Bulgarian Makarov- quick review


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rockheadd
October 18, 2010, 03:11 PM
I know that dozens of you have posted your thoughts on the Bulgarian Makarov, but after taking my new purchase out this weekend, I had to chime in.
First of all, I love my CZ 82's, all three of them. They have never failed to feed, fire or eject using any type of ammo. I'd trust my life to any of them.

So, my expectations for the Makarov were not too high as it seemed to be so less refined and utilitarian.

I was wrong.

The good: It fires anything I put in it as well. 250 rounds of Wolf, Silver and Brown Bear, FMJ, Hollow-point, didn't matter.
Accurate...very. 2" bullseye at 25' more often than not once I realized that it was hitting a little higher than I'm used to
Recoil- not bad at all
Field-strip to clean...way too easy.
The bad: only holds 8 rounds, but that narrows the grip which makes it much better for concealed carry (which is why I bought it)
A little heavy for CC, but that reduces the recoil.
First shot from double-action takes more effort than I'd like, but once in single-action it has a perfectly acceptable trigger

Summary: Great buy for $220. Seems to be as reliable as they come. The 9x19, while not a great SD round, works fine. The Silver Bear JHP works fine and combined with the Uncle Mike's IWB it's a relatively comfortable, concealable package that won't break the bank. I wore it for a full day without telling anyone and no one commented, not even my wife or daughters and they notice everything....
It will never replace my CZ's as truck guns, hide-outs around the house, but for everyday CC, it seems like it will do the job just fine.

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denfoote
October 18, 2010, 03:25 PM
If you think the Bulgy is good try the Orst Deutsch!!!

I have a Stazi issue Mak that is a tack driver!!

docnyt
October 18, 2010, 05:42 PM
And Maks tend to multiply. Now have 2 East Germans, a Bulgarian, and Russian, plus an airsoft.

gearhead
October 18, 2010, 06:56 PM
If you like the Mak, try a P-64. Lighter and smaller than the Mak, 6+1, similar interface, has the same appetite for any sort of Makarov ammo, just as accurate, and with a Wolff spring kit it's passable in DA and just as nice in SA. I have a Bulgarian Mak and a later triangle hammer P-64, the Mak is more fun at the range but the P-64 goes everywhere with me.

M2 Carbine
October 18, 2010, 07:07 PM
Welcome to the club rockheadd. :)


And Maks tend to multiply.
That's for sure. Seems like every time I open the safe there's another one.
Last count was 16.........or was it 17.:D
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Maksall15.jpg


Bulgarian 22 conversion.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/Mak22conversion.jpg

P-64 and Mak size comparison.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/P64andMak-1.jpg

harmon rabb
October 18, 2010, 07:58 PM
Good assessment. About on par with my opinion of mine. Nice little gun, and a much better shooter than I expected it to be. I thought the trigger would suck, but it's actually pretty decent.

The only issue with a Mak for $220 is that a CZ-82 is $200. :rolleyes: The Mak is definitely more easily concealed, but it's not like the CZ-82 is difficult to conceal.

Back when Mak's were $100, they were probably the best deal around. Right now, I think the CZ-82 holds that title.

rockheadd
October 18, 2010, 09:53 PM
Agree that for $200, the CZ is a much more refined pistol and has features that the Mak doesn't. If I had to give one up, the Mak would go bye-bye without a doubt. But...the Mak does sit better in the IWB holster in the small of the back. I Dremmeled the lanyard loop off the Red Star grip and it really sits flat. I had to sit for about an hour with the Mak stuck in my waistband in the small of my back and it was just "sort of" uncomfortable. Before I got the Mak I tried doing the same with the CZ and it was well into uncomfortable.
In a different carrying rig outside the waist band, it would be a wash.
I looked at the different alternatives to the Mak for CC and aside from the P 64, none really fulfilled the "uber-reliable" criteria. The FEG was lighter, but from all I've read it is far from a fun pistol to shoot....and I really like to shoot the weapon that I may have to rely on some day.
All things considered, both the CZ and Mak have their functions, both seem to do them very well, both are ultra-reliable, eat everything, accurate, no failures of any kind. I really don't see how anyone could go wrong purchasing either as a great CC or back-up, especially considering the price.
I really hope I don't see any East German one's offered around here as I had a hard enough time gathering-up the $200+ without my wife finding it...

JDGray
October 19, 2010, 05:31 AM
Pics, or your just makin it up:p

We all know M2s got a few Maks, and probaly a few RRAs!!! Very nice assortment! Love my little Russian, great shooters indeed:)

harmon rabb
October 19, 2010, 01:01 PM
Agree that for $200, the CZ is a much more refined pistol and has features that the Mak doesn't. If I had to give one up, the Mak would go bye-bye without a doubt. But...the Mak does sit better in the IWB holster in the small of the back. I Dremmeled the lanyard loop off the Red Star grip and it really sits flat. I had to sit for about an hour with the Mak stuck in my waistband in the small of my back and it was just "sort of" uncomfortable. Before I got the Mak I tried doing the same with the CZ and it was well into uncomfortable.
In a different carrying rig outside the waist band, it would be a wash.
I looked at the different alternatives to the Mak for CC and aside from the P 64, none really fulfilled the "uber-reliable" criteria. The FEG was lighter, but from all I've read it is far from a fun pistol to shoot....and I really like to shoot the weapon that I may have to rely on some day.
All things considered, both the CZ and Mak have their functions, both seem to do them very well, both are ultra-reliable, eat everything, accurate, no failures of any kind. I really don't see how anyone could go wrong purchasing either as a great CC or back-up, especially considering the price.
I really hope I don't see any East German one's offered around here as I had a hard enough time gathering-up the $200+ without my wife finding it...



The PA-63 is supposedly nice with a spring swap. Mine, with the stock springs, is not fun to shoot (recoil sucks and the trigger in DA is hilariously heavy). But, really, the Mak is just as thin and not much larger. I think you made the right choice if you want to CC an eastern block gun and the cz-82 won't work for you.

I carry my cz-82 IWB at 4:00 with no issues.

PabloJ
October 19, 2010, 03:32 PM
My 'Baikal' Russian Makarov was accurate and reliable. I traded it for little used Norinco 9x19 Tokarev. It's just as accurate, more fun to shoot and Federal 'Champion' FMJ ammo is $10/50 at local Walmart. It proved very reliable with Federal 'Classic' 115gr HPs. The only 9mm HP I will ever buy or need.

rockheadd
October 19, 2010, 10:46 PM
Harmon, I'm a southpaw, so I tried at 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 o'clocks with both and from 10 to 11 it was a wash, 7-8 close, but at 6.00 the Mak rode better.
Not much, but if you get stuck sitting down for over and hour, and have metal and plastic things poking you in the back, every little bit helps.
Like I said, if I could have only 1, the Czech 82 wins hands down and I'd deal with the comfort issue, but since I don't have to give one up...yet...I'll probably stick with the Mak on my waist and the Czech 82's in other less mobile places.

Zundfolge
October 19, 2010, 11:42 PM
The worst thing about Maks is that makarov.com isn't in business anymore ... they were an awesome resource (I sent the slide from my Bulgie to them for Novak sights ... never shoulda sold that gun).

harmon rabb
October 20, 2010, 06:52 AM
Harmon, I'm a southpaw, so I tried at 6, 7, 8, 10 and 11 o'clocks with both and from 10 to 11 it was a wash, 7-8 close, but at 6.00 the Mak rode better.
Not much, but if you get stuck sitting down for over and hour, and have metal and plastic things poking you in the back, every little bit helps.
Like I said, if I could have only 1, the Czech 82 wins hands down and I'd deal with the comfort issue, but since I don't have to give one up...yet...I'll probably stick with the Mak on my waist and the Czech 82's in other less mobile places.

I'm actually a lefty as well, but I'm right eye dominant, so I just learned to shoot right handed. I think sitting down with a gun on your hip is perfectly comfortable, and I've gone entire workdays carrying my SP101 (i.e. a big heavy hunk of steel) IWB at 3:00 without discomfort.

6:00 would be great for concealment, but I'd worry about falling on my back and breaking my back due to the gun being right over my spine. So I just work to find holsters that conceal well on my hip. I found that my Mak can share holsters with my cz-82 and taurus 709 without issue, so I already own all the Mak holsters one might need :D

Don't sell either!! These things aren't going to be around at cheap prices forever. I think the Mak's will dry up first, but at some point that stockpile of cz-82's is going to dry up, and they're going to be selling at what they're worth and not $200. :D

rockheadd
October 21, 2010, 12:22 AM
"I'm actually a lefty as well, but I'm right eye dominant, so I just learned to shoot right handed."

Odd, so am I. I figured that one out as a kid shooting .22 rifles at camp one summer. I was stretching my neck all the way over the top of the rifle to use my right eye while shooting left handed.
Unfortunately, I never switched shooting hands, so now I shoot all long-guns lefty with my left eye and pistols, I can use either about equally well, but my natural instinct is to go left handed.
I'm sorta messed-up I guess; all power movements I do right handed...throwing and the like, all things that require precision, I do left handed. Billiards-left hand, bow- left hand, shoot a basketball- left hand, throw a baseball or football- right hand....weird.....
If you ask me to quick-draw, I'd go right hand, but for target shooting....left hand.
I'll try 3 o'clock and see if it's still as un-noticable to the girls. If it passes, I'll try the Czech 82 and see how it feels.
Agree, none of them are gonna be sold although I may give-up the Mak and an 82 for a very lightly used CZ P-07 as both are still readily available.

harmon rabb
October 21, 2010, 06:29 AM
Odd, so am I. I figured that one out as a kid shooting .22 rifles at camp one summer. I was stretching my neck all the way over the top of the rifle to use my right eye while shooting left handed.
Unfortunately, I never switched shooting hands, so now I shoot all long-guns lefty with my left eye and pistols, I can use either about equally well, but my natural instinct is to go left handed.
I'm sorta messed-up I guess; all power movements I do right handed...throwing and the like, all things that require precision, I do left handed. Billiards-left hand, bow- left hand, shoot a basketball- left hand, throw a baseball or football- right hand....weird.....
If you ask me to quick-draw, I'd go right hand, but for target shooting....left hand.
I'll try 3 o'clock and see if it's still as un-noticable to the girls. If it passes, I'll try the Czech 82 and see how it feels.
Agree, none of them are gonna be sold although I may give-up the Mak and an 82 for a very lightly used CZ P-07 as both are still readily available.

Don't feel bad, a lot of lefties are "screwed up" like that as well :D I didn't get into firearms until I was 30, and I'd done my research beforehand and had found that I was right eye dominant, so I shot right handed right from the start. I also figured it would be easier to be a right handed shooter, given that most firearms are designed for right handers.

I do most things with my left, but use a mouse and use scissors with my right. I even use the touchpad on my laptop with my right. I have no idea why.

My step-son is a lefty but a little confused about which hand he should shoot with. I've seen him switch between his right and left hands, trying to decide which works better for him. He'll end up being one of those guys like you :D

If you have to sell a cz-82 or your mak someday, send me a private message. ;)

Have you tried carrying at 9:00, since you said you tend to prefer shooting left handed? Would seem silly to carry at 3:00 and be forced to use your right hand (or carry in a cross-draw position). I find that carrying on the hip, with a holster that holds the gun low on my waistline and cants the gun forward, hides pretty well.

rockheadd
October 21, 2010, 07:03 PM
What I've found to be most comfortable and accessable is using a right hand IWB holster and carrying at around 7.30. Still well concealed, but doesn't bulge much or hit the spine. Handle points in the right direction for a left hand draw as well.
I'll try the CZ82 a couple of more times and see how it works. Like I said before....if the girls don't notice it, no one will...

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