Tokarev TT-33, Makarov PM1951 and Grach MR-443

Tokarev TT-33, Makarov PM1951, and Grach MR-443

“The Gun That Came in From the Cold” Makarov’s PM 1951 Part 2, Part 1

By Dennis Adler

As I said in Tuesday’s article, I went a little over the top on antiquing the TT-33 so I pulled it back by redoing the finish to a standard condition of 30% as shown in the Blue Book of Gun Values Photo Percentage Grading Scale. It looks like a well used, finish worn WWII pistol. It is matched with an equally antiqued TT-33 holster from World War Supply. The Tokarev was used by Russian soldiers, police and the KGB for almost two decades giving way to the Makarov PM 1951, which wasn’t really that much of a step forward, as it was just a new gun.

Before I get into today’s review of the Makarov PM1951, I want to go over the Tokarev TT-33 one last time. After Tuesday’s article I went back and refinished the antiquing a second time on the Gletcher TT-33, this time with a specific goal in mind, something a little less beaten and more just field worn, so I eliminated the stains (re-polished the frame) and reblued and rubbed the finish out to what the Blue Book of Gun Values considers a 40% condition factor on the Photo Percentage Grading Scale (PPGS). It would actually be closer to 30% were it not for the good condition of the grips and lack of pitting in the finish. This is a nice look for a WWII-era service pistol. So this first photo is the final effort to achieve that look. Again, 0000 steel wool to polish out the factory finish, down to the alloy in most areas, and then coats of Birchwood Casey Perma Blue applied liberally with cotton patches, rubbed dark, then lightly brushed again with the steel wool, more bluing, polishing and then gun oil to stop the action and preserve the final look. It is a basic formula that anyone can adapt and alter to their personal preferences. This time I was going for a finish similar to the photo in the Blue Book PPGS. The Gletcher now has official prop gun status! read more


Luger P.08 and Makarov pistols

Luger P.08 and Makarov pistols Part 3

Making a choice between two Makarov pistols

By Dennis Adler

The two Makarovs, Gletcher’s PM 1951 (rear) and the Umarex Makarov Ultra. Neither gun is an exact copy of the famed post-WWII Soviet handgun, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The two Makarovs, Gletcher’s PM 1951 (rear) and the Umarex Makarov Ultra. Neither is an exact copy of the famed post-WWII Soviet handgun, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.

The Makarov or PM 1951 was a new design for the Soviet Union, but the Pistolet Makarova was, for the most part, a Russian variation of the circa 1930’s Walther PPK, in fact, both guns are very much alike, not only in general appearances but internal design and operation. Nikolay Makarov made a very nice Walther and Gletcher and Umarex make very nice Makarov pistols.

How close it is? The Gletcher PM 1951 (top) looks a lot like a real Makarov (bottom) but is a little lankier and lacking in a few minor but noteworthy details.

How close it is? The Gletcher PM 1951 (top) looks a lot like a real Makarov (bottom) but is a little lankier and lacking in a few minor but noteworthy details.

The Gletcher Russian Legends version is very accurate in design with proper grips (although a longer grip frame, (necessary for the length of the self contained CO2 and BB magazine), lanyard loop, muzzle shape and general contours. The trigger is slightly different in shape, but there is a big plus in that minor detail. In overall appearances it close to the Makarov. read more


Luger P.08 and Makarov pistols

Luger P.08 and Makarov pistols

One legendary WWI and WWII German semi-auto

faces off with Russia’s post WWII top gun

By Dennis Adler 

Two of a kind times two, the Umarex P.08 Legends Luger Parabellum (with the toggle locked open), the Gletcher P.08 version (one of two Luger models offered), the Gletcher Russian Legends Makarov (slide locked back) and Umarex Makarov Ultra. All four are blowback action semi-autos, but none are alike!

Two of a kind times two, the Umarex Legends Parabellum (toggle locked open), the Gletcher P.08 version (one of two models offered), Gletcher Russian Legends Makarov (slide locked back) and Umarex Makarov Ultra. All four are blowback action semi-autos, but none are alike!

Many of you are going, “What, why is he comparing a Luger with a Makarov?” Two reasons; both have their roots tied to military history and both have become iconic firearms. The Luger Parabellum is an evolution of a late 19th century design, the Borchardt, while the Makarov, an early post-WWII pistol, has its basis in the mid 20th century Russian Tokarev semiautomatic pistol, without which the Makarov might never have been designed. Both 1908 Luger and 1951 Makarov were being used in the post WWII era, and both remain to this day among the most significant of all European handguns, albeit the Luger with a much greater heritage than the Makarov. Both have been recreated as high-quality, blowback action .177 caliber semiautomatic air pistols, and by two different manufacturers, Umarex and Gletcher; two guns, two manufacturers, and two different approaches to the same end. Who comes out on top?  You be the judge. read more