I’m a fan of military surplus, and the Radom P-64 makes the top of my list. For me, it starts with the history, but there is no denying that the guns were meant to meet a martial need when they were made. The question I get over and over again from people is, “Why even bother with old and used guns?” Well, I find that some of the most innovative minds have already put their designs to the test for military service and came out pretty shiny. The real difference is that these older guns carry a bit of history with them.
 

Radom P-64 Pistol
The cigar on the left is deceptively small. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


There are plenty of great concealed carry guns right now. Heck, I’d venture to call this the "golden age" of high-capacity pistols that come in micro sizes. Tech has pushed the boundaries of size and capacity, but the drive to create small, powerful carry guns is hardly new. For this argument, I’ll happily slide in the Polish Radom P-64. This all-steel micro is a unique product of the Cold War, but adding an updated holster has made it less of a relic. 

The P-64 is a scant 6.3 inches in length and weighs just 1.33 pounds with an unloaded magazine. Plus, and I cannot stress this enough, this wasn’t a personal self-defense gun. The P-64 is one of the affordable guns that started filling Americans’ concealed carry holsters years ago. But people didn’t just trust their lives to these pistols. This little gun was made for war. So it was a bold decision to go small. 
 


Radom P-64 Pistol
Even compared to modern standards like the Sig Sauer P365, the P-64 is a slender and tiny package. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)

Radom P-64 Pistol
The Sig P365 might double the capacity of the P-64, but it is decades behind the curve. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


I’ve already done a side-by-side comparing the old P-64 and the new Sig P365. Suffice it to say the P365 offers more firepower in a lighter package. Accuracy, on the other hand, is still a toss-up. I find the P-64 can hold its own. I have carried the gun for hikes on the glacier trail, and it held up quite nicely.
 


Radom P-64 Pistol
As it stands, I find I shoot the P-64 and the Sig P365 about the same. That said, the double-action trigger on the P-64 is heavy, but the single-action trigger is light and crisp. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)

Radom P-64 Pistol
The modern holster makes this old gun quite nice to carry. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com) 


Regardless, this review is less about the gun and more about carrying it. The Polish military may have made a compact gun during the Cold War, but they packaged the thing in the same leather holster most militaries did during the time. You can’t really blame those on the eastern side of the Soviet wall for that. Traditionally, military handguns were packaged in protective, but not user-friendly, holsters. Some of the best wartime American 1911s can with similar accommodations.
 


Radom P-64 Pistol
Old military holsters like this Makarov PM offered a lot when it came to protecting the gun and issuing a nicely ordered package from the armory. But there was not a lot of consideration given to the need to draw and fire the pistol. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


Thanks to the good folks over at Vedder Holsters, I’ve been able to add some new life to my P-64. No, it is not my daily carry, but it is a joy to carry in general. I attempted some other holsters over the years. They were generally little more than leather sleeves that offered only moderate retention.
 

Radom P-64 Pistol
I carried the P-64 over several months, favoring the appendix position. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)
Radom P-64 Pistol
Even with the weight of a pre-polymer gun, the P-64 was barely noticed on the belt. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)

Radom P-64 Pistol
Kydex might be new, but it fits an old gun just fine. (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)

Radom P-64 Pistol
I actually tested the P-64 alongside my P365 in a matching Vedder holster. Both were very comfortable and concealable. The biggest difference only being the decocker, lower capacity, and manual safety on the P-64 (Photo: Paul Peterson/Guns.com)


The fact that the P-64 has commanded enough attention to earn its own holster selection is one thing. The fact that it still carries and shoots well above its age bracket is another. Regardless of your preference for old or new guns, the real carry test will come down to reliability and the holster you pick. If you are into classic guns and surplus pistols, don’t shy away from modern holsters. A few modern upgrades have given me an excuse to carry an old gun again.

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