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martyj33
Starting Member

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 : 8:49:04 PM Show Profile Send martyj33 a Private Message


After having used revolvers for more than 40 years, I became intrigued, and purchased a Bulgarian Makarov. I understand the operation, but I have 2 questions which I hope some of you might answer for me:

1. What is your preferred method of loading the weapon in preparation for firing?
a) No magazine, safety off, rack slide back and engage slide stop. Place loaded magazine in gun, press slide stop to allow round to feed; hammer is now cocked for SA. Decock if wanting to use DA later.
b) Loaded magazine in place, safety off, rack slide and allow to snap forward, placing round in chamber and cocking hammer. Decock if wanting to use DA later.

c) Any other?

2. For those of you who carry or keep as home defence gun, in what condition do you keep it? Loaded magazine, empty chamber, safety on, Loaded magazine, round chambered, safety on, Loaded magazine, round chambered, safety off? Any other thoughts would be most welcome.

Thank you in advance,
A New Makarov Owner.

Cruiser
Silver Bullet Club

USA
569 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 : 9:27:53 PM Show Profile
1. b) Most agree that the Slide Stop is best not used as a Slide Release. Rack it instead.
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Kimdo
Gunboards Member

16 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 : 9:40:26 PM Show Profile
Marty,
Welcome to the Mak insanity. This is a great place to hang out.
I'll answer your question as a nonexpert. Just my personal preference.
I use plan B. Insert loaded magazine, rack and slingshot slide. Safety on immediately to decock the weapon. For range use the safety goes off at the line.
For carry or home defense, I remove the magazine and top off with another round and reinsert. Then I drop the safety and rely on the DA trigger for the safety. ("The only real safety is the one between the ears!" Clint Smith) This works for me as all my carry guns are DA or DAO and I'm used to it. As a wheelgun guy you probably are also.
Hope you enjoy the Mak. I sure do. Kim
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Teakwood
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member

1987 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 : 9:54:32 PM Show Profile
In response to question #1, select B, for reasons as Cruiser noted.

In response to question #2, I keep one in the home with the mag out, zero in chamber, and safety on - just in case some else happens to grab it first (others are locked up). For carry, it's full mag, one in chamber, safety off.
Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it.
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k98k792
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member

7165 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 : 10:19:47 PM Show Profile
1 b
2 a
Mark R COG 792
Set the controls for the heart of the sun!
AK Mania! I'm a carrier.
Administrator http://www.militaryfirearm.com/
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TA
Gunboards Super Premium Member

271 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 : 10:35:58 PM Show Profile
I rack the slide on a full magazine to load the chamber. Safety off for carry.
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tylernt
Gunboards Premium Member

161 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2004 : 11:59:04 PM Show Profile

quote:Originally posted by Cruiser

1. b) Most agree that the Slide Stop is best not used as a Slide Release. Rack it instead.

Whoa, I think that most will agree that the Slide Release is to be used as a Slide Release. :) You may not want to do it on a 1911 but the Mak was designed to take it. If by some miracle you manage to wear it out with 10,000 cycles, it's a $5 part from makarov.com and it's 5 minutes work replacing it without tools (except the tool that comes with the gun).

It's also a-ok to drop the slide on an empty chamber. Again, that may be a no-no for other guns but you can do it all day long on your Mak.

In response to the original questions, my Mak is kept with round chambered, hammer down, safety OFF. After chambering a round, I eject the mag and top off with one more round.
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criticalbass
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member

USA
2859 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 12:32:47 AM Show Profile
I carry with 8+1, Kimdo's method, safety on. My triggers are worked to DA pulls which are pretty light. Safety is on in case I lose custody of the weapon. It can take someone a little time to figure out the safety, and in that time one might be able to mount a recovery operation.

Tylernt is exactly right about the slide release. It is for releasing the slide. The other method takes two hands and a little more time. Loading a second mag may need to be rapid, and it could be in a situation where the off hand is damaged.

The really wrong way to load is to drop one in the barrel and let the slide slam forward on it. Don't do that. A dirty firing pin could cause an AD. Occasionally someone will recommend easing the slide down on a round. Don't do that either. It is possible for the extractor to fail to snap over the ring and keep the weapon from going into battery. Even if it does engage properly, the round in the chamber will not be seated the same as subsequent rounds and this may result in a different bullet strike. (Not much different, but at long range or on the target range it can be significant.)

Suggestion--practice DA shooting every trip to the range, and try to make the first shot DA for every mag to build the DA habit. (If you are shooting for a score, you might want to skip this, but though the Mak is very accurate, there are many other better target guns.)

Select good practices, and turn them into habits. CB

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MakNik
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
692 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 09:41:12 AM Show Profile
CB,
Don't want to be argumentative, but frankly there is SO LITTLE NO difference between stripping a bullet from the mag and dropping one in the barrel and releasing the slide, that in effect there is NO difference.
(Whatever redcution in momentum that may occur from the work of stripping the round is so negligible that it's not worth the quibble.)
Also if you have a dirty firing pin channel, then il will cause you problems eitehre way.

The ONLY way you can avoid a BANG from a jammed firing pin when dropping the slide is to let it down gently by hand.

The dirty firing pin is a NON-issue if you do
1) simple maintenance
2) a simple check of the firing pin rattling before you load up.


As a postscipt to 1) above, I decided to see if the Makarov solution will in effect be able to penetrate a firing pin channel and clean it out ouver time from my practice of soaking overnight and soem simple swishing in the bucket.
Definitely a NON-scientific and empirical test.
I recently got a Mak that had been seriously neglected. to the point that the firing pin, while in excellent condition was so dirty and the channel so fouled that it would not respond to the strongest shaking.
I tried the pencil test and it did work, but most times the pencil would not come but halfway out of the barrel.
It seem to be a mix of grease, oil, firing powder residue and other unknow ingredients.
Took me about 3 "overnight soak & wipes" before the firing pin would perform consistently with the pencil. BUT, on removing the firing pin, there was still some gunk in the channel
It took avout 9 more "overnight soak & wipes", before the firing pin was not occluded to visual inspection, and the firing pin was relatively clean.
At that point, I put a pipe cleaner thought the channel and it came out with about the same level of dirt that I would get after firing off about 2K of Barnaul.


Gun-control == OSHA for criminals...
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MakNik
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
692 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 09:45:35 AM Show Profile
Oh and another matter about using the firing pin release instead of releasing the slide by hand.

IF EVER, you are in a situation where you need to use your Mak, which would be quicker:
1) Slapping in a mag and using the slide release while using both hands to point the gun ?
or
2) Slapping in a mag and using two hands to release the slide and then taking up your two-hand grip ?

Is it worth increasing your reload time to save on a $5 part that should not fail before a couple of thousand uses ?
Gun-control == OSHA for criminals...
Edited by - MakNik on 05/18/2004 5:19:50 PM
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htmn2468
Gunboards Member

90 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 10:46:41 AM Show Profile
I vote for b at least for the first magazine then top off puton safty insert into IWB holster and im good to go. If in a fight or practice for one b for first mag slide stop for all others. I learned this at Gunsight for my CCW
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fafuss
Gunboards Member

82 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 12:11:16 PM Show Profile
martyj33,

Generally the action on my Mak is open when I load the gun (either from inspecting the chamber or from being held open when the magazine empties). I usually insert the magazine and pull back the slide and release it allowing it to chamber the first round. (It's the same technique I use for my .22 target pistols.)

My "homeland defence" IJ-70 sits in a (hopefully) safe place with a full magazine, empty chamber, hammer down and safety off. (I close the action before inserting the magazine.) I'm reluctant to keep a round in the chamber as long as my wife refuses to learn how to handle the weapon. I'm hopeful I'll have sufficient time to chamber the first round if I should ever have to do that.

Frank
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Macx
Gunboards Super Premium Member

USA
372 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 5:26:14 PM Show Profile Visit Macx's Homepage
1. With no magazine in the gun, I lock the slide back.

2. I drop round one into the chamber via the ejection port.

3. I release the slide and insert a full magazine.

4. I gently lower the hammer and return the safety to "safe"

P.S. The miliseconds lost thumbing the safety down before letting the first round go double action are getting fewwer all the time. I like to carry fully loaded with the safety on. I know my nice Fobus holster should be enough protection against unintended discharge, but I prefer two "safeties" (a secure holster & the one on the gun). JMHO.
I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I have broken
But I swear in thew days still left:
We'll walk in fields of gold
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MakNik
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
692 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 7:56:46 PM Show Profile
Macx,

You don't need to lower the hammer before using the decock/safety.

If you watch the back of the slide from above, you will notice that as soon as you start rotating the safety, the firing pin is blocked so that hammer will not affect it.
That's why it's called a DECOCK/safety.

That's why I put the pistol on safe at step 2.5
Gun-control == OSHA for criminals...
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nyarlotep
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
576 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 9:03:36 PM Show Profile
I'm new to gun ownership, having only used friends or rented at the range previously. I started carrying w/ full mag, no round in chamber; once I became comfortable doing that I carried it full + 1 in chamber. A couple weeks ago, I was loading it, and I pulled the hammer back & pulled trigger so I could gently lower hammer, and perhaps my thumb slipped, but I ended up burying a Barnaul hollowpoint in the living room floor. Since then, my confidence has been quite low, but I still feel the best way to carry is 8+1 (insert mag w/ action open, USE slide release to strip a round, then top off mag) and carry w/ the safety on. As little time as it takes to take off the safety, there doesn't seem to be any need to neglect that precaution; and as much time as it would take to rack the slide, it seems unwise to leave a round unchambered.
Nyarlotep

"I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye."
"I do not shoot with my hand; he who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind.
"I do not kill with my gun; he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart."

Stephen King, "The Wastelands"
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criticalbass
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member

USA
2859 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 9:15:28 PM Show Profile

quote:Originally posted by MakNik

CB,
Don't want to be argumentative, but frankly there is SO LITTLE NO difference between stripping a bullet from the mag and dropping one in the barrel and releasing the slide, that in effect there is NO difference.
(Whatever redcution in momentum that may occur from the work of stripping the round is so negligible that it's not worth the quibble.)



MakNik--Is too! just kidding. Here's my reasoning. The slide picks up the bullet from the mag and engages the extractor at relatively low speed. The bullet/slide combo proceeds to go into battery. If the bullet is already chambered, the slide impacts it at top speed, and if there is any marginal condition such as a very sensitive primer or a stuck firing pin, trouble can occur. Bullet in chamber also puts more shock on the extractor, though these are pretty tough.

I have gone through the Russian manual (Gebhardt's translation) and have found no recommendation to start with bullet in chamber.

I have tried the bullet in chamber method several times, and have noticed appreciable denting in primers from firing pin inertia.

My one and hopefully only AD was from this practice, but in fairness it was in the ill-fated DA-only experiment and was probably associated with a failing sear. Nevermore!

I would be interested in seeing comments from others on the advisability of dropping the slide on a chambered round. CB
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Spike
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
669 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 9:42:22 PM Show Profile
Hello Marty,
Good to have you on the Mak board, sir.

What Kimdo said.

-Spikester

"...quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est."
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divermac
Gunboards Member

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 10:18:03 PM Show Profile
Lots of good responses so far, I load a full mag then rack the slide and shoot the big bad paper targets. If I am loading the Mak for home defense, I load a full mag, rack, drop mag and top off with 1 more round and reinsert. The Mak rests on my nightstand with the hammer down and safety off.....ready for action.............Mac
Gun control makes a bad guys job easier.
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TENNESSEEAN
Moderator

USA
1162 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2004 : 10:34:00 PM Show Profile
Just like kimdo said.
TN
Appalachain American
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tylernt
Gunboards Premium Member

161 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2004 : 12:43:45 AM Show Profile

quote:Originally posted by MakNik

you will notice that as soon as you start rotating the safety, the firing pin is blocked

The CZ-52 has a very dangerous decocker and I would only use it at the range with the gun pointed downrange. The decock on a Mak, on the other hand, is as safe as any mechanical device can be. I have never, ever heard of a Mak firing when the decocker is used. Of course, point the gun in a safe direction 'just in case' you are the first... but I would trust the Mak's decocker more than a human thumb on the hammer.

Now, don't have your finger in the trigger guard when you decock... yee-ouch!!
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MakNik
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
692 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2004 : 02:17:10 AM Show Profile

quote:Originally posted by criticalbass
[
MakNik--Is too! just kidding. Here's my reasoning. The slide picks up the bullet from the mag and engages the extractor at relatively low speed. The bullet/slide combo proceeds to go into battery. If the bullet is already chambered, the slide impacts it at top speed, and if there is any marginal condition such as a very sensitive primer or a stuck firing pin, trouble can occur. Bullet in chamber also puts more shock on the extractor, though these are pretty tough.

I have gone through the Russian manual (Gebhardt's translation) and have found no recommendation to start with bullet in chamber.

I have tried the bullet in chamber method several times, and have noticed appreciable denting in primers from firing pin inertia.

My one and hopefully only AD was from this practice, but in fairness it was in the ill-fated DA-only experiment and was probably associated with a failing sear. Nevermore!

I would be interested in seeing comments from others on the advisability of dropping the slide on a chambered round. CB




Still not trying to be argumentative..
BUT...

1) I suspect that the difference in speed of the slide when stripping a bullet vs not stripping a bullet is at best marginally different.
2) This is even more true if you've upgraded to a 21# spring
3) I have yet to see any difference in pin mark on the primer from dropping the slide on a bullet vs stripping the bullet from the mag.
4) Just because the manual does NOT mention the process, does not indicate that it's not acceptable. In this case, I would look for instructions discouraging it.
Remeber that this pistol was designed to be used by a large range of expertise and style under an even broader range of conditions.
This pistol is built like a soviet tractor. With one exception
Like the soviet tractor, it's built EXTREMELY sturdy.
But unlike the soviet tractor, the Makarov has shown itself to be absolutely reliable and able to survive the worst abuse creative minds can heap on it.

Gun-control == OSHA for criminals...
Edited by - MakNik on 05/19/2004 09:53:37 AM
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Steve M
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member

1027 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2004 : 12:47:58 PM Show Profile

quote:Originally posted by MakNik


the Makarov has shown itself to be absolutely reliable and able to survive the worst abuse creative minds can heap on it.





I've been following this a while , and cringe at the thought of releasing the slide and letting it slam home with a round in the chamber.
I'm glad that you finally pointed out that this is ABUSE of the firearm and a pratice that should not be encouraged.
Some firearms may be able to take this , some won't. It is still abuse and unsafe.
IT'S NOT A GOOD HABIT TO GET INTO,

Back to the Gebhardt manual, page 67 says to deliver a round to the chamber from the magazine. page 81 basicly says to use the firearm in compliance with the manual.
The book doesn't say NOT to use the pistol as a crowbar, does that mean it's OK ??
Edited by - Steve M on 05/19/2004 1:21:47 PM
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MakNik
Gunboards.Com Silver Star Member

USA
692 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2004 : 2:17:24 PM Show Profile

quote:Originally posted by Steve M

quote:Originally posted by MakNik

the Makarov has shown itself to be absolutely reliable and able to survive the worst abuse creative minds can heap on it.




I've been following this a while , and cringe at the thought of releasing the slide and letting it slam home with a round in the chamber.
I'm glad that you finally pointed out that this is ABUSE of the firearm and a pratice that should not be encouraged.
Some firearms may be able to take this , some won't. It is still abuse and unsafe.
IT'S NOT A GOOD HABIT TO GET INTO,

Back to the Gebhardt manual, page 67 says to deliver a round to the chamber from the magazine. page 81 basicly says to use the firearm in compliance with the manual.
The book doesn't say NOT to use the pistol as a crowbar, does that mean it's OK ??




NOWHERE in my text does it imply that releasing the slide on a chambered round IS abuse.
You are putting words in my mouth.
(And I do NOT appreciatre that)

But thanks for the demonstration that you needed this to justify the conclusion on which you base your facts.

And I'll stop here before I type something rude.
Gun-control == OSHA for criminals...
Edited by - MakNik on 05/19/2004 2:18:37 PM
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Steve M
Gunboards.Com Gold Star Member

1027 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2004 : 3:54:02 PM Show Profile

quote:Originally posted by MakNik

quote:Originally posted by criticalbass
[
MakNik--Is too! just kidding. Here's my reasoning. The slide picks up the bullet from the mag and engages the extractor at relatively low speed. The bullet/slide combo proceeds to go into battery. If the bullet is already chambered, the slide impacts it at top speed, and if there is any marginal condition such as a very sensitive primer or a stuck firing pin, trouble can occur. Bullet in chamber also puts more shock on the extractor, though these are pretty tough.

I have gone through the Russian manual (Gebhardt's translation) and have found no recommendation to start with bullet in chamber.

I have tried the bullet in chamber method several times, and have noticed appreciable denting in primers from firing pin inertia.

My one and hopefully only AD was from this practice, but in fairness it was in the ill-fated DA-only experiment and was probably associated with a failing sear. Nevermore!

I would be interested in seeing comments from others on the advisability of dropping the slide on a chambered round. CB




Still not trying to be argumentative..
BUT...

1) I suspect that the difference in speed of the slide when stripping a bullet vs not stripping a bullet is at best marginally different.
2) This is even more true if you've upgraded to a 21# spring
3) I have yet to see any difference in pin mark on the primer from dropping the slide on a bullet vs stripping the bullet from the mag.
4) Just because the manual does NOT mention the process, does not indicate that it's not acceptable. In this case, I would look for instructions discouraging it.
Remeber that this pistol was designed to be used by a large range of expertise and style under an even broader range of conditions.
This pistol is built like a soviet tractor. With one exception
Like the soviet tractor, it's built EXTREMELY sturdy.
But unlike the soviet tractor, the Makarov has shown itself to be absolutely reliable and able to survive the worst abuse creative minds can heap on it.




The full text of the post I quoted.............

The whole post is about dropping the slide on a chambered round, at the end of the post there is a statement about abuse, common sense and logic would connect the two.
I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, just quoting and giving a different view on the subject.
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