Tuning the Baikel Double
(Remington Spartan or SPR)

Complements of Howdy Doody, formerly known as Calaveras
Additional notes in italics by Rusty Marlin

For additional info on tuning the Baikel Bounty Hunter II, be SURE to take a look at

Mohave Gambler's Hobby Gunsmith Page
and:
Mohave Gambler's Hobby Gunsmith Archives

Editorial note: This is information only about what a few cowboys found worked for them. If you do not feel comfortable working on your gun and assuming liability, please go to a good gunsmith and let them tune your gun.

The first thing you need to do is remove the barrels, stocks, and trigger guard. Take off the butt pad. There is a hole in the rear of the stock and a screw at the bottom of that hole. This screw holds the stock in place. Remove it and pull the stock free from the receiver.

To remove the trigger guard, remove the screw that holds the stock mount in place. This is at the rear of the receiver assembly and it is the part that the long stock screw was attached to. Rotate the trigger guard counter clockwise until it comes off.

Next remove the screw at the bottom of the receiver that holds the bottom plate in place. This can be tight, so use a well fitting screwdriver. Put the barrels back on the receiver for leverage and so the receiver stands upright. Use an impact driver (impact tool with screw-driver blade) to loosen the screw. Lift the bottom plate loose from the receiver. You may have to gently pry this part away from the receiver. Use an M6x1 or 5 mm screw as a jackscrew through the trigger guard screw hole and the plate comes up very easily without fear of bending it or scratching anything. (Before re-assembly, polish the sides of the screws so they are easier to install and remove.)

There is a pin that passes through the sears from one side of the receiver to the other. Tap this out with a punch and hammer. Remove the sears and the two sear springs.

There is another pin that holds in the hammers in the same fashion. This needs to be removed so the hammers can be taken out.

On the front of the receiver, there are two cams that do the cocking when you open the action. These are held in place by another cross pin. Remove this pin and the cams.

After this is done, you can remove the hammer spring assemblies by pulling them out through the holes in the front of the receiver.

To change the springs, you will need to compress them while you tap out the pin that holds the cap onto the end of the spring shaft. Wrap a rag around them so they don't go flying. I sacrificed a kitchen fork to use as a tool to compress the springs. (don't tell my wife)

One recommended method to make sure the barrels stay open for loading is to get some modified cocking levers. Contact Papa Dave for cocking levers. He sends you the cocking levers and instructions. If they work for you, you pay him. A great deal for most of us. With his modification, you probably won't need to change the cocking springs. He is also working on swapping out other parts with you for the rare case that more than just cocking levers are required.

Or you can refer to Mohave Gambler's web site listed at the top to see how he ground them down. This keeps the strong springs but allows the gun to open.

Editor's note: A lessor recommended alternative is to use the hammer spring from a 1911 Colt 45 Auto pistol. Try a 25 pound spring or if needed go up to a 28 pound spring. This will also reduce the amount of smoothing needed. Cut to 1/4 inch longer than the stock Baikal springs. (Make sure you file it flat like the original.) They may look a little wobbly, but stuff them into the cleaned out/polished bores. Do not reduce the springs too much because they cushion the gun when you open the action. Relatively stronger springs will protect the lug and gun from breaking due to the rough action we give our guns when unloading and loading. Generally, it's best to do the cocking levers first to see if you want to do the springs.
It may take hours (literally) to polish the bores so the springs slide smoothly enough so you won't have miss-fires. Use a piece of dowel, or brass rod with a slot sawn lengthwise for an inch or so to hold the emery cloth. Chuck it in a hand drill and have at it. Start with 220 grit and remove ALL the radial drill marks. Finish polish with 320 and then 400 grit; don't worry about the broach marks that run the length of the spring bores.

To change the release lever spring, remove the lever by tapping the pin out that holds the little block inside the receiver that the lever actuates. I used a hammer spring (main spring) from a 1911 semi auto that was cut to the same length as the Baikal spring. Smooth the cut end with a file.Getting this apart was easy; putting it back together was a struggle!! Be patient, it came out of there so it must go back in.

While the gun is apart, you should take the opportunity to sand and polish all internal parts until they all move freely. If you skip this step, you could have parts that stick because of the lighter springs. I used 600 grit emory cloth and oil. It does a nice job and doesn't remove much metal.

After all this is done, you won't believe the difference in the gun. It will open easily, stay open for faster reloads, and have a lighter trigger pull. Take your time and try not to get frustrated. It took me several times disassembling and reassembling my gun to get it the way I wanted it. What I have listed here is the result of this. Let me know if there is anything else I can do.

  1. The safety can be converted so it is a manual safety instead of an automatic safety. It will still work, but only when you put it on "safe" intentionally. When you take it apart, you will see a lever that actuates the safety when you open the action. You can remove this lever and the safety will come on when you put it on, and stay off when you switch it off like your rifle.
  2. The stock springs cause the barrels to want to close part way when you open it up. Pushing to the left on the lever keeps it open. After you replace the springs with the lighter ones, you won't have to do this.
  3. You're right about the gun being dirty inside. Mine was. Besides grease, there was sawdust and other stuff in there.
  4. Brownell's sells a mercury-filled tube that you install in the stock. It is supposed to reduce recoil significantly. I haven't tried one, but I'm planning on getting one. My wife is going to start shooting the cowboy matches with me and I don't want her to have to deal with the kick of this thing the way it is.
  5. As for light recoil shells, Winchester makes a light recoil 12 gauge shell. They are called "Low Recoil, Low Noise Target Load". The part number on the box is AA12FL8. They are commonly called "Feather Lights" but this is not their actual name. Cheaper Than Dirt seems to have the best price on these.
    For you reloaders out there here is my recipe, its published, AA hull, WIN 209 primer, 7/8 oz Claybuster wad or Winchester Grey and 17.1 grains of Red Dot. This is a minimum International Skeet load. My Wife's shells are even lighter. All the components are the same but use only 14.3 grains of Red Dot (or 14.8 grains of Clays). This load will break birds from the 16yrd line, and flatten the knockdowns.

  6. The chambers on my gun didn't really need honing. The shells dropped out the first time I used it. But I did polish them a little. I took a bore mop and rubbed some automotive polishing compound on it, chucked it up in a drill, and ran it in and out of the chambers for a while. I just can't leave things alone. I also use silicone spay lubricant in the chambers before each shoot. The shells fall out.
    Note: Although some folks use libricant, some knowlegeable folks recommend against it - espeially if you are using regular loads.
Now here are some things I ran into. First, the stock retaining screw was seriously tight. It's slotted, so I found a long shanked screwdriver that fit that had a hex at the top of the shank (snap on) I put the stock in a vice padded well and pushed hard while turning the wrench. It broke loose. I believe the wood had swelled and had that screw at about 100 lbs of torque. If this hadn't worked I was prepared to rig up a hand impact driver that I could hit with a hammer.

I had no problem driving the pins out for the cocking cams, triggers and sears. Observe closely, the way they came apart, mark them if you have to. When I was reassembling, I had to refer to the manual that came with it a couple of times. I had the barrel upside down that the stock retaining screw goes into and couldn't get the stock to go on all the way.

I used 600 grit emory cloth and oil and slicked up the sides of the hammers, sears, triggers and the cam that the release lever uses to move the locks. I cleaned and inspected as I went. The 1911 hammer spring worked neat. What I did was take the pin from the cam and just took the stock spring out and cut the same length of the 1911 spring. I have enough spring left over to do about two more levers. There is no need to remove the lever or anything.

The cocking springs are the reason the foul thing wouldn't open far enough. You can hold them in a vice and either vice grip or use a fork to compress the springs. The pin pushes out with a nail. I didn't even have to drive it. When you get the Colt 1911 hammer springs, cut them 1/4 inch longer than the Baikal springs to start out. (see notes above on hammer springs)

I then took needle nose pliers and bent the end coil to the next one and closed the diameter a bit to keep it close to the shaft at the hammer end and filed it flat. (It is important to file the cut end of the spring flat, so the spring can stand up on a table or flat surface.) I found that the new springs are easier to put together and pin the caps. I used a kitchen fork and no problem. I got a little excited when I put the setup in the bore, it felt like it was going to be to big. Not so, once I got it seated it was fine. Make sure you have left and right in the proper side. I went ahead and polished the receiver at the cocking spring where the barrel hinges, I don't know if I needed to, but it was rough, so I went ahead and did it.

Now for my barrels, I removed the screw that retains the extractor and found that I could not even pull it out with my fingers. I inspected it and found the guide pin bent and I straightened it, but it was still seriously tight. I emoryed the pins a lot until I could slide the extractor in and out with ease. I also polished up the sharp edges on the extractor, not wanting to cut myself in the heat of battle, trying to reload quickly. I didn't polish the chambers, as shells didn't stick in my SXS before and I figured I could always do it later.

Once I had the receiver all back together and figured out why the stock wouldn't slip all the way on. I sanded the stock on the top to give the lever plenty of room and on the sides coming from the receiver to just smooth it up a bit. I then sanded the whole thing and wiped on some Watco special walnut stain I had around and it looks great. I put the screw back in the stock, careful to make it not too tight and the end piece.

Then to try it. What a dream opened easily, fell open all the way with plenty of clearance for reloading and locked up tight. Smooth, feels like a Browning. Took it out back and shot a few. SOLD, it is a great gun, Russian commies or not and every bit as nice as I could hope for. Now if you decide to tackle it, I will be able to help you, so long as my memory holds out.

Regards, Calaveras
known as Howdy Doody

Some more hints from the SASS Wire and others:

1. When you cut the springs, make sure that the end you cut is flat like it was before you cut it. You should be able to stand the cut spring up on a flat surface without it falling over. If you just cut the spring and didn't grind or sand the end flat, it will be pushed to one side when you compress it, causing it to rub against the hole that it rides in.

2. You can polish the inside of the hole that the spring assembly rides in. This may be done by wrapping some emory cloth and sand paper around a rod with a slot on the end and spinning it with a drill motor. This will smooth out the hole.

3. Make sure that the hammers move freely through their range of motion. Take them out and sand and polish them if you have to.

4. See if the firing pins are rubbing on the edge of the holes that they poke out through when you pull the trigger. I had to file the firing pin on one hammer of my gun when I did the action job. Don't drill the hole bigger. It's better to file the pin if you need to.

When you replace factory springs with lighter tension springs, it's necessary to make sure everything in the action moves as freely as it can. Any friction will take power away from the firing pin strike, causing inconsistent primer ignition.... no good! They put heavy springs in these guns so they'll fire all the time without having to put proper clearances in the parts. It's cheaper. These are great guns. I love mine. But they need some work to make them that way. Keep at it , Pappy. You'll get it right. And when you do, it'll put a big smile on your face.

Diagram
For a larger graphic - Click Here

List of IZH43 Components
1. barrel assembly 29. cam pin 55. safety
2. extractor spring 30. sear pin 56. sear lifter lever
3. plunger 31. left sear 57. sear lifter
4. right extractor 32. left hammer assembly 58. sear lifter spring
5. left extractor 33. plug 59. sear lifter level pin
6. screw 34. plug screw 60. pin
7. pin 35. follower 61. screw
8. sling swivel ring 36. left rod assembly 62. trigger plate
9. screw 37. right rod assembly 63. screw
10. barrel sling swivel base 38. cocking lever 64. trigger guard
11. front sight 39. cocking lever pin 65. trigger guard screw
12. forend 40. screw 66. right trigger
13. washer 41. locking lever 67. trigger spring
14. spring 42. right hammer assembly 68. left trigger
15. latch body 43. hammer pin 69. pin
16. forend latch 44. right sear 70. stock
17. pin 45. pin for safety and 71. screw
18. screw thumb piece 72. washer
19. screw 46. thumb piece 73. butt plate
20. screw 47. locking bolt 74. woodscrew
21. lever pin 48. connecting rod 75. woodscrew
22. left lever 49. locking bolt spring 76. stock sling swivel base
23. right lever 50. cam stop 77. sear spring
24. hinge 51. threaded connecting 78. wright
25. lever spring piece 79. pin
26. screw 52. locking bolt lever 80. safety spring
27. receiver 53. ball 81. bushing
28. cam 54. sear lifter lever spring

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