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Best Makarov?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by taylor, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking of buying a 9x18 and was wondering what is the best model to go for? as far as overall quality.
     
  2. Jerry

    Jerry Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Baikal - I've got one and it's a very well made firearm. The functioning has been flawless. I've had mine for about 16 years and will never sell it. Many, many rounds through it with no feeding issues and only one stovepipe.

    I've heard that the Bulgarian models are very good, but have no experience with them.
     
  3. safooma

    safooma Oregon Member

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    The ones made in East Germany are generally touted as being the best. Great fit/finish and fantastic triggers.
     
  4. tkdguy

    tkdguy Portland, Oregon Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I am certain that CZ is more expensive, but these are a jewel. If you can go the distance on price, consider this one. You will not be unhappy with it.
     
    Redcap and (deleted member) like this.
  5. safooma

    safooma Oregon Member

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    I have an EG '63 that I picked up in 1991 or 92, BTW. It is one of the best shooting guns I have. Amazingly accurate and 100% reliable.
     
  6. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    I own a CZ-82 in 9X18mm...very dependable
     
  7. North Bender

    North Bender King County Member

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    I have Makarovs from Russia (the military version; not Baikal), East Germany, and Bulgaria. The EG does have the nicest finish but you pay more for these and they don't shoot more accurately. The Russian is worth the most and would be considered mostly by collectors. For value consider finding a Bulgarian.

    I never wanted a Baikal - the adjustable sights have given some people problems and they stick up a bit high with sharp edges. But Jerry here likes his and so do many others. They are the least expensive Makarov.

    One big advantage with Makarovs is the ease of home smithing these things. They strip down in 2 seconds for cleaning, and you can remove all internal parts for cleaning in a minute. Plus they're super accurate.

    Of the other pistols that shoot 9x18 that I own the CZ82 is the most fun to shoot. It holds 12 rounds in the magazine (the Makarov holds 8) and feels great in the hand. They're a bit bigger than Makarovs. You can find 82s for around $200 now - that's the best value in a 9x18 shooter. I also own the PA-63, P-64, and FEG SMC 918. These 3 are a bit punishing to shoot, even after spring changes. None of these pistols are easy to dissamble past the slide removal - in fact, don't even try if you're not really prepared. Each has some quirks: the P-64 has an awful trigger pull (alleviated somewhat by a spring change) and it's real snappy to shoot; the PA-63 is aluminum framed and you can only shoot the more moderately loaded rounds in them, and the FEG SMC 918 is so small that it's difficult for me to shoot it accurately (very cool gun though - and a bit hard to find).

    You would be impressed by the Bulgarian Makarov.

    Deals can always be found but here are some average going rates:

    Baikal (Russian commercial) Makarov: ~ $200
    Bulgarian Mak: ~ $250
    East German Mak: ~$350
    Russian Military Mak: ~ $500

    CZ-82: ~$200 - $225
    P-64: $225 - $250
    PA-63: ~$225? (I haven's seen them on the market for a while)
    FEG SMC 918: prices range all over if you can find one. ~ $225 would be good.
     
    safooma, Toxic6, Goat Herder and 3 others like this.
  8. Toxic6

    Toxic6 Higher then a PDX hipster (~10,000 ft higher) Active Member

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    This site is still up for reference and it has a bit of info too Makarov.com - FAQL

    I'd say quality wise the Bulgarian military style may be a little more durable then the Baikal Russian commercial ones....but that is just my opinion. I had a real nice late production one marked Arsenal Bulgaria that I regret selling. Had a real nice dark parkerized finish.....almost black. :(
     
  9. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    Norhbender pretty much hit the nail on the head. Great summary. There is a chinese variant also, fit and finish varies and they're a little harder to find.
     
  10. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Was there a Yugo version?
     
  11. Aero Denezol

    Aero Denezol Salem Active Member

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    I bought a Bulgarian Makarov PM last fall for $200 (private sale) which included 4 mags, holster, loading tool, and extra grips. I replaced the spring w/ a Wolf Spring and it's a lot of fun to shoot. I can place all my shots 'in the ring' at 15 yards, which surprised me for a small pistol. I think it's a very manageable shooter, and being partial to all-steel construction, I really like the weight.

    I originally wanted a CZ-82, but after handling an IJ-70 at a gun show it really felt good in my hand and I decided to go w/ a PM. Widener's has Bulgarian Maks right now for $240. If you get one you won't regret it.
     
  12. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Since we're on the subject, is there a Makarov made in 9x19? I've shot one before in 9x18, but would prefer one in 9x19 as I've got a Glock 17 and hope to have a Glock 19 soon.
     
  13. .40cal EMT

    .40cal EMT Portland, OR Member

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    I own an IJ70 bikal, have never has an issue with them. Recently shot a german model, to be honest the german one looked nicer, but shot the same as my Bikal. I've owned my makarov techincally since I was like 12? Saw it in a guns and ammo magazine, asked dad if he would buy it, ithink we pais like 150including fees 16yrs ago now, shoot any 9x18 I can find, wolf, brown bear, heck some stuff from the gun show in paper wrappers with string keeping it together etc. Use it as a carry gun a few times
     
  14. North Bender

    North Bender King County Member

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    There wasn't a Yugo version.

    There was a brief experiment trying to modify a Makarov to shoot 9x19 that was disastarous. The makarov is designed for a top pressure of 24,000 psi. 9x19 develops significantly more than that.

    bmw2 mentioned the Chinese version of the Makarov. Those were mostly imported by NORINCO and were a commercial variant with real lousy adjustable sights. There are also a few military Chinese models in country, mostly VN bringbacks, and they go for over $1,000.
     
  15. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Shucks, thanks for the information.
     
  16. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    There's a bulgy mak in the classifieds right now.

    Hey dieselscout, what are the specs on your scout? I've had nine IH's but not for years, I really miss them.
     
  17. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    I've owned quite a few little 9x18 guns over the years and feel that the CZ-82 is superior.
     
  18. bmw2

    bmw2 Mount Vernon, Wa Active Member

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    The sights are better on the CZ's and it is a higher capacity. I find the Makarov a little easier to coneal and the grip has that " just right " feel for me and the extra four rounds isn't a big deal for me. I always carry a couple of reloads anyway. Heck, I'm a revolver guy a lot of the time, eight rounds is a treat! :D
     
  19. North Bender

    North Bender King County Member

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    Redcap I agree that a CZ-82 is superior for capacity and ergonomics - they feel good in the hand and the sights are better than a Makarov. But the CZ is bigger and the Makarov feels pretty good and shoots straight too, and like I wrote above a Dufus can completely dissemble a Mak. Nobody in their right mind would tear down a CZ-82. I really appreciate the simplicity of a Mak; I recommend them to new shooters because it can draw them in to looking at the internal workings of a pistol. A peasant from the Ukraine can be taught to fix one in the dark.

    That's my take. There is much written about whether a CZ-82 is "better" than a Makarov and I think that's a pretty numb discussion. They each have their plusses and minuses.
     
  20. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    having read Northbender over on the Mak forum for years, I am here to say that he KNOWS what he is talking about.

    I was a Bulgarian owner for years, but changed over to a CZ82 for a while, and now am carrying a Star B series....Gotta love milsurp "GI" proof weapons.