Educational Zone #113 – Interesting Firearms – The Polish Radom P-64 Pistol

I recently saw an ad for some Polish Radom P-64, 9 X 18 Makarov caliber and they were listed as C&R (Curio and Relic) firearms, listed for slightly less than $200. 

A $200 pistol sent right to my front door? How you gonna beat it? 

It came in a few days and I opened the box like a kid at Christmas. It was just as advertised, used, but with only a little wear on the bluing. It had been shot, but was almost “New in Box.”

Here it is, in the shipping box.

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It comes with two magazines and is a fine looking little pistol.

The P-64 is a double-action, blow-back pistol

It is in “9 X 18 Makarov” caliber, but the design is not a Makarov.

The 9X18 Makarov cartridge is slightly less powerful than the 9mm Luger cartridge, but is more powerful than the .380.

With the best ammo, it will make the FBI minimum penetration standard of 12 inches.

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The pistol was designed for use by the Polish Army and is similar to the PPK design.

I don’t know why an Army officer would carry such a small pistol into combat, but it would be great if someone wanted a small pistol, small enough to fit in their pocket. 

I took it out of the box and gave it a thorough cleaning, as I do with any new firearm.

To break it down for cleaning, you simply pull down on the trigger guard and then pull the slide back and up and it comes right off the pistol.

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I noticed that the feed ramp wasn’t as smooth as I like them,

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So decided to do a throat and ramp polishing job on it before taking it shooting.

I use some jeweler’s rouge and a polishing bob with my Dremel tool. 

I just get some of the polish on the bob…

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And then polish the feed ramp.

Continued below...

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We don’t want to remove any metal, but only polish up the ramp as smooth as we can get it.

Here it is after the polishing job. 

I expected that it would feed without any problems and sure, enough, it did.

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This pistol is about the size of the Russian Makarov or the PA-63 Makarov.

It is slightly smaller than either of the other two.

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It has a grip slightly shorter than the PA-63.

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And the barrel is slightly shorter.

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Well, let’s see how it shoots. 

I took it to the range and ran some Wolf factory JRN Ball rounds through it.

It functioned well, but the recoil was almost painful with the small grip. 

One thing that surprised me was the absolutely atrocious double action trigger pull. It bet it takes 30 pounds to pull the trigger double action. 

Amazingly, the single action trigger pull was both light and crisp. I will usually be shooting it single action at targets, so that isn’t a big problem.

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And the stiff double action trigger pull would act as a great “Safety” if carried with the hammer down and the Safety engaged. The shooter sure isn’t going to “accidentally” pull that double action trigger. 

The sights were very small, but it shot pretty close to point of aim. 

I shot some handloads I loaded up with round nose lead bullets over a light charge of WW-231 powder. These were much more pleasant to shoot and shot accurately. 

Here’s a group of 12 shots.

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Conclusion:
A very nice pistol for the money, and fun to shoot and easy to clean and maintain.

Negatives: 

1. Very stiff double action trigger pull (I understand that Wolff Springs are available that will help with the trigger pull.) 
2. The small grip is painful to shoot with full-power loads 

Positives: 

1. It is an accurate pistol 
2. Well worth the price paid for such a firearm 
3. Easy to conceal 
4. An interesting piece of history 

If you’ve been looking for a small and inexpensive carry piece, give this one a look. 

Besides… Shooting stuff is fun.

7 Comments on Educational Zone #113 – Interesting Firearms – The Polish Radom P-64 Pistol

  1. Hello. Just got a P64 myself, looks like a Walther PPK and like yours, in very nice condition. Question: is there a common and readily available cartridge that you can substitute for the 9×18 round? On barrel of mine, is stamped 9mm. However, a 9mm round will jam if you try to insert the clip. Is too long. Hope to hear from you!

  2. The p64 is chambered for 9×18 or 9mm makarov. A 9×19 or 9mm Luger won’t work. So the “9mm” stamped on your gun is for 9mm makarov.

  3. Yours looks like the later model with the triangular hammer which would make it less than 50 years old. So wouldn’t this not be a curio and relic ? I’m noticing a lot of reviews saying how it is a curio and relic and then noticing a less than 50 year old manufacture stamp. I don’t get it

    • To be qualified as curio and relic the 50 and older requirement is not an absolute requirement. Yes, all firearms 50 and older generally are qualified, but newer firearms can be qualified if they have significant value as historic or educational object. The value should be established by museum or similar accredited institution. Polish Radom P-64 is one of these cases when relatively newer firearm is qualified as curio and relic. I believe it is also listed in the ATF curio and relic list of qualified firearms.

  4. Its great to see people with the appreciation of older fire arms. I dont have this one but i have several older guns as well as new models. Can you tell me if this gun can be mailed to Michigan?

  5. Marvin Zeichner // June 12, 2016 at 11:22 am // Reply

    I’m looking for a gunsmith that will replace the recoil and hammer spring in my P64, Can you help me?

    • Douglas Smith // July 16, 2016 at 4:48 pm // Reply

      Marvin, you can get all springs for the Polish Radom P64 at Wolffe Springs. They have an 18, 19, and 20 recoil spring in one complete set, plus you can get a lighter spring to reduce trigger pull resistance.

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