A little while ago we suggested the Makarov “family”—they’re only a family in that they all shoot 9mm Makarov—of pistols for people interested in accurate, reliable, dependable, and inexpensive compact, concealable pistols. These military surplus firearms are rugged and trusted, and with modern 9x18mm Makarov bullets, effective.
But being as they are military sidearms (the Makarov PM and PMM saw duty in Russia from 1951-1991, and is still in service elsewhere) a lot of the original accessories lack a certain… finesse that us Western shooters, particularly concealed-carry permit-holders, demand. Fortunately, our capitalistic side has answered the call.
Mak holsters are relatively plentiful, with Fobus, Bianchi, Don Hume, and DeSantis making Makarov PM-specific holsters, as well as custom holster companies not limited to Milt Sparks, U.S. Gunleather, and Brigade Gunleather; but let’s say you have a FEG PA-63? Once again Milt Sparks is a good call. If you have a Polish P-64 you can use Walther PPK holsters, as the P-64 is just 1mm longer.
Magazines used to be a lot harder to find, but with the help of online auction sites like GunBroker, they turn up left and right. And if you’re interested in new magazines, Keep Shooting makes ‘em here in the U.S., although they sell out every time they whip up a batch. In need of spare parts? Buymilsurp.com and Numrich have your back.
When it comes to things like lasers and night sights, you’re almost out of luck; custom gunsmithing is your best option. That is, unless you get a CZ-82. They use standard CZ sights which are available from a bunch of different companies, including the likes of Trijicon, XS, and Meprolight. You could even put a set of fiber-optic sights if you want a competition backup gun—hey, such a thing exists.
CZ-82s also come with the benefit that they’re the same size as the currently-in-production CZ-83 (.380 ACP) and use the same, also in-production magazines and grips.
When buying them, often times they have holster wear, but that’s no reason to be glum. Gun refinishers are everywhere, and there is probably one nearby of good repute. That being said, you can always ship one off to be expertly refinished by top-tier companies like Robar.
New factory grips are also available here and there, but you can’t beat handmade wood grips from the likes of Grips4u and Marschal. Pearce makes nice rubber grips for Maks, too, both single- and double-stack.
These guns have been passed up by the militaries and police forces that once issued them. Their loss is our gain, and with a little free-market enterprise, you can wind up with a stellar-looking custom carry piece.