Just picked up my Bulgarian Makarov from J&G yesterday.
First impressions were pretty rough. I opened the package at my local gun shop and the owner was looking while I opened it. His expression was something to the effect of: "Whoa, they sure didn't give you a good one!" He (he owns a Makarov, too) was also pretty surprised that it was graded VG. The gun showed a LOT of holster wear, was pretty dirty, and was wearing some really ugly black rubber grips (which i think are required for import). Thankfully, the reddish/brown combloc grips were in the box.
I was really starting to kick myself for buying the weapon on the drive home with thoughts of "I can't believe I paid good money for that total dog of a firearm!" That didn't improve when I was looking it over at home, and discovered that someone had filed down the face of the safety. I got online, and looked at the Makarov pic that was on J&G's site. Well, I can't fault J&G at all, because my gun looked almost exactly like the one in the picture. Felt a little better, so I decided to clean it up and take it shooting the following day.
Took the Mak and both mags apart and gave them a good bath and scrub in mineral spirits to get rid of the cosmoline. Oiled everything up and reassembled. Put on the combloc grips, too. Now, my Mak looked a LOT better, and the finish wear looked a lot more like "character" vs the "tied to the track of a T-72" look. Couldn't wait to get it to the range.
Went to an indoor range and shot 100 rounds of S&B ball ammo through the Mak. Absolutely zero failures, and the first round I shot went right through the center of the bullseye! After that, I had an ear to ear grin, and showed my Mak off to the range staff who liked it. Already have a Don Hume JIT Slide ordered and am planning to get the Mak refinished (probably Cerakote in satin black). What a change from my initial impression! That Mak is a real reliable shooter and a tack driver.