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Polish P64 Review

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by plouffedaddy, Jun 10, 2012.

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  1. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    IMAG1187.gif
    The P64 is a DA/SA blowback pistol that appears to be (because it is) very similar to Walther's PPK. The designers of the pistol deny that it's a PPK clone and insisted it is an original design---sure...:D

    In my opinion, the fact that it's very similar to the PPK is a good thing in my opinion, the PPK is a quality pistol as is the P64. It's been 100% reliable since I've picked it up and for $189 it's tough to complain.

    The 9x18 Makarov round could have a post of its' own, and it's often debated whether one using the round should carry JHP rounds or FMJ to increase penetration. I'll leave that debate to another day but I chrono'd some common loads in the video. For what it's worth, I spoke with Kevin Underwood two weeks ago of www.underwoodammo.com and he told me that he was currently developing some 9x18 defensive loads. When they come out, they'll probably be my carry load for this handgun (pending performance testing of course) since he has a reputation of producing good affordable defensive ammo.

    Pros:
    Cost--$189 for a gun of this quality is tough to complain about
    100% reliability thus far.
    All steel construction, seems like it will be very durable
    Replacement parts, should you need them, are very inexpensive
    The single action trigger is excellent
    Fires an affordable round ($10/50 on most internet sites).
    Carries and conceals easily
    Gun appears to be in excellent shape for a surplus weapon

    Cons:
    Heavy (22oz) for a carry gun by modern standards
    Blowback design is inherently a dirty firing design
    Many shooters experience slide bite (I only noticed some abrasion after about 100 rounds, and I have large hands)
    Sights are miniscule, but usable
    The OEM hammer spring causes the worst DA pull I've ever experienced (easily replaceable for about $5)
    Some people claim the recoil is stout, but I think it's on par with most modern pocket/slim 9mm type guns.

    Here's a quick video with some shooting, disassembly/assembly, and chronograph tests.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLe0SkgouMo&feature=channel&list=UL

    Chronograph Data:

    Hornady 95gr XTP: 990 fps, 207ft/lbs of energy
    Silver Bear 94gr HP: 1042 fps, 229ft/lbs of energy
    Brown Bear 94gr FMJ: 1075 fps, 241ft/lbs of energy
     
  2. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    You're lucky it's later production piece with triangular hammer spoor. You can pull the hammer back and fire first shot SA mode avoiding the 25lb+ DA trigger pull. It's hard to believe that was military/police sidearm. I would rather have P-63 the DA pull is also horrendous but it's lighter to carry. The name FEG kept me away from buying it choosing LCP instead.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Wolf spring kit costs 8 bucks and dramatically improved my DA trigger. I can easily hit 8" plates at 25 yards now DA with it. Big problem is transition. The SA is SO light, I double tap when I don't want to.

    The PA63 is probably a decent gun, but the P64 is the BEST if one wants to pocket carry of all the 9x18 eastern block guns. I think I want a CZ82 next if I get another 9x18 blow back.

    BTW, recoil IS stout. My Kel Tec P11 is quite the powder puff by comparison and it's 14 ounces empty and has near TWICE the energy at 410 ft lbs firing a heavier bullet. Go figure. The Marschal grips I got do help as well as does the stiffer recoil spring I installed with the lighter hammer spring.
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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  5. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    I had one that always worked well for me, my wife had jams constantly, this gun seems to be somewhat prone to "limp wristing" related malfunctions. I also found it to be fairly uncomfortable to fire despite my medium/large hands. After a long range session the web of my hand would actually be bruised.

    I gave it to my brother for his birthday and it continues to work great for him or in other trained shooter's hands but often experiences jams when handed off to a novice.
     
  6. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    I love my P-64. I put some Marschal wood grips on mine, which improves the looks and makes it a lot more comfortable in recoil due to improved grip shape. I fitted it with an 18-pound hammer spring and the strongest recoil spring Wolff makes. My father and I both carry these pieces, and they've always been 100%. Yeah, you have to be careful to not double when making the transition, but once you get used to it, it's fine. And even if you do double, its recoil characteristics mean the second shot is still on target.

    I also have a PA-63. Nice gun, and the double action trigger isn't bad once you put a 13-pound hammer spring in it (they make an 11 pounder, but I had constant ignition failures with it. No problems whatsoever with the 13, though). The PA-63 is a beautiful piece, but due to its shape it either fits you well or it doesn't. For me, it's fun to shoot, and fits my hand perfectly (I have large, but not huge hands). It's probably my favorite of my 9x18 guns overall.

    Lastly, there's my Bulgarian Makarov. It has an excellent double action trigger, but it's the largest and heaviest of the three. Nice gun, and I'd probably carry it over the P-64 if I were a larger-framed person, but as it is I keep it for the range and carry its little brother, the P-64.
     
  7. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    As far as the 9x18 pistols go my choice would be the CZ-82 by far. I've shot all and own the CZ and the PA63. The 63 gives you the cool James Bondish feel and is a pretty slim gun. The sites are miniscule and only have a 7+1 capacity. The 82 has 12+1 capacity with much better sights and ambi everything. IMO its just a much more functional firearm and is 100% reliable. I can see why it is still used and carried by some com-block countries today even though they are slowly being phased out for 9x19.
     
  8. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    At first, I wore a glove to shoot the thing and avoid this. Now, that's not necessary with the wood grips which are wider and smoother. Those plastic torture handles had a knife edge at the back, seemed like. They HURT.

    Another gripe I have with the gun is it launches brass into the next county. I just buy Monarch at $9.95 a box at Academy and forget trying to police brass for reloading.
     
  9. Auf Grosser Fahrt

    Auf Grosser Fahrt Member

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    Hey, let's also see everyone's P-64s. I'd like to see the condition of the pistols coming in.

    Appreciate the review!
     
  10. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    Nice review and video. A working man's budget can afford a descent gun after all and he can still keep the lights on.
     
  11. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Here's mine:

    PolishP64.jpg

    They look great IMO but aren't a very comfortable range toy. My Kel Tec P40 is actually more comfortable than this little beast.
     
  12. kragluver

    kragluver Member

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    I was able to improve the discrepancy between the DA and SA trigger pull after installing a Wolf hammer spring and then making my own trigger return spring from larger diameter music wire. The SA pull went from 3 lbs to about 5 which is better in a self defense firearm. I also painted the rear face of the front sight with Testors white model paint to improve front sight acquisition. I widened the notch in the rear sight as well. The white paint definitely helps.
     
  13. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Just a note of caution for all those carrying around a loaded P64. With one in the pipe, hammer down, safety off, the gun has been reported to ND when dropped. I read two different posts where this was claimed. It seems like if it falls and lands on the hammer, the "half cock notch" may fail under this abuse. The manual safety positively blocks the firing pin, so it ought probably to be used, despite the horrendously heavy DA pull.

    For the uninitiated, the P64 has a novel approach to drop safety that is an obvious fail. The hammer comes to rest a fraction of an inch away from the firing pin. Inertia is what brings the hammer all the way to the firing pin. There's no way to lower the hammer all the way down against the back of the slide. The hammer rebounds back to this rest position with a gap between it and the firing pin. So when dropped on the hammer, the only thing keeping the hammer from smacking into the firing pin is a half cock notch, which is not up to the task.

    If you wanted to carry DA safety off, you might consider completely grinding off any exposed part of the hammer spur.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  14. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    I honestly don't consider it a major issue. People carried non-drop-safe pistols for decades and there were only a handful of incidents nationwide. Suddenly it's this scary, dangerous thing to carry a non-drop-safe pistol. Fact of the matter is, a good holster like a Don Hume M-715 Makarov holster eliminates any possibility of it falling out under normal use, especially if worn handle-forward cavalry style. The ONLY time I've ever had it come out of the holster is when I'm taking a crap, pants around my ankles, and it's already on the floor. It's called being responsible and buying the right holster for your gun.
     
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Or, maybe, just sayin'....DON'T DROP IT. Just sayin'......

    The safety can be worked, of course, but I leave mine off as my other carries fire with a DAO no safety. There's one guy on here that bashes the Kel Tec P11 for supposedly drop firing to which I find illogical since the hammer is of a non-inertia design. Whatever, I carry it one up the spout, too.

    Actually, though, grinding off the hammer spur might be a good idea, anyway, on the P64. It is something that can hang on a pocket if you pocket carry. I've found it does that much worse than my P11 OR even my snub revolver with exposed hammer spur. I don't want misfires, though, and the light spring MUST stay in it to hit anything in DA mode.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  16. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    If you have a P-64 with the round hammer, there's nothing to catch. I prefer those. The larger hammer serves no purpose in my mind.
     
  17. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The larger spur is easier to cock, probably, for a first SA shot. That's the only advantage I can see. I suppose I could round off the point on the triangular spur to make it less catchy on clothing, leave most of the metal there. :D
     
  18. Auf Grosser Fahrt

    Auf Grosser Fahrt Member

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    gorgeous grips, Kiln
     
  19. Kiln

    Kiln Member

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    Thanks.

    Yeah I always thought they added a classy look to the gun. They weren't very comfortable though, at least not to my hands. I'd give you the info on where you can get some but to be honest I don't know, they were on the gun when I bought it.

    My younger brother has this gun now and it still works fine, he shoots it pretty frequently too. The P64 is a decent bargain for what you get but it isn't a great range toy.
     
  20. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    My father and I both carry these. We paid $160 for them. In all fairness, you get a lot more value and reliability out of a military design than almost any of the modern compact autos. The closest equivalent would be a Bersa Thunder .380, and it's both larger and has a MUCH worse trigger. The Bersa owner at the range commented that he loved my P-64's trigger. I couldn't say the same for his. The trigger pull on the Bersa was so long and heavy that you start to lose strength due to loss of leverage.
     
  21. Dentite

    Dentite Member

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    The grips are "Marschals" grips made by Dennis Marschal in Europe (Hungary I think?). He makes nice grips for many com-block surplus pistols.

    The wood Marschal grips for the P64 have been problematic though. The early versions would frequently break at the rear tang. As I understand it the grips have been beefed up in this area and a dowel connecting R and L halves has been added. Haven't heard much about the durability of the newer style but hopefully they are holding up better.

    P64 is great value and is beautiful IMO. Not a perfect gun but I'm glad I bought mine.
     
  22. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Mine was purchased (and handpicked for year and condition) from SOG a couple years ago, soon after becoming C&R eligible.

    It came in what appeared unissued condition and stamped with my year of birth as well, for giggles.

    Mine is surprisingly accurate, thanks to the crisp and unbelievably light SA trigger. The DA on mine is simply not usable if the bullet is actually suppose to hit the target, so I consider mine a SAO pistol.

    It feeds everything I've tried just fine. I've carried this pistol on occasion and consider it similar to a J-frame in effectiveness.

    4800112144_b0128a1df6_z.jpg

    With SilverBear 94gr JHP
    4813605493_96d21c51c4_z.jpg

    With SilverBear 95gr FMJ
    4814226524_ffc004d05f_z.jpg
     
  23. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    I highly recommend putting the wolff spring in there. It brought mine down to around 11-12lbs as shown in the video. It really helps. I'm no sharpshooter (reference my miss at 12m :banghead:) but I was hitting the 10'' plate consistently at that distance using the DA pull. There's a 0% chance I could have done that with the OEM spring.
     
  24. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    By the way, if you want more visible sights, go to SiteGlo.com and order some sight paint. Their stuff is the real deal, and won't rub off in normal use. It's also easy to apply. I put it on my gun well over a year ago and it's still strong. I also put it on my PA-63.
     
  25. Got_Lead?

    Got_Lead? Member

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    Great gun for the money, very well made and accurate. She is a bit painful to shoot with factory loads, someday I'll make up some milder handloads. I think I paid $139 plus shipping for mine about 8 years ago.

    PICT0005a-1.jpg
     
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