The AV-46M Single Stroke Pneumatic Match Air Pistol: Part 3

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

AV 46-M
The AV-46M target air pistol is a reincarnation of the IZH 46M for the American market.

Part 1
Part 2

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Sights
  • Sight-in
  • Shot a lot!
  • RWS R10 Match Pistol
  • Air Arms Falcons
  • New method of resting the pistol
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle
  • Vogel
  • The trigger
  • Other pellets
  • Summary

It’s accuracy day for the Air Venturi 46M single stroke pneumatic target pistol. A day I think that will be the first of several.

The test

I shot off a rest from 10 meters. I started with the gun rested directly on the bag and held with two hands, but during the test I discovered a better way to hold the pistol. I will describe it when we get to it.

I shot 5-shot groups so I could test more pellets. That turned out to be a good idea with all the shooting I did.

Sights

I said in Part 2 that I would be changing the sights for this test, but when the pistol was extended far from my eyes the sights it came with are sized correctly. I will say, though, that the screws that hold the rear sight blade to the unit are left-hand threads — just like those on the IZH-46M.

Sight-in

The pistol was shooting high and to the right when I started. I adjusted the rear sight as far to the left as it would go, but the pellets still hit the bull too far to the right. However, these pistols have a number of secondary adjustments, so I stopped to examine the pistol.

It appeared that the front sight might have been installed one or two degrees to the left of center. I say it appeared that way, because it was not obvious. There is a single slotted screw under the front sight. Loosen it and rotate the sight unit in the desired direction. I rotated the sight ever-so-slightly to the right (front sight moves in the reverse of how you want the pellet to move) and tightened the screw. I could not detect the difference in angle visually, but the problem was solved.

46M front sight
Loosen that screw under the front sight assembly to move the sight blade.

As I shot the pellets today I didn’t worry about centering them on the bull. That will come later, when an accurate pellet has been selected.

Shot a lot!

I shot many more groups than I’m going to show you here. Some had called pulls that I will explain as we go, and others were just not the right pellets for this pistol. It took me the entire test to discover that this pistol probably wants to shoot a 4.49 mm or a 4.50 mm wadcutter. I’m not certain of that, but the results seem to indicate it. That’s more of a note to me than to you, but owners will want to pay attention.

As a result of shooting so much today (60-70 shots) I got tired. Toward the end of the test when I discovered the best hold, I was no longer shooting at my best.

RWS R10 Match Pistol

The first group I will show is one I shot with RWS R10 Match Pistol wadcutters. Five pellets landed in 0.605-inches at 10 meters with 4 of them in 0.326-inches. That turns out to be a theme in today’s test — three or 4 pellets in a nice tight group with one or two that went wide.

46M R10 group
Five RWS R10 Pistol pellets went into 0.605-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.326-inches.

Air Arms Falcons

The only domed pellet I tried today was the Air Arms Falcon. The AV-46M put five of them in 0.455-inches at 10 meters.

46M Falcon group
Five Air Arms Falcon pellets went into 0.455-inches at 10 meters. The group looks smaller than it is because it was shot with domed pellets.

New method of resting the pistol

At this time in the test I tried a new method of resting the pistol. I had been holding it with two hands as it rested on the sandbag, but now I stretched out my shooting hand and just used that with the pistol still resting on the bag. That put the sights farther from my eyes which gave a sharper sight picture. The pistol was dead steady on the bag. I used this hold for the remainder of the test.

Qiang Yuan Training pellets

Sometimes this Qiang Yuan Training pellet does very well and this is one such time. I shot five into 0.679-inches, but the lone pellet on the left was a called pull. Now let me explain what I mean by that. When the trigger is as nice as the one on this pistol, you aren’t going to pull it by mistake. The “pull” in this case was that the gun fired when I could see slightly more light on the right side of the front post than on the left side. I didn’t want to fire at that moment, but the trigger was ready to go. That happens during matches all the time and the trick is to prevent it from happening to the best of your ability.

The other 4 pellets landed in a group that measures 0.285-inches between centers. This is a pellet to watch!

46M Chinese training group
Five Qiang Yuan Training pellets went into 0.679-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.285-inches.

RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle

Next to be tried were RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets. Once again four landed in a tight group and a fifth hit outside — this time lower. Four are in 0.381-inches and five are in 0.647-inches. This was not a called pull.

46M Meisterkugeln Rifle group
Five RWS Meisterkugeln Rifle pellets went into 0.679-inches at 10 meters, with four in 0.381-inches

Vogel

The last pellet I will show you is the Vogel target pellet with a 4.50 mm head. Five went into 0.65-inches, which isn’t that great compared to the other pellets — but three of the pellets are in 0.20-inches. That’s trime territory! I tested this pellet twice and got the same three-shot group inside of 5 shots. That told me that this is a pellet to consider and also that I was tiring out.

46M Vogel group
Five Vogel target pellets went into 0.65-inches at 10 meters with 3 in 0.20-inches.

The trigger

The trigger on an airgun is revealed during accuracy testing, and the one on the pistol I’m testing is gorgeous! There is no creep in stage two — something every IZH-46 I’ve ever shot cannot say. It also adjusts easily and stays where it is put. This is a trigger to admire.

Other pellets

Other pellets I tested but have not shown in this report are JSB Match S100 with 4.52 mm heads, H&N Finale Match Heavy with 4.50 mm heads and H&N Match Green with 4.50 mm heads. Their groups were just too large to consider.

Summary

I’m not done testing this pistol. I shot it so much today that I got tired and didn’t give the pistol a good chance to shine, once I figured out how best to hold it.

71 thoughts on “The AV-46M Single Stroke Pneumatic Match Air Pistol: Part 3

  1. B.B.,

    That’s an odd consistent pattern to show up. Four good then a fifth as an outlier. The SSP platform is consistent in output. Those are quality pellets and you are shooting from a rest. Any thoughts as to why?

    Siraniko


    • I have been wondering on that too while reading it.

      Years ago, (pre internet days) I had a Tau Brno 200 co2 10m rifle, I bought it new.
      From day 1 it would shoot 5 good tight shots, then throw 1 flier, about 1/2 inch up and left, then go back to the original point of aim for the next 5 shots.

      I thought it was just me making a sighting error, or a damaged pellet issue. but when I put a scope on it, and shot it from a rest, I could see it better, as it happened.

      It was a mechanical issue of some sort, it would throw the flier every 6th shot, if you stopped at shot number 4.
      Waited a few days, then shot it again, it would shoot 1 on target, then throw the flier (shot 6), and then start over again.

      I could dry fire it, and it would not change the flier shot count.
      Only when it was firing a pellet.

      It had to be something mechanical, that moved minutely with each shot, then snapped back in place after the flier.

      I tinkered and tightened things, but no luck, eventually I sent it back with test targets and explanation of the problem, and they replaced the rifle with another.

      Anyone have any similar experiences?

      Ian..


    • I have a 4y old Baikal IZH 46M and have been unable to detect any pattern like this. Mine’s accurate – meaning it goes where you point it! I would suggest trying accuracy again, rested and aiming at Sharpie ruled lines to make sighting more consistent. Also the distance between eye and front sight is shorter when bench resting, so post width may have to be changed for a repeatable sight picture, compared to standing Olympic style.

      BB, I must say that I love those red grips. Can I buy a grip on its own?

      Chuck


      • Chuck,

        As time passes I’m sure the grips will become a separate product, but for now they are all needed for pistols.

        As I tried to say in this report — I am to blame for the groups. Not the gun. But I will master it.

        My eyes aren’t catching the bottom of the bull the way they used to. I’ll look at your Sharpie idea, but it’s hard for an old pistol shooter to change his ways.

        My hand hold at the end put the pistol at the same distance from my eyes as when I stand.

        BB


        • BB,

          Have you ever considered a standing rest? That would allow you to do what you are used to and at the same time offer a more steady platform. I am not talking about some type of shooting stick, but rather a solid post type set up.

          Chris



            • B.B.,

              Do your Gatos have a climbing tree/scratching post? We kept a Gato for our daughter when they were transferred to Hawaii (animal quarentine issues) for a tour of duty so we bought a climbing tree to keep the cat happy. I have modified it to serve as a standing rest/rifle platform. Works great! Your cats may like it too whn you aren’t shooting!

              I always like things that have dual/multiple uses!

              shootski


        • BB,

          Ok, I understand your new hold better now. I used a carefully drawn H pattern of Sharpie lines on the target face. That seemed to tighten up groups when I tried pellet testing. The problem with pellet testing SSPs is that you can’t clamp them like PCPs. I guess a useful way, although really time consuming, is to shoot different pellets in proper 10m standing practice, keep careful records of scores (and ideally impact plots/photos), and figure out over time which gave the most consistent results. There’s still a problem though – training itself may bring its own improvements and that may confound the pellet testing! But at the end of the process, at least one will be confident of shooting the best pellets for “me and my pistol.”

          Ridge Runner, thanks for the tip on the grips!

          Chuck



    • Siraniko,

      Don’t think of it as 4 good ones and then one flier. Think of it as one flier in 5 shots.

      It may be a combination of things, but I do think I was too close to the sights until I discovered the one-hand hold and by then I was tiring. I shot over half the shots to get to that point.

      BB



  2. Thank you for going the extra miles, (and pellets) we never know what pellet a gun will like, and you have some in your inventory that some of us don’t have, and some pellets we no longer have access to.

    Have a great weekend, and I hope everyone has a healthy and prosperous new year!

    Ian.


  3. I’m a little surprised that you’re able to slacken and move the foresight assembly, based on my 1999 vintage Izh-46 I would expect to find a definite recess in the barrel for the securing screw to seat into – much more than just a screw mark. But, the crown on my barrel is very different to yours, and Izhevsk aren’t actually making these anyway.

    It should be possible to get some coarse windage adjustment by slackening the rearsight blade and moving it, shouldn’t it, keeping some fine adjustment either way? I don’t consider them as having left-hand threads, it’s just that the slot is cut into the tip rather than the head.

    I’ve noticed elsewhere mention of these being underpowered, and possibly requiring tuning to get the best compression. The piston is in two parts, the cocking linkage attaches to an inner section and the main body of the piston (with the piston seal at its forward end) screws onto this, a grub screw in the piston skirt fits into one of four recesses around the circumference of the inner part.

    I’ve got two different Izhevsk manuals, the factory original that is serial numbered to the gun and is for an Izh-46, and a pdf of a later version that covers the ’46 and ’46M, and while they have exploded diagrams and cross-section views and disassembly instructions that go as far as removing the piston, they don’t actually refer to this as an adjustment.

    Iain



    • Iain,

      Thanks for the picture! I have had my Izzy 46M since October 2010. I knew about the piston adjustment but have never needed to go inside. Seeing what awaits is a big help for when I eventually do.



      • Glad you found the information useful.

        I seemed to recall that the Daisy 7XX series had a similar adjustment – I’ve no experience of those myself – and finding the original manual for those online it’s actually accessible just with the sidelever fully opened for cocking.

        It’s some time since I had the Izh apart, and while you have to take the piston out fully to access this adjustment, you can get the feel of it, bottoming out on the cylinder, by just inserting the piston, its toggle link and pivot pin – you don’t need to be compressing air.

        Iain


  4. B.B.

    Please review your article on how to shoot a target pistol. I use your method of “locking your elbow” when I shoot my LP-8 one handed.
    This pistol needs to be shot the way it was intended to be shot. Standing, one handed. I would have thought that in capable hands that this gun would shoot groups about 1/2 the size that you showed. I know that you are capable!

    Goodbye 2020, don’t let the door hit your behind on the way out. 2021, welcome.

    Happy New Year everybody,

    -Yogi



    • Yogi,

      You are correct in your comments and the group size on my AV-46M is in that ball park of under 1/2″ pinwheel. I still need to learn the pistol and find the perfect pellet/ and headsize. But that is using shooting frames not reading glasses. I suspect B.B. is still using reading glasses and not using an adjustable iris either. I know he is of the opinion that he is EVERYMAN’S representative on his Blog…but every pistol shooter (especially us older shooters) needs to use all of the gear (especially shooter eye frames) that is available.

      shootski


  5. BB-

    Thank you for all the work involved in today’s blog. Regarding section, ‘ New method of resting the pistol’— I believe I understand the difference between the two holds. But, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Possibly a subject for a separate blog or two.

    I shoot pistols, but I am not a pistol shooter. Your years of experience could help many with the mechanics of pistol/ hand interface and also your methods and rests used for accuracy testing. Thank you and Happy New Year.


  6. BB,

    If there is creep in my Izzy’s trigger, I am too crude of a shooter to detect it. To me, this trigger feels every bit as fine as an FWB 300 or 601 trigger. I am not saying it is not there, but this ol’ hillbilly, excuse me, elderly Appalachian-American, cannot sense it. Now I do have my trigger adjusted about as light as one of those.

    When I bought mine at the Roanoke show, I brought it buy your table and asked which pellet to use. You told me to try the 4.49mm RWS R10 Match Pistol. That has been my Izzy’s favorite, but PA does not seem to carry that size. The next best pellet I have tried is the H&N Finale Match Light.

    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/p/H_N_Finale_Match_Light_177_Cal_7_87_Grains_4_50mm_Wadcutter_500ct/1368

    I guess I should try some of the domed pellets, but it shoots so nice with the R10 that I have not bothered.


  7. All you Izzy lovers out there. There used to be a kit you could buy for you Izzy that would convert it from SSP to MSP. The kit, and the company for that matter, no longer exist.

    I myself have thought of converting something like a FWB 600 series SSP to MSP. A major concern I have though is whether the parts are up to the stress such would produce. The Izzy, being built like a T34 would likely be up to it, I have serious doubts the FWB would last for long.

    Just wondering if any of you had heard of this before.







            • RR,

              Thanks. So basically a check valve. A check valve would allow multiple pumps and further pressurize the “plumbing” to the main valve exit.

              A plenum with an inlet check valve could build additional air storage.

              A check valve/disc added at the bottom of the compression chamber (and) a shortened piston stroke would seem to be an easy/quick way to go.

              With all the “kits” these days,.. something like that should get picked up on pretty quick. With this new offering of this pistol,.. maybe you will see the kit again?

              Thanks,… Chris


              • Chris,

                Ya got it!

                I do hope we see this on the market again. This particular one had a maximum rated input of three pumps and would produce around 800 FPS. I did not want to take a chance of damaging my Izzy, but now that they have figured out how to get around the embargo…


  8. BB
    I’m no expert target shooter or familiar with these competition airguns so I’m just throwing this question out there to satisfy my curiosity. Could there be any heat distortion in the barrel caused by pellet friction or direct sun light?
    Could it be checked by continuing to fire a few more pellets and watch for a POI shift? Or am I in firearm territory?




      • I can see how it could get technical. That would bug the heck out of me till I found the cause.
        If you can get some to give you a tight group I would assume the other pellets had some sort of defect or variation.
        Shooter fatigue could be eliminated with a vice. Or you actually had a minor call shot you did not detect.
        It amazes me that anybody can be good enough to repeatedly put pellets in not one hole but the same hole, without some luck involved. Hard to believe someone can totally overcome human error to the point that any miss was not their fault. Especially in bowling 🙂
        Can anyone actually put 10 shots into a single pellet hole at 10 meter shooting? Even with the best target gun made? If so, I would be totally impressed and dumbfounded.



          • B.B.

            That is a very respectable average! You get to shoot quite a bit but it is with different types of projectile launchers. Do you remember (not a question) how much practice with ONE pistol that took. So I’m not surprised that you anticipate a larger group size.

            I’ll repeat this from above you NEED to use an adjustable iris and have a selection of lenses for your/a shooter’s frame. I know they aren’t cheap but neither is suffering in silence when readers just DON’T CUT IT!

            Dang it MAN! You deserve at least one pair!

            shootski



  9. BB

    Hoping the fliers can be avoided with some pellet untried as yet, even a dome pellet like JSB or AA 7.87 grain domes. If not the barrel may need replacing.

    Good luck with this test and happy new year.

    Deck


  10. BB

    Thanks for another detailed report on this intriguing pistol. I think that the reason for the fliers is going to reveal itself after adjusting the sights. Anyway, looking forward for the next one.

    Happy New Year to everyone! Let’s hope that the upcoming 2021 is better than the wretched 2020, whose only virtue is to make 2008 look good.

    Henry


  11. Hey BB,

    just out of curiousity, I went back to Part 2 to look at the velocity tests to see what groups of 5 shots were doing. However, you didn’t post the strings, only the average and spread of the different pellets. I was curious if the velocity differed significantly in groups of 5?

    To all, wishing y’all a Happy New Year and and Healthy One! Glad to put this nightmare behind us!

    Fred formerly of the Democratik Peeples Republik of NJ now Happily in GA


  12. B.B.,

    It has already been mentioned but I think it is worth mentioning again. The Crown on your barrel does not look good. I like to see a clean pattern of the rifling showing up through the crown. My IZH 46M was used when I bought it so someone may have worked on it before I got it. I don’t remember if you have pushed a pellet through the barrel on this gun.

    Here is a picture of mine.




      • Shootski,

        I sent mine back, so I don’t know/remember. If I had waited a couple days I would still have it and could have adjusted the headspace myself. Now I will have to wait for it to return.

        The counterbore is what I would expect. That is why I am suspicious that my IZH crown was done aftermarket. It is rounded.

        Don


        • Don,

          Just going by the photograph i believe you are correct on your suspicion. It looks like it was done with the round brass screw head and valve lapping compound chucked in a drill. It does however, with the part i can see, look like you got one of the lucky few or a competent modder! I have seen all too many of those DIY result in an asymmetric and/or perpendicularly challenged bore ends.

          On your AV-46M i think you will find a much much shallower counterbore and on looking at mine again im going to up the depth from the barrel end to the rifling to an eyeballed 5+mm; it is relatively shallow and deep.

          shootski




        • B.B.,

          Face it. No one is willing to accept that the fliers were caused by you.

          Now if it were me shooting that pistol everyone would suggest different techniques, books on shooting pistols, correcting my diet, hiring a shooting coach, etc., etc.

          Happy New Year!



            • Shootski,

              They wouldn’t be wrong. I can hit one in the head two in the chest ccw at 7-10 yards but those are big circles.

              My grandfather used to say that the reason to carry a pistol is to be able to fight your way back to where you left your rifle.


              • Kevin,

                Practical shooting as you seem to know is all about staying alive, that is the best score you can hope for. Your Grand’s advice is good. My daughter carries a shield a Glock 17 on her hip and an AR and a Shotgun in the trunk of her cruiser.

                Hope she never needs to fight her way back to her cruiser and the same for us all.

                shootski


                • Shootski
                  Seems like we both have daughters you don’t want to mess around with. I jokingly mentioned that I might have to hit my daughter with with stick for one reason or another and she just laughed, “You don’t think I can take that stick away from you?”

                  Totally forgot she has a blue belt in Ninjutsu. That is the Martial Art of winning, not really engaging in hand to hand combat. You take out someone before they know there is going to be a fight. Like a quick knuckle punch to the throat. You know those events that last one or two seconds and someone is on the ground in severe pain or worse. Win by any means ! The art of an assassin.
                  And of course her instructor was an ex Navy Seal with a beautiful Asian wife. Story book stuff.
                  Bob M



  13. BB
    Well you made a believer out of me. Someone can actually shoot one hole wonders. I never imagined someone putting in that much practice to achieve it. I am impressed.
    I knew you were a competitive shooter in the past but not that you were ‘that’ good. Is that kind of practice the norm to be in competition?
    Bob M


    • Bob,

      When I hear of “what it takes”,… I would think that there must be a certain amount of (obsession) involved. You know?,… the kind when all your waking hours are consumed with one thought. That kind of obsession can moved mountains,.. if properly directed.

      I admire anyone that devotes that much time and effort towards one goal. Not only is there the practice and the time,.. but also the quality of the equipment and ammo. Perhaps most important,.. a natural talent for the art goes a long ways.

      Chris


      • Chris USA,

        I think i may have posted something about this subject before but that daughter of mine went to NCAAs, Olympic Trials twice, is a multiple time Ironman and still does Open Water Swim races beating most of the men. If that example isn’t enough our son was a scholarship swimmer and swam for a D1 school. Got fed up with an abusive coach and changed sports to Cross Country Skiing eventually becoming a World Class Biathlete (before children) in a few short years of training. It takes a minimum of 800 hours of Sport specific training each training year. Natural talent certainly helps but without the years of WORK natural talent, by itself, means almost nothing at that level. If you were to practice 800 hours this year for say, Hunter Field Target or beer bottle table tennis I bet you would place top 10 at Worlds! It wouldn’t be the equipment that put you there.

        shootski


    • Bob M,

      See my post to Chris USA below.
      As far as our daughters you are correct. I know my place. I suspect not to many will mess with either of our daughters for long.
      I taught both of my kids Judo and Krav Maga basics and they both showed interest and went on to learn much more about the Martial Arts. My daughter went to Thailand for a Muay Thai camp and was selected by the top Kru as his Trainee based on her reaction to his first hit to her face, she laughed, he bowed to her and simply said Student.

      shootski


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