The Makarov pistol or PM (Pistolet Makarova, literally Makarov's Pistol) is a Russian semi-automatic pistol. It was the standard-issue handgun equipped to Soviet Russian forces, designed along the lines of the Walther PP, and shares a similar design. The Makarov is produced in Russia (Iszmash or Baikal), East Germany (Ernst Thaelman Factory), China (Norinco), and Bulgaria (State Arsenals), with varying quality. Most modern-era Makarov pistols are from Bulgaria.
The Makarov, being designed after the German Walther PP (a small pistol originally intended for police use), represents a different approach to a military service pistol from the traditional path taken by the likes of contemporary American and European counterparts (or Tokarev TT-33, predecessor to the PM). Still, it is every bit as durable and tough while also being simple to manufacture and easy to maintain- no more than a minute and no special tool is required for field-stripping or reassembly. Its main drawbacks are that its 9x18mm Makarov cartridge is weak compared to NATO's standard 9mm pistol ammunition, and the weapon itself carries only 8 cartridges per magazine. The PMM (Pistolet Makarovka Modified) is a newer version developed in the late 1980s to accept a 12-round magazine and the higher-powered 9x18mm PMM cartridge. This was partly to improve the pistol's ability as a backup weapon in close combat as well as its use by Russian police forces and the KGB.
Despite this, the Makarov is ultimately more suitable as a concealed carry weapon for personnel that are not expected to use firearms on a very frequent basis (such as officers and vehicle/aircraft pilots, who might find full-sized pistols cumbersome), and the post-communist Russian army has since begun to adopt a version of the NATO 9x19mm round for their own use. Diehards in the Russian military, however, have stuck to their Makarovs, much like the .45 ACP fans in the U.S. military have. The rest of the Spetsnaz carry it as well.
In 1964, Major Ocelot carried a Makarov, until Naked Snake bested him in combat and commented that his style would be better suited for a revolver, since he twisted his elbow to absorb recoil from the gun. A week later, Ocelot dumped his Makarov for his signature Single Action Army Revolvers. However, he kept the incriminating Makarov bullet, it was the result of a gun jam from when Ocelot attempted to shoot Snake via a Middle Eastern technique, and modified it with a specialized ring attachment so the 9mm bullet would fit inside of the SAA easily with the intention of using it against Naked Snake the next time he encountered him.
Within Groznyj Grad, Major Raikov also carried a Makarov and Colonel Volgin used a Makarov to shoot Nikolai Stephanovich Sokolov's knees. Snake later briefly disarmed Volgin of his Makarov via CQC and held him up with it, but was unable to use it due to himself ending up disarmed by The Boss, who later disarmed Volgin again when he attempted to seize the opportunity to kill Snake with it. Additionally, the pistol was used by attack teams who use them in conjunction with a bullet-proof shield. EVA also kept a PMM next to her at all times, and also considered killing Snake with it as part of her mission, but eventually decided against it due to her promising The Boss not to do so.
In 1967, the Soviet military developed a modified version of the Makarov pistol for Spetsnaz forces known as the PB and 6P9 in official stances, as well as a nickname within the Soviet military, respectively. The PB (Pistolet Besshumnji, literally Silenced Pistol) included a suppressor that could be screwed on.
- Main article: Peace Walker Incident
In 1974, the Militaires Sans Frontières managed to procure design specs for the Makarov pistol at Catarata de la Muerte while fighting off "Kidnappers." It was also Vladimir Aleksandrovich Zadornov's weapon of choice in forcing Paz Ortega Andrade to use it to shoot Hot Coldman. After Paz refused to shoot Coldman, Zadornov sadistically shot Coldman himself. Zadornov then prepared to use the gun to execute Big Boss (Naked Snake), but was prevented from doing so by Amanda Valenciano Libre and her Sandinistas. Design specs for the PB/6P9 variant, which included a non-degradable suppressor, were later procured after capturing Zadornov during his sixth escape attempt from the MSF's custody. Zadornov later attempted to use his Makarov to gun down Big Boss at the Mother Base's firing range, but missed and was shot by Big Boss in self-defense before he could fire another round.
In both 2007 and 2009, the pistol was used by attack teams of the Gurlukovich Mercenaries, who were also equipped with ballistic shields. The Makarov was used as these shields limited their users to one free hand, and if the shield was destroyed they would switch to their assault rifles. Sergei Gurlukovich used his Makarov to hold Scott Dolph hostage at gunpoint, before being betrayed by his supposed ally Revolver Ocelot, who killed them both with his SAA revolver.
Behind the scenes
The Makarov was a recurring weapon in the Metal Gear series. However, it was not a usable weapon for the player until Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence's Online Mode, and even then, only by Major Raikov. Although it was not actually usable in the regular game, it was briefly in Naked Snake's possession when disarming Volgin, although he didn't get a chance to use it before The Boss disarmed him.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
In Metal Gear Solid 4, the PMM is obtained by buying it from Drebin or by forcing the Paradise Lost Army member to draw his gun, tranquilizing him, then taking his weapon for the player's own use, in Act 3. The latter method requires extreme measures to make him draw his Makarov as a last resort, usually by breaking cover in his line of sight. He will only draw the weapon when he feels threatened and there are no PMC soldiers in the area, even when he disguises himself as one.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
- "The primary automatic pistol of the Soviet military and other Warsaw Pact forces. The gun itself is extremely lightweight, and the ammo, while medium in caliber, is more than powerful enough in practice.
The PM is easy to handle and allows the user to move feely, reducing the risk of alerting the enemy. A good weapon for a sneaking mission."
- ―PM weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
- "A variation on the PM with a built-in suppressor, meaning the suppression effect never wears off.
The PB's shots are just as powerful as the PM's with less risk of being heard, making this an even better weapon for a sneaking mission."
- ―PB/6P9 weapon description in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
Although most first stage weapons require the completion of the Main Ops first to unlock blueprints for a first stage weapon, and then require the completion of the Extra Ops to unlock blueprints for additional add-ons, the PM/PB6P9 is the only set of weapons that require the completion of an Extra Ops mission to unlock the blueprints for the first stage, and then a Main Ops mission to unlock the additional add-on.
Notes and references
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