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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all! :rolleyes:

Since the Makarov pistol is one of my favorite handguns of all time, I have a deep interest in every aspect of it, including the manufacture of this wonderful machine. I want to share a few interesting and rare pictures of the some of the various steps required to make a PM!

The photos are taken from an leaked internal video from Baïkal. Judging by the frame geometry, some of the pistols machined are actually MP-654K pellet guns! Nonetheless, you should get a general idea on how these babies were produced.

The Makarov starts out as rough steel forgings (later castings), subsequently machined:


You can see the original rough forgings for the slide and frame. There are parts for two distinct versions of Baïkal pistols: the actual firearm and the pellet gun, with its own distinct slide and frame disposition. You can also appreciate the different steps in between operations, such as the machining of the ring for the barrel...etc.


An awesome view of a frame milling operation. This is clearly a MP-654K frame with U-notch catch recess and protruding lips for the proprietary spring bracket. This operation is probably the milling of the trigger guard chamfer, under a stream of cutting fluid.


A multi-drilling operation done on a MP-654K frame. Three turrets simultaneously drill, chamfer, ream and tap the appropriate holes on the frame. These turrets have four spindles with different bits, which rotate to the corresponding tool. In this picture, the grip screw hole is tapped while the trigger recess and trigger guard spring holes are reamed.


A nice explanation of the automatic drilling turret used. Apparently, such a system was directly imported from Germany as the "Königsberg" system. I speculate that such a technology was discovered in the captured Walther Plant in Zehla-Mellis.


Fresh, shiny barrels ready for more processing.



Unknown operation performed on a modern NC or CNC machine center.


A truly impressive scene: dozens and dozens of frames are lined up for some heavy grinding.


That is one big stone! Sparks fly off the frames as they are being ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)

A worker inspects a row of unfinished slides and frames. This is probably "OTK" quality control.


After passing tests, parts are marked.


Skillful female workers assemble the pistols. Female staff is still preferred in Izhevsk because apparently, they handle repetitive, nimble tasks much better than men.


A spanking new IZH-70. The serial number and other relevant information are laser-etched to the pistol.

Hope you enjoyed this little pictorial! Discussion and feedback will be appreciated!

MEERKOOS
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone ! Glad you all enjoyed it!


Thanks for the post, very cool.
Is there a YouTube video anywhere of the manufacturing process?
Would be neat to see.
I stumbled upon this Russian documentary about N.F Makarov's accomplishments here. Some clips of the manufacturing process pop up now and again.
 

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Wonderful post. After years of working in manufacturing I had to grin at the part about women being preferred on the assembly line. It's been a running joke for decades among manufacturing and quality people - get Asian women on the line. I guess Russian women have the same qualities. It isn't just the nimbleness; it's the ability to spot a small mistake or flaw that only crops up every few months or years even though the task is mind-numbing. You can validate and try to fail-safe but...belt and suspenders!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you all for you wonderful feedback and kind words!

Very cool, indeed. Couple questions, however:

1) Any idea when the video was produced?

2) Are the manufacturing steps/processes shown in the photos all accomplished at the same facility?
Interesting questions. Here are my interpretations:

1- Since the Baïkal IZH-70 was discontinued in 1996, and the MP-654K introduced in 1996-97, I would say this is probably when this video was made. The footage quality and machinery also reflect that era where CNC and NC was at its infancy.

2- Quite possibly. The forging themselves probably came from steel mills outside of Izhevsk, but the actual production of these pistols are undertaken by the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant or "IMEZ", under the trade name "Baïkal". However, I do not know much about the layout, équipement and staff of the plant itself.

Wonderful post. After years of working in manufacturing I had to grin at the part about women being preferred on the assembly line. It's been a running joke for decades among manufacturing and quality people - get Asian women on the line. I guess Russian women have the same qualities. It isn't just the nimbleness; it's the ability to spot a small mistake or flaw that only crops up every few months or years even though the task is mind-numbing. You can validate and try to fail-safe but...belt and suspenders!
Thanks for the interesting anecdotes Petrov! These women truly are the best at this job! We get to appreciate the sweat and care put into them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the post, Maks are such neat guns, under appreciated here in the US. Bill
True words. I suppose the old saying of "communist crap" still floats around, but guns have no ideology! Surprisingly enough, they are extremely unappreciated and rare in Switzerland, with Soviet examples floating around for $350 and nobody to buy!

I'm amused that even in the mid-90's or whenever this was done it was an American CNC machine.
Good eye. I suppose the English text on the NC interface shows that. It would be nice to know more about the origins of Makarov tooling!
 
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