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Can someone enlighten me on the Makarov pistols?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jrdolall, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. jrdolall

    jrdolall Well-Known Member

    I have been looking at them for a while but never bought one nor have I done a lot of research on them. I saw them at Gander Mountain a few days ago for $249 for the 63 with one magazine and I think that is a decent price from what I have seen lately. There seem to be a lot of variations in the 9x18 guns and I am just looking for ideas before I jump in.

    Before anyone goes all ballistic(literally) please understand that I am looking to buy one simply because I want to buy one. I have 22s, 38s, 380s, 357s, and 45s. I have semis, revolvers and derringers so I don't want or need any opinions on why some other caliber or why S&W is better. I am looking for opinions on the Makarov style pistols whether they are from Poland, Russia, China or wherever. I am not really interested in ballistics as I will probably only use this gun for plinking and only need to be "minute of paper plate". Availability of extra mags, spare parts etc will be considered. I will probably buy ammo online unless I can find some locally at a decent price because Gander didn't have any but Academy may carry it.
  2. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Well-Known Member

    There are various different pistols out there that shoot the 9X18. The PA-63 is pretty hard to find. I found them to be fairly snappy, but can be accurate. The Baikal pistols are more traditional for that round and can be found made in Bulgaria, Russia, China, and the ever so elusive East German. All of them are good guns, are accurate, and reliable/robust. I say, go for it.
  3. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    I have a PA-63, bought it when Sarco still had them for $130. Yeah, it's a snappy lil' rascal, almost a palm bruiser. All I know about the Makarovs is I've read they toss brass a long ways. I make my own 9x18 brass by cutting down 9mm Luger.
  4. brbdwyr

    brbdwyr Well-Known Member

    Love em. Had a Russian, now have an E.German.



    DA trigger is springy. SA is much better, very little travel. Decocker is nice. Sights are small, but work. Both shot very well. Few working parts, stoopid easy to work on. Recoil is nominal. 9mmMak is a respectable round. Some will argue the validity of HP ammo, as the velocity may not be enough to mushroom. Ammo (when found) is in the 12 to 14/box range for steel cased stuff.

    Edited to add: go original. I don't like the commercial Russian Baikals or Hungarians FEG's. I'd love to find a Chinee.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  5. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Well-Known Member

    For what they are, they are pretty awesome guns.

    Lots of drawbacks, but the cool factor outweighs them for overall cool gun status.
  6. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Well-Known Member

    The great thing about Maks is that they deliver; they are exactly as they appear to be. If you like the sights, the balance, and the trigger, then you will love it. It will be accurate and reliable and durable.

    These grips improve them considerably:


    Just be careful not to overtighten the screw or it may intrude into the mag well.

    Personally, I prefer the CZ82/83s because they fit my hand better. Like the Maks, these CZs just keep going and going and they are more accurate than you might expect.

    It's a good idea to replace the recoil spring on any surplus handgun, and to be careful to get all the grease out of it before taking it to the range.
  7. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    They are an interesting pistol. Like most Russian materiel, they have no bells and whistles, just a pistol for a specific job (personal defense in a combat zone), and one they do quite well. Contrary to repeated misinformation, they are not a copy of any other pistol (except in a general way). They are not a Walther PP, or a Mauser HsC, or any other gun. The Makarov is a Makarov and that is plenty good enough.

    AFAIK, the only ammo available is FMJ, so if you want 382 types of hollow point, the Mak is not the gun for you. The power is not quite up to 9mm Parabellum, but is probably about tops for a blowback pistol of that weight and size, and is effective on its intended target, which is not moose, or brown bears or elephants, just the guy in the wrong uniform.

  8. Brin

    Brin Well-Known Member


    Awesome pistols for the money.
  9. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Well-Known Member

    Makarovs are great handguns. They're simple, reliable, and a lot of fun to shoot. In fact, I'm shooting more 9x18 now than nearly anything else (partially because I can almost always find relatively inexpensive ammo for it).

    That said, a PA 63 is no more a Makarov than a Glock 19 is a Luger because it shoots "9mm Luger". The PA 63 is a Hungarian design with very little in common with the Makarov other than the cartridge it fires. That said, it's not a bad gun, though reports say it is rather snappy. Then again the P64 is supposed to be snappy as well but I have no problems shooting it.

    The majority of the 9x18 out there is steel cased FMJ, but Hornady makes a defensive 9x18 under their "critical defense" line. Power wise, 9x18 is closer to .380 than 9x19, but it is still a good round out of a smaller gun.
  10. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Get the Pistolet Makarov (PM) over the other pistols chambered in 9x18 (9MM Makarov). I have four Maks. Two Bulgarians, an East German, and a Russian Commercial Satin nickel in .380. They are ALL great, and shoot wonderfully.

    While the E.G. is the best finished, I still think the Bulgarians are the best value. Nothing wrong with the Commercial Russian either, except some don't like the adjustable sights.
  11. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Well-Known Member


    I don't own a Makarov as such.I have a CZ 82 which is chambered for the 9x18 or as people call it the 9MM Makarov.It has a double stack 12 round magazine and in my hands the most accurate handgun that I own.One of the first things I did after test firing it was to get a slightly heavier recoil spring. This calmed it down as far as recoil was concerned. It was available for $200+ change before the craziness started after the election. I am very sorry that I didn't buy another.My son has a Russian PM and it is also very accurate and dependable. I handload for both guns with
    Berrys 95 RN and I have made 9x18 cases from cutting down regular 9x19 brass.All in all I love the little Russian round and the guns for it.:)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  12. jhb

    jhb Well-Known Member

    I got a bulgarian. Take down reminds me of the walther ppk...guess its kinda based on that? Great shooter, great design. Heavy little gun, and mil style sights.....so not for everyone. The mak round I prefer to the .380 and I like the .380. Biggest thing I learned the hard way is...check the bore.....these guns shot corrosive ammo, and cia likes to oil the bore to make 'em look clean and smooth under a quick look. If its oiled you can almost bet light to heavy sewer pipe pitting. Got a polish tok like that. Bore was oiled...once cleaned..sewerpipe. it still shoots fine, but from a cosmetic view it can be disappointing....but these are mostly surplus and the wear and such is part of the charm.

    I also got a cz82.....its a bit more ergonomic, imho. Shoots a bit softer and holds more rounds. Wouldn't get rid of either, love 'em both. Course i like these soviet pistols though...toks, maks, and copies and versions made by other block countries. So I am admittingly biased.

    I will say this, I've let plenty of friends shoot my mak and most dislike it allot. They find it harsh and not fun to shoot. I like shooting it.
  13. hovercat

    hovercat Well-Known Member

    Hurt my hand when fired. Sold it off.
  14. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    Well said.
  15. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    There is the PM Makarov
    then there are the pistols chambered in 9x18 Mak...

    Of them, the 4 I've handled and the 2 I've shot I like the CZ 82 (NOT a Makarov)
    on handling, the mak was second, it isn't the smallest (P64), the lightest (PA-63)
    but a nice in between, the 82, is pleasant to shoot, surprisingly accurate, but is a tubby girl...
  16. Devonai

    Devonai Well-Known Member

    I love my Russian IJ-70, and it has been carried more often in the last two years than any of my other pistols. I bought one because they're featured prominently in the Stalker series, but I truly fell in love with it after my first trip to the range.

    It is heavy for its size, compared to the M&P Shield or Kel-Tec PF-9. However, the weight is hardly prohibitive even for all day carry. I have no problem with the cartridge for its intended purpose, and the rudimentary sights are adequate for the intended distances.

    There are some things I don't like about it. The IJ-70 has ugly adjustable rear sights, and the lanyard loop can dig into my side during long drives (with both IWB and OWB). Magazine changes are slower than other pistols since your support hand has to pull out the empty mag before you can grab the fresh one.

    Also, I can't unload magazines by hand; if I need to unload a mag then I have to cycle the whole thing through the pistol. Since the safety must be disengaged to rack the slide, this seems to increase (however slightly) the chance of a negligent discharge. In any case I would prefer to have the safety engaged any time I manipulate the slide, but that's just me.

    These negatives do not detract enough from the positives to keep me from carrying it regularly, though I do plan on having the lanyard loop removed eventually.
  17. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    My PA-63 isn't much of a treat for range shooting, the aluminum frame is just too light and the recoil is harsh. But it's real handy for dropping in a pocket.
  18. antiquus

    antiquus Well-Known Member

    The PA is very good, I sold one to a good friend for a carry piece and eventually found an AN-9 - same gun in .380.

    I also own a Norinco PM (Russian design standard Mak) and a CZ-82. I will eventually buy a P-64, I'm pretty happy with all these Mak chambered guns.

    They are all designed for military or police duty, and are solid and pretty well mannered guns, with simple teardowns, efficient mechanisms and very robust. I carry the Russian steel jacketed ammo when I carry them, just for the great penetration in a low powered cartridge.
  19. nathan

    nathan Well-Known Member

    The Hornady 115 gr FTX critical defense seems to be a great ammo with modern designs. That should put the 9 mm makarov to a higher level.
  20. JoePfeiffer

    JoePfeiffer Well-Known Member

    I'll chime in on the CZ 82 as a great little pistol shooting 9mm Makarov. It is a bit snappy; there is significantly more felt recoil than my 9mm Sig 226, but it fits my hand well enough that it isn't a problem for me (my adult daughter, on the other hand, has referred to it as ''that horrible little gun that hurt my hand", so YMMV). Solid, reliable, dependable, accurate.

    sent using CPIP (see RFC 1149)

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