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You old time collectors,

What was the year the earliest imports for 9x18-chambered pistols came in to country? A collector friend of mine has a record of purchasing a Norinco Mak in 1989 and thinks these may have been the first imports. He also has records for purchases of an EG Makarov and a PA-63 in 1992, and a Bulgarian in 1993.

Do any of you have verifiable records for earlier imports? Of course I'm not talking about bringbacks; as part of some research I'm working on I'd like to know when 9x18 pistols started coming into country for commercial sales.
 

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Don't have verifiable records because my books went to ATF in early 1989, but a year prior to that I bought 3 9x18 R-61s and had the choice to buy PA-63's in 9x18 at that same time.
 

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Great info TO THE FLOOR. I hope some others can chime in.

I can't find records of import agreements although it seems some documentation should be out there.
 

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I bought (and still have) a Norinco Type 59 Makarov pistol which my dealer ordered from Keng's in the fall of 1989 for me. They just became available then. In 1992 I bought a Hungarian R61 imported by KBI (or maybe they were still Kassnar then). Ammo was around but you had to search a little IIRC and it was Chinese.

@TO THE FLOOR: I never realized the Hungarian pistols you mentioned were available in 1988. The reason I mention this is that while living in Germany in the 80's I bought a Norinco Type 59 Makarov. I returned to the US in 1987 and brought several guns back for which I had obtained a permit from BATF. The Makarov was listed on the form but BATF crossed it out and attached a letter saying it was not importable saying that it did not meet the points requirement(still have the permit and the letter). Wonder how those R61s and PA-63's were getting in or did you mistake the year? Were they imported by Kassnar in Harrisburg, PA?
 

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jaegermeister, from what I've been able to glean so far it appears the first 9x18 imports were through a contract between KBI (Michael Kassnar) and FEG in Hungary. TO THE FLOOR is the first to go back to 1988; I have documentation from 1989, but they may have been available a couple years earlier according to some things I've read - I just don't know. Does anyone have Kassnar's contact info (PM only if you know him). Does anybody have a Shotgun News from 1985 - 1987?

The first Bulgarian Mak purchase I've been able to document was in 1993.

The first East German Mak purchase I've documented was in 1992.

But I don't consider those two dates definitive at all; that's just my starting point.
 

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Jaegermeister...I don't think I missed the year (and I was thinking it was even earlier) I bought one for myself and 2 for friends all marked KBI. (I and one friend still own them) Shopped out of shotgun news....from someone like SOG who would sell to small time FFL's. I do remember I sent by paperwork back to ATF in early 89 giving up my FFL
 

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I think it is a a great to document when the first 9 x 18s were imported. It is certainly best to document the information before it is lost to the mists of time. I have looked at some of the firearms literature for the period because I think this is a good data source. As suggested, Shotgun News from the 80s would be an excellent source as would other periodicals. I checked Gun Digest and Guns Illustrated from the general period (except 1988 Gun Digest which I do not have) and it appears that Norinco Type 59 pistols first appeared in the 1991 editions (page 272 and 125 respectively). The listing indicates the pistol was introduced in 1990 and imported by China Sports, Inc. I realize this is only very general information, however I thought it would be of interest.
 

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Good info guys. I definitely still have the bill of sales for my Norinco. Like I said, my FFL dealer got it from Keng's when they first became available. I saw their ad in SHOTGUN NEWS and went straight to my dealer telling him that I wanted one. They ran several ads offering these for sale but IIRC, I ordered from the 1st ad that was run. I will dig out the receipt and post the date/price. I know 100% it was the fall of 1989 because I was in East Germany for an extended stay in the summer and in the fall of the same year, the Berlin Wall was opened.
P.S. I may have an old issue or two of SHOTGUN NEWS from back hiding somewhere. Will look for them.
 

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I posted some ads from a Shotgun news earlier. If I can talk my friend into it I will do some research since he has saved everyone for years and years.
I know he has copies going back into the 80's.
 

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Thanks you guys for the interest and the help. This is good information and I think we're getting somewhere.
 

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Just checked my receipts: I bought the Norinco NIB in October 1989 for $225 plus tax. Also 2 boxes of Norinco ammo @ $6 per box
at the same time. Got the Hungarian R61 in August 1992 for $119 plus tax. It looks brand new and came with a spare mag #ed to the gun.

Maybe we could compare S/N's of the Chinese ones since they were imported NIB. It would be interesting to find the lowest #. I'll post mine this weekend.
 

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I think I have a gun magazine dated 1989 that talks about a Norinco import. I can look it up for you if you want.
 

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Thanks Jaegermeister. A friend of mine bought a Norinco in August, 1989!

CW if you could someday take a snapshot of that magazine article/ad I'd love to have it for the records.
 

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Last week I mentioned that I would post the SN of my Norinco Type 59 Makarov. Here it is as well as mention about a couple of others. My SN is ZZ 273022. The original factory box that it comes in pictures SN ZZ 272385 which is only 637 off. Somewhere, I still have the SN of the one I owned while living in Germany (which I'll post in the hopefully near future) when I run across it. The one in Germany only had a SN and no other markings of any kind. Also, Gene Gangarosa's book about the P.38 that shows another Norinco Makarov. It's SN is ZZ 272769.
Anyone else care to post their Norinco SNs? It would be interesting!
 

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My Chinese type 59 already has photos posted to the Forum, serial number ZZ 270091. This Makarov as previous noted, is in mint/as new condition with no markings whatsoever other than the serial number. It came with a Chinese Military Holster, (blue corduroy lined), and a very unusal cleaning rod. I have never noticed another like it. It has a wide screw driver at the tip. I cannot be certain, still the serial numbers may have been applied to the pistol after it was blued as they appear to be in the white. My two other Chinese serial numbers are of the "B" prefix which probably came later, Beta Arms Inc. LA,CA.
 

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June 10, 1991 Shotgun News. I will go back to 88,89, 90. There was no ammo or accessories listed separately or in any other ad. Just these 2.



mak 011.jpg mak 017.jpg mak 019.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great job shotout! Thanks.

"With free 9x18 ammo"
 
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