Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, February 13, 2006

IZH-61: an air rifle for everyone!

by Tex Force

Shame on me for not telling you about this wonderful little air rifle before now! If you don't know about the IZH-61 yet, you're in for a rare treat!

It may look like a futuristic combat rifle, but the IZH-61 is one very accurate target rifle!

A real value from Russia!
That's correct - this sidelever spring-piston rifle is made by the same people who make the AK-47. They're also the folks who make the IZH-46M target pistol (second item down), widely acknowledged as the best buy in a target air pistol! It should come as no surprise that the IZH-61 is also a very accurate air rifle. But, how good can it really be if it's selling for less than $85?

As accurate as $400 target rifles!
You may not believe that, but this little spring rifle can hold its own with a Daisy model 853 target rifle that sells for over $400. In fact, it's as accurate as Daisy's Avanti 888 precharged target rifle that sells for more than $500! From a rest, an IZH-61 will group all its shots in about two-tenths of an inch at 10 meters. One owner on the East Coast was so impressed with his rifle that he installed a laminated stock that costs over $200 and an Anschutz front and rear aperture sight set costing over $500 on his $80 Russian air rifle! Granted that was extreme, but the rifle can back up that kind of investment. It's that accurate.

Loaded with features that are perfect for beginners
The IZH-61 is the perfect starter air rifle for several reasons besides just the accuracy. It weighs just 6.5 lbs., or about the same as Daisy's target rifles designed for youth shooting. It has an adjustable stock, so it can be sized to fit smaller children. Although it is a sidelever, the pellets feed from a 5-shot magazine, so there are no places where small fingers can get pinched. This is one of the easiest-cocking air rifles on the market! All are good reasons to start a new shooter with one of these, but adults will also find plenty of features to love. The adjustable stock also accommodates larger shooters, and the rifle comes with both open sights and an aperture site conversion. There are even two mounting points for the rear site, depending on which form - peep or open - you choose to use. The front sight is a globe-type that accepts different inserts for different types of shooting. It comes with a square post insert.

It's a repeater?
Yes. The rifle comes with a 5-shot "harmonica"-type magazine that indexes the next pellet every time you cock the lever. It's practically foolproof, except that it doesn't sense when the last pellet has been fired, so it would be possible to dry-fire the gun if no pellet remains in the magazine. This type of magazine makes it easy to load pellets because they are put into the magazine when it's apart from the gun. Then the magazine is inserted in one side of the receiver, and you can begin cocking and shooting.

Trigger has some creep
The trigger is the one feature that's not absolutely first-rate on this rifle. It has a lot of creep or movement that can be felt when it is pulled. Still, it is light enough for younger shooters to use easily. Though it's creepy, it's just as good as many triggers on sporting spring rifles costing hundreds of dollars.

Lower power is perfect for indoor target use!
This rifle shoots lightweight .177 pellets at 450 to 475 f.p.s. While that is too slow for hunting or pest elimination (except for small mice), it's perfect for indoor target use, providing you shoot into an approved pellet trap such as the Tech Force flat pellet trap (last item on page) or the much larger Daisy pellet trap (last item on page). Though it's not powerful, do not attempt to catch the pellets in a cardboard box filled with crushed newspapers, the way you do with a BB gun. This rifle will soon shoot through such a stop and start hitting whatever is behind it.

The low power also means the rifle is very quiet, so it shouldn't bother others if shot inside the house. The noise of the pellet hitting the trap will be the loudest sound heard.

What pellets to use?
The Tech Force Match Pellet (Light) (bottom of the page) is the perfect match for the accuracy of this rifle. The Gamo Match pellet (third item down) is also a good choice. A lighter pellet with a wadcutter or flat nose cuts a perfectly round hole in the target and is easier to see and score.

The IZH-61 is already a legendary air rifle. Ask any owner and they will tell you what a wonderful little shooter it can be! I hope you can become a happy owner like the others. Let me know what you think of the gun when you get it!


  • I have one of these and I agree that it is a real bargain. The easy cocking and the adjustable stock make it perfect to use with my grandchildren, even those as young as 5yrs. Although it is not a hunting airgun it is excellent for keeping squirrels out of the bird feeders and discourages them from digging in the lawn.
    My only complaint is the excessive expense for additional magazines since they are plastic and don't hold some pellets too well. Also there is no safety so one must be extra careful with young children.

    By Blogger airgundoc, at 11:50 AM, February 14, 2006  

  • CWI,

    Thanks for your viewpoint. It really helps.


    By Anonymous Tex Force, at 11:54 AM, February 14, 2006  

  • looking for a gun for my 10year old. This looks promising. What is the difference between this and say a tech force 97 or a tech force 34?

    By Blogger TCS, at 2:38 PM, February 14, 2006  

  • tcs,

    If the gun is for a 10-year-old, this is the one to get. Both the Tech Force 34 and 97 are much larger adult-sized air rifles with more than twice the power (not velocity, but muzzle energy).

    Both rifles are much harder to cock, as well.

    This one will out-group them both at up to 25 yards. It is really a delightful airgun.


    By Anonymous Tex Force, at 2:57 PM, February 14, 2006  

  • The IZH-61 is a fantastic airgun. It would be a tremendous value even if the price were double. It may come with a gruby protective coating do not be alarmed by it. I am far older than the youth classification of the IZH-61 it is one of my favorites to shoot and consider it one of the darlings of my collection.

    By Anonymous airgunner since 1964, at 5:51 PM, April 09, 2006  

  • Do you think it could kill a pigeon? I'm looking for an airgun for pigeon abatement one that can kill at 10 yards or so. The rifle looks accurate enough but I don't know if it is underpowered. Any help would be appreciated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:03 AM, April 11, 2006  

  • I do think the IZH-61 is underpowered for pigeons, even at 10 yards. It could kill them, but it wouldn't be reliable.

    My pick for you is the Daisy 22SG. It's a multi-pump pneumatic with power to kill pigeons out to 25 yards, at least. Compasseco sells it, too, for just a little more than this rifle, and it comes with a scope! And I recommend Gamo .22-caliber match pellets. They are very effective on small game at close ranges.


    By Anonymous Tex Force, at 10:40 AM, April 11, 2006  

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