The Makarov Pistol entered service as the primary service pistol in the armed forces and security services of the Soviet Union in 1951. It continues to serve in the forces of the Russian Federation, and the former Soviet Union, and of nations around the world. It has been estimated that some 5 million Makarov pistols had been produced in the Soviet Union and Russian Federation alone up 2002, and production continues for military, police and civil markets in Russia to this day. Additionally, the Makarov Pistol was also produced under license in East Germany, Bulgaria and China. The Makarov Pistol has served around the world in conflicts and security duties in all climates and terrains, and can claim the distinction of being the first firearm to be carried into space. Despite the large numbers and the widespread use of the Makarov Pistol, it remained a rare and little known firearm among western collectors until the end of the Cold War. In the 1990s however, large numbers of Makarov Pistols, accessories and its previously unobtainable 9x18mm cartridge were exported to the west with the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, opening up a new field of firearms collecting. While collectors have been documenting and recording the many aspects of the Makarov Pistol over the last 25 years, this information has never been systematically consolidated into a handy reference book - until now. This book documents the Makarov Pistols produced by the Soviet Union and Russian Federation, and the Pistole M, the version produced in East Germany. This is the first volume of a two volume series documenting the history, features, manufacturing variations and markings of the Makarov Pistol, its accessories, documentation and other collectibles available to the collector. This is a book by collectors, for collectors, and it is the first comprehensive collector’s review of the Makarov Pistol.
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