Object Title

Centrefire self-loading pistol - Makarov PM

Centrefire self-loading pistol - Makarov PM

Object Number



Gifted with the Pattern Room by the Ministry of Defence, August 2005 Purchased by the Pattern Room from Ranger Arms Ltd. Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, March 1991

Physical Description

The Makarov PM is an 8 shot medium-size pistol with a straight blowback action and is of all steel construction with a frame-fixed barrel. In a blowback designs such as this, the only force holding the slide closed is that of the recoil spring wrapped around the barrel; as a consequence upon firing the barrel and slide do not have to unlock. Blowback designs are simple and more accurate than designs using a recoiling, tilting, or articulated barrel, but they are limited practically by the need to have weight in the slide. The 9×18mm cartridge (Russian designation: 57-N-181S) around which this pistol was designed provides enough energy to action the blowback design. The PM is heavy for its size, largely because of the heavy slide which is needed to provide greater inertia to delay the opening of the breech until internal pressures have fallen to a safe level. The Makarov design is widely regarded as particularly well balanced. The slide also has a full- length textured anti-glare strip on the top
In concept the Makarov PM is a very simple pistol, the designer Makarov and his team, during development, drastically simplified the construction of the pistol, improving its reliability and reducing the number of parts to an astonishing 27, not including the magazine.
The chrome-lined, 4-groove, right hand twist, 9.27mm (true calibre) barrel is pressed and pinned to the frame through a precision-machined ring. There is a 7kg rated recoil spring that wraps around the barrel which also acts as the spring guide.
The front sight is integrally machined into the slide. The fixed rear sight is dovetailed into the slide. The extractor is of an external spring-loaded type. The breech face is deeply recessed in order to improve extraction and ejection reliability. The stamped sheet steel slide-lock lever has an internal tail serving the additional purpose of an ejector. The one-piece, wraparound bakelite or later plastic grip is reinforced with steel inserts and has a detent inside the screw bushing preventing unscrewing during firing. There is impressed a 5 pointed star within a circle on each side of the grip. A lanyard ring is affixed on the left side of the grip.
The sheet-metal mainspring housed inside the grip operates the hammer, the trigger and the disconnector, and its lower end is the heel and spring of the magazine catch. The sear spring also serves a dual purpose by operating the slide-lock lever.
The Model PM has a free-floating triangular shaped firing pin, with no firing pin spring or firing pin block.
It is stamped with German proof marks associated with the Munich proof house and with a proof date code for 1990.


Moulded, Forged, Cast



OverallHeight124 mm
OverallLength163 mm
OverallWeight0.735 kg
BarrelLength93 mm


Serial Number NT3298


9 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Proof marks
A chequred shield with a another shield containing 90
on the left side of the frame above the trigger
Maker's mark
A triangle within a circle bisected by a vertical line
on the left side of the frame



Introduced into Russian service in 1951, the Makarov PM Pistolet Makarova) continued in service until augmented in 1994 by an updated version known as the Makarov PMM (Pistolet Makarova Modernizirovannyy). The PM was supposed to have started being replaced in Russian service by the Yarygin PYa from 2004, but the PM and PMM can still be found carried by Russian forces.
The Makarov that is most common is the variant perfected in 1955 with a new shaped frame, the one familiar to us today. The frame above the trigger now slopes upwards and the trigger guard acquires a simple locking lug for disassembly. Originally it was fitted with brown bakelite grips which were changed in about 1995 to plastic. Starting in about 1976 some of the component parts were made by investment casting as opposed to the original milled forgings, and by the mid to late 1980s even the major parts were made by investment cast.
The Kalashnikov Concern (after the merging of Izmekh and Izmash) still offers the PM (2017) now fitted with black plastic grips. The pistol is not finished as well as the early models.