I definitely agree that if you're wanting a different brand of gun to save up for the one you want instead of setteling for something else. Otherwise you won't be happy.
You have to be careful when talking up a Baikal/Spartan auto or even their O/U's. It seems you always get a crowd talking about how horrible and cheap they are. From what I gather most of the people who bash the gun have never shot one.
Gooseboy, if you do buy the Spartan make darn sure you clean that gun very well. Before they are sent to the U.S. they are packed with a rust inhibitor call cosmoline that is as thick as vaseline. 90% of the problems I've read about these guns are remedied when the new owner takes the entire gun down and cleans it better. Also, there is a break-in procedure that calls for shooting at least 150 rounds of shells with 1.25 oz. of shot or larger before attempting to shoot the light 1 oz. dove loads. Since it's duck season I'd just clean it up and start shooting.
smackaduck, the MP-153 is the best money I've ever spent on duck hunting equipment second only to my boat. I have shot mine anywhere from 2 degrees with a -5 windchill during a conservation snow goose hunt in Missouri to 98 degrees in the Arkansas river bottoms dove hunting without a hiccup. She spits out shells anywhere from the cheap 1 oz. dove loads you buy at Wal-Mart to the 3.5" 1550 fps duck shells. I am already planning on buying another after duck season "just to have". :mrgreen: