Tsar Cannon: Russia’s high-end custom tactical rifle maker

Tsar Cannon, who are the exclusive provider of sniper rifles to the Russian equivalent of the Secret Service, claim that they produce the most accurate sniper and competition rifles in Europe.

The company hopes to export into the United States. RT.com reports (emphasis mine) …

The shots are remarkable accurate, so it is easy to understand why this kind of weapon is the first choice for professional snipers and for those protecting Russia’s top leaders. If one wanted to shoot out the eye of a rabbit at a distance of one mile, this is the gun for it.

Tsar Cannon plans to enter the US market in the near future where, even though the market is dense with similar companies, the number of shooting ranches is many times bigger than in Russia. Therefore there is a demand for the best, hi-tech rifles.

I do not see how they are going to be able to export. Since 1997 the ATF has barred Russian imports other than gun explicitly approved in Federal Regulation T.D. ATF-393. I do not belive the approved list has been updated in over a decade …

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a) of this section, the Director shall deny applications to import into the United States the following firearms and ammunition:

(1) Any firearm located or manufactured in Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan, and any firearm previously manufactured in the Soviet Union, that is not one of the models listed below:

(i) Pistols/Revolvers:

(A) German Model P08 Pistol.

(B) IZH 34M, .22 caliber Target Pistol.

The only way they could get around this ban is to name their guns after a rifle listed as being allowed for import. For example, they could name their rifle “Saiga Super-Sniper” (Saiga is listed as being legal to import). Although, I doubt the BATFE would allow this when they figured it out.

Many thanks to Michael for sending me the link.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Steve,

    Several models from Saiga etc are imported and sold through the Russian American Armory located in Indiana: http://www.raacfirearms.com/

    I have no idea how the laws or Federal agencies like the BATFE work, but if there were restrictions in 1997, the rules must have changed since.

    • Mehul, oh yes, plenty of Saigas are imported all the time. I think I did not make sense. I have rewritten the last part of the blog post.

  • btr

    I read in Small arms review a couple of years ago that a few new guns were added to be added the “list” including a .32 target pistol. Nothing exciting.

  • Carl

    Well, that video didn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence for that company. Shooting with people downrange and not making sure people have proper ear protection…

    FYI RT is mostly pro-Putin propaganda.

    What is the reasoning behind those ridiculous trade laws (assuming there is some)?

    • Carl, the reasoning is Clinton. Seriously.

  • Tom Stone

    Visa versa? they don’t accept Amex?

  • Erwos

    No wonder there’s no old Soviet 7.62×25 on the market:

    “Ammunition located or manufactured in Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan, and ammunition previously manufactured in the Soviet Union, that is 7.62X25mm caliber (also known as 7.63X25mm caliber or .30 Mauser); or ”

    Seriously, you’d think a gun-friendly politician of some sort could at least introduce a provision to get THAT out of the bill.

  • Thomas

    O my god when the guy jumps at the end was so funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Matt Groom

    Considering the problems we’re having with Czars in the US, I can definitely see a market for Czar Cannons.

    • Matt, LOL, except the current Czars don’t like guns.

  • Jim

    I’d love to have access to these guns. It’s a shame that our stupid laws prevent us from buying whichever guns we choose.

  • Lance

    I hope they someday can import they Russian bolt action Spec Ops Sniper rifle.

  • jdun1911

    80k .22lr on my IZH 34M in one year. Epoxy the parts starting at around 20k. At around 80k the pistol fell apart. It still work but not worth the effort to epoxy back again. I would buy the replacement parts if it was available in the USA. Overall I was please with the gun even if it only lasted for one year and I bought it new.

    I show you the pistol once I get home and have a chance to post it up.

  • Mike

    I like the TI-83 calculator at 2:00.
    Just like back in high school

    • Mike, ha! I also noticed that but forgot to mention it in the blog post. I love my TI-83+

  • Carl

    Steve, ah, the ATF. I should have guessed. All the best things in life, except that they’re against them. ;-(

    From that law text it sounds like the import ban is based on an executive order from 1977. Surely this can’t be right. A presidential decree lasting for 30+ years… doesn’t seem very …well, healthy.

    • Carl, 1997 I believe (Clinton was in office).

  • Matt Groom

    The ATF rules entirely by fiat, and almost none of their rulings have withstood a serious court challenge. The very existence of the ATF as a tax-revenue agency is questionable as far a purposes of legality are concerned because the 16th amendment was never ratified.

    Executive orders do not have any constitutional authority and my only be used as guidance by members of the executive staff within the confines of that branch’s constitutionally granted authority. That being said, most EOs are illegal. Presidents sign bills into law, they don’t make law.

  • Carl

    Ok, so it’s an unlawful law or order from Clinton.

    This would mean that it is in fact legal to import these firearms from Russia, but if you do you might get arrested or killed by some people who claim to be enforcing the law.

  • Bill Lester

    Don’t forget the SPR (formerly Spartan Gun Works) line of shotguns sold by Remington. I believe each of the four manually-operated models sold in the U.S. is a Baikal. (The autoloader may as well, I don’t know for sure.) IIRC, EAA just stopped importing these same shotguns within the past ~ 5 years. So it would appear the cited BATFE reg has been updated at least once.

  • vtb

    Well. The OVL-3 is the best sniper rifle you can get in russia. Basically because it’s here and USA guns are in US. and when you start to compare prices – Lobaevs guns are very good in terms price/quality (basically for $15-20K u get a custom build very precise sniper rifle. to compare price – AW in .338 costs about $30K in shops)

    here is the description of Lobaevs OVL-3 in .408 CT:


    weight 7.6kg
    barrel lenght: 870 mm
    Accuracy: 0,1-0,2MOA

    Also it’s very good for us that Lobaev got permissions to modify\repair guns (i know it’s sounds crazy to you ppl in US but any modification of weapon without special permission is a crime in Russia (as well as reloading of .308 for example))

    and because Lobaev have permissions and have hands putted well in place – he repairs guns with good results. As my friend joked – when my Rem 700 PSS will die i will come to lobaev and say – please – re-barrel it with 24″ barell and make it shoot with Norma 168gr with exactly the same ballistics as Ballistic calculator tells me to shoot πŸ˜‰

    • vtb, thanks for the info. Is Lobaev’s company Tsar Cannon?

  • Lance

    I want a military model sniper in 7.62x54R.

  • vtb


    Yes. It’s Lobaev’s company Czar Pushka (Tsar Cannon)

    Basically he makes only 2 models: OVL and SVL

    OVL – stands for Ohotnichya Vintovka Lobaeva (Lobaev’s Hunting Rifle)
    SVL – stands for Snayperskaya Vintovka Lobaeva (Lobaev’s Sniper Rifle)

    but every of this rifles can be made in any caliber with any riflening etc,

    http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/zzyzx_zzyzx/post110137209/ (pretty photos inside)

    and here’s the example of second-hand market – OVL-1 in 6BR (wanted price $7K)

    on photos the upper target is 100m, the lower one is 500m

    Of course at US market he will face much higher level of competition than anywhere else but in many cases he can win (at least by price/quality/precision ratio)

    • vtb, thanks very much for the info. I will do a separate blog post about his guns. I could not find them when I searched.

      Do you have an email address for him?

      If you find any other information let me know.

      Many thanks.

  • vtb


    Ordering of a gun from Lobaev can be done thru forum board talks.guns.ru (as far as i understand it’s the way to the person ‘from the street’)


    Contacts are here:



    Russia, Kaluzhskaya oblast’, city Tarusa, Lenina street, 61

    Phone: +7(484)352-3524
    Mobile: +7(905)793-0660

    I think the easiest way to know details is to call the mobile. Lobaev (as seen in interview) speaks english freely.

  • vtb


    Here is the site (not the easiest find) πŸ˜‰

    web: http://www.lobaev.com/
    e-mail: [removed by Steve]

    • vtb, AWESOME! Thanks.

  • vtb

    Hello Steve.
    guys are touching 2300 meters with their .408CT


    Info is here – http://talks.guns.ru/forummessage/247/619150.html

  • Vlad this is stick call me 940 566 7001

  • GarryB

    I wonder if US bans on importing specific types of firearms from certain places (ie Russia) are legal once the Russians join the WTO.

    AFAIK WTO rules mean you can’t discriminate against products from a particular country that is also in the WTO unless there are genuine health and safety issues… that should mean that these bans are illegal and if they are not lifted Russia can take punitive measures like banning all sorts of things from the US.

    Will be interesting to see what happens.

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