OPERATORS: Afghanistan; Angola; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Bulgaria; Belarus; China; Cuba; East Germany; Georgia; Iraq; Kazakhstan; Laos; Latvia; Lithuania; Macedonia; Malta; Moldova; Mongolia; Mozambique; Nicaragua; North Korea; Poland; Soviet Union; Russia; Syria; Tajikistan; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; Uzbekistan
The operator initiated the firing action by pulling back on the slide to cock the hammer and introduce a fresh cartridge into the firing chamber. Semi-automatic action occurred after the firing of each round as the pistol was automatically recocked and the chamber reloaded with a fresh cartridge. The operator could then let-off as many rounds as were available. Upon emptying of the magazine, the slide locked open for prevention of subsequent firing and to visibly inform the operator that a reload was required. The empty magazine was released via a release lever at the base of the pistol grip.
The Makarov PM was revised to become the Makarov PMM in 1990. This version elevated the muzzle velocity of the original action. The hand grip was modified for better ergonomics and the firing chamber saw grooves added. A 12-round magazine was also introduced.
Beyond manufacture of the gun by IMF, the PM was produced to foreign markets by notable licensed contributors Ernst Thaelmann / Simson (Suhl) of Germany, Arsenal of Bulgaria and NORINCO of China. Notable operators would go on to include Afghanistan, China (as the Type 59 of 1959), Cuba, East Germany, Georgia, Iraq, Laos, North Korea, Poland, Syria and Ukraine among others.
Civilian market versions of the PM soon appeared and similar versions made their way out of both Hungary and Poland. When the Berlin Wall fell in Germany, the unified country had thousands of existing Makarov PM pistols to manage from the joining East German military and security forces.