Izhmash Biathlon 7-2: Cut and Thread for Suppressor? - RimfireCentral.com Forums

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Old 05-03-2021, 02:34 PM
JSchell1309

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Izhmash Biathlon 7-2: Cut and Thread for Suppressor?



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Hello all,

TLDR: Should I cut and thread my new 7-2 for my suppressor or leave it alone since they are becoming rare?

The long story:

New member but not new to rimfire guns or really this forum. I have mostly lurked and used it as a place for research for my various rimfire guns. However, I recently struck gold and this little sub-forum has been invaluable the last few days to get me up to speed on what I just picked up.

Last Friday after work, I decided to go to my local Cabelas to see if they had a few pieces I needed to setup some reloading dies. I generally like to do a once over in their used guns room to see what they have. Its been looking picked clean lately with everything going on. However, one gun in the back of a cabinet immediately caught my attention. It had a very large bolt handle and the tag said Izhmash Biathlon.

I instantly recognized "Izhmash" from the Saiga AK world but had no idea they made a biathlon style rimfire rifle. The rifle had a cheap BEC scope on it and they offered it for $330. Knowing Russian guns are no longer importable, I figured this has to be an incredibly low price for this gun. I started to furiously google research while holding the rifle and came into a ton of info in this forum. Best I could quickly determine was the gun was worth anywhere from $500-$700. Perfect reason for me to buy it since I wouldn't lose any value if I determined to not like it.

I knew of straight pull / toggle lock style biathlon rifles from obviously the Olympics and knew Anschutz were WAY out of my price range for a range gun. I was pretty close to buying a Volquartsen Summit action and bolt for $500ish a few time to setup as a suppressor host. Anytime I priced them out, it just seemed to be a lot of cash for a suppressor host in the end.

That's what my initial plans with this rifle were as I was checking out. I own a rimfire suppressor and planned to send this out. I wanted to cut and thread to 16" and ask my smith to retain the interesting crown and bore/thread it to retain it as the thread protector.

However, recently I saw the thread in here showing Gunbroker listing for these rifles selling for $900-$1500, which is insane.

Now, I'm second guessing if I want to start cutting the barrel on a rare and hard to find gun. I don't really plan on selling it any time soon as I am completely infatuated with this action and it being an Izhmash made gun. But at the same time I would hate to permanently modify something rare.

On the other hand, I would shoot this gun 1000 times more suppressed than not suppressed. The toggle bolt is just too cool for a rimfire suppressor gun. I already have a Tikka T1X that I have setup in a KRG stock with a 5-25 scope on it for precision / NRL22 work. So the Biathlon would really be for 25-200 yard plinking on steel for fun. I would setup the 7-2 with a red dot in the short term and a 2-10ish light weight but quality scope for the long term.

What says the hive mind in here? Am I over thinking this? Is life to short to worry and I should just get it threaded and enjoy it? I know a few guys have theirs threaded and suppressed in here as well.

Sorry for the wall of text, as you can tell I'm excited about this rifle. I just wanted to get some opinions before I do something that can't be undone haha.

A few photos:




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  #2  
Old 05-03-2021, 06:10 PM
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I would not alter it in any way. Just my 2 cents worth. BTW, wanna double your money? PM me
I gave roughly twice that for mine at LGS about a year ago.
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Last edited by randyman_ar; 05-03-2021 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 05-03-2021, 06:40 PM
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One of mine was threaded by the previous owner and now is my Sons with a suppressor. I'm waiting for my stamp to (hopefully) be approved and I'm going to thread mine too. These things are hard to find but I don't view my guns as investments, they were bought to enjoy and use while I have them.

I'm lucky to still have two still originals that will probably go to my other Son and Grandson. More shooters are finding they are perfect for PRS/NRL and value will continue to go up and those guys would probably prefer it to be threaded.

Grab that gun and run, you stole it based on present prices when you can even find one. Some people buy something just to gingerly show others and never really enjoy it. Up to you what you plan to do with it. Don't look back and regret.

A link to Chris' Suppressed Izhmash

https://youtu.be/D3bzuj3STh4

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Last edited by Topstrap44; 05-03-2021 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:42 PM
JSchell1309

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Originally Posted by randyman_ar View Post
I would not alter it in any way. Just my 2 cents worth. BTW, wanna double your money? PM me
I gave roughly twice that for mine at LGS about a year ago.
I appreciate the offer, but this one has found a good home within my safe. I have similar guns that have appreciated crazy in value and I just don't care to sell. I enjoy the firearms more than the free cash.

But I'm not really a collector. I prefer to use all the guns I own, and that's where my hesitation with this one comes from. I know I will used it A LOT more if I thread an suppress it. That's mainly why I wanted a toggle action for a long time was the quiet aspect and it's something different than my bolt actions and 10/22s.
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Old 05-04-2021, 12:48 PM
JSchell1309

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Originally Posted by Topstrap44 View Post
One of mine was threaded by the previous owner and now is my Sons with a suppressor. I'm waiting for my stamp to (hopefully) be approved and I'm going to thread mine too. These things are hard to find but I don't view my guns as investments, they were bought to enjoy and use while I have them.

I'm lucky to still have two still originals that will probably go to my other Son and Grandson. More shooters are finding they are perfect for PRS/NRL and value will continue to go up and those guys would probably prefer it to be threaded.

Grab that gun and run, you stole it based on present prices when you can even find one. Some people buy something just to gingerly show others and never really enjoy it. Up to you what you plan to do with it. Don't look back and regret.

A link to Chris' Suppressed Izhmash

https://youtu.be/D3bzuj3STh4

Topstrap
Trust me, when I saw this in the rifle case and ran the action a few times, I didn't let it leave my hands while I did research quickly on my cell phone. I wasn't letting something this cool get past me. Just wanted to be sure of what I was buying. I was 99% sure it was a no-brainer at that price before I even opened the internet to confirm.

Thank you for the video. Your rifles have shown up quite a few times when I have been researching this gun. I like the PRS chassis you have them in, and have that vendor's website bookmarked for me to look into a bit more.

Like the barrel threading, I am also not really wanting to drill and modify the original stock. I would feel better putting the rifle in a separate stock before I start to every permanantly touch the factory one. That chassis you have is one of the only ones I have found that will inlet for these guns.

I'm with you as well that I don't have any guns to admire or show off. All my guns are shooters, with most of them being much more valuable than this gun and I have no problem using them and letting them show their wear and character.

I'm leaning to cutting and threading to 17" so the can will sit at around 16.5" on the shoulder. I agree that IF I ever did sell this gun, I don't think it will devalue it much in the eyes of someone that wants to use it. Sure a collector may not like that, but anyone that wants a shooter would likely value the threading.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:23 PM
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Hey J,

Welcome to the Cult of the BB! Like so many here on this board, looks like you got bit by that Russian Basic Biathlon bug!

congrats on finding a literal nugget of gold while hiking through a big box store! That is truly one in a million and I for one am glad for you.

From some of your other posts, it looks like you want to put your little gem of a .22 to good use and not just tuck it away. If that is the case, you have one of the best rifles out there to suppress, IMHO. A few years back I started looking for a .22 bolt rifle for my AAC suppressor and after handling a few of the toggle bolt knock offs (PWS Summit, ISSC SPA and later Volquartsen, Steyr RFR) none came anywhere near the action of the 7-2. I snagged a well-used BB off Gunbroker that was broken-in and buttery smooth. After a few mods, it is by far the most used and fun to shoot gun in the cabinet.

Looks like you have done a good bit of homework already, but some initial suggestions -

Cut/Thread Barrel - Find a gunsmith who will mic the threads of your can and match the tread pattern. You have already mentioned using the cool deep crown as the thread protector - ditto here and it looks very cool. TBH - I never take the can off except for cleaning.

Cerekote - Had mine done in a semi flat black and it has worn extremely well with plenty of use. Recommend doing the bolt arm as well while you're at it. The original oxide finish will come off on a rag with denatured alcohol or acetone. Looks like dissolved sharpie ink

Bolt Pin Shelf - While it's at the smith, have them mill off a matching slot on the bottom of the receiver to allow the bolt pin to be inserted from the bottom. BIG improvement for pulling the bolt without having to remove the scope.

Mags - As you've undoubtedly read, they are a booger to come by. Hope a few came with it, but if not reach out to sainava here on the forum. His printed mags work very well.

Get it out to the range and see what ammo it likes. Bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Last edited by Gobber; 05-06-2021 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 05-07-2021, 10:44 AM
JSchell1309

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I definitely got bit hard by the this little Russian rifle. I knew when I first saw this rifle it was something unique, very happy I found this forum and the tons of information within here from people working with these rifles for years.

Yeah, I'm not much of a collector for the sake of collecting alone. I got 2 young boys that I would like to pass everything down to, but not as investments, but as actual useful rifles and pistols. If things become more valuable overtime, that's just a bonus.

I was on a big kick of the VQ Summit, going as far as pricing out the stripped action and bolt and making a few "build lists" of how I would build one up for a good suppressor host and precision gun. They usually went well beyond $1200 and I just had other things on the list as a priority at that price point. But the toggle action has always been on my list of "must haves" once I got my Rugged Oculus suppressor.

I don't have a ton of reputable smiths in my area that I would trust to not bubba this up. Most don't shoot suppressed so I would be worried they wouldn't indicate off the bore and the threads would be eccentric to the bore and have a baffle strike. Too many doing it quick and dirty and just indicating on the barrel OD for me to trust.

I would likely send it to Class3Machining, he claims over 25k thread jobs and zero baffle strikes. One of those times I'll pay to ship it to him and pay to have it done right the first time.

Mags I was thinking about importing a few from Larsen after I email and see what other parts they have. May get a spare firing pin just to have in hand. No telling how many times this was dry fired before me and if the pin has any prior damage.

I also have SolidWorks and a 3D printer of my own. I may start working up some of my own 3D printed mags.

Another long term project may be to design and print my own stock. I found this post on Reddit from user ruckertopia (he was on this forum too with his 3D printed mags) and he did an excellent job on his custom stock.

I think the best way to start off for me would be to buy the $50 bedding block from Lost Nations R&D. That looks like an excellent start to a project with a precision inlet and can easily be built off of.

Then it would be up to me to design the "skins" and include the grip and butt stock portion. I have a KRG Bravo on my Tikka T1x that I really like and would likely be what I start to model it after.

Long term solution would be once I found a skin design that I like, I can 3D print tooling and layup prepreg CF on that tooling and vacuum bag it. Then I would have some nice CF stock skins on the aluminum bedding block. I found this post of someone doing a custom CF stock for this rifle. And now that I look at your post history here... I believe that's you, Gobber haha.

Just thinking out loud haha, some ambitious ideas, but I really like this barreled action as a base to play around with.

Last edited by JSchell1309; 05-07-2021 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 05-07-2021, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchell1309 View Post
Hello all,

TLDR: Should I cut and thread my new 7-2 for my suppressor or leave it alone since they are becoming rare?
...
Now, I'm second guessing if I want to start cutting the barrel on a rare and hard to find gun. I don't really plan on selling it any time soon as I am completely infatuated with this action and it being an Izhmash made gun. But at the same time I would hate to permanently modify something rare.

On the other hand, I would shoot this gun 1000 times more suppressed than not suppressed. The toggle bolt is just too cool for a rimfire suppressor gun. I already have a Tikka T1X that I have setup in a KRG stock with a 5-25 scope on it for precision / NRL22 work. So the Biathlon would really be for 25-200 yard plinking on steel for fun. I would setup the 7-2 with a red dot in the short term and a 2-10ish light weight but quality scope for the long term.

What says the hive mind in here? Am I over thinking this? Is life to short to worry and I should just get it threaded and enjoy it? I know a few guys have theirs threaded and suppressed in here as well.

Sorry for the wall of text, as you can tell I'm excited about this rifle. I just wanted to get some opinions before I do something that can't be undone haha.
You keep saying (in further posts) that "you're not really a collector, and don't wish to sell." So what do you care if the gun is altered? If you plan on keeping it long term anyway, and you'll shoot it more if it's threaded for a can, then take it to a good 'smith and thread it for a can. Believe me, almost everyone who's ever posted on the KO has said "...the one thing I wish it had was a threaded muzzle..." Knock yourself out. Not threading mine, but only because I reside behind the Granola Curtain & mufflers are "Nyet!NYET!" in the PRK...
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:40 PM
JSchell1309

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Originally Posted by Surculus View Post
You keep saying (in further posts) that "you're not really a collector, and don't wish to sell." So what do you care if the gun is altered? If you plan on keeping it long term anyway, and you'll shoot it more if it's threaded for a can, then take it to a good 'smith and thread it for a can. Believe me, almost everyone who's ever posted on the KO has said "...the one thing I wish it had was a threaded muzzle..." Knock yourself out. Not threading mine, but only because I reside behind the Granola Curtain & mufflers are "Nyet!NYET!" in the PRK...
Yeah, I know I know, I'm just trying to convince myself it's still a good idea.

It's like I want a '65 mustang project car to wrench on with the kids and put a modern Coyote 5.0 in it for fun. If I got a "barn find" numbers matching all original '65 I would hate to tear into it and resto-mod it. Just wouldn't make sense. But if I found a rolling chassis with lots of rust and no drivetrain, then I wouldn't think twice about rolling my own cruiser with modern parts.

Same way I look at this. This rifle was like a "barn find" and is in excellent shape. I would hate to start tearing into it to "resto mod" it with modern stuff. If the rifle was already torn into by bubba.. well then I wouldn't care about changing some stuff permanently.

I rarely, if ever sell my guns. But it has happened when I was tight for cash or found another project I had more interest in. So if 10 years down the road I want to divest of some guns, I would hate to have killed value on a hard to find rifle.

Long story short: I think I'm going to cut to 17" and thread it. This puts the shoulder at 16.5" and should knock off some front weight. This also gives me the ability to re-crown or cut further down the line if any issues come up.

Like you said, other people with suppressors would likely not frown upon a proper cut and thread job. I'll keep everything else original and not mess with other factory stuff. Seems like a good trade off in my mind.
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Old 05-13-2021, 07:58 PM
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I spotted mine in a shop in Fremont, NE in 2012 and was immediately smitten with it. I think I paid $500 for it and sold the scope that came on it for $100. For $400 net I was extremely happy with it. I used it to earn Rifleman at the first Appleseed event I attended. I considered getting it threaded for suppressors but decided against it in the end and got a PWS T3 Summit instead for a toggle action host. It doesnt shoot anywhere near as good as the Izhmash.

My only complaint it the short length of pull of the stock. I got cantilevered rings to move the scope forward some which helped. Id love a better stock for it or to lengthen this one somehow.

Ive been aggressively downsizing my collection over the past few years but Id grab another one of these at $330 with no hesitation.

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Old 05-16-2021, 08:11 AM
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SilencerCo spec threaded with original crown. I believe Adco did mine since (due to the barrel lug) it wouldn't fit in my regular machinist's lathe.

Not sure why one would want to shorten the barrel and risk having a lesser crown, the full length barrel is only 19"...Tom

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Old 05-17-2021, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSchell1309 View Post
Yeah, I know I know, I'm just trying to convince myself it's still a good idea.
...
Same way I look at this. This rifle was like a "barn find" and is in excellent shape. I would hate to start tearing into it to "resto mod" it with modern stuff. If the rifle was already torn into by bubba.. well then I wouldn't care about changing some stuff permanently.

I rarely, if ever sell my guns. But it has happened when I was tight for cash or found another project I had more interest in. So if 10 years down the road I want to divest of some guns, I would hate to have killed value on a hard to find rifle.

Long story short: I think I'm going to cut to 17" and thread it. This puts the shoulder at 16.5" and should knock off some front weight. This also gives me the ability to re-crown or cut further down the line if any issues come up.

Like you said, other people with suppressors would likely not frown upon a proper cut and thread job. I'll keep everything else original and not mess with other factory stuff. Seems like a good trade off in my mind.
The reality is that these aren't ever likely to be "collector" guns: their market value is determined more by their shooting qualities and scarcity rather than being "a genuine, authentic BB 7-2 K0." Now, the legit biathlon rifles that were based on the same action and imported in even fewer numbers (7-4, 7-5, etc)? Those I wouldn't mess with. But the standard Basic, as long the work is done properly shouldn't see any significant decrease in future value for having added value work performed on it now. JMNSHO, of course!
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:55 AM
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They're great guns & when they closed them out I bought a case of 22lr & 22mag. I agree that people buy them to shoot not collect so I'd thread it the length it is to save the crown & don't think it will affect the value. Enjoy it!
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