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TAU-7 and IZH-46 Comparison

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Author Bill Clarke

TAU-7 and IZH-46 Comparison by Todd Cooper

Both the TAU-7 and IZH-46 are excellent pistols for 10 meter and silhouette shooting. If you do not want to spend over $350USD then these are two guns well worth looking at.

I owned an IZH-46 for about 10 months. Currently I own a TAU-7 Standard (since December 2000). I wanted to keep the IZH but could not seem to comfortably shoot a complete 10 meter match with the heavy front-end on the gun. The cocking linkage, compression tube and piston are all forward of the trigger and this causes the gun to be quite frontend heavy. The grips were the second reason I sold the gun. I liked everything else about the IZH. I liked the trigger, solid construction, pneumatic system, sights, appearance, accuracy, etc. It's a nice gun.

The TAU-7 balances better for me than the IZH-46. The TAU is not frontend heavy. Balance point, overall weight and velocity can be adjusted on the TAU-7. The grips are also much better on the TAU.
Some shooters will like the forward balance of the IZH-46 (and M version). It's a personal thing. For airpistol silhouette shooting the balance will not be a problem when a two hand hold is used.

I will go through some points about both guns and give my opinions.

Both guns have 5-way adjustable triggers. Both triggers will adjust down to the 500 gram minimum limit for 10m air pistol competition. I had no complaints with either triggers. Both were crisp and light and more than just suitable for silhouette shooting.

My IZH-46 shot around 400fps with 6.9 grain RWS Hobby pellets and around 375fps with 7.7 grain H&N match pellets.

The IZH-46M is said to shoot as high as 480-500fps with Hobby pellets and mid 400s with 7.7 grain.

The TAU-7 has adjustable velocity. My gun will shoot the 7.3 grain JSB pellets at 325 to over 600fps. The 7.9gr Crosman Premier pellet will hit 600fps at 80F degrees with my Standard TAU-7.

The TAU-7 punches nice holes in paper when shot at 485fps with JSB pellets (450fps with 7.7gr pellet).

The slow IZH-46 did not punch nice holes at 375fps. I had to put 2" masking tape on the back of the target to help with scoring the holes.

The Standard TAU-7 is rated at 9mm accuracy. The manual says that this is the measurement of a circle drawn around 5 pellets shot at 10 meters. I converted this rating to the standard system and came up with a center-to-center measurement of .177" at 10 meters. My own TAU has shot at an average of .230" ctc at 10 meters for 10 groups of 5 shots each.  I think my Black And Decker Workmate vise might have a slight amount of wobble when shooting. This may account for the difference. Maybe the TAU-7 Standard is capable of better than my tests showed, maybe not. Maybe different pellets would group better.  I would need a solid vise on a very heavy bench to test further.

BRNO also makes other models of the TAU-7 such as the Match that are rated as low as 7mm at 10 meters for 5 shots. This computes to .10"ctc. These guns are slightly more expensive than the Standard model that I have.  

I cannot test the accuracy of the IZH-46 using the Black And Decker Workmate for a clamp rest. The pistol would have to be moved for each shot to complete the cocking cycle. I guess I could remove the grips from the IZH and clamp the grip shank into the Workmate but cocking the gun would still wobble the Workmate and possibly move it a bit which would destroy the test.

An older issue of the U.S. Airgun magazine (July-Sept 1994) has a report on the IZH-46. The report shows an accuracy test of .20" ctc at 10 meters with Beeman Ultra Match pellets and .23" with 7.9 gr Crosman Premier pellets. These groups were measured center-to-center. The article said the IZH-46 being tested preferred the Ultra Match pellet from other various H&N pellets tested.

Overall both the TAU-7 and IZH-46 are about equally accurate with favoured pellets.

The IZH-46 is a single stroke pneumatic with an easy cocking cycle. The TAU-7 is a CO2 gun (bulk or powerlets). The TAU will give 80 shots at 485fps (7.3gr pellet) with one powerlet. Bulk fill gives about the same number of shots.

In order to fill a TAU-7 you will need a small adapter for the bulk tank so you can fill the small 150 gram transfer tank that comes with the gun. Not really a problem.

The TAU-7 grip is ergonomically correct for my hand. The Standard grip is made of hard walnut but laminated grips are available. The Match and Silhouette models come with laminated grips.

The IZH-46 grip is made of some sort of Russian wood. I did not find it to be ergonomically correct for my hand. Many IZH shooters modify the grips using a dremel tool, sandpaper and autobody filler.

The balance and weight cannot be adjusted on the IZH. It would be possible to make some sort of weight to attach to the front of the pistol via the threaded hole in the end piece but the gun is already heavy enough. The balance and weight on the TAU can be adjusted with parts that are included with the gun.

There are 2 extra barrel weights that come with the gun. They weigh 2oz each. There is also an adjustable rear counterweight that can be added. The counter weight adjusts on a rod so it can be set at different positions from the gun.

I use my TAU with only the front sight sleeve and the tapered cone. This system gives me a lighter gun with a balance that I prefer.

With the TAU I can relax my hand when shooting single handed and the gun still stays pointed at the target because the grips fit my hand. If I relax with the IZH the barrel will be pointing at the floor. I had to grip the IZH firmly to hold center. I didn't like this.

The sights are about the same on each gun. Both guns come with a variety of front sight blades and various rear sight notch sizes.

Being able to scope an airpistol is an important thing for many silhouette shooters. Some air pistols are a problem to mount a scope on. The TAU and IZH both have special mounts which were designed for these guns. The IZH uses the B-Square #17900 mount and the TAU uses the special BRNO/TAU factory scope mount. Both designs are barrel mounted. I have also seen short red dot sights mounted on a TAU-7 using a modified barrel weight which has a length of scope rail attached. This will be fine for a red dot but not high enough for a scope. The proper TAU designed mount is best for scope use.

The IZH-46 has very little muzzle flip. It has almost no flip because of the low power level and heavy front end. The IZH-46M has more muzzle flip than the plain -46. The TAU-7 has more muzzle flip than the other two. At moderate velocities the TAU has minimal flip. I have not had a problem with flip on the TAU. It doesn't seem to effect my shooting at all.

A TAU muzzle compensator can be bought for the TAU-7 as an after market item. Other brands are also available but I'm not sure what will fit. The comp is included with the purchase of the Match and Silhouette TAU-7 models.

Apparently the comp allows you to "fine tune" the TAU-7 for even better accuracy without much muzzle flip.

Both the TAU and IZH are solidly constructed air pistols. Metal parts and wooden grips. These guns are built to last. I had my IZZY apart and found the compression tube to be surprisingly thick and heavy. Many internal parts are machined metal. The cocking arm is a casted solid steel with good leverage design. Sights, trigger, frame are all metal. A nice thing to see in todays world of plastic. The TAU-7 is also a solidly made gun. I disassembled my TAU because I am a man and that is what we do.

The internal parts such as the valve stem and trigger parts are solid metal. Frame, trigger, sights, end caps are all metal. Built to last.    

Choosing between the BRNO TAU-7 and Baikal IZH-46M can be a tough decison. Will it be a Czech Republic or Russian gun? You make the choice or better yet buy one of each.

470 Rating: 2.6/5 (81 votes cast)

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