Polish P83...More Than Meets The Eye
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Thread: Polish P83...More Than Meets The Eye

  1. #1
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    Default Polish P83...More Than Meets The Eye

    I wanted one of these pistols and one of the P64's when they were imported several years ago but I didn't get either one because I just couldn't get past the awful import stamp on their slides. Then they disappeared and I wished I had bought them. I have a Polish AKM built from a matching parts kit, a Polish RPD built from a matching parts kit and a MAG98 pistol, but I didn't have a P64 or a P83 because of that stupid import stamp.
    Well, both came around again and I picked both up. The P64, as you all know, is a typical Warsaw Pact blowback pistol chambered in 9x18 Makarov made the same way they all used to be; that is to say milled from solid stock. Neat and fun but, lets face it, nothing much in the innovation department. At first glance, theP83 is more of the same. It's a simple Warsaw Pact blowback built in the quadrillions to arm the proletariat armies in the defense of the motherland against the impending Capitalist hoards. From a functional design standpoint, that is true. The trigger pull is long, creepy and heavy. The safety lever is tiny and hard to manipulate. The hammer is huge and lacks ergonomics. The safety dot paint looks like a three year old did it with his eyes closed on a bus with poor suspension an a cobblestone street. The sights are tiny and the finish is rough compared to even other Eastern Bloc offerings. But it's dead reliable and that's what really counts in the end.
    There is nothing special and a lot copied in the P83. While it does have a couple interesting and original design details, the magazine and cartridge are pure Soviet PM. The takedown block is straight off the Sauer 38H and the trigger mechanism is an only slightly modified copy of that used in the Walther P38. The way the firing pin lowers when the safety is applied and the cutout in the hammer to accommodate this is also taken from Walther's P5. So there is nothing special about the design when seen in that light. I knew that and expected that. I also knew that the pistol was made primarily from stamped parts and that fact alone was what has intrigued me since I learned about it some years ago. Anybody who knows me or knows my work knows that I am absolutely fascinated by anything made of pressed metal, especially firearms. While the fact that the P83 is a stamped pistol is generally known, no real details about construction are available online so I knew I had to buy one to find out just how it was all put together. What I found so amazed me that I felt compelled to take some pictures to share with you all.
    This little essay is not about how the P83 works or about documenting every part and mark, but rather about how it is built. When I took the slide and grips off of this thing to clean the storage cosmoline out of all the nooks and crannies, I was blown away by the sophistication and complexity exhibited in its construction. Although execution of the build and finish are crude by Western standards, the innovation hidden in this otherwise ordinary looking pistol is on par with it's grandfather, the Jager Pistole of 1914 and its contemporary, the HK P9S. If placing ANY Warsaw Pact pistol on the same level as an HK sounds wacko to you, trust me, I would laughed had you made the same statement to me just a couple days ago. I never expected to see such genius of manufacture embodied in a communist design; it just didn't seem possible......but it is. Let's get to some pictures and I'll show you what I mean.

    This will take a few posts and I'm not doing them all at this moment. However, it should be done by tomorrow night so check back.

    A Radom P83 made just before the fall of the iron curtain in 1989:

















    This particular pistol came from Widener's for the princely sum of $200 plus shipping. It has two matching magazines and a nicely worn in patina to it, just the way I like them. That means it helped make history instead of just passing through it. It also came with a cleaning rod but there isn't a picture of that because I only discovered it after I was finished with the camera. I'm not too bright.


    Lets get a some comparison shots out of the way first. Here are couple pictures showing a size comparison between the P83, it's predecessor the P64 and an Izhevsk produced PM:






    And here we see it compared to the worlds first use of pressed metal construction in a firearm, the Jager of 1914 and it's stamped contemporary, the HK P9S:






    Here, the takedown block is lowered for disassembly. Below is an the Sauer 38H with its takedown block lowered for disassembly. Neato!




    Let's look at the takedown block a little closer.
    Up and ready for use:



    The little hole in the trigger guard is for the ball detent in the takedown block to pop into and lock the block in place.


    Down and ready for disassembly:



    You can see the detent ball through the hole.


    On the left is a P83 magazine and on the right is one from an East German produced Makarov:





    Last edited by BWilhelm; 06-06-2015 at 08:55 PM.
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    Now for the fun stuff. We'll start with the slide. It was NOT machined from billet as normal slides are. Instead, it started out as a flat piece of steel and was bent into an upside down "U" shape. Then a machined steel block was inserted into the front and welded or brazed (I don't know which but I will use the word "weld" or "welded" from here on for the sake of convenience) in place. Take a look at the picture below:



    You can easily see the seam where the milled barrel bushing block meets the stamped slide. Notice that the front sight is part of the barrel bushing and sticks up through a notch cut into the slide.


    Here is the bottom front of the slide:



    If you look carefully, you can see a line where the body and barrel bushing meet. The two slots cut are for clearance where the frame dust cover runs. There is an inspection stamp visible too.


    Here's a shot of the entire slide as seen from the bottom:




    And here is a close-up of the breech block in the slide:



    It sure looks like one machined part but it's not. The entire machined breech block is inserted up in there and welded in place. Then final machining was done giving the appearance of a monolithic part.


    The giveaway is seen at the rear of the slide. Here, we see the seem between the two parts just above the rail slot:




    While we're back here, lets look at how the safety interacts with the firing pin. In this picture, we see the firing pin with the safety in the "fire" position:



    The sprung firing pin is free to move forward when struck by the hammer.


    in this picture, the safety has been applied and it has pushed the rear of the firing pin down:



    When in this position, there is a notch cut in the bottom of the firing pin forming a hook which catches on the rear of the firing pin hole in the breach block. This prevents the firing pin from going forward and contacting the primer in the cartridge should any force be applied to the rear of the firing pin. When the safety is applied with the mechanism cocked, the hammer drops but there is a bar which stops it before it ever touches the firing pin. As additional insurance, there is a recess milled out of the hammer face (shown below) so that it cannot contact the firing pin should this bar fail.




    Here, the hammer is lowered with the safety off and we can just barely see the hook at the rear of the firing pin:




    Here is another angle of the hammer lowered and the safety off. The hammer cannot go any farther forward and strike the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled:




    The safety/firing pin disassembled:



    Up top is the slide with it's ever so well painted red dot. Next down is the firing pin clearly showing the hook at the rear. Below that is the firing pin spring and safety. At the bottom is the safety detent and its spring.


    Here, I have turned the firing pin so that you can see it from the bottom:



    DO NOT DO NOT disassemble your safety unless you are willing to fiddle with it for hours trying to get it back together. Once you know the trick, it's easy but it takes a while to learn the trick....just leave it alone.


    Even the safety is made of both milled and stamped parts. The barrel is machined while the lever is stamped and welded to it. Note the seam where they meet:




    So, to sum up the safety features. When the safety is off and the hammer is down, there is a bar preventing the hammer from hitting the firing pin if dropped or otherwise struck. When the safety is applied, the rear of the firing pin is pushed down and hooks the breach block, effectively locking it from moving forward. At the same time, the hammer is dropped but is prevented from striking the firing pin because of the already mentioned bar. Even if the firing pin hook broke for some reason and the stop bar broke too, the hammer STILL couldn't hit the firing pin because it is hollowed out so that it cannot contact the firing pin when it is pushed down by the safety barrel. The mechanism is double redundant. Schweet!!


    The pistol has a loaded chamber indicator on the left rear of the slide which protrudes when there is a cartridge in the chamber.
    Empty chamber:




    Loaded:



    The indicator is left in the white so that it's easily visible at a glance and sticks out far enough that it is easily felt when looking isn't possible.


    Last thing to see before we move on to the frame is be backside of both grips. Not much to say other than they are plastic and numbered to the pistol. Here is the left one:



    The whitish looking stuff is just the way it molded. It kinda feels rough there.

    The right grip:



    It was numbered "664" but someone scratched it out and marked it "663". Being that they are consecutive numbers, I assume that it was a screw up during production. oops!


    That's it for now. Next, we'll look at the frame. The way that's put together is the neatest part of the entire pistol. See you soon!
    I guarantee that you're smarter than I am.

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    Very interesting detail survey BWilhelm! Thanks for the effort.
    I'm always looking for rare varieties of 9x18 ammunition.

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    Nice. If you check out the really early Soviet Makarov the take down appears to be similar. That is the slide latch dropped down in the same fashion. It was changed in the early 50's. Why? I don't know but it may have simplified production.

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    BWilhelm:
    Thanks very much for the first detailed description of the 83. The photos are truly superb.
    After some extra ammo is ordered soon, it will probably be my next gun (hope even more are being imported..). Your comment about its reliability matches what others say.

    Despite its heavy DA trigger, is the long pull fairly smooth?

    Recently I bought a CZ-83, comm. Russ Mak, Bulgy and EG Mak (in two months). They are all smooth in DA, but the Russ and Bulgy require an increasing pressure.
    It appears from info on Wiki etc and your photos that the 83's dimensions are closer to the CZ-82 than the Makarov? Auf wiederschauen--
    Last edited by Laufer; 06-07-2015 at 10:48 PM.

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    Yes, both the double and single actions are smooth, just long and heavy. I measured the double action pull at around 15-16 lbs. and the single action around 6lbs. The trigger on both my Soviet and DDR Makarovs (especially the German one) are much, much better. Thank you for the kind words about my pictures!


    Now it's time to look at the frame.
    First is the right side:




    And the left side:



    If you have ever seen a P38 with the grips off, you will immediately recognize the similarities between its design and that of the P83. But we're not really interested in all of that for our purposes. We're focusing on how the frame is put together. It's made out of five primary parts and four of them are stamped. The milled part is what I'm calling the trunnion. The trunnion is the heart of the frame and the only part of it you can see when the pistol is assembled is the upper inner part of the trigger area. The stamped parts are a left side plate, a right side plate, the back strap and the trigger guard.

    First is the trunnion. Since I'm not willing to destroy the pistol to get at it, well have to visualize it and I'll show what little of it I can to you. It's a milled block hidden right in the center of the frame. The left and right side plates are welded to it and the welds are ground smooth so you can't really even tell there are joints unless you are looking for them. The top of the trunnion extends above the sideplates and is bored out to become the barrel mounting block. The barrel is pressed and pinned into it. Let's look at that:



    In the above picture, we're looking at a close-up of the left center side of the frame with the slide removed. Forward is to the left. The part with some inspection stamps on it is the barrel mounting block (AKA the top of the trunnion). The barrel can be seen extending from of it to the left and exiting out of frame. At the front of the barrel mounting block is the pin that holds the barrel in place. Notice that there are lots of either grinding or milling marks visible. That's typical internal Combloc firearms finishing! Just below the inspection stamps at the rear of the block is a line that extends forward the entire length of the block, intersecting the bottom of the barrel pin hole as it does so. Below this line is smooth metal contrasting with the grind marks above the line. That line is the joint between the milled trunnion and the pressed metal left side plate. The entire left side of the frame is one piece of stamped steel folded into shape and welded to the trunnion. The right side is the same. These two halves form a shell that wrap around the trunnion, enclosing and hiding it. Where the left and right frame plates meet along the dust cover and the front of the grip, they are welded together and then ground smooth thus hiding the joint. I can't get a picture of it but if you get the light to shine just right on the front grip strap and the bottom outside of the dust cover, you will see that there is a line running down the center of each where the bluing is of a slightly different color. That's the weld joint. The inside of the front grip strap is ground flush and polished too so that the magazine slides in freely but the weld joint is clearly visible on the inside of the dust cover:




    We can see other telltale joints too. Look at the picture below:



    See the hole where the trigger (which is painted or anodized alloy and not steel) exits the frame? That's the bottom of the trunnion. The stamped side plate is beveled to meet the trunnion and there is a joint line visible at the edge of the bevel.


    If we could cut one sideplates off of the trunnion and look at it by itself, it would bear more than a passing resemblance to the one used on the German Jager Pistole built about 75 years earlier in 1914 and pictured below:



    Incidentally, the Jager is the first known use of stamped parts in a firearm. Amazingly, it is almost completely unknown today but it represented a revolution in the way future firearms would come to be manufactured. Prior to the Jager, stamped parts in a firearm were unknown. Today, almost nothing is made without them. If you want to learn more about the Jager, I did one of my "in detail" essays about it in 2010 and it's posted here:

    http://luger.gunboards.com/showthrea...Jager-pictures

    Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons also used my Jager to do a youtube video about it here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKkUUr4wSrM

    OK....back on topic.


    The trigger guard is stamped too. At the top, extends up inside the frame and is welded in place. We can see it here:



    Notice that it has a hole in it. This is where the takedown detent ball rests when the pistol is assembled, thus holding the takedown block locked in the up position.


    At the bottom, the trigger guard intersects both the trunnion and the side plates. Look closely in the picture below and you can see a small pin holding the trigger guard in place:



    Here's the other side:



    You can't see it because of the glare and the fact that they did a better job polishing this side but the pin is present here too. However, you can clearly see the joint line.


    If you look closely in the following picture, you can see grind marks where they cleaned up the weld joint where the trigger guard meets the front strap:



    Just below the trigger guard on the front strap, you might notice what looks to be a small rounded area of darker bluing in the center of the strap. This is part of the weld joint I mentioned earlier.


    Looking down into the top of the frame, we can see more of the trunnion:



    The feed ramp is clearly visible. Below that is a hollowed out area. Let's get that more in focus:



    This milled out area serves an important purpose as a lightening cut to reduce weight. This pistol is heavy. Even though it is made primarily of stampings, it weighs in at 25.5 ounces unloaded. That's EXACTLY the same weight as my Soviet Makarov and 1/2 an ounce more than my East German one. Weight is always a concern of military firearms and this area of the trunnion was a good place to shave some unwanted weight. Just below the lightening cut we can see a line running side to side in the magazine well. This is where the trunnion ends and the side plates begin. On the other side of that line on the ouside of the frame is the bottom of the trigger guard.


    Okiedokie. One more post and we're done!
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    Let's now move to the back of the frame to finish up.
    First up is the ejector. It's simple stamped out as part of the left side plate:



    Should it ever break, it's not replaceable and will most likely render your pistol junk unless you know a talented welder. I wouldn't worry about it.


    Here is the decocker plat/plunger/thingee. Call it what you want but it's the part that gets pushed down to decock the pistol when you engage the safety:



    For some reason, it's numbered to the pistol. I think I screwed up earlier when I said that there is a stop bar what prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin when the pistol is decocked by applying the safety. There IS a bar and it IS in place to stop the hammer....most of the time. The only times it will NOT stop the hammer from full forward travel is when the hammer is cocked and either the trigger is pulled or the safety is applied. So what stops the hammer from hitting the firing pin when the safety is applied and the hammer falls? Two things. The cutout in the hammer and the fact that the firing pin is hooked to the rear of the slide thus preventing it from moving forward. So then, the safety system is NOT double redundant, just redundant. Got it?? Good!


    On the left side of the frame is the slide stop:





    What do you think it's made out of? You guessed it....pressed metal. Notice that it's a nice plum color. That's one very hardened part there!


    Here we see the right side of the magazine well:



    Why there are both electropenciled and stamped numbers is unclear to me. Perhaps one was applied during manufacture and the other was applied when the pistol was finished? I don't know. The main reason we're looking at this picture is to note the little dimples pressed into either side of the cutout running up the entire length of the frame. These provide the minimum necessary surface for the magazine to slide against on the inside of the frame. This reduces friction and aids in ejection of the magazine. When you push the heel mounted magazine release button, there is absolutely no need to pull the magazine out. Rather, it shoots out on its own quite smartly. The other reason for minimizing magazine to inner grip contact is to enhance reliability. It provides areas for dirt and funk to go rather than jamming up the works when you try to insert a new magazine. That's intelligent design!


    The final part of the frame and the last thing we need to look at is the back strap. Of course, it's stamped too and is slid down into the frame from above before finally being welded to the side plates. We see it here from the rear with the grips removed:



    You can see that it fits inside the side plates, doubling the thickness of the frame material in this area. This doubling doesn't matter down here in the grip area but it comes in quite handy when we get up to the slide rails and lockwork components.


    Here is the rear of the frame:



    Notice that we see two thicknesses of material again. The outer is the sideplate and the inner is the back strap. In effect, the whole rear of the frame is double thick laminated steel. All of the axle pins for the lockwork components pass through this area and so are amply supported, enhancing longevity. There is zero chance of any holes becoming egged out through use. Additionally, the back strap forms part of the double thick slide rails. Below is shown the left one but the right one is similar:




    Here's one last shot of the back strap as seen from above and forward of the lockwork showing how it fits in between the side plates:




    Well, that about covers it. Now you know.....if you own of these little marvels, you're holding quite a bit of engineering genius in your hand. From the outside, it looks like an unassuming cracker jack communist pistol, nothing special. But once you think about how it was actually built, you come to realize that it's really something quite special. It's an example of one of those exceedingly rare and wonderfully magnificent times that someone (Ryszard Chełmicki and Marian Gryszkiewicz in this case) was allowed to think way outside of the box and come up with a completely different way of doing something mundane....and it worked. That's really saying something in any established industry here in the West. But for it happen deep inside the Iron Curtain at the height of the cold war? Now THAT'S something really special. The more I study this little guy, the more I see that it's very much just a modernized and better built Jager. I guess to some (maybe even most), a pistol made almost entirely of stamped parts is nothing more than a way to build something as cheaply as humanly possible. If seen in that light, then yes, the P83 is kinda' sad really. But it's sturdy, reliable and works as well as any other machined pistol. It's the same answer just arrived at by a different road. If you see it in that light, then maybe you'll tip your hat to Mr. Chełmicki and Mr. Gryszkiewicz. I'm always on the side of those folks who think a little differently. These guys certainly did and this little gem is prove positive of that fact. I'd be proud to have my name associated with such a design and I bet they are too!
    Well, I'm done. I hope you enjoyed this half as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for your time and I'll see you at the range!
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    Outstanding analysis and overview!

    Thank you for the effort.
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

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    Thanks for all that information BWilhelm!!

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

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    Your fotos and analysis are greatly appreciated.
    My idea of border control is m-60 machineguns every 100yds with interlocking fields of fire.

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    Well done! ABTOMAT

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    Outstanding article bud! Although I am a 1911 kind of guy this pistol has caught my eye more than once. Might have to reconsider getting one.
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    I'm happy to contribute guys. Thanks for the kind compliments!
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    Nice collection! I want a P83 as my next 9x18 (2 Maks and a CZ82), but I have a question:

    Are P83's magazine finicky? I ask because of the forced match serial #'s on the mags.

    TIA for any response.

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    The ones I've pictured are not force matched. Electropenciling them seems to have been standard practice. But, to my knowledge, these pistols are not magazine sensitive.
    I guarantee that you're smarter than I am.

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    smile

    BWilhelm,:superb descriptions and photos.
    Found a local Wanad today! Pure luck. Today sold the nice '80 German PPK/S (behind Starbucks) to have ready cash.
    You want the slide stop to hold the slide open?I just found out that the magazine must be inserted. My impression after first use today/cleaning was that a spring had come loose.What a relief...

    And what a gun! My impression is that it is the Polish flavor of the Makarov. Quite a nice DA trigger, requiring almost as consistent a pressure as my EG Mak. Feels like a very solid gun.

    In less than three months, bought my first CZ-82, Bulgy, EG, Russ. IZH-70, and now my first Polish. If the Memphis store "Guns And Ammo" still has the Other 83 in a couple of months, it will also be "liberated and adopted".
    Last edited by Laufer; 06-11-2015 at 01:56 AM.

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    I hear ya'. I'm thinking about buying a couple more myself.
    I guarantee that you're smarter than I am.

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    Thanks BWilhelm, I was impressed with the looks of the P83. But not enough to buy one yet. Now after your thread I will buy one. I have a P64 that is my everyday carry pistol. Except for the really bad double action trigger pull I like it.

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    Excellent, detailed, and very informative presentation! Shouldn't these excellent photos and commentary be a "sticky" on the Polish wz. P-83 Wanad 9x18 pistol?
    Alle Kunst ist umsonst, Wenn ein Engel in das Zündloch prunst.

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    +1 for a sticky
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

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    WoW! Thanks for the glowing compliments guys!! I'd like to see it as a sticky too. I might be a little biased though!
    I guarantee that you're smarter than I am.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudoven View Post
    Nice collection! I want a P83 as my next 9x18 (2 Maks and a CZ82), but I have a question:

    Are P83's magazine finicky? I ask because of the forced match serial #'s on the mags.

    TIA for any response.
    I ran a whole box of Brown Bear through my 83 last Sunday with no hiccups and neither mag matches the gun. I forgot how snappy the recoil was, almost as snappy as my 64.

    Bill

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    Yesterday I finally got a chance to take the little P83 to the range. Now, I always say that I'm not a very good shot.....because I'm not and so I'm sure the P83 is capable of much better than I'm going to show below. For comparison purposes, I took a SIG P210 along too. I took 100 rounds for each pistol. For the P83, I took some of the old burgundy box Barnaul and I took a mixture of Federal and GECO 115 grain for the SIG. Both pistols were aimed at the center of the orange dot at a distance of 15 yards. 92 of the 100 for each pistol were fired at the target and the other 8 were for playing around shooting at the berm. I had both pistols so hot that you couldn't touch the barrel and the SIG was getting pretty warm up in the trigger guard so I wasn't exactly slow firing. While the P83 shot a little low and to the left, I was perfectly happy with the results.

    So, 92 rounds semi quick fire at 15 yards for the P83:




    And, for comparison, 92 rounds semi quick fire at 15 yards for the SIG:



    The SIG is capable of putting all 92 rounds into the orange dot at that distance so that should give you some idea of just how bad a shot I am. In YOUR hands, the P83 should be an extremely capable shooter.

    Obviously, both pistols functioned 100%. The P83 is a little snappy compared to a Makarov and the trigger is not as good (especially compared to an East German Mak) but it's completely manageable and comfortable enough to shoot all day. Yes, it feels absolutely primitive compared to the SIG but that's not really a fair comparison. So in my final judgment, the little Radom is a keeper. I give it a double thumbs up and I would recommend it to anyone!!
    I guarantee that you're smarter than I am.

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    You were comparing a BMW to a Ford. In the long run they both will get you to your destination.
    My idea of border control is m-60 machineguns every 100yds with interlocking fields of fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LANT View Post
    You were comparing a BMW to a Ford. In the long run they both will get you to your destination.
    You must be talking about older BMWs. New ones might leave you stranded. And, if the P83 was built like a Ford, it would be expected to be replaced (or fall apart) in 5-10 years of normal use. So I propose you should compare it to an older toyota pickup truck, as in of Toyota Wars fame.

  27. #26
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    Hello dear friends, gunlovers and collectors!

    My name is Bartholomew - after many months of reading this noble forum I decided to join your community.
    For two weeks I own this little, yet great gun - the essay written by BWilhelm really changed my view on P-83 Wanad (btw, yes Wanad=Vanadium 23V).
    For me, many years it was just an ordinary workhorse of PL Armed Forces - but now - my precious one:


    The gun (1996) was cheaper than dirt 66$, bought from retired police officer. Mechanics in perfect condition, mirror-like bore. The only flaw is damaged blueing: the gun spent a dozen of years lying on its right side in some locker...
    My plan is to re-blue or parkerize it, and that is why I have been looking for "complete disassembly guide" - I know some of you too.

    It took just few phones and mails to few persons from PL Armed Forces Forum, to obtain a photo-copy of the original “9mm pistole model of 1983 (P-83) – description, use, and shooting” instruction published in 1984 by People’s Republic of Poland Ministry of Defense – Chief of the armory and electronics Department, introducing the gun into service in PRP Armed Forces.
    The instruction includes guide to complete disassembly - and here's the English translation, with exploded view diagram (I think you are familiar with the diagram, but pay attention to the corrections I did):

    9x18mm Polish semiautomatic pistol P-83 Wanad (Radom) complete disassembly with diagram pdf file:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_...ew?usp=sharing

    The guide to disassembly includes aforementioned "trick" to remove the safety lever and firing pin. It is a piece of cake!
    But note, I have not tested yet disassembling the frame.

    Feel free to copy and share the file, comments and constructive critics are welcomed!

    Kind regards:
    Bartholomew
    Solve the equation with one variable:
    7,62(25+39+54r)+2(9x18)+(9x19)=52+47+91/30+83+63+95

  28. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWilhelm View Post
    Now for the fun stuff. We'll start with the slide. It was NOT machined from billet as normal slides are. Instead, it started out as a flat piece of steel and was bent into an upside down "U" shape. Then a machined steel block was inserted into the front and welded or brazed (I don't know which but I will use the word "weld" or "welded" from here on for the sake of convenience) in place.

    Here is the infrequent opportunity to see how the brazing is made:

    Red arrow shows thin layer of bronze alloy.
    Solve the equation with one variable:
    7,62(25+39+54r)+2(9x18)+(9x19)=52+47+91/30+83+63+95

  29. #28
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    The DA triggers on both of my P-83s seem as good or better than on my excellent EG Makarov.

    If any of you guys live in west TN, you might go by Robertson Trading Post in Henderson (south of Jackson).
    My second P-83 came from there about two months ago, and they still had fifteen or sixteen of them 'on display', in small boxes with holsters.

  30. #29
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    Default

    Excellent write up.
    Cost me $210, but still good write up!

  31. #30

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    I love mine so much I'm considering buying at least one more. I take this little gun very seriously. I'm only holding out because I'm not sure if maybe an original PM might be better...and cheaper to maintain and find mags for, and perhaps be slightly more durable. I recently discovered my P83 doesn't like Hornady Critical Defense ammo at all. That's ok, because FMJ is probably better when dealing with winter layers anyway. Still, your research and dissection is revealing and persuasive in favor of the P83. I recently purchased a shoulder holster for a CZ82 and I'm very curious if maybe the Wanad will fit too.

  32. #31

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    f the original PM you are talking about is the P64. I can tell you they are very good except the double action trigger. I have one that is my every day carry pistol. I carry mine in condition three. The single action trigger is very light. To me it is easier to just rack the slide than worry about working the safety. If you can live with a very heavy double action trigger and a very light single action trigger they are a nice little pistol.

  33. #32

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    The original PM is the original Russian Makarov pistol. No other combloc gun has that designation. It was the first pistol chambered in that caliber. The pistol and caliber were designed around each other, something you don't see every day. All other guns chambered for that round were Soviet mandated offshoots produced by Soviet satellite states. Because the pistol and caliber were designed for each other (like the 1911 and the .45 ACP ), I consider the possibility that not much improvement can be made...although some other fine pistols have been designed around said calibers.

  34. #33
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    Sir Laufer, I can not reply to your private message. Your inbox seems to be overloaded!
    Solve the equation with one variable:
    7,62(25+39+54r)+2(9x18)+(9x19)=52+47+91/30+83+63+95

  35. #34
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    Thank you Brian, for an exceptional discussion of the P-83's construction. And thank you Bartholomew for the disassembly guide.

    I just picked up my 1989 Wanad. I have two questions.

    -there is a stamp, apparently an 11 in an oval on the right side of the slide. Is this a military stamp?

    -are the magazines unique to this pistol? I tried to fit a Bulgarian Mak magazine into the P-83 but it will not fit. The piece that I think activates the slide lock is positioned too far front and hits the mag well. I did not try a DDR Mak mag but assume it would have a similar problem.

    Great info. Thank you for posting it.
    -gonzo

    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." --Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

  36. #35
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    IIRC oval 11 would be the factory Zaklady Metalowe, located in the city of Radom Poland.
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  37. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzogeezer View Post
    Thank you Brian, for an exceptional discussion of the P-83's construction. And thank you Bartholomew for the disassembly guide.

    I just picked up my 1989 Wanad. I have two questions.

    -there is a stamp, apparently an 11 in an oval on the right side of the slide. Is this a military stamp?
    11 in an oval=Fabryka Broni "Lucznik", Radom, Polska=Firearms Factory "Archer", City of Radom, Poland. I hope my disassembly guide is easy to understand despite my low-end English


    -are the magazines unique to this pistol? I tried to fit a Bulgarian Mak magazine into the P-83 but it will not fit. The piece that I think activates the slide lock is positioned too far front and hits the mag well. I did not try a DDR Mak mag but assume it would have a similar problem.

    Great info. Thank you for posting it.
    Yep, they are uniqe to P-83
    Solve the equation with one variable:
    7,62(25+39+54r)+2(9x18)+(9x19)=52+47+91/30+83+63+95

  38. #37
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    Thanks for your contributions here strk.
    I'm always looking for rare varieties of 9x18 ammunition.

  39. #38
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    Default Polish P83...More Than Meets The Eye

    Yes, excellent information. The disassembly guide is very helpful. Thank you so much for your contribution in making this information available.

    I took my pistol out to the range this past week. It ran flawlessly except the slide is not holding open after the last round is fired. However, if I manually pull back on the slide with an empty magazine it does lock open. Also the empty cartridges eject straight back and low enough to almost hit my face. Right now I suspect a previous owner may have put a heavier weight recoil spring in the gun, enough that it runs successfully but won't lock the slide open. In order to test that theory I ordered another recoil spring, from RTG, and we'll see if that solves the issue. My general impression of the gun is that it handles as one would expect except I find the grip to be uncomfortable, a bit blocky and oversized compared to my Makarovs.

    I also picked up a new old stock holster from a seller in Poland. It's in excellent condition and will be a welcome addition for the pistol.
    -gonzo

    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." --Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers

  40. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzogeezer View Post

    I also picked up a new old stock holster from a seller in Poland. It's in excellent condition and will be a welcome addition for the pistol.
    It is not easy to buy the proper one, as most sellers confuse them with Radom P64 holsters. They are almost the same, except the size (P83 can be holstered in P64 holster but with lot of force) and the shape of spare mag pouch.

    See the difference:






    The brown one is P-64 holster, mag pouch with angled lower edge. Black one is the one I got from former PL Army honor guard member:mag pouch with straight lower edge. Also, pay attention to the cleaning rod. Long tip - P83. Short tip - P64
    Solve the equation with one variable:
    7,62(25+39+54r)+2(9x18)+(9x19)=52+47+91/30+83+63+95

  41. #40
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    Wow, great posting. Thanks for the information. I am seriously thinking about getting one of these. It should go well with my recently re-acquired P-64 and my Polish "TT".
    "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy"
    James Madison

  42. #41
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    DO NOT DO NOT disassemble your safety unless you are willing to fiddle with it for hours trying to get it back together. Once you know the trick, it's easy but it takes a while to learn the trick....just leave it alone.
    Excellent post on this neat little pistol. Keeping the above quote in mind, I have a question on this subject. I acquired one of these pistols early last summer. It went into the collection with little inspection and without firing it. Upon recently cleaning it up, lubing, and looking it over, I think the firing pin spring is missing. I have not fiddled with it yet, but there isn't any spring tension on the firing pin. It floats freely inside the breech block. The firing pin does not appear to be broken, but this free movement affects the application of the safety, as the firing pin must be to the rear for consistent application of the safety. I have not loaded a round into the chamber yet, and I believe that would hold the firing pin to the rear so that the safety could be applied, consistently. Is there any more info on the disassembly of the firing pin and safety assembly? Is it safe to fire without this spring? Also, are parts available? This may be the time to ask, what is "the trick" to disassembly of the safety and firing pin assembly?
    "Though I've belted you and flayed you, by the livin' Gawd that made you, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din"

  43. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0le View Post
    Excellent post on this neat little pistol. Keeping the above quote in mind, I have a question on this subject. I acquired one of these pistols early last summer. It went into the collection with little inspection and without firing it. Upon recently cleaning it up, lubing, and looking it over, I think the firing pin spring is missing. I have not fiddled with it yet, but there isn't any spring tension on the firing pin. It floats freely inside the breech block. The firing pin does not appear to be broken, but this free movement affects the application of the safety, as the firing pin must be to the rear for consistent application of the safety. I have not loaded a round into the chamber yet, and I believe that would hold the firing pin to the rear so that the safety could be applied, consistently. Is there any more info on the disassembly of the firing pin and safety assembly? Is it safe to fire without this spring? Also, are parts available? This may be the time to ask, what is "the trick" to disassembly of the safety and firing pin assembly?
    Yes, it looks like firing pin spring is missing - some folks say it can be replaced with proper ballpoint pen spring.
    Here is the manual with "the trick", steps 1-4:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bw_...ZBQmlDNnc/view

    Is it safe to fire without this spring?
    Since proper application of the safety is impossible, the weapon is not safe to use.
    Solve the equation with one variable:
    7,62(25+39+54r)+2(9x18)+(9x19)=52+47+91/30+83+63+95

  44. #43

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    Excellent write up! I just ordered a P83 this week, and I look forward to shooting it and tearing into it for a good cleaning!

  45. #44
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    Feb 2009
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    Massachusetts
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    I had been searching for a P83 for several years after reading about them in some Surplus Firearms magazine or other, and finally got my hands on one a while back. Long story but it's tough to get certain handguns in MA, legally that is.
    Brought it to the range the following day and it's a hoot to shoot! Much like a Makarov but the grip feels completely different. Not quite as comfortable in the hand as a Mak, but shoots just as straight and several range trips later through about 200 rounds and it hasn't hiccuped once. I have shot Red Army Standard and my own 95gr reloads through it, with zero problems. Awesome little Cold War gun.

  46. #45
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    I have a surplus and a commercial model. Although I prefer the looks of the commercial hammer, the spur hammer on the surplus is easier to cock. I do like the slide serrations and larger sights on the commercial model better and the front sight is dovetailed.


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