IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 8

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

IZH MP532
IZH MP532 single stroke target rifle.

A history of airguns

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

This report covers:

  • The back story
  • Sights
  • First shot — ah HA!
  • Finale Match Heavy
  • Qiang Yuan Training pellets
  • Rear sight
  • Rear sight height
  • Rear sight folds forward!
  • Russians missed the mark
  • End of back story
  • Why the peep sight won’t adjust high enough
  • What’s next?
  • Summary

I have what I think is a great report for you today. I have listed it as a history article, but the application is universal. It will take a lot of back story introduction and I will have to keep things straight for you as we go. You may need a whole pot of coffee for this one!

The back story

Back in October, 2019 I reviewed two IZH 532 single-stroke pneumatic target air rifles for you. The report started with me thinking the rifles were only as accurate as a Daisy 853 and it ended with me shooting two of the smallest groups I have ever shot with any airgun at 10 meters. I think I have just discovered something major about one of the two rifles, and that is what this report is about. Yes, this is an historical report, but if I am right it applies to modern air rifles as well.

There is so much back story to tell that I will put everything that was written in 2019 in italics, so you can differentiate it from what I’m telling you today. As I introduced both rifles I shared their differences with you. I will be referring to the first rifle and the second rifle. It is the second rifle, which is ten years older than the first rifle, that is of interest for this series. Here we go.

Sights

The front sight of the 532 is a globe that accepts inserts. The first rifle I got had a single insert in the globe and it is the old-style metallic aperture. The second rifle came with no inserts but I was able to fit a 16mm Walther clear plastic aperture insert that reader Kevin recently sent me. It’s loose until the threaded sleeve is screwed tight, but then it locks up and stays in one place, which is all I need. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfectly centered because the rear sight adjusts for that.

532 front sight Walther insert
The older rifle had no front sight insert, so I installed a clear 16mm Walther aperture.

The rear sight is a target peep that Americans have panned over the years. They say it looks cheap compared to other 10-meter rear sights. Well, it is a little Spartan compared to other 10-meter target rifle sights, but it does everything they do, so who cares what it looks like? Beautiful is as beautiful does. Naturally I will have a lot more to say about the sights when I test the rifle(s) for accuracy. I think because I have two rifles I will test both of them. Why not?

While I was working with the first rifle to get it back in shape I decided to purchase a second one. This was an earlier rifle that didn’t have the box or anything else — just the rifle. I wanted this one in case the first one didn’t pan out for some reason. I don’t plan to keep it long, and from the response I saw to Part One I will have no trouble selling it when I am ready. There were three inquiries about the other two rifles I mentioned that are available, so this one will evaporate quickly. But I have it now so let’s see what it can do.

The second rifle was produced in 1997, making it 10 years older than the first rifle. I used the same warmup procedure (20 partial pumps to warm the pump cup) and a partial stroke before every pump stroke for each shot.

This rifle has a clear plastic aperture insert for the front sight, and I selected one that was only ever-so-slightly larger than the bullseye. It was very difficult to work with. If I shoot the rifle again I will swap it for an insert with a larger hole.

[Editor’s note: Right there I identified the problem I hope to resolve in this series, but I didn’t see it at the time.]

I decided to shoot only the three best pellets from the first rifle in rifle number two, which were H&N Finale Match Heavys, Hobbys and Qiang Yuan Training pellets. However, things never got that far.

First shot — ah HA!

The first shot with H&N Finale Match Heavys hit the target about 6 inches below the aim point. So I dialed in a lot of elevation into the peep and shot again. The sight adjusted up easily. Shot two was still below the target, so I cranked in a bunch more elevation — AND RAN OUT OF ADJUSTMENT! The adjustment knob suddenly stopped. It felt just like the one on rifle number one. OH! The rear sight on rifle number two was now adjusted as high as it will go and the rifle is still shooting too low! I’m learning. [But I wasn’t learning fast enough.]

Finale Match Heavy

Five Finale Match Heavy pellets hit the target about 1-1/2-inches below the aim point. They landed in an extremely vertical group that measures 0.429-inches between centers. I was almost certain the rifle was not responsible for the size of the group, and I also knew it wasn’t me. I thought it was the rear sight.

And then it happened. Everything became crystal clear and I know the problem. [I didn’t, really, but I thought I did.]

Qiang Yuan Training pellets

I then shot 5 Qiang Yuan Training pellets into another vertical group. Two shots are above three shots, with each “group” being small enough to hold a pellet by the tail. But 5 shots are in 0.445-inches. The only way this can happen is if the rear sight was moved while I shot. So I pushed on it and, sure enough, it moved. THAT WAS THE PROBLEM!

I had been creeping up on the rear peep, trying to get my eye as close as possible to the peephole, but in Part 2 the first rifle’s buttstock was adjusted so long that it was very difficult to get close to that sight. Sometimes I did and other times I didn’t. The butt on rifle two wasn’t adjusted, so I got close to the peep every time. If my glasses touched the peep hole disk they pushed it forward, moving the location of the hole and changing the impact point up or down.

No sense going any farther with today’s testing. I need to find out some things about the sights and what can be done to correct the situation.

Rear sight

I’m going to write a report about that rear sight because I have just discovered a lot about it — stuff I haven’t told you yet. First, the two rifles have different rear sights! And the differences are big and they matter! Next, how you sight the rifle makes all the difference in the world. With the first rifle, when I didn’t push my face forward, the sight remained upright and my groups were smaller. When I pushed my face forward I hit the sight and it folded forward and down. Now that I know that, I am sure I can shoot better groups.

I know the MP532 isn’t an air rifle many of you will ever even see, but there are some fundamental principles at work that apply to all airguns. So this stuff is worth learning.

rear sight 97 eyepiece
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 mount
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 height

Those 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 strike 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!

[I believe there was and is a way for that sight to work, but at this point in 2019 I hadn’t found it yet.]

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!

End of back story

Okay, we are now back in 2021 and on with this series of what I hope is a major discovery. The older rifle we are discussing does have 11 mm dovetail grooves, and I mounted both a scope and a red dot sight to see how accurate the rifle really is. Rifle number one that I’m not discussing put five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets into a group that measured 0.072-inches at 10 meters. That was with the peep sight it came with. Rifle number two, the rifle we are looking at in this series, put five of the same pellets into 0.083-inches at 10 meters when a dot sight was used. So that rifle is just as accurate as the first one. But why can’t it zero the peep sight that came on it?

Why the peep sight won’t adjust high enough

What I’m about to tell you happened this month — March of 2021 — fully 16 months after the last test of the second rifle. In fact it was just last week. I had the rifle sitting across the arms of a chair, out of the way so I could find and pack up all the airguns that I’m returning to Pyramyd Air. The other newer 532 was also out, and I was able to compare both of them. That is when I spotted it. The older rifle isn’t bedded properly! Let me show you.

532 rifles bedding comparison
The newer rifle is on top. The older rifle with the bedding problem is at the bottom.

new rifle bedding
The newer rifle is bedded until the barrel is close to the forearm of the stock.

532 old rifle bedding
The barrel on the older rifle is up from the forearm quite a bit.

Given the bedding problem of the older rifle with the barrel pointed upward, the older rifle has to be pointed down to see through the aperture of the front sight. Since the aperture is a hole, you don’t notice that it is on a slight downward angle. It still looks round when you see it through the peep sight. I believe this is the reason the rear sight cannot be adjusted high enough to compensate.

Do you remember earlier in this report that I mentioned that the front aperture was difficult to see through? It was difficult because the hole through the clear aperture wasn’t being seen straight on — it was at a slight downward angle. I believe that the bedding issue is why it appeared that way.

What’s next?

The barreled action needs to be properly bedded. Then the rifle needs to be shot again to see if the bedding was why the rear sight could not be adjusted high enough. So here is my plan.

I will shoot a 5-shot group with H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets with the rifle as it is now, so we can see where it impacts the target at 10 meters. Then I will relieve the bedding so the barreled action sits down in the stock like rifle number one. Then I will shoot a second group of five H&N Finale Match Heavy pellets to see where they impact the target. I’m thinking of shooting at the same bull for both groups. That should demonstrate the affect the bedding had on the height of the two groups. This will be a before and after test. I’m not interested in how small the groups are — just where they land on the target.

Summary

Today’s report was about a revelation that opened my mind! If I am right about the peep sight adjustment problem being caused by poor bedding, then it applies to every air rifle with similar sights. Very few rifles are bedded like the 532 so this isn’t the solution to all sighting problems, but it is unique and if I’m right it’s something we all need to know. If I’m not right then I’m giving you a running start at explaining to me why my theory is flawed

55 thoughts on “IZH MP532 target rifle: Part 8

  1. When I saw the photo at the top of the page, I thought it’s been a while since we last saw the 532.

    I figured it had long since gone on to become an SEP (somebody else’s problem).

    This new revelation changes things.

    Once it’s finished, with it potentially being as accurate as it’s brother, the hard decision to make is which one to keep?

    Decisions decisions…

    Ian


  2. B.B.,

    Please! Before you mess around with the wood furniture remove the action from the stock. Shoot the action in a padded vice to test your theory.
    I just cant see how the bore line and the sight line rear sight to front sight can be effected by the action being bedded differently from how it currently is. The sight geometry and the bore axis does not appear to be touched by the stock unless that gap is an indication of something bending. It would be a much less visually apparent displacement I should think.
    Not being able to see it directly in 3D makes my dissertation risky no doubt.
    I’m just concerned that carving away wood is not the best solution. I think removing the action from the stock may also help you with visualization of my thoughts on the issue.

    Hopefully it gets resolved correctly.

    shootski



  3. BB,

    Something is just not right here. I have to agree that the air rifle is not properly bedded in the stock, but…

    I do not know if you have had a look see yet, but I suspect something has been inserted under the front of the action. It would seem to me that with the front up so high, it would be shooting high…

    Something is just not right here…




    • RR,
      I had a bad experience with breakbarrel rifle several years ago. I installed a charliedatuna GRT-III trigger in a Crosman Nitro Venom that had a horrible stock trigger. I was new to airguns back then and didn’t know that the rifle should be bumped on the stock to verify that a trigger was not set too light. Well, I took the rifle out back to try the new trigger and before I could ever get a pellet to load it, the rifle fired snapping the barrel shut with a slam. I also was not yet aware of the fact that the barrel should always be held while inserting the pellet. This could have been a really bad learning experience for me! But, I was very fortunate not to have had my thumb in the way. So, as I now know the barrel will always be bent upward following the barrel slamming closed. The GRT-III trigger could not be adjusted in this rifle to an acceptable level so I reinstalled the original. Then when I took the rifle out to shoot it again it shot 8″ LOW at 10 yards! I returned it back to Amazon and was sent a replacement. That too had a horrible trigger, so again I installed the GRT-III trigger. This time I very was careful to hold the barrel while testing to make sure it was going to hold. Oddly, it functioned great in this Crosman Nitro Venom and is a nice smooth crisp trigger.
      The barrel was bent upward and did shoot 8″ low afterwards on the first rifle though.
      Geo



        • RR,
          Sorry, my mistake. I went back and looked through my notes and you are correct. After the barrel snapped shut the POI was 6″ high at 10 yards, not low. I was not able to adjust the scope enough to bring it down where it needed to be. I guess I was having a senior moment. 😉
          Geo



            • RR,
              No, I returned it to Amazon and got a replacement. The second one shot okay but had some defects in the finish so I sent that one back too. The third one they sent was okay after I installed the GRT-III trigger in it. I didn’t feel the accuracy was adequate for my pesting needs though and then I purchased the Diana 34P in .22 caliber. Well, you know how that panned out. The best groups I was able to get at 25 yards was 1.5″-2″. After trying to learn how to shoot a springer for five years, I gave in and bought the Gamo Urban PCP. I am able to the Urban with great accuacy and it has been flawless for three years. I haven’t shot the two springers for some time.
              Geo


  4. BB-

    I agree the barreled action is probably ‘bridging’ in the stock. Not sure that is causing the low shooting. Prior to removing the action from the stock- How many and where are the fastening screws? In addition to the baseline group, could you shoot a second group with the forward fastener loosened? Then, as Shootski suggested, shoot in the padded vise. Thank you.

    Now I’m off to reread the previous log entries.



  5. BB

    I’m guessing the angle or lack of squareness for sight alignment is not enough to explain the elevation range issue. Will be fun to see what you find.

    Deck



  6. B.B.

    Whenever my groups open up, first thing I check are my stock screws, thus properly bed.

    Until the end, I thought you were going to say that you used their sight incorrectly. Too much forward lean on your head. The match shooters that I see, have their heads straight up and down. No forward lean!

    Then your cheek weld comes into play and comb height…

    -Y


  7. BB
    I could be way off base, here,,,, but (isn’t it odd that people often say that “they might be wrong” and then say their piece anyway), my thought is that the bedding isn’t the issue with the sight. It should certainly be corrected, but unless there is some way that the bedding is causing the action, itself, to flex, I don’t see how that could be causing the problem. The barrel is likely not parallel with the top of the action, and it would seem that the “droop” might have been caused by someone else noticing the bedding problem and trying to correct it by pushing down on the barrel. Checking the alignment of the top of the action with the top of the barrel should confirm or deny this.
    I don’t comment often, but I read every day. I appreciate what you do, here.
    Ed


  8. BB
    I didn’t go back and read the ALL and I stress ALL the other reports like I got time for that.

    But is this gun shooting with slower velocity than it should. That will make a gun seem to be shooting low at a certian distance compared to sight alignment.


    • Gunfun1,

      Not saying it isn’t SLOW MV, but THAT slow and you needn’t use a Chronograph a Grandfather Clock will do!
      And, since he doesn’t own, or can make a padded Benchvice… B.B. probably doesn’t have one of those either so he could use an egg timer!
      LOL!

      Yes i know he owns a Chronograph. But No Padded vice that’s just criminal!

      shootski


    • BB
      And it seems like the gun your testing now might just have the wrong stock on it.

      Or if you have never took the action of this gun out of the stock maybe someone put something under the front of the action thinking it would make the gun shoot higher.

      Just a thought.



  9. That barrel certainly appears to be bent upward from that block forward. Looking at the barrel and action rear of that block, it appears to be seated down into the stock correctly. It’s a little difficult to determine from just a photo but the barrel does appear to be bent.
    Geo


  10. Jeff Cloud’s blog about setting up his RAW was published recently. I thought readers might be interested in this:

    A big congratulations to R.A.W. shooter Jeff Cloud, who took first place at The Republic Of Texas TEXtreme Field Target Championships held March 19-21, 2021 in Clifton, Texas shooting a R.A.W. HM1000x set up in a factory chassis system in the 100 ft/lb class. The match was a great time and we would like to thank Ron Robinson for putting on such a great event!

    Congratulations Jeff,
    David Enoch


  11. BB-

    Have you tried loosening the square nut on the rear sight and rotating the eye cup 180 degrees? Retighten the nut obviously and then reshoot to check for movement of the group.

    Also, just to be sure- is the clear insert centered in the front sight?


  12. Pacoinohio,

    I agree with the check of the front sight. And also rotatin the rear sight might work.
    I reread the Part 1 of this series and B.B. said, “It doesn’t matter if it isn’t perfectly centered because the rear sight adjusts for that.” The .5 mm or more potential offset could account for the POI issue all by itself if my long range geometry isn’t all too far off and rusty. So maybe that rear sight will take care of it deserves a Not So Fast Kemosabe!

    shootski



    • Shootski,

      That is the best and most honest sales pitch I have heard in awhile. Note: The Blaze,… that is Glen Beck’s site if not mistaken. Beyond that,.. I will shut up. Well,… other than to say,… “Buy lot’s of air guns from Pyramid Air!!!!!” with all the newly found “free” money that is flowing.

      Chris



        • Shootski,

          I live simple and have all I need. I will be (saving) mine, as in the past,.. and any in the future. It might? come in handy to offset rising prices on,… well,…. everything. 🙁

          Chris


          • Chris USA,

            WHAT!?!? NO Daystate Delta Wolf in .30, or .25, or .22, or .177 in your immediate future! If I had “money to burn” I might get one otherwise i’ll stick with KISS.. I hope the complexity doesn’t kill the reliability or adel the brains of buyers…i can’t bring myself to call them shooters.

            shootski


            • Shootski,

              Already having a limited edition .25 Red Wolf,… I consider myself lucky enough. The Gen. II versions have more power. Then there is a “Heli-board” that is like 200-300 bucks that gives you like 20 settings and 12 settings, within each of the 20,… or something to that effect. There is also a programmer you can buy. It is all a bit over my head on all that (and budget),…. but it would be tinkerer’s/techies dream,…. or nightmare, as some are finding out.

              Brain Adel?/Complexity?,…. well, there is a few struggling. Some people do better. Support from Daystate on any of it is pretty well nil.

              As I have said before,…. see what is in competitions and what is winning. The Delta Wolf’s have just started to ship in the last couple of months,.. and even that is spotty. Of course,.. a select few people got them early to “pump” them and generate interest/sales.

              But no,… nothing on the radar at this moment.

              Chris


    • Well, I live in Michigan and though I honor his military service and agree with some of the things he says, I won’t be buying his coffee…it’s not for me.
      Geo


  13. B.B.,

    The BIG question!

    So there is a AV-46M that sold like HOT CAKES for US $600 and has remained on Backorder at PA for months. Is there a AV-MP532 target rifle on the horizon?

    shootski



  14. B.B.,

    Alternate theory would be that the spring on that rear sight has weakened and simply pressing it with your shooting glasses slightly presses it and cants it forward. I just hope the bedding between the two generations is the same so you can quickly check if the bedding is the problem. Is your neighbor Denny going to help you with the inletting problem?

    Siraniko


  15. They call it Extreme Field Target. It’s a contest for more powerful airguns. It is not a sanctioned event by the regular Field Target Groups.
    David Enoch


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