Makarov Questions:


March 2, 2003, 05:41 AM
I'm interested in the Makariov pistol.
I have the following questions:

1. Where/what is SOG where everyone
seems to be buying these Makarovs?

2. Has anyone ever used a trigger-pull guage on the Makarov? How many pounds is the trigger pull?

3. Is the Makarov both double and single action? Or is it DAO?

4. They seem to be made in several countries. Is one brand better than others or are they pretty much the same?

Thank you for any information!.....Samualt

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March 2, 2003, 07:52 AM
SOG is Southern Ohio Guns and can be found at

I never tested the trigger weight on my E.G.but it's not too bad.

Yes it's a DA/SA.

East German ones are generally considered to be the top of the line when it comes to fit and function.(price shows this to be somewhat true)Russian military are next and the Russian commercial and Bulgarians are about the same.

All are really sturdy little guns.Can't go wrong with anyone of them.They're a blast to shoot,surplus ammo is quite cheap and they conceal very well.

March 2, 2003, 07:53 AM
S.O.G. = Southern Ohio Guns

Go to this site to have all your other questions answered:

Pistolet Makarova is DA/SA

Bulgarian military surplus is the way to go unless you are into buying collectors' items for extra $$$.

March 2, 2003, 09:29 AM
Definitely check out - but beware. If you start reading, before long you'll be hooked.

A couple of months back I picked up one of the Bulgarian's from SOG. Came with two sets of grips, two (different) grip screws, two (matching) mags, and a cleaning rod.

It was full of cosmoline, so I did a complete detail strip (there's an excellent photo-illustrated guide on how to do this at and cleaned everything with paint thinner. Reassembled with a liberal application of CLP.

I too have heard the EGs are the best, but my Bulgarian is a very nicely made and finished pistol, and after a couple of stovepipes in the first couple hundred rounds has been 100% reliable. Without a doubt the nicest $130 pistol I've ever owned. Highly recommended.

March 2, 2003, 02:53 PM
I kinda torn between the Makarov and the new Kel-Tec P-3AT ( (pronounced 380). It has a 5 lbs trigger pull ,DAO, and is so small its unbelievable.

However, I like that the Makarov is both SA/DA and has a safety switch. Those are both big things with me. But, my biggest fear is the trigger. I just wanted a gun with an easier DA trigger than my current carry gun (long 9 lbs pull). The Makarov might be what I'm looking for but I'd have to see some data about trigger pull.

So many little money ;-)

March 2, 2003, 03:24 PM
If you're looking for a short DA a Mak isn't for you. Maks are tough, dependable and accurate but they don't have a great DA out of the box. For a better DA in a compact look to something like a P239.

March 2, 2003, 04:22 PM
The trigger on my unissued Bulgarian was not nearly as good as my EG Mak. It was very heavy. About 2,000 dry fires and 200+ rounds didn't seem to help it. With help from a friend who had done it before, I ground down the sides of the DA prong of the mainspring a fair amount and re-blued it. It lightened it up almost to the level of my EG Mak. Tested it for reliability with 75 rounds and it worked fine.

March 2, 2003, 07:31 PM
Yup the trigger pull is pretty stout on a Bulgarian Mak.
Still, it is a GREAT truck/tacklebox gun.
Get one while you still can!

Shoots great....less filling

March 3, 2003, 10:17 AM
IMHO, You just cant beat the Makarov.

March 3, 2003, 08:05 PM
The double-action pull was over twelve pounds...beyond the capability of my gauge. The single-action was just under 5 lbs.

March 3, 2003, 10:43 PM
If it is between the Kel-Tec .380 (a new gun design) and the Makarov let me put my .02 cents in.

First, the Mak shoots 9x18 ammo which is a little hotter than the Kel-tec.

Second, the Makarov has a 50 year history of heavy duty military use; the Kel-tec has been out a few months.

Third, the quality of the crudest Mak (Bulgarian) is better than any Kel-Tec I have seen.

Fourth, the Mak's trigger is half the trigger pull of the 9mm Kel-Tec which I had.

Fifth, ammo for the Mak will cost you about half what new .380 ammo costs.

sixth, Maks don't break much; talk to any Kel-tec owner and ask how many times their Kel-tec had to be returned for work. Kel-Tec has excellent factory support.

See a pattern developing?

March 3, 2003, 11:18 PM
A few corrections zip06 -

The Kel-Tec P-3AT is not a new gun design, it is the same pistol as the P-32, only a tad bigger. The P-3AT will not have a slide stop like the P-32.

The P-3AT is not in production yet, it is due out in May.

The trigger pull of the P-3AT will be 5 lbs., same as the P-32. The trigger pull of the 9MM P-11 which you referred to is 8.5 lbs., it is a long trigger pull but not overly heavy. The DA trigger of many unissued Bulgarian Makarovs is around 13 lbs. I have one of them. See my post above, I lightened it to get it close to the trigger pull of my EG Mak. The DA trigger of Makarovs lightens up with a good bit of use.

Kel-Tec P-11s & P-32s are fine pistols. KT has sold over 100,000 P-32s in just under 4 years and there are many satisified owners.
Here is a current thread on the P-32 on this forum:

I own a P-11 and 2 P-32s, all are 100% reliable.

Makarovs are great pistols too, that's why I have 2 of them. The P-3AT won't be available for awhile as demand will be very high once they come out, may be hard to get one for awhile. If you need a pistol now samualt, get a Makarov and get a P-3AT down the road.

March 4, 2003, 03:51 PM
Zip06, alamo was gentle in correcting you. Otherwise, he's right on the money!

Line up facts before posting, if you don't mind. :rolleyes:

March 4, 2003, 04:08 PM
Alamo - The Kel-Tec is a refinement of the P-32 design and the P-32 design is not more than about 5 years old, I believe. I would call that relatively new when compared to the Makarov which dates back to before the Korean War for design and during the Korean War for production. Do a search on this or any gun forum for the P-32 and read them for reliability issues and then do a similar search regarding the Makarov. The pull on the P-11 I had was way to long for me. That P-11 was returned to the factory twice and was promptly repaired. The Mak is much more tolerable and, in the single action mode, way better. I have four Maks (2 East Germans, a Russian Military and a Bulgarian) One, an East German, has never been shot but the others triggers all smoothed out with use. I have about 3500 rounds through them collectively with no problems. I am sure there are many satisfied owners of the P-32 but its reliability record is in no way comparable to the Makarov.

Blackhawk thanks for you dynamic insight.

March 4, 2003, 05:42 PM
Man... I'm gone for a week and I come back to threads like this... can't we all just get along ? :p

Owning both a Mak and a P32 I must say that this comparison is really apples and oranges. I carry a P32 in my front pocket every day. On the other hand, my Mak will not fit in most of my front pockets and you'd never forget it was there.

Trigger-wise, if you really enjoy a nice light and crisp trigger, you're not going to be happy with either the Mak or any KelTec. Unless maybe someone works it over for you. They are both barable. My Bulgarian Mak has a very decent SA pull but the DA leaves a lot to be desired (this coming from a diehard 1911 and single action CZ75 guy). But then again, you don't often really need a great DA pull from a DA/SA gun. If a citizen using a concealed pistol to protect theirself on a street/parking lot etc, a light first pull just doesn't seem that important to me. On the other hand, if you're plinging or doing informal target shooting, just make all of it SA.

March 4, 2003, 05:59 PM
I love my Makarovs! Alas, I have no experience with K.T. but the Makarov is a great gun. My unissued Bulgie is better than one of my East Germans and right up with the other. If you get a Bulgarian Mak put a thousand rounds through it. By then you two will have become intimate and they might begin to multiply. You will also have given it a trigger job and be proficient in shooting it.


March 4, 2003, 09:26 PM
The DA trigger on my Bulgarian Mak was almost unusable when I first got it; it was very heavy and gritty. The SA was good, but there was a tiny bit of creep.

After doing a trigger job on it (which only took maybe twenty minutes - including disassembly and reassembly), it has a pretty nice trigger. The SA was never bad, but now it's basically perfect. The DA trigger is vastly improved: it's still a bit heavy, but it's very smooth.

The trigger job I performed just consisted of polishing certain parts, but you can also alter the mainspring for a lighter pull. and the Makarov forum on have helpful info about this.

Neal Bloom
March 4, 2003, 11:46 PM
I acquired a Bulgarian Mak a few weeks ago and am impressed with its accuracy. Haven't measured the trigger pull but for me its fine. Great gun, might have to buy another soon.

March 5, 2003, 12:27 AM
OK, Makarov's sound like fun. I want to play too!

SOG ( has some Bulgarian Makarovs for $129.95 each, +2% credit card fee (read their order page), +shipping, +$20 transfer. Are there any other places on the net that have some?

Or, are they common enough that I can find them at any gun store? I guess I'll know this last by Friday when I go to the range. Perhaps a really cheap used one would be a good start to see if I like them.

Which leads to:
What is the normal price range of the Makarov? What would be too much? And, if its a really old/used Mak might it still be OK? Do they last? What should I pay for one that looks super old/used. (I'm trying to imagine one that looks old, real POS looking, that I might pick up for $75....or is that too low even for daydreaming? ;-)

I'm taking your advice. I'll get a Makarov now and later I'll pick up a K.T. P3AT. I'm not sure what the price of the Kel-Tec thing will be but I bet it will be around $300. Makarov's are cheaper and more inline with my non-existent budget right now ;-)

March 5, 2003, 07:37 AM
The SOG Bulgie Maks are probably the best deal going. But look around you might be able to find a great deal at a local pawnshop.

Check out They've got a great FAQ that answers the questions you've got.

Maks are built like tanks. They can take a lot of abuse. Don't worry about buying a used one.

March 5, 2003, 09:24 AM
Sorry guys but the mak is a much better
pistol over all then any kel -tec. While
the kel-tec may be fun and ok the mak
has years of military use and a "solid"
design. :D

March 5, 2003, 09:52 AM
I watch for Maks all the time and I must say that SOG has the best deal going right now. I don't see many for private sale. I think that is because the owners don't want to part with them.


March 5, 2003, 10:28 AM
Dealers bought some of the SOG Maks so you might see them at gunshows or a gunstore. The prices are usually about what you'd pay though if you got one thru SOG through an FFL with transfer fee & shipping, maybe higher. Might find a better deal on a used one at a gunshow.

P-3AT's might be close to the price you suggest samualt, initially, until demand is met and prices come down.

There is a Mak Trader forum you might want to check out:

The link is very long, not sure if it will work.

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