Baikal, a Russian arms manufacturer whose name is currently being reintroduced to the Western Hemisphere, will be sending their new MP-161K “Small-bore Magazine Carbine” to US shores just a couple of weeks before Santa Claus comes to town. A magazine fed, economical rimfire repeater, this “Star Wars” looking rifle is chambered in all the small game and plinking favorites: .22 LR, .22 WMR, and .17 HMR.
Baikal’s new carbine promises that famed Russian dependability and “user friendliness” in the Kalashnikov vein and all delivered in a sleek modern design with an eye on pleasant ergonomic features. The ageless fiberglass-reinforced polymer frame works off recent Beretta carbines and that was a good test to cheat off of: adjustable cheek rests, “pistol-like” grip and what they call a “thumb hole” in the stock are pretty much the acme for .22 shooters.
It comes out of the box with standard iron sights but there’s ample opportunity to attach a Weaver-type rail to the top of the receiver that can accommodate your favorite scope or combinations of optical devices. Standard magazine capacity is 10 rounds—the perfect number in these days of high capacity magazine restrictions. Also, and we thought this was pretty groovy, the magazine is curved and sort of “disappears” into the receiver housing. A magazine hanging out the bottom of the gun has always been a pet peeve of ours (just another thing for the world to grab hold of and ruin your day and possibly your gun). The guns also nice and light—weighs just 5.72 lbs.—which further underscores the fact that this carbine was clearly meant for the field.
Baikal’s American comrades, European American Armory (EEA), will be selling Baikal’s MP-161K. EEA, a company that prides itself on practical, break the mold guns, recently resumed importing the Baikal line of firearms. No word on a price as of yet but keep an eye on their website if you’re so inclined.