Range Report on several pistols

This is a discussion on Range Report on several pistols within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Got a chance to to a little shooting today. Fired 2 pistols for the first time. Last Saturday went to gun show in Birmingham, AL ...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: Range Report on several pistols

  1. #1
    VIP Member
    Array dr_cmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,811

    Range Report on several pistols

    Got a chance to to a little shooting today. Fired 2 pistols for the first time. Last Saturday went to gun show in Birmingham, AL and bought a Russian Makarov IJ-70 18A. This is the 8 round mag version. Since my wife kept the Bersa Thunder .380 that I bought in February. I bought myself one.

    We only had a short time today so I did not fire alot through any pistol. The Mak is sweet. I was firing Wolf 100 gr. FMJ 9X18 and it was so easy. This pistol looked just OK when I bought it, but after a good cleaning (including taking apart the rear sights) it is really a nice pistol. I set the sights in the lowest position and centered when I reassembled. The Mak fired just about 2 inches low and I didn't have a thing with me to raise the sights. I made an aiming adjustment and I had 4 of 16 rounds in holes touching each other and right where I wanted them. They were all right close together. I want to thank George Hill again for the review in CCM that got me started on the Mak.



    The Bersa .380 performed exactly as was expected. I agree with those who say that Bersas may be the most underrated pistols out there. Althought the Bersa performed as expected and shot right where aimed, my shooting is still not as good as Leah's. Today her group was was tighter around the A on the target than last time.

    I fired the Skyy again and did a much better job of sending lead down range. All rounds in COM. I made a conscious effort to pull back harder with the left hand and this help me to control the muzzle flip better. The thing still beat my thumb up though. May give this gun to Leah if she likes it. I need a pistol about the size of the Skyy, but with a single stack mag. Think I will look at the Kahrs.

    We also fired the S&W 439. What a pleasure. Leah had only fired a few rounds through it and was surprised how easy it was to fire. She was really amazed by the ease of inserting the mag and how easy it was to rack the slide. I wanted her to do some shooting with it in preparation of getting a 1911. Being a full size pistol and having a similar profile to the 1911 she was seeing what it was like to fire something that size. She liked it.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  2. Remove Ads

  3. #2
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    Good session George

    Indeed the Mak is a real gem IMO - I was lucky to get a Bulgy import but Russian marked - love that gun tho it really gets way less excercise than it should.

    The Bersa's - tell me - I think they are superb small semi's. Wife has mine, got a friend intoduced to one last year and now have bought step daughter one for herself now she is 21 - won't be long before she gets her CCW.

    I have yet to see and handle a Skyy tho want to - bad tho (again) this damage to thumb! The 439 I don't know but would seem Mrs George liked it

    Coupla pics to add to the image aspect of the thread - my (oops, wife's) Bersa and my Mak. The inset detail in the Mak pic is from other side of slide, showing the Russian triangle.





    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  4. #3
    VIP Member
    Array dr_cmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,811
    Chris, I have a Bulgarian .380 Mak as well. They would be perfect if they weren't so heavy. But I guess they would not be Maks then. My Bulgarian is an Arsenal commercial made in 1999. It was imported by D.I.G. of Virgiana Beach, VA whoever they were. When I bought it I was told it had had 20 rounds through it. I did not really care. After getting it home and looking closely at it I was convinced. It looked brand new. The previous owner had replaced the thick black grips with the Russian red star grips. The Arsenal grips were included as were the two matching serial numbered magazines.

    The Russian is not as good. It is also a commercial version made by Imez and imported by Big Bear Arms of Dallas, TX. It has three marks on the frame that I have not researched yet. From what I can tell there is no way to know when a Russian Mak was made. I have been trying to find out when Big Bear Arms was importing them. It was really dirty when I got it and I think the seller had marked it down because didn't think he could sell it for any more. Like the one George Hill reviewed in CCM this one took a good cleaning - several hours. There are still a couple of places on the slide that show where the bluing is worn off, but other than that it is in great shape. Today when I fired it I had a set of the Russian red star grips on it and it stung the palm of my hand so I will put the Pearce grips back on before I fire it again. I am also going to fire some Brown Bear 92 gr. FMJ on the next trip. I want to compare it to the Wolf 100 gr. In all an excellent addition to the arsenal.




    The S&W 439 is a 9mm full sized pistol. It is the replacement for the Model 39 that was originally built to present to the US as a replacement for the 1911. Beretta finally won the competition, but the 39 and later the 439 were among the pistols that police departments all over the US bought as they started replacing revolvers. My 439 is nickle plated with an aluminum frame. It is all original made in 1983. Originally owned by an FBI agent. My brother-in-law (deputy sheriff in Alabama) bought it from the agent while at the FBI academy. He kept it for several years and mentioned during the summer of 1992 that he was going to sell it because he had bought a Glock. Leah bought it for me for Christmas in 1992. BTW my brother-in-law sold his Glock in early 1993 and bought a S&W 639. Says he could not get used to the fat grip and could not shoot well with it. He blames that on the double stack mag. NOW HE TELLS ME!

    My wife's Bersa is the matte black finish. To tell them apart I got the duotone like your picture. I was not sure I liked the duotone, but it has grown on me and I am really beginning to like it. I have to get some better lighting for my photos. I have improved, but I think I will get some fleece like yours on my next trip to Wally World.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  5. #4
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    Your pics are coming out well George, and yes I can see marked improvement. The fleece is good because it has no warp and weft that can cause Moire type interference patterns plus - it folds ''softly'' and thus has a nice smooth flow to it IMO.

    Nice grips in that coupla pics of the Smith - that gun has bags of character. My usual mak ammo has been the 95 grain Barnaul and that has done admirably. I use Silver Bear IIRC thru the Bersa for practice.

    There is some info on Maks - including markings on http://www.makarov.com/ BTW.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  6. #5
    VIP Member
    Array dr_cmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,811
    Chris, know Makarov.com well. Two of the marks on the Russian are shown the third is not. Since it was not there I really didn't pay much attention to what the other two meant. I have posted a request on the Makarov forum on Gun Boards, but so far have not gotten any reply. I plan to take a better picture of the markings and post it. That will probably get a reply. I had only mentioned them in the previous post.

    I have some Brown Bear 92 gr. FMJ that I am going to fire in the Russian later this week. It is normally loaded with Hornady 95 gr. JHP/XTP. I did not have a long period to shoot today. We had a wedding reception to attend about 100 miles away so we went out early and came back early. Leah's sister from Texas is in town and we will be having lunch with her tomorrow so no afternoon shooting. School is out for spring break this week and even though we keep the library open we do it with a single librarian each day. I only have to work Tuesday and Wednesday so I have three afternoons to do some shooting. Leah does not get off for spring break being in administration so she won't be shooting. Good, I need all the practice I can get.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    indiana usa
    Posts
    2,563
    Ive always fancied a mak. Those are some good looking guns I just might have to look for one. They seem to be good shooters. If my skyy dosent work out to be a ccw gun Ill be looking for something else. Sixgun

  8. #7
    VIP Member
    Array srfl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    6,870
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with your guns.

    I still don't have a Mak in my collection....and do want one.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

  9. #8
    VIP Member
    Array dr_cmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,811
    Sixgun and srfl, if you are planning to get a Mak now is the time. The supply seems to be getting low. At the gun show in Birmingham, AL on 3/18 I saw a total of 5. Just a few months ago also in Birmingham at a smaller show I saw 7 or 8. On 3/19 3 had good prices and 2 were outrageous. I bought the Russian with a box of Brown Bear FMJ and 9 CCI JHP, 3 mags, and cheap holster for $180. This was from and individual. The gun was dirty. It looked like someone had fired several hundred rounds through it, put it in the cheap holster and stuck it in a closet for months. There are a couple of rough spots on the slide where the bluing is rubbed, but other than that a very good cleaning provided a very nice gun. One of the dealers had a Bulgarian and an East German in 9X18 for $195 ea. I don't like the finish on the EGs. It looks like patent leather to me, real glossy and black. The Bulgarian was in good shape, but I was looking for a Russian. One dealer had an EG in box (not new) with 2 mags for $295 and another had a NIB EG for $395. If the supply keeps dropping they will get those prices in a few months.

    I bought my first Mak in January. It is a Bulgarian .380. As soon as I shot it I was hooked. George Hill had said that would happen in his review in CCM. The only problem I find with Maks is that the slide is very hard to rack. It is difficult to get a good grip for some reason. I have torn the skin on my left index finger several times now. In fact I have gotten where when I go to the range I drop the mag and then clear the round from the chamber by locking the slide to the rear. That way when I put a mag with target ammo in I don't have to rack again just hit the slide release. The Bulgarian .380 is the more difficult of the two and it seems to me that the serrations on the slide on the left side are a little shallow and thin. These are what take the skin off for me. The magazine release on the Maks is not my favorite either, but it is like many of the European pistols. The Walther PP and PPK have the same kind. After a little practice it is not difficult to release the mag, but it is not as easy as having the release on the side.

    Speaking of mag release, Sixgun have you had problem dropping the mag on the Skyy while shooting? I have several times in shooting and in dry firing hit the mag release on my CPX-1. It seems to stick out a bit far. Yesterday when my wife was handling the Skyy she mentioned the mag release being a little high or too close to where her thumb was when she gripped it to fire.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  10. #9
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    George - re slide op' on the Mak - and some other semi's too for that matter.

    I am making, possibly wrongly, an assumption that you are placing index finger and thumb either side of slide at rear from above, thumb pointing more or less forward?

    I only mention because I have found over time that what works best and also saves any skin shredding - is to come from above with thumb pointing to rear and let whole inner surface of index finger on other side lay along slide - in fact the other finger tips also gain some grip and thumb contact is very good.

    If you do this, apologies but I do find the greatly increased contact area makes for a much better grip. If any doubts over my possibly bad description I'll take comparitive pics happily.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  11. #10
    VIP Member
    Array dr_cmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,811
    Chris, since my second run in with the Mak slide I have been using the method you recommend. It is the same method I use on all my semi-autos to lock the slide and on some to disassemble (S&W Model 439 comes to mind). Thanks for the interest in my health. This was fairly easy to solve the Skyy banging on my thumb is not.

    BTW bought some fleece at Walmart today and plan to take some shots of my 2 Maks in a few minutes and post them here. We'll see if the background improves my photography any.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  12. #11
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    George - try and have more than one light source - two or even three - and if poss' have those above a white sheet to give some diffusion. Then if need be tweak your white balance.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  13. #12
    VIP Member
    Array dr_cmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,811
    Chris, my next photo project is lighting. I believe that the library has an old piece of equipment that was used for photographing documents. It has 2 light sources and a mount for the camera that slides up and down. I can probably get it for next to nothing. I'll check on that tomorrow. In the mean time here are a few new shots of the Maks. The first 2 are of both. The Russian 9X18 is at the top and the Bulgarian .380 at the bottom.





    The next two are the Bulgarian .380.




    These are the Russian 9X18.




    I think that they are better, but the lighing improvement will help and with that I can work more on composition and angles.

    Thanks for the help.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array .45acp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    570
    Wow!
    And I thought I was a loner with my Mak.
    It's a bit beat from use as I bought it used but replaced some springs and cleaned it real good.
    It's a nice ccw, accurate enough for close encounters and priced so I don't need to worry about the cometics.
    Important Note I have found Hornady hollow points and Fiocchi FMJ to be very reliable BUT I will personally stay away from S&B in the Mak. They work fine in my .45 for target shooting but in the Mak I had 15 FTF and 2 misfires out of a hundred rounds with the S&B. No problem with mentioned Fiocchi or Hornady.
    Please give feedback on your ammo experiences with the Mak.

    George

  15. #14
    Assistant Administrator
    Array P95Carry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    South West PA
    Posts
    25,482
    Good going George - that fleece looks nice. They appear on my monitor to be a shade dark tho. A post-tweak could be useful to lift them a bit re gamma etc.

    Re lighting - I use those cheapie clip-on holders (the soft aluminum things that dent if you even sneeze at em LOL) - but fit them with 90W or bigger self-contained flood bulbs - and those keep temps sensible still.

    Average exposure tho tends to be in 1 second at f11 region - so obviously tripod stuff.

    I have a white sheet draped over area where I put the guns and the lights are clipped to bookshelves above that - I do think diffusion will help to soften harsh shadows, tho some stuff is always tricky if very reflective.

    One good thing about dig' work - you ain't wasting film thru experiment

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Remembered this pic George - don't laugh, it is so basic!!! But it's all I use.


    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  16. #15
    VIP Member
    Array dr_cmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,811
    Quote Originally Posted by .45acp
    Wow!
    And I thought I was a loner with my Mak.
    It's a bit beat from use as I bought it used but replaced some springs and cleaned it real good.
    It's a nice ccw, accurate enough for close encounters and priced so I don't need to worry about the cometics.
    Important Note I have found Hornady hollow points and Fiocchi FMJ to be very reliable BUT I will personally stay away from S&B in the Mak. They work fine in my .45 for target shooting but in the Mak I had 15 FTF and 2 misfires out of a hundred rounds with the S&B. No problem with mentioned Fiocchi or Hornady.
    Please give feedback on your ammo experiences with the Mak.

    George
    George, so far I have only fired the Wolf 100 gr. FMJ 9X18 through the Russian. I only had a short time for this so only 2 mags. I will be firing some Brown Bear 92 gr. FMJ, CCI 90 gr GDHP, and Hornady 95 gr. JHP this week and will post the results. In the Bulgarian .380 I have fired maybe 100 rounds of WWB 95 gr. FMJ and have never had a FTF, FTE, nor misfire of any sort. I have also fired about 20 rounds of Federal Hi-Shok 90 gr. with no failures. I have some Speer GoldDot 90 gr. HP that I will be firing a few of this week. I also have some Magtech 95 gr. LRN that I am going to use on some steel plates this week. I'll post the results as well.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Range Report on PT 840
    By John Luttrel in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: November 3rd, 2012, 02:12 AM
  2. My new PM9 range report.
    By mikearc in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: July 21st, 2010, 10:44 AM
  3. New PPS .40 Range Report
    By wraymusicman in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: May 19th, 2010, 01:38 PM
  4. Range Report #2
    By barracudamagoo in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: February 21st, 2008, 02:20 AM
  5. Range Report - SKS and AK's
    By LMarshall73 in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: October 24th, 2007, 06:37 PM

Search tags for this page

european revolvers
,
ij70-18a makarov
,
pistol handles brown
,
pistol russian
,
pistols 9mm
,

russian pistols

,
russian red stars
,

s&w 439

,
s&w 439 9mm
,
smith and wesson 439
,
smith and wesson 439 slide
,
smith and wesson model439 dismantle for cleaning
Click on a term to search for related topics.