Monthly Archives: August 2010
Review Product & Supplies
Provided by: www.pyramydair.com
When it comes to unique ideas in the airgun industry, there aren’t too many places to look. There have been spring guns, PCP guns, and CO2 guns around for a very long time. So when you have the opportunity to try something that takes an old technology and applies it with a new twist, it is very exciting. Now the IZH Drozd is a CO2 BB pistol, which in itself is not terribly innovative, but the fact that it shoots fully automatic changes things dramatically.
The IZH Drozd hails from Russia and it has an undeniable military feel to it. It comes in several parts and can be used as a pistol or in a “sub machine gun” configuration. The rifle stock parts don’t fit as snug as I’d like them to and have a tendency to come loose. The top of the pistol has a standard 11mm rail that allows for mounting a red dot scope or some other type of optic. It is shorter than a standard 11mm rail which may make it hard for some mounts to latch on to securely. Fortunately there is no recoil so it is not much of a problem.
The Drozd has a large magazine that holds the BBs and CO2 and slides into the handle. The magazine can hold up to 30 +/- metal BBs and is filled with a very cool auto loader BB holder. The magazine is filled by attaching the BB holder to the top, pulling down on the retention spring, and allowing the BBs to simply fill it up. It only takes a second and solves a major inconvenience I’ve encountered with other BB pistols, loading a bunch of little BBs into a small hole.
The way the CO2 is installed is also unique. You simply open up the bottom of the magazine, install the CO2 and rotate the metal handle back into place. The valve is located in the top of the magazine allowing the magazine to be removed, reloaded, and reinserted back into the Drozd for your next batch of fully automatic fun.
We averaged about 3 full magazines with each CO2 with the temperatures in the low to mid 70s. Cooler weather will yield fewer shots, hotter weather may yield a few more. Using three reloads as the standard, you can expect to get about 90 shots from each 12 gram CO2 powerlet.
Rather than relying on some sort of mechanical means of auto feeding and firing, the Drozd uses an electronic firing system. In fact it reminds me of the new paintball markers. I wonder if that is where IZH got the idea? In any case, the Drozd needs 6 AA batteries and they load in the front under the barrel. They last a long time and I was able to shoot hundreds and hundreds of BBs without changing them.
There are 3 settings on the Drozd that are important. The first is the on/off switch. Seeing that the gun uses an electronic firing system, the on/off switch also acts as the pistol’s sole safety. The other two selectors are located on either side. One is the shot selector which allows you to choose single shot, 3 round burst, and 6 round burst. The other selects the rate of fire; 300, 450, & 600 shots per second. Whether you choose single shoot, or 6 round burst at 600 feet per second, the Drozd puts your ammo on target.
The Drozd comes with a rifled steel barrel. Prolonged use of metal BBs will wear out that rifling. The only other option would be to use lead shot from Gamo or other vendors. The lead ammo is much more accurate than the metal BBs, the main reason is that they fit tighter in the barrel and are spun by the rifling. The down side is that if you try to fill your magazine, the last few shots will jam almost every time. You also can’t use the autoloader with the lead shot. Because the lead is so soft, the last few rounds get really deformed by the time they work their way up the magazine. In my testing I was able to load up to 15 shots into the magazine and fire them reliably without jams. If accuracy is your thing, then the lead shot may be the way to go. The average velocity with the lead shot was about 350 fps. It was very accurate out to about 10 yards.
Metal BBs are cheaper, shoot faster, easier to load, and you are able to get more shots in the magazine. In the long run it will ruin the rifling in the barrel, but I don’t know when that would occur. In my investigation I was told that BBs are the better choice because they fire much more reliably and that the accuracy, while less, is more than adequate for a fully auto pistol. BBs shot up to a blazing 500 FPS which is pretty darn fast for a CO2 BB pistol.
Being obsessed with accuracy over velocity, I’d probably stick with the lead shot and just not over fill the magazine. Another option would be to use the bulk fill adaptor which replaces the stock with a paintball CO2 canister. Having the larger reservoir would really help offset the CO2 expansion problem and should have enough power to push the lead out even at the end of a full magazine, but I have not tested that so it is just an idea at this point.
The IZH Drozd is so unique and fun. Everyone that enjoys shooting should give one a try at some point. I found it to be very reliable using standard metal BBs and reasonably accurate as well. Lead shot definitely delivered better accuracy, but also jammed at the end of virtually every magazine. A “must have” upgrade would be the bulk fill kit. This would make shooting even more affordable and consistent and should make the lead ammo more reliable. The IZH Drozd is available through PyramydAir.com for only $199.99*.
Written By, Rick Eutsler
Editor / Owner www.AirGunWeb.com
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