Weapons of the President

In a small Russian town of Tarusa on the Oka River, about two hours drive from Moscow, in a small one-story building there is an amazing company "Tsar Cannon". Even if she has put on the flow of the production of the very king-guns, more amazing it would not. "Tsar Cannon" is known among professionals in high-precision firing their rifles. The finest in Europe. Nothing more, nothing less!

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Among the people who can easily get there from a distance of a kilometer, shall we say, a soccer ball, Wladyslaw Lobaev famous man. Almost permanent judge of the majority of competitions on shooting long distance, participants are not allowed to photograph, he himself at first gives the impression of a man "of the structures." Although neither the army nor in the other uniformed services, as they say, "was not involved." However, his past tells sparingly, saying that the shooting was carried away on a long distance — Benchrest, and when he began to shoot at the world championships, ran into problems with materiel. Went to America, was on probation at the Speedy Gonzales and Clay Spencer, returned to Russia, founded the "Tsar Cannon", received at the Federal Agency for Industry license to manufacture rifles, bought in America for a few million dollars of high-precision equipment and that makes the best Europe’s rifle. It’s simple. I would like to remark that not every hobby brings to the world championships in precision shooting. Learn to do a rifle in Speedy Gonzales (this is not a cartoon racer and hero of the popular song) or at the Clay Spencer is not easier than the machines, say, Mikhail Kalashnikov. Get a private license in Russia at all to anyone but Vladislav failed, for that matter, and to bring in a private armory, albeit small. But the question of where you can chat with the owners of his rifles, Lobaev immediately sent to the Security Service of the President. And, even more incredibly, the Service, Lobaeva heard the name in the comments have not given up. In general, the biography of Wladyslaw raises more questions than biography, say, a spy. But the article is not about him, and about his guns. That’s about it, he can talk for hours.

Safe Handling

In theory, there are only two models of rifles "Tsar Cannon" — OVL (hunting / experimental rifle Lobaeva) and DES (sniper / special rifle Lobaeva). Almost — countless as Lobaev makes custom rifles. You can specify everything: the length of the barrel, caliber, bolt group, a bed, a step rifling compensator muzzle brake, etc. You can simply bring a bullet, and you will make it into this rifle bullet. Vladislav himself abbreviations have not decode. Just when the barrel reads "OVL" means an individual customer. If the "DES" — spetsstruktury.

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"Tsar Cannon" only works with stainless steel, to be exact — with brands 416R and 416T, if it’s something you said. Other stainless steels, in fact, for the production of barrels and do not apply. "We only work with stainless steel, and not because with any other can not — says Lobaev. — Just stainless steel has the necessary corrosion and wear resistance. From the point of view of resource conservation and performance — by far the ideal material. " What are the challenges of working with stainless steel? This is a high-alloy steel, it is harder than traditional steel barrel and requires a more durable tool.

Steel, usually American or German. In principle, one could use the domestic steel — Chrysostom, for example, undertook a cook, but in very large volumes, which "Tsar Cannon" just can not master. Profitable to import.

By the way, if you see the Russian trunk of stainless steel, it can only be "Tsar Cannon" — no other company stems from the metal does not. And in all of Europe has only two firms: the German Lothar Walther and Scottish Border Barrels. All other European Barrel makers make the most out of the trunks srednelegirovannye chrome-molybdenum steel.


Steel enters a six-meter rods, which are cut into desired pieces. Initially blank pretty rough, so they bought with allowance under a groove and a lathe grind to a perfect cylinder of the desired diameter. The maximum length of the barrel, which can drill "Tsar Cannon" on their equipment — 95 cm All the equipment for the production of the U.S., it is easy to explain: in the U.S. a few hundred (!) Manufacturers of high-precision shafts and rifles, and the industry is developed as a anywhere in the world. In addition, the art of making these rifles Vladislav comprehended it is in America.

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After harvesting grind to the desired diameter, they are inserted into the spindle drilling machine, which can simultaneously process a pair of trunks. Use the special tool — drill deep drilling. In the "Tsar Cannon" is practically the whole range of calibers: .22, .25, .270, .234 (6 mm), 7 mm, 6.5 mm, .30 (7.62 mm) .338 (8, 6 mm) and .408 (10.3 mm). 408-gauge — Lobaeva pride. "In Europe, we are the only ones doing it. This is not an elephant walk, and for shooting at 3.2 km ", — adds Vladislav.

The main problem in this operation — withdrawal of the tool from the drilling axis. Struggling with her choice of the proper mode of treatment (feed rate and speed), and — most importantly — the right drill bit sharpening. This is generally a key operation — if ill sharpener, production may stop.

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One drill without regrinding, depending on the steel grade, withstands 10 to 50 barrels. Set of pairs of drills worth $ 1500-2000, and with proper care, they live almost forever. Since Soviet times, walking bikes, what are the best trunks — the first of the lot, drilled one drill. This is nonsense, says Vladislav Lobaev as drilling — albeit an important one, but preliminary, and not finishing the bore.

After drilling the barrel is marked. For example, a 338 — caliber, then 323 — drill diameter, 330 — diameter reamers, 3415 — mandrel, 12 -, and 75 step — Process batch number, under which the company can track the fate of a particular trunk. Suppose if a barrel record a good shot and minimally responsive to the wind, you can restore the marking technology and make a "twin." From one party (1.5-2 m) steel is 240-320 barrels.


Scan — the next, one of the most critical operations — produces the final diameter of the barrel in the fields. Made it to the exact lathe tool that is called — scan. We can say that a precision dosverlivanie trunk. If you expand the exposure is not as critical of the barrel, because the tool is on the already drilled channels. By the way, unlike drills, reamers to "Tsar Cannon" do it themselves, which gives a wide scope for maneuver.
But that’s not all. The next operation — ho
ning. Under each barrel is abrasive hone, which extends through the channel by performing a rough finish.

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The process of honing is not a secret — in contrast to the composition of the abrasive

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Do you cut?

The process of applying the rifling is called burnishing. The machine is a horizontal press with a copier that sets the pitch of rifling. Put simply, the machine, slowly rotating, stretching through the bore carbide mandrel very high hardness (70-80 units on the Rockwell hardness scale; steel for the barrel, for example, has a hardness of 32-34 units) with protruding rifling. This is a one-time operation that literally ten seconds by rifling forms of pressure. Before broaching the inner mandrel bore to reduce friction is applied to a special lubricating fluid, the composition of which is the trade secret of each manufacturer and the gun-kept secret.

Under each gauge and pitch (plus or minus inch) requires a separate mandrel. For example, a 30-gauge mandrel has to step 12 inches. This means that the machine can make rifling pitch from 11 to 13 inches.
Dorn — the most expensive item of the entire instrument gunsmith and, depending on the caliber of costs from $ 1000 to 3000. Dorn — survivor. If you take care of it (and after each pass mandrel re-polish to remove mikrozadiry possible), then it may be enough for a few thousand barrels.

Plus, this technology education rifling is that it creates a superficial consolidation of the barrel, which in turn has a beneficial effect on the resource and resistance to temperature. Minus — the inevitability of internal stresses which have to shoot. If you are not able to remove stress, the formation of grooves by mandrelling — a road to nowhere, says Lobaev. This know-how. In words, it is very easy — heated to a certain temperature and then cooled. Temperature settings are selected individually for different grades. If hard to let go — lose the vitality, the trunk will become more malleable. If you hold a greater hardness — you can not let go of the tension and the trunk will bend after a few shots under the influence of temperature, resembling trunks made by rotary forging technology.

Cutting in "Tsar Cannon" is the fastest process — just ten seconds. Drilling, for example, takes an hour — hour and twenty minutes, and deployment — about thirty minutes.

In the furnace!

After cutting almost ready trunks are installed vertically and sent to a vacuum oven. The principle is simple holiday — first stems gently heated to a certain temperature, kept at it, and then gradually cool down, and it all happens in a vacuum. If you do the same thing in the air — it will not be a vacation, and hardening of the metal. A Lobaev, recall, does not checkers, and a rifle.


The next operation — the ointment of the barrel. For it is smelted lead lap-shaped mandrel appropriate, it is applied to a special abrasive compound that masters are preparing themselves and each barrel is polished by hand. Everything. This is the final, finishing polish. The operation, by the way, it is critical for the quality of the barrel, allowing us to obtain different geometries — such as Barrel cones or sockets. What are the cones and sockets — that’s a topic for another article.

Shutter Group

The two main components in high-precision shooting — a bullet and barrel. Everything else in the rifle must not impair their quality, says Lobaev. For example, the shutter. "This is my shutter does not worsen. This is my pride — our new development, own slide group. In particular, it is now on the rifles, taken into service one of the local security forces. While we do our best — we have a full production cycle. We can custom make any bolt group in the world, simply by repeating it. " The new slide group was designed to take a .408-caliber ammunition and .338, and other "mags" smaller caliber.

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Own slide group — the pride of Vladislav Lobaeva

Speedy Gonzales

Wikipedia knows of only one Speedy Gonzales — hero cartoons Warner Brothers. In the shooting world Speedy Gonzales first legendary American gunsmith, known for its high-precision shafts and especially lodges. How Lobaeva managed to get his blessing, knows only himself, but the "Tsar Cannon" establishes their trunks to bed design of the Speedy Gonzales. Better advice in the world does not exist. Although the "Tsar Cannon" makes them herself.

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The finished bed design Speedy Gonzales. Manufacturing — "Tsar Cannon"

Before, we did the bed of the three materials: fiberglass, carbon fiber and kevlar-carbon, — Vladislav shows a huge collection of multi-colored boxes on the wall shop — but now stopped only carbon and kevlar-carbon. Lodge for Benchrest of carbon in the world makes us more than just one company in the U.S., and kevlar-carbon, which is even stronger — only we, with him, or who do not want contact: bad cut and milled. " Lobaeva have something to be proud of — its lodges had won the European championship.


Rifles from Lobaeva — not cheap, though no alternative. "If our rifle shooting competition, all the rest are fighting for second place — Vladislav categorical cuts. — Ever since we started working, no major competition for no sniping, no on Benchrest in Russia is not our rifle not won. " Indeed, if we take the year 2008 in the European Championship Benchrest two gold medals in the overall standings in the class of "heavy varmint" took novosibirets Igor Zhukov just from lobaevskoy rifle.

Prices for OVL in medium caliber 6,5 mm — .308 start at 350,000 rubles., And the most expensive and long-range in the 408-m caliber will cost no less 520,000 rubles. However, even if there is the money and the desire to rush in Tarusu should not — until the end of the year, the company Lobaeva orders from individuals not taking as inundated with orders from the special forces. Like it or not, and the ultra-long range shooting — a purely applied sport, designed for testing technologies, which are then used by the military and police forces. In the United States the same — Benchrest legend basically make weapons are not for competition, but for the security forces.

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Prospective .408 caliber rifle DES. In such caliber rifle in Europe no one but Lobaeva, does not

Day comes to a close, it is time to gather back to Moscow. We are standing on the porch of Vladislav his small factory near Tarusa. To be clear, a provincial
environment somehow relaxes and soothes. "Why Tarusa? — Asks Lobaev. — Yes, I just have a summer house here. " And cunningly squinting in the sun.

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