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Orange Sol
Gunboards Member



28 Posts
Posted - 10/28/2003 : 5:46:30 PM
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Please excuse me; I know this has probably been discussed before, but I searched pretty thoroughly and couldn't find the answer I wanted.

How can one tell between the arsenal commercial and military varieties of the Bulgarian Makarov?? Is one more desirable than the other??

Thanks in advance for your replies!!

KY-Mike
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



USA
800 Posts
Posted - 10/28/2003 : 8:56:16 PM
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Usually the finish, trigger guard and the grip is different. Desireability if tougher to judge, but I'll go out on a limb and say the military surplus is probably more desireable, at least to me it is. Here's a pic (not A good one I'm afraid, sorry!) that shows both. http://dittos.org/guns/mikes_maks.htm


SlimTim
TN-GA Shooters Forum Moderator



USA
5238 Posts
Posted - 10/28/2003 : 9:22:08 PM
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Preferences are a personal thing. In most instances, Mike would be correct. In the Mak world however, the Miltex Makarov brings a higher price generally than a Bulgarian military surplus Makarov. Had Miltex not gone belly-up, making them somewhat rare, events may have played out to make just the opposite true. If there were oodles and oodles of Miltex Maks, folks might have to work hard to find a Bulgarian Military Mak and pay more for them.

SlimTim

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Budweiser's Real Man of Genius: Mr. Gun Show Junkie.

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Better Fred than red!
http://fred08.com

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Georgians, Tennesseans, join your neighbors here!


Steve M
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1027 Posts
Posted - 10/28/2003 : 9:46:18 PM
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Here's a link to some pic's of a few Arsenal Makarov's. I'm not 100% sure of this ,but I think all the commercial will have , Arsenal ,Miltex Arsenal , or Miltex Special Edition on the side of the slide.



http://www.makarovinfo.com/gunphotos.htm


tbeardmore
Starting Member



USA
3 Posts
Posted - 10/28/2003 : 10:43:15 PM
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I'll add one other (generally obvious) distinguishing characteristic. Military Bulgarians have fixed sights, while the commercial versions I've seen generally have adjustable ones.

Best,
TRB

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Blaming guns for violence is like blaming pencils for spelling errors.

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Edited by - tbeardmore on 10/28/2003 10:44:21 PM


Teakwood
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1987 Posts
Posted - 10/29/2003 : 06:56:43 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by tbeardmore

I'll add one other (generally obvious) distinguishing characteristic. Military Bulgarians have fixed sights, while the commercial versions I've seen generally have adjustable ones.
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I beg to differ. The RUSSIAN and the CHINESE commercial Maks each have unique designs for adjustable sights. The Bulgarians have fixed sights.
As to price, the Bulgarian commercial Maks are rarer and thus pricier.
As to desirability, ST said it: "Preferences are a personal thing"


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Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it.


tbeardmore
Starting Member



USA
3 Posts
Posted - 10/29/2003 : 11:11:51 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Teakwood


quote:
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Originally posted by tbeardmore

I'll add one other (generally obvious) distinguishing characteristic. Military Bulgarians have fixed sights, while the commercial versions I've seen generally have adjustable ones.
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I beg to differ. The RUSSIAN and the CHINESE commercial Maks each have unique designs for adjustable sights. The Bulgarians have fixed sights.
As to price, the Bulgarian commercial Maks are rarer and thus pricier.
As to desirability, ST said it: "Preferences are a personal thing"


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Teakwood, not to split hairs, but my comments referred to Bulgarian military Maks vs Arsenal Maks (which was the topic of this thread). I have two Arsenal Maks (which are Bulgarian commercial Maks), and both have adjustable sights. My comments were not intended to apply to any other country's issues.

Best,
TRB

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Blaming guns for violence is like blaming pencils for spelling errors.


tbeardmore
Starting Member



USA
3 Posts
Posted - 10/29/2003 : 11:14:48 AM
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[...]

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Blaming guns for violence is like blaming pencils for spelling errors.


arcom the first
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



Congo, Democratic Republic of
1360 Posts
Posted - 10/29/2003 : 12:34:47 PM
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"I have two Arsenal Maks (which are Bulgarian commercial Maks), and both have adjustable sights."

Pictures!! You may have the only two in existence, if by adjuatable you mean windage and elevation via screws. All Makarovs have a drift adjusted windage capability on the factory rear peeper. I have only seen a truly factory adjustable rear sight on commercial Russkies as the installation of it requires extensive milling to the slide.

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Posted by the original "arcom" who continues to support Century Arms in spite of the hair and who follows that age-old adage: "If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is."

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Edited by - arcom the first on 10/29/2003 12:39:56 PM


CW
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
2370 Posts
Posted - 10/29/2003 : 12:55:25 PM
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Yes! Pictures please! I have yet to see any Bulgarian Maks with an adjustable site.
Personally, I prefer the commercial over the milsurp.
-Chris


makattack
Gunboards Premium Member



USA
125 Posts
Posted - 10/29/2003 : 6:02:23 PM
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I have a Arsenal Bulgi I bought new in 1998 and it has fixed sights. The markings are. Left side of slide reads....mod.MAKAROV cal 9x18 With the little arsenal do hickie symble and arsenal with Made in Bulgaria under that. Right side has serial# and D.I.G. VA. BCH. VA.Finish is polished blue with black thumbrest grips.It has a round trigger guard.I even still have the box ,papers ,and instruction booklet that came with it.


SgtMaj13
Gunboards Member



USA
31 Posts
Posted - 10/29/2003 : 8:51:42 PM
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Got to go w/ARCOM 1st on this one. My Russian commercial and both my Norinco Maks have screw adjustable sights. My Miltex SE and the four Arsenal commercial Bulgies that I have personal knowledge of all have fixed sights. Additionally, AFAIK, there has never been a published picture of a factory original adj sight commercial Bulgie. Ya just gotta indulge us with some pictures of these unique examples.

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SgtMaj13
Semper Fi


KY-Mike
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member



USA
800 Posts
Posted - 10/30/2003 : 10:32:11 AM
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Every single Miltex commercial Bulgarian Makarov I've seen has had fixed sights. Only the Russian IJ-70's have adjustable sights. I have not seen a Chinese, so my comments don't apply to them.


SlimTim
TN-GA Shooters Forum Moderator



USA
5238 Posts
Posted - 10/30/2003 : 10:45:08 AM
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In my initial reply I mentioned Miltex Bulgarians. In rereading, I goofed, and now see Orange Sol was asking about commercial Bulgarians in general. The others are correct, the commercial Bulgarians other than Miltex will have a stylized version of "Arsenal" etched into the slide.

Re: adjustable sights on Bulgarians, neither the military nor the commercial have 'em, unless like Arcom stated, the poster was talking about drifting the blade with a punch & hammer.

As far as desirability, YMMV. Some like the Arsenals but they have been somewhat plentiful in my area. The Miltexes were less so, ergo I view the Miltex Bulgies as more desireable. Others have found the commercial Arsenals hard to find and prefer them. I guess there's no real answer other than personal preference.

SlimTim

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Budweiser's Real Man of Genius: Mr. Gun Show Junkie.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Better Fred than red!
http://fred08.com

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Georgians, Tennesseans, join your neighbors here!


dave_az
Gunboards Member



USA
12 Posts
Posted - 10/31/2003 : 10:05:45 AM
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I'll jump in here as a newbie to Maks. Just got my first on a trade, and verified with PW Arms/Barnul that it is an Arsenal mfg (1984), Bulgarian - it has the circle 10 on left side of frame (by decocker) along with serial #, and PW Arms stamp on right side. But no other markings on outside indicating makarov etc.... grip has the star. I'm confused that it doesn't have any other markings as some have describe. Any ideas or comments?


dave_az
Gunboards Member



USA
12 Posts
Posted - 10/31/2003 : 10:33:39 AM
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I looked more closely, and went to the Makarov site: the 10 has 2 circles, indicating it is military/police issue. Its blueing is exceptional.


ij70
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
7025 Posts
Posted - 10/31/2003 : 10:22:13 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by dave_az

I looked more closely, and went to the Makarov site: the 10 has 2 circles, indicating it is military/police issue. Its blueing is exceptional.

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That does not mean military/police issue. It means that handgun was made by factory in Kazanlak, Bulgaria.

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dave_az
Gunboards Member



USA
12 Posts
Posted - 11/01/2003 : 06:18:07 AM
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Thanks. Is there a resource you could point me to? Actually I emailed PW Arms and they told me the 2 cirlces confirmed it indicated military/police, but it may have just been a quick answer without much thought or background.


ij70
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



USA
7025 Posts
Posted - 11/01/2003 : 06:54:53 AM
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There are Comercial PM that came from Bulgaria that have the same marking. I think the accepted wisdom is that those are comercial handguns built using surplus parts. There are probably close two six variations of Comercial Bulgarian PM. The comercial pistols are easily distingueshed by word Arsenal on the slide, the frame may or may not have the number 10 in two circles.



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dave_az
Gunboards Member



USA
12 Posts
Posted - 11/04/2003 : 09:50:37 AM
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Thanks. No "Arsenal" on the slide. I assume it is military.


johncantiusgarand
Starting Member



USA
3 Posts
Posted - 11/09/2003 : 3:35:03 PM
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I've never examined a military Bulgi closely, but my commercial "Arsenal" has excellent fit and finish. It is one of the D.I.G. imports from Va. Beach and is parkerized---not blued. I paid a friend's wife $100 for it, and I consider it the best deal I ever got on a firearm. Mine is in .380. The Cor-bon I chronographed in it averaged over 1100 f.p.s., although it is advertised at 1050. The only disappointment is in some of the contours. I don't know why Arsenal squared the trigger guard and straightened the profile of the rear of the slide for the commercial version. That squared trigger guard makes it more difficult to find hosters that fit well.


btr
Gunboards Member



79 Posts
Posted - 11/09/2003 : 9:48:02 PM
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I have read bulgarian commerical .380s can't be converted to 9x18 just by switching the barrel...


Teakwood
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member



1987 Posts
Posted - 11/10/2003 : 06:42:11 AM
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quote:
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Originally posted by btr

I have read bulgarian commerical .380s can't be converted to 9x18 just by switching the barrel...

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I believe that is correct. Something about the breechface in the slide. The Bulgarians made it differently for the .380 and the 9x18. If you want to convert a Bulgie .380 to 9x18, there is a small amount of machining that needs to be done on the breechface.
Alternatively, one could exchange with someone who prefers 380. From time to time, I have heard mumblings from those who prefer .380 over 9x18.

As to adjustability of the sights, let me be a little clearer for the sticklers in the audience. Only the commercial Russian and Chinese Maks had sights that were adjustable with a screw, although the sights were quite different between the two. All the others had sights that were adjustable with a DRIFT and for WINDAGE ONLY.

As to "desirability", the commercial Arsenals are finished better that the milsurp Bulgies. If someone out there has an Arsenal and wants to trade for a milsurp Bulgie, let know.


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Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it.
 
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