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Polish Items

 

This Polish P-64 was manufactured by the Lucznik Arms Factory in Radom, Poland. According to a date stamped on the right side of the slide it was made in 1970. The P-64 is a self-loading, semi-automatic pistol that operates using the blowback design. It is chambered for the 9 x 18mm Makarov cartridge. The pistol has been designed to operate as either a double or single action firearm that utilizes an external hammer. The steel frame has a blackish blue finish. The sight system includes a square blade front sight that is part of the slide and is not adjustable, and a square notch rear sight that is dovetailed onto the top of the slide and is drift adjustable for windage only. This pistol is fed by a single column 6 round detachable box magazine with vertical inspection windows along the sides. On the bottom of the pistol and located behind the magazine is a European style heel magazine release lever that is pushed towards the rear of the pistol to remove the magazine. An empty magazine will eject from the pistol under its own weight once the fingers of the operator are out of the way. The pistol features a thumb safety lever that is located above the left grip at the rear of the slide. When engaged the thumb safety acts as a decocking lever and also moves a mechanism in place which surrounds the firing pin on three sides blocking its access to the hammer. The rear of the slide features a loaded chamber indicator that visually indicates the presence of a round in the chamber. The P-64 has a 3.33 inch barrel and an overall length of 6.3 inches. The pistol has an unloaded weight of 21.9 ounces. This weapon does employ a slide hold open mechanism to inform the operator that the last round has been fired. The black checkered grip panels which wrap around the backstrap are made from plastic.

 It should be noted that the P-64 is not a Makarov, no matter what you may have been told or have seen in the way of advertising. Granted, on some P-64's it has been stamped on the left side of the slide with "Cal. Makarov", and the P-64 does use the 9x18mm Makarov round, but truth be told, they are not the same weapon.

The P-64 is also known as the "CZAK pistol" in some circles. This is an acronym of the first letter of each of the designer's surnames with the exception of Jerzy Pyzel, who joined the team after the CZAK name had already been established. The design team consisted of Polish army officers: Witold Czepukajtis, Romuald Zimny, Henryk Adamczyk, Mieczysław Adamczyk, Kazimierz Kowalewski, Stanisław Kaczmarski and Jerzy Pyzel. The P-64 was developed in the late 1950's at the Department of small arms artillery research center which would later be known as the Military institute of armament technology which is located in Zielonka, Poland.

The development team actually designed two different prototypes of the CZAK pistol. The model M(milicyjny) militia or police model, had a magazine capacity of 6 rounds and was chambered for the .380 ACP(Automatic Colt Pistol), 9x17SR mm round. The second prototype was the model W(wojskowy) or military model which had a longer barrel then the M version, a 7-round magazine capacity, and it was chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov round. The evaluation phase of the two models took place in 1961. The Model M was eventually selected over the model W, and was redesigned to use the 9x18mm Makarov round. Other modifications included an improved slide catch which did away with the external slide catch button. In 1965 the P-64 replaced the TT-33 pistol and entered service with the Polish army, police, and the government security forces under the official designation "9mm pistolet wz. 1964" or 9mm pistol wzor(pattern or model) 1964.

The P-64 is some what similar to the Walther PPK, but the P-64 is an original design and holds the Polish patent number of 54822. This patent applies to the unique disconnecter which is shaped like an elongated plate that slides vertically inside of the pistol's frame. This mechanism provides an internal safety, decocks the hammer when the manual thumb safety is engaged, ensures that a trigger pull is required for each shot fired, and allows a round to be chambered even if the safety is on.

The P-64, while a some what decent pistol design, had several shortcomings which included an extremely heavy double action trigger pull of around 25 pounds, poor sights, short sight radius, unpleasant recoil due to the grip design, and a limited magazine capacity. So in the early 1970's some minor changes to the design were incorporated which included a larger hammer spur and a slight modification to the trigger mechanism. Even with these changes, the operators of the P-64 were not completely satisfied which led to several prototypes being produced. The first of these was in 1972 with the P-70 which had a 14 round magazine, a slide that was made from a type of copper welded stamped steel, and a frame that was made from a lightweight alloy. Then in 1976 another prototype was introduced that was designated the P-75. This design had a itamide synthetic frame. Later in 1978, the P-78 was introduced that had a 12-round magazine and featured a modular trigger group, but production was abandoned due to the P-83 Wanad which was chambered in the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge winning the bid as the new service sidearm for the Polish army and police forces. The production of the P-64 ended in 1977 with 190,000 pistols being produced.

  

The 9 x 18mm Makarov  

The 9 x 18mm Makarov cartridge(57-N-181S Soviet designation) was the standard pistol caliber for many eastern European countries and is still in use there today. The actual caliber of the bullet is 9.220mm or .363 inches which is larger then the 9 x 19mm Parabellum which is 9.017mm or 0.355 inches. On average, a 9 x 18mm Makarov round with a 95 grain FMJ(full metal jacket) bullet leaves the muzzle at a velocity of 1050 FPS(feet per second) and produces 230 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. The 9 x 18mm Makarov round is ballistically inferior to the 9 x 19mm Parabellum cartridge and is much more on par with the .380 ACP(Automatic Colt Pistol) round. The .380 ACP round can propel a bullet with a weight of 95 grains to 980 FPS which produces around 203 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.  

The photographs on the left are of the front and the back of the P-64, while the pictures on the right show the top and the bottom of the pistol. The pistol is shown with the magazine installed in each of these photographs. It can be seen in the bottom picture on the left how the grip panels wrap around the backstrap of the pistol frame. Also in this picture just below the notch in the rear sight is found the loaded chamber indicator. It is the round silver colored object.

The full serial number on the P-64 is found on the right side of the frame directly behind the trigger, and on the right side of the slide directly above the forward trigger guard. I also found the serial number with out the letter prefix etched onto the left side bottom of the magazine.  

The photograph on the left shows the markings that are found on the right side of this P-64 pistol. The first marking on the left is the serial number, next is the number 11 inside of a circle which indicates the Lucznik arms factory that is located at Radom, Poland, and last we have the year of manufacturer which is 1970.

The photograph on the right is of the markings that are found on the left side of the slide. The first line reads as follows: "PW ARMS REDMOND WA". The second line reads: "Z.M. LUCZNIK   POLAND". The third line reads: "9mm   P-64   9-18 mm". The two top lines is a stamp that no collector wants to see on a historic firearm that is in their collection. This is an importers stamp that is now required to be placed on firearms that have entered the U.S. after the late 1980's. On the plus side, every marking on a firearm will help to tell us its history and this importers mark is no different. With this importers mark, we now know that this P-64 pistol came in to the U.S. some time after the late 1980's. This marking is exactly what the law calls for except it would have been nice if the importer would have hid this stamp under the grips rather then placing it on the left side of the slide. This stamp identifies the importer and where the firearm was manufactured. The top line tells us that the firearm was imported by PW Arms and that this importer is located in Redmond, Washington. The second line indicates that the weapon was manufactured by Z.M. Lucznik, in Poland. The letters "Z.M." indicates Zakłady Metalowe or Metal Works. The first part of the last line, "9mm P-64" was applied at the factory and indicate that the caliber of the pistol is 9mm, and the model number of the weapon is P-64. The last part of this line, "9x18mm" was applied by the importer and indicate that the exact caliber of the weapon is 9 x 18mm.

On the frame and directly behind the trigger is found three additional markings. I do not know what these marks indicate at the time of this writing, but if I had to guess, it would be that they are factory inspectors stamps. Directly ahead of the rear sight is two additional markings that are believed to be the same as the above. On the upper part of the trigger in the photograph on the right is found two punch marks. Do these punch marks indicate a hardness test for the trigger, the amount of times the weapon went to the armorer, accuracy indicator, weapons hits 2 millimeters to the left, hits at the 2 o'clock position? I simply do not know at this time. Additionally, a single punch mark was found directly behind the rear sight.

  

The import law that is mentioned above can be referenced by viewing the gun control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618 and under Subpart F-Conduct of Business sub-section 178.92 (a)(1) Firearms.

  

  

How to field strip the pistol:

FIRST MAKE SURE THE PISTOL IS NOT LOADED.

1. Pull down on the front of the trigger guard which doubles as a takedown lever and push it to the left or right. It will rest against the frame and remain open.

2. With the trigger guard pulled down, pull back on the slide as if to put the pistol in battery.

3. With the slide at the end of its rearward travel, simply pull up on the rear of the slide and lift the back of it off the frame.

4. Run the slide forward and remove.

Total disassembly time is about 15 seconds.  

  

Resource:    

P-64 instruction manual

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger             

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert Balderson

Cartridges of the world by Frank C. Barnes

Wikipedia website located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%81ucznik_Arms_Factory

Wikipedia website located at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-64_%28pistol%29  

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