My IZH 61 showed up on Tuesday. On opening the box, the first thing that hits you is, this thing is TINY! The 61's total length is about the same as just the stock on my RWS 350! And it's light, under 5 lbs. It almost looks like a kids toy, until you pick it up and look closer. This is one well designed, well made gun. The more I use it, the more I'm surprised that these things aren't a lot more popular, especially with the guys that like to mod their guns. I'm already thinking of talking to Rich about a LW barrel. Think 1377 for mod potential.
For those completely unfamiliar, this is a side lever, spring piston, 5 shot repeater. Fixed barrely, obviously. Advertised velocity, 400 to 500 fps, depending on where you look. The factory claims 420 fps, which turns out to be conservative. Mine came with a replacement mainspring and cleaning rod, and 2 5 shot magazines. The stock is adjustable for LOP from about 11.5" to 14.5", no tools required. At max extension, it flexes a bit when cocking, but isn't an issue when shooting. Cocking is very easy, maybe 10 lbs., and the stroke is surprisingly short, just over 90 degrees. Loading is equally straight forward, drop 5 pellets in the stick mag and slide it into the slot. The mags don't really hold on to the pellets, so I've already gotten into the habit of pointing the muzzle down when inserting a mag. If you load a mag and then decide to take it out, look out! If it's inserted all the way, and unrestrained, the release will launch the mag a long way. There's no lock out for an empty mag, so you have to keep track of your shot count to prevent dry fires.
Although low powered, this is still a springer, so there is some recoil. It doesn't seem to be the least bit hold sensitive, although it doesn't shoot quite as well with the forearm rested. It prefers a hand there, but other than that, anything goes. The sights aren't bad, typical notch rear with a hooded front post. I find that my almost 50 year old eyes don't do well with open sights, so I ordered a Daisy Avanti diopter sight to on the rifle. After grinding the square post to a point, that works pretty well, but now I'm trying to figure out how to turn the front sight into an aperture as well.
And now we come to the trigger. The trigger alone is worth the $90 the rifle cost. If I could put this trigger in my 350 for $90, I'd do it in a heart beat. I THINK it's actually a 2 stage trigger, but I have mine set up as a very light single stage. I don't have a trigger guage, but it's got to be under a pound, no creep, and very consistent. For me, this WORKS! There's quite a bit of fairly light oil everywhere, and I know some of it is combusting, so I'm getting a fair amount of low grade deiseling. Smoking after almost every shot. Not that I've had the time to shoot it much, maybe 200 shots so far, 60 of those tonight over the Chrony.
Like I said earlier, the factory claims 420 fps. I did some Chrony strings tonigt, Crosman Premier Super Match averaged 450 fps, Gamo Match did 460 fps, and JSB Match S100's did about 413 fps. Weights were 7.9, 7.5, and 8.26 respectively. Although slowest, the JSB's were the most consistent and accurate, but there is a lot of variation so far. Which is why I don't have pix to go with this. It's in peices at the moment, I decided to do a lube tune,polish and deburr, and want to shrink wrap the spring guide. Of course, I don't have any shrink wrap on hand that's big enough, so I have to wait 'til tomorrow to put it back together. But I promise an update with pix tomorrow, maybe with the CFX for contrast. All in all, I'm really happy with this gun so far. So more later.