Bob Dunlap is a renowned expert on most of todays and yesterdays important and obscure firearms. He has been a warranty station for most manufacturers, both large and small. His understanding of the design, function, and repair of firearms in general is unsurpassed, and his appreciation of European and exotic arms is legendary among his students. The Makarov was an extremely successful Soviet Bloc service pistol, and its 9×18 cartridge is an amazingly entertaining jackrabbit motivator. These particular guns have been imported to the U. S. in big numbers since the collapse of the Evil Empire and this course is designed to help all of you owners who love the gun, but are a little mystified about its workings. In typical AGI fashion, we use a cut-away gun that allows you to see how the various parts work and interact.

If you want the quick course on how to get this Russian semi-auto pistol apart, back together, and operating as intended, then this course is for you (if you want the “long course,” look into our basic 108 hour Professional Gunsmith Course.)

Among the items covered are:


  • Pistol was designed by Nikolai Makarov in the late 40s and became the Russian service weapon from 1951 thru 1991
  • Most of the guns were made in China, Russia, and east Germany, with quality in the same order, lowest to highest
  • 9×18 (.355 cal) cartridge is actually 9.25 mm (.366 cal) and thus could not be used in NATO weapons
  • Gun is a good value, and currently it is also relatively cheap on the surplus market
  • Was designed to have few parts, hard to lose parts, and easy to disassemble
  • Pistol is a conventional double action, straight blow back operated pistol
  • Bears a strong resemblance to the Walther PP/PPK, both physically and in some of its design features

Design & Function

  • Straight blow back operation demonstrated and defined
  • Ejection and extraction for blow back systems explained and demonstrated. Why extractors in these guns  do not really extract
  • How the typical probability of East Bloc cartridge case failure in their firearms is considered in the design of the extractor
  • Slide face is fully enclosed and the case head is surrounded by steel so that it cannot fall off the extractor, making ejection very reliable
  • The barrel ramp ends slightly above the magazine box, making stub jams likely with anything other than pointed military ball ammo. It needs to be lowered somewhat to reliably feed other types of ammo
  • Demonstration and explanation of the slide stop operation
  • Fire control system operation, both double and single action
  • Interesting grip screw retention shown, it is on Russian and Chinese guns
  • Fire control system removed and its intricacies shown and explained
  • The disconnect system, how the slide configuration cams the trigger bar out of engagement
  • Hammer rebound and safety operation shown, and the four things that the safety does and how it does it
  • The trigger guard, what else it does and how it does it


  • Extensive disassembly, and instructions on how to take apart those parts/assemblies not disassembled
  • Explanation of why the guns have different rear sights and grips, Clinton era points system. Rear sight removal from Russian gun
  • Field stripping the gun
  • Slide and recoil spring removal
  • Slide stop removal
  • Grip removal
  • Mainspring removal
  • Slide stop, sear, and hammer removal
  • Trigger and trigger guard removal
  • Barrel removal and disassembly demonstrated
  • Slide disassembly
  • Slide disassembly continues with the extractor and firing pin blocking safety
  • Magazine disassembly explained and shown
  • You get a good look at how the various parts fit together and interact (particularly the springs) after they are removed from the gun and Bob splains things

Cleaning & Lubrication

  • AGI cleaning & lubrication methods shown, along with the reasons for their use
  • After cleaning, dry with air gun, or in the oven on Warm ~185-200 degrees (metal parts ONLY)
  • Lubing the Bob way, and what kind he likes


  • Barrel cleaning
  • Sear assembly
  • Slide stop
  • Extractor rules


  • Pins, slave and tapered, hook, punches, etc. Helpful tools that may be required to help you get a gun back together easier
  • Slide reassembly; extractor, safety, firing pin
  • Barrel reassembly
  • Trigger, trigger bar, and trigger guard reassembly
  • Hammer, sear, and slide stop reassembly
  • Mainspring reassembly
  • Trigger action problem areas shown and the corrections explained
  • Grip replacement and final assembly
  • Magazine reassembly and testing
  • Feeding and firing cycle shown and explained
  • Final thoughts


  • Spare parts to keep on hand
  • .380 ACP barrel
  • Extended magazine release
  • Summary

If you noticed how often the terms explanation and demonstration are used, you may be getting some idea of why this course is necessary for any Makarov owner, or someone who intends to be.

Weight0.25 lbs
Dimensions7.56 × 5.44 × 0.63 in


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