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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to the Makarov pistol and very interested in Russian and East German PMs.

Regarding Russian military PMs, I learned that the safety on early productions (before 1967?) had serial number on.

Are those early version PMs more collectible in the US? do they have better quality (compared to later years productions)?

Thank you.
 

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Overall, I wouldn't say they're more collectible. True Soviet PMs are all very collectible as they never were (officially) imported into the country. In terms of value, war bringback's usually command a bit more coin than the Russian Sneak's. Then you have details like matching serials, import markings(Or lack thereof), Etc.. And yes, date of production does certainly always factor in. From what I've seen, I would say the fit and finish are often a bit nicer on the earlier production PM's.
 

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Overall, I wouldn't say they're more collectible. True Soviet PMs are all very collectible as they never were (officially) imported into the country.

Where did you get this information? I guess the 3 with US import stamps in my safe are my imagination. Unfortunately, The importation of Maks from Russian are now banned from importation.
 

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You are correct. 1967-1968 was the transition period between number-stamping and electropenciling serial numbers on safety levers.



Another major safety redesign was made mid-production in 1966, during the "LG" or "ЛГ" block and somewhere around the 5060-5755th pistol of that block, where a spring guide hole was drilled completely through the safety lever as a simplification.



As said, in the particular case of the USA, any Soviet Makarov is considered a nice find. I would have to say that earlier Makarovs had more work put into them (hence better"quality"), whereas the newest ones look absolutely horrible (cast parts and rough finish). However, they work equally well, if not slightly better for the newer ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How can I tell if a Russian Military Makarov is a refurbished or not (based on online photos)? Any obvious signs I need to pay attention to? I see some Russian Makarovs on gunbroker.com are labeled as 'arsenal refurbished' but I can't find refurb marks on the pistol. Thank you !
 

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The Soviet Russian PM was officially (BATFE authority) imported (although some came to the US unofficially). I would expect to pay close to three times the value of a "sneak", for a non-import marked, matching s/n marked decocker PM. IMHO, the remark about fit and finish is subjective. I'm not biased when I say my '87 PM is one of the finest.
 

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How can I tell if a Russian Military Makarov is a refurbished or not (based on online photos)? Any obvious signs I need to pay attention to? I see some Russian Makarovs on gunbroker.com are labeled as 'arsenal refurbished' but I can't find refurb marks on the pistol. Thank you !
I have never heard of arsenal reconditioning nor markings thereof. Safe to assume that this wasn't a thing for the Makarov, since they are still being used today. Therefore, there is no need to recondition them (yet) for fear of a Third World War.
 

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"arsenal reconditioning" could be a misnomer used by the seller to tell the purist collector, some internal parts aren't original. Sometimes done by the importer, but could have been done by anyone after production. (springs, sear, extractor/slide catch, decocker, etc.)
 

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The Soviet Russian PM was officially (BATFE authority) imported (although some came to the US unofficially). I would expect to pay close to three times the value of a "sneak", for a non-import marked, matching s/n marked decocker PM. IMHO, the remark about fit and finish is subjective. I'm not biased when I say my '87 PM is one of the finest.
View attachment 1873226 View attachment 1873234 View attachment 1873250
Interesting. I wasn't aware that any were imported(Other than the ones snuck in with batches of Bulgarian/East German). If you don't mind me asking.. Who imported them and when?
 

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Interesting. I wasn't aware that any were imported(Other than the ones snuck in with batches of Bulgarian/East German). If you don't mind me asking.. Who imported them and when?
My '87 was imported by C.D.I. and I know long time importer P W Arms imported some...I'm not sure exactly when, others more versed might / will know. I would speculate, from late 1991, the fall of the USSR, to the import restriction of early 1996.
 

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My '87 was imported by C.D.I. and I know long time importer P W Arms imported some...I'm not sure exactly when, others more versed might will know. I would speculate, from 1991, the fall of the USSR, to the import restriction of early 1996.
View attachment 1873905 View attachment 1873913
Per the above mentioned book, the only Maks, "officially" imported to USA were Bakals, including the 8, 10 and 12 round versions, for a few years in the early 1990s. But Bakals are not milsurps. Also per that book, the only way Russian milsurps came here were as Bulgarian or East German sneaks, or one at a time by individuals, each with its own story. The Bulgy and EG sneaks are stamped as if made in those countries, but coded markings elsewhere reveal they were made in Russia. Despite all this, we have the above pix, and I own a 1976 Russian milsurp with a PW Arms stamp, but no country of origin stamped anywhere. So, I guess there are exceptions to everything we think we know.

One thing for sure, Russian milsurps are by far the rarest of all Maks currently in the USA. But that is only because of import restrictions. Oddly, there are probably more Russian milsurps on the planet than any other Mak. Its just that we cannot import them, at least for now. But if USA and Russian relations ever warm, that could change. Who knows, someday Russian milsurps may become more common here than the Bulgy is now ;)

I believe, in the long run, EG Maks are gonna hold the most value, since they were only made 1958-1965, and there will never be anymore, anywhere.
 

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Much much much much rarer. Chinese Type 59s were only produced for one year. In comparison, millions and millions of Soviet PMs were produced between 1949-present day!
 

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Hey, Meerkoos, how are you? Yes you can find PMs with the typical rebuild mark of a square with a line through it. I've got a few. Good call on the hole drilled through the safety by the way, I dated it later than I should have in The Makarov Book so there's a correction due eventually. That happens when you develop your info from observed examples, something new turns up eventually. You do have to watch it with safeties because they can be so readily replaced. Cheers, ABTOMAT P.S. The book does have some good pictures of the re-arsenal marks. They can be found on the left of the frame for sure and sometimes appear on the right as well In both cases they will be near the top of the grip in the area below the magazine release.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You are correct. 1967-1968 was the transition period between number-stamping and electropenciling serial numbers on safety levers.

View attachment 1872090 View attachment 1872258

Another major safety redesign was made mid-production in 1966, during the "LG" or "ЛГ" block and somewhere around the 5060-5755th pistol of that block, where a spring guide hole was drilled completely through the safety lever as a simplification.

View attachment 1872290 View attachment 1872266

As said, in the particular case of the USA, any Soviet Makarov is considered a nice find. I would have to say that earlier Makarovs had more work put into them (hence better"quality"), whereas the newest ones look absolutely horrible (cast parts and rough finish). However, they work equally well, if not slightly better for the newer ones.
What does the mark '1' right before the serial number (on both frame and slide) indicate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey, Meerkoos, how are you? Yes you can find PMs with the typical rebuild mark of a square with a line through it. I've got a few. Good call on the hole drilled through the safety by the way, I dated it later than I should have in The Makarov Book so there's a correction due eventually. That happens when you develop your info from observed examples, something new turns up eventually. You do have to watch it with safeties because they can be so readily replaced. Cheers, ABTOMAT P.S. The book does have some good pictures of the re-arsenal marks. They can be found on the left of the frame for sure and sometimes appear on the right as well In both cases they will be near the top of the grip in the area below the magazine release.
Thank you for the important info! The refurb mark seems from 1st GRAU at Balakleya. Do most refurb Russian PM's have the same refurb mark, or they are like Russian SKS, which were refurbished at several different arsenals?
 

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pcke2000 I don't know yet as to particulars of refurb marks. All the ones I have came out of Germany. Where did you get your info about the 1st GRAU? Additionally I have a "mix master" 1981 with little finish. It was supposed to have come out of Afganistan during the 1980's, but all I have is a story. It is good to keep learning! ABTOMAT
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
pcke2000 I don't know yet as to particulars of refurb marks. All the ones I have came out of Germany. Where did you get your info about the 1st GRAU? Additionally I have a "mix master" 1981 with little finish. It was supposed to have come out of Afganistan during the 1980's, but all I have is a story. It is good to keep learning! ABTOMAT
The 1st GRAU mark is very common on refurb Russian SKS's and TT pistols and I am mainly collecting Russian SKS's. There's a list of some recently revealed Soviet refurb arsenal marks contributed by Russian researcher, Ruslan Chumak, please see the link below:

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=109529.0

Of course, quite a few Russian refurb marks on small arms are still unknown (I have a list originally provided by Ruslan Chumak) .

An important update to the list, according to Chumak's new info, is "triangle 1" (/1\) actually represents 41st Central ABV out of Irkutsk.
 
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