Thursday, December 28, 2006



Disclaimer: This commentary contains my personal opinions and my personal judgements having worked on so many different products, these are my personal views only. I believe everything written here is true.







makarov part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5

part 6

part 7


First of all I would like to wish all of you a very happy and safe New Year. I am going to discuss handguns and related topics and I will try not to offend anyone. Its very true I am abrasive and very truthful in my beliefs and I will try and tell you about the various handguns first.

This is a totally different world from when I was a kid in Brooklyn in the 50's... All police carried revolvers chambered for the 38 special and they mainly used lead bullets from what I can remember. There was a rule of authority among the people in those days to basically respect the Police.

I have no doubt there was plenty of inside corruption but I was not exposed to it. The only evidence I could see was that bodies were always turning up in Carnarsie in Brooklyn from professional hits. The gangs were all over New York and stores like Sears sold rifles.

This past year I have been very disappointed to see how many current production handguns are so poorly made internally. It just makes me sick to think about how low they have gone. I remember back in the 60's when SW revolvers were such a hot item and people could not find what they wanted anywhere so they had them on back order.

When I see all these 1911 clones on the market today, I realize that it was only Colts poor management to lose this market. If Colt had their act together they would never have been a reason for the 1911 Kimbers or the 1911 SW pistols or the 1911 Sig pistols or the Springfield Armory 1911 pistols and the 1911 list goes on and on and on to include CZ/DW and Taurus, etc, etc, etc.

Colt was top rated when I was young, but today it would be difficult to find new Colts in your local shops. I do not know what their current status is at this point in time. The 1911 pistol as designed by John Browning was superb in a 5 inch barrel and you need that long slide weight for reliability, using the 16 lb. factory standard recoil spring.

It is my opinion that buying these small 1911 designed pistols with 3 inch barrels is one big mistake most of you will learn to regret. Getting two inches of rifling and using slow burning powder may give you a velocity of 650 feet per second using a 230 grain hard ball cartridge. This is a major mistake. The factories are using dual recoil springs to make up for lack of slide weight. Not a good idea.

The best 1911 pistol that is in current production is the SA mil-spec that sells for about $500.00. I would take this pistol over any high dollar production handgun that is currently made this year. The Brazilians have got this parkerized version down pat, although I can not recommend their stainless steel version because its smoke and mirrors as all the accessories are hard chromed into making you think you are getting an all stainless steel 1911 pistol, when you are being deceived.

My left handed world consists of Glocks and an HK P7 M8 and an older SW revolver or a Ruger SP101. Ruger still makes good revolvers but I have very little love for any SW revolver made today. Do not believe that the security lock on an SW revolver is fool proof because if you drop it on concrete it could activate the safety and you have nothing and no way to protect life and property. If you have this keyed lock version never go anywhere without that security key.

It is my opinion that SW has really deteriorated in their marketing. I do not want a Chinese made SW knife. I do not want SW clothing or SW coffee mugs. What I do want is an SW revolver as made in the 1960 era. Michael Golden the new President of SW is from the Kohler Plumbing Company and probably has superb marketing skills that do nothing for you or me.

Installing fragile fiber optic sights on a carry gun is a big mistake. Not only are they easy to damage but if they have a protective plastic shroud over it they often crack. If you use a cleaning agent that contains metylene chloride it will eat up your plastic sight. That product is paint remover and when the government banned trichlorethane these companies used methylene chloride. Its real bad news, just use LPS MICRO X which is a superb electrical contact cleaner that is safe on plastic.

Now for the good news about revolvers, buying a current production Ruger SP101 or a GP100 is not a mistake as they are still made very well. The downside to these Ruger revolvers is that they are heavy and need to be refined internally. I understand that Ruger has just discontinued about 7 rifles that I know of and one of them is their Police carbine PC-4. They are also offering many workers early retirement.

There are not many current production handguns that I would buy. I am very partial to Glocks. They are as good as they have always been. The line of Sig pistols in my opinion are not what they were years ago. The Sig line of handguns is the only company that I know of that uses the hammer reset design which is a real problem if you are in the "SANDBOX" and you have no replacement and no tools with you. You can see this reset spring by looking at the back of your hammer right above the tang of your frame, its visible as a tiny wire spring. Your very life depends on that reset spring that only Sig uses. Many internal parts in a current production Sig are MIM which means metal injection molded.


The Kimberzation of Sig In my opinion started to become apparent with the high volume of issues and frustration of Sig owner both for QC and CS currently being posted !

That in my opinion started occurring when the frames and stainless steel slides started being manufactured and assembled In the U.S.A, which also happens to coincide, 2005 with the arrival of a Mr. Ron J. Cohen, President and Chief Executive Officer, from Kimber appointment and arrival at Sig!

Thus Kimberzation of Sig can be seen in the influxes of 1911 models recently introduced at Sig!

WHY YOU MAY ASK ARE ALL THESE COMPANIES USING MIM PARTS, ANSWER IS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ All they care about is money, it was not always like this...

The old world gunsmiths I used to know are now gone, I miss talking with them, they are mostly in cemetaries, very sad but very true.

This story continues and when company marketing people decide to come out with new calibers its for mainly one purpose and that is to get you interested into buying one of these new guns in a new caliber which means one thing = more sales... When a handgun is being designed and lets say it has 75 parts and 10 springs, well many of these components are sub contracted out and they are out for bids to get the most reasonable cost so the company can increase the profit margin of this new item that you can not live without. MY OPINION THIS IS ALL BS.

Everything is figured in the price including advertising. If you were to want a four color full page ad in a top named magazine you are looking at about $7000. for one ad for one issue. When springs are put out for bid they do not always go with top rated spring material or design, they usually go for cost and the same is true for every component including the finish of the gun. THE RESULT MUST BE WHAT THEY CAN MAKE THE MOST PROFIT ON, WHILE PAYING THEIR FACTORY WORKERS AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.

If you buy a new model handgun because of an article written by a corrupt writer where he got a free gun convinces you that you can not live without this new product, then this marketing job was well done. You have now overlooked the fact that it may not be a proven design and that parts are hard to come by and that there are no accessories available for it yet. No holster company in their right mind is going to start making holsters for a handgun that has not been accepted by the public first for about 2 years.

If you need a handgun for protection of life and property, you must learn safety and practice with good quality ammunition. Having said that you must buy a product with a proven track record for reliability. You must be able to buy parts and springs, without these guide lines you will wind up with a paper weight.

Let me give you some examples. If you buy a SA "XD" pistol and you need a critical part, they will not sell it to you from Springfield Armory in Genesco, Illinois. You must send the gun to them. Try changing the pressed in extractor of an "XD" pistol that is made in Croatia, good luck, you will need it, even most platers can't get it out.

In my Glock I can change an extractor in 30 seconds. Remember when you ship a handgun at this point in time it must be shipped overnight via FED EX or UPS and that will kill a hundred dollar bill upfront.

If you have a SW 1911 pistol and you need an extractor, they will not sell it to you unless you have taken their armorers course and can provide the SW parts dept. with your armorers certificate number.

If you have a Ruger they sell only non critical parts. Same story for Taurus. Unless you have the availability of getting parts to keep your handgun operational, you have nothing. Need an extractor for a Colt Pony, good luck in your search. I could go on and on but by now most of you have got the message.

The only small semi auto pistol that is mouse size that I still like is the Colt Mustang. It has an extractor and an ejector and fires from a locked breech. There are no mouse guns out there in semi auto design that I can say this about. Current production mouse (pocket) pistols are notoriously unreliable and are not accurate. People expect miracles from these tiny mouse pistols and its not possible when companies put limitations on their design and do not buy top quality springs and they can never be super accurate with shallow rifling, it can not be done.

The only tiny handgun that I like and carry is the NAA mini revolver in 22 magnum with a 1 5/8 inch barrel. I do not shoot it for accuracy and a zip gun out of the 1950's era is probably more accurate. I like this mini revolver as a third back up weapon and nothing more, it works very reliably and its a good caliber. You do not need the new 17 caliber pocket guns, its all marketing and worthless in my opinion. I really like my mini revolver for peace of mind as a last ditch effort at survival and nothing more. "IT IS WHAT IT IS"


The smallest mini semi auto that I have total faith in is the Glock 26 or 27 or 33, thats it period. They are in a class by themselves. They are flawless in operation and worth their weight in gold to some one like me. With the new technology advanced bullet design a 9mm will do the job, you do not have to believe the BS that you can only stop an attacker with a 45 acp, 230 grain full metal jacket, that is total BS.

If you must carry the american favorite 1911 pistol you should buy a SA 1911 mil-spec in the five hundred dollar range. This is a superb pistol for the money and you must always stay with the 5 inch barrel.

My friend John Taffin is the very last of the old time great gun writers that is still alive and I am grateful for that. John is a very honest and talented man that has been a wonderful asset to the shooting public for more years than I can remember, hes a class act.

The best current gun writer in evaluating guns and ammunition is my friend Stephen Camp. His articles and books are wonderful. Steve and I have this PROJECT STREET GUN TYPE CLASS where a person does the work from his home at his covenience at out instruction. We will be taking names to start project street gun number 6 very shortly. The results of taking this project course will give you a first class 1911 street gun of government size that will be your best friend and you will learn a great deal.

I suggest that you be careful what you read in gun magazines and on gun forums as everyone seems to be an expert. Use common sense before you buy anything and you can always email me right off my website and I will point you in the right direction. Sadly this is not the world I come from, I was taught by my father that a handshake was a bond, sort of like a contract on your word. This generation does not understand that but it is still how I live my life.

Continued Sat. Dec. 30, 2006

It is my personal opinion that there is no future in Gunsmithing or being a Pistolsmith because the new generation not only will not be able to make a decent living but most do not have an eye for attention to detail like the old world craftsmen that are long gone. This new generation as a general rule care only about their electronic toys like IPODS and the various players that I know nothing about.

The factory workers that assemble guns do it for the money and do not usually have any skill, their employers watch them like a hawk and these young people just look at it as a pay check. When you allow some marketing moron who thinks hes another JOHN BROWNING designing these handguns and telling everyone how to make a pistol or a revolver because of his marketing strategy, then look for that company to either go bankrupt or put out inferior working guns.

Marketing people must show a sizeable profit in order to justify their large salaries as compared to the poor factory worker that makes ten dollars an hour and lives under extreme pressure to get the handgun ready for either sale and or repair. Young people working under these conditions are rarely given the opportunity to evolve into world class craftsmen. Of course these are all my own personal opinions.

When a gunsmith is forced to work for commission only, how can you expect him to care about your favorite handgun that your life may depend on. I could go on and on and give you more examples of all this. Everyone likes a nice looking handgun but looks will not save your life, ITS WHAT IS IN THE INSIDE OF THAT HANDGUN THAT COUNTS.
go to

I am not motivated by money. I still have excellent ideas and my work is better than ever, but I do limited work at this time, I am still glad to be able to help nice people, the ones that piss me off go into my black book. At least I am super honest upfront and my integrity and pride of workmanship comes first, along with the respect for your life that my guns go bang and not click. I have never taken any short cuts and buy the best material products money can buy.

I have always known how to accurize a Beretta 92F but I could never find some one to work with me that would play it straight. This is a designed item that the owner could install at his home. I have about given up on my designs because most everyone I talk with is either lazy or greedy and I will not be a party to that mentality.

The following is what I would buy that is either current production or a late model as well as what I would not buy under any circumstances.

I would buy any current production Glock pistol and I now prefer to stay with the 9mm caliber. The advancement in bullet technology has closed the gap.

I would buy a Browning Hi Power of traditional design made by Browning and not by FN. I would never buy that light weight hammer version that has the pre cocked design.

I would buy another HK P7 M8 if I could afford one but they are no longer made and the ones remaining are $1300.00 plus. I only buy new guns. I WOULD NEVER BUY THE LEM VERSION OF THE HK USP.

Continued Sun. Dec. 31, 2006

I will try and wrap up this commentary today and leave it up till all of you have had a chance to read it.

As for HK pistols I do like the USP compact but the downside is the following, they are thick and hard to conceal, the trigger return system is sluggish but can be corrected. The decocking lever is not smooth and gets worse with not being kept clean. They are pricey compared to my favorite Glock pistols.

I still like the Beretta 92F in 9mm only and I would still have no reservations about buying one, they are not accurate because the barrel locks up from the rear and there is no exact repeatable lockup, which no one seems to care about. This is why the 92F can not be accurate, there is a remedy but I have never found anyone that was not greedy to work with me, they would rather drink beer and play their gameboys at night while I always worked.

The Beretta Cougar 8000 (full size) in 9mm caliber is a reliable pistol with the rotating barrel system and I still like them. I do not like the 45 acp Cougar as the chamber wall is very thin.

I would not buy "ANYTHING" made by "CZ" or "DW" - this is out of the question.

I would not buy anything made by "TAURUS" - this is also out of the question.

I would not buy anything made by Charter Arms, this is also out of the question.

I would not buy anything made by Kimber except their Meprolight sights.

I would not buy a Wilson 1911 pistol or a Wilson 1911 magazine, I would not buy a Baer 1911 pistol. I would not by a Briley 1911 pistol.

I would recommend the purchase of "COBRA" 1911 magazines from

I would "NEVER" buy anything made by Para Ordnance aka "PARA"
I would not buy anything made by Charles Daly.
I would not buy anything Made by "FN"
I would not buy any 1911 pistol made by "BROWN"


I would not buy any Ruger Semi Auto made in current production when I can buy a Glock. As for the new Ruger Mk III - in my opinion this is a disaster, the Mk II was an excellent 22 long rifle semi auto pistol and they just ruined there handgun in general by going to the new Mk III adding springs and features that are not necessary.

I would not hesitate to buy the Ruger SP101 or the Ruger GP100 current production revolver but my interest with Ruger stops there. MY OPINION ONLY...

Ruger has not been living in the real world of what people really want because if they came out with a light weight SP101 it would be a top rated seller. Maybe its time for change in management at the Ruger company. For years Ruger has had the Mini 14 rifle that is not accurate by other stardards, if they had a match grade barrel on one model that would give 2 inch groups at 100 yards, I have no doubt it would be a top seller. I personally would not own a Mini 14 because of it not being accurate.

I would not buy any handgun made by Walther as I have no faith in them. The PPK and PPK/S are known as the JAM-O-MATIC. The plastic grips are so poor that they often crack and most any cleaning agent will eat them up. This is not a handgun for women or people with a large hand. I would not buy a Walther P99 as the polymer is eaten by methylene cloride.

Again the small semi auto pistols like the Keltecs and the Guardians would have to greatly improve before I would even give them a second look. I liked the concept of the Guardian and even GUN TEST MAGAZINE rated it poorly because the company cut corners to save money, ITS THAT SIMPLE. THIS IS MY OPINION ONLY. I am not here to make friends...Many of these owners think they know it all but time will tell who remains in business. Lets not forget that Larry Seecamp may now be worried about his compitition but he sure was not worried years ago when having 8 employees he still only had an answering machine where you could not leave a message or contact him, his seecamp 32 is poor inside and I am being kind to Larry. This is my personal opinion, I see no reason for me to ever buy a Seecamp product.

Once this government shuts down the sale of guns and ammo and declares Martial law, these big shot people will have no more operational companies and their future in the gun business and related publications is over. Do not think that this could not happen over nite so use common sense and get only what works and what you need now. YOU MUST ONLY BUY PROVEN PRODUCTS THAT HAVE BEEN OPERATIONAL FOR YEARS AND WHERE ACCESSORIES ARE READILY AVAILABLE.

I have worked on many mini semi auto pistols and the only one I ever kept was an old Colt Mustang which is very superior to the Seecamp and the Keltec and the Guardian. Most of these manufacturers lose their shirt when you return a pistol for warranty work because of the cost of paying the factory worker and the return shipping, there goes their profit margin. I can no longer feel sorry for the companies that go bankrupt, but I do feel very bad for the honest hard working personnel that they employ that go down with them.

I do not buy anything made by KAHR. I do not like their design of their trigger bar spring. I think they could be improved but no one would listen to you or me so why bother. If you take your Kahr pistol and make sure it is empty while the slide is in battery hold the gun sideways and while the trigger is fully forward you can still take your finger and push the trigger forward about 1/4 of an inch. This does not apply to their Elite 98 model which is the best model they make. They are all over priced in my opinion and why would I buy one of these Kahrs when I can buy a superior Glock pistol that costs less, that is flawless in operation right out of the box.

Where most of you get sucked in is in reading gun puplications from writers and editors that will never say anything bad about a high dollar advertiser and who knows which writers or editors are getting free guns. THIS AGAIN IS STRICTLY MY OPINION. ALSO TAKING ADVICE FROM UNKNOWN "EXPERTS" ON A GUN FORUM IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

The best buy in America continues to be the "MAKAROV" pistol. It is true they are harder to find these days and ammunition may be harder to find but this design which contains approx. 25 to 30 parts is superb. This is not a handgun to overlook and I recommend the original Russian Caliber of 9x18mm only. The East German model is the gun of choice but they are few of them left and all are in used condition. I wrote a 7 part article on this superior weapon and if you want me to post the link just let me know. MY MAKAROV ARTICLES START HERE
after you read this, there are 6 more articles following this initial artical, which is all about the makarov pistol.

THE NEXT SUBJECT IS A CLEANING AGENT as many people still do not know how to clean their guns and they simply do not care. The very best product I have found is LPS MICRO "X" which is an electrical contact cleaner that is safe for plastic. I have never found anything better. It must be purchased from an industrial supply.

The next subject is LUBRICATION and I still maintain my knowledge that nothing is better than "MILITEC".. That is my lubrication of choice.

The next subject is a tactical flashlight. Surefire flashlights are top of the line. There are others that are superb such as my favorite "BLACKHAWK GLADIUS" with a strobe effect. Other top rated lights remaining are Streamlight and Inova and Pentagon light. You can find anything I mention by doing a search for it on Google.

This last subject that I will cover is tactical knives of which the link to my tactical knife blogger is at the very bottom of this commentary. NO ONE MAKES A SHARPER KNIFE THAN COLD STEEL. I like many of their models, but the best for the money is their RECON 1 model.
I like the way they have mastered the heat treating process and the cryogenically freezing process that gives you the sharpest knife I have ever had.

Other good brands are BENCHMADE and SOG and CRKT and MICRO TECH, etc, but I strongly tell you not to trust a liner lock unless its one from COLD STEEL or a CRKT model M16. Spyderco mades a good knife but their handles are too slick in stainless steel for even serious consideration. They just do not seem to care. Again my very first choice is Cold Steel.

buy the Milt Sparks holsters from Craig or Audrey Chadwick. They are a wonderful company to buy from.

Hope this commentary that has taken me many days to type is of benefit to you. You can always reach me most any day after 10 am central time on my land line 281 565 6977.

Hope you all have a happy and safe NEW YEAR. Never carry any ammunition unless you seal your primers.

Trigger Specialist / Actions by "T"

Teddy Jacobson - Pistolsmith
281 565 6977

Sunday, December 17, 2006


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Wed. Dec. 20, 2006

I am planning on writing a commentary on YEAR IN REVIEW, within the week on this blogger. It will be gun related and touch on a few other topics. I will try and be as diplomatic as I know how, which has its limitations.

Please check periodically as typing is not my field of expertise but telling the truth is along with my honest opinion.



Sunday, April 09, 2006




Carelessness can get you killed.

Step One. Due to poor reliability of his .45 1911A1, Mr Moss purchases a blued extractor from Cylinder and Slide. Good quality product. Recieved as expected. No problems.

Step Two. Mr. Moss takes his gun to Briley for installation of his new blued extractor. Briley's receipt acknowledges that Mr. Moss supplied the extractor.

Step Three. Briley finishes the work. Mr. Moss observes that although the Cylinder and Slide extractor was blued, the installed extractor is stainless. Mr. Moss confronts the Briley salesman about the difference. After a visit to the shop, the salesman advises that Mr. Moss' extractor was lost in the shop and another extractor of unknown origin substituted. Mr. Moss pays $45 (extractor installation) and receives the salesman's promise to replace the extractor with one of like quality.

Step Four. Mr. Moss decides to get a quote for installation of a King's barrel bushing. He chooses a gunsmith on the east side of Houston because he is uncomfortable with Briley's professionalism. In addition to the quote, the gunsmith is asked to look at the extractor installation. The gunsmith determines that the gun is unserviceable and replaces the stainless extractor with Mr. Moss' original (unreliable) extractor.

Step Five. Mr. Moss visits me and asks me to examine the extractor. I advise Mr. Moss that the gunsmith was right. The gun was unserviceable.

WHY? = No one cares.

Step Seven. The extractor Briley installed (below) is not a .45 ACP extractor. What is it? It an extractor for a .38 Super and the claw has been amateurishlly butchered. It would never have been able to hold a cartridge case rim. Completely unserviceable. Mr. Moss knows that this extractor could have gotten him killed in a "social situation"

Box Score:

Purchase new reliable extractor $30.45

Pay Briley for extractor installation $45.00

Pay Gunsmith to reinstall original extractor $25.00

Realizing you still don't have a reliable street gun: priceless.

There are some places where money can't buy quality.

# posted by Teddy Jacobson @ 1:51 PM

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Makarov PM

Makarov PM

Makarov PM
Type pistol
Place of origin Soviet Union
Service history
Used by Soviet Union
Production history
Designer Nikolai Fyodorovich Makarov
Length 161.5 mm (6.34 in)
Barrel length 93.5 mm (3.83 in)

Cartridge 9 x 18 mm PM (9mm Makarov)
Caliber 9mm
Action blowback
Muzzle velocity 315 m/s
Effective range 50 m (54.7 yd)
Feed system 8-round detachable box magazine
Sights blade front, notch rear (adjustable for drift)

The Makarov PM (Pistolet Makarova, Russian: Пистолет Макарова ПМ) is a semi-automatic pistol which was designed in the late 1940s by Russian firearms designer Nikolai Fyodorovich Makarov. For many years, it was the Soviet Union's standard military side arm.



The Makarov was the result of a competition held to design a replacement for the aging Tokarev TT-33 semi-automatic pistol. The TT had been loosely derived from the FN Model 1903 automatic pistol and was, by 1945, deemed too large and lacking in stopping power and safety features for a modern service pistol [1] [citation needed]. Rather than building his gun around an existing cartridge, Nikolai Makarov designed a new round, the 9 x 18 mm PM, based on the popular Browning 9 x 17 mm/.380 ACP cartridge. In the interests of simplicity and economy, the Makarov pistol was to be of straight blowback operation, and the 9 x 18 mm round was found to be the most powerful which could be fired safely from such a design. Although the given dimension was 9 mm, the bullet was actually 9.3 mm in diameter, being shorter and wider and therefore incompatible with pistols chambered for the popular 9 mm Luger/Parabellum round. This meant that Soviet ammunition was unusable in NATO firearms, and NATO forces in a conflict would not be able to gather ammunition from fallen Soviet soldiers or Soviet munition stockpiles[citation needed].

Makarov's design, the Pistolet Makarova (PM), was, in 1951, selected over the competition on account of its simplicity (it had few moving parts), economy, ease of manufacture, accuracy, and reasonable power. It remained in service among Soviet military and police until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991[citation needed]. Many ex-Eastern Bloc police continue to employ Cold War- era Makarovs, due to their simplicity and reliability[citation needed]. The Makarov has also become a popular concealed carry gun in the United States[citation needed], and variants remain in production in both Russia and Bulgaria to this day.

The Makarov PM is being replaced by the Yarygin PYa pistol in Russian service, a process that started in 2003[2].


The Pistolet Makarova (often abbreviated to PM) is a medium-size handgun with a straight blowback action and a frame-fixed barrel. As a blowback design, the only force holding the slide closed is from the recoil spring; upon firing, the barrel and slide do not "unlock" as with a locked-breech design. Blowback designs are uncomplicated, and are often more accurate than designs which use a recoiling, tilting, or otherwise articulated barrel. Blowback-operated pistols are also limited practically by the required weight of the slide. Using conventional manufacturing techniques, the 9 x 18 mm is the largest round that can practically use blowback operation. The Makarov is relatively heavy for its small size, another desirable attribute for a blowback pistol, as a heavy slide provides greater inertia against the force of the blast, reducing felt recoil or "kick" of the 9x18 mm round.

The Makarov employs a free-floating firing pin, and has no firing pin spring or firing pin block. Although this (in theory) allows for the possibility of an accidental discharge if the pistol is dropped on its muzzle from a great height, Makarov felt that the firing pin had insufficient mass to constitute a major safety hazard. The (Bulgarian) Makarov is government approved for sale in the State of California, having passed a state DOJ-mandated drop safety test (its listing on the DOJ certified roster will expire on December 6, 2006 unless renewed).

The notable features of the Makarov are its extreme simplicity and economy of parts. Many parts perform more than one task. For example, the slide stop is also the ejector. Similarly, the mainspring powers both the hammer and the trigger, and its lower end even serves as the magazine catch. Makarov pistol parts seldom break in normal usage, and they are easily replaced with very few tools if they do break.


The Makarov has a DA/SA or "Double Action, Single Action" operating system. After loading the pistol and charging the slide, the Makarov can be carried with the hammer down and the safety engaged. To fire, the slide-mounted safety is pushed down to the "fire" position, after which the user simply squeezes the trigger. The act of squeezing the trigger for the first shot also cocks the hammer, an action which necessitates a long, heavy trigger pull. The firing of the round and cycling of the action pre-cocks the hammer for subsequent shots, which are then fired Single Action with a short, light trigger pull. After pushing the safety up to "safe," the hammer is safely de-cocked. Operation is semi-automatic, firing as fast as the user can pull the trigger. Fired brass is ejected to the right rear of the shooter, typically traveling 5-7 feet.

The PM's standard magazine holds eight rounds. After firing the last round in the magazine, the slide locks open. After feeding a new magazine, the slide can be closed by activating a lever on the left side of the frame or by pulling the slide back to release the slide catch, either of which chambers a fresh round. The pistol is now ready for action again.

When engaged, the Makarov's safety switch blocks the hammer from hitting the rear of the firing pin. The Makarov's magazine release location is common with that of many European pistols, being located on the heel or "butt" of the handgrip. This design decision was in contrast to the frame-mounted release of the Tokarev TT-33, as this location had been observed to have a propensity for the TT's release to become snagged on clothing, or, in the heat of battle, for soldiers accidentally to release the magazines of their pistols.

As with all firearms, proper maintenance, the Rules of Gun safety, and using only the properly chambered round are imperative.

During the mid-1980's until the early 1990's access to 9 mm Makarov ammunition was limited in the United States. During this period, at least one gun writer suggested and tested the substitution of .380 ACP/9 mm Kurz ammunition in PM's[citation needed]. The weapons functioned but were inaccurate beyond short range demonstrating keyholing at medium ranges[citation needed].


Russian and ex-Eastern Bloc 9 x 18 mm PM ammunition is inexpensive and widely available. However, much of this is Berdan primed and corrosive. Ammunition claiming to be non-corrosive should be treated as corrosive if manufactured in eastern Europe (due to concerns over quality control)[citation needed].

After firing the Makarov, field strip the gun, remove the grips, and boil in water for a few minutes to remove salts.[3] This is especially important when using ammunition with corrosive primers. Bore clean and protect as you would any gun.

Explicit care must be taken to use the correct ammunition as there are several similar cartridges of 9 mm calibre which can not be fired safely or, most likely, at all in a Makarov. Similar cartridges often confused with the 9 x 18 mm PM are .380 ACP (also known as 9x17, 9 mm Short or 9 mm Kurz) and 9 x 19 mm Luger.

The correct ammunition is 9 x 18 mm PM (also known as 9 mm Makarov) for most unmodified factory pistols, although replacement barrels and civilian models chambered in .380 ACP are also available, and will require .380 ACP ammunition for safe firing.


The PM is relatively inexpensive, with prices in North America ranging from USD $150-$350 as of 2006. Rare or pristine Makarovs can command over $450, but only when in exceptional condition. As with Soviet 7.62 x 39 mm ammunition, surplus 9x18 Makarov rounds are very cheap, at about USD $0.10 a round[citation needed], though care must be taken if the round's primers are corrosive.


The Makarov was manufactured in several Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War and afterwards; apart from Russia itself, they were East Germany, Bulgaria, China, and post-unification Germany, which also found itself with several thousand ex-GDR Makarov pistols.

The most widely known variant, the Makarov PMM, was a redesign of the original gun. In 1990, a group of engineers reworked the original Makarov, primarily by increasing the load for the cartridge. The result was nearly twice the original muzzle velocity[citation needed], and generated 25% more gas pressure. The altered cartridge, called the 9 mm Makarov High Impulse[citation needed], often uses armor piercing bullets[citation needed]. This magazine also holds 12 rounds, compared to the PM's 8 rounds. The Makarov PMM is able to use existing Makarov cartridges and has other minor modifications such as an improved hand grip as well as threaded grooves in the chamber.[1]

During the 1990's, the Russian Firearms manufacturer, Baikal, marketed various Makarov handguns in the United States under the IJ-70 model. Included were handguns in both standard and high capacity frames. They were available in .380 ACP in addition to the standard 9mm Makarov round. Some minor modifications were made to facilitate importation into the United States. It is unlikely that more will be imported in the near future due to voluntary agreements restricting the importation of small arms from Russia. Also no longer importable is the Baikal MP645K air pistol, which is known in shooting and collecting circles as the "Air Mak". It fires .177 (4.5mm) BB's propelled by CO2, with extreme realism, including a double action trigger mechanism, and slide that cycles after a shot is fired. The CO2 cartridge is housed in a modified double stack Makarov magazine, and the frame is the same as that of a double stack Makarov. The pistol is still available in the United Kingdom and various other nations in Europe and elsewhere. Despite the ban on importation, some "Air Maks" are still available on the second hand market. Due to the fixed supply, prices have more than doubled since importation ceased[citation needed].

Countries like Poland and Hungary have developed their own handgun designs that use the 9x18 mm round. Hungary developed the PA-63 and Poland has developed the P-64 and the P-83 Vanad. While similar in appearance to the PM, and chambered for the same round, these 9 mm Makarov firing pistols are often found labeled at gun shows by some US gun retailers as "Polish Makarovs" and "Hungarian Makarovs". Nonetheless, these similar designs are independent of the PM and have more in common with the Walther PP. They are simply pistols that happen to be chambered for the same 9 mm Makarov round.

As with the Simonov SKS, the market prefers Makarovs which were made in East Germany. The Bulgarian pistols are not quite as polished but are still generally regarded as being solid and reliable weapons. The Russian and Chinese Makarovs are generally not thought of highly, but still have value as collectables.[4]

Wednesday, December 13, 2006




Night-Ops Gladius Tactical Illumination Tool/Weapons Light for Fighting at Night

Posted on Monday, January 24 @ 16:53:33 PST by davidc
Tactical Lights by David Crane

For those not already aware, there's an exciting new tactical illumination tool (i.e. tactical white light/weapons light) that will be introduced at SHOT Show 2005 in a few days by a company called Night-Ops.

It's called the Gladius High-Intensity LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Multi-Purpose Illumination Tool, and it's the product of a partnership between Ken Good (a.k.a. Ken J. Good) of Strategos International and Mike Noell of Blackhawk Products Group/Blackhawk Industries.

Before starting Strategos, Mr. Good helped create the Surefire Institute force-on-force training academy where he taught the tactical employment of a tactical white light or weapon-mounted light for gunfighting in low-light conditions (nightfighting) or in complete darkness. Before that, Good co-owned and operated a force-on-force training school called Combative Concepts, Inc, which also offered courses in low-light gunfighting. Basically, Good's been teaching low-light close quarters battle (CQB)/close quarters combat (CQC) tactics and techniques to military Special Operations (SPECOPS) and law enforcement SWAT/SRT operators for quite some time, now.

The Night-Ops Gladius flashlight/tactical white light/tactical weapons light, marketed under the banner of the Blackhawk Products Group, will be...

going up against Surefire flashlights that, up until now, haven't really had any serious competition.

The four primary aspects of the Gladius that separate it from anything Surefire currently offers are:

1) It's waterproof to 50 meters (166 feet).

2) It remains functional down to this depth because its patent-pending tailcap incorporates a valve mechanism that automatically equalizes the water pressure, so the instant on/off thumb switch doesn't get activated by water pressure as you dive.

3) It also incorporates a strobe feature called "Wave Length Technology", which, according to Frank Borelli, who's written an article about the Night-Ops Gladius for the 10/25/04 issue of the Blackwater Tactical Weekly (BTW) Newsletter, "pulses the light at the optimal rate to interrupt linear thought processes and create an imbalance in your opponent". Mr. Borelli goes on to write the following about the Gladius' strobe feature "the human mind actually has a hard time processing images that come in at a certain rate and Night-Ops has designed this light specifically to be the most efficient NON-lethal NON-contact tool an officer can carry to impact his/her opponent's thought process and ability to perform directed behavior. Preliminary research shows that confronting an aggressor with this pattern of light directly into his eyes can cause reactions that are greatly to the advantage of us, the good guys. Those reactions can include: imbalance, involuntary closing of the eyes, turning the head, a loss of depth perception, a feeling of pending physical impact, and sometimes even an increase in heart and respiration rate due to the psychological stress caused by the mental overload. It is important to note that in the strobe position the light only flashes while the tailcap button is depressed."

Mr. Good has stated that the "practical testing of the strobe mode on non-compliant subjects has been simply amazing", on one of the internet forum sites.

4) It features a patent-pending "lockout" setting that essentially renders the flashlight inoperable.

The Night-Ops Gladius flashlight/tactical weapons light represents an interesting development in the tactical flashlight field, and it will be interesting to see how the competition between Night-Ops and Surefire develops. Night-Ops appears to have a veritable plethora of rather valuable patent-pending technologies in its corner that will likely prove difficult for Surefire to match.

Although, if you were to ask Mr. Good, he'd most likely tell you that there really isn't any competition between his product(s) and those of his competitors. Good had the following to say about the Gladius on one of the forum sites (edited for punctuation), "The other guys have nothing really to compare this product to. In so many ways, it simply outperforms. Without putting the Gladius into an integrating sphere (that is forthcoming), side-by-side output comparisons in a variety of environment--in terms of beam quality and output levels--were revealing. The Gladius was significantly superior in terms of intensity, color temp, and downrange data collection. When your eyes are on the business end of this light, it hits very hard. I mean, really hard. The switching and multiple modalities in one easy-to-operate package really sets this thing apart. Our goal is to provide a far superior, feature rich product at a price point below the big guys mark."

With the Gladius flashlight, it looks like Night-Ops may have just accomplished that goal. The proof, however, will be in the pudding--i.e. military Special Operations (SPECOPS) and LE SWAT/SRT operator feedback from the field--but it's a very interesting product, to say the least. Basically, they've created a waterproof/divable tactical LED flashlight (with Surefire-style insant on/off thumb activation) that's fast-selectable (one-handed-with-thumb) between settings that include strobe, dimming/re-brightening, and lockout features. Pretty good. Needless to say, these are definitely exciting times for the tactical field, particularly in the realm of the tactical accessory market. We hope we can get our hands on a Gladius flashlight for T&E sometime soon, after SHOT.

Night-Ops has established MSRP for the Gladius flashlight at $249.99. It's currently available in black, desert tan, and O.D. green.

You can contact Night-Ops by phone at 816-899-2347, or toll-free at 888-432-7966 (888-gear-zone).

If you'd like to learn how to utilize your Night-Ops Gladius tactical light effectively, DefenseReview would suggest you contact Strategos International by phone at 816-347-9771, or toll-free at 888-569-5544 (888-low-light). Or, you can contact Ken Good (Ken J. Good) directly via email at

If you would like to order your very own Gladius tactical flashlight/weapons light, click on this link to visit Strategos International's new online store,

If you click on this link, it will take you to the Night-Ops Gladius flashlight page at Strategos International's other online store,

You can contact Blackhawk Products Group/Blackhawk Industries by phone at 757-436-3101, or toll free at 800-694-5263. Mike Noell is the President/CEO of Blackhawk Products Group/Blackhawk Industries.

Click here to watch a video of the Night-Ops Gladius flashlight in action.

Click here to view the Night-Ops Gladius High Intensity LED Multi-purpose Illumination Tool (i.e. Gladius flashlight) brochure/spec sheet (PDF format).

Click here to read the Night-Ops Gladius flashlight FAQ. (PDF format)

Click here to read the updated version of Frank Borelli's Blackwater Tactical Weekly (BTW) article on the Night-Ops Gladius flashlight/tactical white light. It's well written and packed with great info on the product. The article is titled "BlackHawk + Strategos = Night-Ops!", and it's definitely worth reading. Again, this version (linked-to, above) has been updated, and is slightly different from the original article as it first appeared in the Blackwater Tactical Weekly (BTW) Newsletter.

There's also a PDF version of Frank Borelli's original Blackwater Tactical Weekly (BTW) article on the Night-Ops Gladius, located at the Night-Ops website (

Mr. Borelli is the president of Borelli Consulting, Inc. (BCI), a military and law enforcement consulting firm based in Lusby, Maryland. BCI can be contacted at 410-394-1004. You can contact Mr. Borelli directly via email at

Click here to read an in-depth review of the Night-Ops Gladius tactical flashlight at The review contains some excellent information on, and digital photos of, the Gladius. According to the Imägo Metrics website, "Imägo Metrics is a consultancy and research laboratory combining human and technology performance sciences with quality management and performance metrics.Our services accelerate the market valuation of products and processes that depend on customers interfacing effectively with technology". Reads like an interesting organization. Imägo Metrics can be contacted by phone at 301-613-4403, or via email at

Click here to read a very informative consumer review of the Night-Ops Gladius tactical flashlight by "McGizmo" at CandlePower Forums. In addition to containing some good information, the review, titled "Gladius: an amateur review and first glance", also contains some graphs and a couple of nice hi-res digital photos. It's worth reading.

The following is Night-Ops company marketing literature on the Gladius tactical illumination tool (tactical white light)/weapons light:

"Introducing the “Gladius”:

From the beginning of time, cultures have etched their permanent place in history by the armaments they forged to conquer and protect themselves from their ever-present enemies.

These tools were carried by warriors who often endured unspeakable hardships and agony, most of this sacrifice unnoticed by the vast majority of the society they were sworn to protect.

[Inevitably], warriors and conflict have always had a tremendous influence on the evolving design of these tools, as victory and mission success depends on the effectiveness, durability, and portability of their equipment; and this equipment that must endure the rigors of battle.

In the spirit of these warriors and their contributions, Blackhawk introduces its latest set of proprietary tools, Night-Ops illumination equipment. The mission of Night-Ops will be to design, and manufacture the world’s finest illumination tools. Night-Ops illumination tools will be designed to be the most durable, dependable and technologically advanced in the world. In short Night Ops illumination tools will be manufactured to meet the demanding requirements of those warriors that go into harms way by choice.

The Night-Ops team has dedicated itself to listening to those who serve as guardians of society as a whole. We value their experience, knowledge and practical wisdom.

History tells us over and over again that a single tool can radically change the landscape of the battlefield. Perspective, strategy, and tactics, call all be significantly affected with the introduction and understanding of a crucial piece of equipment.

Night-Ops first illumination tool is the “Gladius”. It is the first in a long series of projected releases.

This “Gladius” is a high-powered, compact illumination product that is named after one of the most famous battle implements in history. Many accounts indicate that original Gladius was developed after the Romans encountered a Spanish sword of the highest iron quality that was designed to puncture the enemy. It caused such terror and anguish among the Roman legionnaires that the Roman Senate decided to adopt a similar weapon, replacing the Greek sword of hoplite. Of this Spanish sword design is has been said that no other weapon has killed more men throughout History until the invention of the firearm. That being said, there was room for notable improvement of design and the Romans exploited this. We take note of these lessons learned.

The Roman solider himself was one of the toughest and most acclaimed on the planet, carrying over 90 lbs of equipment often 20 miles a day only to face prolonged battle under the harshest conditions.

Like the Roman sword before us, the Night-Ops “Gladius” is specifically designed to be a critical, practical and powerful mainstay for our frontline troops in Law Enforcement and Military Operations involved in Close Quarter Confrontations.

The Night-Ops “Gladius” will provide our modern warriors with a readily available illumination option to tip the scale of conflict in their favor.

Gladius Description:
The Gladius is a 6-volt, lithium battery powered, high-output LED driven illumination tool designed primarily for handheld use, but robust enough for weapon mounted applications.

The Gladius is designed from the ground up to be immersed into the realities of close quarter conflict.

The light is factory pre-focused for optimal use in close quarter situations. Protecting the optic is an O-ring suspended UCL glass lens that maintains a 99% light throughput, the highest in the industry.

The body design allows for a variety of handgun flashlight technical applications. It features an excellent center of gravity and the end-user will appreciate the well-placed anti-roll/retention flares. This light will not slip in your hand during stressful situations; it just feels right.

At the heart of this fighting tool is a robust electronics package that can only be described as REVOLUTIONARY. This electronics package of the “Gladius” is the most technologically advanced EVER developed for a handheld illumination tool.

It starts with a factory programmed, intelligent power management system that allows Night-Ops to take the current technology to the edge. This intelligent power management system allows the LED to be driven at a very high level while maintaining a very high degree of reliability, usability and efficiency as heat and current are digitally regulated.

This tool has an overall automatic temperature control to ensure transport safety. If the light is inadvertently activated in a confined storage container and reaches unsafe levels of heat, the light will be auto-dimmed or completely shutdown.

The intelligent power management system will communicate with the power source giving the operator low battery indications by a presenting a unique flashing pattern every 10 seconds when the system is activated. The system has also been pre-programmed to drop the light output to a lower, but useful level as the power source is exhausted until such time it can be replaced.

Initial Specifications:
(Subject to Change as every output setting is fully factory programmable)
The “Gladius” features a unique multi-function tailcap design that sets the new standard for function and usability. Modes are easily/quickly switched one-handed with thumb & index finger.

1. Standard Momentary Activation Mode (Full Clockwise Rotation)
Push on, Release off. This is vital in a tactical environment as often it is as important to get the light extinguished, as it is to energize it on demand.

2. “RapidFire” Strobe Mode or “Wave Length Technology” (Middle Setting)
This is deployed when the operator wishes to close the gap or disorient threats. This is a powerful modality! As long as the button is depressed, the light will cycle in a pre-programmed rapid strobe pattern. Additionally, the user can also have the light in the Constant On status, and then discretely set the rotating cap on Strobe and the next time the activation button is cycled it will begin “RapidFire” auto-strobing. While operating in in “RapidFire” mode the power sent to the LED is increased significantly for maximum impact.

3. Constant On Mode (Full Counter-Clockwise Rotation)
In this mode, the user depresses the switch and the light stays on at maximum power output. This feature is very useful for those users that are utilizing the light Press Again, the light goes OFF.

4. Dimming Mode (Also achieved from the Full Counter-Clockwise Rotation)
If the user maintains pressure while in the Constant ON Mode, the light begins an auto-dim sequence after 3 seconds. When the desired light level is achieved, the user simply lifts the finger and the light stays at that level. This light has a 100:1 dimming ratio 4 watts to 0.04 watts). (Probably going to ½ this again to .02 watts or less) This feature gives the light a wide range of versatility to meet operational requirements. If the operator needs just enough light to navigate in difficult terrain, to signal, or complete some administrative functions, the light can be adjusted accordingly. HOLD the switch again, and the light slowly begins to intensify again back to full power. Tap the switch during the ramp up or down the light is deactivated and recycles to the default, full-power settings awaiting reactivation.

5. System OFF (Achieved by Full-Clockwise Rotation, half button press, unlocking additional Rotation)
This allows the light to be stored in a go-bag, with other personal gear, or in a holster without accidental light activation. To get the light in the fight, simply and quickly rotate the tailcap to the right, press the button and go.

6. Contact Free Switching
The rotating tailcap uses a revolutionary non-mechanical, totally enclosed switching design, so there is no metal-to-metal contact that would ultimately create friction wear points and loss of function. This equates to having a much more dependable and durable switch in all types of environments over a much greater extended time of its competitors.

7. Waterproof
The design of the tailcap allows the end user to take the light to depth and water pressure will not activate the switch. The switch design allows pressure equalization and is not subject to depth restrictions. Repeated use in salt water may require fresh water flushing after use to remove salt crystal build-up.

8. Digital Communication
This light features a proprietary flex circuit that allows the tailcap switch to intelligently communicate with intelligent power management system located at in the front of the flashlight. This flex circuit revolutionizes the ability of the end user to control the functions that the illumination tool performs directly from the tailcap, a feature that no other lighting tool in the world has.

9. Auto Temperature Control
The enemy of LED’s is heat. Heat is what will destroy an LED if it is not managed properly. Within the electronics of the “Gladius” is a feature of automatic temperature control. Although the “Gladius” is unique designed to ventilate heat very effectively there are some occasions where the end user may store the light in an equipment bag or pouch and the light may accidentally become activated. This type of environment does not allow the “Gladius” to ventilate or cool and the temperature of the light will increase and reach a semi-critical temperature. The automatic temperature control feature then cuts the LED power by 50% (30% light reduction) allowing the temperature of the “Gladius” to gradually reduce. If for some reason the temperature is not reduced and it continues to increase a critical temperature threshold the power sent to the LED is automatically terminated to protect the LED of the “Gladius” from being damaged.

10. Low Battery Indication
Run-time of the battery will vary depending on the type of usage and functions that the user requires of the “Gladius”. When the battery life reaches a pre-determined point it will begin a process of three quick (1/10 second) pulses every 10 seconds until the batteries are replaced. This feature continually reminds the end user that the batteries are running low and need to be replaced. This low battery indication is programmed for the momentary and constant on modes.

Estimated 1 hour @ full power – 200 hours @ lowest setting.

Lumen Output – Specification forthcoming - Estimated at 85 lumens +

13. Size & Weight Specifications
· Bezel Diameter – 1.25” (Fits SF V70 holsters & filters)
· Tailcap Diameter - 1.25”
· Body Diameter - 1” (for weapons mounted applications)
· Length (Bezel to Tailcap) - 6.23”
· Weight (w/o batteries) - 6.63 oz or 188 grams

14. Two Types of Finishes
· Mil-Spec Type III Anodized – Black
· Mil-Spec Type III Anodized – Olive Drab

15. Optic/Reflector
Currently using an optic to focus. Transitioning to reflector. More intense hot spot, larger corona, greater “Throw”. Better light transmission. Currently using UCL glass with features 99% light throughput. Standard Pyrex rates at 93% throughput."