Another 9mm single stack comparison


May 23, 2003, 05:21 PM
I have been asking a lot of either/or questions and have gotten great information so far. I have yet another one.

Bulgarian Mak 9x18 (Great price, parts everywhere)
RAP 401 9x19 (Great price/recent interest)
Firestar 9x19 (Good price and Great quality hard to find parts though)

What one would you choose and why?

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May 23, 2003, 05:37 PM
I tend to like a true 9 over the Mak.

For $210, the RAP seems like a bargain. It is in production, should be at least the quality of the Star and has a DA trigger, yet can be carried like the Firestar. The RAP takes Astra mags, which aren't hard to find.

May 23, 2003, 07:32 PM
My favorite and only auto is a 9mm single stack!!

.........but the P7 is not on your list

May 24, 2003, 11:34 AM
You have a good selection of good take on things is:

The Makarov...a zillion and a 1/2 are out there...a web site that you can get any and everything for them.....they are a good little gun and can be a great little gun with a little work.....
Pros: cheap gun and ammo, parts/aftermarket support is great, small and thin for good CCW.....
Cons: limited energy from the caliber, capacity is low, sights suck!, triggers usually need a little help..most youll find are in good/pretty good shape

The RAP..great quality gun at a stellar price. 9mm single stack that rivals just about any gun made for quality.
Pros: great safety, sights, good trigger, outstanding quality, good warranty support from Century, etc.... capacity and heavy

The Star...another great gun. Great design uses the CZ style internal frame rails. They run like a top....more $ than the others but has all of the qualities of the RAP....
Pros: Great size for ccw, dependable, accurate, great triggers with the mag safety removed (like a BHP), great sights....
Cons: VERY LIMITED PARTS and NO WARRANTY WORK...., firing pins are weak in some guns, trigger is good but great with the mag safety capacity....

Get the RAP.......the best quality, price, caliber and support.....

Shoot well

May 24, 2003, 12:22 PM
I only have experience w/ one single stack 9mm, my P7M8 & it truly is my fav!

June 18, 2003, 07:53 PM
I know this is an old thread but I was doing a search on the RAP-401 that I am waiting on and thought I would reply since I have a 9mm Firestar and will be getting the RAP soon.

I Love my Firestar but I don't like SA for a carry gun. I don't want to carry cocked and locked if I can avoid it and I don't like having to flick levers before I can fire. I subscribe to the K.I.S.S. principle.

I am buying the RAP 401 to replace my Firestar 9mm. The DA/SA trigger is my favorite for self defense type handguns. I wish it was a de-cock only like an Astra or a SIG but I can live with a safety/de-cock if I need to.

I like the weight of the Firestar and the RAP for sometimes carry. I wouldn't and don't carry either everyday because they are too big and heavy for me to conceal under certain circumstances. I find that when I do carry the Firestar, the weight doesn't bother me at all.

The Maks are O.K. but I think people are getting a little too jazzed up about them. The only ones I have seen were Russian and looked very crude with HEAVY and ROUGH DA triggers. There is a reason they sell for just $150. Maybe the Bulgarians are a little better but they still use the 9x18 ammo which is closer to a .380acp than a 9x19. Ammo will not be as easy to find and will be a little to a lot more expensive depending on local supply. Mostly it will be crappy Russian Wolf FMJ which makes it even worse than a good .380 JHP for self defense. It is probably a good deal for under $200 but when people compare them to Kahrs, SIGs, and other top notch quality guns, I tend to think they are being a little too loyal to thier gun. Mak fans are weird, they tend to think that because their gun was cheap and worked that it is all of a sudden "the best gun ever".

Out of the three guns, I think the RAP is the best choice for a CCW, that's why I bought one!

June 18, 2003, 09:15 PM
Well, I have to disagree with you K,, eh, Firestar. I don't carry Maks but I do own two, they have good triggers and I get Ram HP ammo for $5 a box (50ea) and shoot nothing but HP's through them. Ammo won't be a problem because many countries still use them. The Mak is much lighter than the Rap and may last longer too!

I myself like cocked and locked over DA/SA which doesn't have the same trigger pull every shot.

Again, I don't carry Maks but I think people like them because they are that good! The Rap has yet to be proven like the Star and Mak and anyone who has Mill surp rifles knows that Century ain't the best co to deal with.

Lets see how well the Rap does before claiming it the best that ever was. One thing for sure is ,,, S Afrcain pistols don't hang around long.

BTW does it change the music you listen too? Bwaaaaaaa!

PCR, I didn't know the Star Mag disconnect was like a BHP, I always though when the mag was inserted the safety bar moved to the side. Hmmmmmmmm? ;)


June 18, 2003, 09:54 PM
I think the RAP 401 will make an outstanding carry/range gun. Partly because there are just so many different ammo variety available in 9mm Luger. It is an amalgamation of the Astra and Star design and seems superior in every aspect when compared to a Star.
On the other hand, my Bulgarian Makarov is a tack driver. Using inexpensive Barnaul ammo, freehand groups have always been less than 1.5 inch at 12 yards.;)
I wish I can test a RAP 401 for offhand accuracy, but it is illegal to buy in CA. The golden state has long ago repealed the 2nd amendment.

June 18, 2003, 10:01 PM
I have owned an Astra A75, and Firestar 9mm, and currently own a few Maks.

The Makarov will never be a 9x19, but it is an excellent pistol which can be made better with a simple trigger job.

I dislike unnecessarily heavy guns for CCW(which is one reason I favor the Glock 26, and Kel-Tec P-11), so among the above three choices, I'd go with a Mak, preferably Bulgarian as they have a nice finish and decent triggers.

Unlike firestar, I find the Mak ammo to be inexpensive and plentiful, perhaps its a regional thing.

Good luck.

June 19, 2003, 01:01 AM
"Lets see how well the Rap does before claiming it the best that ever was. One thing for sure is ,,, S Afrcain pistols don't hang around long.

BTW does it change the music you listen too? Bwaaaaaaa!"

I never claimed it was the best gun ever. The reason S African pistols don't hang around long is because people buy them all up.

I don't get the music remark at all.:confused:

June 19, 2003, 01:38 AM
Firestar. I think Bren is just saying that it might be a little to early to recommend the RAP over the Maks reputation. After all, you are saying the RAP is better and you have yet to fire one or even hold one. The RAP specs are impressive so far but I and others are too cheap to be the pioneers of the newest and greatest products. Please keep us up to date after you take yours to the range.

June 19, 2003, 01:49 AM
What's so great about single stack 9mm's? Is a Browning HP or CZ-75 really that much harder to carry? :rolleyes:

June 19, 2003, 03:21 AM
Firestar, I was joking about RAP music. :evil:

I'm sure it will be fine, parts may be hard to get down the road because SA guns seem to stop production every time you turn around.

For a small carry 9mm, I want something sleek and light, that thing weighs about as much as a aloy 1911 and even a BHP! I like the fact that it's cheap and and you don't have to worry about it getting scratched up but I would use it for a truck gun myself .

I'll be looking forward to all the reports. Let us know when you do decide to shoot it and grade it accordingly. Thanks, Bren

June 19, 2003, 08:13 AM
In a heartbeat!!!

Other than the 1911, P38, P01 Luger, the Beretta 92F (and varients), and the High Power, it is the only real service pistol that you can get that has proven itself in combat!!

I know the Makarov works!!
I know nothing about the other two!! :rolleyes:

June 19, 2003, 11:07 AM
The mag safety on the little stars is like the BHP in one way...removing it does help trigger smoothness in pull.

Your right, the mag pushes the little bar out...but on my guns and all Ive modified. Taking it out has improved the trigger pull ALOT...

The part of the bar that pushes away from the mag..doesnt get pushed all of the way and is twisting at times instead of staying straight and moving out of the way as it should.


Shoot well

June 19, 2003, 05:26 PM
I see what you mean. I don't know what the gun is really going to be like yet. I was only really comparing the specs (DA/SA trigger, 9mm cal, etc.), the gun might be a POS, it is too soon for me to tell. I guess I was jumping the gun a little by recomending it. Based on specs, I still think it is a better choice for CCW than the other two guns but quality is still a question.

It might make a really good car gun, at least it is cheap.

I won't have mine for another week because my FFL dealer just told me he is going on vacation. :banghead: Anyway, I will shoot it asap and post a honest review. If it is junk, I will say so, I got a Star "B" that was not that great and as much as it pained me to do so, I gave it a big thumbs down. :(

June 19, 2003, 05:45 PM
I dont have to wait to see/shoot or own a RAP before I give it my endorsement. I already own one.

The gun is awesome. period.

Although all of the other guns listed would be great choices....but still, get a RAP, before they are all gone.

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