Pneumatic Pnews

Monday, October 02, 2006

A top-quality target pistol at an affordable price!

by Tex Force

IZH 46 is a wonderful value in a target air pistol.

Here's a real deal for you. The IZH 46M pistol is more accurate than many air rifles, and it's easy to use. For the power and accuracy this pistol delivers, you would normally have to pay three times the price, so this airgun is a real standout!

It's a single-stroke pneumatic
That means you have to pump the gun only one time to make it ready to shoot. However, it is a pneumatic - not a spring gun that some people mistakenly call a "one-pump gun." This one really is! With a spring gun, you are compressing a powerful mainspring when you cock the gun. That's usually hard to do. With the IZH 46M, you're actually pumping compressed air into a reservoir to power the shot. And, the manufacturer has designed the pump mechanism (the lever that forms the triggerguard) with a movable fulcrum, so the pumping is easy by comparison.

It's very powerful
This pistol generates about 500 f.p.s. with lighter target pellets. That puts it into the magnum class of air pistols. Single-strokes aren't usually this powerful, but this one and the FWB 103 that costs over $1,700 are exceptions. The power isn't quite enough to make this a hunting air pistol; but, besides the 10-meter competition it is designed for, it's also a wonderful silhouette pistol. It cuts perfect round holes in target paper when you use wadcutter target pellets such as Gamo Match and Beeman H&N Match.

General specs
Perhaps, I should have mentioned this earlier, but the 46M comes only in .177. That's because .177 is the only caliber allowed in 10-meter competition, and this is a competition pistol. It is fully capable of competing and winning at the regional level, but it lacks the sophistication for national and world-level competition. Even the Soviets never used this gun in World-Cup competition, though their top arsenal (Ishmash) made it...and still makes it today. However, no pistol shot who ever lived can out-shoot the pistol's capability. It weighs 39 oz., which is a little heavy for smaller shooters. The trigger is a match-type target trigger that can be set to the international specification of 500 grams (1.1 lbs.). The all-steel pistol has hardwood adjustable grips. The pump stroke takes about 16-18 lbs. of effort, making this one of the easiest-pumping single-stroke pistols.

The trigger adjusts for the length of the first-stage pull, total pull-weight, trigger position and overtravel. The owner's manual (written by Americans who have never competed in 10-meter matches) says to not adjust trigger-pull to less than 24 oz., but that is absurd, as 18 oz. is the weight at which most competitors shoot. Those who have never used a target trigger will find this one to be very light and crisp.

The rear sight has two different notch widths, is adjustable for both windage and elevation, and the clicks are fine and repeatable. A word of caution if you attempt to reverse the rear notches...the rear blade is held by two screws that have LEFTHAND threads! Be warned before you twist off the tiny screw heads.

The 10-ring of an international 10-meter pistol target is almost exactly the size of the skirt on a .177 pellet. This pistol will hit it every time from 33 feet! That's the equivalent of a half-inch group from 50 .45 ACP rounds at 50 feet! No one in the world can hold a pistol steady enough to extract all the accuracy this pistol has to offer. So, no matter how good a shot you may be, you'll never keep up with the potential in this pistol. How do they do it for so little money? I have no idea. But you would have to pay a lot more to find another target pistol with all this one has to offer.


  • I wanted to add some input into your entry regarding the IZH. I purchased a lightly used one a few months ago. Everything you said is absolutely true. It’s a great gun with pinpoint accuracy and good balance. I like the really easy cocking and loading system in particular.

    I encountered a few issues that have driven me crazy. First the instruction manual is among the very worst that I have ever seen. There are no instructions regarding the sight system adjustment and I couldn’t sight the gun in because the rear sight was all the way to the right. I tried to unscrew in both clock and counter clockwise but it wouldn’t budge. I tried liquid wrench and heating the unit with a hair drier. No luck. At last the screws slot broke and I was forced to buy 3 pieces need to repair, i.e., replace the sight. I used an exploded diagram from the company but found that may of the parts are either incorrectly labeled or numbered and It too weeks to iron out that problem. The EAA gunsmith wouldn’t call me back and sent me bizarre e-mail answers to my questions. When I finally was able to speak to him he was rude and confrontational, but he did send the correct part.

    The trigger was maladjusted and fired with the slightest touch. Thank goodness some one from MAC was able, online, to clarify their adjustment protocol, otherwise I would still be trying to figure it out.

    Once set up the gun has been great. My sole issue is the grip. I have large hands and parts of the grip, i.e., the palm rest is too highly placed even in the full down position, and the thumb rest is too small. My thumb sits on it at a 45-degree angle; while the grip is too wide for my bottom 3 fingers. When properly grasped, should my thumb lie flat on the rest? Should I have at it with a file and rasp? Any thoughts about the custom grips on line?

    Anyone wanting a super accurate gun at an excellent price should consider this one. None of the problems above have dampened my enthusiasm for this great gun.

    By Blogger D.B., at 10:42 PM, October 19, 2006  

  • D.B.,

    Recontouring grips is a rite of passage among 10-meter pistol shooters. The gun is not yours until it has rasp marks and wood putty.

    Yur thumb should be held still with no pressure. Where it is matters not at all. Just don't squeeze with it.


    By Anonymous Tex Force, at 4:11 AM, October 20, 2006  

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