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L. Neil Smith's
Number 467, May 11, 2008

"Hi Mom!"

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Mah Little Pony
by Chuck Bridgeland

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

My own particular "little pony" is a close to stock Bulgarian surplus Makarov.

[view 1]

Around about 2001 or so AIM Surplus or one of the other surplus gun vendors had a "buy 2 for $99 each" deal. I hit up my usual FFL about it, and he said "I can do better than that". All told, with whatever profit he made, plus our dear then Governor's (SPIT!) pound of flesh, I got it for $136, out the door, for the full kit ("target" grip, original grip, two magazines, cleaning tool and holster). The barrel was unscuffed, so I suspect it had never been shot.

Details about the gun can be found elsewhere. I would point you to and Wikipedia's "Makarov PM" article.

This particular one is wearing an East German black plastic grip. This grip has gentle palm swells, in place of the usual flat checkered grips, and no lanyard ring. (Well, technically, the lanyard attachment is inside the grip.) For me, they are "just right".

[view 2]

What I like: It just works, and the size is quite right.

I're run at least several thousands of rounds through it, of all sorts: American made, Russian, Chinese, handloads (on trimmed 9x19 brass — yes it works), and handloads with hand cast bullets. It digests it all.

What I don't like: The round it fires is an oddball Soviet round size and power-wise between a hot .380 and a 9mm Parabellum. Wally World ain't gonna have 'em, so don't confuse the poor guy by asking. The sights are dinky. In the summer, it'll pick up spots of surface rust in a heartbeat.

Adventures I've had with it: None. I'm like a hobbit in that respect. I do not go seeking adventures. Being in the jurisdiction I am in, I will only say that my Mak is legally stored and transported. So there.

[view 3] reported recently in one of the online fora that the Bulgarian Arsenal factory has ceased production of new Makarovs. We here in the Land of the Kind-a Free can't import Russian Baikal Makarovs (that Clinton era import ban that somehow Dubya never got around to doing anything about). Surplus guns have to a great extent dried up, and magazines are no longer cheap and plentiful. Prices on existing Makarovs have gone up, to the point that they are competing with similar capacity guns (the Bersa .380, newly available surplus CZ-82).

I fear that the heyday of the Mak is past.

I have, and have had, other guns over the years. So far nothing has quite hit the sweet spot with me better than the Makarov.


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