My IJ-70-380K and Baikal markings on the slide.
I scored my first Makarov, a B-West and it is engraved IJ-70-380K and a large Baikal logo. It's exactly what I was looking for, especially since I have a personal connection to Tucson so the B-Wests have always interested me. But I cant find a whole lot on the pistols laser etched IJ-70-380K, they arent referenced on the Types of Makarovs sticky or on other webpages and google/forum searches haven't yielded much.
In searching the net and the few Makarovs I have handle at the gun shops I have found B-West pistols with:
IZH-70 - right side of slide and small IJ-70-17A on the right side of frame, block letter B-West on the leftSerial numbers I have seen: B AC 1/3/5xxx
IJ-70-380K - left side of slide with Baikal logo more forward toward barrel endSerial numbers appear to be B AC xxxx, the lowest I have seen are B AC 5xxx. Mine is this style and serial B AC 91xx
IJ-70-380K - left side of slide with Baikal logo back near serrationsSerial numbers I have seen: B Hx xxxx
IJ70-17A - left side of slide seems to be most common
IJ70-17AS - left side of slide Satin Nickel FinishSerial numbers I have seen: B C/E/H/K/O/Tx xxxx
I have only seen the B-West boxes marked IJ70-17A(S), I have seen IZH-70 marked guns being sold with these boxes but who knows if those are really the original boxes these pistols came with. I have yet to find a IJ-70-380K being sold with a B-West box.
Are there any other variations of the laser etching on B-West imports you guys have seen?
Is it safe to assume the Baikal logo changing location or no Baikal logo on the slide is just variation from laser etching done in Russia? Maybe different batches?
Is there a sense the serial numbers at chronological? If so, it seems B-West imported them chronologically as:
IJ-70-380K - Baikal logo forward
IJ-70-380K - Baikal logo moved back
Or is it just a total crap shoot?
My IJ-70-380K and Baikal markings on the slide.
My .380 doesn't have "Baikal" on the slide. And I have a box that is similar to yours, but I do not remember how it's marked.
Hello airdownalex. To be honest, I can't tell you the chronological order B-West brought in each model. You'd have to get access to records that probably no longer exist or as housed just next to the Ark of the Covenant in that big warehouse shown in the first "Indiana Jone" movie.
When I did the research for the Makarov book last year the one thing that became apparent was how much variation appeared on the commercially made pieces. The guns themselves really are quite alike, rather the markings are very inconsistent. Importer's names, caliber designations, model number and even the serial numbers got rearranged from batch to batch. I am sure this had something to do with the struggle to keep the doors open of Factory No. 622, (IZMECH.) (Baikal is not a manufacturer, it is an export company.) I ultimately decided to go with the current factory model numbers when I described them. I am sure you have a solid start for a collection just by going after differently marked commercial Makarovs. Regards, ABTOMAT
I was hoping ABTOMAT would reply since he has done so much research. To add just a little, the markings or etchings are probably near the last thing done on these pistols. Also it is one of the easier things to change the format of in manufacturing. On this forum it has been observed that most of these Russian commercial Makarovs were imported with a small booklet that had the completion or final inspection date hand written in the back. If my memory serves me correct the years were 1993 and 1994. Of course the parts could have been made earlier.
I have given up on trying to make sense of their markings. Another question that gets asked a lot is about the array of FEG pistols. Here again there is little to go on as FEG combined what ever parts they had to make a very wide variety of very similar guns but with very different markings.
My first Makarov was Russian commercial in 9x18. The two currently in the safe are both 380acp.
Thank you for the info!
It seems like across the various 90's commercial importers, the serial number is stamped and appears consistent across the board. The letters and numbers look like the same set of dies/process on all the Russian commercial Maks I have seen. If memory serves, the serial is required to be stamped. The rest of the markings appear laser etched, do we know which markings were done in Russia and which were done in the US?
From the RARE PHOTOS: How a Makarov is made thread it looks like they laser etched the slides in Russia. That would make sense, Russian 90's labor was super cheap and all that newly privatized equipment was effectively zero cost. I was assuming the the variation would be state side, using various small machine shops. But I guess the opposite would be true, dozens of Russian shops, variations in Russian equipment, variations in Russian personnel, heck I could even see one laser etcher crashing out and the factory just went and acquired a completely different one from the hundreds of Soviet surplus laying around abandoned or gobbled up in the early 90's chaos.
That must have been a heck of a deal for the US importers, most of the info I have read on B-West is the calamity they got themselves into with rifles. I just assumed the pistols were as equally a clusterfuck.
My IJ70-17A, BEH 7727 made in RUSSIA by IMEZ On left side of slide, no Baikal on the weapon and standard red star grips. Right side of slide Cal.380-ACP. B-WEST TUC:AZ Frame has serial on left side followed by two proof marks. This pistol was given me by a friend who bought it new and rarely fired it.x