Sunday, September 01, 2013

P-83 Review

My father-in-law asked me to make a gun purchase with him and I couldn't have been happier to have done so.

Not wanting to break the bank and invoke the ire of his wife, and not needing the most tacticool weapons out there, the Polish mil-surp variants available at the local Gander Mountain were under consideration. Specifically, the P-64 and also the P-83.

We looked at the P-64 and then it's updated version, the P-83. It was an easy choice.

The bang switch on the P-64 felt like a 1970's arcade game, the kind that will malfunction on you by the time you get to level boss. The P-83, by contrast, was extremely smooth by comparison. Even compared with other modern weapons, I was impressed. With additional 9x18 capacity over the p-64 (ok, it's only two rounds, I know, but still...), there was really no downside in making a decision between the two.

With new Glock 19's retailing for an eye-popping $699.99 at the store, 3 Benjamin's and change and a couple boxes of ammo later for a desk gun felt pretty ok. Upon leaving the store, my father-in-law then asked (tasked?) me with further inspecting the weapon and putting it through its paces. No problemo.

A quick internet search revealed how the weapon breaks down. At first I thought it was difficult, and then I saw that the unloaded gun should be placed on a table with both the underside of the barrel and grip touching the surface. In the trigger well a switch is then depressed and the slide cocks back, up, forward and out and you are ready to service the pistol. I didn't play with it long enough to say for sure, but it does appear that the hammer needs to be back for success.

Some CLP and a bit of Slipstream Grease later, I took this well-worn-in weapon to the backyard range with a clipfull of Hornady 9x18 HD grade ammo. After testing to make sure the safety/decocker worked with a live round in the chamber, I was pleasantly shocked when firing.

Trigger pull, felt-recoil, and overall ergonomics felt great. My Polish brethern got this one right. Putting the gun back on target was a snap. Accuracy seemed ok, but really I was just studying how the gun fired and felt, so no targets other than a beach ball and a far off weed-tree were used.

Initially, I was concerned with the mag-release being on the bottom of the handle, but in working it, I quickly came to the realization that the hands can move very naturally in accessing the button, snagging the spent mag, and grabbing another. In fact, I was very please that my big hands fit this mid-size gun very well throughout the process.

To sum up, this little gun is actually pretty sweet. Yah, it's not a tactical polymer, I get that. But there are different tools for a different jobs. For a stamped weapon out of the Eastern bloc, this little thing is quite the gem. I wish capacity was higher, but at least surplus ammo is available and (relatively) cheap online in bulk. One potential down side of this guy is finding a serviceable holster for daily carry. Milsurp will not do. Something in leather and kydex would be lovely.

Overall, my opinion of this gun went up in studying it and breaking it down. It appears and seems extremely reliable and durable. I would happily obtain one myself if I had the chance and the spare change.

Over and Out,