MAG 95 and the pistols from a post-Soviet ZM Łucznik

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by CatKing, Jun 15, 2020.

  1. CatKing

    CatKing

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    As a disclaimer, the vast majority of the info in this post is just stuff I've gathered from my own experiences and from the forum posts of others. I myself do not know a single lick of Polish, but a little google-fu and machine translation goes a long way. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Polish guns, so this post will be all about those.





    Due to the sudden lack of communism Poland found itself with in the early 90s, a small commercial market for firearms began to emerge. Factory #11, now to be known as Zakłady Metalowe Łucznik, diverted some of its production capacity towards this market. While not all of the guns I will cover here were originally designed for the commercial market, I would only have a two or three guns to write about here.
    ZM Łucznik went bankrupt in 2000 where it was then bought up by FB Radom. While there is some overlap between the two firms, they are not the same either. I am not going to be covering anything by FB Radom as I do not have anything from FB Radom (yet).

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    Without further ado, the first gun to be covered here will be the P-83 "Wanad". The P-83 was produced longer than any prior Polish handgun beginning in 1984 and ending in 2001 with some leftover parts (though there were some breaks inbetween these years). While the actual fabrication of new parts probably did end by 2000 with the bankruptcy of ZM Łucznik, a few hundred (?) more would be assembled the following year from leftover parts. The MAG 98 faced similar circumstances.
    While many P-83s would hit the commercial market with the same rollmarks as the military guns, many would also bear less minimalistic markings. Along with different text, these would also have an eagle crest on the left side of the slide added as well. The bluing on these "eagle" P-83s would also generally be nicer than what was given to the other guns. I believe about 200 of these were imported, 100 like mine as pictured below, the later 100 using the sights and hammer of the P-93 (a gun I'll cover below). These were also ostensibly available in .380, though I believe only three were imported and under forty in total manufactured. These, like almost all of the other guns that I'm covering here, were available from the factory with a chrome finish. I'm not aware of any in that finish being imported.

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    While I'm not going to cover much about the P-83 in general since that's covered by other people already and I don't want to make this post any longer, I do still want to say that these are neat little guns. Despite the sheet metal construction, I actually prefer these over my Makarov. Pretty interesting guns from a manufacturing standpoint as well. This link here (link) is someone else's writeup covering that more.

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    Presumably, distributors would be able to request different rollmarks. While the only example I've seen of this is my P-83 "Arrow" here, I would have to assume that there's more instances of something like this out there. Instead of milling the text into the slide and frame, they appear to have been added by laser instead. This is also the only P-83 that I've seen without a letter prefix to the serial number. Mine also came in the box of a P-83G, something I will cover here next.

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    The P-83G is more or less the same exact gun as the P-83, but now chambered for the 9mm P.A blank cartridge. While I am no expert on Polish gun laws and have not made any real efforts to change that, I do know that they are relatively strict and they probably have made a market for blank fire guns such as these.

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    The P-83c is a very odd gun in that it attempts to turn a direct blowback concealed carry sort of gun into a sporty target gun. A barrel weight and adjustable sight were added, though I have not yet been able to find much out about these in general. I believe work was also done to make the trigger pull a bit nicer too. The one pictured below is the only one that I have seen. If I had a few grand to blow on whatever right now, I'd be busy right now with trying to get this one imported. Alas, we do not live in a perfect world. I am not aware of these ever being imported and only know that very few ever were made.

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    I know next to nothing about these, but it's from the very early 90s and I believe technically falls under the guns I'm covering. The P-83M looks to me like an attempt to modernize the P-83 with a polymer frame, grip safety, and doublestack 13rd mag. This is a further evolution of the P-83 TUL, a project from the mid 80s that I also know next to nothing about. The P-83 TUL also had a doublestack mag and polymer frame, but lacked the grip safety and had a different frame. I have more pics of both in an imgur link at the end of this post

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    The P-93, while at face value may look like it could have just been an attempt to modernize the P-83 for military use, was a purely commercial venture as I understand it. By this time, it was clear that the Polish military was looking for a more modern doublestack handgun in 9x19. The P-93 was an attempt to market a gun that was similar enough to a gun their audience was already familiar with, but with extra creature comforts added on. The P-93 was made slightly larger, the slide serrations less vestigial, a squared-off trigger guard, larger iron sights, a new ring-shaped hammer, the slide safety/decocker omitted, and the slide stop now doubling as a decocker. For whatever reason, the P-93 never gained any traction and only about 100 were ever made. These were all eventually sold on the commercial market in Poland and I am not aware of these ever being imported into the US. As mentioned earlier, the sights and hammer would later find their way onto some commercial P-83s.

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    While the P-93 was not a military venture, the MAG 95 was. Originally designed in 1993, the MAG 95 was a steel-framed doublestack handgun in 9x19 much more comparable to Western designs. While I haven't seen any outright mention that this was the case and while I have no Walther P88 to actually confirm this with, the two do appear to hold many similarities and the Walther may have served as a source of inspiration. The MAG 95 has no safety, but does have a frame-mounted decocker. While they are a military service pistol at heart, they are still excellently made and a pleasure to shoot. The trigger is excellent for a service pistol, the action feels very smooth, and the ergonomics work well with me. A shame these never really went anywhere.

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    When trials began in earnest in 1995, ZM Łucznik had to face the reality that their handgun was both too large and too heavy for the requirements laid out. While the MAG 95 did show itself to be an excellent gun, it was not the type of handgun that the Army was looking for. Their attempt to salvage this situation was the MAG 98. Shedding 175g (about 6 ounces) with the use of an alloy frame, the only other noteworthy change with the MAG 98 was the inclusion of a buffer to the recoil spring assembly to help dampen recoil. While ZM Łucznik would still secure some sales to various government agencies, the Army contract was awarded to the WIST-94 instead.

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    In total, my guesstimation is roughly 1500 MAG 95s and 2500 MAG 98s were manufactured. While many MAG 98s were eventually imported as surplus after being replaced with P99s, only 60 MAG 95s were imported. Additionally, 30-40 MAG 98Cs were manufactured. These were effectively the same exact gun as the MAG 98, but now it has a C in the name and adjustable target sights. Maybe the trigger is better too, but I wouldn't know. While most of these were allegedly imported into the US and Canada, I have not once seen any sign of these. If someone is aware of a MAG 98C stateside, please let me know.

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    ZM Łucznik also made very small batches of commemorative Vis 35 handguns, but I'm too lazy to write anything of substance on these. Dalvar USA imported a few and they're just a Vis 35, but newer and I think with slightly different rollmarks. It feels like every few years, a few more trickle out of a factory in Poland.


    While this may be less in-depth than my Benelli MP3 writeup, I'm also covering a lot more guns here too. I had a post all written up for this and ready a couple weeks ago, but I'm rewriting it now since it was garbage and unfocused. I reached out to a former importer of Polish guns a couple weeks ago, though I'm still waiting to hear back regarding a few questions I sent his way. I'll update this post if and when I hear back. The imgur album linked below has a bunch extra pics of some of these guns (and a few I never wrote about).

    https://imgur.com/a/MChlUza
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  2. BigBluefish

    BigBluefish

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    Excellent post.

    I had a P-83 briefly. Interesting little gun. I preferred my Mak, though, and let the P-83 go.

    I'd be interested in one of the commercial models with the P-93 sights & hammer. I've seen pictures if them, but never handled one.
     

  3. Trench Sweeper

    Trench Sweeper On the day of your birth death began stalking you

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    I like the looks of that Mag 95. Oh course a quick search on GB had no results. LOL
     
  4. Pier23

    Pier23 Silver Member

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    Nice info on my favorite CommBlocs, with details and models I had no idea about! Thank you for addressing this backwater interest! The Polish pistols are a very interesting genre of firearms and deserve more study.

    I got my Wanand P-83 on a GB whim despite warning the recoil was harsh and abrupt. Well, what would one expect from a CommBloc after all? But I have really enjoyed the P-83, finding its operation no worse than any other pistol of its size and caliber.

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    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
  5. CatKing

    CatKing

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    You'll have a lot more luck trying to find a MAG 98 than a MAG 95 in the US if you are wanting one. It's effectively the same thing, but the frame is aluminum and the grip panels are a little different. While they are rare enough that there's not always one up for sale anywhere, they still pop up with enough regularity that you can definitely find one if you want one. The final price on them is pretty random, but anywhere from $400-$600 is probably a decent price. As for getting a MAG 95, the only one I've seen in the past year or so was the one I bought. I paid $750 for mine, so a smidge below what they go for used overseas.

    If you are able to cop one, Beretta 92 mags can be modded to work in them. Pic below is one I stole from some old forum post elsewhere. If you want the real deal, MAG mags in Poland seem to go for 200+ zł (about $50), but then you'll have to worry about getting it shipped from Poland too. I don't really ever see them for sale in the US, but there's generally going to be a few up on something like allegro.pl.

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    There's a lot more about these over on the Polish side of the internet and a lot of these are owned by at least one poster over there, but there's the whole language barrier thing getting in the way. Hopefully over time most of this info will bleed on over, but I figure putting at least something up should be a good start.

    That's one of the things I really like about the P-83. For as much as this gun is made to be a super cheap, mass-produced handgun, it doesn't seem to really sacrifice much in terms of actual quality.
     
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  6. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Very cool

    I had a MAG 95 a few years back.