Makarov Misfiring in Double Action


February 1, 2004, 08:43 PM
I raised this question some months ago. I replaced a slew of parts, but still have no firing in double action, but everything is fine in single action. I did the pencil test, i.e., I put a pencil in the barrel, pointed the pistol up, and pulled the trigger. In single action, the pencil jetted upward. In double action, it didn't move. So the hammer apparently is not hitting the firing pin in double action. If the safety were the problem, wouldn't I also have the same problem in single action? I replaced the mainspring. I have tried to do all the standard things to make it work. I am guessing someone out there will know why the Mak fires in single action, but not double action.



If you enjoyed reading about "Makarov Misfiring in Double Action" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
February 1, 2004, 09:03 PM
Is the hammer cocking when you pull the trigger double action?

February 1, 2004, 09:36 PM
The mainspring is installed improperly.

I can't find my notes right now, but the right leg of the mainspring is too far forward. It's easy to do, because there is a channel that looks like it's made for the leg to ride in. I've done this by mistake in the past and everything is great in single action but no joy in double action.

February 1, 2004, 10:38 PM
Hammer is cocking and releasing in double action, but apparently not reaching the firing pin.

I wish the problem were wrong installation of mainspring but I cannot see that it is. And isn't the small, right prong the spring for single action, while the large, curved left prong is the one for double action? If so, how could wrong installation of single action spring cause problem with double action? Just asking. I appreciate the advice and really want to get this Mak straightened out. I have installed the mainspring on my other Mak and it has never misfired.



February 1, 2004, 10:59 PM
In double action, when the hammer falls, does it sound like a good strong hammer drop? Or does it sound weak or hollow?

February 1, 2004, 11:14 PM
In single action there is a sharper, brighter sound when the hammer falls; in double action, the sound is duller, perhaps you could say hollow.


February 1, 2004, 11:19 PM
I'll wager your other Mak sounds a lot different.

February 2, 2004, 12:16 AM
In both DA and SA, the left leg of the mainspring tensions the hammer.

The right leg tensions the swinging portion of the trigger bar so that it catches on the hammer and pushes the hammer back during the DA pull.

If you get it in the wrong spot, the swinging portion of the trigger bar isn't tensioned properly and the hammer doesn't get pushed back far enough before it is released.

If you have two Maks, why not pull them both out and see if the springs are installed the same on both of them.

With the grip and slide removed, you can shine a light down into the action from the top and look up from the bottom to see where the legs of the spring are.

Bill Hook
February 2, 2004, 01:18 AM
If you have two, swap the parts you haven't replaced, keeping track of them with a sharpie marker, etc.

Have you asked at the makarov forum?

February 2, 2004, 03:04 AM
Try removing the safety and slightly bending the safety detent spring to make it just a little more difficult to engage or disengage the safety. When the spring gets weak it can allow the safety to engage internally just enough to keep the gun from firing. This happened with my EG mak and bending the spring fixed the problem.

Give it a try. It's an easy enough fix.

March 10, 2004, 02:50 PM

I have posted several messages on my Mak, which will not fire in double action but works OK single action. (I have another Mak that works fine.) After giving up on this for awhile, I have just tried again.

The problem seems to be this. In double action the hammer is blocked from going far enough forward to move the firing pin. With the slide off, this problem doesn't exist, i.e., the hammer moves fully forward when the trigger is pulled. When I put the slide back on the frame the hammer seems blocked. There is no blockage in single action. I did the pencil test: I put a pencil in the barrel and pulled the trigger. In double action the pencil doesn't move (hammer is not hitting firing pin.) In single action the pencil is propelled out of the barrel.

(I have compared my two Maks and examined parts with a magnifying glass but still cannot tell why Mak 1 works in double action but Mak 2 does not.)

I should add that I have replaced virtually all parts in order to correct this problem. I just replaced the safety and the firing pin, to no avail. In the past I replaced the sear, the hammer, the trigger bar, mainspring, etc.

I am grateful for the suggestions I have received in the past, but nothing has worked so far.




March 10, 2004, 04:07 PM
As I wrote, I have one Mak that works fine, single and double action. But my second Mak doesn't fire double action, although single action works OK. I just switched the slides on the two Maks and tried the pen test. With the slides switched, and a ballpoint pen in the barrel, the pen jumped out in both pistols, double and single action. After switching the slides back, the old pattern recurred: Mak one shoots a ballpoint pen right out in single and double action. Mak two does so only in single action. This seems to indicate that the problem with the second Mak is the interaction between the slide and the frame. The frame works OK with a different slide and the slide works OK with a different frame. A puzzlement! By the way a pen works better than a pencil with an eraser for this test of firing pin movement. I guess I could switch the slides permanently but this would lower the sale value of both pistols. As you know, all Mak parts are marked so you can tell if any part has been replaced.


March 10, 2004, 11:37 PM
I read your post about swapping the slides between the two frames and the results that you received. However, I think I know what is causing your problem because:

1) I've taken my three maks apart just now and I can't figure out how a slide to frame incompatibility could prevent your mak from firing in DA.

2) I've had this problem before, and the proble was an incompatibility between the sear and the hammer.

I had a new bulgarian that I dropped in a simpson suhl safety and hammer that I purchased from With these parts installed it behaved EXACTLY as your malfunctioning pistol does. These same parts worked fine when dropped into my commercial russian, but, again for emphasis, did not allow the bulgarian pistol to fire DA but did allow SA firing.

I took the sears out of both my Russian and my Bulgarians and compared them. The faces where slightly different. If I dropped the Russian's sear with the simpson suhl saftey and hammer into the bulgarian frame it worked fine.

The "hollow" sound that you describe is the same sound you hear when you use the safety/decocker. This is because the sounds share the same cause, the sear is not caming up and allowing the hammer to come all the way forward. I fixed the problem by ditching the simpson suhl safety and hammer (which wasn't a mod that I really wanted anyway).

I suggest that you take the sears out of both your guns and compare them. Try taking the sear from working gun and dropping it into the malfunctioning gun (replacing ONLY that part) and see if it works.

Good luck with your Mak. This is the only problem that I have ever had with my mak, other than the recoil springs wearing out cause I shoot them so darn much.

March 11, 2004, 10:36 AM
"2) I've had this problem before, and the problem was an incompatibility between the sear and the hammer. "

Thanks for your detailed reply. My problem seems to be an incompatibility between the hammer and the slide or some part on the slide. This is indicated by the fact that the problem disappears when the slide is replaced. Since both the sear and the hammer are on the frame, one might conclude that the problem is elsewhere. The only part on the slide that interacts with the hammer is the safety, but I have replaced the safety and the problem continues. I will take the two Maks out to the range soon and fire them with their slides switched to confirm that the problem is between the frame and the slide.

Thanks again,


March 13, 2004, 12:31 AM
Tough problem seems like all the bases have been covered. Please post with the fix when you figure it out.

If you enjoyed reading about "Makarov Misfiring in Double Action" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!