Proof of Makarov Pistols in the German Democratic Republic

Similar to my question about proof loads for military Makarov pistols made in Russia, I need the same basic information on the proof loads used to proof the German “Pistole Makarow” in the years 1958 thru 1965, when the pistols were manufactured. We know they were proofed and what the proof mark on the pistols is, but we have found no information, nor anyone who has a specimen, of a DDR “Beschusspatrone PM” for the era of manufacture of the pistols in the DDR.

We do not count a round commonly referred to among collectors as a proof load, although it may have been for some other kind of testing. The date on the cartridge cases made at Königswartha (Factory 04) are dated 1972. This makes little sense for a proof load for this country and caliber, since there was no production of the Makarov pistol in the DDR after 1965. A small number, probably less than a thousand, were assembled at the Simson Factory at Suhl after the reunification of Germany, from parts on had and occasional use of new parts made most likely in Bulgaria. They bear proof marks as well, and we also could use information on the cartridges used to proof them.

The 1972 loads come in ordinary ball ammunition 16-round boxes, marked simply “Achtung! Hockdruck.” (Caution. High Pressure). In the case of the cartridges, this was not a manufacturing error. The pressure curve has been altered by seating the bullet deeper to less the size and capacity of the powder chamber, and the addition of very heavy stab bullet crimps to impede bullet pull. Both features will increase chamber pressure. No where on the box does it say that they are proof cartridges, however.

Regarding the rounds used for proofing in 1958 to 1965, we need the following information:

How are they identified? Color Tip? Different color primer seal? Other colored markings such as special case finishes? Or, simply by box label?

How many proof rounds were fired in each pistol? We know that each pistol was subjected to proof.

What is the chamber pressure generated by the proof cartridges (expressed in MPa or PSI, if possible)?

The same general information would be needed for the proofing of the post-unification, Simson, Suhl-marked pistols which were proofed at the Suhl proof house.

Any help will be appreciated.

Hi John,

Perhaps this helps a bit: In 1950 the DDR ministry of interior issued a manual on the ammunition of the DDR (DVP Nr. 64).

The back of the booklet contains a list which describes the ammunition types. It mentions only that the proof rounds (Beschusspatronen) have a green bottom.


Can you supply me with a picture of the manual cover and the page that information is on, for my files? I would appreciate it.

Makarov cartridges are found with many dates that have green primer seals rather than the normal purple. I wrote, during the time the DDR was still a country, to the Dresden Military Museum and asked if there was something denoted by the green seal, as opposed to the purple one. While they were kind enough to answer my letter, they basically turned my question into a statement: “Some cartridges have purple seals and some have green seals. It is not significant.”

Of course, I did not ask them about, nor did they mention anything about all-green bases in the manner of German WWII Beschusspatronen.

Thanks for this information. I wonder where I might find an original copy of that manual, or a scan or xerox copy of the whole manual? I would love to buy either. Of course, anything original that even has one word about Makarov stuff in it I get for my actual collection, not Just for my library.

There IS one problem with this information - the date of the manual. The Germans did not make any Makarov Pistol until 1958, and production was miniscule in that year and small in 1959. It is 1960 thru 1965 when most of the German Makarov pistols were made. Therefore, this manual must be talking in generalities, not specifically about Makarov cartridges, in which case, since most WWII weapons were in use in the DDR then, they could even be talking about Pre-1946 German cartridges. Regardless, every German Makarov is proof-marked, so they must have had some procedure.

The reprint of DVP 64 (1950) by DWJ-Verlag does not contain the information mentioned by Vlim. Maybe it is a later change or addition, called Deckblatt in German.