Posted June 18, 2017 8:30 am by Comments

By David LaPell

East German Makarov PM chambered in 9x18mm. This pistol was the service pistol for many Soviet Bloc countries, including Russia, during the Cold War. (Photo: David LaPell)
These days there seems to be an endless number of small concealable handguns and this trend shows no sign of letting up. The Smith & Wesson Shield, the Ruger LCP, and LC9, Beretta’s Nano and Pico, offerings from Glock and so many others the choices — it’s mind numbing. Regardless, I know of one often overlooked pocket pistol that has been around for almost seventy years and has a proven track record worldwide: the Makarov PM pistol.
The Makarov PM (the correct pronunciation is Mah-KAR-ov) was introduced in 1951 in the Soviet Union as a successor to the Tokarev TT-33 pistol. Essentially the Makarov was a copy of the venerable Walther PP pistol, but the Russians simplified the design and came up with a handgun with only 28 parts.
The Makarov was chambered in 9x18mm, a very capable round, falling somewhere between the .380 ACP and the 9mm Parabellum in terms of power. However, the 9x18mm has a slightly larger bullet diameter, .365 inch compared to the .355 inch of the other two. The standard 9x18mm


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