Umarex Makarov PM
The original pistol and history
The Makarov pistol or PM (Pistolét Makárova, or ‘Makarov’s Pistol’) is a small Soviet semi-automatic pistol. Under the project leadership of Nikolay Fyodorovich Makarov, it became the Soviet Union’s standard military side arm in 1951
As the new standard issue sidearm of the USSR, the PM was issued to NCOs, police, special forces, and tank and air crews. It remained in wide front-line service with Soviet military and police until and beyond the end of the USSR in 1991. Variants of the pistol remain in production in Russia, China, and Bulgaria.
The PM is a medium-size, straight-blowback-action, all-steel construction, frame-fixed barrel handgun. In blowback designs, the only force holding the slide closed is that of the recoil spring; upon firing, the barrel and slide do not have to unlock, as do locked-breech-design pistols. Blowback designs are simple and more accurate than designs using a recoiling, tilting, or articulated barrel, but they are limited practically by the weight of the slide. The 9×18mm cartridge is a practical cartridge in blowback-operated pistols; producing a respectable level of energy from a gun of this weight and size.
The Makarov PM has a free-floating triangular firing pin, with no firing pin spring or firing pin block. This theoretically allows the possibility of accidental firing if the pistol is dropped on its muzzle. Designer Nikolay Makarov thought the firing pin of insufficient mass to constitute a major danger. The Makarov pistol is notable for the safety elements of its design, with a safety lever that simultaneously de-cocks and blocks the hammer from contacting the firing pin and returns the weapon to the long-trigger-pull mode of double action when that safety is engaged. When handled properly, the Makarov pistol has excellent security against accidental discharge caused by inadvertent pressure on the trigger, e.g., in carrying the weapon in dense brush or re-holstering it. However, the heavy trigger weight in double-action mode decreases first-shot accuracy.
TV & Film
The little Makarov is a popular feature in film and tv, there are hundreds of listed entries, some of my favourites being The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Die Another Day, Die Hard with a Vengeance and The Fourth Protocol plus many more.
- Calibre: 9 x 18mm Makarov, .380 Auto
- Capacity: 8 rounds
- Weight: 730g
- Length: 162mm
The CO2 Replica
Comparing the pictures of the replica and the real firearm, I think you will agree that Umarex have done a fantastic job here. The little Makarov PM shares more than a passing resemblance to the Walther PP/PPK pistols for good reason 🙂 Another bonus on the Makarov is that Umarex did not plaster the sides of the slide with ugly white safety warnings or incorrect logos, well done Umarex.
Being a mostly metal build, it feels surprisingly weighty for its small size, it fits in the hand well and is easy to conceal. The sights are fixed and accuracy is also similar to the PPK, but still plenty of fun when blasting tin cans.
The action is smooth and feels solidly engineered, no rattles and can be easily field stripped. The safety is very positive and easy to flip with the thumb as is the slide release lever, both being on the left side.
The action is a full blow-back type and produces a good recoil feel when fired. The slide will lock open when the magazine becomes empty as shown below. Also shown is the one major diversion from reality – the thumb screw that secures the CO2 cartridge at the base of the grip.
The full drop-out style magazine holds both the BB’s and the 12g CO2 cartridge. Loading BB’s is easy, just pull the plunger back and pour them in. The CO2 is locked by a thumb screw, no tools needed.
As with the Walther PPK, the Makarov is a worthy entry in any collection, it is easily recognisable and widely used. It’s a fun little pistol on the tin-can range and the great feel of the blowback action just adds to the pleasure.
- Caliber: 4.5mm BB
- Capacity: 16 rounds
- Weight: 690g
- Length: 160mm
- CO2 Usage: around 40 shots at usable power