Unissued Bulgarian Maks - should I get one?


January 9, 2004, 06:51 PM
Yesterday my friend told me that one of the stores got those in stock. I live in Los Angeles, and apparently the Mak is too small to be sold in LA county - but no sweat, I drove 40 minutes to another county and there they are, new Maks.

I checked out the guns, they seem to be in brand new condition (I am not really sure what Unissued means - does it mean unfired?), they do have numeral 10 inside two circles (meaning it was made on Arsenal Factory for use in the Army), and they have a nice looking black finish.

Store wants $180, which comes out to $225 with taxes and registration fees. Well, the guns do get up in price, the CZ75 went from $300 to $450 in California, so I guess $180 for the Mak is not that bad...

Should I get one?

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January 9, 2004, 07:00 PM
That's what I paid for mine. After reading all the hype from Makaholics, I decided to get one a year ago. Turns out the hype is true. It's the AK-47 of pistols. In a year of shooting various Russian ammo and developing my own reloads, I don't think the gun has ever misfired, misfed, or failed to eject - ever. And it's pretty darn accurate with just about everything. Trigger isn't a 1911 trigger but it's not too bad and gets a little better with use. Mine shot a tiny bit high. Had to lightly file the rear sights down and cold blue. I don't think you'd be disappointed with the purchase.

January 9, 2004, 08:07 PM
There's never a BAD reason to buy Pistolet Makarova!!! :D

January 9, 2004, 09:17 PM
Buy two and don't ever sell them. I sold one once and regretted it until today when I picked up my new Bulgarian version. :D Shoot them and enjoy.

January 9, 2004, 11:03 PM
Yes, Buy It.

I just picked-up an unnissued Bulgie and couldn't be happier.
It's almost a shame as to how in-expensive these things are and how much fun, accurate, and reliable they are.

Bonus: Ammo is cheap.
I'm here locally w/ Cheaper than Dirt and can p/u Wolf FMJ for $4.50/bx any time I need. :D

January 10, 2004, 12:42 AM
You can buy Maks in Los Angeles county,not the city of Los Angeles or it's incorpirated areas.Turner's Outdoorsman [www.turners.com] in Pasadena had Bulgis on sale last week for $139.If you notice their ads alot of guns that are on sale can not be sold in Reseda(LA incorp)but can be sold in the rest of LA county.


January 10, 2004, 01:16 PM
Mine is a great gun, I paid about $170 total. It's not as "sophisticated" as most modern handguns I guess, but is reliable and compact. I don't regret mine at all- it's the only handgun I have ever purchased.

January 10, 2004, 01:53 PM
YES!! :p

You owe it to yourself! :)

I was so pleased to get mine .. it happens to be one of those with the Russian marking (triangle in circle) and so by default a bit more expensive .... but got it knocked down to $219 ... then tax added.

Not quite the $140 of a used from a gun show but ... actually - for me a great prize ... indeed - it is the AK47 of small auto's.

January 10, 2004, 02:33 PM
HELL yes !!

January 11, 2004, 12:19 AM
I went to the shop today, to buy one. I just held one in my hand two days ago... And now they are all gone. All of them. I am really pissed off. I checked online, if I decide to buy Makarov online I will have to pay additional $50 for the transfer fee, plus I still have to pay the 8.25% tax, plus I will have to pay for overnight UPS by air (I have no idea how much that is going to cost)...

I still want the gun. I will probably have to pay over $260 for the Bulgarian one... :(

January 11, 2004, 01:24 AM
The maks I've seen just looked cheap and strange. Add the $199 price tag to all the Bulg Maks I've seen along with having to shoot 9X18 and I have to say no thanks.

If I was on a really tight budget I'd certainly consider one though for the right price. I like the fixed barrel and their reputation for reliability.

January 11, 2004, 01:26 AM
look around..youll have other chances-im sure someone can order you one.ffl holders can get these anytime its just a matter of how much hes going to charge you in addition to his cost-some will do it for 20 and some will order you one for no less than 50 over cost.maks arent rare or getting scarce so theres np reason to think you wont be able to get one or should pay a premium for the first one that comes along.180 is a fair price for an unissued mak.they are advertised in shotgunnews for 120-140 dealer cost all the time.

January 11, 2004, 01:52 AM
SOG [www.southernohiogun.com] has them for $129 right now.Mr Christian [www.cdfirearms.com] is the person I use near Los Angeles to receive my guns.He is in Burbank and is a great guy.


January 11, 2004, 02:44 AM
SOG [www.southernohiogun.com] has them for $129 right now.

They claim that they're "good to very good condition"

I see no mention of unissued.

January 11, 2004, 06:14 AM

The unissued come and go and cost about $15 more,you have to keep a eye on the site.Do you have a better source(any?)for him to follow up on?If so why do you not post it? Your welcome again,CWatson

January 11, 2004, 08:46 AM
CWatson thank you for the usefull info.

How does it work with Mr Christian, does he order the gun himself and charges you certain percent on the price, or you order the gun yourself and Mr Christian charges the transfer fee?

Either way, what should I expect to pay for unissued Mak using the sources you provided?

And one more thing, is there any way to get an unissued East German Mak, or we are talking totally different league here?

January 11, 2004, 08:57 AM
I ordered 2 Bulgies from SOG in early december.

Both appeared to be un-issued and were imported through RW Arms, therefore did not have the large import marks on the slide. Only smaller import markings on the frame.

Did not pay the extra hand-pick fee BTW. Got lucky.:D

January 11, 2004, 10:55 AM
Dans Sporting Goods in New Kensington, PA has two grades of Maks. One is Brand New, Unissued with two mags cleaning rod/tool, and a holster; $150.00!!! These have already been cleaned up/cosmoline removed and inspected. The second grade is issued/ 95% or better. These are $135.00, same deal as far as cleaned up, mags, and cleaning rod/tool; but no holster. They have quite a large supply of these pistols. Dan can be reached at 1-724-727-2648, or e-mail at info@dansammo.com You can see for yourself on their website www.dansammo.com If you have the latest issue of Shotgun News, page 152. Yes, get one! Where can you buy a pistol of this quality/reliability for a hundred and fifty bucks?

January 11, 2004, 01:43 PM

Contact Mr Christian via the E-mail on his site.I think right now the only new customers he is taking are referals so tell him Charles Watson refered you.Let him know you are buying a gun that is eligiable to be sent to California,the Bulgarian Mak is a C&R (not sure about E German ask MR C.)and can be shipped here.He will then have to send a copy of his FFL to SOG,but since he is one of the few FFLs that recieve guns at a reasonable price in LA he has most likely done business with them and they should aready have it on file.

You will pay SOG yourself and let them know who you want it shipped to.If they already have Mr Christian on file they will shipped to him right away,if not they wait till they get the FFL copy from him.

When he gets the gun in he will contact you through E-mail or phone and set a appointment for you to come in and do your DROS.When you go take your CA drivers license,utility bill with same name and address as on your license plus your California Handgun Safety Certificate. He charges $40 for NRA members,$60 for nonmembers.These prices inclued the $20 CA DROS.

You will not be paying $260 ,less than $200 all together.
Let us know if you get one and how you like it.CWatson

January 11, 2004, 02:23 PM
I've used CD Firearms as well, Great guy to deal with and a reasonable fee, some of these guys in ********** really try and stick it to ya...he's not one of them.

January 11, 2004, 08:04 PM
Hi Rival,

If you get a Mak, you won't be sorry. I've had mine for many years and many thousands of rounds, with never a failure of any kind and mine was used when I got it. I usually pick up rounds at the local gun show, at $6.50 per 50, so practice is reasonable.
Reliability is key in a pistol (or other firearm) and I count on mine.

Be Well,


January 11, 2004, 08:52 PM
Maks are great. Mine went to my Grandpa, who really liked it. Need to pick up another sometime soon...

January 11, 2004, 09:00 PM
every one has to have at least one! i have a russian, a bulgarian and haunting the shows for an east german. you'll not regret buying one. :D

January 12, 2004, 04:22 PM
care-less: thanks to you I ordered the gun through Dans Sporting Goods in New Kensington, PA

CWatson: I contacted Mr Christian via the E-mail on his site, and I did tell him that you recommended him. He did contact me back. Thanks a lot!


Thank you folks!!!

January 12, 2004, 08:19 PM
Just to clarify/correct a couple of points for California buyers:

- The Bulgarian Makarovs are not C&R guns. They are approved here because Century Arms International (CAI) submitted them for safety testing and has paid the fee to have them listed by the Department of Justice (same process as any current manufacture handgun).

- According to the CA DOJ, the ONLY Bulgarian Makarovs that are approved for sale in California are those imported by Century, with CAI stamped on the frame. I know this, because I was interested in ordering one of the Bulgarian Makarovs recently imported by PW Arms. When this issue came up, I checked with the DOJ and received a very clear e-mail response to this effect. The DOJ representative told me that if PW Arms would send them an example, and they determine that it is the same as the Century Bulgarian Makarovs except for the import markings, then the importer would not be required to pay for lab testing. BUT, the importer would have to pay for it to be listed separately on the DOJ's approved list ($200/year, I think). Until and unless this happens, dealers shouldn't sell any Bulgarian Makaroves in CA that aren't marked CAI. I know this happens, and dealers can probably plead ignorance, but they are taking a chance. My FFL pointed out that the DOJ's list of approved guns clearly says "Century" and the Bound Book required by the ATF asks for the Importer/Manufacturer (which would be PW Arms), so it might be a bit tough to explain the discrepancy in the dealer's paperwork.

I realize this whole issue is pretty ridiculous and frustrating (the same gun, from the same factory, becomes unsafe if imported by a different importer?), but that's what we have to deal with here in CA.


January 12, 2004, 10:30 PM
what a great state. thank you diane! (not quite as bad as ohio tho):banghead:

January 19, 2004, 06:16 AM
You won't be sorry. Once you go Mak you don't go back!

January 19, 2004, 01:45 PM
The maks I've seen just looked cheap and strange.
So does the Glocks, but that doesn't detract from the fact that they are very good firearms.

January 19, 2004, 07:47 PM
WonderNine, Maks are reasonable in price not cheap. I own two EGs and one Bulgie and all three are great carry guns. Maks shoot as is and better when gussied up. I personally don't see the big deal with the EG Maks as my Bulgie will hold it own with them on the range. Regards, Richard :D

This is my #1 EG Mak with Pearce Grips.


January 19, 2004, 08:32 PM
"Unissued Bulgarian Maks - should I get one?"

Do NOT buy one unless you are ready for the best little pistol that will never fail you, at a price you can afford. If you can tolerate that, then buy two.

January 19, 2004, 09:06 PM
i have a bulgie and an ij70 commercial. i'm going to the youngstown, oh. gun show the end of the month to see if i can find another bulgie!;)

January 19, 2004, 11:16 PM
I've discovered that the answer to all "Should i get XXX" questions is invariably YES

All guns are beautiful, get as many as you can.

I will be adding another XD (this time in 9mm) and an Armscor 1911 to my cabinet soon, followed by an SKS of some kind and probably one of those gosh darn bulgarian maks :-D


January 21, 2004, 03:19 AM

Turner's has them on sale again in Pasadena.[www.turners.com]


January 21, 2004, 12:25 PM
This too - as I posted recently ......


Item#Mak-Bulg Includes original Grips, and 4 Magazines!
Like New Condition: $149.95ea
Lightly Used Condition: $119.95ea
"Lightly Used" (Expect finish wear on the sharp edges, mechanically in
Excellent Condition.)



January 21, 2004, 03:54 PM
Rival, you won't be disappointed. Dan's has some really nice Maks. Change the recoil spring to a 19 or 21 lber from Wolffs. Anybody else looking for one, AIM surplus also has brand spanking new, unissued Bulgarians. 149.95 including two sets of grips, cleaning tool, and four mags. They also have slightly used for 119.95 with same package; hand select for extra 10.00. These are 95% or better, and are a great buy. Hell, all Maks are a good buy! Where else can you get such an ultra reliable, tough as nails, all steel pistol for 150.00?

aug e. dog
January 21, 2004, 04:45 PM
Just to add, I have had problems with my Bulgarian Mak when I load the magazines with 8 rounds. Invariably, the slide will stovepipe? (Is that the term you use when the slide remains open after firing?) after the first round. However, when I've only loaded the magazine with 7 rounds this problem has never happened.

January 21, 2004, 05:56 PM
the slide will stovepipe? (Is that the term you use when the slide remains open after firing?)
That's known as "slide lock". Stove pipe is when a case hangs during the ejection cycle and ends up caught in the ejection port pointing upwards. It looks like a stove pipe on top of the older stoves.

January 21, 2004, 07:21 PM
Maybe this is a silly question, but I have to ask anyway - other than cost, why would I want to buy a Makarov instead of a CZ82/CZ83?

January 21, 2004, 07:34 PM
"other than cost, why would I want to buy a Makarov instead of a CZ82/CZ83?"

Having never held a CZ83, I might be 100% wrong here, but I think that the Mak is considerably smaller (and thinner). So if you were going to carry it, the Mak would be the way to go...

aug e. dog:

I had a similar issue one time at the range, turned out to be bad ammo(it was my fault, they were my handloads), so I don't count that aginst the gun. The ammo was too short, so the end of the bullet wouldn't touch the feeding ramp and go up into the barrel. The case mouth would get stuck on the edge of the mag and lock the slide. Try a different kind of ammo and see if that helps...

January 21, 2004, 08:55 PM
I am sorry to say it was taking for freaking ever to get the gun from dansammo.com... Maybe it is because of all this FFL transfer deal. Anyway I waited 10 days and there was no status on the order, and then this add at Turner's kicks in...
Well, I was going to pay way more with transfer fees and the UPS next day air shipping, so I just called dans ammo in the morning and cancelled the order. Then I went to the Turner's and bought the unissued Mak paying $202 for everything, taxes and all. My 10 day waiting period is over on 31st!

January 21, 2004, 08:56 PM
The CZ-83 like the rest of the CZ line of firearms are greatly underestimated and overlooked. IMO it has a better fit and finish as it's a commercial and not a military surplus pistol, but in function and size they match up fine against the Mak. The Mak gets the nod in the price tag issue, but that's probably the only place. I think the CZ-83 has the better ergonomics and balances better, but that's reflected in the pricing differences.
I wish I could find a CZ-83 in the $150 to $175 price range, but if money was no issue I would choose the CZ-83 over the Mak.

January 21, 2004, 09:05 PM
CZ-83 is a great little pistol. It does compare with Mak as far as size of it and the caliber.

I do, however, like Makarov more. Mak's biggest advantage is it's simplicity. Mak has 27 parts, CZ-83 has 56 parts.

I also like the fact that Mak was designed from scratch around that specific 9x18mm carthridge, like Luger for 9mm, and 1911 for .45ACP...

CZ-83 was rechambered for 9x18mm.

January 21, 2004, 11:50 PM
Has anyone gotten one of the like new ones from aimsurplus? How like new are they? Is it worth $150 for a like new or should I wait for a new one, or are the new ones pretty much dried up? I never considered a Makarov before this thread, now I have to have one for some reason.

aug e. dog
January 22, 2004, 08:54 AM
Majic, thanks for the correction on the term. Yes, I've had my Mak slide lock, but again, only when I've loaded the mag with 8 rounds.

David4516, I don't remember what ammo I was using, but I'll try to duplicate the problem, and then if successful, try with different ammo.

aug e. dog
January 22, 2004, 09:58 AM
Majic, thanks for the correction on the term. Yes, I've had my Mak slide lock, but again, only when I've loaded the mag with 8 rounds.

David4516, I don't remember what ammo I was using, but I'll try to duplicate the problem, and then if successful, try with different ammo.

January 22, 2004, 07:47 PM
I just went to turners and bought a Mak.. I have never bought this type of gun before ( I like Glocks, 1911's, and BB Single actions) but I couldn't resist with all the good comments. I hope the gun works as well as you all say.


January 22, 2004, 07:55 PM
Congruts, ECVMatt!

You have to keep in mind a thing or two. The sights on this gun are small army sights, they are good for shooting something at 25 yards and beyond - you then get to appreciate the sight picture. At 10 yards you are just going to have to get used to them... Second - the trigger needs some time to break in and get smooth, so don't become upset if the action is not as smooth as you want, OK?

January 22, 2004, 08:05 PM
Yeah, my mom was right, you guys are a bad influence. I am picking mine up tomorrow. I had a hard time finding one around here, but full success is mine!

January 22, 2004, 08:10 PM
my friends mom's have been telling them that for almost 70 years!:evil:

January 22, 2004, 09:03 PM
I intend to polish out the action and trigger by shooting the heck out of the gun. The sights did seem a bit small, but I can work with that. Thanks again to all who contributed info.


January 22, 2004, 11:53 PM
If you're new to Maks make sure to remove all the cosmoline. Strip your Mak, remove the grips, take apart the mags and let everything, except the grips, sit in a tray of mineral spirits for a few hours. Lube and you're good to go.

January 23, 2004, 02:19 PM
Is that field-strip or detail-strip? The disassembled mags go in the spirits too?

January 23, 2004, 04:43 PM
Rival, I don't understand what the problem with Dan's was; I have gotten two from them, both here within a week after I mailed in my order. Maybe your FFL was slow in sending his signed copy. Whatever, as long as you got one right? You will really like that pistol.

January 23, 2004, 04:45 PM
I am not blaming Dan's, it's just that sale at Turner's was right next to me and with local purchase I would not have to pay UPS next day air plus the transfer fee.

January 23, 2004, 05:48 PM
I got mine, its a 1989 model imported by PW arms. It was used, so not covered in cosmoline, but it was DIRTY. I am putting it back together now, boy is that trigger guard hard to get on! If my hands were any weaker, I wouldnt have gotten it on and the pin in the hole!

makarov.com has a great detail strip page.

What a great gun for the $$$. Knowing it is a comm block gun makes it more "interesting" than many other pistols for some reason, I keep thinking of the movie Firefox.

January 24, 2004, 01:20 AM
You don't need to detail strip it to get the cosmoline off but you should remove the safety and firing pin to clean the firing pin channel.

Beetle Bailey
January 24, 2004, 01:55 AM
I couldn't resist the low price and reliable reputation and got one from Turners in Pasadena (or at least I will after the ten-day wait) :D . At this rate, I'll never manage to save up for the coveted BHP :( . It's all these low priced Com-Bloc surplus stuff that I can't say "no" to :rolleyes: .

January 24, 2004, 11:50 AM
Beetle Bailey, 000Buck, keep in touch folks. We need to share on how they shoot and all. After me and Beetle get them that is :D

Beetle Bailey
January 24, 2004, 11:35 PM
I get to pick mine up on 02-03-04 (I didn't have my car registration with me so I had to come back the next day to start the 10-day wait :o ). I am terrible with pistol shooting so that part of a review would be a bit lacking, but I will give a full report as to overall condition, fit and finish, and how much cleaning I'll have to do. BTW, I actually spent a extra day deciding to buy the little Makarov because on the first day, all the Makarovs in the store were already spoken for (on the evening of the first day of the sale, no less :what: ) so I would have to buy sight-unseen from one they had in their warehouse. I was a little uncomfortable with that, even though they are supposed to be unissued, but then the next day I came in and whipped out the plastic ;) . So I haven't actually seen the exact one I will be getting :( .

Question: How do you get thru the ten days 'til you are allowed to pick up your new addition :( ?

January 25, 2004, 01:01 PM


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