FAB Defense Makarov Grip With Thumb Mag Release.

Zahal shows how easy it is to install the Fab Defense Makarov grip. The most interesting feature is the thumb magazine release. Kinda like the trigger of the MP5K briefcase, the thumb release on this grip actuates a transfer bar that moves the heel mag release.

I hope they make something like this for the Walther P38, because reasons.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • SirOliverHumperdink

    Genius. I’d like to handle it before I buy it. Hopefully someone at the Oaks show this weekend will have one for sale.

  • BearSlayer338

    I actually prefer the heel release system,I can reload a stock Makarov very fast just as fast as I can reload a pistol with and American style mag release.It is all about using the right technique when you are using a heel release,but if you can get that down the heel release will no longer be a disadvantage for you.

  • Lance

    Prefer to keep a Makarov a Makarov.

  • Mmmtacos

    At first I thought they were just putting a key ring on it and I rolled my eyes.

    But what they actually did is pretty damn impressive. Surprised that they’re making anything for the Mak in the first place…

    • Probably for sales in the eastern European market. There’s a lot of Maks floating around, and a lot of their grips are probably old/cracked and need replacing.

      • Camilo Emiliano Rosas Echeverr

        I doubt it, since East Europe is not full of Americans that find heel releases TEH EVUL

        • Isaac O. Lees

          Not evil, just retarded. No need to be salty just because we caught on to the fact before you yuropoors :^)

          • iksnilol

            Eh, heel releases are better. Less likely to bump them.

          • Joshua

            nothing I hate more than the browning style mag release, when I’m not dropping them accidentally I can’t reach them, then I drop them on something else. I would like to try the Walther style release, but I do like a good heel release

          • iksnilol

            I find they work well enough as long as you’re right/left handed only. Trying to use a right handed pistol with an “American” mag release with your left hand is a recipe for disaster.

  • FrenchKiss

    Hmmm. Never seen this guy before. Of course, ZAHAL, is the Hebrew pronunciation of the acronym for the IDF: Tzva Haganah Le Israel.

  • Blake

    Cool. It’s not every day you see someone release new Makarov accessories.

    Hopefully these feel & handle better than the combloc grips, because they certainly don’t look better…

  • Schwerpunkt

    I own these grips and they are currently installed on my Bulgarian Makarov. I paid $36 with free shipping and, for me (your mileage may vary), they’re worth every penny and the 14 business day wait (to the US from Israel). Let me just say, first off, do I wish I were a purist and could run the bakelite grips (the bakelite grips just look like they BELONG) and the original 17lb recoil spring like a boss? Of course I do. But I can’t. These grips, coupled with a 21lb Wolff recoil spring, make shooting the Mak a real pleasure: I mean, of the “will somebody please come and load magazines for me?” variety. The ergonomics are much improved (for me), pointability is more “natural” and recoil management (again, with the heavier spring) isn’t even a thing. I’m no expert pistolero. I mean, give me three rounds and all day to do it and I’ll hit the bull at 25yds every time, sure. But with this upgrade setup, ringing steel at 25yds nearly as fast as I could pull the trigger was EASY (thanks, in large part, to the inherent accuracy of this pistol). Also, for those curious, the grips do not completely obscure the heel release (hardly at all really); you can still use that method for mag changes if you prefer. Given THAT fact, upgrading simply for the improved ergo’s while still changing the mags “the way they were meant to be changed” could be worth it to you. As I never intend on using a lanyard, I simply removed the E-clip (C-clip?) from the opposite end of the pin that the ring is attached to and pulled it free. Now, if I only knew someone from the next county who could catch my brass for me (yeah, it throws cases that far), I’d be pushing lead down the Mak’s pipe instead of typing this 🙂 Hope this helps.

    • Bigbigpoopi

      Is the lanyard reversible? Cause lefty life sucks.

      • Schwerpunkt

        As I recall (I don’t have the wep in front of me), it is (just remove the E-clip, slide the pin out of the left, slide it in the right, and reinstall the E-clip). However, while the thumb release feature LOOKS like it’s reversible, it isn’t. But don’t fret, “Lefty”…they make a LH version 🙂

    • Dcoil1

      My grip was a pain to install. I had to get the mag release tab into the loop of the heel release and then rock the whole grip over the backstrap of the pistol in order to get it on. My grip was slightly concave ( like /_ instead of |_| when viewed from the top), so it took a lot of effort and some gouging of the polymer to get it on. Did you have a similar experience?

      Other than that gripe, I agree with everything you said about the grip. It was well worth the moneynand a great addition to the Makarov.

      • Schwerpunkt

        I don’t know that I’d call it “a pain” per say, but my previously unscratched, unissued Mak MAY have a small scratch on the heel mag release. Oh, and I MAY have let loose a string of explicatives that would make Yosemite Sam blush. I had no gouging of the polymer though, slid right on. WRAP THE TIP OF YOUR SCREWDRIVER WITH TAPE…and pray your mag release slides as easily to the side and allows ample clearance for the lever as it does in the video.

  • Isaac O. Lees

    Oh I’m sure these comments will be completely reasonable and absolutely no “rifle is fine” autismos will make an appearance. No, no, nothing but logical people here, I mean, who would possibly shitpost on an article about slavshit?

  • Nigel Tegg


    • Gunner4guy


      Got the extended slide release before Fed Arms went belly up. Now I need this…!!!

  • DW

    Pistol is fine?

  • Kenny Lam

    I hope they make one for the Makarov PMM too…

  • Bob

    Hmmm… Can’t decide if I want…

  • LOL—oh well buddy it’s a big world I guess:-)

  • Colin

    Nyet, handgun is fine.

  • Fegelein

    Why would you mess with it in that way? The heel release is there for a reason: because their button-release TT33’s had experienced issues with unintentional magazine drops in combat.

    • May

      Better to train away accidentally hitting the magazine release than to effectively double your reload time by making it unnecessarily difficult to reload. when you need to arm a couple million conscripts and the men to execute said conscripts then maybe, but for defensive carry training is everything.

      • Cmex

        There’s a thread on Gunboards from some years ago called “Makarov performance at Tactical Pistol course”. Here are a couple excerpts.

        “The course was taught by a local police officer and certified law enforcement pistol instructor, supported by five other instructors including a local SWAT team member and a retired Army Ranger. Of the 20 participants, about half were local law enforcement and the remainder were (like us) intermediate-level civillian shooters.”

        ” Most of the participants were shooting service or competition automatic pistols from major manufacturers like Glock, Beretta and Smith & Wesson in 9mm, .40 or .45. One participant was shooting a Sig Sauer automatic pistol in .380. Of the civillian shooters, about half were kitted for concealed carry.”

        “The course consisted of seven modules:

        – Fundamentals refresher (safety, stance, presentation and aiming)
        – Accuracy drills and action shooting (turn and fire)
        – Combat shooting I (combat and tactical reloading, combat jam clearing, use of movement while reloading)
        – Combat shooting II (sustained movement while engaging single and multiple targets)
        – 180-degree qualification drills (firing on multiple targets in a 180-degree arc)
        – Combat shooting III (alternate firing positions, firing from cover, LAPD car-cover technique)
        – Speed drills (draw-to-fire, firing rhythm, reloading)”

        “The course lasted nearly ten hours without scheduled breaks and each participant firing about 350 rounds throughout the day.”

        “Reload time. In both cases, the Makarov significantly underperformed (an average of 4 seconds to combat reload a Makarov as compared to 2 seconds or less for most of the pistols used in the course). This also highlighted that a Makarov shooter would be at higher risk in an actual combat situation. In fairness, this is due to the Makarov having a European-style magazine base release instead of a push-button release more common to American pistols. The Sig Sauer experienced similar reload times. However, unlike the Sig Sauer, the Makarov’s slide release had to be used (instead of racking the slide) to chamber the first round from a fresh magazine. This added some time to the Makarov reloads.”

        “One other thing I noticed with my Mak, is the almost impossiblity of dumping a magazine accidently. Three competitors with other pistols accidently dumped their magazine with their offhand thumb (it looked like). Twice it happened while transitioning the gun in strong to weak hand shooting drills around weak side obsticles. So the mag release is a tradeoff I think in some ways.”

        These shooters were all experienced and had prior training, yet there were still multiple cases of magazines being accidentally dropped. Police in gun struggles and shootouts have also dropped magazines, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. Given human abilities to respond under stress and what stress does to coordination, the risk of accidentally dropping a magazine by something even as unintentional as your hand being pushed aside in a struggle outweighs the benefits of being able to reload atmost two seconds faster.

    • Miguel Raton

      Heel release is there for a reason: pistols were not considered a fighting instrument, but a badge of rank. Officers don’t need to change mags quickly, and a heel release is easier & cheaper to implement than a push-button release.

      The reality is that in all likelihood, you’ll never need to do a tactical reload on your d2d carry Mak, but if you did, wouldn’t you really rather have a Buick? ;-D

      Love the concept. Leave it to the Israelis to come up with that perfect widget to sell to the Yank gun nut. They’ve got no oil, so they’ve got to live by their wits! Big ups to’em, that’s capitalism w/ a capital C! Only in America! [Er, wait…huh?] 😉

  • Simcha M.

    Makes me wonder why nobody ever made aftermarket grips for the Browning Hi-Power which incorporated an elongated hammer spur to prevent hammer/slide bite. In any event, that’s why I love my Kareen MKIII, I can have my Hi-Power and shoot it, too.

  • Asgard928

    Still looking for a place to order one of these. Been a Mak lover for many years now and appreciate their reliability and accuracy.

  • RickOAA .

    Too much use of the word “tactical.”

  • Jackson Andrew Lewis

    you dont need to take it off target if you train

  • Doom

    Not sure why people have so much trouble with the “European” style release, it is just as natural for me as the other way. It is kind of ugly looking, but I really do like that it prevents hammer bite, which is why I have sold every makarov I have ever owned like an idiot, including my wonderful looking East German Mak…

  • Miguel Raton

    Fail to see why they couldn’t just make it in Ambi, so you only have to buy one grip? So what if it takes an extra minute to put on? It’s not like you need to remove the grip often [not part of normal field-stripping of the Mak.]

    I guess with the heel release still accessible, it doesn’t really need an ambi version; if you’re already reduced to firing w/ your weak hand, it’s not like you’ll be doing tactical reloads anyway, wot?

  • Asgard928

    I like the ergo style of the grip even more than the optional standard type mag release. Mak’s are great reliable pistols and even though they were very low in price at one time (under $100) they feel and shoot like a much more expensive handgun plus they are small enough to conceal. I think I will try one and also try the 21 lb Wolff recoil spring in one of my Mak’s. The only negative thing anyone can really say about them is they do have quite the snap which makes them a not-so-great range gun. Maybe the spring will help that.

  • Trey

    “not very tactical” would that not depend on the tactics ?