Makarov popularity


December 25, 2008, 12:37 AM
How many of you shoot the Makarov caliber? I am thinking about getting one, how do they compare to each other? I mainly see the Bulgarian, Polish, Czech, FEG, and Russian models for sale.

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December 25, 2008, 12:48 AM
I have a russian mak and a CZ82 they are both very accurate and well made handguns.I highly recommend is the mak faq page from the now defunct

December 25, 2008, 03:41 AM
The 9X19mm is a better round and the lack of any C&R qualified ones at decent prices has kept me from owning one as a car gun.

Ammo commonality with a 9X19mm carry gun is important to me as well.

December 25, 2008, 06:51 AM
The makarov is a great pistol, many of the guns that shoot the 9x18 round are great guns too.

Unfortunately, the days of wine and roses in this caliber are all but gone.
Many of the better (PS Grand/Corbon PP) ammo days are gone. The costs of Maks has gone up and only limited 9x18 ammo (mostly the bears Brown, Silver etc) are available in any large quantities.

Great sticky on ammo tests;

Check out the guys at:

For more info.

December 25, 2008, 07:20 AM
When the ammo and guns chambered for it were less expensive it was a really good deal. My first Bulgarian Makarov PM cost $135 in early 2005.


December 25, 2008, 07:41 AM
Exactly grimjaw. Back a few years ago it was not a bad deal, nowadays the Mak just is not cost effective, in my opinion.

With ammo an all, I think Mak prices are long overdue for a "correction". Probably gunshop and internet heresay of their greatness for the cost is what caused the prices we see now.

December 25, 2008, 07:53 AM
I think that $300 for a Makarov would be accepted if a big name company, like S&W or Beretta, originally made it and if it hadn't been available originally for so cheap.

Yes, I miss the cheap Makarov days but I'd still pay a few hundred for the most reliable, simple, rugged, user-friendly semi-auto in the world. Even though the price has doubled or tripled, they're still great pistols. In my opinion, a Makarov is the only semi-auto handgun as reliable as a revolver. Actually, it may be more so. If I fire a ton of rounds through my 2 K frames, the cylinder face gets fouled and it makes for a lot of friction. Sooner or later, it'll need a cleaning to continue to function. A Mak just keeps on ticking, clean or filthy.

December 25, 2008, 08:22 AM
I had a Makarov pistol with 12-round magazine, .380ACP
that was manufactured in 1971, a simple, and fairly accurate handgun, so I am told, I never fired it. I got it in a trade and got rid of it in a trade last year. To not be a burden on my kids I traded/sold all my collection of weapons. They would rather have $$$$ instead of a bunch of old guns. Heck, at my age I don't even buy green bananas.

December 25, 2008, 08:32 AM
I just ordered 1K rounds of 9x18 Mak. for $185 +14 shipping. I found out it will be over a week before it is shipped. However, that is in line with the 9X18 that I can get.

The cost of the MAK is certainly not like it was when I first bought my MAK. I purchased that for $180. The last one was $240. $420 for two autoloaders that have Never failed in over 1k rounds. Still it is not a bad deal. There are better, to be sure, but it is easy to fall in love with the MAK.

December 25, 2008, 09:38 AM
Interesting story about my youthful experience with my first makarov. I thought all that cosmoline was some sort of commy lubricant and was good for the functioning of the gun. So I didn't do anything with the stuff, just loaded the gun up and started shooting it. Didn't function too well initially as you could probably guess. I'm lucky I didn't destroy the gun and blow two fingers off.

December 25, 2008, 09:46 AM
I just ordered 1K rounds of 9x18 Mak. for $185 +14 shipping.

I'm sure you're aware, but you could have bought 1000rd's of quality American made factory 9X19 Luger for not a whole lot more.

December 25, 2008, 10:56 AM
I had a russian commercial mak in 9x18. It was accurate, reliable and inexpensive. My biggest problem with it was the weight. It was ~30oz's loaded w/ 8+1 IIRC. For ~ the same cost, weight and size my SIG P6 is just as reliable and in 9mm.

December 25, 2008, 12:58 PM
The Makarov has been in the hands of our adversaries in every conflict, police action, and war our country has been involved in fore now well over a half century. The Makarovs place in history is assured. The Makarov is one of the two semi autos I trust. I have a East German Mak that has been with me one decade short of the half century mark. Merry Xmas, orchidhunter

December 25, 2008, 01:01 PM
Just like the American Express Card. I never leave home without it. I've had one for three years, and it has never failed. Aint pretty, but good.

December 26, 2008, 03:19 AM
I've owned a couple of pistols chambered for the 9x18.

Bought a very inexpensive PA-63 and hated it. I then bought a Russian Makarov and love it. Lastly I bought a Polish P64 and loved it in every way except recoil was brutal. The double action trigger is also pretty stiff but that can help a little with recoil. I installed a Wolff spring kit and some slip on rubber grips. I also cut off and filed down the finger extension on the mags and now it is a great shooting pistol. I love it almost as much as my Russian Makarov. The P64 is smaller kind of like a PPK.

December 26, 2008, 07:26 AM
Isn't SOG still offering the C&R eligible CZ-82 (Vz.82) for $179? I bought mine immediately after my Russian makarov (IJ-70) was stolen from my car. Now, don't get me wrong, I liked my makarov enough to plink with it often. However, I believe the CZ-82 is in a completely different ballpark. 12+1 capacity with a button magazine release and ergonomics that I felt blew my mak away... it just fits my hand so much better. I can shoot it considerably better too, no doubt due in part to the decent sights.

No, I don't think the sun has quite set on the 9x18 and its glory days. As long as the CZ-82 remains under $200 and C&R eligible, this cartridge remains a viable option. Sure the 9x18 is certainly no 9x19, but I don't think anyone will assert that it is.

I'm sure you're aware, but you could have bought 1000rd's of quality American made factory 9X19 Luger for not a whole lot more.

He could have bought 800 Hostess Twinkies for about the same.

December 26, 2008, 09:59 AM
Bulgarian Makarovs can still be found at decent prices (around $200) if you look. The days of $100 Maks are over, but even at today's prices they are good values. The Mak is a rugged, simple and accurate handgun for its size. I carry one on occassion and feel well armed.

December 27, 2008, 12:02 AM
Yum, twinkies!

December 27, 2008, 01:34 AM
There's alot of Makarov info out's got a large following...I know I have one. The weight never bothered me and I like the barrel length...there isn't the greatest selection in ammo....but my bulgy has been 100% reliable for a long time now. I load it up mostly with the silver bear FMJ. The silver bear JHP never really interested me...I like FMJ for 9mm Mak or 380.

December 27, 2008, 01:36 AM
make sure you get the bulgy or the german...and I'd get the thinner original reddish bakelite grip.

December 27, 2008, 01:42 AM
I for one like the 9x18 round and the guns chambered for it. I have a couple of CZ82's and they are extremely accurate pistols. To me the round is ideal for in the house protection with adequate power without overpenatration. The 82's offer 12 rounds, ambe safety and good sights.
The ammo has gone up some in price lately but what ammo hasn't?

I guess the best testiment I can give this pistol/ammo combination is that three of my buddies have purchased CZ82's after shooting mine.


December 27, 2008, 02:12 PM
A dream carry pistol will be HK P7 in 9 x 19, and second to that, a Makarov in 9 x 18. I don't have access to a P7, and so, I carry a IJ-70 Makarov with chromed barrel and with Wolff springs and new rear sight (removed the adjustable rear sight). When I hike in the woods, I carry a Tokarev, thin, compact, and as powerful as a M1 Carbine, a poor man's FN5-7. Can't go wrong with Makarov or Tokarev.

Go rent the movie "Munich", all they carried and used in that movie were Makarovs... East Germans, Russians, Arabs and Israelis were fighting with Makarovs. A good movie.

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