Makarov PMM: An improved version of Makarov PM

The Makarov PMM pistol is a Russian-made pistol chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge. It was developed in the 1980s to improve the Makarov PM,

Eric Sof

Makarov PMM pistol
Makarov PMM pistol (Photo: XY)

The Makarov PMM pistol is a Russian-made pistol chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge. It was developed in the 1980s to improve the Makarov PM, which had been in service with Soviet law enforcement and military personnel since the 1950s. The PMM was designed by the Izhevsk Mechanical Plant, also known as Izhmash, one of Russia’s leading firearms manufacturers. It has a double-action trigger mechanism for both single and double-action firing.


The Makarov PMM designation in Russian refers to Pistol, Makarov, Improved. This firearm was developed in the 1980s, with production commencing in 1994. While it was deemed outdated, the Russian government had amassed significant ammunition stockpiles for this pistol. As a result, it was considered more cost-effective to create an improved Makarov PM pistol instead of developing an entirely new firearm. Following its development, the PMM was adopted by Russian law enforcement forces and later proposed for civilian customers.

PM Makarov pistol chambered in 9x18mm Makarov
PM Makarov pistol chambered in 9x18mm Makarov (Photo: XY)


The PMM is a pistol designed as an upgrade to the original Makarov PM. One of the main differences is the magazine capacity, which was increased from 8 rounds to 12 rounds. However, this is still relatively low compared to Western pistols’ 15-20 round magazines.

In addition to the increased magazine capacity, a special 9x18mm round was developed for the PMM, which had higher muzzle energy than the original Makarov PM. The goal was to approach the performance of the Western 9x19mm round, but the new round was not backward compatible with the original PM pistols, so it was not accepted for service. The PMM instead uses the standard 9x18mm ammunition, which is still inferior to the Western 9x19mm ammunition.

Makarov PMM is an improved version of the legendary Makarov PM
Makarov PMM is an improved version of the legendary Makarov PM (Photo: XY)

While the PM and PMM are similar, only a few parts are interchangeable. The PMM has an all-steel construction with a redesigned frame to accommodate the thicker magazine. It can be fully disassembled using a simple screwdriver without the need for any special tools. The PMM is reliable and can even fire after being immersed in mud or water.

Compared to the Makarov PM, the PMM features several improvements, including a redesigned grip for a more comfortable and secure hold, an improved trigger mechanism for better accuracy and a smoother trigger pull, and a longer barrel for enhanced accuracy and overall performance.

The Makarov PMM is a blowback-operated weapon with a single-action trigger and a manual safety located on the left side of the slide. It also has a double-stack magazine, and the magazine release button is at the bottom of the grip, requiring two hands to release the empty magazine. However, the PMM is inaccurate and falls short compared to Western pistols.

Side-view of the Makarov PMM pistol
Side-view of the Makarov PMM pistol (Photo: XY)

It is worth noting that the Makarov PMM was already outdated when it was introduced and is inferior to most modern semi-automatic pistols. Its dimensions are similar to those of the Glock 17, but the PMM weighs more, is less powerful and less accurate, and can only hold 12 rounds compared to the Glock 17. As a result, the Makarov PMM was not accepted by the Russian Army, which issued a requirement for a new pistol in the mid-1990s. The new MP-443 Grach pistol was eventually selected as its replacement.

Technical specifications

Country of origin:Russia
Manufacturer:Izhevsk Mechanical Plant
Entered service:1994
Caliber:9×18 mm Makarov
Weight (empty):760 g
Length:169 mm
Barrel length:93 mm
Muzzle velocity:315 (430) m/s
Magazine capacity:12 rounds
Sighting range:25 m
Range of effective fire:up to 50 m

Eric Sof

Eric Sof holds a master's degree in Political Science, specializing in International Peacekeeping Studies. He has over a decade of experience as a former member of an elite counterterrorism unit. Additionally, he is a firearms instructor and currently serves as a member of the SWAT unit.

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