo


      • Geo,

        Our resident does are spoiled with treats – an apple, a chunk of pumpkin, a carrot and stuff like that but we encourage them to forage on their own.

        During the hunting season we do put out some feed so the deer don’t have to go looking for food. We will also put out food in the winter if the weather is unusually bad or if it is extremely cold – a bit of corn can go a long way to keeping them warm where twigs and bark doesn’t provide the calories.

        Seems that the Natural Resources people set the gun hunt to coincide with the rut – being further north that you puts the first rut at the beginning of November with the second 3-4 weeks later.

        I haven’t deer hunted since I moved to this property and that young doe (Molly) befriended the family. I think with “our” deer it is more trust than tame. I can walk around amongst them and they hardly take notice (unless they are curious what i am doing) but if a delivery guy pulls into the driveway they clear out in a hurry – just like you would expect a wild deer to do.

        What I find hilarious is the reaction a “wild” deer has when one of the locals walks over to me instead of running at the “danger” snort. Happened an hour ago when a strange doe started a fuss and Lilla looked at her, I could almost hear the exclamation “idiot” LOL!

        That buck was here again this morning when my daughter when out with some treats. He wouldn’t take anything from her hand but he did come to within 5 feet to get some apples.

        I don’t do anything to “tame” new deer. I just acknowledge them (with the “all clear” signal) and go about my business; they take notice that the local deer aren’t concerned and soon relax. It usually starts out with a 30 foot flight distance but soon they are comfortable to approach to within 10-15 feet. I just let them come to me if they want and never pressure them. Fun to watch them!

        Hank


  3. Halfstep ,

    The velocity in a SSP is controlled by the same thing in a springer – Volume – . SSP guns are accurate because You always have the same Volume of air for every shot . There is not enough heat developed to be a concern , even in long strings of fire .

    Gene


  4. BB ,

    Watch the use of Lead Free pellets as sometimes the pistol will not push them through the barrel because of the huge amount of drag . I recommend lead only in any SSP pistol . I have had quite a few of the 46M not even move the pellet ! Lead also seals the rifling better , this is why they are so consistent .

    Gene



    • Gene Salvino,

      I like your theory Gene; no doubt based on observation.
      I’ll add a bit more to the theory by pointing out:
      “Sig Match Ballistic Alloy
      The Sig Match Ballistic Alloy wadcutter…It is made from pure tin…

      Shot..……Vel.
      1…………535
      2…………522
      3…………473
      4…………492
      5…………497
      6…………522
      7…………492
      8…………518
      9…………513
      10………..503”

      In B.B.’s shot String the highest velocity is the first SIG alloy pellet fired the string continues to get slower for two more shots. Perhaps the leading in the barrel is being removed by each of the first three pellets and then the barrel settled to a much more consistent velocity (505 fps average) extreme spread is 30 but not the 52fps of the full string of 10 shots. I wouldn’t personally rule out the alloy pellets without at least shooting a 5×10 for reliable data since they are showing a good velocity potential (in this specific gun) with little chance of getting stuck in the barrel.
      I’m certain some of the readership would call it Un-Seasoning the barrel.

      shootski


  5. BB

    Do you believe one should revert to Pellgun oil (or similar product) after using the ATF sealant? Or is ATF as good or better for continuous maintenance? Can too much ATF be used? I’m thinking about all CO2 and single stroke pnuematics.

    Deck


  6. Deck ,

    Consider the ATF treatment for getting a old dried out gun going . Then just use Pellgunoil from then on . The pellgunoil is a bit thicker and it will help with ease of pumping. I have seen some old guns that the seals had to be scraped out they were so hard , nothing but a rebuild will save one of those !!


    • Gene and BB

      Thanks! Owning several CO2 and single strokers make it hard to keep them all happy, especially the CO2’s in cold weather. I use Pellgun oil on all of them everytime they get out. Multi pumpers too.

      Deck



  7. GunFun1 ,

    That volume of shooting is far from the norm , possible if you live in a hot climate, something I haven’t seen before , just the heating of the cup head at start . Even our indoor range is only 50 to 55 degrees in the winter ( outside concrete wall) , so cold we have to keep the CO2 in the heated shop . You are the only person who has even mentioned this .


  8. Gunfun 1 ,

    I could see this if You keep shooting . No way for the internal temperature to drop quickly . I have heard of it in Magnum springers , not really SSP guns. Heat is created by the compression , definitely a springer and SSP problem. I have never fired more than 100 shots through my HW75 and have never seen POI change , possibly if I shot it more I would see it . Less likely to notice this in a pistol due to the close ranges fired . I need Your free time to shoot more !!!


    • Gene
      For the most part I shoot 2-3 hrs. every morning after I get off work. Done that for many years now. I have a heated and air conditioned breezeway I shoot from most of the time.. So it’s easy for me to grab a gun and shoot.

      And I don’t see it so much in my Tx 200 put I do see the poi change in both of my hw30’s. Maybe that’s because of the different power the guns make. Anyway just a thing ya know.


  9. Dear Gene and BB,

    Lubing SSPs and CO2s is an interesting subject!

    It’s this ATF the same as the “gear oil” that BB referred to in the past (Castrol 85W 140)? Or is it something else and if so what?

    On BB’s instructions I always put a drop of Pellgun oil on a new CO2 canister before pushing it in.

    I’ve been using Pellgun oil on my IZH 46M. You can just about reach the edge of the piston seal as shown in your excellent photo BB.

    But, for other SSPs, like Gamo Compact and FAS 604, what I’ve done is placed a drop of Pellgun oil on that tiny hole on the cylinder and worked the piston back to suck it into the cylinder. I do that a few times and every 200 or so shots.

    Does that sound about right? Is there a better way or something else to do?

    Chuck


  10. Gunfun1
    If you recall our previous conversation several weeks ago about our intentions to buy the air soft pistol PA had up for sale, (HK30 copy – electric) I got one as my very first air soft gun. I been brought to the realization that these guns are a real hoot!
    I was reading back thru some older blogs where BB stated that the lighter BBs (less than .20 grains) are not any good for accuracy. Of course, I grabbed the first available supply at Big 5 and then later discovered they were only .12g. I’ll use them for any full auto-firing I may do. The accuracy in off then anyway.
    If you also purchased same, have you found a way to adjust hop-up?
    Larry


    • Larry
      Glad you like it and I to have the .12 gram air soft balls. It’s a great little gun and mine is pretty darn accurate. I shoot it indoors only and at about 5-10 yards. Can definitely hit a paper cups at those distances.

      Yep mine is the same. And I really never looked to see about the hop up. My gun did good right out of the box.

      If you mess with yours more I like to hear. And thanks for the update on yours.


      • GF1,
        You got the BBs that came with it right? I’m thinking those are .20g or .25g since they shoot pretty accurate in my gun. The ones I bought that are .12g are from Colt and are bright green. They are accurate half the time and the other they want to pull over to the left. As I said they will be OK for the auto-fire but I would like better accuracy for the single shot cycle. I didn’t want to start tearing into it since it works so well, and I really can’t see any visible way to tweek the hop-up. I like your idea of paper cups for targets. I was thinking of seeing if I could get some army men at the dollar store. I believe it was you that gave me the push to buy my first airsoft gun, so, thanks!
        Larry


        • Larry
          Yep I use the ones that came with it. And my daughter picked up a bottle of the .12 gram ones. They are red and transparent. Don’t remember what brand they are right now.and I’m at work so I can’t go see. But mine shoots them fine also. Not really shooting any groups but I can hit the cups probably 8 out of 10 times. So for sure accurate enough for me.

          And no problem with the air soft guns. I like them because I can grab it set down and do some indoor mini-sniping whenever I feel like it. Oh and don’t tell me your going to get another air soft gun. 😉


          • GF1,
            LOL,,who knows? I wasn’t going to get any more CO2 pistols either – then they came out with my EDC copy, the Sig P365. Amazing similarities!
            The thing that intrigued me about the HK30 airsoft was that it was electric. I’ll probably have to pick up a CO2 one some time or other for a comparison.
            If we can figure out the hop-up adjust, I think that would be a good thing.
            Larry


            • Larry
              I thought that was cool that the pistol was electric too. And I haven’t had a Co2 air soft pistol with blow back yet. I have had a Co2 bb pistol with blow back which was cool.

              And yep I know always more to get that look interesting. Heck I’m on a semi-auto kick right now. Starting to get a little collection. I ordered a Air Ordinance.22 SMG and it’s suppose to be here Wednesday. I can’t wait for that one.

              And I’ll have to look tomorrow and see about the hop up on the pistol. I’ll let you know.


  11. Are you sure the 46M doesn’t have an air inlet hole in the cylinder, because on my 1999 46 it is on the top hidden by the plate that lies between the barrel and cylinder?

    As your picture illustrates, enough of the piston seal is exposed to be able to oil it anyway (compare this to the typical overlever SSP) so that can’t be a reason for placing the inlet in a readily accessible spot.

    iain



      • That’s interesting. Presumably a specific air inlet hole isn’t entirely necessary anyway, with air able to be sucked in through the barrel and valve (again, compare the typical overlever SSP which is creating a vacuum on the opening stroke until this inlet is passed and there is an audible inrush of air).

        In normal use the piston doesn’t go far enough forward for its face to pass the slots in the cylinder and let air in that way does it – compared to passing a small inlet that seems too liable to catch the edge of the seal?

        iain


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