The East-German Makarov Factory Cutaways
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Thread: The East-German Makarov Factory Cutaways

  1. #1
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    Exclamation The East-German Makarov Factory Cutaways

    Hi gang,

    Of course, there is no need for an introduction on the beautiful East German "Makarow" pistols. However, an odd variant was also produced in the GDR, apparently known as "Schnittmodell" or "Lehrwaffe". These instructional cutaways have always intrigued me, as not a whole lot of countries produce dedicated educational firearms for their organisations. There isn't a whole lot of information on these in the net, and I have tried to compile a bunch of knowledge as best I can, so I can share and discuss the subject with you guys. Some of the images are taken from huggiebear's post (http://luger.gunboards.com/showthrea...DR-LEHR-Waffen), and most from Hermann Historica, a german auction house that puts some cutaways for sale now and again. I will post pictures of my own cutaway pistol soon!

    East Germany manufactures cutaway weapons for training purposes and for use in recruit schools. Collectors can find MPi-K and MPi-KM cutaways generally floating around. In my opinion, East Germans do a great job at exposing the various interaction of parts while maintaining overall weapon integrity.

    The total production of these cutaways is estimated at around 800-900 pieces (seems to be the golden number for most Combloc cutaways), which makes these objects very collectable and desirable in any condition. Such pieces make great additions to Makarov collections!

    Here is a good example of a typical cutaway (note that the safety lever is missing).

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    The weapon has a total of 9 viewing windows, performed by 13 milling operations, which are located on both sides of the pistol and showcase the following:

    ...in the slide:

    • The abutment of the slide hood
    • The slide stop lug and trigger guard tang
    • The recoil spring, barrel and chamber, breech face and breechblock
    • The safety and decocking function
    • (On right side) Sear, hammer and disconnector engagement

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    ...in the frame
    • The trigger seat/shoulder
    • The trigger guard plunger and spring

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    • The disconnector and hammer engagement in double-action, as well as leaf spring function

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    • (On right side) Trigger bar movement


    The barrel and hood have only two cuts located on both sides that expose the chamber area, and surprisingly, the grip is left untouched. There seems to be no provision to show extractor function. All the cuts have been highlighted with red lacquer/paint.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In order to prevent accidents, the firing pin tip has been ground away and tipped with red paint. A thick roll pin has been inserted into the bore path, right in front of the chamber (see picture above). Some cutaways have a milled window on the right side of the chamber area. There seems to be no definite changeover pattern (SM 0287, SM 0424, SM 0715, SM 0799 have this feature. whereas SM 530 and SM 0625 don't).

    The great majority of cutaways have dedicated serial numbers, with the prefix "SM" for Schnittmodell followed by a standard four-digit number replacing the original electropenciling that has been ground away. During research, I have never seen a serial number higher than SM 0800.

    There seems to be no reliable way to date these cutaway Makarovs. Were they made alongside live pistols? Were they converted after end of production?

    Not only that, the approval and test stamps, such as the "K100" and "circle and letter" markings have all been polished away. If you look closely, you can notice grinding marks, rounded edges around the windows and the faint outline of the original etching. This indicates that the refinishing process was done after machining of the cuts. Where they just random pistols taken off the production line? Were they reject/worn-out pistols?

    The only way to tell if an example was "all-matching" is through the trigger guard and frame serial numbers (stamped under the grip shell). Some cutaways may be observed with electropenciled numbers on hammers, sears and safety levers.

    Here are three more examples.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The example in the centre still has the faint original markings that seem to read "ER5***" on the frame. This is proof that the cutaways were converted from functional pistols (in this particular case, a 1965 gun), and not purpose-built in a separate, dedicated assembly line (unlike the PM-63 cutaways).

    Also, you may have already noticed the presence of a large "LEHR" stamped onto the slide of some cutaways. The placement, font and size seems to vary greatly, as does the quality of the stamping. Some pistols have no such stamp, which may indicate that they were never issued. The marking can be seen filled with red lacquer. Some other variants have "Lehrwaffe" electropenciled on the right side of the slide (see picture no2 in post).

    The placement of red paint stripes also varied. I personally encountered one with a stripe on the slide and on the grips (see 1st picture). Was it a factory job, or an element specific to some training facilities?

    Here are a two oddballs that came along during research, which are interesting:

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    The first striking difference that can be observed is the different placement of the cuts. You can see that there is no cut in front of the slide to show the abutment. Also, a very large cut has been performed in the hammer area at the rear, which isn't present in the other Schnittmodells presented before. The function of that cut is to probably show the state of the safety lever and hammer during decocking. Also, the K100 and Suhl stamps have not been ground away and replaced. The serial number ER2846 is not of the SM#### format. Strange, huh? Note that the slide is not completely closed, which leads me to believe that the guy who took the photo stuck in a 9x19mm Parabellum round by mistake!!!


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    This one is even stranger. The brown grip already gives us a few questions. A lot of elements in this particular Makarov seem to show that the pistol is not from East Germany: the oval spring detents, slide stop serrations, milling marks in safety recess, "fat star" grip, overall duller bluing, later-style safety lever with spring mounting hole all point this pistol as a Soviet Makarov. However, the 1961 serial number format (note that the slide marking appears handwritten) and K100 stamp suggest otherwise. Note the difference in cut placement and shape compared to the previous pistol. The front slide lug and hammer cut are both present, but notice the L-shaped frame cutaway that differs from the usual T-shape.

    Here are a few more pictures I have found:

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    Now where the heck can you find these cutaways? The answer is pretty simple: mostly in Europe. There are very few already floating around there in the first place, let alone in the US. However, the prices are rather reasonable in Germany for such a niche and rare item, as they are *still* considered as military surplus. The numbers float around 150-600 Euros, depending on condition.

    A few questions still need to be answered, especially on the historical side. Hopefully, some of the forum members will have their say on the subject!

    Anyway, hope you enjoyed this post, and see you later!

    MEERKOOS
    Last edited by Meerkoos; 05-12-2017 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Updated again! Will upload photos of my own cutaway soon!

  2. #2
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    Thank you for posting this outstanding information on the Makarov pistol. I did note the fact that some of the cutaways have an extra red circle indicating the "Fire " mode, and the model with the red/brown grips has the "cat's eye" style of cut. A later produced pistol?

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    Simson-Suhl, I appreciate the kind words. I love the Makarov in all its forms! They are just fantastic pistols.

    What you have noted is absolutely true. The spring detent holes were round in Soviet Makarovs up to 1974-1975. After that period, the shape was changed to an oval one (as you said "cat's eye", I like that), possibly to improve engagement with the spring-steel catch on the safety lever. In fact, all East German Makarovs had round detent holes, since the change didn't exist yet. It is also safe to say that all the Bulgarian Makarovs had oval-shaped holes, since the earliest Bulgy ever spotted here was made in 1975 and sported cat eyes.

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    Thanks for an excellent post and wonderful photos!

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    Meerkoos thank you for sharing this. I have looked for years for a Russian cutaway with no success. They exist, of course, but few or none ever made it to these shores. Congratulations on a nice piece. ABTOMAT

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    Thank you for joining our forum, and for sharing your interest and information on these pistols! Indeed, they are wonderful!

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    Post updated and cleaned, added extra info. Enjoy!

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    Great post and outstanding commentary. Thank you for posting this.

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    Thanks to Meerkoos for the fantastic photos and information.
    co-author of The Makarov Pistol Soviet Union & East Germanyby Brown and White 2016
    Makarovbook.com

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    Thank you for a very informative post Meerkoos.

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    Thank you Mister Coffee, Cameron and jpshaw for your kind words! Glad you enjoyed this thread.

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    Das ist wunderbar! Ohne Zweifel.

    Very nice of you!

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    Thanks for the info, Meerkoos. Funny that you updated this thread. I was just reading this a week ago. I actually came across one of these. Any idea on what a fair value would be?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laufer View Post
    Das ist wunderbar! Ohne Zweifel.

    Very nice of you!
    Bitte schön! Glad you liked it.

    Quote Originally Posted by StlMakGuy24 View Post
    Thanks for the info, Meerkoos. Funny that you updated this thread. I was just reading this a week ago. I actually came across one of these. Any idea on what a fair value would be?
    Thanks for your appreciation StlMakGuy24. The value of these depends on where you are located. If you are in the US, then it can go as high as you wish, since I don't think any were imported in any appreciable quantity (less than a 1000 were made anyways). I would say that a decent price is $500-750, close to $1000 for one in mint condition (they are almost always in used condition).

    If however, if you are located in Europe, you can halve these prices. These are actually not too difficult to find at gun shows, auction houses, and in private collections. I wish you luck with your purchase!

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    Thread updated again with more observational evidence, serial number data..etc. So far, these cutaway "SM" numbers were observed:

    SM 0287
    SM 04XX (illegible)
    SM 0424
    SM 0438
    SM 0530
    SM 0625
    SM 0687
    SM 0715
    SM 0719
    SM 0730 (Berlin Police Museum)
    SM 0792
    SM 0799

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    Once again, nice information Meerkoos. Looking at these photos I am prone to say that, with one exception maybe, the pistols depicted seem purpose built as training pieces. What is your take on this? The one exception is the PM with the brown grip. The safety, grip, etc. on it are most definitely not of DDR origins as you pointed out. It sort of looks like a later Soviet slide matched to a East German frame. Keep up the good work. ABTOMAT

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    Quote Originally Posted by ABTOMAT View Post
    Once again, nice information Meerkoos. Looking at these photos I am prone to say that, with one exception maybe, the pistols depicted seem purpose built as training pieces. What is your take on this? The one exception is the PM with the brown grip. The safety, grip, etc. on it are most definitely not of DDR origins as you pointed out. It sort of looks like a later Soviet slide matched to a East German frame. Keep up the good work. ABTOMAT
    Quite right AB. These cutaways were most likely display/demonstration pieces used in DDR recruit schools. Most likely, these school also had MPiK, Karabiner S, MPi41, RPD cutaways. So much to collect!

    As for the strange cutaway, some real oddballs exist out there. Let us see what turns up next in the future!

    Also, will post pictures of my own "SM" cutaway. It is a real beaut!
    Looking for East German Makarov magazines #7263.

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    Would these also have been used at GST facilities? Former GST members on line here? (Gesellschaft fuer Sport und Technik- more than a leadership development program like Boy Scout/Explorers, more a kind of premilitary exposure club)

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    I'm glad I came back to review this post. Those are excellent photos and your information on these is invaluable to some of us. Boy I'd love to have one of these!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by germaniastrasse View Post
    Would these also have been used at GST facilities? Former GST members on line here? (Gesellschaft fuer Sport und Technik- more than a leadership development program like Boy Scout/Explorers, more a kind of premilitary exposure club)
    Interesting insight germaniastrasse! It is very possible that these cutaways were used there! Since the objective of these organisations is to form the future soldiers, these cutaways must be of value to show off East-Germany's firearms!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaws2 View Post
    I'm glad I came back to review this post. Those are excellent photos and your information on these is invaluable to some of us. Boy I'd love to have one of these!!!
    Thank you for your kind words Jaws2. I am very passionate about the Makarov, and this certainly is a wonderful collectable! If you are based in the US, that might be a problem. None were ever imported, apart from a few that accidentally ended up in a shipment of Bulgarian and E-G Maks. Again, you never know!
    Looking for East German Makarov magazines #7263.

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