FEG began making close copies of the Walther PP and PPK in the late 1940s. The first of these -the Model 48- was nearly identical to the PP, differing only in the location of its loaded chamber indicator pin, the shape of its manual safety lever, and the configuration of its magazine floorplate and grips. Chambered in .32 or .380 caliber, the Model 48 served Hungary's military and police forces, along with several foreign nations (notably Egypt), and sold well commercially throughout Western Europe as the "Attila."
In the late 1950s, FEG grew adventurous and departed more boldly from the original Walther design. Its much modified PA-63 in 9mm Makarov caliber became a standard Hungarian military and police sidearm. The PA-63 had a larger frame with more curved backstrap for a better hold. It also dispensed with a loaded chamber signal pin altogether and replace the steel frame with one made of lightweight aluminum alloy, reducing overall weight by several ounces.
Reducing weight to the absolute minimum made sense in a pistol meant to be concealed in one's pocket. Moreover, the reduced strength of the light alloy frame was not considered a problem in low-powered calibers, as it can be in pistols chambered for 9mm Parabellum and other larger, high-pressure rounds. FEG later made the PA-63 in a .32 ACP version for commercial sale and police use, and as .380 ACP versions: the Models AP9 and PMK-380.
In its 9mm Makarov military version, the PA-63 sports a brightly polished aluminum frame. Although the military does not ordinarily care for guns with such conspicuous finishes, having the two-tone finish saved the time and expense of an extra process for these cost-conscious buyers.
Whereas the AP9 and PMK-380 are more reminiscent of the Walther PP, the PA-63 is more competitive with the Soviet-designed Makarov. With its more powerful cartridge, the PA-63 has more felt recoil than either of its .380-caliber variants. This, combined with its small sights and heavy trigger, hurts the gun's accuracy. A five shot, 25-foot offhand group, using Norinco 94-grain FMJ, measured exactly 2 inches. And from a distance of 50 feet, it was very difficult to fire an acceptable group, the best try measuring 5.6 inches across. There were, however, no failures in feeding, firing or ejecting three different brands of 9mm Makarov ammunition. The PA-63 was imported in large numbers by K.B.I., Inc., of Harrisburg, PA.