BEGINNERS MAKAROV: An Introduction From HumbleGunGuy

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The Pistolet Makarova, known in the U.S. as just the Makarov, began production in 1951, as a much needed replacement for the TT33 Tokarev and Nagant revolvers. Requirements for the replacement of these two service pistols were as such: Simplicity and Reliability. If you’re at all familiar with the sidearms used by the Soviets in World War 2, being more compact and lighter in weight may have also been considered when designing what we see today. Beginners Makarov is a guest post by HumbleGunGuy.

The pistol is chambered in 9×18 PM (also known as 9×18 Makarov) which is more powerful than the 380 ACP, but only in the slightest. Magazine capacity of the Makarov is 8 rounds, utilizing the antiquated design of a heel-release to remove the magazine. The Soviets wanted this feature, due to reports of soldiers easily loosing mags in the field. Having simplicity in mind, the pistol functions with direct blowback from the fired round, along with having a fixed barrel. Not only was this simple, it was also reliable and inherently more accurate. This rugged and dependable design led to a multitude of countries producing their own.

Of these countries making their own version of the Makarov, we have China, East Germany, and of course the Soviet Union. Some are better than others, the East German being regarded as one of the best out there. Hungary and Poland also produced very similar pistols, the PA-63 and P64, respectively. Despite firing the same round, neither of these two are actually a Makarov (which they’re commonly referred to as). The commonality between these pistols, however, is from what seems to be their inspiration: The Walther PP design.

Overall, the Makarov made for a great sidearm in the Soviet Union and satellite nations. Compact, lighter weight, and reliabilty quickly made it a favorite amongst police and military personnel. Although there are many other proven designs that make the Makarov obsolete in today’s world, the pistol holds an important historical value to collectors today (myself included). Not only does it have history, but is also a great shooter for the range. Ammo and magazines are still out there, but like all surplus, will be gone over time.

John – “ HumbleGunGuy” has a passion for all MilSurp firearms, including the Makarov.

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  • Nameson Nameson on Jun 10, 2018

    Didn't you take it apart?

    The magazine release is the mainspring and trigger return spring. The slide release is the ejector. FCG parts have integral pins. DA/SA with safety and decocker in fewer parts than a Glock!

    And the safety swipes down, which seems to be a unique feature for a PP descendant.

    • Ayur Sandanov Ayur Sandanov on Jun 12, 2018

      @Nameson Yeah, I love the elegance of its engineering. It's what, 14 parts in all?

  • "Hungary and Poland also produced very similar pistols, the PA-63 and P64, respectively" - By the way, the Hungarian FÉG PA-63 is a copy of the Walther PP in 9×18 mm with alloy frame and a special firing pin block.