Back during the Cold War, America fought with the Soviet Union about most things, including about who could win the most medals at the Olympics Games.
As part of USSR’s attempt to beat at trap and skeet shooting, the country developed several shotguns for Soviet shooters. The most successful design was a plainer version of the OU you see here. With that gun, the Soviet shooters crushed other shooters at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games and piled on more medals in subsequent competitions through the 1970s.
Mechanically, the OU pictured here is the same gun those Soviet shooters used. I’ve shot one just like it many times, and I can tell you it’s a fantastic target gun. While it’s heavy (like a target gun should be), it handles well and is a pleasure to shoot. It smashes clays, too.
The Soviet Union isn’t the first country that comes up when you mention fine shotguns to people. It isn’t the last, either. In fact, it doesn’t come up at all. That’s because very few people know that the Soviet Union made fine shotguns.
Starting in the 1950s, the USSR began building a Soviet-made shotgun for their Soviet Olympic shooters. The over-under shotgun you see evolved from that program. It’s MT-7 (not an MU-7), and instead of being build for competitive shooting, it was made for hunting.
For few of these guns made it out of the USSR, and even fewer made it here to the States. It on Gunbroker.com now, and the listing ends on 11/17/2013 @ 7:00:00 PM ET. Here’s more info on it from the seller:
Baikal MU 7 12ga Over-Under Double Barrel Shotgun: An exquisite and rare Russian Made Baikal Best Quality Nickel Engraved 12 ga MU 7 model Over/Under shotgun. 2 ¾” shells. 29.5” solid rib barrels choked Imp/Full. Ejectors. LOP of 14.5” to end of recoil pad. 1.75” Drop at comb and 2.75” at heel. Weight 7.5lbs. Non import marked. Three piece take down forend. Production estimated around 1970.
Hand nickel engraved receiver to the highest quality including animal scenes of deer, moose along with scroll engraving on receiver, tang, and barrels. Original blue on barrels is excellent with one tiny scratch on left side toward muzzle on close inspection. Outstanding European walnut made with English straight stock with hand checkered wood which is excellent with original finish. Bores are bright and shiny. Originally manufactured with an automatic safety, the original owner had this changed to a manual safety (transfer bar included if you want to change it back).
This gun was thought to have been brought into the US by Control Data Systems of Minneapolis in the 70’s or possibly early 1980’s during the period of detente as a barter with Russia for computer goods. The USSR, unable to use hard currency, would often pay in gold or other means…in this case shotguns! Originally made for the European market, this gun still has the Cyrillic-Russian characters for fire/safety!