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renegadecow

WE Makarov PMM

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To set things straight, the WE Makarov is based on Baikal's 442, one of the commercial iterations of the PMM or modernized Makarov pistol. Some people seem to think that the only PMMs in existence are those newer ones with angular slides like the ones Vladimir Putin is shown test firing when in fact there is a whole bunch of double stacked "Makarovs" from different manufacturers and countries.

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It is a compact double action pistol with a double stack magazine. It features a working decocker/safety much like the PPK. Unlike Walther pistols however, the decocker is reversed: up is safe and down is fire which gets confusing as there are no markings to indicate which is which. Instead of a mag release button, it has a heel catch right below the grip.

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The surface finish is exceptional; a huge step forward with WE. The slide looks to be anodized with a texture resembling machined steel while the rest of the parts are painted. One area they shouldn't have painted is the outer barrel. The coat was so thick that at first I thought it was plastic. During disassembly, the slide digs into the thick paint making it hard to remove resorting to my sanding the surface down a bit. At certain areas the metal is already showing on the outer barrel (from repeated disassembly) though at this point it's fairly easy to remove the slide which is necessary if you want to adjust the hop up.

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Perhaps the most interesting feature is the fact that the Makarov comes with its own mock suppressor which is intended to house an also included barrel extension. Both components screw unto the barrel so this isn't a quick detach affair, but at least seems to work well and boosts performance significantly. Without a suppressor/barrel extension mine chronos at an average of 240fps using green gas and .25g bbs. With the accessories on it jumps to 350fps; not all too surprising as the extension is actually longer than the gun's own barrel. 

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The fixed combat sights are hard to acquire being very small and without dots or outlines, but they shoot more or less center. However, I noticed a slight horizontal enlargement with the suppressor on. The groupings below are with (bottom) and without (top) the add-ons, the target being 10m away and aiming at the middle of the 3" circles with 5 shots each. As small as the magazine is, it was able to deliver 45 rounds or three magazine fulls of bbs before weakening and eventually completely running dry a couple more rounds later. Double action is reasonably heavy and long, but single action was surprisingly crisp with a short and very audible reset.

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As well built as the pistol seems, it is not without its flaws. It recoils a LOT, which is normally a good thing but it does so excessively that some of the screws inside come undone. One particular screw is the one holding down the barrel assembly. It doesn't come out all the way, but gives the barrel significant wobble to the detriment of other components. When the barrel is loose, the slide is made free to ride higher and higher. Eventually it goes too high that the mag catch only barely engages it and sometimes just grazing it causing the corner to become rounded. Eventually it will stop locking back altogether unless the wobble issue is corrected. Chewbacca wrote a very useful guide to do exactly that over at Red-Alliance: http://www.red-alliance.net/forum/index.php?topic=32516.0

 

One other thing I've noted is the recoil buffer WE uses. It's basically just a hard piece of plastic and while it keeps the metal on metal wear down, it does little to actually absorb any vibration. So I glued a piece of sheet rubber directly on it. Other than providing for a bouncier cushion, it also shortens the slide's travel so that upon returning forward it doesn't gain as much momentum to hit against the slide catch.

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Practically everything in the gun is proprietary but at least it has quite a few steel parts where needed. The slide catch, valve knocker disconnector (the part the safety engages when decocking) and magazine catch are made of steel. And while the hammer and sear are zinc alloy, their engagement surfaces are pretty large and don't see them wearing down too quickly. Of course, applying lubrication on the surfaces also helps ease down on wear, but do not lubricate between the transfer bar and the frame as this somehow increases friction causing the trigger to fall short when resetting for double action. One thing I'm not happy about is that it does not use a VSR-10 hop rubber. For some reason they made the inner barrel slightly shorter by about 2mm on the breech end so while a VSR-10 rubber will fit, there will be a slight gap between the end of the inner barrel and the shelf on the rubber that it's supposed to be resting against. I'm unsure if this will affect performance .

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Given you address the problems mentioned above early on, I can see this lasting for quite a while. And at around $110 for the plain (no marking) version, the bargain is very hard to beat which allows some leeway for buying other related kit like a SPOSN holster or the brown grips WE also sells, turning the gun into a pseudo PM or maybe buy a second one to butcher and transform into a PB silent pistol. 

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Thank you for this, I think my Makarov is one of my favorite airsoft guns I own. 

 

And a question, have you had problems with your recoil spring damaging your outer barrel? I turned my spring around and apparently one end of the spring have a sharp edge so the recoil was terrible and I got a deep scratch going all the way down the outer barrel.

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De-cocker sometimes pushes the slide back a few mm, allowing for an impossible configuration. Safety on, hammer back.  The entire gun locks up, cant pull the slide back.

Pushing the slide forward, the de-cocker will engage. 

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I can do that only if I physically pull back the slide to that sweet spot before disengaging the sear. Check the screw holding the safety lever in place. If it's screwed out far enough it can dig into the frame which pulls the whole slide to said sweet spot on its own when put on safe.

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No, I have had the above too, but it is rare and just requires the slide pushing that 1-2mm back into battery. Slide is smooth and the screw used on the safety won't sit any further in to combat it.

 

Still, not that impressed with how my Makarov has turned out. It is ok for the price but I am still not convinced that WE have improved as much, but this is still better than their older offerings :P.

 

'FireKnife'

Edited by FireKnife

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Doesn't happen on mine unless I force it to. Though my safety is made a lot smoother from applying grease. I tried unscrewing the screw on it earlier today and with only one turn it did exactly as I predicted: caught against the frame and dragging the slide backwards to that sweet spot. While I was at it I figured out a way to make it shoot full auto. Basically you grind off the left side nub on the safety that engages the valve knocker disconnect. With that gone the slide is made free to go backwards even on safe and being up will decock the hammer as it hits back home. And since the knocker is still aligned the hammer opens the valve for another shot. With the PM's snappy recoil I can easily imagine its rof to go through the roof, but kinda useless without a drum mag.

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I've taken mine into the field a few times. It's first time out my aeg went down and I ended up having to hold off 4 or 5 attackers who were trying to sneak up on my position. I was very happy with its performance despite the crappy sights (it's worth noting that the mock suppressor comes up higher than the front sight post making it useless)

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Just a word of warning about the hop up. Mine's a bit lacking for .25g so I tried to bend the hop arm to give it a little more leverage. It snapped as soon as I put pressure on it despite being ferrous. My guess is it's been quench hardened after forming so now I have to fabricate a new one. If you need to put on more hop it would be advisable to simply shim the arm with an I-hop insert or similar.

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So my slide lock notch got rounded today though I'm mostly to blame for it. The rubber buffer I put in kept getting shredded so I experimented with a piece of ABS. I think I made it too thick so that the catch barely had time to engage, going up only partly which rounded the notch. The catch only gets pushed up very little to begin with despite the engagement being more than that and I should have looked into this instead of the buffer. So what I did is simply glue on a piece of polycarbonate under the tab on the slide catch, a bit hard to do being very tiny. Make it to about the same thickness of the tab itself so the last round in the magazine will not push the catch up too soon. It engages fully up now and locks 100% though I've done away with any added recoil buffers, just the stock one.

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Edited by renegadecow

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By brown grips arrived! Not too bad, could use some fakelite work, but the biggest issue is that it doesn't fit too well or at least not as well as you'd expect as an accessory for a product which is made by the same manufacturer. The whole grip sits back by about a couple millimeters but is easily sorted by filing down this part. You can see the part where the screw goes through is raised. Just file it down to the same level as the supports on the side and it fits spot on. But doing so causes the screw to go in deeper which just about starts to touch the magazine when inserted so put a spacer on the screw (I used an o-ring) before installing.

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The new grips along with other goodies that came in the mail.

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Lots. Even with just one magazine I've been able to use it as primary the past few weeks. The hop works pretty damn well after adding a rubber spacer for heavier bbs and the barrel extension provides a healthy boost of useable range without any significant drop in performance. The only real drawback are the crummy sights but even then I was able to make 30m headshots with careful aim.

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Nice write up mate, i also like the WE Makarov, i have the collectors edition, i have also done an inner barrel mod to mine to make it more accurate, in fact its very accurate now..

 

I do recommend this pistol but i do not recommend using the inner barrel extension as it unscrews itself and then you get BB shavings inside the gun, your much better off buying a full inner barrel extension..

 

here is my mak. :)

 

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Happy shooting all..

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Great review and excellent pictures!

 

That is a sweet Makarov you got there ^ ^ ^

 

I noticed on mine that the extended inner barrel, or possibly the "primary" barrel, was machined poorly resulting in a small offset that had the effect of shaving BBs and applying tremendous hop up.  Some careful work with emery cloth on the top, inside of the extended barrel got it sorted out.

 

My example also gets great gas mileage. 

 

One minor niggle--the decocker will fail if I don't apply it quickly enough.  If I sneak up on it, it does not decock the weapon.  If I try it again, sharply, it works perfectly.

 

All in all a really nice pistol.

Edited by machgo

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