How about a Makarov?

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by potato_sniper, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. potato_sniper

    potato_sniper New Member

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    Hey All,
    A friend of mine is willing to sell his two tone PA-63 Makarov for $200. I like the gun, I can shoot it well, and the price seems reasonable(it comes with the original leather holster and 3-7rd clips). I'd like to carry it in Tennesse when I turn 21 and can legally do so. I have a few questions about it, though.

    1. Is there a "better" CCW for under/around $250? I think this is pretty much the smallest caliber that I want to carry. Any good, small, semi-auto or revolver would be fine. I could certainly live with a nice .38 spcl or .357 snubby-loaded with .38 spcl, if they were as accurate as the mak. By the way, I can hit 6" plates out to about 40 yds. with the mak.

    NOTE: Please don't any of the 1911 people chime in and harp about the superiority of thier ultra compact 1911. Those guns are too thick through the grips and my relatively small hand can't reach the slide release without turning the gun completely sideways. The same goes for the glocks.

    2. Does anyone know what the best (most reliable) ammo is for the Makarov? Silver Bear seems to work okay, but the wolf stuff jams constantly.

    3. What would be the ideal holster for this gun? I'm pretty short-5'6" -and closer to thick than thin, so I was thinking either small-of-the-back or ankle.

    4. The gun seems to torque back or pinwheel significantly. Is there anything I can do to combat this, i.e. weight, grips or my hold on the gun?

    Thanks for any feedback you might have. Also, if you have any opinions/feedback on this gun or one similar in purpose, feel free to share.

    Later.
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    The Mak is a design based on the Walther PPK, and has a reputation as a well made and reliable firearm.

    The 9x18 Makarov cartridge falls (in power) somewhere in between .380 ACP (9x17) and the 9mm Parabellum (9x19).

    If you're also considering a 2-inch snubby revolver in .38 Spl., the .38 Spl. certainly has more stopping power than the Mak, and you could probably find a nice used one for about that price. However, whether or not you could shoot it as well as the Mak, only you can decide. If you know of somebody with a snubbie, or can borrow or rent one, try it out.

    Remember, most defensive situations take place a 10 yards or less, so if you can hit a paper plate at that distance, you're in good shape.

    As for a holster......that's also a very personal choice. It has to be comfortable for YOU . I, personally, don't care for ankle holsters.......too slow to get at when you really need it.

    As for your other questions, since I don't have any personal experience with the Mak, I can't answer them.

    I have shot a bunch of snubbys and the PPK, and consider them adequate (depending on cartridge) for self-defense.

    However, the best defensive firearm is the one you can shoot best, and are most comfortable with.......
  3. gpostal

    gpostal Former Guest

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    take a knife ,cut around the wrist ,remove hands replace with bigger hands ,go with the 1911



    {just kidding }


    what kind of ammo are you using 9x18 ???

    they do make a conversion to shoot regular .380 , if you are not shooting it already ,i would hate to change a barrel you are getting that kind of grouping with though ,but regular .380 would lessen that recoil

    throw the wolf away {not kidding}
    steel case ammo ,i would not recomend

    as far as how to carry the gun ,its like using a pencil, you must decide were you feel comfortable ,to hold it , ankle holsters are ok , they do restrict a bit on walking to fast or running ,

    small of the back ,aka. magun p.i. carry , you can try with out a holster to see if it works for you , but makes it easy for a person to view your gun and possible remove it from your possesion{pickpocet, or a sudden struggle},and sometimes not to comfortable to sit down

    i personally like in front to the side of my belt buckle ,close to my pocket, so when you sit it goes into the crease of my lap , {don't care for were it aims} , but this has become very comfortable ,even with a medium size gun , it also would make it easier to retain my gun in a struggle
  4. cd45

    cd45 New Member

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    I have had a Russian Makarov for about 5 years now. When I carry it concealed, I carry Hornady Custom with 95 XTP's. It will hit into about 2-3 inches at 25 yards. I have two good holsters for it, one is the Fobus paddlen the other is an In-the-pants from Ross Leather. It is the smallest gun that I will carry. It is in 9x18 Makarov, not .380. I have never had a jam with this pistol, and am very impressed. Hope that you have good luck with yours.
  5. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    Potato_sniper, I think we're a lot alike.

    My weapon of choice for CCW is my Bulgarian Makarov. I use Silver Bear HP ammo. It's good stuff; I've never had any problems with it. I prefer the Bulgarian Mak over those European PA-63 models because it's better built and cheaper. It holds 8 in the mag and one in the pipe.

    I know what you mean about the torquing back or "pinwheeling" when you fire. This is because the Makarov has a fixed barrel. I have learned to just deal with it, but it does bother me when I shoot a lot.

    If $250 is your price range, you might also want to consider a Czech CZ-52. The 7.62x25 caliber is more powerful but the recoil is pretty tame compared to the Makarov. It has a roller-locking barrel/slide assembly. It's a larger handgun and thus harder to conceal, but it's a great handgun. Even with my relatively small hands, it's more comfortable than the Makarov. Price these days is about $100 to $130. The only drawback is that ammo is not very common and I have yet to see anyone selling softpoints or hollow points for it. I can only find FMJ.

    Back on the Makarov topic, I'm about the same size as you are and I can easily conceal it. I usually carry it in a shoulder harness. But I also have a custom-fitted leather holster for my belt that tucks it in close to my side. Falco makes some really good Makarov holsters for CCW. Check out http://www.makarov.com for examples. Here's a picture of one that's kinda like mine, but mine doesn't have the strap over the rear.
    [​IMG]
  6. LIKTOSHOOT

    LIKTOSHOOT Advanced Senior Member

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    First, the PA63 is not a Mak and at 200.00, he ain`t yer friend.



    LTS
  7. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I'm probably going to get flamed for this, but I've found my hi-point C9 is very popular with my small handed friends. I have fairly large hands and it fits fairly well, but I lost one to a friend who just couldn't find anything he could handle quickly, because of his thick palm/stubby fingers.

    It is a little thicker than the run-of-the-mill 9mm, but is very easy to conceal. The heavy slide cuts recoil a lot.

    Pops
  8. 1952Sniper

    1952Sniper New Member

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    Why would you get flamed for that? :confused:
  9. potato_sniper

    potato_sniper New Member

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    well, thanks for the input.

    Well,
    I'm gettin the sense that $200 for the Hungarian Pa-63 is pretty much a rip off. Secondly, I'm getting the feeling that Bulgarian or Polish Makarov is the way to go if I want a mak at all.

    So, I'm going back to the drawing board. Yesterday I had a blatantly obvious revelation. The only reason that I hated the 1911's so much is because I couldn't reach the slide release. Since I don't have that much experience with auto pistols, it never occured to me that I could just put a new clip in and pull the slide back and release on the 1911 just as easily as on the mak.

    Now, I'm considering everything from Kel Tec 9mm to a full size 1911 and my new questions are these:

    1.) If I were to consider getting a 1911 for general shooting and possible concealment at a later date, what would everyone reccomend for under $350? (I've considered selling my Heritage SA .22 to raise my budget)

    2.) Has anyone shot/owned any of the following 1911s?
    Llama/Firestorm/Israeli Arms International/Rock Island?

    3.) Does anyone have ANY suggestions for relatively cheap and relatively concealable pistols?

    4.) Can anybody testify to the accuracy of the Kel-tec 9mm's?

    I'm not flaming you A&S, but I've shot a Hi-Point .380 and it's so fat and awkward that it almost reminds me of myself. ;) All items(other than hi-points) will be considered and I have a year to decide before I can carry, so give me a shout and tell me what you think.
  10. Hydra Shok

    Hydra Shok New Member

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    Hey P_S, I reckon I'm the only one on this message board that has a Firestorm, or at least the only one that owns up to it. I have made several posts or replys to the attributes of the Firestorm. I've told em before and I'll tell you too ;) .

    Price wise you can't beat one, I paid $280 for mine brand new. Accuracy wise, not to bad, it's not a target pistol, look for 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" groups at 25 yds. Some parts interchange with other 1911 parts, some do not. I have no idea why some and some wouldn't. You can't take the grips off of a Colt or Kimber and put them on a Firestorm, the bottom hole on a Firestorm grip is lower. Can't fathom the reasoning behind this. If you are looking for a low budget 1911 look at a Firestorm I have around 400 + rounds thru mine with only 3 FTF. Those 3 were from some HP reloads I bought at a gunshow, the others fired and ejected fine.

    I don't have a Rock Island, but I have shot one that a buddy of mine at work has. He paid about $380 for it, and it shoots well. It grouped about the same as my Firestorm. I believe all Rock Island parts with interchange with other 1911 parts, not positive, but I think they do. It doesn't have a beavertail grip safety or combat styled hammer, but the Firestorm does have a beavertail grip safety and combat styled hammer.


    Kel-Tec, just got one for my wife this past weekend, along with my Taurus Millennium PT-111. Haven't shot either yet, but we are going tomorrow to start the breakins. I don't know why, but have been told the only Kel-Tec to get is the P32. By the way, I traded a Kimber for both of them this past weekend at the gun show.



    Firestorm's website : www.firestorm-sgs.com
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2003
  11. potato_sniper

    potato_sniper New Member

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    I know this thread has been down a while....

    Hey guys,
    I just wanted to say thanks for all the info. I wound up buying a really nice Ruger .357, 4-inch heavy barrel revolver because I thought it was a good deal ($275) and i knew that I had a while before my CCW days.

    I wanted to give a special thanks to 1952Sniper because I've been looking around for a Bulgarian mak ever since he mentioned his. I finally held one at a gun shop today for the first time, and it was lightyears ahead of the PA-63. It looked and felt much heavier and better made than the Hungarian. It had a slide release. I could reach the slide release. Oh, and it was just $169. I told the shopkeeper and I'll tell you guys, I would have bought it right then if I were only 21 - just 6 months to go. :) I'm pretty sure the mak is the way I'll go as soon as possible.

    After that, there's a local shop that has CCW classes for just $60. And I didn't know this until recently, but in Tennessee, a concealed carry permit is also an open carry permit. Welcome to the hills fellas. Of course, I'm sure that about 10 of 10 private businesses don't allow open carry, but it's still nice to have the option.

    Until then, I think I'll wait patiently and keep shooting the .357. And nothing says open carry like a big ol' .357--What? I'm just trying to think ahead.

    Thanks for the Help,
  12. Smokin Guns

    Smokin Guns New Member

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    Congrats Jon-Michael! Sounds like you've got ya a nice shooter... ;)

    If ya ever shoot some paper targets...Post 'em up...:cool:
  13. potato_sniper

    potato_sniper New Member

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    Thanks SG, I like to think so...

    I'll post one up. That is, if I can shoot any worth posting.

    Earlier in the post I said I could hit a 6" plate @ 40yards. I'm afraid some people thought I meant that I always grouped this well. It was more of a 2nd or 3rd shot on a good sunny day kinda thing-always offhand though.

    I'm having trouble getting the .357 dialed in. Every time I take it to the range with 50rnds of ammo, my friends want to shoot about 30-35 rounds of it. I can't say I blame them though.

    Plus it's at home in Chattanooga since I can't bring it up to school(UT) and can't even legally transport it in the car with me unloaded in a locked case(underage). So I don't get to spend nearly enough quality time with her.

    Thanks for the word of encouragement , though.

    Six months and counting down,
  14. Smokin Guns

    Smokin Guns New Member

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    Same here! If i'm shootin' during the week...I'm usually flyin' solo, but on decent weekends...other folks is comin' over and we shoot each others...;)
  15. Old Timer

    Old Timer New Member

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    Jump on those Makarovs. The price is great and the guns, though a fraction big and definitely ugly, work like a charm, as a rule. I've had two Maks and two PA-63. I found the Maks marginally more dependable and the PA-63 much better looking. I still have one of each.
    Be careful with the ammo. American ammo often gets hung up in the magazines. Too long. Wolf brand JHPs have short, fat JHPs, like the original military 9x18 mm ammo. I don't know how well Wolf JHPs work, but then I don't know how well the US ammo works either.
    Yes, there are better concealed carry guns out there (Kahr, Kel-Tec and Taurus 9mmPs) for prices not too high, but there's nothing like the the Mak for that price. They are just a bit heavy for my taste, but I'm picky about size, weight and caliber. Old Timer
  16. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

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    I bought a Russian Mak in the mid-90's for $129 and it is a shooter. I have shot the Norinco (noncorrosive) ammo through it and it has never jammed on me. It's accurate and a decent little gun but I carry a SP101.

    Congrats on the Ruger, which model did you get?
  17. Ski

    Ski New Member

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    I have a Hungarian FEG PA-63 Two-toned pistol, a 9x18 Mak replica of the Walther PPK, made for the Staasi, and I purchased it in good condition with a holster and two 7-round magazines for $189.

    The price is very reasonable for that weapon, however, there are some caveats for you. Try to get the monotone, as the aluminum alloy topside of the two-tone Officers' model tends to erode. This is especially true if you use a lot of .380 instead of Makarov ammo (Yes, you can do that in a pinch).

    I had severe feeding and jamming problems with one of mine (I have a few, because they are such nice guns), and I had to send it to a gunsmith far out of the area to get the work done to make it reliable again.

    This is a home defense gun, for sure. If you need a good carry piece, this weapon with soft-point or drilled/filled "hollowpoint" Military ball ammo has excellent stopping power, and I even have a box of customized Star Core ammo, which I filled with glass beads (a la Glaser)and tapped in a pointed, drill-wedged, forged steel centerpost. That's a lot of work, I assure you, but those cartridges will take down any intruder and not go through any walls


    I doubt it.

    For home defense or urban carry in a warm climate, the Makarov should be all you would ever need, but in colder climates, you may want to opt for more stopping power. Again, you may want to explore available cartridges for more takedown power.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I like the weapons you just mentioned, but unless you are a die-hard .45 fan, I would see no reason to be hung up on them. Better stopping power, yes. But it's much better to shoot what you are comfortable shooting. If you can place your shots, a .22LR is as effctive as a .50AE, but under the grave extreme of a real firefight, you might not have time to place your shots. You can get more rounds in a tighter, leaner, meaner package and feel less recoil with a Mak.

    I never had problems with Wolf ammo except when I eroded my weapon's breach, but that's not to say you didn't get a bad lot of ammo.


    I tend to favor a shoulder carry, but it will fit in the small of the back very nicely. You'd have to be in a cold climate to conceal it in an ankle holster, and I don't recommend the Mak for cold climates due to poor penetration through heavy clothing.


    I never had this difficulty with any of my Maks, so I am afraid I don't have any help to offer you on that.


    A weapon of similar purpose would be a Polish P-64, which comes in 13-round capacity, though concealment would not be as easy.

    Another is the Browning BDA .380, and Colt makes several weapons in .380.

    Beretta has several as well.

    Mind you, .380 is lower powered than 9 Mak.

    You may be pleasantly surprised at some of the 9x19s (parabellum) available, as they are quite similar in size, capacity and profile to the ppk-style weapons.

    I do not recommend S&W due to its political appeasementism. If they had the finest weapons on the market, I would not buy them and would STILL recommend against anyone else buying them.

    (When you live in a swamp, those who feed the alligators should not be given more food.)
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  18. tntrucker

    tntrucker New Member

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    To each his own, I guess. I'm not going to shoot 380 in a 9x18. Also the 9x18 is more available and cheaper. Tell me about this Polish P-64 with 13 rd cap? I'm looking at mine and it's 6+1. CZ-82 is 12+1 could that be the one you meant?
  19. tntrucker

    tntrucker New Member

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    Not at all trying to be a smart alec. But actually none 0f these guns is really a Makarov. People tend to call everything that shoots 9x18 a Mak. From what I've read (don't claim to know eveything). True Makarov's only come from Rusia, East Germany, and Bulgaria. Hard to find and much more expensive.
  20. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    tntrucker good call, lots of people mistakenly call anything that shoots the 9x18 makarov caliber a makarov. the p-64 made by radom and other polish factories are not makarovs and the p-63 is a feg that happens to shoot the makarov round. after the true makarov's and the cz 82 and the polish p-64 everything else is a converted 32 or 380 rebarreled to fire the makarov round. and before anyone tells me the cz 83 is just a re-barreled cz82 in 380, the facts are the 82 came first in 9x18 and the 83 soon followed in 380 for export to the usa...