Is it the Russian, Bulgarian, East German? I am looking for one and would like input. I have a FEG PA-63 in 9x18, but want a real Makarov design pistol.
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Aren’t they all identical for the most part? That was a very standardized design, I had a Russian commercial one like 10 years ago that shot really nice but they are very heavy for their size and capacity.
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I like the sights on the Russian commercial versions myself (others find them a bit narrow), and the ones with fixed sights tend to sell at higher prices since Russian surplus was somehow not supposed to ever make it into the US.
Having said that, you can't possibly go wrong with a good Bulgarian (easily the most common option available today), and the Suhl East German pistols are reputedly the very best.
If you're branching out a bit in general, don't overlook the Polish P83 Wanad pistols.
The blued finish on the East German model is very nice.
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Never owned one but the East Germans I have seen always seemed particularly nice.
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How about the Polish Radom? I've seen them more avaliable somewhat locally, and was thinking of getting one sometime.
The East German Makarov has the best looks with the Bulgarian as a Close second. I have 1 East German and 3 Bulgarians. They are very sweet and accurate shooters. They are very simple pistols to maintain and take apart fully. E Germans are hard to get, not so the Bulgarian.
I concur that the East German Maks look the best, but the Bulgarian I picked up dirt cheap a couple of months ago is darn close. It appeared to have never been fired, and I suspect the seller thought it was defective. The firing pin channel was completely stuffed with cosmoline (or a like substance). The free floating firing pin was not moving at all.
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E German are going to be more refined.
In addition to East Germany and Bulgaria, Russia also licensed the Chinese to produce the Makarov.
Bulgarian made are the most common in both military and commercial versions.
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I once owned a gorgeous 1962 E. German Makarov. I believe they are the best of the lot - with fit and finish ordinarily on par with Walther PP/PPK's of the same vintage. A quick check of current prices confirms others agree.
I've got Makarovs from East Germany, Bulgaria, China and Russia (Soviet era). They are all FANTASTIC! Totally reliable pistols. You can't go wrong with any of them. The Soviet era and Chinese ones are going to be the most expensive. Bulgarians are the best value but they too have gone up in price within the last few years.
I had a Polish Radom P63. There's a web site out there that gives some good tips including replacing the hammer spring. While snappy it was accurate and the work I did was 100% improvement. All easy by the way.
I like the East German version...
I believe the OP desires info on the "best" Makarov.
The Poles made the P-64 and the P-83 (Wanad) in 9x18 mm. Neither of these is a Makarov.
Hungary made the PA-63 (aluminum framed Walther PP clone) in 9x18 mm. Again not a Makarov.
Supposedly, Makarovs have been made in six (6) countries -- the USSR, East Germany, Bulgaria,
China, Libya and Vietnam. I've never even seen a photo of a Libyan or Vietnamese mfgd. Makarov.
I do possess an as new Russian military Mak (complete rig) made in 1986. Have a Chinese PM (bought NIB);
an exe+ Bulgarian (rig) as well as a hand select EG Mak (rig).
Don't recall what I paid for the Chinese (200??). The EG was $125. The Russian $157 (from S.O.G.)
and the Bulgarian was $100. Yes, I've had these for several decades!
I can tell you this -- don't fret over which country's is "best". Find a clean example at a price you
can afford and purchase it. Never seen one that wasn't solid, reliable. well made pistol.
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I recall reading the East Germans had former Walther factories and gunsmiths making them which is why they are considered the best.
I have a commercial Russian Makarov with the adjustable rear sight. It has not been out of the safe since I acquired my CZ-82. All of my 9x18 Makarov ammo now feeds my CZ-82.
As stated before the East German are the nicest ones, however they are harder to find and cost much more. The Bulgarian ones are nice followed by the Russian Military.
Front sight...Front sight...Front sight...Only Hits Count.
I agree. I have a German, Bulgarian, commerical and military Russian, as well as Chinese. The East German seems the smoothest.
The one I have was made in Bulgaria. Good shooting pistol. Haven't seen any of the others so can't comment on those.
I have difficulties with the credibiliy of the red. Althoug the PP and the PM look alike the technical design is different.
The citis of Suhl and Zella Mehlis located various well known companies like Walther, J.P Sauer, Haenel and Krieghoff and all these companies had either been destroyd or disassembled and moved to the USSR between 45 ang 49. Ther was no Walther know how anymore in the early 50s when PM production start in East Germany and I really doubth they took over know how fom forced labour camps like Grottau or Neugamme a decade after the end of the war to produce pristine quality made in Germany.
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