By Robb/Scottsdale

EAA Baikal IZH-94

Except for extremely open terrain where I prefer both partners of a two-man team to use a rifle, when calling with a partner I like to have one guy using a shotgun (usually the person doing the calling) and the designated shooter ready with a rifle. A shotgun really shines for getting those "low-flyers" that seem to come busting through your stand with little warning, which you get a lot of when you hunt heavy cover.

I became interested in a combo gun when I started finding myself hunting alone in heavy cover more often and getting better at calling coyotes in closer to my position (which I challenge myself to do before shooting). I had been shooting shotguns at predators for most of the 2001 season before investigating the combo gun option. It seemed like I always had a rifle when I would've done better with a shotgun, and when I had the shotgun, it seemed like Id always get a couple of easy-takers that were just outside the shotgun range. Since I usually call alone, I thought having both a rifle and a shotgun would be great, but having to manage two separate firearms was out of the question. Obviously a combo gun would be quite the ticket and I did some serious consideration.

There wasn't a lot of real-world information available about using combo guns for predator calling, so I felt like I was taking a bit of a "leap" when I finally decided to order the IZH-94 sight-unseen. There are several different Rifle/Shotgun Combo guns available to sportsmen made by other manufacturers such as Crossfire, Savage, Tikka and others with prices ranging from $500 to $1700. In making my decision to place the order I figured that 90% of the coyotes I see are within 100 yards... even if it shot a 3" group, worst case, that would still be Coyote-Accurate. I was also able to justify my purchase as a "back-up" or "loaner" gun for guests that may not have a suitable firearm to use.

A limitation of the single-shot action is that a quick follow-up shot can be difficult to execute quickly. I decided to go with a larger caliber of rifle for more of a one shot, knockdown punch. Particularly in heavy cover, I find the .223 to be somewhat lacking and prefer something in the .243Win range, and so I chose the 6.5X55 Swede caliber, long renowned for its flat shooting and accuracy (and because it was on sale!) The Combo gun was ordered from CDNN Investments, and it was shipped to my Local FFL the next day.

IZH94 Models and Specifications:

IZH-94 Over&Under Rifle Combo

12/24" -3"-222R 40.3"
1.8" 2.5" 8
12/24" -3"-223R 40.3" 14.3" 1.8" 2.5" 8
12/24"-3"-6.5x55 40.3" 14.3" 1.8" 2.5" 8
12/24"-3"-7.62x39 40.3" 14.3" 1.8" 2.5" 8
12/24" - 3-308 40.3" 14.3" 1.8" 2.5" 8
12/24"- 3"-30-06 40.3" 14.3" 1.8" 2.5" 8
20/24" - 3"-22 MAG 40.3" 14.3" 1.8" 2.5" 7.5
20/24" - 3"-22 LR 40.3" 14.3" 1.8" 2.5" 7.5

Caliber of IZH94 Rifling rate of twist Rifling groove Rifling land
  Inches Inches Inches
222 Remington 14.02 0.224 0.219
223 Remington 12.01 0.224 0.219
5.6x50R Magnum 13.78 0.224 0.219
6.5x55 SE 8.66 0.265 0.256
7x57R 8.66 0.285 0.275
7x65R 8.66 0.285 0.275
7.62x39 9.45 0.312 0.300
308 Winchester 12.01 0.308 0.300
7.62x53R 11.81 0.308 0.299
7.62x54R 9.45 0.312 0.300
30-06 Springfield 10.00 0.308 0.300
8x57JRS 9.45 0.323 0.311
9x53R 9.45 0.364 0.354
9.3x74R 14.17 0.365 0.354

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Fit and Finish:

My first impression when I opened the box: "Glad I didn't pay 450$ for this brute..." reflecting the exterior finish quality of Russian arms. Once I got past appearances and shouldered it, my impression shifted to the better as the balance felt quite "natural", lending itself to the kind of gun you can acquire and follow targets with ease.

The fit on this rifle was very tight for the first 100 rounds, particularly when breaking open the action, it has since loosened up to be "just right", which is not unusual for firearms, in my experience. The IZH94 is available in both a nice Walnut and a cheaper Beech wood as furniture options. The Walnut added 35$ to the base price, so I chose to use the beech wood. While the fit of the wood is Excellent, the aesthetic finish of the Beech wood is medium-poor when you compare to something like a fine Browning or Remington stock. The metal finish of the barrel is more of a plum color (typical of Russian Armament) than a traditional dark blue that you would expect from say a Remington. Again its not a function issue, merely a fashion issue. The upside of this is that you wont be hesitant of camouflaging the combo gun with paint.

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Additional Parts/Equipment Used:

  • Dovetail Scope Rings (DIY)
  • Tasco EXP 1.5-5 X 32/44 Shotgun Scope (DIY)
  • Shooting Sticks (DIY)
  • Butler Creek Neoprene sling with shell-holding loops

Modifications Recommended/Needed:

  • Triggers lightened (Qualified Gunsmith).
  • Sling swivel loops removed and holes drilled out to accommodate Uncle Mikes QR sling loops (DIY).
  • Pachmayr recoil-pad added to stock to compensate for 3" magnum shotgun loads (DIY).
At the Range:

I went to the Range to sight in the scope and then did some preliminary load testing for the rifle. The scope is a Tasco EXP 1.5-5X x 32/44 oval objective. The beauty of this scope is its 5" eye relief which matches to the short scope rail for perfect eye alignment as well as plenty of scope-bite clearance for those hard hitting shotgun loads you'll be using. Beware: this gun is a "bench magnet", I had lots of people stopping by the bench admiring/inquiring about the combo gun.

Shotgun Performance:

Remington #4Buck in both 2¾" and 3" were tested, and it should be noted that the 3" shells tend to kick REALLY hard. A recoil pad is highly recommended. The Shotgun Pattern seemed to be rather spread out for buckshot and a full choke. This is probably as much an advantage as anything for the closer shots, and since anything beyond 30 yards is more likely to get a Bullet rather than Buckshot, not a major concern.

Rifle Ammunition loads Tested:

  • 85grn Sierra HP Varminter (chosen as its the lowest weight available)
  • IMR 4895 powder charge, which ranged from 40.5grn to 43.5grn in .5grn intervals
  • Target Distance was 100yds
  • Scope set on 5X magnification
  • Factory Trigger Wt (about 8-9lbs pull)
  • Shooter made some flyers by jerking the trigger once in a while (due to trigger wt)

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In the Field:

As of this writing, I have taken 1 gray fox and 4 coyotes with the combo gun. Unfortunately for this report, all were taken using the shotgun barrel, so I cant yet give any data on the terminal effects of the 6.5X55 load I developed for this gun. Bullets from 85grn to over 150grn are available including thin-skinned varmint bullets and heavy jackets for larger game, regardless a relatively "fur friendly" combination can be obtained in this caliber. As with most shotgun predator shooting, putting a second round of buckshot into the critter is recommended, even if it appears that you hit-em-hard the first time, this is also why I recommend using the 3" shells, even though they do kick rather hard.

The short overall length and medium weight of the IZH94 combo gun make it easy to carry through heavy brush and over rough terrain. The gun shoulders and points very easy for fast target acquisition and steady shots. The triggers are far enough apart that you will not get confused as to which trigger you need to pull for your intended barrel of choice. I highly recommend a pair of shooting sticks, as a bipod probably wont mount properly, and if a low-flyer comes blasting through your ambush set up, you can raise the gun and the shooting sticks will fall out of the way and not obscure your swing to get on the critter before he ducks back out.


Final Thoughts and Recommendation

The Good:

  • Accuracy is better than anticipated, 1 MOA at 100yds can be expected with minimal handloading effort.
  • The natural balance of this gun is great and shooting offhand is very comfortable. Target acquisition is also excellent.
  • The rifle barrel impact and the shotgun barrel impact are properly aligned, contrary to some urban legends.
  • Combo gun cost was 250$ New.

The Bad:

  • Triggers are too heavy (This is the # 1 Issue)
  • Aesthetic finish of gun is definitely Russian (but not a detriment to the gun's function)
  • Scope Rail is rather short, but a shotgun scope with a long eye-relief fits perfect for it. (A red-dot scope would also be quite a potential item to consider)

The Other:

  • Getting a rifle cartridge OUT of the gun, you have to wiggle the brass a little bit to get it past the extractor pin (becomes "second-nature" after a while and no then longer becomes an issue)
  • My particular gun has a Fixed choke (but really anything past 30 yards is getting a rifle bullet instead of a load of buckshot, so that is kind of moot.)


The EAA Baikal IZH94 At 250$ new for the model/caliber I purchased, is an interesting and useful addition to your collection of Hunting Tools. This combo gun is definitely worth serious consideration as it shoots well and offers a new flexibility/dimension in Predator Hunting. The ultimate test of course is: "If I had to do it all over again, would I ?" The answer to that is an instant YES and on a scale of 0-5 with 5 being "Drop what you're doing and Go out and buy it now" and 0 being "run away without looking back"…
I would rate the EAA BAIKAL IZH94 with a ranking of "4", if you pick this Combo Gun up at a bargain price like I did, you'll be glad you did, and you'll get some really good use from it.

Cost of Project:

  • Rifle- 250$ (30$ transfer fee)
  • Scope and rings 91$
  • Sling 18$
  • Kickpad 25$
  • Triggers work (TBD)

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