Makarov FTF


Ukraine Train
January 12, 2004, 12:01 PM
I went shooting this weekend. I was shooting 115gr Silver Bear JHPs and 92gr Silver Bear FMJs. It was really cold, around 10-15° and about two or three times I had the HPs catch the lip on the way into the chamber. They were partially out of the magazine so I had to hold the slide open while my friend pulled out the magazine. I didn't have any problems with the FMJs. I shot the same HPs last week at an indoor range and had no problems. The only difference was the temperature.

I also had the slide fail to lock after the last round on a couple occasions at both ranges. I can't recall if that happened exclusively with one ammo and not the other, though. Any suggestions to remedy either problem?

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Jim K
January 12, 2004, 03:23 PM
That gun can stand a little feed ramp work like most autoloaders designed only for FMJ. But go carefully, as there is not much leeway for mistakes. As to failure to lock back, it may be due to the magazine, but probably is due to the slide not coming back far enough, an ammo problem.

Before doing anything, I suggest trying other ammo.


January 12, 2004, 03:51 PM
I've heard of feeding problems with Silver Bear 115 gr JHP. Since malfunctions on unaltered Makarovs are rare, I'll assume it's the ammo. Try some 95 gr ball or FMJ. It all works.

January 12, 2004, 08:28 PM
i switched from silverbear to barnaul jhp.mine fed the silverbear but ive read the silverbear are inconsistant and hot and didnt want to take a chance so i switched.the barnaul jhp is better and is comparably the same in shouldnt have any problems with the barnaul.

January 13, 2004, 06:43 AM
I second the "its the ammo not the gun" motion. Ive shot ALOT of Barnaul and never had the problems Ive had with Silver/Brown Bear. Its much better ammo...................

Shoot well.........

January 13, 2004, 07:26 AM
It could be the gun or rather the lubrication.
The Soviets specified different lubrication for Pistolet Makarova based on temperature. I have the information here somewhere. I just have to dig it out!!

January 13, 2004, 07:46 AM
Given how cold it was, *maybe* your firing pin was stuck with congealed gunk (powder residue, old oil, cosmolene? etc.)?

If you need to know how to remove the firing pin, has instructions. It's an easy thing to do.

When I clean my Mak, I almost always remove the firing pin, clean it, and put a light film of gun oil on it, then wipe it off. That's all you really need.

Then I clean the firing pin hole (I'm sure that there's a better name for this but you know what I mean), I blast the empty hole with BrakeKlen, run pipe cleaners thru it, and then run a pipe cleaner with a tiny bit of oil on it thru the hole.

I'm always surprised at how much gunk and goo get in the firing pin assembly.

good luck,


January 13, 2004, 08:56 AM
My Mak had a problem feeding the Barnaul HPs. The bottom of the round would bite into the botton of the feed ramp. I "lowered the feedramp" per instructions on another internet gunboard and no more problems.
It amounted to taking the very bottom lip of the feedramp from a sharp profile to a rounded one. That is, by using some 400 sandpaper, create a slight radius to the bottom lip of the feedramp. Ever so small and smooth.

Bill Hook
January 13, 2004, 12:36 PM
I've never shot silver bear, but it isn't too unusual for it to FTF, from the makarov forum stuff I've read at gunboards. I think I read a Stephen Camp review here that had the same problem.

I just barely broke over the bottom edge of the feed ramp with a craytex tip on my dremel and polished with the felt tip and rouge to clean up the feed ramp. I'm sure I could've done more, but it seems to work with all the JHP ammo I tried. Still, I believe low power rounds need penetration, not expansion to work to best effect and use FMJ exclusively.

January 13, 2004, 10:40 PM
Yes, a number have posted difficulty with that round. Do a search on the Gunboards mak forum.

January 13, 2004, 11:14 PM
I suspect the 115gr round is too long for the mak mag, oal is about .970
max for the makarov. Overall the 95gr round performs better in the 9x18.

January 13, 2004, 11:37 PM
Something sticks in my mind about the hardness of the primer...

January 14, 2004, 12:40 AM
I taught a CCW class in December. I had two shooters with 9X18 pistols; one had a Makarov and Silver Bear ammo and the other had a Polish P64 with Wolf ammo. Both shooters had problems keeping their guns running that I directly attribute to the ammo. Both guns had feed problems and, at separate times, each gun wound up with a round jammed in the chamber with another round trying to feed in behind it. In both cases we had to push the round out with a pen from the muzzle end (I have to get a range rod).

Both shooters eventually switched to different ammo, one used Barnul and the other S&B, and there were no further problems.

The weather was below freezing, but since things cleared up when the shooters switched ammo, I still think it was ammo related and not temparature related, especially considering the known problems with those brands.

I'm a BIG Makarov fan myself and I've never seen one have so many problems. I've now banned Wolf steel-cased ammo and Silver Bear 9X18mm from my classes. (I've already banned reloads).

Btw, I wasn't very impressed with the P64 though. It seemed to have all the faults of the PPK with none of the elegance.

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