Baikal coach guns---your opinions?


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Sir Galahad
May 10, 2003, 03:40 PM
I saw a couple double barrel shorty shotguns at my local shop yesterday. One had outside hammers, the other had internal hammers. These look good! I've always liked short double barrels. My questions are:

1.) Which is best? I like the option of external hammers, but are there an "weak links" in the outside hammer set up? Of course, I also like the snag-free internal hammer set-up. Decisions, decisions...

2.) Rugged? Are these shotguns pretty rugged?

3.) Your overall thoughts?

As always, your advice is greatly appreciated!

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Preacherman
May 10, 2003, 09:14 PM
1. Both are good, but it depends what you want the gun for. The external hammers have to be manually cocked before shooting, so if speed of operation is desirable, this is a downcheck. On the other hand, they're more "authentically" old-style, so if authenticity floats your boat (e.g. SASS), they have an advantage. Also, bear in mind that for some years, the Baikal external hammer guns were not true external hammers at all... they were basically cosmetic, with the firing pins still functioning internally. Only in the past year or so, IIRC, did Baikal come out with a true external-hammer gun. You'd better check whether the ones you looked at were the new style.

2. Rugged as rugged can be! A gunsmith who smoothed one out for me said that it was built like a brick outhouse - massively over-engineered. He said that it had more redundant steel than any other shotgun he'd worked on. This is a negative in terms of weight, but a strong positive in a gun that you want to have around for a long time - it's very unlikely to wear out!

3. Overall, I liked mine (a 20" internal-striker model). It badly needed a trigger and action job, as without these it was very stiff indeed. However, with smoothing-out, it was a pleasure to shoot. Unfortunately, I no longer have mine... I loaned it to a friend, who took it with him on a 3-month trip to see his grandchildren. He died while there, and his family sold off his possessions and/or kept them themselves. They wouldn't believe that it wasn't his gun, and so rather than go into a long and costly lawsuit, I left it with them. One of these days I'll replace it.

I've also owned the Stoeger 12ga. double-barrel coach gun, and this was very nice (better action "smoothness" than the Baikal out-of-the-box), but I think less strong. I'd buy either, but if I have a gunsmith available to work on the Baikal, this would be my first choice.

BigG
May 10, 2003, 11:21 PM
I don't have a shotgun but I do have a Baikal double rifle in 308 Winchester. It's as strong a gun as I've ever seen, as Preacherman said. I believe the Baikals are made at Izhmach, the Russian armory that made all the AK47s. You know they are hell for strong!

Detritus
May 11, 2003, 12:49 AM
Baikal and Stoeger each have there adherents.

the concensus i get on each is this,

Want a Tank of a gun that you're gonna have to tinker with a bit to get to rum completely smooth. or if you HAVE to have at least the appearence of external hammers (they're really external, manual cocking levers for the strikers) get the Baikal.

want a gun that is a little more "sleek" and a little better fit, probably justa a little MORE rugged really, not NEAR as rough out of the box, and can be smoothed and made mighty dang slick. with two snapcaps, a bit of valve grinding compound (or J&B Bore paste), and a few hours of sitting in front of the TV. Get the Stoeger.

personally i bought the Stoeger when i started shootng CAS, loved it, wish i'd not had to sell it with my other gear (stupid lay-offs). But eh Baikal is still a good gun and i won't steer you away from it, but i will say that before you buy a coach gun that you should be fair to yourself and the guns by looking at the Stoeger versions as well.

Sir Galahad
May 11, 2003, 03:04 PM
Thanks guy! My local shop carries Baikal only and since I only buy from him, that's the one I'd be getting. He could probaby order the Stoeger, but I could get a better deal on the Baikal. This shotgun would not be for CAS. It'd be for just fun shooting and SGAC (Sir Galahad Action Shooting.)

Detritus
May 11, 2003, 06:00 PM
He could probaby order the Stoeger

just a note, about one of the BAD outcomes of the Berretta/Bennelli/et. al. merger. Stoeger's shotgun line is now handled in the US by the folks who handle Benelli/berretta etc. and a decision was made that to have ANY new stoeger shotguns in, you had to also be a stocking Dealer for Benelli. and due to the numbers/monetary amount required to be a Stocking Dealer of Benelli. most gunshops in general, and smaller shop in particular can't swing it. for me this hasn't meant much as to availability as both of the shops i use have easy acess, one through being a bennelli dealer and one through a good relationship with a Stocking Dealer in Dallas.

but the whole thing reeks a bit to me.

Sir Galahad
May 11, 2003, 06:06 PM
That settles it for me. Baikal. I am very angry with Beretta right now over a POS Neos pistol I just got. I won't buy anything more from Beretta unless they make this pistol and their CRAPPY customer service up to me.

Johnpl
May 12, 2003, 12:34 PM
Detritus-
What did you do to smooth up the Stoeger action? Mine still requires too much muscle...

Tropical Z
May 14, 2003, 02:44 AM
My FFL said he'd never seen a SxS built as strong as the Baikal i got.They are pretty stiff though.Thats OK with me.

VictorLouis
May 14, 2003, 09:43 PM
while kept loaded, and ready? I mean, do they have any drop-safeties, or anything?

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