CZ-83 in 9-mm Makarov...Info?


January 9, 2003, 10:47 PM
This looks like a well-finished Makarov, and I like the 12-round staggered box mag. Is this a CZ manufactured Makarov? EBAY auctions start at $319 plus shipping & FFL transfer this a good price? I'd appreciate comment, pro and con...:D

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January 9, 2003, 11:15 PM
I have one in .380 and I love it. Well manufactured, accurate and reliable. FYI the URL from CZ America/ Also, I have attached a pic of my CZ83 for the heck of it. The holster is a FIST #1 clip model for the 83. Good shooting:)

January 10, 2003, 08:41 AM
The CZ83 in general is one of my favorite guns......period!
Ive had both the .380 and Mak...only reason I sold them is I KEPT my carry's....the calibers were the least potent guns I had...MISTAKE!
In general the guns are stellar...very very accurate (my 380 did 1.900" at 25 yds)...flawless reliability (both would feed empty cases with a polished feedramp....seriously) great triggers..smooth, consistant and fairly short. Great capacity..hi caps are still around for mid range pricing. They carry very well.
On paper they are close to the same dims. as the CZ Compacts/PCR's etc...but carry much easier....offer Cond1 carry.

TIP ..if you want one and you find one...get it. They are no longer imported into the states....the CZForums contacts had one last batch imported last year...I got one of them and had to sell........

They may never be imported again...and hadnt been for quite some time before this shipment.

The gun is incredible...the caliber is fun, cheap to shoot and if you find the right ammo...pretty stout.

Shoot well

January 10, 2003, 01:11 PM
I wonder why on earth they stopped importing the 9x18mm one? Yet they continue to import the .32 auto one; I can't imagine too many Americans being thrilled with a .32 that big in this day and age, when you can have it in a more potent chambering.

Larger-framed .32s are very european, it seems to me. Look at James Bond and his Walther PPK .32.

January 10, 2003, 01:28 PM
I would absolutely love to have one of these little gems, and came very close to getting one, but...

They seem rather pricey to me at anything over $250. It's bigger, heavier, and no more (or less) reliable than a real PM.

Just look for a good EG Mak, and you should come out at least 100 bucks ahead, enough to get a case of ammo!!:cool:

Walt Sherrill
January 10, 2003, 01:35 PM
While the EG Maks tend to be a little prettier and a little smoother, there's not really much they do THAT MUCH BETTER than the new, much less expensive Bulgarian Maks.

Nice guns, and great deals at the price.

January 10, 2003, 01:38 PM
Oh, I forgot --

as to your specific question, NO, the CZ83 is NOT a Makarov. It's an entirely different pistol, different design. Only thing in common is the ammo, 9x18 Makarov caliber.

As others have said, the CZ83 is a great gun. The 9x18 version also has a polygonal - rifled barrel, which you won't find on a Pistolet Makarova.

I just believe it's overpriced relative to a Makarov. Others will, no doubt, disagree, and I have no problem with that.:)

January 11, 2003, 07:29 AM
I disagree ..... :D Your comparison really has no basis...seriously.
The Mak is a simplified version of the Walthers design..alot feel an improvement also. The only thing common that the Mak and 83 have in common is the Caliber...other than that youre comparing apples to oranges.

The 83 for the most part is compared to the Sig 230/232 and Browning BDA...the 2 nicest .380's to challenge the little CZ.
For Size, feel, smoothness of operation, accuracy, capacity. sights, etc etc your comparing guns on the same playing field..and the little 83 still wins the comparison....
Ive got 3 comparisons of "higher end .380's....including one authored by a self admitted Sigophile..and the 83 still one all of them...same level or better gun for less money.

Ive owned most of them and shot them all quite a bit. Some favor the Sig/Browning just because they are a little more known than the each their own.

Maks are stellar little guns..but the fit, finish, smoothness of controls etc arent in the same ballpark except for the EG Mak which is pretty much a collectors item..and thats why its a collectors item. All guns mentions thus far are dead reliable.

Where else can you find a .380/Mak that holds 13 rnds, fits your hand like a 6th finger, points naturally, has good sights and a great trigger, reliability to feed empty cases, great accuracy, real Cond 1 safety, real ambi controls and doesnt cost over 300$ usually? There is only one........

And you can disagree also......:rolleyes:

Shoot well

January 11, 2003, 08:38 PM
Quite the defense for the CZ83. I find MAKs to be crude..
and CZ83s to be cool.

As a CZ expert told me. "Some people will just buy the cheaper
guns in Makarov. The CZ83 is an expensive toy for them to

I agree. Along with other Euro pistols as the Beretta and Walther . The CZ83 is a class act.

January 12, 2003, 03:15 PM
this is quoted from december 2001 issue Combat Handguns;

The cz83 is made the way firearms were manufactured in this country a half century ago. Like a pre 70 series colt, this pistol fairly screams quality.
It is a wonder cz can market the gun as inexpensively as it does.
The trigger pull is what the designers of double action semi autos have often promised, but seldom delivered.....

you get the idea....tom

February 18, 2003, 01:20 AM
Does anybody know if it's possible to convert a .380 CZ-83 to 9mm Makarov? Would it just be a matter of a barrel swap, or would it be more involved than that? If anybody knows, please fill me in...

Walt Sherrill
February 18, 2003, 07:41 AM
Convert the CZ-83 in .380 to 9x18?

It is just a barrel swap.

Same magazines. Capacity is reduced by 1 when using hi-caps; not sure about the standard mags.

February 18, 2003, 07:59 AM
The only difference I can tell and have had both is the barrel....different caliber and style of inerds...polygonal vs lands/grooves..the mags are the same...with the case length and diameter differences...Id say the extractor and ejector would work for both.......
A Barrel press would change it out...but where would you get a 9 x 18 barrel? Shoot well......

February 18, 2003, 08:03 AM
"Same magazines. Capacity is reduced by 1 when using hi-caps; not sure about the standard mags."

Yes, due to the larger diameter of the 9x18 round, the magazine capacity is reduced by one with either standard (reduced capacity) or high capacity (international standard) magazines.

You can fit 12 mak rounds in the high capacity magazine, and 9 rounds in the modified (low capacity)magazine.

As for the quality and price of these guns, they have certainly higher quality of build and materials, and cost approximately twice what a PM goes for.

As for CZ83 in .32 caliber, these are no longer imported either.

Stephen A. Camp
February 18, 2003, 11:50 AM
Hello. I bought one of these a year or two ago and while I've shot it some, I just don't shoot .380 ACP all that much. Finally decide it was time to really see what the thing might be capable of.

The Pistol: The CZ83 is most often seen in .380, but I think some examples are around in 9x18 Makarov. If memory serves, the pistol was also offered in .32 ACP, but I could be wrong on that.

Like the larger CZ pistols, this is a conventional DA/SA pistol that allows for "cocked and locked" carry should that be desired. The generous tang prevented the spur hammer from biting me, despite my somewhat large hands. The DA pull is long, but extremely smooth and quite light. The trigger is not grooved. This was surprisingly good. The SA pull is light, but like the CZ75, the hammer's pushed back very slightly in the SA pull before it falls. This precludes the crisp "glass rod" break most often seen on tuned 1911s. This does not mean that the SA pull's hard to use; it isn't. It is a straight blow back as are most .380 pistols.

Sights are fixed and the same as those on the CZ75/85 B pistols, i.e., very usable and easy to see at speed. They're the 3 Dot variety and have the "glow in the dark" paint. I'd be happy with plain black-on-black.

This picture shows the sights, ambidextrous, frame-mounted thumb safeties, but does not show the ambidextrous magazine release located at the rear of the trigger guard.

Original-capacity magazines in .380 were 13 rnd, but my gun came with two 10 rnd mags that were easy to load and appeared quite well-made. This pistol also has the hooked trigger guard that's checkered on front rather than the older, rounded one. (I prefer the rounded.) Stocks are black, partially checkered plastic secured with one Phillips head screw on each side. (I think these screws look "cheap" and would much prefer slotted or hex head given my druthers.) The pistol has an external slide release.

The slide release is not ambidextrous and well-positioned.

Ammunition: There is a wide selection of ammunition around for .380. I used one FMJ round in the test with the rest being JHPs. Ammunition used:

Fiocchi 95 gr FMJ
PMC 90 gr JHP
Federal Classic 90 gr JHP
Federal 90 gr Hydrashok JHP
Winchester 95 gr "Deep Penetrator" JHP
Corbon 90 gr JHP +P

I do not have any personally chronographed figures for any .380 loads, but the Corbon is rated at 1050 ft/sec with the others a bit shy of 1000 ft/sec. Rounds were ejected to the right about 18 ft or so.

Shooting: Ten-shot groups were fired with the above loads at 10 yards, standing w/2-hand hold in slow-fire, single-action and the same for the 25 yard test.

Sights were dead-on. Top left: Fiocchi ball, Bottom Left: PMC JHP, Top Right: Federal JHP, Bottom Right: Winchester JHP, Middle: Corbon JHP, Top Middle: Federal Hydrashok.

The gun "shoots." The PMC shot the tightest group with the rest about equivalent. For what it's worth, I've not been able to get PMC's JHP to expand in any informal expansion tests.

Since many folks use Federal's 90 gr Hydrashock as their defensive load in this caliber, I opted to use it for the 25 yard target.

I think it is plenty accurate enough for defensive purposes. I did have one malfunction with this load, but none with any of the others. One round failed to fully chamber. Test your defensive ammo regardless of your pistol choice. I found this surprising as chambering rounds off full magazines was "slick" and without hesitation with any of the rounds tested. The Hydrashock round that hung up was the 4th round.

The following group was fired as quickly as I could get on target using the Corbon +P 90 gr JHP at 10 yards. It consists of 5 "controlled pairs." Since this gun does allow for cocked and locked, I fired only the first round double-action. It is the low one!

Recoil is not "sharp" as has been reported by some, but I suspect this is with the smaller .380 pistols.

Observations: The CZ83 is easy to shoot and shoot well. While it is large for caliber compared to many of the smaller and more potent 9mm & 40 caliber pistols, it does have enough bbl to take advantage of what velocity the .380 has. Though NOT on my short-list of preferred defensive rounds, I'd likely use the 90 gr Federal Classic JHP for this purpose of the ones tested. This round's "worked" in various informal expansion tests, at least to my satisfaction. I've not "tested" the Winchester round. I might also test it and the Remington 102 gr Golden Saber for this caliber if serious about it.

Metal fit and finish was quite satisfactory and the blue was even.

If interested in a .380 ACP pistol, even though it doesn't have the almost mandatory decocker, I suggest looking long and hard at this pistol.

Comparison to Makarov: This is likely the one to be made by many folks. For those interested, a range report on the Mak can be found via the link below.

The CZ has the lighter trigger pulls in both SA and DA.
The CZ has cocked and locked capability; the Mak does not.
Out of the box, the CZ has better sights.
Neither pistol has an internal firing pin safety. The CZ's is retained via the traditional firing pin retaining plate.
The Makarov is a bit more powerful.
Magazines for the Mak are much less expensive.
CZ magazine holds 10 in current form; Maks hold 8.
No magazine disconnect in either pistol.
The CZ comes with more visible sights than the Makarov, but the latter pistol can be bought under $200 while the CZ's costs around $300. Better sights can be put on the Makarov should the owner desire and the cost difference becomes negligible.

While I find the CZ83 more "refined" than the Makarov, I do like the feel of the Makarov better when fitted with Pearce grips.


Baron Holbach
March 5, 2003, 12:56 PM
Stephen, thank you for your range report on the CZ 83 .380. I have to agree with you. My CZ 83 is the most accurate of my three .380s. It shoots point of aim, has less recoil than the other .380s, and has cycled all ammo flawlessly. Initially, I thought my Beretta 84 would hold an edge over the CZ 83, but I was wrong.


March 5, 2003, 01:33 PM
I have been wavering back and forth between PM or 83. But I'm definitely going for the 83 now.

I love cz's but a major factor for me is the frame mounted safety. I hate slide mounted safeties and don't see myself owning one in the near future.

I see there are still some 9x18's out there. If I can put the budget together before they are gone I'm gonna get one.

How much worse is recoil over the .380?


March 5, 2003, 01:38 PM
"How much worse is recoil over the .380? "

It's the same.

March 5, 2003, 01:43 PM
Thanks Thirties -bevr

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