A down and dirty quick review of the FEG PA63, the poor mans short sword

“Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.” Sun Tsu

Carrying a backup weapon to supplement your primary carry and training in the use of all weapons carried allows an individual to be better prepared. The old saying is expect the unexpected. My iteration of that saying is simple, train in the basics until they become second nature. By doing this you are better able to adapt to the unexpected and triumph regardless the scenario.

Feg pa63 left with clip

Feg pa63 left with clip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the backup weapons I have chosen is the FEG pa63, used by some militaries in Europe the 9×18 caliber is considered anemic by those who believe only something beginning with 4 and ending with 5 can possibly work. Given that most individuals who have real experience behind a gun rely on accuracy over size squashes the false idea that this is an anemic round. It is a handgun round fired from an extremely accurate, superbly reliable, relatively inexpensive firearm.

Until you get into cannon shells there is no real stopping power in firearms. And since I am unaware of an easily carried 20mm handgun or carbine I will rely on my ability to accurately and reliably put rounds where I desire them to go for defense of self and loved ones. This particular firearm can be had for between 150 and 300 usd normally. Its performance should place it in a much higher category except for the easily remedied issues people tend to have with it. Built from an aluminum titanium mix the frame is exceedingly light, this allows for increased recoil. Taking a file to the back edges of the slide terminates any chance of damage to the web of the hand when firing.

English: Walther PPK-E

English: Walther PPK-E (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In double action it is a bear as it is made, however, this can be reduced by placing a lighter spring purchased from Wolf springs into it. Also the recoil can be reduced by replacing the recoil spring with a substantially increased weight one. While this will increase the strength needed to rack the slide, if you do that properly it shouldnt matter any how. A simple dab of white or red paint on the front sight will allow for better sight acquisition though, without it you can easily point shoot at up to 15 yards effectively. There is a great show and tell regarding the quick fixes to make this a sweet shooter as well as accurate, reliable and functional. It can be found by following this link on improving the FEG pa63.

Some individuals have replaced the sights and I could likely do this, however, it is a backup not a primary. As a result I am not as interested in the sights as I am in the reliability and inherent accuracy. This is where solid training comes into play. Learn where your natural point of aim is in the various positions you may find yourself and acclimate yourself to the handguns you use. If you do this correctly you will easily be able to put rounds on target where you want them regardless of how well you see the sights. I have watched master class shooters lose a front sight and still win competitive shoots.

Fingers should not be in front of guard

Fingers should not be in front of guard

Regardless I would highly recommend the FEG pa63 as a concealed weapon for anyone with the springs and filed back corners of the frame being accomplished. I do not hesitate to stick it in my belt or pocket and will continue to do so as long as I can stand. Given the relatively inexpensive nature of this firearm I would also recommend purchasing two or even three. You never know when you may need to arm a friend, and these basically shoot themselves.

For women or men who desire safeties they have an external safety and decocker. If you are not sure of your abilities with a firearm leave it on and practice with the firearm safely cleared until you are confident in your abilities to draw, release the safety and proceed with placing rounds where they belong. Always of course utilize the proper double hand grip, DO NOT tea cup this firearm, it will only hurt your accuracy. I placed grip tape on the handles and front of the grip as well as taking a file to the back strap which has made the firearm much more easily gripped with sweaty or even bloody hands. Of course the grip itself is sized well to fit even smaller hands with my wife mentioning more then once her appreciation for fit.

Purchase spare magazines and use full metal jacket ammunition. Sure you will lose the potential for expansion but you gain penetration and with accurate placement will still cause blood loss necessary to put a target down. It operates on a blowback principle which allows for superb reliability, but increased recoil. This is easily fixed as mentioned above.

Proper grip, all fingers under trigger guard wrapped firmly around strong hand.

Proper grip, all fingers under trigger guard wrapped firmly around strong hand.

The round itself is slightly more powerful then a .380 but less so then a 9×19 luger. It will easily penetrate several layers of clothing and flesh and bone at any of the real distances you may find yourself in. At 3-25 yards I am able to place all shots within a 3 inch circle and can do so with speed and accuracy. While it only carries 7 rounds, this makes it more desirable for those who currently reside in communist states or countries such as New York or California.

If you do end up purchasing a couple and need additional assistance locating ammunition or parts let me know or google it. This has been an abbreviated review of the FEG pa63 handgun, a handgun that was meant to mimic the vaunted Walther PPK an overpriced version of this wonderful little handgun. The only real drawbacks I have had to deal with is the lack of a flashlight rail, however, I am working on that and while I have and continue to train with the various holds with a flashlight I hope to someday come up with something that will work decently for this piece. If you want something chambered in .380 that has similar reliability and accuracy, the Bersa Thunder is a great choice as well.

Keep it clean with the solid cleaning kit shipped right to your door…worth the price, and make sure to grab a thirty day Amazon membership for free, check the link in the side bar!

Hoppe’s Universal Gun Cleaning Accessory Kit

Thanks for reading.

Free the mind and the body will follow.


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, jessetalksback.com and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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19 Responses to A down and dirty quick review of the FEG PA63, the poor mans short sword

  1. Tim says:

    One item of note, when I used to shoot mine a lot, most of the ammo available was Russian-made. Reliable, but filthy dirty. After about 100 rounds, the firing pin would get clogged up and I’d get misfires. Important to keep the firing pin/spring clean as a whistle if you are going to use it for CC.


  2. Pingback: F.E.G. pa63 handgun in 9×18: A review | Individuals Talking Back

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  11. The ability to feed it .380 if necessary is also a factor. I’ve seen it done and it works.


    • lwk2431 says:

      “The ability to feed it .380 if necessary is also a factor. I’ve seen it done and it works.”

      A lot of things “work,” but don’t necessarily work well. 🙂


      9×18 Makarov
      Bullet diameter 9.27 mm (0.365 in)
      Case length 18.10 mm (0.713 in)

      380 ACP
      Bullet diameter .355 in (9.0 mm)
      Case length .680 in (17.3 mm)

      Both cartridges headspace off the rim of the case in front. Note how the 380 is nominally 0.033 inch shorter. That is not an insignificant difference. As a general rule I prefer a firing pin protrusion in excess of 0.025 for reliable ignition and cartridges and guns are all built with tolerances. Get a Makarov with loose headspace and a 380 cartridge at minimum specs and you may not get ignition.

      Also note the bullet diameter on the 380 is 0.010 smaller so the bullet may not get a very good purchase on the rifling (and therefore not be very accurate).

      I am not sure this is a particularly good reason to buy a Makarov (because 380 ACP may fire in it). I wouldn’t want to do that in a self defense situation unless I was desperate and had not other option. But the Makarov still has great qualities as mentioned before. Cheap and cheap ammo (which means you can afford to practice and practice is what may give you enough skill to save your life). 🙂




      • While I would never counsel anyone to fire ammunition that is not made for a firearm from it, I will say that is a fringe benefit that could save your life.

        Regardless, 9×18 mak is easily obtainable currently. Which is nice, again I suggest using ball in the smaller then 9mm rounds simply because penetration may be an issue, and expansion. I have found expansion is generally not better then 45% of the rounds fired, and have not gotten ahold of any Hornady or Speer yet so…in Brown Bear and Silver Bear it is simply more reliable with ball and placing rounds where they belong does the job.


      • lwk2431 says:

        jessemathewson wrote:

        “I suggest using ball in the smaller then 9mm rounds simply because penetration may be an issue…”

        I think that is excellent advice! I would trust good accurate shooting to the right spot over hopes of extreme expansion. I have friend who carries ball ammo in winter when people might be wearing thicker, heavier clothing, and hollow point in summer lighter, thinner clothing (especially in Texas!) is more the style. He uses 9mm Luger.




  12. lwk2431 says:

    “This particular firearm can be had for between 150 and 300 usd normally”

    For that price it is not a bad choice. The Russian designed 9×18 Makarov is somewhere between a 9mm Luger (9×19) and the .380 ACP. As far as I know the ammo is relatively inexpensive, at least as long as imports are available.

    Something with a laser solves a lot of problems, especially in poor light. But that drives up the price considerably. I currently use a S&W 642 in 38 Special with a Crimson Trace laser. Could have bought two or three of the FEGs I guess for what I paid for the S&W.



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