One of the main ergonomic issues (for a modern shooter) of the Makarov pistol is the heel magazine release. With some practice, you can do reasonably fast magazine changes, but you still can’t get even close to the speed of the thumb actuated magazine release button or lever. No wonder why many aftermarket grip manufacturers for this pistol incorporate a thumb release conversion mechanism into their grips. This author is aware of four such grips currently available on the market – one is made by the Israeli FAB Defense, and the other three are manufactured by Russian companies Dozor, PM-Laser and Diamond Arms. The latter is a new product which we’ll take a look at in this article.
Diamond Arms RP-PM grip is made of a high-impact polymer. It has a rather large arced rear strap with horizontal retention grooves and hexagonal indentations on the sides. The internal metal linkage lever is designed to be attached to the original heel magazine release (bottom end of the mainspring) and convert it into a right-side thumb lever. The grip also has a threaded socket at the bottom rear portion (behind the magazine well) that allows screwing in a lanyard loop.
The RP-PM grip is a drop-in product – the installation requires no modifications to the gun. The grip is attached to the pistol via the original grip screw. The installation process is shown in the video below.
The RP-PM grip is compatible with Russian Makarov pistols and the whole line of Makarov-based commercial, less-lethal/traumatic and blank-firing pistols that are ubiquitous in Russia and post-soviet countries. The MSRP of the Diamond Arms RP-PM grip on the Russian market is 1700 rubles which is equal to about $23. I guess there should be no legal obstacles for having one shipped to the stateside, however, the online stores I found this grip listed on (check here and here) have no information concerning shipping abroad.
Images from www.facebook.com/diamond.a.r.m.s.TM