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Old 07-23-2013, 05:45 AM   #1
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Default Feg pa-63

I recently picked up a Hungarian FEG PA-63, chambered in 9mm Makarov. It's my first 9mm Mak. Based on the markings on it, it appears to have been manufactured in 1975. Before I shot it, I switched out the recoil spring to a Wolff 15# spring, and the hammer spring to a Wolff 11# spring. I have to say, I'm in love with this gun! I have small-ish hands (short, stubby fingers), and the PA-63 fits in my hand perfectly. The sights are small and not made to be picked up quickly in a stressful situation, but when you get them lined up, the gun is ridiculously accurate. With the 15# recoil spring the recoil is pretty light, and even with the stock recoil spring, the recoil is still less than my PF-9 (not that that's saying a whole lot, but still... ). The DA trigger pull is still a bit heavy with the 11# hammer spring, but manageable. And the SA pull is awesome.

All in all, this gun totally exceeded my expectations. I initially bought it because I'm part Hungarian and thought it would be cool to own as a novelty of sorts, and it appeared to be in pretty good shape. Plus it came with the original holster and both original mags, which have serial #'s that match the gun. But it will actually serve a practical purpose too. My PF-9 will remain my go-to carry gun because I prefer to pocket-carry, but the PA-63 is going to be carried quite a bit IWB (especially in the winter).

Does anyone else have one of these? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

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Old 07-23-2013, 09:16 AM   #2
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I really like the 63. The ergonomics are very good.

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:02 PM   #3
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Yup. Got one. I kinda collect Makarov cal handguns.

My thoughts? Keep a close eye on it for peening and cracking of the aluminum alloy frame. Never use "hot" loads such as the Buffalo Bore offerings or the Wolf 109gr. Makarov ammunition (now out of production).

It shoots nice and straight but is both light and a simple blow back so it recoils more forcibly. Only the P64 recoils more unpleasantly of the Mak cal. handguns. But the light weight makes it comfortable for CC.

The sights suck but some white/blaze-orange/whatever Testors model paint (or fingernail polish) can go a loooong way to helping with that.

Because the 9x18 Makarov cal. has lower Muzzle Energy and lighter bullet weight than a 9x19 Para. (9mm Luger, etc.) that your PF9 is chambered in, because the PA-63 has one fewer rounds of ammunition capacity, and because the physical dimensions of the PF9 are smaller in most every regard, I believe that the PF9 is a superior CC handgun to the PA-63. The difference in penetration between 9x18 Mak. and 9x19 Para. may be an important consideration for you for winter carry where you may have more layers of clothing to penetrate.

Also, the safety is very European. You flip it up or "point it at the attacker" to put the safety to "Fire." This is the opposite of what most U.S. handguns are designed as. There may be a learning curve so, if you do intend to CC the PA-63, you may want to do some "make ready...fire" presentation drills.

While it does have a Firing Pin Spring and the Wolff order should come with an "extra power" replacement for it, there's some debate over whether or not it is sufficient to pass a drop test. I think it probably is but YMMV. Use caution. I'd carry it with the safety engaged anyway.

I like the two-tone look and it is very comfortable in the hand.

Glad you like your new acquisition.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk

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Old 07-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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We had one for a long time, wife carried it for a while. The only issue we had was the slide can bite you badly if you have big hands, hard to hold it in a way that won't skin you in that situation. Otherwise a very nice pistol. Sold it to a friend who needed it more, he still has it.

Feg makes some good stuff, including a browning highpower clone. You may enjoy some of the others, if you can find them.... not terribly common in the USA.

Its one of those "for the money" guns. For that price point, its hard to beat, and an excellent carry pistol. I personally think its towards the bottom of the 9x18 pistols but that is only because the all steel true makarov is just amazing and the cz82 is, like most things Cz, also extremely good, giving this little guy a solid third or fourth place in the 9x18 selection.

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Old 07-23-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jonnin View Post
... Its one of those "for the money" guns. For that price point, its hard to beat, and an excellent carry pistol. I personally think its towards the bottom of the 9x18 pistols but that is only because the all steel true makarov is just amazing and the cz82 is, like most things Cz, also extremely good, giving this little guy a solid third or fourth place in the 9x18 selection.
Good synopsis, IMO. I never had a minute's trouble with mine, but also never felt it was up to snuff with my "real" Maks. Good compromise for a tight budget, though, and a decent pistol for the $$$.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lklawson View Post
Yup. Got one. I kinda collect Makarov cal handguns.

My thoughts? Keep a close eye on it for peening and cracking of the aluminum alloy frame. Never use "hot" loads such as the Buffalo Bore offerings or the Wolf 109gr. Makarov ammunition (now out of production).

It shoots nice and straight but is both light and a simple blow back so it recoils more forcibly. Only the P64 recoils more unpleasantly of the Mak cal. handguns. But the light weight makes it comfortable for CC.

The sights suck but some white/blaze-orange/whatever Testors model paint (or fingernail polish) can go a loooong way to helping with that.

Because the 9x18 Makarov cal. has lower Muzzle Energy and lighter bullet weight than a 9x19 Para. (9mm Luger, etc.) that your PF9 is chambered in, because the PA-63 has one fewer rounds of ammunition capacity, and because the physical dimensions of the PF9 are smaller in most every regard, I believe that the PF9 is a superior CC handgun to the PA-63. The difference in penetration between 9x18 Mak. and 9x19 Para. may be an important consideration for you for winter carry where you may have more layers of clothing to penetrate.

Also, the safety is very European. You flip it up or "point it at the attacker" to put the safety to "Fire." This is the opposite of what most U.S. handguns are designed as. There may be a learning curve so, if you do intend to CC the PA-63, you may want to do some "make ready...fire" presentation drills.

While it does have a Firing Pin Spring and the Wolff order should come with an "extra power" replacement for it, there's some debate over whether or not it is sufficient to pass a drop test. I think it probably is but YMMV. Use caution. I'd carry it with the safety engaged anyway.

I like the two-tone look and it is very comfortable in the hand.

Glad you like your new acquisition.

Peace favor your sword,
Kirk
I've only shot 95g ammo through it, and don't plan on shooting any hotter rounds because of the aluminum frame. I figure the stronger recoil spring helps reduce the strain on the frame, in addition to making the recoil pretty pleasant. But I'm going to be pretty careful with this gun.

No doubt the PF-9 is a superior CCW option and will still be my primary choice. I just like having the PA-63 as an alternative that I can carry IWB if I don't have any pockets free to carry the PF-9 in, because my Sig P229 is too big to carry comfortably. I strongly dislike carrying the PF-9 IWB because I struggle with getting a good grip on it when I draw.

9mm Mak is at the far weak end of my choices for defensive use, but I feel confident that it will do the job. Afterall, you never heard the Russians complain that their PM's weren't powerful enough, did you? Regarding winter clothing, I live in the Willamette Valley in Oregon where it rains a lot but rarely snows. The average Oregonian is more likely to have a hoody or a rain jacket (or both) on than a heavy winter coat. I'm not too concerned about penetrating clothing.

I carry the PA-63 on DA with the safety off and a round chambered. I haven't found anything to suggest that it might go "bang" without the trigger being pulled (and I did research the gun extensively before I bought it), but if that's a valid concern, I won't carry it concealed period. Have you seen any documented cases of a PA-63 firing when dropped?

The two-tone look and feel in my hand were two of the three factors in my initial interest when I saw it, the third being my Hungarian heritage. That it shoots well and I really enjoy shooting it is just icing on the cake.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:48 AM   #7
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I bought one a while back for my wife. She loves the look and feel of the pistol in her hand but hates the recoil. It recoils very sharply and stings the web of your hand. Extremely accurate and I truly like the gun, but I'm looking for something else for the wife that offers a bit less recoil.

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Old 07-24-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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I carry the PA-63 on DA with the safety off and a round chambered. I haven't found anything to suggest that it might go "bang" without the trigger being pulled (and I did research the gun extensively before I bought it), but if that's a valid concern, I won't carry it concealed period. Have you seen any documented cases of a PA-63 firing when dropped?
Don't drop it so that it falls on the hammer.

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Old 07-24-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Pwndy View Post
I bought one a while back for my wife. She loves the look and feel of the pistol in her hand but hates the recoil. It recoils very sharply and stings the web of your hand. Extremely accurate and I truly like the gun, but I'm looking for something else for the wife that offers a bit less recoil.
Try upgrading to a Wolff 15# recoil spring. You can find it on their website for like $8, and it really softens the recoil. I found the recoil with the original spring to be pretty manageable anyway, but with the 15# spring it's downright pleasant to shoot IMO.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:11 PM   #10
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Don't drop it so that it falls on the hammer.

Peace favor your sword (mobile)
Ah, well I'm not too worried about it then. I have a long-standing tradition of not dropping loaded firearms that I plan on continuing for the forseeable future.
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