The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 5, 2012, 04:30 AM   #1
Ignition Override
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2008
Posts: 1,774
Mak/P-64/FEG versus Bersa, Sig 232, PPK. Exclude prices.

As I'm seeking a first handgun among this selection, and might not ever acquire the CCW permit (except for the car), could you offer your comparisons if familiar with at least some of these? Other gun types won't be considered.The CZ-82 is a bit thick for the options, and I'm well aware of 9mm vs 9x18 versus .380 debates. Not interested at all.

Three friends carry the P-64, trust their reliability, and like the size/weight. All three middle-aged friends have been around various guns for many years.
One friend literally never leaves his home without the P-64, even sitting on the porch.

If you could compare one of these east European designs with the Argen. or at least one of these German types, but Only in terms of reliability, durability and plinking or "carry" safety of operation, how would you rank them? If they all were the same price and James Bond had never had the PPK etc?

I've fired about twenty rds. from the P-64 and don't mind the very heavy DA pull (has no Wolff springs), and have spent literally about eight-twelve hours here and in hotel Bus. Centers reading opinions/evals about these various guns...

Last edited by Ignition Override; December 5, 2012 at 04:45 AM.
Ignition Override is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 05:53 AM   #2
LakeCruiser
Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2010
Location: Central Missouri
Posts: 76
I owned a FEG PA-63 and I still own a Bulgarian Mak. and a CZ-70 (similar to the PPK). They're all good shooters. All of them are reliable. I can't remember having any FTF or FTE issues with any of them. If you watch, you can get all of these pistols for pretty good prices. I know that the PA-63 has sold on the auction sites for under $200 quite frequently. Not much more to say. They're tough, reliable pistols.
__________________
Be Safe!
LakeCruiser is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 07:09 AM   #3
Polglock
Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2011
Posts: 71
I have a p-64 besides the first d/a trigger pull its an awesome gun. Really similar to a ppk just bigger caliber. Very accurate gun.
Polglock is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 07:26 AM   #4
Polglock
Member
 
Join Date: August 26, 2011
Posts: 71
I can also add IMO The p232 is the nicest shooting of all the pistols you mentioned. When I first started shooting I wasn't too accurate and I shot the p232 of my father in laws and really made me feel like I was a deadeye. Just thought I would add that to my above post.
Polglock is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 08:23 AM   #5
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,723
My carry gun is a P-64. Replace the spring and the DA trigger pull becomes delightful. My only complaint is that being all steel, it is heavy for its size. Modern 9mm pistols the same size are MUCH lighter.
Doyle is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 08:25 AM   #6
PSP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2006
Location: N. Virginia
Posts: 3,913
I have a Mak, Bersa, a PPK/S, and a Sig P232. My favorite and the only one I've ever carried is the Sig. I shoot it very well, it points naturally, is very reliable and it is the lightest of the bunch. A very high quality pistol. CT makes a laser for this model.

The Mak is OK, maybe a bit too simple. It's only flaws were the tiny sights and weight.

The Bersa is a great idea executed poorly. The quality just isn't there. Sights are good, ergos are OK but it's heavier than the Sig by a bunch. CT makes a laser for this model.

The PPK is a fine pistol, very small and compact with no major flaws. My personal experience is with a PPK/S and again, only the weight is the deciding factor. CT makes a laser for this model.

I have no experience, other than fondling, with the FEG or P64, neither of which attracted me enough to buy.
PSP is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 08:29 AM   #7
loose_holster_dan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 5, 2011
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 2,411
i've never fired the first three, but i have fired extensively or owned the the second three. the bersa and ppk are my favorite. i would like the p232 as well if it's slide didn't chop up the top of my hand every time i pulled the trigger. its low set slide can slice your hand pretty bad if you have a meaty paw like mine. the bersa was extremely reliable as long as you fed it the right ammunition. it seemed pretty picky. i've never owned a ppk, but i have fired a buddy's extensively. he only ever gave me one type of ammo, but it worked flawlessly. both it and the walther handled recoil very well. follow up shots were effortless.
__________________
Favorite range gun for the money - CZ 75B or STI Spartan V 9mm
Go-to carry setup - Walther PPS or PPQ in FIST kydex holster 1AK
Favorite semi-auto design - HK P7
"A Sig is like a lightsaber - not as clumsy or random as a Glock."
loose_holster_dan is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 09:38 AM   #8
zombieslayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,183
Out of the list I'd heartily suggest the Makarov.
A good friend was recently in a similar situation as you. Wanting his first handgun. He looked at a lot of guns, but got a NICE mak, and he loves it.
I love the mak's because they're accurate, solid, and reliable. Very little recoil and very quick follow-up shots.
I don't currently own one, but am looking for a nice one.
__________________
"An angry prophet, denouncing the hypocrisies of our time"
zombieslayer is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 10:36 AM   #9
sarge83
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2000
Posts: 308
I have a Bulgarian Mak in 9X18, a PA63 in 9X18 and have shot the P64.

Out of the three I prefer the Bulgarian Mak. I carried it CCW for 3 or 4 yrs. and never felt out gunned. It concealed well, had reasonable ammo capacity, was accurate, took the recoil of the 9X18 round well and 100% reliable.

I have a PA63 which I like but only after changing out the factory springs. It still doesn't take the recoil like the Bulgie Mak in my case.

My friend has a P64 and I have shot it. After two magazines I was done, it is punishing pistol to shoot.

I say Makarov, either a Bulgarian, Russian, East German or norinco. My two cents.
sarge83 is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 10:41 AM   #10
Seaman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2011
Posts: 648
Agree with Zombieslayer and Sarge83. The Russian Makarov PM with adjustable rear sight would be my choice for a shooter friendly first gun. The Russian ones with the adjustable rear sights have a really nice (Sig-like) DA trigger. No spring change necessary.

Also like the Sig 232, and the smallest of the bunch, the PPK which makes for a great ankle gun.

Good luck with your decision.
__________________
For 20 years the sea was my home, always recall the sun going down, and my trusty friend, a 1911 pistol, strapped to my side.
Seaman is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 03:51 PM   #11
BrittB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 554
I love my FEG pa63, it's my ccw of choice. I suggest trying before buying if you can but I trust this pistol with my life, it's always been 100% reliable!
BrittB is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 04:09 PM   #12
Noreaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 1,322
Sig P230 & P232, Ppk, Ppks and Bersa. Sig is awesome but the Bersa was more reliable with hollowpoint. Walther was hit or miss and chewed up my hand.
Noreaster is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 04:22 PM   #13
sailskidrive
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 26, 2008
Posts: 726
I would vote for the SIG P232 or P230; the Hk4 wasn't on your list but it is a very high quality pocket pistol.
sailskidrive is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 06:49 PM   #14
plouffedaddy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2011
Location: Carolina
Posts: 3,225
If price is a consideration----P64 all the way. I did put a new mainspring in mine because the DA pull was probably 30 pounds (I'm not joking, I though it was broken when I got it...). Mine runs like a tank; never a single malfunction to date.



That said, if you're looking for a 232; the link below is a pretty good deal; $419 shipped.


SIG Link
__________________
Mrgunsngear's Youtube Channel
Certified Glock Armorer
plouffedaddy is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 07:41 PM   #15
Ignition Override
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2008
Posts: 1,774
Thanks very much for your impressions. My hands are not "meaty", which might help.

plouffedaddy: Thanks for the link. That's a pretty nice deal for the Sig.
A nice local range rents out several handguns, but their Sig 232 is still out for repairs, having been in use for a long time.
Ignition Override is offline  
Old December 5, 2012, 11:05 PM   #16
Willie D
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 24, 2007
Posts: 1,116
I own a Makarov and a PPK.


The Makarov is extremely reliable. I've never had the slightest hiccup with it, even when trying out weak grips, etc. Recoil is not bad because of the heavy slide. Looks nice, classic design. Belt and suspenders safety is reassuring (decocking safety+DA pull). SA trigger not bad. Fairly narrow with original grips. The easiest pistol I've ever detail stripped.


Negatives: Double action pull is bad. Heavy and unsteady (detail strip and you'll see why!) I don't like the sights for targeting or for their snag-abilty. A lot of sharp edges, especially the safety. Heavy for size.




PPK (Interarms): Nice SA trigger. Slim. Better sights and finish than the Mak. Same safety as Mak, if you consider that a plus. Most concealable of all the guns you've listed.

Neg: Another lousy DA pull - feels like lifting something from the wrong end of a lever (because you are). Less comfortable to shoot than the Mak - snappy, grip bites into hand webbing a bit. Very picky with bullet shapes. Serious feeding problems on some rounds. Overall less reliable.




Of the guns you've listed I'd probably take the Sig first if I was offered one but they all have some merit. The PPK is probably the only one you could pocket easily. I like the history and reliability of the utilitarian commie guns but knowing what I know now (weight, worries about finish) they wouldn't be my first carry choice. You probably need to figure out what you want most. CCW? Range toy? Car gun?

If you're not going to carry you might do well to consider the CZ82. Highest capacity and very comfortable grip. Or, if you want to stay in the caliber range and don't mind going slightly bigger, the Beretta 84/85 is a superb gun that is a total pleasure to shoot.
Willie D is offline  
Old December 6, 2012, 01:14 AM   #17
wolverine_173
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2011
Posts: 111
the p 64 is an awesome gun for how old it is and its pretty cheap in todays market
wolverine_173 is offline  
Old December 7, 2012, 01:56 AM   #18
Ignition Override
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 18, 2008
Posts: 1,774
The dimensions for the P-64, Mak., Bersa, PPK, and Sig 232 are on a sheet of paper.
Until some of us First try on an IWB holster, even though we won't make the decision whether to carry for a while, we won't be able to estimate whether wearing IWB could be comfortable. I wear no jackets in this Memphis climate April-early Nov.

Anyway, both the Sig 232 and Bersa length is 6.6", and the Maks are 6.34".
As the PPK is the shortest and most narrow (though the Mak/P-64 have similar length/width), it wins by a little bit.

I suppose that any of these could easily work IWB....IF you can find it comfy at 5'11" and about 185 lbs.? Wearing shirts almost always tucked in- in this climate-this might be the single factor as to whether to carry or not (?).
A friend with a similar build keeps his shirt tails our or wears a jacket, just in order to always have his P-64 accessible in the IWB.
Ignition Override is offline  
Old December 7, 2012, 07:48 AM   #19
BrittB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 8, 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 554
Some people compare the P-63 to a PPK in size but it's actually closer to a Bersa Thunder. I had the chance to have the three of them side by side and the PPK was a just a tick smaller than the PPK. Any of them could be carried IWB with the right pants.
BrittB is offline  
Old December 7, 2012, 09:37 AM   #20
plouffedaddy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2011
Location: Carolina
Posts: 3,225
Quote:
I suppose that any of these could easily work IWB....IF you can find it comfy at 5'11" and about 185 lbs.? Wearing shirts almost always tucked in- in this climate-this might be the single factor as to whether to carry or not (?).
In a tuckable holster (theis, RKBA, cleveland, ect... all make good options) you could certainly carry it comfortably with your shirt tucked in. That said, if I was in Memphis I'd carry regardless of what I was wearing...
__________________
Mrgunsngear's Youtube Channel
Certified Glock Armorer
plouffedaddy is offline  
Old December 7, 2012, 12:37 PM   #21
zombieslayer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,183
If you are not going to carry because of tucking in your shirt, then pocket carry may be a good option. A .380 in your pocket is nice to have if you can't carry anything larger.
__________________
"An angry prophet, denouncing the hypocrisies of our time"
zombieslayer is offline  
Old December 9, 2012, 01:40 AM   #22
Hairbag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 22, 2010
Posts: 444
I have a East German mak, a Bulgarian mak and the p-64. The fit and finish is better on the EG mak the bulgy is a fine pistol too just not finished as nice as the EG. The p-64 is built like a tank. All of them are scary reliable not to mention 9x18 ammo is cheap and available at least for now. The p-64 will surpass your expectations for a $200 gun. It is very accurate. I like the P-64 so much I bought 2! I think I saw P-64's on wideners for sale.
__________________
I'm hairbag and I approve this message.

Last edited by Hairbag; December 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM.
Hairbag is offline  
Old December 9, 2012, 10:53 AM   #23
amd6547
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Posts: 1,401
When I bought my P64, the price was $139...
At that time, the P64 was getting no respect. In fact, Makarov owners were loudly disrespecting it online.
Yes, the DA pull on mine was unusable. But, shooting it SA showed it to be very accurate and reliable.
After springs finally became available, I changed to a heavier recoil spring and a lighter mainspring. The DA is now very good, and recoil is somewhat easier to deal with.
I have been shooting for years...everything from 22 rimfires on up. I have owned, and enjoyed shooting 357 magnum snubs, and 44mag handguns. The worst recoiling gun I owned was a 44mag Thompson Center Contender, an early model with a light ten inch barrel and the original wood saw handle grip. I know how to handle recoil.
But, the little P64 is not much fun for me to shoot. In particular, I feel it in the pinky extension on the mag. After shooting a few mags, my pinky starts to hurt and I anticipate pain there for every shot.
However, this really dosn't matter for carry. The P64 carries extremely well. It is small and thin, and practically devoid of anything to snag a draw....very smooth.
It's accuracy, reliability, and power level make it a great choice for EDC. I often carry it IWB loaded with Hornady Crtical Defense JHPs. While I like my J frame loaded with 158gn SWCHP, the P64 with 7 rds is easier to carry.
__________________
The past is gone...the future may never happen.
Be Here Now.
amd6547 is offline  
Old December 9, 2012, 06:19 PM   #24
bspillman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2011
Posts: 264
I have a p-64 and love it. I also have a kel tec p11 and i use the same pocket holster from wal mart for both. it does print a little but not enough to matter. I have love handles so iswb is not comfy for me so i cant help there. but bottom line I like the p-64 over the P11.
bspillman is offline  
Old December 10, 2012, 12:59 PM   #25
Pilot
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2000
Posts: 3,642
In this class of firearm, I carry a Beretta M85FS, single stack .380, or a Bulgarian Makarov in 9x18. Neither have ever malfunctioned and both are more accurate than they should be. The Berettas are pricey, but the Bulgie Maks can still be had at good prices if you look a bit.
__________________
Pilot
Pilot is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13285 seconds with 9 queries