Help me pick the first one
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Thread: Help me pick the first one

  1. #1
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    Default Help me pick the first one

    OK, I think I would like to become a makarov owner. Might want to use it for CCW too. Who should I order from and what's a reasonable price?


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  2. #2
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    My very limited experience with a few Maks is only about two years. Have you already done much reading on Google/Wiki about them?

    If you know which four countries manufactured them, and also know that at least two of those countries produced commercial series in .380 (&/or 9x18 Mak.), it will save a lot of space here. You know about the Czech CZ-82, Polish P-64 and 83 along with Hungarians etc which are chambered in 9x18, but these are Not actual Makarov handguns.

    As another example, Armslist TN last night listed a Bulgy Miltex in .380 Auto. At least at a gun show--if not seen in a retail store--we can try the DA trigger. Even with military Bulgys, EGs and even commercial Russians, there is a good bit of variation in the DA feel.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laufer View Post
    My very limited experience with a few Maks is only about two years. Have you already done much reading on Google/Wiki about them?

    If you know which four countries manufactured them, and also know that at least two of those countries produced commercial series in .380 (&/or 9x18 Mak.), it will save a lot of space here. You know about the Czech CZ-82, Polish P-64 and 83 along with Hungarians etc which are chambered in 9x18, but these are Not actual Makarov handguns.

    As another example, Armslist TN last night listed a Bulgy Miltex in .380 Auto. At least at a gun show--if not seen in a retail store--we can try the DA trigger. Even with military Bulgys, EGs and even commercial Russians, there is a good bit of variation in the DA feel.
    I've done a little bit of reading, a local shop has Bulgarians with the holster and accessories for 325, seems a bit high to me but since I get to pick it in person, I'm tempted to buy at that price. I don't know much about the different variations, quality of manufacture, value etc...seems like it would be a handy and fun gun to have. Ammo still looks to be pretty affordable too


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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aadams22 View Post
    I've done a little bit of reading, a local shop has Bulgarians with the holster and accessories for 325, seems a bit high to me but since I get to pick it in person, I'm tempted to buy at that price. I don't know much about the different variations, quality of manufacture, value etc...seems like it would be a handy and fun gun to have. Ammo still looks to be pretty affordable too


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    The Bulgarians are very good guns. You will constantly have the East German Makarov guys remind you nonstop about how great the EG Maks are, but guess what? They're $600 pistols in today's market. Sure you can hunt for ages and get a better deal on one, or you can pay the $325 and have a like-new Bulgarian military Makarov that does an identical job and the only difference is the East German guns are a little prettier and have smoother triggers in general.

    I am 3000 rounds in to my Bulgarian Mak and it has never failed me. It's great reliability made it find it's way into my holster and I carry it everyday for CCW. You need to go back to that store and offer them $275 for it. Work your way up from there. $325 is not a bad price for one of the recently imported Bulgarians with all the accessories.

    Makarov pistols are just wonderful. I've been shooting and collecting guns for almost a decade and I have been very impressed with my Bulgarian Makarov. Most will tell you they are the equal of Russian military Makarovs and are better than Russian commercial guns.

    Buy one.

  6. #5
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    aadams22:
    If you are wanting to 'carry' the Mak, that $325 price is decent.

    And as a carry gun, having some wear on the finish (if so) could make that option easier?
    If it has some wear, its DA trigger could be a bit smoother/more consistent pressure than with many others.

    At yesterday's Memphis gun show, the only Mak was a comm. Russian in .380 Auto. It looked almost as good as mine and had a better pull.
    Frankly, if we always had two Maks to choose from in a local area--whether military or commercial in either chambering--I would take the gun with the better DA pull if the looks were not bad.
    Last edited by Laufer; 12-14-2016 at 12:26 AM.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laufer View Post
    aadams22:
    If you are wanting to 'carry' the Mak, that $325 price is decent.

    And as a carry gun, having some wear on the finish (if so) could make that option easier?
    And if it has some wear, its DA trigger could be a bit smoother (more consistent pressure) than with many.

    At yesterday's Memphis gun show, the only Mak was a comm. Russian in .380 Auto. It looked almost as good as mine and had a better pull.
    Frankly, if we always had two Maks to choose from in a local area-whether military or commercial (chambering no issue), I would take the gun with the better DA pull if the looks were not bad.
    Saw two IJ-70s in .380 Automatic Colt's Pistol today at the gun show. Pretty cool, but would have preferred them to be East Germans in mint condition for the same price! :D

  8. #7

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    The recent stock of Bulgy Maks are in excellent condition and worth every bit of $300-$325 IMO. I have recently purchased two for my collection, and plan on purchasing another five to throw in the safe after I tear them down and remove the cosmoline, as the prices will continue to rise steadily if history is any indicator.

  9. #8
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    You CAN find pretty darn decent deals if you look and are ready to move on them when you find them.

    I currently carry a brand new condition, 1996 dated, Bulgarian 'Arsenal' (commercial)-marked Mak (one of the ones with the nice milled markings, not one of the ones with the dot-matrix logo) that I was lucky enough to find on a table at a local gun show last year for $300, that price including three magazines (two numbered to the gun) and about 400 rounds of reloadable ammunition, and a Pearce grip, which I immediately took off the gun.

    I also have one of the $325 military Bulgys (Nice!), a Russian IJ70, and a PA63, all in 9mm Mak.

    I chose to carry the Arsenal because it doesn't have the klunky adjustable sight (the IJ70's problem), doesn't beat me up as much as the PA63, and is just slightly smoother operating than the Bulgy Military.

  10. #9
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    Buy the Bulgarian. For $325 you should get 2 magazines. Bag holsters are a dime a dozen (well, almost). Cleaning rod? Since you get to pick by hand, look for a nice finish. No dings at the muzzle crown. Smooth unmarred feed ramp and chamber. Shiny bore (they're chromed) with crisp rifling. Rack the slide, not loose, good rails? No chips, dings or cracks in the steel? It would be a plus if you knew how to field strip one to look at the guts for any sign of excessive wear, but if the outside looks good and the slide numbers match the frame, its probably OK. Parts are readily available online. Must have good frame, slide and barrel. Shake the pistol front to rear, by the side of your ear. Hear the firing pin rattle? Yes. Buy local, no shipping fee. Pay transfer and NICS, couple of boxes of 9x18 makarov ammo and it's HI HO, off to the range we go.

  11. #10
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    If you are not on a budget I would get a nice East German for about $450-$500. The Bulgarians are the budget picks.
    My idea of border control is m-60 machineguns every 100yds with interlocking fields of fire.

  12. #11

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    Get the inexpensive Bulgy for the CC work since you won't mind as much getting it scratched up from your holster AND get the uber nice E. German for your black tie affairs....

  13. #12
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    Guys, thanks for all the information! This really makes me want to go out and buy a Bulgarian makarov!!!

    My dad is also looking for an affordable target practice/concealed carry gun (his first) and with Christmas around the corner, I might just help him pick one of the Bulgarian makarovs and see how he likes it. Then I'll probably wind up buying my own or his if he doesn't like it....


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  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by LANT View Post
    If you are not on a budget I would get a nice East German for about $450-$500. The Bulgarians are the budget picks.
    Where are you finding VG/ EG's for $450?

    Quote Originally Posted by martinbanner View Post
    Buy the Bulgarian. For $325 you should get 2 magazines. Bag holsters are a dime a dozen (well, almost). Cleaning rod? Since you get to pick by hand, look for a nice finish. No dings at the muzzle crown. Smooth unmarred feed ramp and chamber. Shiny bore (they're chromed) with crisp rifling. Rack the slide, not loose, good rails? No chips, dings or cracks in the steel? It would be a plus if you knew how to field strip one to look at the guts for any sign of excessive wear, but if the outside looks good and the slide numbers match the frame, its probably OK. Parts are readily available online. Must have good frame, slide and barrel. Shake the pistol front to rear, by the side of your ear. Hear the firing pin rattle? Yes. Buy local, no shipping fee. Pay transfer and NICS, couple of boxes of 9x18 makarov ammo and it's HI HO, off to the range we go.
    Kind of difficult to give your Mak a 30 point inspection when it's covered in cosmoline, and I can promise you, the striker channel will be packed with cosmo and you definitely won't hear the firing pin rattle.
    Last edited by BlackList; 12-13-2016 at 05:13 PM.

  15. #14

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    The OP said he found a LGS that had Bulgys.

    Here in the PNW, Maks are evil. Commonly found in $450 for EGs.

  16. #15
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    Question

    rurallife:
    Your comments that "Here in the PNW, Maks are evil" reminded me of something.

    Before the Russian Maks were banned, is there much truth behind the Internet story that a Federal Prosecutor in Seattle was murdered by a guy using a R. Mak.?

    If this happened, was the murder Actually used as justification for ban their importation?

  17. #16

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    I vaguely recall such a story. I've been around awhile. Lol

    Not sure if that was the justification for their ban, surely someone else here can verify.

    Ive read when the west was being settled, all the puritanical hard working souls came north to the PNW. All the risk takers and schemers went south to California. I think that's behind the mindset up here regarding soviet weapons in general. A lot of said firearms languish on the LGS shelves, while Colts and S&W's sell somewhat rapidly.

  18. #17
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  19. #18
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    Well guys, I bought one!!

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  20. #19
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    Congratulations, it will serve you very well. Now go shoot the heck out of it, get it nice and dirty and tear it apart to clean it. This will help you appreciate how very simple it is and easy to keep running.
    Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is. ---- Josey Wales

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LANT View Post
    If you are not on a budget I would get a nice East German for about $450-$500. The Bulgarians are the budget picks.
    my bulgarians shoot every bit as good as my east germans. i carried one bulgy for many years and shot it regularly at the range. body sweat caused the outside to have surface rust but so be it. i even carried it while cutting grass on my rental properties so much for the rust problem. that doesnt change the readiness mechanically or the accuracy of the weapon though. i have since retired it from my regular carry except when i am doing hot summer work and if i were an alligator hunter that would be the pistol of choice. lol. my daily non labor carry is a nice sig 238

  22. #21
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    NIce one.
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  23. #22
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    Congratulations! All of my Maks work perfectly and give me no trouble. And the more you shoot them, the better the trigger gets. My Russian commercial has over 7000 rounds through it and it's a lot better than when it was new!

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