Thursday, March 23, 2006

Meet My New Comrade

A Bulgarian Makarov. I found this one at last weekend's gun show. The seller wanted $209, I passed on it until I had a chance to check out the rest of the floor. There were quite a few NIB Glocks and other .45s on the display tables. They attracted the usual types who are drawn to those guns. In fact, there was one that had gold accents on it. Guess who crowded around that...?

After reading about quite a few different pistols, I settled on the Makarov. First because of their reputation for reliability and second because of the low prices. I also like the idea of fewer parts. I'm no expert, but field stripping this gun was rather easy. I don't believe I'm anywhere near knowledgeable about guns to attempt detail stripping. Another good point in favor of the Mak. The ammo seems relatively available so I'm not worried about supply. The gun came with what appears to be the standard kit. The original red star grip, a black plastic replacement grip - I hoped it was rubber - , two magazines and a cleaning tool. There wasn't a manual, but it was easily found online.

My Mak was imported by Century Arms. It has an import stamp for the company, but it hasn't been reserialized. According to Makarov.com, my gun was assembled in 1982. At least I know it's not too old. There is some muzzle wear, but I attribute that to holster wear. I found a scratch where the safety moves, but no other damage. No scratches on the slide or any other marks. It appears that someone has ground and polished the feed ramp.

I found the gun after about a half hour at the show. The seller had another one, but it wasn't a Mak. It makes me wonder if he didn't know anything about the Maks or thought maybe I didn't and hoped I'd buy it. It was a Hungarian FEG.

I waited until the seller packed up to leave and tried to talk him down to $175. He counteroffered $200 so I took it. Perhaps $15 or $20 more than it might be worth, but as I have no plans to sell it, I wasn't concerned.

Here's the fun part. I went over to the paperwork area, filled out the NICS and waited. By that time it was nearly 5 o'clock. It was finally my turn and the girl helping me slid my paperwork over to the person calling in the checks. She quickly had my check done right before the line closed for the day! I was the last one cleared and because I have a Blue Card, I didn't have to wait to pick it up. Diane Feinstein cried that night. I walked out with my purchase and there was nothing the gun grabbers could do about it.