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Topic author: Shermysan
Subject: Makarov .22 LR Conversion Kit Report
Posted on: 05/08/2006 11:08:14 PM


Ordered a Makarov .22 LR Conversion Kit and an extra firing pin from Makarov.com. Got a 5% discount for being a Gunboards member. Got the usual excellent service and the goods came by UPS in about a week from the day I ordered.

Took a little pushing and pulling to get the kit on my older Bulgarian Mak. Had to change the method they had in the instructions. Instead of putting the retaining nut on the end of the barrel before putting the slide on, I found it necessary to put it on after putting the whole works together. In any event it did get together. Took it to the range and fired Aguila 38 grain and Remingtion 40 grain Gold Bullet through it. Had quite a few failures to feed with the Remingtons. Very accurate, but it shoots an inch below POA at 7 yds with the Aguila and 2" below with the Remington. The functioning seemed to improve after a couple hundred rounds. Very good groups. I polished the feed ramp just enough to take the tool marks off and that should improve the feeding. One negative comment, the barrel nut on the end kept working loose every 10 rounds or so. I just tighten it by hand again. Also, I cleaned it in "Ed's Red" and a lot of the black finish (which appears to be some type of paint) came right off. All in all I am a very satisfied customer again. Love dealing with Makarov.com. Shermysan

Replies:


Reply author: wrangler5
Replied on: 05/08/2006 11:52:56 PM
Message:

My 22 conversion Mak is my favorite 22 auto. It did take over 500 rounds to get to where it was almost completely reliable all the time, and I've found that CCI Blazer ammo works the best in mine.

I too have found a bit of a problem getting the slide on and off, but the problem isn't so much the barrel nut as the lockwasher behind it. The lockwasher is just about exactly the same diameter as the barrel, but it has a hole that is slightly larger than the section of the barrel it fits over, meaning that the lockwasher can be slightly off center on the barrel. If that happens, the lockwasher will extend just a bit beyond the side of the barrel, and will make it difficult or impossible to get the slide on or off.

The solution is to just loosen the barrel nut a half turn or so - this allows the lockwasher to move around a bit and work itself through the opening at the muzzle end of the slide. Tighten the barrel nut after the slide is installed. (If I could get a spare lockwasher I'd chuck it in a drill and file its outside diameter down so that no part of it could extend beyond the side of the barrel - that way I could keep the barrel nut tight and still get the slide on and off.)

I find my barrel nut comes loose after a bit of shooting, too, but I can get 30-40 shots before it needs to be re-tightened.


Reply author: Pur Sang
Replied on: 05/09/2006 12:36:30 PM
Message:

This may or may not be of any help with the failures-to-feed. I had a .22 pistol with this same problem. I contacted the manufacturer and informed them of my problem. They asked what kind of ammo I was using. I told them. They said the pistol, (springs, etc.), had been made for standard velocity or high velocity ammo. I had been using hyper velocity ammo. Thus, the slide was pushed back faster than had been intended and was slamming back into the home position faster and stovepiping or failing-to-feed as a result. So you can try using standard or high velocity ammo first and see if this cures the FTF problem.


Reply author: Shermysan
Replied on: 05/09/2006 6:35:25 PM
Message:

I think the failure to feed is due to the rather rough tool marks on the feed ramp of the barrel insert. The lower velocity Remingtons were the ones that were hanging up. The Aguila are a little more potent than the Remingtons. We will see what happens at the range the next time since I polished the feed ramp. Shermysan


Reply author: criticalbass
Replied on: 05/09/2006 10:55:59 PM
Message:

I didn't like the wrench that came with the kit, so I added a box-end wrench to the assortment. The sheet metal original is likely to leave marks, and the replacement, from East Jerkistan I believe, enables applying a little more pressure without risking damage. I deliberately selected a very short wrench to reduce the possibility of over tightening. I have not experienced loosening of the barrel nut.

Like most .22 autos, both of mine like to be clean. When clean, they will handle about any ammo, but after a hundred ronds or so, one of them wants high performance ammo. The other one just starts having the occasional jam with anything.

Polishing the feed ramp was helpful with my first conversion kit, but be sure to not go beyond polishing to actual reshaping of the tiny little ramp. One Gunboards member did, and ruined a barrel. CB


Reply author: Shermysan
Replied on: 05/09/2006 11:52:07 PM
Message:

I did not find a wrench in my kit. Just a cleaning rod and nylon bristled brush and a sloted piece for patches. The barrel nut on my kit was checkered for finger gripping. I was very carefull and used my traditional 800 grit sear polishing paper to just make the feed ramp smooth and shiney by hand without changing the contour. It's like cuttiing hair, I can always polish a little more if it needs it, but I can't put any back. Shermysan


Reply author: distguitar
Replied on: 05/11/2006 11:26:23 AM
Message:

Sorry for slight off, but why would you want to do this to a Mak?
Wouldn't it be better to get a used Ruger Mark I for around $150? It's really more of a question, and not a criticism...
Just seems like it's strange to do this to a gun that was absolutely perfected for 9x18 round and nothing else...


Reply author: El Karang
Replied on: 05/11/2006 12:14:48 PM
Message:

distguitar-don't know the individual reason-but over time;a person who shoots a lot can pay for the makarov just with the money saved by using inexpensive 22 ammo.lowball price 100rds cci:$2.79 vs very lowball 100rds mak:$10.While this conversion doesn't provide simulation like the Colt Ace,you still have to assume a stance, lift the weapon , aim and fire so it keeps you shooting and conditions basic reflexes.


Reply author: wrangler5
Replied on: 05/11/2006 5:51:17 PM
Message:

I would never carry my loaded Ruger Mk II in a holster in the field. I just don't trust the safety button that much. The Mak w/22 unit, though, fits my Fobus holster the same as any other Mak, and goes into action the same as if the 9x18 slide were installed.

The 22 magazines are not readily available, so the 2 that I have don't get thrown in the dirt practicing rapid magazine changes. Apart from that, I can do draw-from-concealment practice with either my IWB or shoulder holsters, and have the same safety disengagement and first-shot double action trigger pull as I would with a centerfire load.

Plus, for me there's just a certain fun quotient with the 22 Mak that I simply don't get with a Ruger. That makes the kit worth the $200 I paid for mine.

YMMV, of course.


Reply author: arcom the first
Replied on: 05/11/2006 6:55:50 PM
Message:

"The 22 magazines are not readily available"

If you mean for the Ruger MkII, there's a ton available. $17 from CDNNinvestments.com, plus many others.


Reply author: Shermysan
Replied on: 05/11/2006 7:03:32 PM
Message:

quote:Originally posted by distguitar

Sorry for slight off, but why would you want to do this to a Mak?
Wouldn't it be better to get a used Ruger Mark I for around $150? It's really more of a question, and not a criticism...
Just seems like it's strange to do this to a gun that was absolutely perfected for 9x18 round and nothing else...



It's a temporary conversion kit with a barrel insert and a slide that can be replaced in less than 2 minutes with the original equipment. This device, developed by the Bulgarians, allows me to practice with my carry Makarov with low cost .22 cal ammo versus $7.49 9x18 Makarov ammo. No, I don't see the advantage to using a different make pistol such as a Ruger, to practice marksmanship with a Makarov when I can use my Makarov cheaply with a conversion kit. This is not a permanent modification in any way. So actually I did not "do" anything to my Mak except to shoot it cheaply. It does no harm to the pistol I use it in and I can switch it around to any of the 3 Maks I own if I want. Shermysan


Reply author: criticalbass
Replied on: 05/11/2006 9:25:44 PM
Message:

quote:Originally posted by distguitar

Sorry for slight off, but why would you want to do this to a Mak?
Wouldn't it be better to get a used Ruger Mark I for around $150? It's really more of a question, and not a criticism...
Just seems like it's strange to do this to a gun that was absolutely perfected for 9x18 round and nothing else...



When these kits first became available, those who bought them were flamed, smoked, charred, parboiled and generally reviled as the spawn of satan. I mean there were some folks actively hostile to the concept of doing an easily reversible conversion to a Makarov.

Wrangler 5 has some very good points.

About the mags, my first kit came with only one. Apparently Europeans are not very interested in extra mags, and the first imports of the kits included no spares. Makarov.com later sold me two more, and the next kit, which I bought used, had one or two extras-have to look to see how many.

As .22 pistols go, guns designed to shoot .22 will usually be superior to conversions. Conversions provide some of the feel of shooting the gun's heavier round, and that's a big reason for them. In areas where buying another gun might be a problem one can own a .22 without getting the attention of the authorities.

California has required the Walther P-22 barrel nut to be permanently fastened in place so it can't be used with a silencer. So much for the two-barrel sets. Pick one, sell the other barrel on eBay. Hopefully the .22 conversion for the Makarov will not be greeted with similar stupidity.

I have a Ruger Standard, and a Mark II target pistol, both of which are ultra reliable and extremely accurate, but I do enjoy shooting the converted Makarovs. Both are on frames which I got without slides. CB


Reply author: wrangler5
Replied on: 05/11/2006 9:45:28 PM
Message:

quote:Originally posted by arcom the first

"The 22 magazines are not readily available"

If you mean for the Ruger MkII, there's a ton available. $17 from CDNNinvestments.com, plus many others.



No, I meant the Mak 22 mags. (I have a bunch of mags for the Ruger MkII.) I got 2 mags with the Makarov 22 conversion kit, but makarov.com doesn't have extras to sell at this point. Anybody know of a source for extras somewhere else?


Reply author: Shermysan
Replied on: 05/13/2006 8:48:03 PM
Message:

Took my Mak with the conversion kit to the range again today. Polishing the feed ramp made a big difference. Out of about 300 rds. had one failure to feed and that was the Remington again. The Aquila was flawless. Had to adjust the hight of the front sight down as it was shooting up to 2" below point of aim at 15 and 7 yds. Trimmed it down a little with a file and it is pretty close to Poi/POA at 7 yds. I'm very satisfied with it, and figure the cost of the kit will pay for itself in 6 months at the rate that I shoot and the cost of 9x18 ammo. I go to the range at least once a week, sometimes more as it is only 10 minutes away. I could stop by on my way home from work if I wanted. Shermysan
 
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