A year ago today I wrote a brief review to post on the Makarov Pistol Association (http://makarovpistol.myfineforum.org/about572.html&highlight=) of my Makarov Model 59 (6mm, CO2, blowback) made by Toubo/ GunHeaven in Taiwan (also available in calibre 4.5mm).
The story continues…
I was delighted when Steve asked me to compile another review, using his template, for “The Pistol Place” ( http://pistolplace.com/2014/01/15/gun-heaven-toubo-makarov-pistolet-makarova-model-59/ ) particularly as I was so pleased to have found a “Makarov” in Thailand… but it wasn’t long before disaster struck!
Basically, what I did was to break a fundamental rule of “amateur replica gunsmithing” – or anything else for that matter! – which is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”!
I had loaded a CO2 capsule only to have it leak. I think this was either due to me leaving capsules in for long periods of time and damaging the seals or (more likely) because I managed to knock the capsule out of alignment as it was being pierced. A second capsule appeared to be fine, but never the less I thought it might be a good idea to open the valve assembly and have a look; after all, a chap with my experience should have no problem at all (doh!).
I carefully unscrewed the valve cover and brass cap… only to let the various parts fall onto the desk! Instead of leaving it to fix later on when I was a little less “excited” (“jai yen yen” as they would say in Thailand), I was impatient to ensure all was well and in putting it back together must have replaced something incorrectly (possibly part 7-12 the wrong way around?). This resulted in stripped threads of the valve housing when the CO2 exited in one fell swoop!
Talk about an unhappy bunny! I contacted Toubo in Taiwan receiving a reply that very same day, but although they kindly offered to send a replacement seal set informed me that spare magazines were not available at that time.
How I think the bits are supposed to go according to the parts diagram inside the box lid… obviously did something wrong first time around!
What to do? Should I attempt a re-build (which I might still do at one point) or go the whole hog and get another gun (of which my local shop had none). I was happy with option two, for a reasonable price, as I thought it may be rather nice to have the silver Model 59 making a pair.
Lo and behold, a couple of days ago I was ordering some BBs (well, Gung mainly!) from another shop when, on the off-chance, I asked her to see if they had any Makarov blowback pistols… “Certainly, we’ve got plenty – which colour would you like!!?”. Not only that, but the price was significantly better than I expected and so yesterday a box arrived bearing not “Manna from Heaven”… but rather “Makarov from GunHeaven” 🙂
Silver Makarov Blowback with “Parkerised” version in an army/ police surplus Makarov holster (East German?)
Both pistols are identical except that the “Model 59” stencilling is missing from the silver version (I was pleased about that; I don’t mind it on the “parkerised” version, but think it would look out of place on the “chrome” model). Both feature proper serial numbers which in my opinion tend to give them more credibility, making them that little bit more authentic and more akin to a real firearm.
Complete with “proof” stamp and serial number
On first inspecting the gun, I noticed a small blemish where the serial number had been stamped, but that seems to have all but disappeared with use. There is also a slightly rough finish on the inside of the upper part of the “ejection” port in the slide, but again you’ve got to be really looking for it (neither of these “blemishes” are visible on the photo above!). Both have minor scuff marks on the slide stop where the slide rides over.
Identical except for the colour and the lack of “Model 59” on the chrome/ nickel version
Having given it the “once over”, I decided to follow suit and replace the recoil spring with a slightly stronger one as I did on my first gun. I prefer the stronger spring and feel it adds to the realism when racking the slide. As before, I must stress that you should be very careful when doing this because if the spring is the wrong size you may be able to replace the slide, but not remove it again!
Fitted with a slightly stronger recoil spring – the one issued is shown above the slide
It was then time to tighten a CO2 capsule in the magazine and shoot a few targets! Shooting was how I remember it… a crisp, strong blowback and a loud report (for a CO2 pistol). It only took a few shots to get used to the long trigger pull (which also serves to load a ball into the breech) and I was more than pleased with the results.
Muzzle velocity settles at around 115 to 120 m/s using 0.25g balls; targets shot left to right
Once settled, I measured about 115 to 120 m/s using 0.25g “FireFly” (black) 6mm balls (the same as with the previous magazine). POI (Point of Impact) pretty much equated to POA (Point of Aim). The pistol may be shot as quick as you like and since it is CO2 suffers little from the “cooldown effect”. I managed about 50 good shots from a single capsule (slightly less than before); temperature was 34° Celsius in the shade and humid.
Mix n’ Match gives the two-tone look
All in all, I consider myself to be luckier than I deserve; not only have I managed to replace my damaged magazine, I have also been able to add a rather attractive pistol to my collection, not only to pair with my other Model 59, but also to accompany another favourite of mine… the Nagant M1895.
Pictured with another iconic pistol originating from Russia (and GunHeaven/ Toubo/ WinGun)… a Nagant M1895
Guest review by Adrian-BP