A review: Polish Radom P-64 surplus 9×18 makarov pistol

Every once and awhile something comes along that makes me very happy. This time around is the P-64 pistol. It is a pocket rocket with a kick, slightly more powerful than .380 acp and a little less than 9×19 the 9×18 round is a fun round to shoot. In a great little firearm it is an amazing self defense tool.

As most know I prefer my Glocks for self defense purposes, specifically the glock 19 which I have found is the best all around firearm out there for self defense whether you are in the woods or an urban setting. However, the Glock 19 has its limitations, for instance it is rather bulky and is not always easily concealed given the situation and clothing included. As a result I have taken to carrying a few different eastern bloc firearms when the role is not optimal for the Glock. I have and carry the FEG pa63, CZ 82 and now the P-64 as well.

Some of you may ask why I would carry the P-64 or any 9×18 handgun. For myself it is a matter of testing, ballistic ability and need to adapt my tool chest to the situation at hand. The 9×18 makarov is a very fun round, and there are currently two solid self defense rounds available for it. While some of you are going to ask what about buffalo bore ammunition, I will say, be careful, after all if it is a surplus weapon carrying a +p rated round in it without testing could cause issues. Due to costs I have not tested the buffalo bore round thoroughly.

The first round is the Hornady XTP in 95 grain, this is what I carry in all of my 9×18 mak handguns. However, I must say I am a bit upset with Hornady as I recently had a partial squib from this particular round. Now, this is the first issue I have had in a little over 1500 rounds of this brand fired. However, one is simply too many when you are talking about spending close to a dollar a round. The second round is the PPU 95 grain JHP, I am very much in love with PPU ammunition, having yet to see any failures mechanically in over 2000 fired. However, it is not a consistent expander, in some cases acting like a FMJ round instead. The benefit of this round is that while expansion is nice, in this caliber it is not all that counts, the price alone allows for easy stocking and painless shooting.

Originally the factory specs for this handgun proved uncomfortable at best to shoot. It has an extremely stiff DA (double action) and the SA (single action) is not much better. Recoil is sharp and difficult to manage given the size of the handgun. However, this is easily fixed. A simple visit to wolf springs and under $20 later and your handgun will function better than many $600+ handguns in the same size. Its sights are crap, typical eastern bloc handgun sights, tiny, hard to pick up and even harder to use. This is fixed by using Birchwood Casey sight pens and a tiny pin drop of epoxy. After replacing the recoil spring with one around two lbs heavier and the trigger spring with one 2-4 lbs lighter it is now very fun to shoot, or as fun as a micro handgun can be for someone with large mitts like myself.

As for reliability, I have yet to have a gun related issue. This is after shooting right at 500 rounds of a mixture of ammunition through the handgun pictured. I spent approximately $35 apiece for two additional magazines giving me a total of four magazines for this handgun. It shoots to point of aim +/- 2”s from 0 through 50 yards. I have a ten yard group, (shown) for your viewing pleasure, it was shot standing with a firm two handed grip in measured aimed fire.

I can honestly say that this handgun is well worth the $200 it is going for at this time. In fact, I would suggest buying two or three now as the future of this handgun is to see prices become vastly inflated especially considering the next election cycle and the scared buying storm that will ensue in the month prior too and after it has been completed. The ammo is readily available as well at this time, though again you may want to jump on it rather quickly as it is likely to see yet more availability issues soon.

Do you own one of these? If so what are your thoughts?

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Free the mind and the body will follow

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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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4 Responses to A review: Polish Radom P-64 surplus 9×18 makarov pistol

  1. ed says:

    Great Write up.
    I am a Fan and CCW the P64 i’ve have made all the same modifications with exception of front site mod (just used pearl white finger nail polish) own a CZ 82. And think the 9×18 mak is hot little round.
    I’ve purchased quite a few holsters the best fit for me is a PPK single clip leather strapless pouch IWB on the hip or a PPK crossbreed horse leather IWB.
    My range and carry ammo are the silver bear 95gr jhp.
    You tend to get a lot of attention while at the range with people asking about model and caliber.
    It’s violent little package and maybe not for people whom are recoil sensitive


  2. Which is why it is relagated to backup only status for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jeffreycanthony says:

    I’ve had one for probably 5 years now, and I do like it, with one exception… The magazine release and I just do not get along. It’s good stuff outside of that for me.


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