Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Makarov Explosion!

Only twenty seven parts. That must be including the magazine. Let's begin at the beginning shall we?

I've shot my Bulgy Mak three times so far. Each time I've had failures to fire. The worst ammo of the lot was Norinco Commie crap. Yeah, I know the Peoples Liberation Army makes money on all Norinco products, no matter what people say. But that was the only ammo available on a Sunday, unless I wanted to spend $20/50 for Federal.

The ftf rate was about 25%. I've also tried Wolf ammo, it also had some failures, but maybe only 10%. The best ammo I've put through the gun so far is Silver Bear hollowpoints. One box of fifty, no failures. I guess that proves the old adage, you gets what you pays for. Better ammo, better performance.

S'w'anyway, I thought it was about time to detail strip the old girl. The serial number of the piece dates to the early eighties and I wouldn't be surprised if it hasn't been detail stripped since the last Bulgarian soldier or policeman serviced the weapon. The ftfs might be caused by dirt as well as the ammo, so I downloaded a takedown schematic and set to it.

Indeed, it was rather easy to take apart. In fact, so easy, I should have known it wouldn't be so easy to put back together.

And...it wasn't.

Well, not really, only the sear. The Makarov is an amazing all steel gun, the fact that it has so few parts makes it easier on those with little firearms experience to feel as if he can service it himself. The gun is simple to disassemble, you can practically do it with just the takedown tool and your fingers. A pair of needlenose pliers works a tad bit better than your finger however. It must have been my eagerness to try a detail strip that led me off into the adventure of swearing and yelling that would characterize the reassembly. After a good spraying of Breakfree and some swabbing, the gun was cleaned and oiled. I bought a replacement firing pin and recoil spring from the good folks at Makarov.com and was planning to set them in, but I decided to wait on the pin as it is placed in the top of the slide and can be changed without major disassembly. I did replace the recoil spring with a 19lb spring instead of the standard 17lb one to try to lessen the blowback stress on the gun. After I test fire the Mak, I'll decide whether to replace the firing pin.

All the parts went back in easily, except for the sear. I struggled mightily with it for about fifteen minutes, then things really went down hill. I must have gone back to the takedown instructions four times to see what on earth I was doing wrong. I finally figured out that I wasn't putting it far enough forward to fit the pin into the slot on the right side of the frame. I kept trying to put it in tilting in backwards and rocking it forward into the slot when I should have tilted it forward and rocked it backward. One good hour gone from my life! Well it didn't really take me an hour to do it, it just took that long because I kept dropping the darned thing when trying to insert it. Stupid, worthless tools, and the pliers weren't much help either!

The main spring did give me some trouble reinserting it, but I did finally get it reassembled. It seems to be working properly. At least a far as I can tell dry firing. I've decided I will not, however, do it again, for quite a long time at least.

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