FB MAG (Series)
Semi-Automatic Service / Competition Pistol
The FB MAG semi-automatic service pistol was passed on by the revamping Polish Army of the post-Soviet world and found few local and global takers as a result.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The FB Radom MAG was a military pistol product of the mid-1990s originating out of Poland. At its core it became a no-frills, highly-conventional 9mm sidearm of the post-Soviet era. It saw its design phase run from 1993 to 1994 and service entry, as well as production out of the Lucznik Arms Factory, ensuing in 1995 and running until the year 2000. The pistol was passed on by the Polish Army and primarily featured with elements of the Polish Border Guard and local prison security units while a small supply were handed down to Lithuania during the middle of the 2000s.
The MAG series is notable for the country in that it became a departure from the Soviet-era 9x18mm Makarov pistol cartridge - the MAG instead relying on the tried-and-true 9x19mm Parabellum German pistol cartridge favored by the West.
Like other Polish-originated firearms of the 1990s, the MAG pistol was developed locally to suit a local military requirement. The Polish Army sought a modern successor to the mixed stock of Soviet pistols then in circulation by the service. The new semi-automatic sidearm would better mesh Polish warfighters with Western counterparts across Europe. Design of the pistol came from the mind of Marian Gryszkiewicz.
The process produced a capable sidearm with a weight of 1,230 grams with an overall length of 200mm. The barrel assembly measured 115mm. Internally, the action relied on the short-recoil principle involving a locked breech. Muzzle velocity equaled 1,170 feet-per-second ranging out to 25 meters. Ranged fire was aided some by a fixed front blade and rear notch iron sight arrangement. Feeding was from a 15-round-detachable box magazine inserted into the base of the grip handle. The barrel was internally chromed for longevity. An automatic firing pin safety was also in play.
Externally, the weapon was very impressive with its checkered grip pattern, double-ribbed slide, and easy-to-reach controls. The ejection port was set to the right side of the frame with the controls positioned along the left (including a de-cocking lever). The hammer was slightly exposed beyond the rear of the frame. The rear sight was positioned just ahead of the rear of the frame with the forward sight set over the muzzle. The recoil spring was installed under the barrel in the usual way. The ring was solid and protected the slim, curved trigger assembly. The magazine release button was positioned near the trigger.
By 1994, pilot guns were ready for testing, the end-product borrowing several elements from existing, proven designs to make for an excellent framework for the new pistol - particularly qualities borrowed from Browning and SIG guns. Series production ensued in 1995 under the designation of "MAG-95". The pistol, however, proved too heavy and large for what the Polish Army despite its general reliability, robustness, accuracy, and balance in the hand. In response, the gun was revised in 1996 to become the lighter weight "MAG-98" which utilized an allow slide and recoil-buffer to save on weight. Again, the pistol was not favored by the Polish Army who instead moved to adopt the "WIST-94" semi-automatic pistol (detailed elsewhere on this site). This ultimately left few customers for the series and no major high-level endorsements - Polish Border guards prison/security forces were all that operated the type.
Before its end had come, MAG series produced another variant - the "MAG-98C" - intended for the sporting-minded / competition shooter market. This model offered useful adjustable iron sights as well as a deep 20-round detachable box magazine to reduce reloading frequency.
In 2008, the MAG-08 was brought online as a modernized version of the MAG-95. This form featured a short section of Picatinny rail ahead of the trigger ring for the mounting of laser sights, flashlights, and other tactical accessories.