June 23, 2017 0:00

// Pneumatic weapons

The Makarov pistol, or PM, is the main combat personal weapon that continues to be in service in the army and in law enforcement agencies. High fire characteristics make this weapon popular today. The pneumatic version of the Makarov pistol is an exact copy of a combat weapon, thereby providing a complete imitation of the possession of a combat pistol.

An excursion into history

The Makarov pistol, today, continues to be a popular self-defense weapon designed for close combat. Despite its venerable age, the PM is still in service with army units and law enforcement agencies.

The history of the pistol begins in 1945, when a competition was announced for the creation and development of a new pistol. The old man TT no longer satisfied either the army command or the law enforcement agencies in terms of ballistic characteristics and energy capacity. The 7.62 mm caliber needed to be replaced with a more powerful and compact version. As a result of a difficult and intense competitive struggle, the state commission recognized the best model of a pistol for a 9-mm cartridge, developed by designer N. F. Makarov.

The competition commission was bribed by the simplicity and neediness of the design of the pistol. In the design, each part performed an appropriate function and carried a payload.


Unlike most samples produced at that time, where the number of individual parts sometimes reached fifty, the Makarov pistol had only 20 parts.


During the tests, the gun passed more than one test for the reliability of the design and unpretentiousness in handling. In comparison with the Tokarev pistol and other foreign models, Makarov turned out to be extremely reliable.


The mantel was immersed in a bucket of liquid sand, after which it was necessary to make a shot. Only the Makarov pistol withstood such a test, remaining capable of firing after such a bath.


The result of the tests was the acceptance in 1951 of the sample for service under the index PM – Makarov pistol. From the first days of serial production to the present day, the weapon has not undergone any significant upgrades, remaining the main personal weapon of SA officers and law enforcement agencies. The design of the PM was based on the scheme of the German Walther pistol of 1927, which was well-tested in combat conditions. The weapon was produced in Izhevsk at the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant state-owned enterprise. Numerous modifications of the PM have been created on the basis of the Makarov pistol, including gas, pneumatic and starter pistols. The models differ in functionality and scope of application. Makarov continues to be in service with army structures and law enforcement services today. PM air pistols are an excellent training option for sports shooting and entertainment.

This weapon is characterized by a high degree of reliability and ease of operation. However, the PM is not without its drawbacks, which are characteristic of almost all pistols of the same class. This is a short range of effective fire and insufficient shooting accuracy. Compensates for these design flaws small dimensions and unpretentiousness of the gun. The weapon is capable of firing in difficult climatic conditions, with a high degree of wear of moving parts.

The Makarov pistol was produced not only in the Soviet Union and in Russia. Weapons were manufactured under license at factories in Bulgaria, East Germany and China. Hungary and Poland have developed their own modification of the pistol based on the PM, for a 9×18 mm combat cartridge.

In the current conditions, the Makarov pistol is produced in sports and training replicas. Pneumatic models are of particular interest, among which weapons of the Taiwanese company SAS, KWC and German Umarex should be highlighted. The MP-654K pneumatic pistol of Izhevsk gunsmiths is not inferior to foreign models.

The pneumatic pistol from SAS company is an exact copy of the Makarov pistol

The Taiwanese company SAS has recently presented a fairly good and impressive model range on the market of sports and training weapons. The Taiwanese developers did not ignore the Makarov pistol, popular in the CIS countries, by creating an exact pneumatic copy of it.

The Makarov SAS model is an exact replica of a combat weapon, in which the warhead is represented by a pneumatic mechanism. Externally, the gun is difficult to distinguish from its famous prototype, created back in the 50s of the last century. The only difference between pneumatics and combat modification is the presence of a fixed shutter.


A movable shutter is installed on the modification of the SAS Makarov Blowback pistol, which is triggered when fired.


The pneumatic version of the PM has proven itself to be an excellent training weapon. Often, a pneumatic PM from SAS is used to simulate a combat weapon during military reconstructions and during filming.

The model is distinguished by the design of the firing mechanism, which has a double action. As a result of this innovation, the fire from the Makarov air pistol is conducted only in self-cocking mode. The weapon is protected from accidental shots by a mechanical safety of the flag type, actuated by a finger of the hand. The body of the pistol is made of a durable alloy, while the handle of the gun is made of durable plastic. On the body of the weapon there is a rear sight and a front sight, exactly repeating the sighting devices of the original. The Makarov SAS pistol is equipped with a non-rifled barrel made of steel. Thanks to a successful combination of metal and plastic parts, the gun turned out to be quite weighty. The weight of the weapon is 789 g. which is slightly less than the weight of the PM combat pistol.  The main parameters of the weapon are length 188 mm, width 89 mm.


The weight of the PM combat pistol in curb condition is 810 g .


Makarov air pistol from the Taiwanese brand SAS shoots metal balls. The caliber is 4.4 mm. In the handle there is a magazine containing 18 shells and a gas cylinder. The combat action is carried out by using the energy of compressed CO2. The gas canister weighs 12 g and is designed for 80 shots. The energy of the shot is 2.5 J, at a ball flight speed of 130 m / s.


It should be remembered that at the first shots with a new gas cylinder, the maximum muzzle energy is achieved. The gas pressure is 6 atm. The last shots are already being fired at almost 50-75% of the initial power.


For a detailed review, as well as comparisons of “PMS” from different manufacturers, read the second part of our article.  

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