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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the Range Wednesday, a little 9x18 comparo: Police vs. Mak. I took two of my Police-chambered pistols: SIG P230 and Walther PP Super; and two of my Makarov-chambered pistols: CZ vz82 and Bulgarian PM (sporting a FAB grip and a grip sleeve). All guns are in their original unaltered internal configurations.



Ammo was Fiocchi 9x18 Police 100gr FMJTC, and Silver Bear 9x18 Makarov 94gr FMJ. Both have roughly the same performance numbers.

My overall ranking was PP Super first because of overall ergonomics and sights with the SIG a close second because of its exquisite trigger, DA and SA. Bulgie was third with decent ergonomics but with the heaviest trigger of the group. The vz82 was dead last with a painful trigger and no decocker. I think the 82’s trigger is too short and my finger pad slipped down over the bottom edge in SA and the recoil actually hurt my finger; some sort of shoe attachment might alleviate it. Now possibly in its defense the unheated indoor range was not much warmer than the 25° F outside temperature but even when wearing shooting gloves I found the trigger very uncomfortable.

Felt recoil differences were negligible between the four pistols.
 

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Great review ! I really enjoy reading comparisons like this. Too bad about the CZ. I've got a vz82 and CZ 83 myself and have found their trigger shapes to be perfect for my finger. Now I just need to get a Sig P230.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great review ! I really enjoy reading comparisons like this. Too bad about the CZ. I've got a vz82 and CZ 83 myself and have found their trigger shapes to be perfect for my finger. Now I just need to get a Sig P230.
Thanks. There are plenty of P230 and P232 models in .380. But 9x18, not so much. I also have a 7.5mm P230 which is also a dream to shoot.
 

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Yeah, that P230 has a nice trigger, and visually is an elegant shape. The felt recoil, for me, is a bit less with the Super because of more mass to the pistol. I have never handled or shot a Makarov, but I do like the appearance of some of those designs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, that P230 has a nice trigger, and visually is an elegant shape. The felt recoil, for me, is a bit less with the Super because of more mass to the pistol. I have never handled or shot a Makarov, but I do like the appearance of some of those designs.
I think the other advantage of the Super is the grip size and shape. It is obviously the ancestor of the P99 and PPQ. And if I lightened up the hammer spring a bit it could approach the SIG, which has the best DA trigger of any gun I’ve ever owned.

The Mak handles about the same as the P230, the FAB aftermarket grip makes a difference. But the DA pull is typical Combloc military.
 

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A buddy has been on a Mak jag lately, and Shooting News had a cover story of a neutered Com-bloc subgun, transformed to a 'pistol' for domestic sales. It's in 9mm Mak as well.
I had a P230 in .380 and always thot' it as snappy as its Walther cousin, and since made it go away. Geezer, got one of the P230 Japaneses police overruns in .32, and you're right, they're sweethearts. Happily, its an easy round to reload.
Moon
 

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I never cease to be amazed at how overlooked the PP Super is esp. now that the ammo is readily available.

Walked away from the only one I've seen locally, 25 years ago, for precisely that reason.

Moon
 

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I never cease to be amazed at how overlooked the PP Super is esp. now that the ammo is readily available.
It does not surprise me at all. The PP Super is a very well built pistol and that quality carries over into accuracy, it even has has adjustable sights. Yet the ammo is still not really readily available locally and will be more expensive than the ballistically comparable 9mm Makarov. The Makarov pistol has one round more in the magazine and the guns are still available for much less money. I used to have an East German Makarov when they were surplussed in the early 1990s that was well made and had a better trigger than the other COMBLOC guns.

Let's be honest, few people are able to discern accuracy and quality levels in guns beyond the exterior finish and buying decisions are too often based on info gleaned from the internet. The 9mm Ultra/ 9mm Police still has the rep of not being available and reloading data is sketchy at best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My East German and Soviet Maks are a little easier to shoot than the Bulgie but still have heavy triggers. I use the Bulgie more at the range because it’s the least valuable. 9mm Police ammo isn’t rare, but at 35¢-40¢ a round it isn’t nearly as cheap as Mak at 17¢-20¢. The four production models of 9mm Police pistols are relatively rare and exotic, and that’s their appeal to me along with the fact that Walther and SIG Sauer make world-class pistols.
 

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While I have a reasonably wide sampling of blowback-operated handguns in the "pocket pistol" class, my acquisition of them was more for educational, historic (and purely incidental) reasons than for serious use.

After many decades of shooting them, my conclusion is that blowback arms are the best choice in only two applications:

1) pistols in .22 rimfire, and
2) submachine guns

To be comfortable enough to shoot, a .380 blowback pistol needs to be heavy enough that one might as well substitute a 9mm Para locked-breech arm. Even in .32 the power-to-weight ratio makes it more a plaything than anything else.

With a few odd exceptions --notably the Astra 600-- blowback operation in 9mm Para and other centerfire pistol calibers in that class requires so much inertial mass that it's practical only in a shoulder weapon.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My conclusion about .32 ammo is the new higher pressure rounds from Buffalo Bore and Lehigh Defense make it viable for personal defense if the gun is up to the task of handling the pressure. The Kel-Tec P-32 is one such gun because of its locked breech design. This is what I now carry as my EDC.

My opinion, not endorsed by many, I’m sure, is a PD gun does not need to be and probably should not be equivalent to one that would be used by military or police because the desired result from using it is different. I do not want to kill or apprehend an attacker, all I want to do is deter or deflect an attack, to survive the encounter.
 

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While I still prefer a .380 for carry, and even have some prospects of moving up to the new 9mm Sig, Gonzo's point is well taken.
As civilians, we don't have to go looking for trouble, and if our defensive gun let's us beat a safe retreat, so much the better.
Too, the first rule of gunfighting is 'have a gun', and a badass .45 back in the safe isn't much use when trouble finds you elsewhere.
Moon
 
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After a turbulent time in Haiti, I came to the conclusion that I wanted firepower. I had seen too many people with multiple gun shot wounds (including several COM hits ) still walking around.

When it comes to carry guns, I also need a gun of a certain size to fit my hand and allow me to shoot it accurately, fast and with absolute confidence that the gun will allow to reflect my skill level and not hold me back. The grip has to also be big enough to allow me to positively and rapidly get a good grip on the gun.

I love revolvers but some incidents during that time made me switch to Glocks, either a 19 or a 17. I still carry a Glock 19 in the cooler months.
 
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