Get the best BULGARIAN MAKAROV CIRCLE 10 online safety here. Bulgarian Makarov in great condition. Commercial “Circle 10” Makarov. Parkerized finish. Pistol fits together extremely tightly and is in excellent condition. No rust or thinning on the finish except for a small wear mark on the slide near the trigger guard. Comes with a holster, manual, lanyard, and two magazines, one of which is serialized to the pistol.
Where did Makarovs come from and what types are there?
To the best of our knowledge, there are only 5 countries that ever produced the Makarov:
- Russia – home of Nikolai Federovich Makarov
- East Germany – The Ernst Thaelman Factory
- Bulgaria – The Arsenal Factory and Miltex
- Germany (post-unification) – The Simson Suhl
If you think you have a Hungarian or Polish Makarov, check the other pistol page.
There are several versions of the Russian Makarov. First of all there are the true surplus guns, which are recognizable by their fixed rear sight and a lack of any non-cyrillic markings including “Made in Russia.” Second is the Baikal and Izhmech new production Makarov. These are recognizable by their rear adjustable target sight, “Made in Russia” and Baikal markings. Another variant of this is the 10-round double-stack Makarov, which was also made by Izhmech.
More recently, some of the Russian military Makarovs with fixed rear sights have snuck into the country with shipments of Bulgarian guns. You can usually spot these by the bifurcated triangle with circle marking. Some common markings of East German, Soviet, and Bulgarian Maks.
How is Izmech different from Baikal?
IMEZ stands for Izhevskii Mechanicheskii Zavod or Izhevsk Mechanical Factory located in the city of Izhevsk near the Ural Mountains. They produce the Makarov, PSM, various shotguns, airguns, artificial pacemakers for the heart, oil drilling equipment. It is a goverment, state owned enterprise, but has the right to close its own business contracts and deals without govermental interferance.
Baikal is a foreign trade organization this is similar to North China Industries (NORINCO). This was a govermental organization that was used to market Soviet goods abroad. These days Baikal is hardly active in any trade with the US, largely because of the Bill Clinton imposed “voluntary trade restrictions.” IMEZ used the grips with Baikal on it because…well, it was all they had…. Baikal also traded autos, trucks, various other consumer goods. Not only guns and ammo.
The Ernst Thaelman factory in Suhl, Thueringen made what are considered by some to be the finest pre-fall-of-the-Berlin Wall Makarovs. The finish is nice, the fit and machining is of quality you’d expect from a German shop, and they shoot like a dream. Almost all that came into this country had already seen service, so their quality varies by how they were treated by the person who carried them. Nonetheless, most have more holster wear than bore wear. They occasionally still pop up at dealers and at gun shows. If you can get them for a good price, these are the ones to buy.
Markings on them include a letter ‘y’ with a circle of dots, which some Russian folks think stands for for uchebneii or “training”. This would be strange for a German pistol, but we haven’t heard any other explanations.