At its core, the Type 59 retains the same blowback action as the Makarov and is chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge feeding from an 8-round, spring-loaded detachable box magazine inserted into the pistol grip. The frame is smooth and sleek as in the Makarov and displays the requisite ribbed slide grip area and iron front and rear sights (front blade, adjustable rear notch). The trigger is well-curved forward and enclosed in a thin protective ring integrated into the gun's design. Various levers are all within easy reach of the primary hand's thumb while the slide recoils in the usual fashion and manages the slightly-exposed hammer at the rear. Spent shell casings are ejected through a port along the right side of the slide in the usual way. A patterned grip ensures a firm hand hold.
Muzzle velocity is listed at 1,030 feet per second with an effective range out to 50 meters. As a semi-automatic pistol, the weapon can be fired with a single trigger pull once cocked by a pull of the slide (therefore introducing a fresh cartridge into the firing chamber), the subsequent firing action then ejecting any spent shell casings and stripping a fresh cartridge from the awaiting magazine in conventional fashion (this action recognized as "Double-Action").
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