Just bought new Makarov...help?


Northslope Nimrod
March 24, 2005, 10:22 AM
What should I do with my new Makarov?
I am going to replace the recoil spring. Thus, what pound spring should I get (#19?)? Where should I buy them? Price?
Anything else I should do with the Mak before using? (clean it of course)
Where to buy more magazines?
I paid $154......(good condition, Bulgarian) Did I do OK?

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lee n. field
March 24, 2005, 10:58 AM
What should I do with my new Makarov?

Clean out the cosmoline and shoot it

I am going to replace the recoil spring. Thus, what pound spring should I get (#19?)? Where should I buy them? Price?

Yeah, get the 19. Get thee to http://www.makarov.com. Get your spring, some extra magazines, a plastic mag loader and the cleaning rod tool (makes it easy to get the extractor out, for detailed cleaning). They used to be the best source for holsters, but lately a lot of people are making Mak holsters.

I paid $154......(good condition, Bulgarian) Did I do OK?

Yeah, you did OK. My Maks have cost anywhere from $99 (little used but somewhat cosmetically challenged Bulgarian, one magazine, no accessories) to $170.

March 24, 2005, 12:02 PM
You might want to get a set of rubber grips if you plan on shooting it alot. The grips on my Makarov used to dig into my hands at long range sessions until I got a set of rubber Pearce grips.

March 24, 2005, 02:35 PM
Considering how inexpensive those recoil springs are and the fact that you'll probably pay about as much for shipping as for a spring I'd suggest getting a 19# and a 21# spring. The 19# did not really reduce the snappiness of my Mak and it still flings the hulls back off the concrete pad and into the grass three or four stations down. I asked on another forum if anyone using 21# springs experienced malfunctions and nobody reported any. If the pistol cycles reliably and you can still rack the slide comfortably the heavier spring may be better. I'm going to order a 21# and a 23# next time I order from them.

I'll second the suggestion to get a mag loader or two. If you use silicone cloths they have decent prices on them at makarov.com too.

March 24, 2005, 02:41 PM
Good purchase, Nimrod. Makarovs are great little pistols.

There's a place on Redwood Road called "Tight Group" that sells Makarov mags for about $8... or at least they did last time I was there. Good deals on ammo there too.

www.makarov.com is an excellent place to get everything else. I've dealt with them (even though I don't have a Mak), and they have great service.

We'll be expecting a range report and pictures. :D

March 24, 2005, 02:42 PM
Feel free to shoot if before the stuff arrives from makarov.com, too. :D

March 24, 2005, 08:56 PM
All good advice. I use 21# springs exclusively in my Bulgy Maks and both have been 100% w/Barnaul 95gr FMJ. A touch of orange paint on the front sight really helped me (old-fart eyes, you know...) You'll find the DA/SA trigger will improve significantly w/use. If you plan on using your Mak for CCW you may find the Pearce rubber grips too bulky (I did) but if not then they do improve the handling of the Mak. Be sure to give us a range report!...

March 24, 2005, 09:04 PM
I have 12 Maks and I have tried out about every grip made for them. Personally, I prefer a red star with the lanyard ring removed or an EG grip. To add extra grippiness, I like an Agrip wrap from Brookstactical.com.

As to the Pearce grip, yes, it is soft and cushy, but I find it a little bulky for carry purposes.

I agree with getting a mag loader, 19# Wolff spring and a Mak cleaning rod tool from Makarov.com. Alternatively, if you can pick up a mag loader for an S&W 422, that works well if you file off the inner tab.

As to the magazines, if you can find them at $8 each, buy a bunch. They used to go for $5, but the price keep going up. I think Makarov.com has some for $8 each.

As to ammo, stick with th 95 gr. It is much kinder in the recoil dept. Again, there is plenty available on line.

In general, I would suggest that you supress the urge to buy every little gadget and groovey you see for the Mak. Some items, like the +2 mag extender, are worthless. Also, if you are looking for items to buy, use Makarov.com as a baseline. They have good prices overall. Be careful buying things on EBAY and the gun auction site. Many sellers misrepresent their wares and some are either stupid or liars.

March 24, 2005, 09:10 PM
FWIW Teakwood sells dehorned & refinished Restar grips. I bought 2 for my Maks for CCW use and like them so much that I've ordered a 3rd to put back as a spare!...

Northslope Nimrod
March 25, 2005, 01:19 PM
I've got it all cleaned up now...and ready for the range. I'll go with the #21 spring unless I hear different. Where do you suggest to buy ammo? Which brand? I want to go as cheap as possible for range ammo. Also, what is a good, inexpensive defense ammo?
I'll wait to buy the holster until I shoot it and like it. However, to start me off....what are some IWB holster suggestions? How do you carry yours? Ankle? (too heavy?) Pocket? (too big?) Smartcarry?

March 25, 2005, 01:32 PM
Dan's Ammo is are good people to deal with...


I, and a few others, like the issue grip that comes on the Bulgarian Maks.

Buy that ammo loading thingie from makarov.com - trust me on this. It'll prevent you slicing up your thumb and getting blood all over the magazines...like I once did.

makarov.com recommends the heavier spring after a few thousand rounds - might as well buy it now.

Read everything on the makarov.com site, loads of good info...

enjoy your new piece - and search here and on The Firing Line for "makarov" - loads of good info available - like on how to get rid of the cosmolene...

12 Volt Man
March 25, 2005, 02:35 PM
I like the 21 pound spring in mine.

I use the Pearce grip on mine. I like the traditional look of the red grips, but it is much nicer to shoot with the Pearce Grip.

Diane at Tight group has a some Makarov mags. I am headed there in a couple of hours. I'll check and make sure she still has them.

Eric (HBE Leatherworks) makes a fantastic IWB holster for a Mak.

You can shoot good ole cheap Wolf Ammo for plinking. For carry ammo, I prefer Barnaul HP's or Hornady. Again at Tight Group you can find good plinking ammo.

Northslope Nimrod
March 25, 2005, 02:51 PM
Since you and I are in the same location......Do you buy your 9X18 ammo from Tight Group or do you do it online? For starters, I don't want to buy a case or bulk. I've been checking online but many sellers charge about a $10 minimum for shipping.

12 Volt Man
March 25, 2005, 03:18 PM
Last time I bought it online. Dan's ammo had a great price on Barnaul HP which gets hard to find. I split a case with my Brother In Law.

Locally you probably won't find any better than Tight Group.

I have even picked some up at Impact. More expensive than Tight Group, but you are closer to Impact anyway. It would probably even out in the gas it takes to get to Tight Group. I'll check prices for you at Tight Group.

Don't be afraid of Wolf Ammo for a Makarov. Most of my guns don't get fed any Wolf, but a Makarov was basically made for it. I know Impact has Wolf and at one point they had some Barnaul.

Silver Bear is another Russian Ammo in 9x18 that I shoot from time to time.

The gun show will have 9x18 but by the time you pay your $10.00 to get in, you might as well have it shipped.

Oh and if you just need to get out and shoot it this weekend, then swing by my place after about 6:30 tonite or I will be home most of the day tomorrow. I can loan you a couple of boxes.

March 25, 2005, 07:37 PM
Another vote for Dan's Ammo. I bought 2 cases of the Barnaul 95gr FMJ for $99/case plus shipping and so far am very happy with it (currently it's also my CCW carry ammo). I use SmartCarry to CCW my Maks.

12 Volt Man
March 25, 2005, 09:16 PM
Dianne had Makarov mags for $10.00 and Wolf 9x18 for $7.50 a box. Not spectacular deals, but for local where you don't have to pay shipping it is pretty good.

March 25, 2005, 11:13 PM
"Don't be afraid of Wolf Ammo for a Makarov. Most of my guns don't get fed any Wolf, but a Makarov was basically made for it."
Horse hockey.
Makarov was made for 95 gr FMJ. There is no need to fire anything heavier. The Wolf has a history of reported squib loads, with resulting bulged barrels.

AIM Surplus has 92 gr Russian Brown Bear for under $5/box, $90/case.

...but, hey, what ever lights your rocket.

March 26, 2005, 07:02 AM
I'll sell you three or four Exc Mak mags for $10 each. Add $4 for shipping.

I also have a like-new "Makawrap" rubber grip I'll include for another $10 (no extra shipping if it goes with the mags). I put the grip on the gun once, then decided I liked the "Pearce" grip better.

I love the little gun myself. The grip and mags are just some extras I have.

PM me if your interested.


March 26, 2005, 10:50 PM
I carried my Arsenal Inc. .380 Makarov every day for the better part of a year. I took the factory grips off and replaced them with a set of Makawraps from Makarov.com. Really improved the feel although the finger grooves didn't fit me very well. A quick pass or two with a razor blade took care of the ill-fitting grooves and gave me a very comfy, compact sidearm. I really enjoy shooting it now and the availability and price of .380 makes this guy an almost constant range companion.

The "special edition" gun is VERY nice as well. It cost a little more, but the quality is top notch. Finish inside is comparable to far more expensive guns. Trigger was a tad gritty at first, but smoothed out a bit. Like a CZ, these things tend to give themselves trigger jobs.

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