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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello gentlemen. I'm new to the forum and I'm interested in military arms, particularly of the Russian variety. I've been wanting to pick up a Makarov for a while now, and I was wondering how the quality compares throughout the different Maks produced. I hear that East German Maks are the best going, but I can't find one for sale under about $350 bucks. I have found several in the Russian commercial flavor, the IJ70 model with adjustable sights, for good prices and am looking at one I might buy. Do any of you guys have some advice as to what to look for or somewhere in particular to buy? If I could find a military Mak at a good price I would purchase it no doubt, but I am looking for a shooter, not a relic or a safe queen. Any input would be outstanding. Hoping to be back soon! Thanks in advance!

~fox
 

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Hello fox, and welcome to this forum.

I'll give an opinion. The Bulgarian Makarov, identified by the 10 in a cirlce on the frame, is to me the best utilitarian shooter. The quality is great and they're accurate military surplus pistols. They can be found in gun or pawn shops for around $200. You can find them on auction sites for around $200, but you pay shipping and transfer fees to bring them to $250. And they are worth $250 now - you'll get your money back if you want to sell in the future. They aren't being imported and people are looking for them.

The East German models have the best fit and finish. To me that's mostly a collecting thing - they don't really shoot better than a Bulgarian. A good one goes for $350 now and is worth it in terms of resale and collectability.

Chinese models vary in finish - a good one could be worth $300, but a lot of them don't have good finishes and may be worth $200. Hit or miss. So I probably wouldn't buy a Chinese sight unseen.

The commercial IJ-70 is just that - commercial. Sellers get a wide range of dollars for those. I don't look at them much because I'm a collector and a shooter. I'll pass on what they're worth, other than to say I like Bulgarians better.
 

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Fox Hound, as noted above, they aren't being imported anymore and prices have risen as a result. Therefore all you will find will be on the second hand market. Keep an eye out on Slim Tim's Makarov forum (listed just under this one), and scour the gun shows and pawn/gun shops. Also watch the online gun auction sites.
Welcome and glad to have you on the forum.

BTW, do you have foxhounds?
 

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I have several and I really like the Bulgarians. I carry my IJ70, which I added a fixed sight to, as my main CCW. I sometimes pull out my CZ-82, but prefer the Maks. I don't carry the Bulgies because I want to preserve the finish on them. I bought them brand new unfired. Keep your eyes open and you will find one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info guys! I think I just may have to clear another space in the gun safe. If the bid stays the way it is, I will have my first Mak! Hopefully the first of many. I love em'. Handsome, reliable, simple, and you have an excuse to talk funny when you shoot them! The first time I saw a Mak, I was in eastern Oregon (I live in the Willamette Valley) shooting with a friend of my father. His poor little Mak didn't shoot so well, so we concluded that it would only shoot for someone who spoke Russian. Whenever John would take a shot he would say something in Russian, ("Gulag", the only Russian word we could come up with. lol.) and his accuracy seemed to improve. Creepy, no? After that I always wanted one, but I never knew that they had such a following. Didn't mean to write a novel, but thanks again guys!

~fox

p.s. lol No, I don't have any foxhounds. The name comes from a fictional military group from a video game series. What can I say? I'm a nerd. lol
 

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~fox

p.s. lol No, I don't have any foxhounds. The name comes from a fictional military group from a video game series. What can I say? I'm a nerd. lol
Welcome to the forum (from a fellow "nerd")!! If you have a C&R license, Cole's Distributing has some East Germans for decent prices (as low as $235 at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot this weekend). I would take a good to very good EG over just about any of the rest of the types.
 

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If you're looking for the best quality, the commercial russians probably shouldn't be very far up on your list. They are still makarovs, but they are a little rougher around the edges and the metalwork/finish on the frame is usually aren't up to par with the rest of the variants--that being said, I love my Russian hi-cap....it's just not uber-pretty :-D
 
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