Object Title

Centrefire self-loading converted blank-firing pistol - Baikal IZH-79-8 Makarov

Centrefire self-loading converted blank-firing pistol - Baikal IZH-79-8 Makarov


about 2005

Object Number



Presented by West Yorkshire Police, 24 February 2012

Physical Description

The Baikal Model IZH-79-8 is the commercial blank and gas firing version of the Makarov PM and sold under Izmekh's commercial arm, Baikal. It 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. This pistol is originally chambered for the 8 x 22mm less-than-lethal blank or gas cartridge, which provides enough energy to cycle the blowback action. The original PM model, on which this example is based 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 the 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 of the slide. 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The original restricted barrel of this example has been replaced by a new extended steel barrel with 4 groove left hand twist rifling, chambered for the 9 x17mm cartridge. The barrel is threaded at the muzzle with 7 threads designed to take a suppressor. The barrel is pressed and pinned to the frame through a precision-machined ring. There is supposed to be 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, chequred wraparound brown plastic grip is reinforced with steel inserts and has a detent inside the screw bushing preventing unscrewing during firing. There is an 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 pistol has a free-floating triangular shaped firing pin, with no firing pin spring or firing pin block.
The magazine is absent.
The serial numbers and calibre designation have been removed by milling.


Cast, Forged, Moulded



OverallHeight128 mm
OverallLength170 mm
OverallWeight615 g
BarrelLength102 mm


Serial Number None Visible (removed)


9 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

model designation
IZH (in cyrilic) -79-8
on the left side of the slide
proof mark and date
Izhevsk proof mark and date of 05
on the left hand side of the frame and repeated on the left rear slide
trade mark and country
on the right side of the slide