28 Comments

  1. With features like, non-moving sights, simple and strong trigger mechanism and non-seeing but feeling safety, Margolin is a very well made pistol but of somewhat archaic, even dangerious field stripping. Blindness of inventor reflects on some features especially on safety and sights construction.

    • There is something “archaic” even ‘arcane’ on many Russian firearms in the way they are conceived. I somehow grew used to it thru time and expect it. It is probably testimony to their unique way of conception of these intriguing devices.

      • If thought rather detailed, Margolin’s takedown seems as the best way to be preferred. The inventor should aim, revolver like solid, unmoving, unremoving, holding the adjustments unchanged nearly all over life of the gun, sights and constructed the rear
        sight located on a permanently riveted bridge on the receiver giving a long sight radius,
        the barrel was also an integral part of the frame and there should be only one way to take out the reciprocing slide; to the backwards. Later .22″ target pistols of same class
        like Browning Nomad or High Standart,have barrels and rear sight mounting bars or bridges
        removable and therefore, subject to be worn in the time as not retaining the given adjustements. It seems, as a traditional target pistol construction, archaic, Colt 1905 type take down was unavoidable. However, there is a US Patent SN.7726230 bringing rather
        different approach for such kinds of target pistol cocepts.

  2. Don’t you confuse Margolin DP version with Blum .22LR machine gun (Малокалиберный пулемёт Блюма) used as a device mounted externally parallel to barrel of machine gun (Maxim or Degtyaryov gun)?
    Margolin also designed ТКБ-205 pistol using 9mm PP-39 cartridge (similar to later 9×18 Makarov) blowback pistol. What is interesting it has only 23 factory elements (see upper drawing from link). During the test some flaws were detected, but the decision was to further develop this pistol, but this project was abandoned after outbreak of Great Patriotic War, because Red Army has more urgent requirements that new pistol.
    Description in Russian: http://www.arms.ru/Guns/tkb205.htm

    • (So far I know the Margolin machine-gun was “standalone” version of DP, when the early Blum machine guns were fitted into gun barrel.)

  3. It is reported that Sherlock Holmes stories were popular in Russia before and after the revolution, at least in part by the urging of the Soviet government (they thought it would encourage deductive thinking, etc.) In the Adventure of the Empty House Col. Moran tries to shoot Sherlock with an air gun that was made by “Von Herder, the blind German mechanic.” Of course Conan Doyle was just making up stuff mostly out of thin air, and the Von Herder character does not seem to have been based on any real person. Is it possible that the gun designer, or others who knew him, had read that story and that story planted a seed for life to imitate art?

  4. Believe it or not, these pistols can be had around here for roughly 40 USD. There is a ton of them left from old times. They are the best competition pistol one get get without spending a serious amount of dough.

  5. Tom: I would like to be around here to buy one for $40.00 US. Where is around here? What legal hurdles must one clear for someone to buy one?

  6. I got one of these early MTsUs (Ts is actually a phonetic version of what C would be in Russian) in 22 Short, and I can assure you they are wonderful guns. Mine is s/n A0024 and was one of the first three MCUs imported from Russia for Polish sport shooters in 1956. One salient feature that Ian left out is, that the MCU’s slide is made of aluminum, whereas all the 22 LR versions have steel slides.
    The MC (MTs) stand for Margolina, Tselevyi or Margolin’s Target (pistol). The first model in .22 LR only was manufactured as of 1949 in two sizes: MC-k (MC-korotkostvolnyi, or MTs-short barreled) with 5,5-in bbl and MC-d (MC-dlinnostvolnyi, MTs-long barreled, with 7-inch bbl. These were the ones and only Margolin pistols, that Mikhail Margolin actually had created. The rest of the development was done after he left Tula TOZ factory and TsKIB design bureau to become a head of the Tushino-based DOSAAF paramilitary organization sports center. While in Tushino (near Moscow) he designed a single-shot Zarya pistol, and a popular pneumatic pistol for initial training, the MG-60.

    The early MC pistol had a different front sight, screwdriver adjustable, and a safety lever – bolt catch (only manually operated to hold the bolt open for inspection – it never was a typical automatic bolt hold-open).

    In 1956 the long and short variants were discontinued, replaced by new MC (MTs) with an intermediate 150 mm (6-in) bbl. In 1953 a new variant appeared, an aluminum-slided .22 Short MC-1 (MTs-1), a forerunner of the 1955 introduced MC-U (MTsU, MTs [pod] Ukorochennyi [patron], MC for Short round). The MC-1 was deemed the champion-class pistol, while MCU was a notch lower grade sporting model – that’s why they were manufactured parallel to each other until early 1960s, when the MC-1 was discontinued. Both had a shorter frame of the prototype MC. The early pistols had a dovetail, like MC-d/k, while with the MC-U a new donut-shaped weights were introduced, impaled on the muzzle-break. This way you had a weight much more forward, so more effective, while actually lighter. As of 1960 the designation dropped the hyphen, to become just MCU.
    The MC-1 was premiered in 1954 at the World Shoot in Caracas, where Zabyelin won individual gold in Rapid Fire event, then Krapotin took another individual gold at the next shoot, 1958 in Moscow (with Zabyelin – silver), and Zabyelin again claimed his gold in 1962 in Cairo (where Tagny and Yulina took gold and silver in female Rapid Fire).
    In the late 1950s the front sight of the MC-1/MC-U (microadjustable with finger-wheel) replaced the older style front sight in what was now known as simpy MC (MTs) – no hyphens, no letters, no nothing.

    After 1970 all older models, the MC in .22LR and both MC-1 and MCU in .22 Short were discontinued, replaced by the new MCM (MTsM, for Modernizirovannyi, or Modernized) series, consisting of MCM in .22 LR and MCU-M, a variant of the MCM chambered in .22 Short and fitted with an aluminum slide. The frame was now unified, of the larger model, the slide was changed from the 1950s model with flat slide key and protruding ears on the slide rear, to the now familiar flat sides with wider key, protruding to the sides. With the MCM model the safety lever was discontinud, just like on the MC-1/MCU earlier on.
    In 1988 Izhmash which took over production of the MCM from Tula, introduced a MCM-K – essentially a sawn-off 4-inch bbl MCM intended for KGB(?) concealed carry. This pistol was revived in 1990s, fitted with still shorter 3,5-in bbl (90 mm), and released in two models: as Drel chambered for 5.45×18 PSM (service use only) and Margo in .22 LR for (privileged enough to rate a gun permit) public. The MCM, Drels and Margos are still manufactured in Russia.

  7. I love that clip at the end.
    It is purely out of principle that I’ll point out that Leia only looked to the right before switching off the recording (and of course that she didn’t hold her pistol either. but that would ruin the whole reference)… and I’m slightly disappointed that you didn’t put your hair up for that shot.
    Where will you go from here? Will you shoot Greedo with a Mauser C96? or will you completely miss a target with a Sterling Mk4?

  8. Astonishing story and even more astonishing results of dedication of blind man who took the absolute challenge. Very refreshing indeed. Thanks for story (-ies and additions by readers) and video!

  9. Helloah, Ian and Friends, once again my compliments for your precious and rare finds ! I also have a story about this wonderful pistol. In my previous job I was export manager in a machinery industry and had a huge jurisdiction area incl. 16 EU countries + N. America, Israel & Palestine.
    I had long business trips, some of them of 2 weeks, so I tought myself that in the week-end inbetween I could go shooting somewhere around… I shot full-auto Skorpion in Bratislava, more SMGs full-auto like Husqvarna M37 and Carl Gustaf M45 in Stockholm and a number of rifles, pistols & revolvers in Germany, Austria, Belgium and in the Baltic. Up north there, in Riga, capital town of Latvia, I went to the shooting club and met one guy, a Russian born there, who took part to the Atlanta Olympics. He gave me his own Margolin for quite a number of rounds, well guys, I am left-handed and despite shooting with lefthand and (slightly) right-handed grip, I shot a lot of 9s and 10s ! That pistol does not look too fancy, but believe me, it is a marvellous straight-shooter ! Have much fun with it !
    Normann

  10. Hi Tom , No I don’t have the licenses needed to import guns from outside of the U.S. But I was wondering where a quality target pistol would sell for such a reasonable amount as $40. and what a person living there would hav to do to buy one. Thanks,

  11. I recently purchased a used “Vostok MU 2-3 s/n 6601..” advertised as 22LR. Unfortunately, it appears that it may be chambered long or short. There is no marking that I can see other than MU -2-3 and the S/N. The LR cartridge can be jammed in, but, lands and grooves are biting the bullet. The empty case does not eject. A 22 short fits fiene, shots fine and ejects fine. I do not have a 22 Long to test. I have spent an hour deleading and cleaning the chamber, no difference was found. How do I tell what the gun is chambered for? Thanks Bob

    • I think mine is a MU 2-3.
      It uses 22LR.
      They were made around 1956.
      It’s the model using a bolt action and using the trigger guard to cock the action.
      Mine is very accurate and the only way you know if you pressed the trigger is if it fires.
      From memory the bullet does engage in the rifling a bit.

    • Hi Bob
      I have the same Mts 2-3 (MU 2-3) (690…) and I also had some .22 LONG RIFLE bullets that are difficult to chamber, had to use real muscles to load. Can’t remember which brand.
      I live in Pinetown South Africa and have competed ISU ISSF Free Pistol since 1980’s and love the action of my MU 2-3 (MTs 2-3). My Pistol was previously owned by Gavin Carson and then Albert Seago.
      As much as I can find out from reading internet sites, the MU 2-3 (MTs 2.3) was designed for only one bullet, the .22Long Rifle. The MtsZ-1 (think that is right) was the upside-down .22Short Rapid Fire Pistol that was used in 1956 and subsequent rules made it obsolete.
      If your MU 2-3 is chambered for the .22 Short it would have needed a complete barrel-change which would have been an amazing machine job for even the best gunsmith.
      The previous owner of your pistol probably shot thousands of .22Short (even High velocity with copper jackets) which would have caused a very strong build-up in the LR barrel. You might have to use a much stronger brass cleaning brush with a lot of elbow-grease to clean out the lead and/or brass BUT IT WILL BE WORTH ALL OF THE SWEAT.
      I need Strip-down information, spares, and factory diagrams because this seems to be non-existent.

      • Hello Dave. I thought the same thing and cleaned it very well. However, I was getting rifling marks on the lead bullet when I extracted the cartridge, a full 1/8″ up the bullet. To me, this indicates it was chambered for.22 short. I have been told that the factory could have custom made this gun as a .22 short. I returned the gun and replaced it with a Margolin. Good luck finding strip down info, parts, etc.

  12. G’day from Australia.
    I still use a Margolin as my ISSF competition gun. Unlike the. 22LR model you show, mine has a safety catch/hold open lever on the left side. Cumbersome, but it does work.
    It cost me $120 Australian some years ago (about $80 US), and it still performs right up there with the $2000 top grade guns on the line at matches.
    Provided old stupid here does his part, off a barricade (service style), using CCI Standard, it will print all ten inside a thumbnail at 25m.
    I don’t care how ugly or archaic it looks, I would not trade it in for anything.
    Now, if I could just find some more magazines….

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