IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 6

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH MP532
IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

A history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Rear sight
  • Greater eye relief
  • Scout scope
  • The test
  • Sight-in problems
  • Shimmed the scope
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Discussion
  • H&N Match Green
  • Discussion 2
  • H&N Finale Match Heavy
  • Why I didn’t do better
  • Summary

Today we look at the accuracy of the older IZH MP532 target rifle. This is the one that was made in 1997.

Rear sight

As you may recall, the rear sight on this rifle cannot be adjusted up high enough to get on target at 10 meters. Some readers suggested I replace it with the rear sight from the other rifle, but I went a different way. Since this rifle has 11mm scope dovetails and the newer one doesn’t, I decided to mount a scope on it. And, I had the perfect one!

Greater eye relief

Because the breech on a 532 flips up when the rifle is cocked (to block the rear peep sight, so the shooter doesn’t try to shoot with the breech open), any scope has to be mounted ahead of the breech. The distance between your sighting eye and the scope’s eyepiece is 6-7-inches, and most scopes don’t work when they are that far away. However, one class of scope does.

Scout scope

The UTG 2-7×44 AO Accushot Scout SWAT Rifle Scope is perfect for something like this. A scout scope is one that has longer eye relief for situations like this. They were created for military bolt-action rifles that people don’t want to convert for a scope. Military bolts rise up and will not permit mounting conventional scopes because there is no clearance. I reported on this scope back in 2014.

UTG 2-7X44 Scout Scope on MP532
The UTG Scout Scope works well on the IZH MP532 because of the breech that flips up when it is cocked. Your head is 6 inches from the rear of the scope.

The scope goes up to 7 power, which is plenty at 10 meters. It has a fine crosshair that I was able to place right on top of the 10-dot of a 10-meter bullseye. The clarity is great. I will mention that this is a large heavy scope. It may look small on the website, but once you get it in your hand it is quite substantial.

The test

I shot 5-shot groups off a sandbag rest at 10 meters. Like the other rifle this one has an older pump cup that has hardened with age, but I lubricated it liberally with automatic transmission sealant. Then I partially pumped it multiple times at the start and then once before each shot, just as before.

Sight-in problems

I fired the first shot at 12 feet and was on the backer board below the target paper. It looked like a 3-inch separation between the aim point and point of impact.

I then moved back to 10 meters and fired a second shot. This one landed below the first shot, which isn’t right. I must have flinched on the first shot. I cranked the elevation knob up a couple turns and could feel the erector tube spring softening. Maybe the erector tube spring was already relaxed when I started adjusting it? Shot three was still too low, so the tube was probably floating.

Shimmed the scope

So I removed the scope and stuck one thick shim under the rear of the scope tube. That did it, as the rifle now shot three inches above the aim point at 10 meters. Now I dialed the elevation knob down several turns ands shot out the 10-dot of the bull I was aiming at! It was pure luck that I got it right on because I was just spinning the elevation dial with no thought of counting clicks.

And also — this FIXED BARREL air rifle is a drooper! That’s not uncommon, though many shooters think only breakbarrels droop.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

I had sighted-in with RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets and I used the shot that went through the center of the bull after adjusting the scope as my first shot. Unfortunately I had blown away the 10-dot, so to perfect the aim I had to align the crosshairs with the numbers on the bullseye. If you overlay them perfectly the center of the crosshair has to be in the center of the bull.

Five Meisterkugeln pellets went into a group measuring 0.253-inches between centers. Compare that to the newer rifle that was shot with the peep sight. That one measured 0.179-inches between centers with this pellet, so it was better, but still in the same ballpark. That told me the barrels of the two rifles are probably very similar, which suggested that the pellets that are good in one are probably also good in the other.

Meisterkugeln Rifle group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets went into 0.253-inches at 10 meters — even after I shot out the 10-dot on the first shot!

Discussion

I am not going to re-shoot this first target, as all I’m trying to do today is get an idea of the accuracy of this rifle. Technically it should be the same as the other one, but because they were made 10 years apart and also because no two production items are ever entirely identical, I am checking.

If I were going to keep this rifle I would buy one of the new MP532 peep sights that are available on eBay right now. But I’m not keeping this one, so testing it with a scope seemed like a good idea. The other rifle cannot accept a scope, so this one is our only chance.

I’m also not going to shoot all the pellets that I shot with the first rifle, because that test told me what I needed to know about these IZH barrels. I know which pellets are good. If this test continues to parallel the last one, I will only shoot a couple more pellets.

H&N Match Green

I pleased someone last time by selecting the H&N Match Green pellet to test. It did well (0.148-inches) so I gave it a try in the scoped rifle. Five went into a group that measures 0.224-inches between centers. That’s not as good as the last time and this time the difference is significant, and I sort of blew away the 10-dot again!

H&N Match Green group
I didn’t exactly remove the 10-dot, but I made it very hard to see with my first shot. The older MP532 rifle put five H&N Match Green pellets into 0.224-inches at 10 meters.

Discussion 2

At this point in the test I was beginning to think that I couldn’t shoot a scoped target rifle as well as one with target sights when the distance was only 10 meters. When you talk about group size differences in the hundredths of an inch, removing the central aim point is a problem. So I adjusted the scope to impact lower in the bull for what I hoped would be the final pellet. Naturally I saved the best for last!

H&N Finale Match Heavy

The best pellet in the newer rifle was the H&N Finale Match Heavy wadcutter that shot five into 0.072-inches. I really doubted I could do that well this time for a reason I will share after I show you the group.

This time I was able to put 5 pellets in 0.147-inches at 10 meters. While that is twice the size of the  group I got in the last test with this pellet, it’s still a very good 10-meter group and I would always be pleased to do so well. Lucky for me the scope adjustment did move the strike of the rounds away from the 10-dot this time.

H&N Finale Match Heavy group
The older MP532 rifle put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets into a 0.147-inch group at 10 meters.

Why I didn’t do better

I can’t blame the rifle for today’s results. The problem was me and I knew it by the time I was shooting the second group. Because I could see through the scope where the pellets were going, I got flustered and probably opened the groups more than I should have. With the peep sight I just shoot all five shots and then go downrange and look. Watching the group form shot-by-shot is disconcerting. Sorry, but I was there and I know what happened.

The older 532 seems to be just as accurate as the newer one, but for me to shoot it that well it will need a peep sight. In all ways other than the scope, it feels just like the newer one.

Summary

This has been an interesting series about a target rifle few people have ever seen or will ever see. I have long wondered just how similar these rifles are to the IZH 46M pistol and now I know. They are practically duplicates of the pistol except for the ergonomic differences.

If the MP532 was still available and priced around a thousand dollars US it would be a welcome low-cost competition rifle for serious shooters who are just beginning. It’s heavy enough, has a good trigger and decent power. It does lack a hooked buttplate and a rail under the forearm, but both of those things can be addressed through the aftermarket.

As far as a collectible is concerned, there aren’t that many collectors of vintage 10-meter air rifles, but for those who do collect them this rifle is a must-have. And, like the Hammerli 450, the FWB 110 and the Anschütz 220, try to find one!

75 thoughts on “IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 6


  1. BB
    So my question is. Was there any long eye relief scopes like the Scout scope back in 1997?

    If not wonder why they made a dove tail on it. Maybe so a aftermarket rear peep could be put on and have a location adjustment for different eye relief with the peep?

    Or maybe some people put a red dot sight on them back then for some sport shooting and plinking?


    • GF1,

      Yes. As Chanman points out below, the Germans had them in WWII. Scopes have been some really rare critters until recent years. There have been a few long eye relief scopes, but not many. Also as you noted there have been some nice quality dot sights for many years.

      As for a peep, it has to be close to your eye to work.



      • BB
        Read my reply to RidgeRunner about a pistol scope.

        And what do you think about trying that one dot sight you been talking about you have on this gun and see what happens at 11 meters.

        If it works I think this gun could be a nice plinker at about 20 yards or so. You know me. I always like taking things to places they never been before. 🙂


        • GF1

          I read that reply but didn’t comment because a pistol scope won’t work. It can’t be placed far enough from the shooter’s eye for him to see anything. The scope scope works because it works at 6-7 inches. Pistol scopes need at least 16 inches from the eye and some need even more.

          I thought about using the dot sight and it would work, but what would it prove? That it works, but where is the benefit? I bet I could get groups like these with it, but anything better would be pure luck.

          Thanks for thinking about it, but I have decided that this is the last report I will do unless somebody comes up with something really unique.

          B.B.


          • BB
            Not comparing the dot sight to the peep sight. What I’m getting at is dot sights are usually easier to use than peeps or open sights. For me anyway. And I do like a dot sight for plinking and even pesting over a open sight or peep sight at that.

            What I would like to see is if the dot sight will perform on this gun. If it does that means it was worth while for them making the dovetail on this gun.

            As you say it’s obvious only certian scopes will work on it. It has a factory peep sight. So really what was the purpose of the dovetail on this gun. I guess in the end what I’m saying is a dot sight would give a purpose to the dovetail. And I think it would actually make it be a nice little plinker out at 20 yards or more with the dot sight.

            If I was thinking about buying a gun like your testing for me it would get a dot sight and it would be used at farther distances. Otherwise if that option won’t happen then it would probably not end up in my hands.

            Cool gun and all. But without some simple things not being able to work with this gun it just ain’t my cup of tea. Oh and why put a scope on a 10 meter gun and shoot at 10 meters. Unless maybe your doing bug busting type of plinking.


        • There are long eye relief scopes, and intermediate eye relief scopes.
          And the standard eye relief scopes.

          The Long eye relief scopes are meant for hand guns held at arms length be it hand held standing, or laying down in a modified creedmoor position used in handgun silhouette shooting, the intermediate relief scopes are most commonly for rifles placed just ahead of the action of a rifle, (the scout scopes).

          To me, the main advantage of a scope placed that far from your eye?
          Increased awareness of your surroundings.

          The main disadvantage?
          Not as much magnification as a standard scope.


          • Bravo
            Thanks. And I’m a low magnification shooter so that doesn’t bother me. And I totally like that point of surrounding awareness.

            Get a nice scope or dot sight on this gun BB is reporting on and I bet it would be a nice mini sniping gun from a bench. That’s the way I would do it if I owned one.


            • I live mini sniping, but empty 9mm casings at 35 yards is a mighty small target for a red dot.

              Even if you have good vision.
              And most dots will completely cover the casing2 or 3 times over at that distance.

              My favorite gun to get people into airguns is a Daisy 853 with either a red dot, or a Bug Buster scope.

              Easy to pump, boringly accurate, if you can see the target at 40 yards or less, and can judge the wind, you even novice shooters stand a very good chance to hit the smallest targets.

              I have to dig up a video of me shooting empty .45 acp hulls with my Mossberg 44US.
              Using the factory peep sights.

              It can be done, but you are not aiming at the actual object, you are actually aiming at a point in space where your spotter is telling you to aim in relation to the target board.

              In example you can hear in the video him saying 3/4 to 1 inch in from the left side of the target frame.

              I will find it and upload it and link it.

              ian


  2. I think a bigger issue than the bolt lift (solved with a bent bolt as seen on some service rifles converted for sniper use like the Mosin-Nagant) is the inability to use stripper clips or en-bloc clips when a scope is mounted over the receiver of a rifle.

    While Enfields, Mausers, SVT-40s, Mosins, and the like could still be reloaded (more slowly, obviously) with individual cartridges instead of stripper clips, the need to use an enbloc gives us the offset setup as seen on the sniper rifle conversions of the M1 Garand.

    I think the ‘scout’ mount terminology comes from Jeff Cooper in the 80s though. Prior to that, the only instance of a long eye relief scope that comes to mind is the WW2-era 1.5x ZF-41 for the K98k


  3. BB,

    I guess it is a good thing that I am not as financially independent as some, or I would likely have airguns stacked up in the closet and no time to shoot any of them.

    It is nice to see that these old Ruskies can still shoot with the best of them.


    • RR,

      When I shot this one I thought of you and your FWB 601. Now I have a longing to get a Walther LGR to test. It was the rifle I had to bypass in Germany in 1976 when I bought my first Diana model 10 pistol. The LGR was just too expensive for a poor family man.

      B.B.


      • BB,

        You have always had a soft spot for 10 meter shooting. I now have three air rifles and three air pistols for that range, albeit they are much older than these. About all I “need” now for my “collection” is a .22 PCP suitable for fuzzy tailed tree rats and the like.

        It is not easy resisting something like this and if the right deal comes along I may not. 😉



          • BB,

            It is being seriously considered. I am not a huge fan of the Marauder type magazine though. They work mostly, but they have been known to damage skirts and feed rough on occasion.

            Two other possibilities are the Compatto and the Eagle Claw. I am really leaning toward the Compatto. I have heard nothing but good about it and it is lightweight as the Fortitude.

            Of course I would really like to have a Lelya, but that is probably just a dream.

            It will likely come down to how thick is my wallet when the time comes.



            • RR,

              I would go for the Maximus if mags. concern you. I would go for the Fortitude myself. Remember my foam pellet holder picture that mounted under the scope?

              On the other hand,…. if you care to put on some high end hiking boots,… some high end leather brush/briar clothing,… then the Compatto might be the one? Nose,… a bit in the air,… so that the “bushy tails” know that someone of “refined stature” is approaching. 😉 LOL! 😉

              I have the Maximus .22 (and) the DS Red Wolf .25,…. so do (not) take into my experience of going “budget” or going “off the cliff”. If going “walk about”,…. I ain’t taking the Red Wolf.

              The Compatto is sweet though! I like it.

              Chris


              • Chris,

                I would not have to fire a single shot. They would likely laugh themselves to death.

                I have been looking at many different possibilities for a couple of years now and I keep coming back to the Compatto. I even prefer it over the other Brococks that have grown out of it. Everybody who gets one of them seems to agree. You do not see very many of them on the used market.

                The Discovery/Katana/Maximus/Fortitude have been on my mind for a long time. There even was a company that made parts that you could turn a Disco into a Fortitude looong before the Maximus even came on the scene. I mean exactly what you see right now except for the stock. The design is well proven and TCFKAC still messed it up and had to go back to the drawing board and fix it.

                That is one of the reasons I hesitate with the Maximus or the Fortitude. I am not a fan of that company. I have no desire to encourage them to continue to screw things up by helping them to profit. What they, management/marketing/engineering, need to do it learn to shoot airguns and compare their products to comparable airguns on the market.

                Yes, they have filled a niche market of cheap, entry level airguns. Serious airgunners usually do not buy their products though unless they enjoy tinkering. I have sorely been tempted to buy a Fortitude and turn it into a real nice carbine, but if I buy one I will be telling TCFKAC that I approve of what they have done.

                What I would rather see is TCFKAC build upon their Custom Shop. Turn the engineers loose and keep the marketeers out of there. Let them play with some of the best of the best out there.

                They could start with the Marauder as a base. Give it a side lever. Refine the magazine system. Give it a top shelf barrel. Install an adjustable regulator. Do something with that stock. Turn it into eye candy that fits so well. Many who buy these do most of these things to them. Why not do it themselves? This will not be the bread and butter of the company, but to also offer something like this will help bring some high end money their way instead of elsewhere.



      • I had a wonderful Walther LGR U (Universal) that was so accurate I went crazy and put a bushnell elite 7-21 on it and shot it at 21 power! We put a smear of rotten meat on a target and shot flies at 20 yards.

        ps-B.B., thanks for helping straighten out my wordpress login issue.



      • Derrick,

        My antique collection adorns the walls of my great room, each with its own Wilkins pellet pouch filled with its favorite pellet so when I have the urge they are at hand. Now my “modern” ones do reside in a walk in closet.



          • GF1,

            Oh, don’t you know it. I have been given notice concerning that closet. It is in the loft and I am remodeling it now. Once I am finished with “the chick nest” my airgun stuff will need to find a new home.

            Fortunately I also expanded the storage area in the loft and will turn part of it into my airgun room.


            • RR
              Yep.

              I got to start figuring out another area. Getting too many again. Or may have to sale some. But not any that I really want to let go right now. That’s the other problem.


              • GF1,

                Yeah, right. That is one of the reasons I keep my “collection” small. I have certain “rooms” reserved for certain types of the ladies to move into. I occasionally make room for one or two that may drop by and visit for a while before they find some other place to live, but only a few take up residence.



                  • GF1,

                    Tell me about it. Where did you get two FWB300s? I have also let go of a FWB601 and an AirForce Edge.

                    I do not see any of the ladies here at RidgeRunner’s Home For Wayward Airguns moving out. Like I said there may be a few who will visit for a bit and move on, but these are in no rush to find new homes. 😉


                    • RR
                      Yep and I let them 300’s go and got one back and let it go again. It won’t happen again if I get one.

                      I guess I need to get something set up downstairs. I actually need to set up a shooting area down there. Don’t know why I haven’t done that yet. Well I do know why actually. There’s a couple reasons.

                      Anyway no letting go of the ones we know we should really keep. No more.


  4. Did target-shooters in the Warsaw Pact countries use these rifles for the 10metre Running Boar comps? That might explain why a long-eye relief scope could be mounted. They must have had a few of the old ZF-41 scopes around, after all.


  5. BB,

    A little step backward. I am pretty sure this has been mentioned before, but back when you did the blog comparing the Gamo Compact to the IZH 46, you did not shoot the 46 for accuracy.

    Now that you are doing the IZH 46M and the Sig Super Target, maybe you can describe to us your thoughts on the differences of these two and maybe even throw the 46 in for giggles.

    There seems to be an expanding market for these entry level 10 meter pistols. I hope we see more in the near future.



      • BB,

        Perverse? Well, yes but I did not think I had let him out in this instance. I have my Izzy. I’m good. I was suggesting this for others who are thinking of wanting a real shooter. You have shot air pistol competition and know what to look for. Your guidance in this is most appreciated by many.


        • RR,

          I THINK I understand. Well, no pistol that lacks proper 10-meter target grips is suitable for real 10-meter competition. I have seen shooters try to compete with a Daisy 777. It was accurate enough, but without the grips there is no way to keep it steady enough to matter.They gave up 100 points just by having the wrong grips.

          Now, for informal target shooting, the Super Target is fine — along with the HW75, the P3 and the P17. And I think when I say target shooting most people envision informal shooting rather than formal competition. They think the goal is to hold the gun steady enough to hit the bullseye at 10 meters., For an informal match, that’s true. For 10-meter competition the goal is to never throw a 9. And you can’t do that unless you and the pistol are locked together — Jason Bourne notwithstanding.

          B.B.


          • BB,

            LOL! Would we all be Hollywood shooters. It has always amazed me how a war veteran who took his family out west and fed them with his rifle just could not seem to hit the pistolero who shot from the hip and killed him at over one hundred yards.

            I myself do understand about the grips. It is always good to occasionally point these things out to us unwashed masses for our general education. Now as to how the pistols themselves perform is also something to extrapolate on further.


  6. Ridge Runner—A peep sight does not have to be close to the eye. U.S. service rifles that have the Buffington sight, Japanese type 99 rifles, and aftermarket Mojo sights are a few examples. I agree that for fine target shooting, a peep sight should be close to the eye, but I have shot good groups, and high scores with all of the sights that i listed. BB has written about the buffington sight and how he liked it.—- ed


    • Ed
      I was hoping someone would make a reply about that before I answered RidgeRunner.

      I have shot several of my air guns with the peeps in different locations and had no problem.


    • Ed

      Glad you and GF1 made these comments. Peep sights help me focus the front sight even when mounted on a pistol! I do have astigmatism. Have said this before but new readers can easily determine the benefit of a peep on a pistol. Just hold the pistol with one hand at arms length and hold a washer with the other hand on top of pistol receiver. Look through the washer at front sight. You will know instantly if focus is improved.

      I think I do almost as well with a peep regardless of eye relief distance. My FWB300S or probably a Diana 54 require the eye be a safe distance from the peep due to the recoiling receiver.

      Deck


      • Deck
        And thank you for your comment on eye distance. And I have astigmatism for as long as I can remember also.

        And agree about a 54 and 300. I never did try a peep on the two 54’s I had but I did on my 300. Yep longer eye relief is your friend with those guns.



  7. For some reason I dont understand, my pistol groups with that scope on 2x
    tend to be better than on a higher pwr. I think the reticle feels too hyper at
    7x when the range is 14yds. You may like 2x better B.B… My new chrono let me know I’m getting 16 shots
    750 lo to 757 hi and using 1300psi on a 3bar fill in the Bandit tho. Still too much hammer spring on it but
    it shoots 4 different types of JSB ammo like a lazer. Love that scope!
    It’s a little porky but it balances well so far offset on the pistol frame.
    And it’s springer rated, for say a rifle like the Walther LGU, but even tho I like the compact size and lo power
    it offers, i may look at that new compact 16x scope you reviewed. Is the reticle as thin on that as it is on this 2×7 model? I do think springers help make you a better shot no matter what you shoot. It’s easy to get comfortable with a PCP! I’m going to have to find a nice aperture sighted rig soon.
    Nice shooting,
    Rob




  8. Enjoy these reports and comments; it is a learning experience. All this is helping me decide what to spring for, no pun intended, and it likely will be the SIG ASP20 with the Whiskey-3 scope. By the way, B.B., think your shooting is very good and you’re being too hard on yourself. This coming from someone who tends to be too hard on himself, but that is what anal-retentive perfectionist types tend to do.


  9. Cooper first publicised the “scout rifle” concept in 1983-4 though he’d clearly been thinking about it for a few years.

    The forward-mounted scope was not to deal with bolt lift. It was partly to help stripper clip use. But it was mostly about balance, handiness and both-eyes-open situational awareness.



  10. Gunfun1, I’m so with you on the Nagant and M1! This gun (K98) is a 3,000psi gun, but I’m hoping since the “bottle/tank” is small, it wouldn’t be too hard to pump up with a hand pump. That said, I was told 2,700 to 2,800 is all that is needed

    Doc


    • Doc,

      I would imagine that 3000,.. is 3000. You will just hit the hard part quicker and not have to endure the hardship as long. The tank looks small-ish. No doubt to preserve the style lines. The 3000 is no doubt required to get some sort of acceptable shot count given the limited air of only 100cc. Regulated would be good for that situation. From your link,… it appears to need a fill adapter and the magazine requires loading the first pellet skirt first,… then flip over and load normal.

      Not my cup of tea,….but if it “rev’s your engine”,… then I am happy for you. 😉

      Chris


    • Doc
      I have a Gamo Urban PCP which has a 105cc reservoir. I use a hand pump to pump it to 2900 psi which isn’t too bad. I can get 25 good shots within about a 20 fps range, without a regulator. The smaller air reservoir is very good if you use a hand pump to fill it. From 1500 psi to 3000 psi takes about 70 pumps but I usually fill after two mags (20 shots) and that takes about 50 pumps or less.
      Geo



    • Doc
      Depends on how wide the notch and post is in relation to each other.

      Matter of fact I moved the rear sight forward on one of my Benjamin WildFires just to see if it would help my eyes focus better. And for me it did.

      And I’ll just answer down here. It only holds 35 cc Les of air than a Maximus. And it’s a 3000 psi gun compared to the Maximus 2000 psi. I would say you will have no problem filling to around 2000-2500 psi. You’ll just get a few less shots per fill. And yes 2500 psi should be a bit easier to pump up to than the 3000 psi.

      Oh and you remember me saying I been waiting for one of the 98’s. Well this happened to me again. So I started searching military pcp’s and semi-auto air guns. One of these came up. And I have as the saying goes almost pulled the trigger on one. Well I did it today since I been getting into the semi-auto stuff again. I think I’m about to have some real fun. And see what you went and done when you posted the 98 pcp link. But I do thank you. 🙂
      http://air-ordnance.com/smg-22-tactical-hpa-package/

      And I figured it was ok to post since PA doesn’t really sell the stuff they do.


  11. And one other quick note for anyone that’s been following about the Bear River MX1000 I got.

    I ordered 3 clips from them and they was only $3.00 a piece. Oh and the clips are metal. Really durable. And the gun seems to be as well so far.

    And I’m getting right at 150 shots on a 3000 psi fill with the regulated 13 cubic inch HPA bottle.

    So far I can’t put the gun down and I am shooting it open sights and it is a good shooter. Very nice for a $165 gun. Well plus my HPA conversion.


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