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NORINCO Type 59 (Makarov) Semi-Automatic Pistol (China)

The Type 59 pistol is a Chinese copy of the Soviet Makarov semi-automatic pistol design with slight variations.

 Entry last updated on 9/27/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

China produces a near-exact copy of the Soviet-Russian Makarov semi-automatic sidearm as the Type 59. The original Makarov was introduced in 1951 as the standard Soviet Union military pistol and it served in this role until 1991. Its global operators proved many and several nations took to local production with slight variations introduced. Among these was China which adopted the pistol in 1959 (hence its designation), differentiated from the Soviet -era design by its blued finish, applicable Chinese markings, widened sight rail and revised safety lever. This has therefore produced a pistol that also varies in overall weight and listed dimensions when compared to the original Makarov offering.

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").

NORINCO Type 59 (Makarov)

Service Year: 1959
Type: Semi-Automatic Pistol
National Origin: China
Manufacturer(s): NORINCO - China

Design (Internal, Dimensions and Weights)

Firing Action: Semi-Automatic; Recoil-Operated
Available Caliber(s): 9x18mm Makarov
Ammunition Count / Feed: 8-round detachable box magazine
Overall Length: 162 mm (6.38 inches)
Barrel Length: 93 mm (3.66 inches)
Weight (Empty): 1.61 lb (0.73 kg)
Sighting Assist: Front and Rear


Muzzle Velocity: 1,030 feet/sec (314 m/sec)
Typical Range: 164 feet (50 meters; 55 yards)

Global Operators / Customers / Users


Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

Type 59 - Base Series Designation