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Questions about a makarov.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Didorian, Dec 2, 2012.

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  1. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    I was referring to commercial IJ guns with adjustable rear sight which sell in $225 to $250 range. The ones with higher cap magazines go for >$300. Last Bulgarian military/police gun had $289 on it. I can't see how P-64 is much worse then LCP which is far from pleasant to shoot.
     
  2. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    From a carry perspective, the LCP is a lot lighter. That actually makes it more unpleasant to shoot, but realistically most of these guns are carried FAR more than they're shot so I'd rather take the comfort on the activity performed daily vs the one that's almost never done.
     
  3. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Little bit of background: I own a Bulgarian Makarov, a FEG PA-63, and a Polish P-64. I can give you details about all of these guns.

    The P-64 is a little rough on the recoil, even with new springs and new grips. That's why I say it's not a gun you should shoot a lot. However, it's easy to be proficient with it. With a new hammer spring, the trigger isn't bad, though. Yes, it's heavy, but the pull length is good and the operation is smooth. And followup shots have a very light trigger. The gun is very easy to shoot accurately, and accuracy is amazingly good.

    The 9x18 round is gaining in popularity and options for good ammo are increasing. Hornady makes their self-defense ammo in 9x18, and Buffalo Bore also has +P options. Sellier & Bellot makes FMJ, as does Blazer / CCI. You won't be wanting for good ammo, ever. And cheap ammo is available through Silver Bear.

    The .380 Makarov guns share a complete parts commonality with the 9x18 guns. The only difference is the barrel. In fact, a 9x18 gun *can* shoot .380 in a pinch. It's just not recommended because the cartridge length and bullet size aren't an exact match. However, it is better to stick with 9x18, as the round is a little more powerful.

    My Makarov was one of my first "serious" handguns that I bought myself. It was preceded by a Romanian Tokarev and a Ruger Mark III. It was the first one I ever intended to carry, though. I thoroughly researched it first. One nice thing about the Makarov itself is its safety features. The safety is a very nice pull-down safety, which makes it much easier to operate. It also functions as a decocker. Additionally, the gun blocks the hammer until the trigger is pulled, even with the safety off. The decocker mechanism is safe to use, by the way. I carefully checked it and discovered the hammer is fully blocked before it releases the hammer.

    The P-64 is not fully "drop safe" with the safety off. The hammer is not blocked. However, with a decent holster like the Don Hume Makarov holster, this is really a moot point. I would have to do handstands to get my gun to come out. I'm not afraid to carry it safety-off.

    The PA-63 is a fine gun, and fun to shoot. It's definitely my favorite of my Makarov-caliber guns. It's got a decent trigger, and looks and feels good in the hand. I will note, however, that the magazine release is not as good as other Makarov-caliber guns. While it has a push-button release, the magazine fits tightly and is not drop-free. The Makarov and P-64, with their heel release, will drop free once you push the release, and doing so also puts your hand in position to hook the finger guard and pull it out quickly if necessary.
     
  4. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    never mind
     
  5. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    I have owned a number of Mak.s & PA-63s in both cal.s . The Mak.s are nice &make good carry guns. The PA-63/PMK are better carry guns IMO as they are lighter & more compact. Both cal.s have good SD ammunition available &holsters also. I believe the 9 mak.round is better, but not by much. I have used both as carry guns &would not feel under guned with eather one. But I do prefer my FEG -PMK in .380 acp.to be the one I would carry. Good luck with whatever you choose. BTW these guns can be found new/unused for around 150-225 dollars so look around. Just got a used PA-63 in .380acp for $100 out the door at a local GS!;)
     
  6. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

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    9X18 is cheap, and the MAK has so very few parts. It is a symphony of simplicity that no modern pistol xan match. Every part seems to fill at least 3 functions.
     
  7. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    I can honestly say I've had my Makarov 100% disassembled. There's very little to go wrong with one, and it's amazingly easy to work on. Once you realize how simple it is, and how well it works, you'll wonder why other firearms don't use this same trigger group design. It would not be hard to incorporate it into another action.
     
  8. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Member

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    I use the Hornady 9x18 JHP's in my CZ82 for SD. For plinking I use the Brown Bears FMJ's.
     
  9. Cactus Jack Arizona

    Cactus Jack Arizona Member

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    The IJ-70's, as well as it's counter parts, are the best balanced pistols for the 9x18 round.

    The CZ-82 is a great pistol, but it is a bit too heavy for comfortable conceal carry, at least for me. I do like the 12+1 ability.

    Although I really liked my PA-63 overall, it was beginning to display a harsh recoil. I found myself shooting it less and less in favor of the IJ-70.

    The P-64 I had was incredibly accurate for having such a short barrel. Accuracy wise, it put my Glock 19 to shame. However, like others have said, I found the recoil virtually unbearable. It was the most uncomfortable pistol I've shot to date.

    This is why I stated that the IJ-70's and the Bulgarian, East German, and Chinese counter parts have the best balance for the 9x18 round. It's heavy enough to deal with the recoil comfortably and yet light enough to carry IWB. I no longer carry it in my fanny pack styled holster due to it's weight. I guess it has something to do with the holster hanging on one side instead of fitting snug against the body, and therefore irritated my already bad back.

    To the fella that mentioned that the Mak would dent the primer if you gave the hammer a good whack, I only have one thing to say; Don't do that. :neener: I always carry my IJ-70 with the safety on. I love how it locks everything up.
     
  10. jake_yer_booty

    jake_yer_booty Member

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    Welcome to the world that Nikolai built! Commie guns are some of the most interesting stuff to collect. They are marvelously simple and reliable, with industrial methods that allowed production across many of the "allied" nations of the People's bloc. The Mak is no exception.

    Most people say the Russian ones are the best. Personally, I think the Bulgarians are sufficiently well-finished and a much better buy than those from the Motherland. However, they all need to be broken in by shooting before mechanisms lose the grittiness characteristic of the Mak action.

    Like many small blowback pistols, the recoil impulse feels sharper than a G19 or other 9x19 of similar weight, but muzzle rise is actually less: quite manageable with quick follow-ups readily achievable. Just the same, both the trigger and the guard are somewhat sharp edged and it's not as pleasant to shoot boxes and boxes of cheap ammo as a Capitalist Pigdog piece in NATO nine. And they do "bite" the web of the hand if you are amongst those of us whose skin is, shall we say, less elastic than it was back during the Punic Wars.

    Sights are a challenge -- they are typical of any service pistol from the mid-20th century: poor. My eyes are right at the limit of Mak-friendly shooting. I suspect in another few years these little guys will not see much use. But I bring one along on almost every range trip and gun-friendly outings.

    Contrary to the opinion of many, Comrade Makarov's Defender of the Revolution will readily demonstrate accuracy better than Minute-of-Kneeling-Dissident at two meters. I've attached a pic from today's range session. With serious practice over, I punched this 10 shot group with a Bulgy at 50 feet. Yes, this is about as good as I can shoot them, and no, you will not win the NRA Sectional with yours, either. But it's the equal of pretty much any currently manufactured .380, IMO. And you will never ever need to box it up and send it back to the factory in Sofia for a tune up.

    As for "duty" use: I think they are a bit on the large side for a 9x18 / .380 class pistol. But I would not worry about its ability to do the job. I do maintain one in a hidden in a "special" place for specific defensive purposes. I won't share details, but let's just say it's not a flippant choice.
     

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  11. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    Any discussion of the Makarov always seems to involve people throwing in the P64 and the P63. They are not the same pistols as the Makarov and really don't belong in the conversation. The Makarov is in my opinion a much better pistol than either, is much more suited to concealed carry, and you can find many more people making holsters for the Makarov than the other two. Bringing them into the conversation is like talking about your favorite 9mm pistol every time someone else mentions another 9mm. Just because its the same caliber doesn't mean its the same thing.

    The Makarov is a tough, service proven, well built, and well designed pistol. Many would say the caliber is marginal but its also easy to carry, accurate, and reliable as a hammer. I've carried mine concealed and I've never felt under gunned with it.

    One quality I find strange about the Maks is when fired slow fire only they feel like they recoil quite a bit but when you pick up the speed and shoot them quickly they seem to just smooth out and shoot sooooo well. Its kind of like a Harley that shakes like crazy when idling but smooths out as soon as the revs rise. I don't know if anyone else has noticed that but its just my impression.
     
  12. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    The Maks are safe carried with a round in the chamber. Even the great state of California decided it was safe since it passed their ridiculous tests. The Mak uses a rebounding hammer. I guess its possible you could smack it with a hammer and get a round to go off but the hammer is held there by spring tension and its pretty light weight. I can't imagine you would get it to fire unless you did something pretty extreme to it. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it and if I was worried about it I would just carry it with the safety engaged.

    Thats funny. You do know that the Russians aren't the only ones who made Makarovs right? In fact most of the "surplus gun" Russians you are talking about aren't even surplus guns. They are commercial guns made for export. It sounds like YOU are the one who is out of touch. In fact I was at a gun show this weekend and saw several Bulgarian Makarovs for sale in the 200-250 range. There was a COMMERCIAL Russian in stainless for $350. Not the mention the, "in my area" argument is a little out of touch when you consider you can order a pistol online from anyplace in the country and Gunbroker isn't the cheapest around either. You cans still find Maks for a little over $200 and there are precious few other pistols you will find at that price that will perform as well as the Makarov.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  13. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    I use a soft IWB holster for my mak.

    No firing pin spring at all as it just bounces around in the channel. No problem because hammer should not completely contact the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled all the way back.

    Maybe the firing pin is heavy enough to slam forward and dent a primer from it's own mass/weight but I doubt it.

    Maybe the safety/block lever is worn out on some. It's a cheap part to replace.
     
  14. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    The Makarov hammer is actually blocked when it's down, regardless of whether the safety is on. The safety-off hammer block isn't very visible, but it's there. It's one of the safest guns out there.
     
  15. gripper

    gripper Member

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    I carry a Bulgarian Circle10 in a Fobus paddle rig... also, a Galco foldaway and a Gould& Goyld universal rug does for it( as well as a P64, or my Tokarev.).
     
  16. Keeterbird

    Keeterbird Member

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    Back to the holster. I bought a pair of new shoulder carry holsters from Sportsmansguide.com. I think they were $14. The Mak fits perfectly and it is great for concealed carry.
     
  17. firecrackerktm

    firecrackerktm Member

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    My dad left me a Russian Mak in .380. I carried it in an inexpensive IWB holster or a remora, and it even fit in my belly band. It was my EDC gun until I bought my p238. The Mak shoots surprisingly well, and is easy to strip and clean. I can't comment on the 9x18 round though.

    I carry the Sig more now because if I'm going to carry a .380, I might as well carry a small enough gun to hide more easily. But I still take it to the range because it is a nice gun to shoot.
     
  18. gripper

    gripper Member

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    9x18= 90-94 grn bullet @roughly 1000-1100 FPS froma Makarov barrel..right in between a. 380& a 9x19 mm as far as power goes.Easy to shoot well in a Makarov under stress( or a P64 if you practice)
     
  19. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    I saw a Bulgaian at a LGS earlier this week for $200. Good condition with an extra mag. I almost got it but then decided (for the 20th time) that I don't need another caliber. I will probably go back and buy it this weekend.
     
  20. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    WardenWolf:
    Thanks very much for the detailed comparison.
     
  21. winchester1886

    winchester1886 Member

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    I carry mine in a High Noon IWB holster works great and cheaper than Forbus.
     
  22. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    BTW, I find it interesting how many people always argue how penetration is king and energy, velocity, etc.....don't mean anything but they will totally discount a pistol like the Makarov as "underpowered" or "marginal caliber". There are many loads for the Makarov that will penetrate deeply and the Makarov is slim, accurate, and one of the most dead reliable pistols made. If you want good expanding ammo AND deep penetration then your choices are limited but how many guys carry FMJs in their pistols anyhow? Personally, I think there are better choices too. I used to carry a Makarov and now I carry my M&P 9C or my 3913. But you won't find either of them for $200. I've never felt undergunned with my Makarov and I've never questioned its accuracy or reliability. In fact I find it rather comical that Glock guys will argue until they are blue in the face that the Glock is the best pistol made because it only have 35 parts (its more like 50+) and they won't listen to the fact the Makarov actually does only have about 35 parts and much fewer moving parts. Its dead simple and dead realiable. Its like the AK47, simple and reliable. Are there better calibers? Lighter guns? Sure. Will it get the job done? It sure will.
     
  23. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

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    Sure there's a ton of newer guns at the lower end of price range.

    How many are as reliable, though ?
     
  24. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    The Maks make great CC guns.I find them to be more reliable and less temper mental than say the Walther PP series.The East German ones are considered the nicest,but I have Bulgies,Russian and even a Chinese one that have never failed.
    Since some of them can be had in .380 it makes a great combo.
     
  25. ThirdWatcher

    ThirdWatcher Member

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    I have one of those Bulgarian Makarov pistols and I really like it. It is very reliable (no FTFs so far) and enjoyable to shoot. It really is a well-made pistol.

    There's an outfit on Ebay that's selling Don Hume H726 leather holsters for $39.00 delivered. (I bought one and it works well for CCWing my Makarov.)

    The only problem I've had is finding 9x18 ammo locally.
     
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