Drozd BB rifle
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2011)|
|Place of origin||Russia|
|Cartridge||4.5mm /.177 Steel (Zinc Coating Recommended)|
|Muzzle velocity||110 m/s (360 ft/s), nominal.
250 m/s (820 ft/s), when modified
The name "Drozd" is the Russian word for "thrush". It was also marked as the "bumblebee" for its sound and the yellow and black color scheme that was once standard on the version of the gun imported into the U.S. It is speculated that this was done to distinguish the airgun from firearms and prevent it from being banned from import. However, this coloring is not done on various other brands/models of imported airguns and has been recently dropped in favor of an all black color scheme.
The MP661K is best known for being one of the few (if only) select-fire BB guns and can fire single, three-round, and six-round bursts (semi-auto only in the United Kingdom). This gun is very popular with both casual target shooters and airgun enthusiasts; it is excellent out of the box plus offers customization options and upgrades. Such modifications include aftermarket/third-party and user-community alterations and upgrades such as "mod boards" that can increase the rate of fire up to 1200 rounds per minute and provide true fully automatic operation, adapters to use external propellant sources (such as 20 oz paintball CO2 tanks or HPA scuba tanks), dye kits to change the color (commonly RIT fabric dye is used), and longer barrels (higher velocity). Upgrades are being continuously introduced as the gun gains in popularity (it is sometimes claimed that this might become the 10/22 of the airgun world).
The quality of the gun is high, with the main functional components being made from firearms quality steel and the plastic parts (trigger, main receiver housings, buttstock, lower magazine cover) being made from firearms quality fiber reinforced polymers. One item of note is the barrel, which is rifled steel and extremely thick and rugged for an airgun. Although such components do not translate into increased accuracy, they do tend to increase durability. For instance, the rifling does not significantly (if at all) increase the gun's accuracy; spherical projectiles demonstrate little, if any, accuracy differences between rifled and smoothbore barrels (moreover, steel shot will not engage the rifling in an effective fashion, instead riding on top of the rifling). However, the gun is manufactured by a company that also manufactures and designs military firearms (best known for their WWII production of the Tokarev TT-33 and M1895 Nagant revolver), and many of the parts are thus "over engineered" with military-style durability. The price of the Drozd is much higher than typical "department store" airguns, partly due to the use of the higher quality components and increased durability.
After years of rumors, the Baikal factory finally released "The Blackbird" a version of the Drozd equipped with a bulk feed and a 400 round magazine, which remedies the achilles heel of the original Bumblebee: the tiny 30-round magazine capacity (which can be emptied in one and a half seconds on a 1,200 rpm modified gun).
The Blackbird boasts a 400 round capacity, as well as an improved three-cartridge 12-gram CO2 system, or a single 88-gram large CO2 cartridge. It shares many parts with the original Drozd and retains the same basic body configuration, as well as the original Drozd's stock firing modes.
Some have criticized the new Backbird for having an overall cheaper "plastic" appearance, but the large magazine capacity makes it completely different kind of gun than the original Drozd. Full auto (600/900/1200rpm) modification chips especially designed for the Blackbird are now readily available, and despite the stated 400 round capacity, in actuality, the magazine easily hold many more BBs than that. When combined with a remote tank like those commonly used in paintball (either CO2 or HPA), the Blackbird can deliver nearly a thousand rounds of operation use.