Top Left: Makarov type, Hungarian PA-63 Top right: Sig Sauer P232 .380 ACP Bottom Left: Bersa Thunder 380
Here ere the guns that I used to own and obviously hated to shoot (Mararov) , or couldn’t stand malfunctions. They were all very beautiful. (Sig P233, the most) They all either extremely picky in their diets, or attempted to jump out of your hand, several of them both.
When I say extremely picky, i mean they jammed, stove-piped, failed to eject, or jailed to feed, or double fed, some all of the above. When I say tried to jump out of your hand, i mean kicked like a mule. The one thing they all had in common was that they were blow-back operated.
Blow-back is fixed barrel design using the powder blow-back to cock the gun, extract the empty and load the new cartridge.
The first gun I bought was a Bersa Thunder 380. Very pretty. However, It would not shoot ANY ammo brand consistently. It had a heavy muzzle flip and a hearty kick. If it doesn’t work all the time, every time, I don’t want it, no matter how pretty it is. Since then I have learned that shooting ranges that rent guns will not carry the Bersa, because they break. It takes a 300 Lb. gorilla to rack the slide on it.
The second gun was the Sig Sauer P232, 380 ACP. Extremely pretty, and the most expensive, but you could not trust it. It was well balanced in the hand, but very hard to rack. I tried several different weight recoil springs, all to no avail. It worked and kicked much like the first. It is gone! I often wish I had kept it because it was a collectable, but it would have been locked away. Not fun to shoot. It also takes a 250 Lb gorilla to rack the slide. Believe me, James Bond did NOT carry this gun. Bond could have done the accurate shooting with a Walther PPS or PPQ, not the PPK. (PPK, Pure Fiction)
The third was the Hungarian made FEG PA-63 (Russian Makarov Knock-off) 9 X 18. I could hardly shoot one magazine before it hurt my hand. (The nastiest shooting gun I have ever tried to shoot.) The ammo is commonly called Makarov ammo. It also seems louder than the 9mm. It will not fit anything else! Not as pretty as the first two, smaller, and heavier, (the weight should make it shoot better.) . It looked more like the Walther PPK that James Bond carried. (Probably why I bought it in the first place) AND It was cheap. I took it to a gun show to sell it and sold it in the lobby on the way in for what I gave for it, $200. I also tried several recoil springs in this gun as well, to no avail. It takes a 400 Lb. gorilla to rack it. I bought a racking device to help save my hands.
Dubious Mention: I have one more gun that I carry, and plan to keep unless I give it to a family member, or sell, which ever comes first. It is NOT fun to shoot, but it is a device for personal protection. It is a .380 ACP as well. It is NOT a blow-back, but a locked breech gun. It is so small that I can carry it in my pants pocket with or without a holster. When fired, It tries to jump out of your hand – muzzle flip is so strong. It is the Ruger LCP, the original, black, light weight, too light to be stable in the hand. It eats most everything I have fed it. it is good protection. Note: It also takes a 250 Lb. gorilla to rack it. It rates Dubious Mention because of the “Love – Hate” relationship I have with it. Love to carry it! Hate to shoot it! 380 ACP 95 grain ammo now travels at nearly the speed of a 115 grain 9mm. (1080 FPS vs 1200 FPS) More expensive than 9mm. Except for my EDC (Every Day Carry) (Concealed Carry) guns I am moving to the 9mm to save on Ammo. I have a new IWB (inside the Waist Band) holster from Alien Gear. I will try to report on it soon.