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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Margolin Target Pistols

View attachment 115182
A Margolin from the first years of production.

At the very beginning of the 1930’s M.V. Margolin, while working as instructor at the Moscow Osoviakhim, created a self-loading small-bore rifle with the capability of selective fire. There was nothing unusual in this, except the designer was blind! In the 1920’s the eighteen-year old soldier suffered a head injury and forever lost his sight.

View attachment 115179
М. В. Марголин
Mikhail Vladimirovich Margolin
In 1936 the Margolin began work on the design of a sport 5.6 mm rim fire pistol, which took him 5 years to complete. On June 21, 1941 permission was received for testing of the design of the new pistol designed by Margolin, who was at that time the chief of the experimental-design shop in the experimental workshops of the Osoviakhim. Permission to test meant development that could lead to a test batch of five hundred pistols. But, the following morning the war began, and all thought of a sporting weapon was immediately forgotten.
Margolin left Moscow in the evacuation to Siberia. After returning to Moscow once the war was over , Margolin was assigned to design bureau for the repair of weapons systems. In 1948 he created the pistol, which for half a century has been known as “the Margolin pistol”. Like the majority of sport pistols for the 5.6 mm rim fire cartridge (.22 LR) the Margolin has blowback bolt and open hammer with the protective safety.


There were at least 6 models of basic Margolin pistol made before 1980.
The first is the model from the first years of production. Shown below is a drawing from an early manual of a cased version of the long barreled early production Margolin.
View attachment 115180
Cased long barrel .22 LR pistol from first years of production

The identifier for the early production pistols is the triangular front sight. This model was made in a both long and short barreled version 180mm and 140 mm. Magazine capacity was 10 cartridges.

View attachment 115181
The early pistols all seem to have the finger rest type magazine and could accept the hand rest for the right side of the grip.

Some time after production began the front sights were improved and the pistol was split into two versions; one for competition in standard pistol in .22 LR, the other in .22 short for rapid fire competition.

View attachment 115183
The new front sight with a threaded drum for vertical adjustment

The designation MTs for a Russian target weapon comes from the Russian letters ‘МЦ’ which is derived from the Russian word for Model and the first letter of the Russian word for central ‘Центральный’ . The Central is from the first word of the design bureau at Tula that developed special target weapons - Tula Central design and research office of sport (target) and hunting weapons (Тульский Центральный Констукторский-исследовательский бюро спортивного и охотничего оружия or ЦКИБ и СОО). So МЦ comes from Mодель ЦКИБ or Model TsKIB. Note: In the English speaking world this designation is often called ‘MU’ because of the similarity of the English letter ‘U’ and the Russian letter ‘Ц’.

The rapid fire version in .22 short is called the MTsU (МЦУ). The 'У' is from the word "shortened" in Russian (укороченный) because it was for the short cartridge (пистолет Марголина под укороченный патрон).

This gun was used to shoot at 25 meters at disappearing targets. The wooden grip plates are extended to the rear to give better fit to the hand and a compensator is mounted in front of the front sight. There is also set of weights that fit around the compensator to aid in balance. This version of the Margolin has a light weight alloy slide to reduce reciprocating mass during rapid fire.

The combination of the compensator, weights and light weight slide significantly reduces recoil and barrel rise during firing. Barrel length is 165mm w/o compensator, and magazine capacity is 6 rounds. There is no safety on the rapid fire pistol.
View attachment 115188
An early МЦУ with compensator

View attachment 115184
Detail of the compensator

View attachment 115185
МЦУ with the weights in place

The trigger on the early МЦУ is different than any other model. It doesn’t have a spur and an external adjustment screw to limit trigger travel.
View attachment 115492 View attachment 115491
Early vs. late style MTsU trigger.

View attachment 115186
The color of the anodized light alloy slide is apparent.

View attachment 115493
Slot for the hand support on the early MTsU. This slot is present on the early standard pistols and the late MTsU.

View attachment 115187
Cased .22 short rapid fire pistol from 1962. Note how the case has a cutout for the extended grip and there is room under the bottom of the grip for a tool cutout.

The standard pistol version is in 5.56 or .22 LR. It does not have the facility to take the compensator and weights, but they came as standard equipment with the pistol in the cased set during the 1960’s. This model accepts the hand rest and has a safety. The safety on this model works only with the hammer cocked.

View attachment 115192 View attachment 115189
Left and right view of the standard pistol

View attachment 115190
Right view of the pistol with the hand rest in place

View attachment 115191
Detail of the method of inserting the hand rest. The rest fits under the right grip plate of the pistol. To install, you loosen the grip plate screw, insert the hand support into the groove in the frame and slide the support in as far as is comfortable and tightened the grip plate screw.

The Margolin .22 caliber target pistol has served to train thousands of Soviet shooters. It is an extremely durable and accurate pistol. The design allows the rear sight to be independent of the slide. This means that any tolerance in the fit between the slide and frame is irrelevant to the location of the rear sight from shot to shot. To accomplish this, the rear sight is mounted on a pillar attached to the frame and the slide reciprocates through the arch in the pillar.

View attachment 115193
The pillar built on the frame for the rear sight. The slide moves through the arch never having any effect on the location of the sight.

View attachment 115194
Full tool set found in the Margolin cased set.

View attachment 115195
Early cased set from 1965 – standard pistol in .22 LR. The space at the lower left where the spare magazines are seen would have been for boxes of cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Some time between 1965 and 1970 the grip on both models of the pistol was extended. The new model was labeled the МЦМ. The M is probably for Margolin.
Note: The previous model of standard pistol model shown above may also have been known at the time as the model МЦМ. The early rapid fire version was definitely known as the МЦУ. МЦ-1 is another designation for the Margolin standard pistol.

View attachment 115484 View attachment 115485
Left and right views of the late model rapid fire Margolin

View attachment 115196
Cased rapid fire .22 short pistol long grip model - note the missing compartment under the base of the grip because of the lengthened grip.

Shown below is the long gripped version of the standard pistol МЦМ. The new pistol is missing the groove in the frame to take the hand rest and none is supplied in the cases set.
View attachment 115197 View attachment 115198
Left and rght view

One of the changes made to the Standard Pistol MTsM was the flying wing disassembly wedge. The wedge used to disassemble the pistol was given a pair of serrated “wings” to make it easier to pull back during disassembly.

View attachment 115685 View attachment 115686
The wing shaped disassembly wedge of the third model MTsM standard pistol left, the disassembly wedge on the second model and all of the MTsU models.

View attachment 115199
Cased set МЦМ. This is identical to the set shown in the 1976 dated manual. Compare the length of the grip area with the early model pistols shown above. The exterior dimensions of all of the cases are identical.

The rear sight was horizontally adjustable and the front sight vertically adjustable.
View attachment 115200
Front sight adjustment, В is for lower and Н is for higher

View attachment 115203
To adjust the front sight height, the locking screw shown above is loosened and the threaded adjustment drum turned as much as required and the screw retightened

View attachment 115201
Top view of the front sight.

View attachment 115202
Rear sight adjustment screw. Л is for left and ПР is for right.

Magazines
The original early production pistols are always pictured with a finger rest magazine. After the introduction of the МЦУ the standard pistols seem to have a non-finger rest and the МЦУ retained the finger rest. When the butt was lengthened the magazine had to be lengthened as well. This created a problem as the new magazines wouldn’t seat in the old guns and old magazines wouldn’t go in far enough to work in new guns. Shooters could fix the first problem by notching the back of the new magazines so the magazine catch would grip and allow the use of new magazines in old guns.

View attachment 115689
A group of Margolin magazines, all from .22 LR ristols. The top row are all third model. The bottom row left to right, a "first years" magazine, then three second model magazines. Note how some have lost the button to the magazine follower - very common.


View attachment 115690
A group of Magazines all in .22 short for the MTsU, a second model magazine, a lengthened third model modified to fit an earlier gun and two third model mags.

The grip length change was enough different to require a new magazine.

View attachment 115204
Comparison of 2 standard pistol .22 LR magazines. The first a second model МЦМ (left) and the longer third model МЦМ (right)

View attachment 115206
View of an late rapid fire magazine (left) and an early length magazine (right). Note the notch in base of the late magazine and the finger rest.

View attachment 115205
Notch to facilitate the use of a late magazine in an early gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
МЦ-3 the "Hacksaw Pistol"

This is the pistol that caused a furor at the 1956 Olympics and led to a change in the rules for the Rapid Fire Match and eventually standard pistol and sport revolver as well. There is actually very little about it that is revolutionary, just an ingenious way of using an old design.

Master of sport K. Sheptarskiy developed this pistol for the rapid fire event based on the Margolin pistol МЦУ using the .22 short cartridge. After cutting the grip down by half (having naturally shortened magazine to 5 cartridges), he then turned the pistol over, figuratively making it "upside down". A longer barrel was fitted, the trigger mechanism relocated, and a new grip mounted so that the barrel of the pistol became at the level of the middle finger of the shooter. The barrel was now on the bottom and the sights were set on a ramp on the top. The pistol was nicknamed the "Hacksaw" pistol for obvious reasons. All of this was done to decrease (and even eliminate) the rise during recoil of the pistol after each shot.

With previous designs, the thrust of recoil was above the center of the shooter’s hand and when a shot was fired the pistol would rise above the horizontal. When the new pistol was fired the thrust of recoil was lined up with the center of the shooter’s hand and pushed straight back causing no rise.


MTS-3 "Rekord"

The TsKIB completed it, and after giving it its final production configuration they, as always, gave it a designation, the MTS-3 "Rekord". But, since it did not win general acceptance and was effectively banned from competition, it was not put into production, only the small batches were made at the experimental shop of the TsKIB.


This design was a major step forward and the management of the Russian shooting federation, in order to present it as a surprise at the 1956 Olympiad in Melbourne, forbade it to be sold abroad. At the 1956 Olympiad in Melbourne they permitted the use of the MTs-3, but at the General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee they set the limits to the dimensions of a rapid fire pistol. The pistol must be placed into a box with the inside measurements of 300x150x50 mm, but bore must not be lower than the upper part of the hand when in firing position. The weight of pistol must be not more than 1280 grams. These sizes were subsequently extended to the standard small-caliber pistol and the sport revolver. Shooters urgently began independently "modeling" pistols and grips, to comply with the new rules, which came into force on January 1, 1957. Ironically, these changes ultimately led to the development of pistols which were truly revolutionary and which eventually led to the elimination of all muzzle lift in Rapid Fire pistols.


 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The case is transitional. It almost the same as the late long butt rapid fire MTsU, but doesn't have the cut out for the extended grip and has a tool compartment behind the butt. This case has to be for a long grip standard pistol, transitional from the 1965 standard style to the newer МTsМ? Probably around 1968-69.

If the case is original to the gun, then it is a very early late model MTsM. Does it have the slot for the hand rest on the right side of the butt?? If so it would also be in the 1968 or 69 period or even slightly earlier.

View attachment 115483
Slot for the hand rest below the magazine catch in the picture.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
1.Is that slut ?
2.Mag on the pic holds 9 rds.
3.Right side looks different, then on Your pic.
4.After last round fired slide does not stand in rear position.
Thank You for answers,
Yefim.
BTW: Such pistol I've shot in 1971 in school. School(in Leningrad) had one Margolin and three Toz with diopter sights.
1. Yes that is the slot. That would put your pistol even earlier than the I one I showed.

2. I will check mags and post pictures later. I do have one 10 round mag from a "first years of production" gun. I am looking for one of those guns!

3. The right side of the sight pillar is different - Never seen one like that! ALL of the other guns I remember seeing have had the oversize horizontal adjustment wheel.

4. I believe that to be standard. None of the guns I've fired or that I remember examining had a slide hold open.

Here is the model information I have gathered on serial numbers. It is very preliminary. If anybody else has a Margolin - please help!!

Serial numbers:
First years of production guns
Unknown

2nd Model Early pistols have two letter code
Rapid fire
РГ 770 (GWL) 1962 wood grips
MK234 (web) 1963? plastic grips
Standard pistol
АБ 770 (GWL) 65

3rd Model
Standard pistols start with ‘Р’ (R)
P1296T (LAVRIC)
P6802C (GWL)
MTsU start with ‘B’
B6909 (GWL)



There were at least 6 models of basic Margolin pistol made before 1980.
First years of production model - 10 round magazine
First model 140 mm short barrel
First model 180 mm long barrel
Second Model - drum adjustable front sight introduced 6 round magazines
Second model МЦМ (short grip, 152 mm barrel)
Second model МЦУ (short grip, 165mm barrel)
Third model - lengthened butt, standard pistol loses hand rest during production 6 round magazines
Third model МЦМ (long grip, 152 mm barrel)
Third model МЦУ (long grip, 165 mm barrel)

Current production at Izhevsk


View attachment 115600 View attachment 115602
Current production MTsM
Micro adjustable sights
Barrel length 130


View attachment 115603
Current production Margo

Fixed sights
Barrel length 98mm

There was also a competition model made by the TsKIB MTs-2
View attachment 115604

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
What sort of price range are we looking at for these pistols????
A friend of mine has a .22 short version with the compensator, weights, screwdriver, 2 magazines, palm rest that attaches to the grip and a small plastic tube with small parts in it. I think there is an extractor and some other sight parts. All of this is in a wood case like the ones pictured in earlier posts and the date on the pistol if 1953 if I recall correctly. He and I have been going back and forth on this one and neither knows what a proper realistic price should be. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks guys
Frank
It will cost you pictures and the serial number for that information!

Seriously, is it an early or late MTsU, i.e. does it have the longer butt? 1953 is a very early date and would make it an early gun and early guns are worth a bit more.

The problem with these is that there is no real collector interest in these. There is more information in these posts than I have seen anywhere. A few people have guns and they are fun to shoot, but nobody owns more than one.

Any Margolin in decent condition should bring $600 to $750.

The MTsU (.22 short) rapid fire versions are usually a bit more "used", especially due to the alloy slide and the fact that were actually used for competition. But, fewer of them found their way into this country. The few that did were usually brought in by shooters and came in through England.

The MTsM (.22LR) version was actively imported for a few years and are therefore more common. Not all of them came in with cases, in fact most didn't.

Cased MTsU (.22 short) $950 -1500 depending on condition, amount of stuff in the case and if it's early or late

Cased MtsM (.22LR) $800-1400 again depending on condition, amount of stuff in the case and early or late. Since there are more of these around, it takes a lot of condition to push the price up!

Cased "first years of production" gun - CALL ME!

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Here are pictures of the "first years of production" magazine.
View attachment 115656
"First years" production magazine
View attachment 115652
"First years" and Standard Pistol .22 LR magazine from a second model
View attachment 115653
Comparison of the followers, the "first years" production mag is on the bottom

View attachment 115657
MTsU magazines all in .22 short. 1962 production, third model mag modified for a second model, third model mags
View attachment 115658
Comparison of the .22 short (top) and the .22LR (bottom) magazines

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If it is an early .22 short MTsU in the case, it should have wooden grips and a wooden hand rest. I have seen one MTsU with plastic, but plastic is slick and no competition shooter wants grips he can't hang onto.

In the case it should have a long brass cleaning rod, screw driver, hand rest, 2 weights (one thin, one thick, they fit over the compensator), an oil bottle and a small punch (used for disassembly). The screw driver is NOT the standard pistol screw driver with a reversable blade. When you pull the blade out of the wooden handle it has only one functional end. There should be 2 finger rest type magazines and they should be numbered to the pistol on the bottom - stamped, not electric penciled.
Some guns also had a little black handled cleaning brush - not common.

Later guns were sold with a bag of spare parts, but with early guns, nobody seems to know. Every early gun I have seen that was anywhere near original has had spare sight inserts, a spare recoil spring and other misc small parts.

Good luck!
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The one dated 1963 is probably in .22 short (second model MtsU)(The long rifle guns didn't have the compensator. If it is a long rifle with a compensator it is quite rare and a bargain). $950 for a complete box does not seem out of line to me. This box does look complete. Make sure the magazines match - they should be stamped on the bottom.

The other gun is a later gun (third model MTsM), post 1967. From the serial number it looks to be early in that production. The case is also slightly different from mine and the one in the manual - did they make 2 alike?

I would say both guns, if in good mechanical shape are at least fairly priced. I, personally, would buy the .22 short gun quickly.

Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I hope you bought the long rifle gun with the compensator!
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It is a third model, probably fairly early. For $450 you did very well.
I don't know if the bores are chrome, but I've never seen one with a bad bore.
You should take it out and shoot it!! These are phenominal shooters.
Mine is pretty happy with just about any standard velocity .22 but it really likes RWS. I have found that they will shoot almost as well as just about any .22 target pistol (at least the automatics).

BTW I think I still have some original Russian manuals if you need one.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #12
jleiper, PM sent. This is the first one I have ever seen. Every once in awhile, I run into a good buy at Cabelas. This pistol has a high quality feel to it. For the board, any idea of the approximate year of this pistol?
At a guess 1968-72 period. The slot in the grip plate for the hand support makes it early MTsM. Certainly no later than 1976 which is the date on the manual which shows this particular type of case.
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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry if this is a naive question, in the pic's of the compensator, it looks like the groove extends as far as 50% of the barrel diameter (if not more) - is this an optical illusion; and does it serve to hold the weights (how close is the bullet to the groove when passing through?) Also, any idea when ported barrels or other variants began to be incorporated in design...?
The compensator does come down to almost exactly 50%, not more. Yes, the weights fit around the compensator. One of the first pics show this.
Look for the picture "МЦУ with the weights in place"

There is a screw on the botom of the weight that clamps the weight in place. This gun never used a true ported barrel, the compensator goes on the end of the barrel.
I really don't remember when some of these changes occurred - I was shooting freepistol and you don't worry about such nonsense as compensators in that venue. However, design of target and rapid fire automatics changed rapidly after the 1956 Olympics and compensators became essentially unnecessary for rapid fire pistols as the engineering became good enough that is wasn't necessary. There were rule changes as well that precipitated all of this.
Look at the current pistols for rapid fire, the Walther GSPs and the Hammerliis, they don't need compensators and have no rise during firing.
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Discussion Starter #14
This is properly a МЦ2-3 or MTs and I don't believe it was designed by Margolin.
The designation MTs for a Russian target weapon comes from the Russian letters ‘МЦ’ which is derived from the Russian word for Model and the first letter of the Russian word for central ‘Центральный’ . The Central is from the first word of the design bureau at Tula that developed special target weapons - Tula Central design and research office of sport (target) and hunting weapons (Тульский Центральный Констукторский-исследовательский бюро спортивного и охотничего оружия or ЦКИБ и СОО). So МЦ comes from Mодель ЦКИБ or Model TsKIB. Note: In the English speaking world this designation is often called ‘MU’ because of the similarity of the English letter ‘U’ and the Russian letter ‘Ц’.

This variety of pistol was designed for competition in about 1952 and was replaced by the TOZ-35 in the early 1960s.

I do have some information on maintaining these in a 1964 dated book by Danilov. PM me with an email address and I will send you scans of the relevent pages.

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Discussion Starter #15
I would assume it to be 22LR. I've never seen a Soviet made cartridge or gun in .22L. My catalogues from the period show only .22LR and .22 short. The same catalogue shows the МЦ2-3 and only says that it is .22 target (22LR).

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Anyone know where to get original grips? (plastic) - want to retrovert 2 MTsM that have had custom grips fitted. Maybe contact Baikal directly?

I obtained 2 complete boxes minus pistols this week for them, as well as a totally original complete set MTsU WITH Pistol (.22 Short). Boxes were free, complete set set me back $300 Aus ($240 US).

That's 4 Margolins for me now - LOVE them!



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Hm, there may be some grips around here, will have to check the dealers.
Some clubs are selling their old wepons now, sometimes you can have them even for free, especialy those useless russian pistols :D
I've got two Margolins for free, both early, one .22short and one .22lr, threaded barrels :D
Now to get one more to get on par with Vulch :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is the pistol that caused a furor at the 1956 Olympics and led to a change in the rules for the Rapid Fire Match and eventually standard pistol and sport revolver as well. There is actually very little about it that is revolutionary, just an ingenious way of using an old design.

Master of sport K. Sheptarskiy developed this pistol for the rapid fire event based on the Margolin pistol МЦУ using the .22 short cartridge. After cutting the grip down by half (having naturally shortened magazine to 5 cartridges), he then turned the pistol over, figuratively making it "upside down". A longer barrel was fitted, the trigger mechanism relocated, and a new grip mounted so that the barrel of the pistol became at the level of the middle finger of the shooter. The barrel was now on the bottom and the sights were set on a ramp on the top. The pistol was nicknamed the "Hacksaw" pistol for obvious reasons. All of this was done to decrease (and even eliminate) the rise during recoil of the pistol after each shot.

With previous designs, the thrust of recoil was above the center of the shooter’s hand and when a shot was fired the pistol would rise above the horizontal. When the new pistol was fired the thrust of recoil was lined up with the center of the shooter’s hand and pushed straight back causing no rise.


MTS-3 "Rekord"

The TsKIB completed it, and after giving it its final production configuration they, as always, gave it a designation, the MTS-3 "Rekord". But, since it did not win general acceptance and was effectively banned from competition, it was not put into production, only the small batches were made at the experimental shop of the TsKIB.


This design was a major step forward and the management of the Russian shooting federation, in order to present it as a surprise at the 1956 Olympiad in Melbourne, forbade it to be sold abroad. At the 1956 Olympiad in Melbourne they permitted the use of the MTs-3, but at the General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee they set the limits to the dimensions of a rapid fire pistol. The pistol must be placed into a box with the inside measurements of 300x150x50 mm, but bore must not be lower than the upper part of the hand when in firing position. The weight of pistol must be not more than 1280 grams. These sizes were subsequently extended to the standard small-caliber pistol and the sport revolver. Shooters urgently began independently "modeling" pistols and grips, to comply with the new rules, which came into force on January 1, 1957. Ironically, these changes ultimately led to the development of pistols which were truly revolutionary and which eventually led to the elimination of all muzzle lift in Rapid Fire pistols.


It's already here!
Joe
 
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