IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 4

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH MP532
IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Two different sights
  • Rear sight height
  • Rear sight folds forward!
  • Russians missed the mark
  • However — the 2007 rifle
  • New sight doesn’t tilt as far
  • Baikal wasn’t the first
  • Discussion
  • One on BB
  • Summary

Today is another different report because this is the day I look into the sights on the Russian MP532 single stroke pneumatic target rifle. You may recall that I had some problems in Part 3 when I tried shooting both of my rifles for accuracy. The first problem was I couldn’t adjust either rifle’s rear sight high enough to get to the center of the bullseye, and problem two was I discovered at the end of the test that the sight moves, and destroys all hope for accuracy. Today we find out why.

Two different sights

The first thing I discovered is my two rifles that were made 10 years apart have two different rear sights. The older rifle was made in 1997 and its rear sight has adjustment knobs marked in Russian Cyrillic characters. A reader sent me two different copies of the MP532 owner’s manual and the sights are barely mentioned in either of them. They basically say the rifle has sights and you should adjust the rear one as needed.

Let’s look at the older rear sight now. It is attached by a screw to a mount on the receiver of the rifle that is raised to accept it. The base of the sight is keyed to the top of the receiver mount so when the mounting screw is tight the sight will not move.

rear sight 97 mount
Here you can see how the rear sight attaches to the 532 receiver that swoops up to meet it. You can also see that both adjustment knobs are marked with Cyrillic letters.

rear sight 97 eyepiece
In this view you can see the eyepiece that contains the peep hole is attached to a sheetmetal part that comes up from the sight and then folds over and goes down again. That sheetmetal part is attached solidly to the sight base and does not move.

rear sight 97 eyepiece front
This front view of the curved sheetmetal part shows that the eyepiece has to look through the fixed hole. If the eyepiece were to move it wouldn’t align with that hole.

Rear sight height

Those three photos show the rear sight design that I have been scrutinizing for the past two weeks. I simply cannot see how it is possible for this sight to move higher than its highest adjustment permits, and in testing we learned that isn’t anywhere near high enough to hit the center of the bull! Sure, a plate placed under the bottom of the sight could lift it up, but I see no mention of such a plate in either manual.

A similar fix is possible if the front sight can be lowered. I know that the Russians are aware of that possibility because both the SKS and AK battle rifles have front sights that move up and down for elevation adjustments — similar to the American M16 front sight. But the front sight on the MP532 does not move. It is mounted solidly in place. And there is no plate in it to be removed to effect such an adjustment, either.

In short — there seems to be no way to adjust the MP532 sights high enough to get the pellets to stike the center of the bull at 10 meters. For a target rifle that is the kiss of death and I’m flabbergasted that the Russians built it that way!

Rear sight folds forward!

Besides the elevation adjustment, another fundamental requirement for 10-meter target sights is that they never move. Once adjusted, you want them locked in concrete, so shot after shot can go to the same place. That’s kind of the whole point to target shooting! Well, the MP532 rear sight moves! In fact, it’s spring-loaded to move when pressed upon from the rear.

rear sight 97 folded
This is how far forward the rear sight folds when it’s pressed from the rear. Any movement of the rear sight can move the impact point of the pellet. This movement prohibits shooters from mounting rubber eyecups on the peep disk and pressing into them when sighting.

Ten-meter target shooters will immediately recognize the problem with the rear sight folding forward. They are used to putting a soft rubber cup on the disk of their rear peep and pressing into it when shooting. That cup blocks out all the light except for that which comes through the peep hole, and that makes for a sharper sight picture.

When I tested both rifles I tried to press into the rear sight for exactly that reason. I didn’t have a rubber cup but my glasses protected my eye from the peep disk. The newer rifle had its stock adjusted for the maximum pull length which made getting that far forward a problem, and that is probably why I shot the new rifle better than the older one.

If you don’t press and get close to the rear peep hole in the way I’m describing you are tempted to try to center the front sight inside the rear peep hole. That adds a huge amount of unnecessary work and complexity to sighting the rifle. Peep sights simply don’t work that way. You just peek through them like a knothole in the fence.

That was known way back in the 1870s, when the buffalo hunters killed millions of American bison at long ranges with rifles that recoiled a lot. They had leather cups instead of rubber on their rear peeps, and they understood quite well how peep sights work!

Russians missed the mark

As incredible as it sounds the Russians designed a target rifle that cannot possibly hit the target! I know I must be wrong and I am hoping Vladimir Unpronounceable will pop out of the woodwork and explain what I’m missing. Because, to say the Russians don’t know how to design a rifle is like saying the Swiss can’t make chocolate. It’s as if the Russians ran out of qualified gun designers when the 532 was created and substituted bakery workers instead!

However — the 2007 rifle

Now we turn to the newer MP532 rifle. This one has a rear sight with English markings on the adjustment knobs. And it has a couple other changes that I think you will find interesting after seeing the sight on the older rifle. Let’s look at it in the same way we looked at the other sight.

rear sight 07 mount
Lots to see on the 2007 rear peep sight. First, the markings on the adjustment knobs are in English. The sight still mounts to the receiver in the same way, but notice there is no curved sheetmetal for the peep disk to attach to. That is the biggest change. Oh, and BB brushed the dust off this one before taking the pic!

rear sight 07 eyepiece
Well, most of the dust! Look at how the eyepiece disk passes through the upright plate.

rear sight 07 eyepiece front 1
Let’s talk. See the open slot above the eyepiece disk? That is a long vertical slot the eyepiece can ride up and down in. Unscrew the disk to make vertical adjustments. With this we can get the precision adjustments (what the knob does) into the right range for a 10-meter target!

rear sight 07 eyepiece front 2
And there it is — at the top of the slot. This is the way to design an inexpensive rear target sight!

New sight doesn’t tilt as far

The sight on the 2007 rifle is still spring-loaded, but it doesn’t move nearly as far forward when it’s pushed. This still isn’t good but it’s better than the older one.

rear sight 07 folded
The rear sight on the newer rifle doesn’t fold nearly as far forward.

Baikal wasn’t the first

Baikal wasn’t the first to make a rear peep sight that adjusts up and down this way. Back in 1924 Crosman made one that did the same thing.

Crosman 101 peep sight
Crosman’s pneumatic rear sight for the models 100 through 104 was a peep that slid up and down (as well as left and right) on a simple stamped steel bar.

I’m not saying Crosman was the first, because I really don’t know who was, but isn’t theirs an innovative design? Of course it lacks the precision adjustments of the MP532, but they weren’t building 10-meter target rifles, either!

Discussion

So, the MP532 peep was changed as the years passed, and it changed for the better. It doesn’t look like it costs much more to make it the new way, and if I am right, it solves most of the problems I encountered in the accuracy test last time. We shall see!

One on BB

Some of you give BB way too much credit for being a good airgunner who knows what he is doing. As I was writing this report and taking those pictures I happened to jiggle the rear sight on the new MP532 and it was loose on its mount!!!!! All the fixin’ in the world ain’t a-gonna put things right if the sight is loose.

Remember I told you there is one screw underneath the receiver that holds the sight fast to the receiver? I had to take the action out of the stock to access it, and, sure enough, that screw was quite loose. It’s now tight, plus I know how to get the rear sight into the range of adjustability and I also know not to touch the sight when I’m shooting. I betcha I get better groups in the next test!

rear sight 07 screw
There is that screw that holds the rear sight to the mount on the receiver. On the newer rifle it was loose!

I did go to the older rifle and shake the rear sight, as well. It is as tight as it should be.

Summary

This report has been different because so little is known about the IZH MP532 target rifle — at least as far as I can find out. Most of the comments on the web are owners asking if anybody knows about the rifle and people responding, saying they don’t.

I’m sure the folks in Russia know it a lot better and they have probably written a lot about it, too. I would enjoy learning that I have overlooked something on the rear sight of the ’97 rifle, but I sure don’t know what it is!

The second accuracy test will be next. I will only test the newer rifle this time. I can hardly wait!

45 thoughts on “IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 4


  1. BB,

    I am sure you have done this, but I thought I would mention it since you have not (or maybe I just missed it). As with the Izzy pistols, you should lubricate the piston seals regularly as performance will drop off otherwise.

    These rifles may indeed need to be resealed. Doing such may raise the POI to within the adjustment range of the sights.


  2. BB,

    I have been reading your blog for a few years and look forward to it daily.

    As for the IZP MP532 target rifle sight.
    It looks like the rear sight is spring loaded to and rides against a vertical plain, therefore it stays vertical as it is adjusted through it’s vertical range.


  3. BB,

    Something else you may consider. How much slack do you have with the mounting screw? Is it enough to loosen it and shim underneath the sight as you do with many scope rings?



      • BB,

        Well, yeah. I am just thinking of a solution for what you have on hand at the moment.

        I was thinking of one of those sights to use for an HW30. I am certain I could take some old dovetail rings and turn one of them into a suitable mount. Of course it may be easier to find one of the old Weihrauch sights.





              • Deck
                Right now I don’t remember who I got the peep from or the peep mount.

                But the adjustable rear peep is the stuff. Especially I guess when the eyes ain’t as good as they use to be. For me anyway. And definitely helps with different light conditions.


            • RR
              Let me know what you think of the clear front sight.

              Here check out the peep. It’s a adjustable Gehmann. What I want to do is get a magnifying front sight.

              When you start looking at the different front and rear stuff they have it’s worse than finding the right pellet for a gun.


              • GF1,

                That’s cool. A Williams peep sight with a Gehmann aperture. That is a whole lot cheaper than the entire Gehmann rear sight and probably does quite fine, thank you very much.

                The clear front sight is THE way to go. You can get different size holes in them. When you look through the aperture it looks like a circle is floating in the air. I have seen FWB Eagle Eyes for sale occasionally in the classifieds here.

                http://www.airguns.net/

                They fit the 18mm sights. I am certain you can find something out there to work.


                • RR
                  I remember I got a clear front sight as well as making one out of some clear plastic.

                  What I found with both was that it was not good for plinking. I didn’t have that field of view I guess I’ll call it.

                  That was when I was going to get a magnifying front sight but never did. What I’m thinking is I need to do that now just to see.

                  And I guess the thing is it’s a plinking gun for me. So maybe I’m not using it right. Not really target shooting.


                  • GF1,

                    When I had a FWB 601 and an Edge, I used the clear front iris. All I had to do was put the iris on what I wanted to hit and I did. You can do the same with a front post sight by just adjusting your POI to the top of the post as I am sure you have. The US military has been using this arrangement for a very long time. It works well.

                    If you should try the clear iris a try again, I would suggest you get the smallest one you can. If you make one, make it very small. Effectively you have a dot sight. You can even get a glowy thingy dot insert that fits the 18mm and 22mm front sights.


                    • RR
                      I remember the front clear sight I tryed and it was good but I liked the open globe sight with a small dot on top of a post.

                      What the magnifying front sight does is it kind of turns the set up into scope. If I remember right it just screws into the front globe and use what ever front insert you want.

                      No doubt I need to try some more things but keep having other things pop up I want to do.

                      Got something suppose to be delivered today. Was going to get one about a year or so ago and decided to finally get one. I’ll tell about it later after I get it down below.



              • GF1

                I have a Williams peep that looks exactly like yours. But it won’t fit on either my HW30s or HW50s without digging a hole in the stock. Your picture shows the elevation is not set at the end of the adjustment setting. I’m curious how you managed that. Are you using the Weihrauch front globe sight?

                Deck


                • Deck
                  It’s been a while back. But I believe I went to the Williams website and found they had a specific one for the hw30 and hw50 and that’s what I got. And yes the factory globe front sight.

                  I have it sighted in at 30 yards and can hit 12oz. cans from 15 to 50 yards by aiming center mass. And that’s with JSB 10.34 pellets.

                  That’s what it’s doing. I think maybe you have a universal Williams site. Not sure.


                • Deck
                  You know what. I remember what I did now. I used the set screw to raise the sight where I needed it then locked down the other screws and backed that set screw off so it’s just touching so it won’t vibrate out.

                  I don’t have the gun in front of me right now. My oldest daughter has it at their place. I let them use it when I got my black laminate hw30. But I believe that’s what I did.

                  And no I’m not getting rid of that one they are using it right now. There’s a little story behind it. PA was having a sale on guns. They had the he’s on sale but not the hw30’s. BB got ahold of PA and had them add the 30. BB told me on that particular blog that day to check that they added it. So got for a really good price too. Just thought I would give BB a mention about it right now. If anything the daughter will inherit that one.


  4. B.B.,

    I couldn’t believe the crude looking nut for the aperture adjustment. It looks almost like a stop-gap fix rather than a factory design. But if it works . . .

    The semi-amateur aesthetics of the mp532 remind me of Soviet-era cars and civilian airliners. There is a “just O.K. enough to get the job done” quality to them. Soviet watches do look nice, but I bought a couple older non-export Russian watches (a Vostok and a Poljot), and while they run reliably and one has a cool alarm function, they keep only so-so time and require winding too often. The alarm is a buzzing sound and not really loud enough, but it has been useful on two occasions.

    Soviet cars were notorious for being hostile to their drivers and passengers for their crudeness. One of my favorite lines from cinema are from “Gorky Park” (1983): Irina: “KGB have better cars, you know.” Renko: “Ah, but they don’t always take you where you want to go, do they?”

    Of course, the Soviets and the Russians were/are rightly famous for incredibly functional weapons and survival gear. The mp532 looks rugged and reliable, but how pleasurable is it to shoot?

    Michael


  5. Very interesting rifles. I have an IZH53 pistol that had the same problem, despite the fact that the front sight could be adjusted vertically. This this is an older model with only windage on the rear sight. Eventually, I cut a new taller rear sight plate and blacked it up. It’s now fun to shoot and accurate enough to teach/practice Olympic style up to 7m. On the other hand my IZH46M is simply fantastic and I can understand if its mechanism is the basis for this rifle. However, my IZH61 is now unusable because the cocking arm keeps jamming unpredictably. Anyone have any solutions for this?
    BB How about drilling another hole vertically above the one in the folded sheet metal part so that the aperture can be repositioned higher up?


    • Hey Chuck,

      I thought of machining slots to allow the aperture to be adjusted vertically.

      I would never part with my Izzy 46M. There are better shooting air pistols out there, but you are going to spend a lot more money for them. I have found a few new old stock 46Ms for sale. They are going for over $600 right now. Anything better is going to cost you close to a grand or more. Almost all manufacturers are missing out on this market segment. Gamo, FAS, Weihrauch and now Sig Sauer are trying, but are they better than an Izzy?

      Maybe your IZH61 needs to retire to RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns.



      • B.B.

        In looking at the pictures, it appears that the loop of sheet metal that the peep mounts on is designed to provide vertical adjustment but is missing the slot. Could be that the part was formed and the pilot hole for the slot was drilled but the piece missed going to the milling machine to have the slot machined.

        Pardon, but “originality” be darned, it would take me 5 minutes and the sight would have the slot it needs for adjustment. No good as it is now.

        Happy Friday!
        Hank


      • BB
        Your reminding me of our muscle car discussions when I was kid. Tryed to think what it would mean in the future.

        But what I see in the muscle car world now days. All are sought after. The stock original cars, the ones with some changes and the ones that are raced still and the cruisers.

        It seems that when they reach a certian age and they survived that people that remember them growing up are just happy they exist.

        Air guns probably won’t go to the extremes that the old cars have gone through and keep going through. But they from what I have seen. And talking air guns now. Will be worth some kind of good money as time goes on.

        So what do we do. Chop the sight or live with it. Darn anyway I got to give my 2 cents. Do not modify the sight.

        I’ll put it this way. If I can get a nice FWB 300 that had good wood and steel and sights that came with the gun and was in good shooting shape I would be happy. Now here’s the kicker. If it came with correct time period aftermarket sights or scope or bi-pod of that time period I would jump up and down with joy. Don’t get me wrong I won’t turn down one that needs some refinishing. But I myself as far as air guns go. I want it original. Or if it is a nice gun with other stuff and the original stuff is packaged with it. Then I would be happy camper.

        That’s always a big question anymore. And don’t know how many conversations we had as kids. But do we chop it or do we keep it original?


      • B.B.,

        Given that the eyepiece barrel is threaded all that Ivan would have needed to do is thread the hole and screw in the eyepiece instead of taking the stamped metal piece and bending it in a jig through 180° and then drilling through the front and back only to use a big nut to hold the eyepiece in place! I guess it could be by design…but I think Chuckglider, RidgeRunner, and Hank are on to something.
        But if you think this is like in coin collecting (Numismatics) and this misstruck sight potentially has more collector value unmolested well I guess… even though it is probably just because Ivan was hung over from the home made Wodka on Monday morning and forgot the slot! I guess the newer sights have it all over the one on this rifle even if the slot were there.

        I’ll vote for bagging and tagging out this sight with info on what rifle it belongs to and getting the new sight.

        It does make a great story for the Swells over cocktails at your next Airgun Soiree!

        shootski


  6. B.B.,

    You did say previously that you were considering scoping the older rifle. Any chance of that happening? Of course the loading gate is in the way, but have you thought of anything to make it work?

    Siraniko


  7. I mentioned this above.

    I think some people was interested in it when we talked about it a year or so ago.

    I got one of the Bear River MX1000 semi-auto .177 caliber 88 gram Co2 air guns. I got some pictures of what I did to convert it to HPA.

    I want to say first though that the gun is solid. It’s synthetic and the barrel isn’t shrouded. It’s got a harder rubber butt pad. It came with one 12 round rotary metal clip. The trigger is pretty good for a double action trigger. And only done a bit of shooting but it was dead on out of the box with open sites at 20 yards. And it’s got a front globe with a square post and glowy red thingy in it. But other front notch is sized right to the rear notch sight so it does point nice.

    And BB if you don’t want me posting this just delete it all. It’s ok by me.

    But here was the first problem that was brought up when we talked about converting this gun to HPA in the past. The common 13 cu. in. bottles will not fit even with the extra bit of legnth of the adapter. They are to big of diameter and also the Foster fill fitting and gauge on the bottle won’t clear when you try to screw it in. So here’s what I did. And I already had this stuff here at home from messing around with modifying stuff. I got some pictures to post. About 5 I think. So here is the first with the components I used.





  8. Here is a closer look of how I mounted the bottle. I used a 1″ low mount scope ring for a Weaver picatinny rail. I then mounted the scope ring under the stock on the Weaver picatinny rail where a bi-pod or such would go. And yep just so lucky the bottle adapter is 1 inch like a scope tube that is 1 inch.

    And I’m going to clean it up by making a hard line at work to attach the bottle to the gun. So that will eliminate the coiled hose it has on it now. So that’s that. Oh and the cover that goes on the gun to cover the 88 gram cartridge goes on like a glove. Not like the Gauntlet bottle cover. Now for some more shooting. I’ll let you all know how it goes when I spend some more time with it. This the last picture.


    • And here’s a update after spending some time with it this weekend.

      It is actually a pretty accurate gun. Well with the two different brand pellets I tryed. And I even scoped it.

      First off it likes the Winchester dome pellets. It doesn’t like the JSB 10.34’s that I use. The JSB’s were everywhere which I have never seen before. I bench rested it with the scope. At 35 yards with the Winchester pellets it got .700″ groups and a little better on a couple groups of 10.

      After that I took the scope off and shot the gun like I intended. Fast as I can pull the trigger can knock’n. For sure surprised by the performance. Especially for the cost. Got it for around $130 and 2 day shipping for $8. Now to see how long it lasts. It’s kind of replacing the Sig MPX. It’s starting to have feed problems. Maybe I already surpassed it’s stated shooting life they say on the PA page. Don’t think I have shot it that much already. And come to think of it maybe the regulated HPA bottle had something to do with shorting its life. Oh well some just won’t last forever I guess.


  9. BB,

    The windage adjustment range of the newer gun has not been called into question yet, but if you ever have problems in that area, I think that I notice 2 screws in a slot ( in your last photo ) that would give you the same broad adjustment as the vertical slot does for elevation.

    Half



Leave a Reply