Weight (with loaded magazine)
Range of effective fire
up to 50 m
The PM or
Pistolet Makarova, was developed by Nikolay
Makarov. Hence its designation. This pistol was inspired by Walther
PP. Its prototypes were produced in
1949. It was adopted to service with the Soviet armed forces and
Soviet Militia in 1951. Its mass production began in 1952. This pistol has been
exported to Warsaw Pact countries. The PM and its modified variants
were produced in Russia, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, East
Germany, Hungary, Poland, and possibly some other countries.
Currently this pistol is out-dated, but it is still widely used. Its
civilian version is sold under Baikal brand.
the PM was intended to replace the
TT pistol in service with the
Soviet armed forces. However it was not able to fully replace it, as
the TT was a much more powerful weapon. Even though the PM is less
powerful it is smaller and more reliable than the TT. Also it is
easier to handle.
The PM is
chambered for a Soviet 9x18 mm cartridge. This round was also
designed by Nikolay Makarov alongside his pistol. Basically it is a
larger version of the 9x17 mm (.380 ACP) round, developed by John Browning.
Russians deliberately opted for ammunition that is not compatible
with any Western 9 mm pistols. So in case of war captured soviet
ammunition stocks would be useless. The 9x18 mm round became the standard pistol and submachine gun
round in the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries, as soviets
required their allies to use the same ammunition. Comparing with Western 9x19 mm
Parabellum round, the Makarov round is less powerful and also looses
in terms of penetration. The PM fires ball and tracer rounds.
The PM is
simple in design. This pistol recommended itself as a reliable
weapon. It fires after immersing in mud or even under water. The
pistol has a chromed barrel, this feature reduced accuracy, but
increased service life and allowed to fire at extremely low
temperatures. The PM is easy to maintain, what was very important
for the Soviet Army. It can be fully disassembled without any
special tools, just using a simple screwdriver.
has a single-action trigger. In Soviet Union, now Russia and a
number of other post-communistic countries it is not allowed to
carry a weapon with a loaded round. It is considered unsafe. The PM
pistol has a manual safety on the left side of the slide.
The PM has
an 8-round magazine. The magazine has two wide openings on each
side. So it is easy to check how many rounds are left. Also this
feature allowed to reduce weight. Cartridge cases are extracted to
the right side. Magazine release button is located at the bottom of
the grip. So two hands are needed in order to release the empty
has a fixed sight for a distance of 25 m. Effective range of fire is
up to 50 m. Many shooters complain that the PM is not accurate. In
terms of accuracy it looses to Western pistols.
the PM is out-dated. Even though it is still widely uses it looses badly to modern semi-automatic
pistols. It has similar dimensions to the
Glock 17, however the PM
weights 10% more, has 25% less power, is less accurate and has only
8 rounds in the magazine opposed to 17.
improved version of the PM with a magazine for 12 rounds instead of
8. Production of this pistol commenced in 1994. Small magazine
capacity of the PM was obviously not enough for an army pistol.
Currently there is a trend to develop pistols with 15-20 round
magazines. Also a new round with a higher muzzle energy was
developed for the PMM. The main goal was to approach performance of
the Western 9x19 mm round. However this round is not backward
compatible with PM pistols.