View Full Version : PA-63 VS PM Makarov

June 11, 2012, 04:16 AM
I am new to this forum and this is my first post, so bare with me. I am mostly a rifle guy, so some of my questions may be a little stupid. In all truthfulness, I've never shot a pistol.

I've always been a sucker for simplicity, so my go-to guns are Soviet. The two pistols that really get me are the Makarov, and the PA-63. I've heard very good things about both, In particular the Makarov, besides the sights & da trigger pull. In addition, I've heard mixed reviews about the PA-63 when firing hollow points. This leads me to my following questions:

1) How do these two pistols compare? Pros/Cons of each?
2) Is there a particular brand of hollow points that work better in the PA-63?
3) I hear bad things about the DA trigger in both models. Can you avoid the double action shot all together? (I have a feeling this is a dumb question, but I need to know the answer)
4) Which pistol is a better value?

I will be using this for defense/CCW, and am starting a soviet-based weapon collection, as I admire the ruggedness, power, and (strangely) the lines of these weapons.

All in all, which one would you recommend? I am looking to spend no more than $250 on these up front, as I am new to pistols, and these are both relatively cheap compared to other pistols. I can upgrade them later if need be.

In addition, if it came down to pure cosmetics, I would have to pick up the "Hungarian Mak" (PA-63)

Thanks for all of the help!!!

June 11, 2012, 06:26 AM
You can avoid DA trigger pull by cocking the hammer on the first shot (if the situation allows it). I sometimes carry my Polish P64 with hammer down and the heavy DA pull is my safety. It has a heavy DA pull but I can manage it. All following shots are SA.

June 11, 2012, 08:30 AM
I've bought a PA-63 and have yet to buy a Makarov (though I do want one) so I guess that's my 'survey'. The DA pull is noticeably stiffer but can be mitigated with a Wolff spring replacement, something I think should be considered for any older surplus weapon.

June 11, 2012, 10:58 AM
I've owned a few PA-63s (and some of the .32ACP versions also - same gun with a different barrel and magazine). They were acceptable as "cheapies" but I did not consider them sufficiently robust for EDC or long-term shooting. One thing I did use them for was as a "tacklebox gun" when I went fishing. My thought being that if the whole box was lost overboard I would only cry a little as opposed to losing a high-dollar gun and crying a lot (or getting really wet trying to retreive it).

I do still own a couple of Makarovs. They are much more robust than the PA-63s.

June 12, 2012, 01:47 AM
Thanks for the replies guys! I see that the makarov has somewhat of an edge. I also just realized that I posted this in relics, which probably wasn't the best idea. :P I've just now figured this site out. I still haven't decided completely which one to get.

I will probably get a new spring for either, and will alternate FMJs and Hollow points for my defense load. Ive heard bad things about hollow points and PA-63s. That being said, I am assuming the Makarov is still a little bit better for the most part. I am liking the PA-63 a little bit better, based on its looks, feel, and the price, but don't wont it to let me down after purchase. After a new spring in each, is the Mak still that much better? The DA pull isn't that big of a deal to me, and if I ever HAVE to use it, my life will be endanger, and i will be pumped full of adrenilin.

More on the hollow points. What I've heard is that the lower power of the 9x18 Mak, seems to make hp bullets less effective in both guns. Also, The issue with the PA-63 seems to be the feeding itself. These loads of hollow points seem to solve both problems.



Which one, if either, will be better?

Thanks again for the input.

Best regards, Ben

June 12, 2012, 01:58 AM
Also, this is somewhat off topic, but how do you add the motto I see many people, across many forums, having. I Havnt been able to find it on my profile.

June 12, 2012, 03:08 AM
I have both, and I much prefer the Makarov over both the PA63 (and the Polish P64).

The recoil from the PA63 is somewhat sharp and unpleasant much like a Walther, and, of course the horrendous trigger pull needs not be mentioned.

My first CCW qualification was with an East German Makarov, and I have carried it ever since in my car. That particular gun probably has had more than 3 or 4 thousand rounds through it without so much as a hiccup; I haven't kept an actual round count, but, when I go shooting (or should I say "blasting"), I easily put at least 100 rounds through it just shooting at rocks and nothing in particular. I have other Maks as well, and none of them have ever experienced any malfunctions of any kind. ( I had a dud round once, but that is not the gun's fault.)

The Makarov is a bit larger than the PA63, but the trigger is considerably lighter and the recoil is not as "sharp" as the PA63. Additionally, the PA63 has an alloy frame, and I am definitely a "steel" man. Personally, unless you are an undercover cop who has to carry all day, I see no use for alloy frames for anything larger than a .22.

Another factor is that there are probably more spare parts available for the Makarov pistols than the PA63, which is now out of production.

As a side note, I discovered (by acccident) that the Makarov will feed, chamber, fire, extract and eject a .380 round with no problem other than a slightly bulged case. That could be useful in a dire emergency, although I wouldn't recommend it as a "usual" practice.

June 12, 2012, 03:13 AM
Thanks for the tips. I will have to go with the makarov. Is the E German model really that much better than others? If it is, that will be my pick, but I'm a little strapped for cash right now.

June 12, 2012, 03:20 AM
Any of the Makarovs are just fine. The East Germans were a little better finished than some of the others, but they are all fine weapons. Right now, there are plenty of Bulgarians on the market and they are just as good as the other Makarovs.

June 12, 2012, 03:23 AM
Thankyou so much. At the next gun show in town I'll try to go pick one out. If that doesn't work out, I will just buy some needed accessories for my Finnish Mosin M91 and head over to Carr's to pick one up later. Until then, I always have good old lefty and righty :P

Thanks for all of the help everyone!

Willie Sutton
June 12, 2012, 04:37 AM
Compared to a CZ-82.... same cartridge, same mission... they are both "lesser"...



June 12, 2012, 07:30 AM
Ben, put your location in your profile and you may just get lucky by having someone close to you offer you a good deal on something.

June 12, 2012, 08:52 AM
Thanks! Hopefully, it will pay off.

Charlie Fox
June 13, 2012, 12:01 PM
Smaller package makes it for me:)

James K
June 13, 2012, 03:28 PM
I own both, but given that choice, I would go with the Makarov.


June 14, 2012, 10:36 AM
I didn't do the poll, b/c I haven't pawed a p63 or p64.
I have a Mak and I am very satisfied with its performance.

June 14, 2012, 03:24 PM
The Mak is a much better built gun.

June 14, 2012, 03:29 PM
Another vote for the Pistolet Makarov (PM). I have four of them (two Bulgies, a Russian Commercial in .380, and an East German) and sometimes carry a Bulgarian which IMHO are still the best value out there.

July 3, 2012, 10:05 PM
I have had a PA63 forever, I bought one when they first came over. I have had a CZ82 for a a few years.
Both have there strengths, and their weakness's the PA63 is very easy to pack, the CZ82...not so much.

Have yet to own a "real" Makarov.

July 17, 2012, 12:53 AM
Does anyone know source of parts for the PA-63? I need the ejector and ejector spring. I've found the spring in one place (buymilsurp) but they are sold out of the ejector. I'd like to get both from the same place to save shipping $$.

July 17, 2012, 07:19 AM
Try fleabay. Lots of small gun parts on there now.