On the way home from one of the clubs I am a member of I popped into a gunshop on the way home for a look around.
Whilst there, an old break barrel air rifle caught my eye, it was marked as unknown manufacture, but was clearly an old Baikal, namely a model IJ22.
As the price was reasonable and it had a bit of nostalgia as I had owned the slightly later IJ38 model that was very similar, I decided to buy it.
These were a basic Russian made air rifle but were of somewhat better quality than the Chinese B2 rifles, it is thought that they were a copy of an old Haenel design. These likely date to the mid 1970's / early 1980's.
For a budget air rifle it has a nice sturdy barrel lock:
This example was badged for the Universal Firearms Corporation, based in Hialeah, Florida, USA:
I have to wonder how many they sold in America, given the stock has a medallion let into both side proclaiming it to be 'Made In USSR':
Overall the finish quality is adequate, but very much a Soviet standard. Surprisingly the little rifle shoots quite well despite a crude trigger and very basic iron sights, there are no grooves to fit a scope, a 'luxury' that the later IJ38 featured. Power output is around 5-6 ft.lbs with low recoil and quite a sweet firing cycle.
Intriguingly, the barrel appears to have a rifled brass liner:
The stock on these rifles is made from birch wood, the forward screws are supported in steel cups in the wood - a feature not often seen even on much more expensive rifles. The pistol grip cap and butt plate have decorative white line spacers. The only plastic component on the rifle is the trigger guard.
Overall it is a fairly nice little rifle, still capable of shooting well, a tribute to basic but solid engineering.