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Makarovs Anyone?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Olympus, Nov 20, 2008.

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  1. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    I've been toying with the idea of getting a Makarov, but not too seriously yet. I saw one of the FEGs that were the two-tone color and really liked the looks of them for a cheapo pistol. Does anyone have any particular experience with those?

    The reasons I've been considering the idea is because it would make a nice smaller concealed carry which I don't have. The 5 inch 1911 gets a little cumbersome and tends to sag my pants down if I wear it for long periods of time, even when wearing a belt. I've always wanted a sub-compact XD, but maybe I could get a Makarov for about half the price and still be happy with it. Then I thought it would be a nice will plinker pistol for range shooting and the ammo wouldn't be nearly as expensive as the .45. And another thing I thought was that it would be a good nightstand gun for the misses when I'm out of town and carrying my .45.

    What are anybody's thoughts on the Makarov? I've never shot one or heard much about them. I know there are different variants, kind of like a Mauser rifle. So which ones are the ones to stay away from and which ones are the better ones?
     
  2. md2lgyk

    md2lgyk Member

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  3. coney_hatch

    coney_hatch Member

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    I own both a CZ-82 (Mak clone in 9x18) as well as a Bulgarian "Arsenal" Markarov in 9x18. I looked at the Hungarian FEG PA-63, but the DA trigger pull is sooooooo long. The SA wasn't as bad, but nowhere near my Bulgarian Mak, nor my CZ. Personally, while the FEG PA-63 & its cousin the Polish P64 are cheaper in price (could get a PA-63 for $149 + tax in Atlanta), the trigger pull simply wasn't to my liking. I'd recommend the Bulgarian or East German Mak if you're serious about getting one. The Russian's are typically considered good quality, but the East German and Bulgarians' are considered better.

    I got mine off of forums.gunboards.com, and paid $260 shipped for the Arsenal Bulgarian Mak. Most on Gunbroker are well over $300 for the same. You can probably pick up a Russian for under $300, East German for under $350.

    I carry either a Kimber ultra carry or my Para LTC. I have carried the Bulgarian Mak in an ankle holster as well. The CZ is heavier than the Mak, but not as much as my 1911's.

    My $0.02.
     
  4. steelhead

    steelhead Member

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    mmmmmmm Makarov

    [​IMG]

    This is my East German.
     
  5. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    Makarovs are blow-back pistols, and their 9x18 cartridge reflects that limit, as applied by the Soviets.

    We own an East German, and a Russian IJ-70 Makarov. The East German is superior in just about every way.

    9x18 ammunition can be difficult to locate locally, and is pretty much equal to .380 ACP in standard guise, although the ammunition isn't interchangeable. The .380 uses a .355" bullet, while the Makarov's is .364", or thereabouts.

    There are a number of small .380 pistols that are lighter, and actually cheaper to buy, than the 9x18 Makarov.

    The Makarov is an interesting example of the "other side", but not necessarily the best CCW weapon. :)
     
  6. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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  7. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    It may be in 9MM Makarov caliber but the FEG's are not Makarov pistols. THe FEG's are PA-63's and are very similar to the Walther PP. If you want a Makarov, get a true Makarov. The Bulgarians are the best value, IMHO, but there are others from Russia, East Germany and China to be had. Hungary never made a Makarov.
     
  8. jocko

    jocko Member

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    yup

    The east german is all quality throughout. I sold hundreds of Mak during my gun dealing days. Never knew until I opend the cartons if I had any east german models in there or not, there was a big difference.

    Mine has never given one issue. a super gun for the money, just super.

    alittle heavy for pocket carry but duable..
     
  9. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    I have a FEG PA63, no problems, very light with the Aluminum frame, I converted mine to to .380, why? for giggles and grins and a better selection of ammo. It's really an unauthorzied copy of a Walther PP. Note, I said copy , not clone.:uhoh:
     
  10. Kevinch

    Kevinch Member

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    The true Makarovs are great little guns. As mentioned, a little heavy but very reliable & sturdy. Prices are up now, but a few years back (10?) they were the best value going in a handgun.

    I have a few of them - spent a little money on this piece in some light customizing:

    [​IMG]

    MMC night sights (adjustable rear), Pearce grips, Nolan Hi-drop mag release, etc.
     
  11. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    I'd agree. I have a Makarov M and a CZ82, both of which work well, neither of which is a showcase of the gunmakers art.
     
  12. regal

    regal Member

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    I own a Makarov and think it is not good for carry. First the finish is delicate at best. Second it is big and heavy for such a weak calibre. You can literally get the same firepower in half the size.

    The Makarov is a target shooter pistol with excellent accuracy, SA trigger, and cheap ammo.
     
  13. mercop

    mercop Member

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    I carry my Bulgie once in a while and would have no reservations with having it in my CCW rotation. In my experience they are stone cold reliable which is more than I can say for many pistols who cost 5 X as much.
     
  14. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    Funny, but most people think, and state, that the minimum defensive caliber is .38 Special, or 9x19. Yet, the Makarov has gathered a following while being larger, heavier, more expensive, and less well-finished than many smaller, lighter, .380 ACP guns.

    They are holster guns, with a caliber just slightly more powerful than the .380 ACP. There are a number of better choices available.

    However, if you HAVE a Makarov, and DON'T have one of the smaller, lighter, guns, they SURE DO beat wishing that you were armed. :D
     
  15. mercop

    mercop Member

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    "stopping power" with any caliber is relative
     
  16. krs

    krs Member

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    Yes, and power of 9x18 ammo is relative too. There are several varieties of ammo in the Makarov caliber and by my 'seat of the pants' comparison ALL of it is more powerful than any available .380.

    The Eastern Bloc countries had ammo that was designated for use in their submachine guns in the Makarov caliber that is quite powerful and sometimes available from Wideners and other importers. The Silver Bear hollow point ammo that's easy to get is definitely more powerful than general .380.

    Yet I've only seen one ballistic chart that laid out the power of the round in numbers that could be compared to others. That chart (was it in Steve Camp's site? I don't remember but probably have the link somewhere). Most reloading manuals state that the power of the round is on a par with .380 but I've never understood why they would say that in light of the fact that the cartridge is both longer and bigger in diameter than .380, hence able to hold more powder and push a heavier bullet. It's just one millimeter shy of 9x19 and still bigger in diameter than 9mm Luger.

    A clarification please?

    Oh, ya, I have four beautiful East German Makarov pistols that I air out periodically and carry one of once in a while. I've fired them side by side with my Sig 232 - one in one hand, the other in the other hand and believe me, the round kicks harder.

    They're ugly, but they are great pistols. I've had all of mine since the days they could be bought for $79.95 or less all over the place.
     
  17. neal7250

    neal7250 Member

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    I have on of them Bulgarian jobs. It is very dependable. I've had mine for 3 years, and have never had a hang up or anything.
     
  18. mercop

    mercop Member

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    I don't find them ugly at all. Mine has a beautiful blue finish and it's slender barrel and receiver front make it comfortable to carry.
     
  19. 7.62X25mm

    7.62X25mm member

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    They're not that small. Used to be you could pick up a Bulgarian Mak for $97 out the door. Those days are gone forever. They're pretty much in the .380 ACP class in terms of ballistics -- and you can find lots of 380 ACP that are smaller, lighter, about the same price.

    I bought a Russian "commercial" Mak, double stack mag, 12 rd. Then I went to makarov.com and purchased grips for it, followed the article about "finishing" and smoothed out the action.

    Ammo can be hard to locate. I found some East German stuff which was pretty hot ballistically, but mostly you'd be better served with a 380 ACP in a smaller size or a small 9mm like the Kahr.
     
  20. krs

    krs Member

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    do you still have the double-stacker, 7.62?

    Reason I ask is that I bought one when they started coming in, thinking the extra capacity would mmake the pistol just about perfect. But that sucker would never run right - couldn't make it through a magful witout one kind of jam or another so I eventually got rid of it.
     
  21. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Member

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    I have a couple of Makarovs. I've carried a Bulgarian for years as my CCW and have no qualms about it. It's a little on the heavy side for its size but it's been 100% reliable, scary-accurate, and was cheap (at the time I bought it). The finishes have stood up just fine. I carry it in a holster instead of a pocket so the weight isn't a big deal. Bottom line: I trust it.

    I had a FEG PA-63 for a while. It's lighter than the Makarov although it uses the same cartridge. It was so light it wasn't fun to shoot. After 100 rounds or so the feed ramp would get cruddy enough that sometimes the cartridge would drag and it wouldn't go all the way into battery. Keep it clean and it worked fine.

    AMMO: A lot of the commercial ammo is loaded about even with a .380 ~95 grains, hence the comparison, I think. The old military stuff I used to buy by the pile was 109 grain and pretty stern. I think Silver Bear makes a 120 grain hollow point.
     
  22. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

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    My wife and I both have Maks - her's is Baikal IJ-70 with adjustable sites, mine is a Bulgarian Arsenal brand - and both have served us well over the years. Mine was my CCW for several years (until I got a great deal on a Sig P-225, though not as nice as the deals now), and hers is still her primary CCW. I still carry mine once in a while. They are solidly reliable, and quite accurate. Good magazines used to be available for practically nothing as well. Obviously, I think they are fine CCWs.
     
  23. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    Just to save time, there is a thread on this site that dealt with this ammo. It was NOT designed to be fired in the Makarov, and can damage it.

    I find comparisons that link one specific load against "general" ammo to be useless. If you're going to pick a load, compare it to a similar load in the other caliber.

    If you go to the various web sites of the manufacturers, they will list the ammo by caliber, and give the ballistics. The largest variable is the length of the test barrel. A longer barrel tends to inflate the ballistics somewhat, so be sure that what you compare is as close as possible to the gun in questions barrel length.

    I'm hardly saying that the Makarov won't work. I'm just pointing out that it's nowhere near the "minimum power floor" that so many Internet Commandos have read about, and espouse. :)
     
  24. shimniok

    shimniok Member

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    I shot a friends Mak and was very impressed... much less recoil and so more controllable than my FEG PA63. (both 9x18) The post about DA trigger pull on the FEG -- yeah, not just long but really heavy. I'd never want to fire DA on that gun. I've heard nothing but great stuff about 'em. And I would expect parts availability is good. Altho I am toying with the idea of getting one of those surplus CZ 82's from J&G's (or somewhere).
     
  25. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    A Makarov is the only semi-auto, in my opinion, that is as reliable as a revolver. They just work and work. The things are great shooters, too, very easy to hit your mark. Everyone who's shot mine has complimented it. Before you leave it for your wife to use, however, make sure she can rack the slide as it's a stiff one.

    If you're thinking of a Feg, get a hammer spring and heavier recoil spring from Wolff (about $20 total.) The gun will then have a very nice DA trigger and the recoil is lessened tremendously. Swap out those things and it becomes a very nice pistol.

    The CZ 82 is a great gun but it's sooo big in comparison. The Mak is a great carry pistol with a holster.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
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