Makarov - accidental discharge! PLEASE ADVISE


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alpha0mega
January 23, 2008, 11:59 PM
I am a well educated, VERY experienced with firearms, and have a very strong mechanical knowledge. Tonight a friend (who is equally skilled and familar with handguns) and I were improving the finish of the feed ramp on his russian makarov (which turned out excellent and durastically improved chambering). We cleaned the firearm, properly lubricated all friction points on the slide, and so on. We carefully reassembled the firearm (NOTE: none of the trigger group was disassembled; only the slide was removed to expose feed ramp). We cycled it completely empty to "ensure" proper operation several times and checked for any issues.

Since this is his primary carry piece and we were finished for the night, he packed his belongings and prepared his firearm. He inserted a full magazine, and drew the slide back and let it forward the to chamber a round. The firearm then IMMEDIATELY fired a round and struck the wall behind me. Thank GOD nobody was injured. HE ABSOLUTELY DID NOT HAVE HIS FINGER ANYWHERE NEAR THE TRIGGER; I OBSERVED THE WHOLE PROCESS.

After the calamity, he noted to me that since he purchased the firearm, it would FIRE A ROUND when the safety was applied when the hammer was fully cocked and there was a round in the chamber. It seems like ENGAGING the safety lever while the hammer is cocked simply fires the gun.

Anyone else have this issue? PLEASE ADVISE!! :cuss:

Thank you all in advance!

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bvchurch
January 24, 2008, 12:07 AM
I am wondering if safety and detent spring are defective or not properly installed by the previous owner or the importer.

I know on my makarov when I load a round, slide the slide forward to chamber around, I can drop the hammer and not have a problem, but when I took it a part I noticed that when one engages the safety a little piece of metal comes up and is supposed to prevent the hammer from striking the firing pin. If you look closely at the mak, down in that assembly area (on a good mak), I think you will see what I am referring to. To be honest I DON'T know the technical names for the little parts, all I know is that down in the area that I reference, there appears to be a rounded piece of metal that comes up to prevent the hammer from hitting the firing pin. Not only am I far away from the makarov, I don't have pictures and am doing this from memory, however I am thinking I am fairly close.

I hate to maybe bounce you to another forum, but if you search for the gunboards forums, there is a makarov subforum where there are some more knowledgeable people, including the owner of makarov.com. That is what I would recommend, going to that board and posting there.


Edit: Here is the thing I was speaking of:
http://makarov.com/graphics/22conkit/22con_safety.JPG

Ohen Cepel
January 24, 2008, 12:11 AM
Not that familiar with Maks.

However, your friend can't be too skilled or familiar with weapons if he's carrying something around that fires when it's not meant to fire.

Glad no one was hurt.

Take it to a gunsmith or someone who knows more about them. Probably an easy fix.

alpha0mega
January 24, 2008, 12:12 AM
church,

thank you VERY much for the input. I will check this out as soon as I can. we have immedateily decommissioned the gun till we can fully determine exactly whats going on here. it was a VERY VERY terrible experience. I dont have a lot of experience with makarovs (i only fire my own kimber 1911s).

Thanks again!

EDIT:
Thank you for the picture. I will check this.

P.S. It will probably be a while before I let him anywhere near me with that goofy makarov

DiN_BLiX
January 24, 2008, 12:15 AM
Sounds like a worn safty catch. there is a exposed hammer block on the safty lever that can be seen from the rear of the gun when hammer is cock. Id get some snap caps ( i think 9 lugers will work ) and experiment a little, see it the hammer block is out of spec. Ive never had this happen to me as i dont apply the safty from a cocked hammer.

alpha0mega
January 24, 2008, 12:17 AM
thank you all for the suggestions on the damaged safety block.

as for the gun firing instantaneously when the slide was cycled... i am still bewildered. The ONLY thing i can think of is possibly the firing pin channel is so gunked up that it had enough resistance to fire when the slide cycled.

any thoughts?

EDIT: it appeared to move freely upon inspection. any word on checking the sear points? any one think that applying Gun Butter (my fav. lube) could have caused a malfunction?

DiN_BLiX
January 24, 2008, 12:21 AM
BLow the firing pin channel out with carb cleaner, It totaly destroys gunk, cosmo, grime, you name it. This is what i do with my sks, as its a b*&$h to take the pin out to clean.

Ohen Cepel
January 24, 2008, 12:23 AM
That is a possibility. I've had things not fire due to cosmoline retarding the firing pin.

Should be visible if it's that bad.

Maybe a good cleaning and MANY repeats of the same action to ensure it's fixed and I would be OK with it.

I had a Chinese Tok that would fire when closing due to a broken part in the firing mechanism (ironically done when they installed the "safety" to allow it to be imported). Took me a long time and fiddling with it to realize the issue and what it was going to take to fix it.

ta4
January 24, 2008, 12:33 AM
Jmho, wrong firing pin for the gun. A firing pin that is too long will do the same thing. What would lead me to that conclusion?...................:banghead:

makarovnik
January 24, 2008, 02:43 AM
The safety wore out on my russian mak. I ordered a new one from makarov.com and it only cost about $10-$15. The new on was purple in color and has lasted longer than the old one without showing any signs of wear. I came to the conclusion the purple color on the new one meant it was hardened and maybe the old original one wasn't. Not sure though.

Chem Geek
January 24, 2008, 02:52 AM
After the calamity, he noted to me that since he purchased the firearm, it would FIRE A ROUND when the safety was applied when the hammer was fully cocked and there was a round in the chamber. It seems like ENGAGING the safety lever while the hammer is cocked simply fires the gun.

WHOA! So, your friend KNOWS that it does this, yet he still loaded it for carry purposes? And to top this off, he loads this thing up knowing it might fire when he does so and holds it pointed in your general direction?! :banghead:

That's not what I would consider smart or friendly.

Firepower!
January 24, 2008, 05:09 AM
This is a very common problem with Makarovs. I have had a few of them, and majority had this issue. This is because the the trigger parts are worn out. Yes, as odd it may seem, these parts on Makarov worn out. When this does happen either the pistol will discharge as in your case or it will when you chamber the round and engage safety or it will rapid fire now and then out of the blue. There is unfortunately nothing you can do except buy a new 9x18 because fixing it will still leave a healthy possibility of this problem reoccuring. Makarovs are good pistol but unfortunately they very old and not made from solid metal. I carry in car a Stichken APS, which is my replacement for 9x18 Makarov.

So in nutshell: change the gun.

JHansenAK47
January 24, 2008, 07:18 PM
Makarov pistols have a decocker on the safety. Racking the slide with the safety on will cause the hammer to fall as the pistol goes back into battery. So you may want to rack the slide with the safety off and manually drop the hammer. However if it is firing with the safety on it is entirely possible that you could fire the gun by striking the hammer in the lowered position. So you may not want to carry the pistol in the front of your pants. Unless you have a secret sprinkler fetish.

Pilot
January 24, 2008, 07:49 PM
Makarovs are good pistol but unfortunately they very old and not made from solid metal.

I don't know where you live, but Makarovs sold here fall into a few categories:

New Commercial Russian IJ-70's that came into the U.S. in the mid 90's

New Bulgarian Arsenal Commercial

Unissued Bulgarian Military

Issued, usually slightly used Bulgarian Maks

East German Used Maks in great condition

Used Russian Military

Used Chinese

New Norcinco Chinese

While you can't import Russian or Chinese Maks anymore, most Maks in the U.S. are very new or at least not used much, made of good metal and function perfectly. In fact I don't even see the Bulgies imported anymore and that's why the prices are going up.

lee n. field
January 24, 2008, 08:55 PM
After the calamity, he noted to me that since he purchased the firearm, it would FIRE A ROUND when the safety was applied when the hammer was fully cocked and there was a round in the chamber.

Dude. IMHO, you-all should have been dealing with that, rather than a (probably) unnecessary tweaking of the feed ramp.

Makarov pistols have a decocker on the safety. Racking the slide with the safety on will cause the hammer to fall as the pistol goes back into battery.

Umm. No. If the safety is on the slide is locked in position.

alan
January 24, 2008, 08:57 PM
Sounds as if the pistol in question had a potentially serious problem, perhaps defective or worn part or parts.

I owned a Russian Makarov, In something like 10,000 rounds, mostly lead bullet handloads, I experienced two functional failures, both ammunition related.

One was with U.S. made factory loads, no priming compound in a round. The other was with Chinese Surplus ammunition, no flash holes in the cartridge case.

Otherwise, the pistol worked fine, though the trigger pull was heavy. Chambering a round via dropping the slide on a loaded magazine did cause a slight firing pin mark on the chambered round, though never enough to discharge. Of course, the firing pin just sort of slops around in the slide, no retractor spring as on any number of other pistols.

DENALI
January 24, 2008, 09:26 PM
:eek::eek: I was gonna reply to firepower's blurb but Pilot covered any base I would have or could have. As to your purported combined expertise, and keeping in mind your new here, I'll lay off of you somewhat. But your pal if he was my pal would be looking for a new pal....:banghead::banghead:

JHansenAK47
January 24, 2008, 09:29 PM
Umm. No. If the safety is on the slide is locked in position.
That is the case on most pistols except the ones with modified safeties. The safety could be purchased as an aftermarket part and I believe some of the East Germans had them also.(i may be mistaken on the natioanality of that though also it was a small percentage of pistols) So pistols with the modified safety could be racked with the pistol on safe.

novaDAK
January 24, 2008, 09:35 PM
i think 9 lugers will work

9x19 will not chamber (and if it does for some odd reason you should NOT fire it) in a makarov. Not even snapcaps will.

If it is a 9x18mm, you need 9x18mm.

Macx 45LC+P
January 24, 2008, 09:55 PM
Yup. .380ACP (9x17) will chamber but should not be fired as the bullet is a different dia. Snap caps should be okay, but I don't think is needed. 9x19 is too long. . . period.

Soft primer and the kinetic energy of letting the recoil spring drive the slide forward. I use a 21lb spring, which I'd imagine might aggravate the problem. Mine is a '65 Bulgie. I generally ease the slide down (slowly, not with the slide release) on a chambered round with the safety off, and then load a full magazine. I carry it with the safety off, hammer down.

DiN_BLiX
January 24, 2008, 10:04 PM
I also agree with the above poster, change the gun, your out what 150 bucks? how much is your life worth?

Steve C
January 25, 2008, 12:41 AM
drew the slide back and let it forward the to chamber a round. The firearm then IMMEDIATELY fired a round and struck the wall behind me. Thank GOD nobody was injured. HE ABSOLUTELY DID NOT HAVE HIS FINGER ANYWHERE NEAR THE TRIGGER; I OBSERVED THE WHOLE PROCESS.

After the calamity, he noted to me that since he purchased the firearm, it would FIRE A ROUND when the safety was applied when the hammer was fully cocked and there was a round in the chamber. It seems like ENGAGING the safety lever while the hammer is cocked simply fires the gun.

Your buddies gun has some serious mechanical problems and it sounds like its a problem with both the sear and hammer engagement and the manual safety.

The Makarov has two notches on the hammer similar to many hammer fired weapons. The first (see picture no 1) prevents the hammer from contacting the firing pin when the pistol is uncocked and the hammer is in ready for DA mode. The second notch (see picture no 2) is the regular sear engagement when the gun is ready to fire in SA mode.

In normal firing, when the trigger is pulled the sear bar will release the hammer from the bottom notch and clear above the "safety notch" (see picture no. 3) so the hammers forward momentum will take it past the rebound position striking the firing pin, setting off the round. The hammer then resetss, the disconnecter drops the sear to again engages the hammer in the bottom notch ready for the trigger to be reset and be pulled again for the next shot.

If the gun is firing when cycled 2 things could be happening. 1) The sear engagement in both the sear and safety notch is failing, the fact that if works at all would indicate that it is tenuous at best. The sear could be broken or rounded or the notches could be worn and rounded. OR 2) The firing pin which is free sliding in its chanel is locked into the forward firing position due to dirt, rust, etc. and is setting off the round when the slide slams closed. Normally the firing pin is simply pushed back in its channel when the slide closes not having enough mass itself to dent a primer, though if you examine a round cycled through a MAK but not fired you'll see a slight mark or scratch on the primer from the firing pin contact as its pushed back.

If the gun firing when the manual safety is activated the safety is worn or broken. The tab that extends out when the safety is engaged that blocks the hammer is worn or broken. See picture no. 4 illustrating the safety on and the hammer block extended. This is a typical way to block the hammer from contacting the firing pin when the safety is applied. Ruger semi auto's use the same method.

Examine the parts and see if you can trouble shoot the problem. Most likely you'll need new parts. Sear engagement and fitting should be done by a gunsmith but if you do it yourself make sure to test the guns safety thoroughly before carrying or firing. Load only one round in the magazine for testing or you risk a real problem if the gun goes full auto.
http://www.members.cox.net/scollins15/Pictures/MAKinfo.jpg

Firepower!
January 25, 2008, 06:41 AM
Pilot,
I am talking used Russian army Mackarovs. Cant get new here in Pakistan. There is no market for 6/7 shot pistols here.

wingman
January 25, 2008, 11:09 AM
The firing pin on a mak is suppose to be free floating and it simply sounds
like yours is not due to dirt or other obstruction.

alan
January 25, 2008, 03:21 PM
Just a thought on 9mm Luger and or 9mm Corto (.380 Auto) rounds in the 9mm Makarov pistols.

1. The projectiles of BOTH the above mentioned are UNDERSIZED for 9mm Makarov barrels. OAL of .380 ammunition is GREATER than that of 9mm Makarov, which might cause feeding problems. Case lengths are a mismatch too. Re Chamber Pressures, intechange is not likely to break anything. Case head diameters don't match either, though I don't know if a mismatch here would be critical.

2. 9mm Luger ammunition has a much greater working pressure than does 9mm Makarov. Projectile size would be a mismatch, 9mm Luger is SMALLER. OAL of 9mm Luger is considerably greater than 9mm Mak. Case length if 9mm Luger is also greater. BEFORE U.S. makers produced 9m Makarov ammunition, suitable cases were produced by shortening 9mm Luger cases, using a Makarov expander, and loading with proper size bullets (.365" dia) for cast lead. bullets.

Just some backgdround, should anyone be interested.

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