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PMM: Russia’s Modernized Makarov (Now With 50% More Mag Capacity!)

Enter to win this pristine Soviet Makarov!
Deadline to enter is 12/22/23 @11:59 PM PST

EDIT TO ADD: I didn’t realize the heavy-slide model was actually put into production – my mistake! I will film one of those when I am able to find one – until then, the civilian model in this video does correctly show the changes to the frame and magazine of the PMM.

Having served as the standard Soviet military sidearm for several decades, the PM Makarov was getting a bit obsolescent by the late 1980s. More of the world was using locked breech, 9x19mm service pistols but the Soviet Union still had essentially a domestic version of the Walther PP. To extend its capabilities, the PMM (modernized Makarov pistol) was developed, and adopted in 1990.

The new design used a double-stack magazines for a capacity of 12 round instead of the original 8. The slide remained identical, and the new magazine used a double stack body that narrowed to a single stack tower for the top three rounds. This allowed the slide and feeding geometry to remain identical, significantly simplifying the design process for the pistol. A new plastic grip was designed to fit the larger frame, and while wider and bulkier, it is arguably a better fit in the hand than the original Makarov.

Secondly, a new cartridge was developed to bring the Makarov up to 9x19mm ballistics. The case remained unchanged, but a larger powder charge gave it aa roughly 30% increase in velocity (from about 1060 fps to 1360fps). This was made possible mechanically by adding three spiral grooves to the chamber to increase friction on the cartridge case, and slow down the opening of the slide. However, this round was never fully adopted because there was nothing to prevent it form being fired in regular Makarovs, with unpleasant results. Thus the grooved chamber design as also dropped from PMM production.

The example I have on camera today is a Baikal IJ-70-17AH; this is the commercial export version of the PMM, chambered for .380 ACP (commercial exports in 9×18 were also made). In addition to the different caliber it uses an adjustable rear sight, which was added to make the gun compliant with import regulations and is not present on the military PMM.

Cool Forgotten Weapons merch!

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