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Ammo Makarov CO2 BB pistol made from a firearm: Part 8

Makarov CO2 BB pistol made from a firearm: Part 8

Makarov BB gun right
Makarov BB gun made from a Makarov firearm.

History of airguns

Makarov non-blowback Part 1
Makarov non-blowback Part 2
Makarov non-blowback Part 3
Makarov with blowback Part 4
Makarov with blowback Part 5
Makarov CO2 BB pistol made from a firearm Part 6
Makarov CO2 BB pistol made from a firearm Part 7

This report covers:

  • The test
  • Fresh CO2
  • Crosman Black Widows
  • Discussion
  • H&N Smart Shot
  • Air Venturi Dust Devil Mark 2
  • Summary

I’ve got a strange one for you today. This is the day we shoot the Makarov BB pistol for accuracy. This is the one that was made from firearm parts.

The test

I shot from 5 meters at 5-meter BB gun targets. I used the same BBs that I used in the velocity test and therein lies the strangeness of the day.

I rested the pistol on the UTG Monopod and used what I would call a modified two-hand hold. My non-shooting hand steadied the slide from wobbling by pushing against it from the left. Since the pistol doesn’t blow back this is safe. I cocked the hammer for every shot because the double action trigger pull is so heavy. Okay, let’s get started.

Fresh CO2

Because I had exhausted the CO2 cartridge used in the velocity test to save the face seal from compression, I installed a new cartridge. Given that this pistol is at least 20 years old, I want to give those old seals every chance for a long life. I used automatic transmission sealant last time, so this time I lubricated the cartridge with Crosman Pellgunoil

Crosman Black Widows

The first BB I tested was the Crosman Black Widow. This is a premium BB that often performs best in many guns. I counted ten BBs in the magazine, but when I shot the final shot it was a blank. I checked the mag and no BBs remained, so on one of the first nine shots two BBs must have gone out. So I loaded one more BB and shot it.

When I saw the target I was surprised. While this isn’t the best BB pistol group I have seen it is very good. I expected this pistol to spray BBs everywhere, but ten of them landed in 1.61-inches at 5 meters. Now that I see the number it doesn’t seem so good, but compared to my expectations, it’s a great group.

Makarov gun Black Widow group
Ten Crosman Black Widow BBs made a 1.61-inch group at 5 meters.

Notice that all the BBs hit to the left of center. They are about on for elevation. This is the best possible situation if the pistol isn’t spot-on, because the rear sight is in a genuine dovetail and can be drifted right. It wouldn’t need much. I won’t do it because I doubt I’ll shoot this gun much after this test, but it’s sure nice to know.


Well, this first target sort of changed my opinion of this BB pistol. Later on I am going to show you a Makarov firearm and I think you’ll find it pretty darned accurate, too. Makarovs shoot “mouse gun” cartridges that Europeans seem to prefer in sidearms. Heck, even James Bond carried a Beretta .25 automatic for awhile before he upgraded to the .32 ACP! With modern anti-personnel bullets these smaller cartridges can do the job (not the .25 ACP but the Makarov round), but Americans have traditionally relied on larger more powerful cartridges like the .40 S&W, the 10mm and the .45 ACP. Still, I would not like to ever get hit by a 9mm Makarov bullet!

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H&N Smart Shot

Next to be tested were 10 Smart Shot lead BBs from H&N. Knowing that this BB gun has a rifled steel barrel and also that in the velocity test these were the most consistent, I expected wonders from them. Alas, no joy! Ten of them went into 2.308-inches between centers at 5 meters. They hit the target in roughly the same place as the Black Widows though the group is so large that it’s difficult to say where the center is.

Makarov gun Smart Shot group
The Makarov BB gun put 10 Smart Shot into a 2.308-inch group at 5 meters.

Air Venturi Dust Devil Mark 2

Now for the strange one. The next BB was the Dust Devil. They are so much smaller than the bore that I didn’t expect much from them and they certainly delivered. The first shot missed the target, the rubber mulch box trap it was taped to and hit my garage door behind them. Ooops!

I shot the target seven more times for a total of 8 shots. Those seven shots did hit the target paper in a group that’s about 5 inches between centers. Then the 8th shot was a blank. Not again!

I removed the magazine and found the spring-loaded follower had frozen in its slot about an inch below where it should be. Inside the mag I saw a deformed BB that I dumped out. It was a Dust Devil with one side sheared off. But the follower was still jammed, so I figured there was another Dust Devil behind it. And there was. By pushing the follower down I cleared the jam and dumped that mangled BB out as well.

Makarov gun mangled Dust Devils
These are the two Dust Devils that got mangled in the Makarov magazine. 

There will be no photo of the “group” I shot with Dust Devils because I don’t know how large it was with just 8 shots and only 7 on paper. The Dust Devil is DEFINITELY NOT for this BB pistol!

I think the problem is the strong follower spring in the magazine. It overpowered the Dust Devils and made two of them start to turn to dust.


At this point we have looked at three different Makarov BB pistols. The most accurate one is the one that’s still available, so that’s good.

Next we look at the 9 mm Makarov firearm. Yes I will do both a velocity test and an accuracy test for you. This series will be a complete look at the Soviet Makarov pistol — both the firearm and the several BB pistols.

author avatar
B.B. Pelletier
Tom Gaylord is known as The Godfather of Airguns™ and has been an airgunner for over a half-century, but it was the Beeman company in the 1970s that awoke a serious interest in airguns. Until then, all he knew were the inexpensive American airguns. Through the pages of the Beeman catalog, he learned about adult airguns for the first time. In 1994, Tom started The Airgun Letter with his wife, Edith. This monthly newsletter was designed to bring serious reports about airguns to the American public. The newsletter and Airgun Revue, a sister magazine about collectible airguns, was published from 1994 until 2002, when Tom started Airgun Illustrated -- the first American newsstand magazine about airguns. Tom worked for three years as technical director at AirForce Airguns, the makers of the Talon, Condor, and Escape precharged air rifles. Today, he writes about airguns and firearms for various publications and websites. He also makes videos, and you'll find short clips embedded in some of his artices on Pyramyd AIR's website. Tom is a consultant to Pyramyd AIR and writes under the name of B.B. Pelletier.

25 thoughts on “Makarov CO2 BB pistol made from a firearm: Part 8”

    • Yogi
      The one thing certain about the Baikal is that it’s never going to fall apart. Even if you use it as a hammer… Unfortunately the performance on B.B.’s hands is exactly the expected norm. But I believe that even you, dedicated only to accurate springers, would easily love it if you could get your hands on one.

    • Siraniko
      It could be the mentality of Russian arms designers, to make versatile platforms. When a Baikal rep was asked about it he replied that they didn’t see any wear from using bbs. Strange thing is that I have never seen a factory one with a smooth barrel despite many aftermarket ones.

  1. BB,

    Yes, the new “frag” rounds and the new “hot” rounds cause more damage than the “old” ones, but a .45 ACP in these “new” formats causes a lot more damage.

    One of these Maks would be a decent backup, most especially if you used one of the “new” rounds in it. Now, if “they” were to make something like the Walther P22 in .25 ACP, I would be tempted to have one as a backup.

    • RidgeRunner,
      Are we talking bb guns? If not…
      I understand the idea of choosing a smaller pistol/revolver as a Backup. What i can never get my head around is why the choice often includes a change in the round and/or caliber?
      I was brought up to carry a full size .45ACP and if I carried a Backup that it would just be a smaller framed pistol that shoots the identical caliber round. The thought process behind it was that it gave the option to use the ammo in either gun. The Backup would likely not be as accurate as the primary but by the time you usually call upon Backups you are close enough that the reduced accuracy didn’t matter much; ALL the ammo being usable in both platforms made the decision easy for me.
      Of course you bring the best of what you have to a gunfight! A long gun always sounded good to me over a pistol…stand off distance usually pays off!


      • Shootski and RR

        Any weapon I carry I consider a backup. Since my first and primary one is running away.

        I don’t carry very often,, and when I do I carry what I am most familiar with. Primary or backup,, if you can’t hit what you are pointing them at,, neither helps much.

        That might be the European thought process,, smaller caliber weapons are most generally easier to shoot accurately when hasn’t practiced with them very much.


        • edlee,

          “…my first and primary one is running away.” Avoidance is certainly a first choice Ed. Some of us however have a genetic or learned fault that causes us to move toward the gunshots.
          It has been explained as almost having turned out as a Wolf but missing some small DNA segment and turning out as a breed of Sheepdog.
          The political sheep often don’t know how to tell the difference unfortunately.
          I’m going to the range today to work on my sub MOA groups with my SIG ASP20s. I will also run a few magazines of .45 ACP at 25 to 50 yards just because.

          • Shootski

            I own,, if I remember correctly,, 7 handguns. The last one I fired was an older Bersa .380 in 2015. I had not fired that weapon for about 10 years at that time,, but was able to win a competition, nonetheless. I guess that is why I claim that smaller calibers are more forgiving of lax training than larger.

            Were it easier for me to practice, I certainly would do so, but it isn’t and I don’t. I am afraid that the vast majority of people who own handguns for personal protection are more like me than you.

            If I were to be placed in a life threatening position in which my use of a handgun would make a difference,, I would trust my Bersa rather than my Glock, my S&Ws or my Rugers, all in 9mm or larger. The reason is as I stated,,, it is the one I can hit what I point at without the practice that I really should be doing.


          • I wonder if the advice, camera shoppers are often given, applies here too: the very best camera is always the one you have with you. Which, to me, implies a device that is easy to carry because it’s lightweight, small, etc…

            Maybe in the U.S.A. there would be a market for, so called, ‘mobile phones’ with the added capability to fire a few rounds… 🙂

          • ….Range Work:
            Got in 100+ shots with the two SIG ASP20s.
            I think I have now shot about 600 rounds out of a break barrel (Gas Springer) in my entire life! I have perhaps another another 100 shooting my kid’s two Marksman 1790 pellet rifles many decades ago. I also got one confirmed pigeon one shot kill with a head shot, at perhaps 15yards, with that platform.
            The .22 SIG ASP20 was fed JSB 15.8gn EXACTS and the .177 was shooting the JSB 10.3gr KNOCK OUT Slugs
            I selected the best Target for each caliber.
            I will add that all of the groups that were shot today were under an inch.

  2. Just learned you can’t load two photographs at one time:
    Sadly this one has a stinker at Seven O’Clock or it might have been my very best ever 5 shot group with a break barrel.


    • Found out Archer Airguns is selling replacement breech seals for the ASP20, Shootski. Perhaps other replacement parts will be offered by manufacturers other than SIG later, ASP owners can only hope.

      • FawltyManual,

        I noticed his sales pitch too! On the web site the dropdown menu is ASP20 Part”S” so i suspect it isn’t because he is pushing four count O-Rings @ US$ 8.XX plus S&H!
        But it is a start…


    • Shootski,

      These targets are not too bad for a sproinger. 2 MOA is typical, even with high end sproingers. 1 MOA is possible with a very few. Sub MOA with a sproinger is almost impossible. It takes a specially tuned sproinger, Lots of experience with that sproinger, lots of concentration and perhaps a little luck.

      I did it years ago with my CFX which I foolishly let go. Keep at it. You just might pull it off. I do not know if the ASP20 is capable of such, but you might be able to at least pull off the other three.

      As to backups, as I stated I prefer the .45 ACP, but for something that is truly compact, the Walther P22 is hard to beat. Everybody sells the .25 ACP short, but all of the ballistic tests I have seen were done with a two inch barrel. By doubling that barrel length, I wonder how much more power it will have?

      I can most definitely envision long slide hard baller at the hip, a short slide full frame in a chest holster and a .25 Walther P22 tucked in the small of the back. Oh, and a decent long gun in the hands.

      • RidgeRunner,

        I’m going to try to REPLY to your post again…my 1st try was like I sent it to answer my own post; either I’m messed up or the website is having issues… probably me.


        • Shootski,

          I read what you said below. I for one do not consider it a “failed” airgun. It is Sig Sauer that is a failed airgun company. As you said, with a few more refinements, the ASP20 would be a top shelfer. Perhaps one day TCFKAC will build a serious sproinger that would be worth owning. Stranger things have happened.

          Weihrauch already makes a line of fine sproingers. I would like to get my hands on the HW90 with the Theoben gas sproing. If an ASP20 shows up at my door, I am sure I will make room for it at RRHFWA.

  3. Shootski
    Very nice,considering distance and 600 rounds of experience, especially with the .22. I am also in this path of learning, alas with a strict teacher (D350, 4.5, short). Did you chose the slugs as already tested to be good or as an experiment?

    • Bill,

      The .22 ASP20 is actually easier to shoot (just as Tom and Ed Schultz said!) than the .177. i chose the .177 slugs because i had tried the heavier JSBs and felt that I needed to give the lighter ones (10.03 vs 13.43gr.) a try. I know that many do not believe that slugs (bullets) and springers mix. So, after a lifetime of testing new (oddball) ideas in military aircraft capabilities it now infiltrates everything i do. I also have two .177 H&N slug samplers that i need to try shooting.
      I try to learn at least one new thing everyday. Yesterday, when my POI walked from left to right across one target, I learned that a magnum springer (even a smooth shot cycle one) will in fact shake the scope mount bolts loose when installed by a PCP/MSP/SP shooter.
      I haven’t a clue how much more difficult a “real” Magnum Springer like your D350, 4.5, short would be to Master!
      I know I would probably have fun trying. NO! NO! NO!
      I have too many airguns already!


      • Shootski
        That’s exactly my idea, have fun trying new things even the hard way (D350). It’s also the reason I ask you about the 4.5 slugs. Guess what I am going to order first thing next week for the Diana…

        • Bill,

          I hope they will be in stock again soon at PA!
          They seem to be able to group but I need to get out beyond at least 50 to see how they do and probably really end up using them in a PCP out to 100+. I also wish they (JSB/PA had a 4.52 since the 4.51 drop into, and OUT of, the ASP20 without using a pellet seater to give them a light seating push.
          Time will tell as always ;^)


          • One good thing for us here in Europe is that we seem to, still, have access to a wide variety of pellets. My favourite at this moment is the Baracuda 4.53. It seems that it’s a good pellet for either the 350 or the howitzer one ( D54, T01 with Vortek kit). By the way, since you use pcps mostly, I think you would like one of these. Not off hand shooting probably… Rested it’s a joy, even against pcps.

          • RidgeRunner,

            Thanks for those kind words of encouragement RR!
            I just can’t stand the LOUD snickers from the mice when i shoot the .177 in the backyard; i like it SO much better when the yard goes silent when the: Feral Pigeons, Eurasian Collard Doves, House Sparrows, European Starlings and of course the rodents hear the PSSssh! of the pressure relief on the BIG tanks. They all know the Hämmerli AR50 will easily take them out with great prejudice!
            I was intrigued by the .177 JSB 10.03 grain Knock Outs in the SIG ASP20; it will be interesting to see if they remain stable out beyond 25 yards. I agree that they need to be used mostly beyond 50 yards to have a clear advantage over domed pellets. Once I get some more range time with them I will know if it is worth the time and work running comparisons with the LabRADAR.
            I agree with you about the .45 ACP completely, i’m not so sure about carrying more than two pistols and a long arm at one time… don’t want to look like a Bandito, LOL! Much preferred to carry more same caliber ammo. As far as .25 or .380 ACP i think most gun writers and the Internet experts have no idea of what works, what doesn’t, and when.
            But I’m in it (SIG ASP20) for the long term…just a little sad that it will forever be considered a failed airgun instead of what it is and moreso could have become with further refinements.
            I hope you can find a used one (i recommend the.22 caliber) to add to RRHFWA; I think she will be wayward enough that the older Gals will welcome her!


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