Sunday, July 10, 2011

Radom - Polish for Good Gun

I just acquired a Radom P-64 pistol in 9x18 Makarov.

Designed by the storied Łucznik Arms Factory factory in Radom, commonly known to non-Poles as Radom for pronounciation reasons. The pistol was developed by the design team of W. Czepukajtis, R. Zimny, H. Adamczyk, M. Adamczyk, S. Kaczmarski and J. Pyzel.

The pistol is reminiscent of a Walther PPK in size and take-down procedure and holds 6 rounds in the magazine. It is a double action, blow-back design. The magazine release is located on the butt of the pistol and there is no external slide release. Like the PPK, on the last shot the magazine raises the internal slide catch to hold the slide open.

Adopted in 1965 as the standard sidearm for the Polish army to replace the Tokarev pistol. It is an interesting choice for a military sidearm. A pistol that is small, light, and easy to conceal is typically not the specifications for a military sidearm, and it is, as far as I know, the smallest Warsaw Pact adopted as a standard issue military pistol.

The pistol came with a spare magazine, cleaning rod, and leather holster.

Interestingly, my Radom, dated 1972 (a nice coincidence as I was born in 72) does not have the triangular trigger spur that makes the P64 look so distinctive, but instead has a rounded spur that is almost completely blended into the frame. This makes it rather snag free but hampers quick cocking of the action, which is why I can see they went to a new design as the double action trigger on this pistol is hardly what anyone would characterize as light.

While the double action is a fair bit lighter than the double action on my FEG PA-63, that really isn't saying much, and it takes some significant finger pressure to get the double action shot off. It is not nearly as nice as the double action on the Bulgarian Makarov, but it was still possible to keep the shot on a silhouette target at 7 yards.

The sights on the pistol are very small, yet very usable.

The first six rounds fired at seven yards, two handed standing looked like this:

The sights were very usable and single action mode was simple with a decent trigger that was easy to use for rapid aimed shots.

Notice where the double action first shot went on a subsequent string:

Reliability was excellent- 150 rounds fired - 100 Silver Bear hollow points and 50 Brown Bear FMJ rounds. No stoppages or failures of any kind were experienced.

Recoil is not bad at all with this pistol. The P64's size, shotability and performance with hollow points it makes a great CCW firearm. The P64 easily dissappears in a pocket and between the safety and the extra-heavy double action first shot its rather secure for such a discreet carry option.

While the Kahr PM9 is a better choice for CCW as it is slightly smaller in barrel length than the P64, and fires a 9mm Luger round and has better sights and a consistent action trigger, there are positive aspects to the P64, namely cost and reliability, not to mention history.

You could buy two P64s and 1000 rounds of ammo plus a hundred or more Hornady 9x18 hollow points to carry for the price of a Kahr PM9 and still have enough left over to go out for dinner. Not everyone can afford a Kahr for CCW and the P64 will suffice with practice.

In addition. the P64 makes a fine addition to a collection of Cold War firearms and is a welcome addition to my 9x18 collection.

1 comment:

Murphy's Law said...

Way cool!

wv: copal. For when just one pal isn't enough.