Polish PM63 Rak at the Range

Whether it is described as a machine pistol, a submachine gun, or a personal defense weapon, the PM63 Rak is really not the best examples of this sort of thing to actually shoot. The open-bolt/slide mechanism is very cool from an engineering and design perspective, but does in fact have a tendency to hit one in the face, as inadvertently demonstrated by my high-speed video shooting volunteer. Even if it doesn’t do that, the sights reciprocating on the slide make it a difficult gun to shoot accurately.

Thanks to Movie Armament Group in Toronto for giving me the opportunity to take this to the range! Check out MAG on Instagram



  1. I presume the slide in the eye problem is why some people would shoot this gun from the hip instead. Perhaps the solution to the sight picture issue would be crafting the iron sights separated from the slide, like on the MCM target pistol!

    • The most practical solution to shooting the Wz.63 is the same as the Jati-Matic 9 x 19mm SMG.

      Forget the (entirely too short) shoulder stock, and fire it at full arm extension in a two-hand hold, with the off hand on the folding forward grip.

      Used in this way, it is surprisingly accurate even in burst fire. And the recoil impulse of the 9 x 18mm cartridge is just enough lower than that of a 9 x 19mm, that it is more controllable than, say, a MAC-10 in the latter chambering.

      The designers of the Wz.63 and Vz.61 knew exactly what they were doing when they chambered those weapons for 9 x 18mm and 7.65 x 17SRmm respectively. They knew that a hit with even a moderately-powered round was more discouraging to an opponent than a loud miss with something more emphatic.

      Especially if said hit was one of an entire “flock” of same.



      • “(…)knew(…)”
        Maybe, however I would say that in case of RAK simply default handgun cartridge of WarPact was used.

        “(…) (entirely too short) shoulder stock(…)”
        Interestingly according to https://www.forgottenweapons.com/submachine-guns/pm-63-rak/ folding stock as found in production and forward hinged grip was not initially planned, instead stock’s butt was planned to be used in lieu of forward grip when folded /see patent drawing in link/, somewhat akin to Czechoslovak Sa. 25, so actually fire it at full arm extension in a two-hand hold, with the off hand on the folding forward grip. seems to be one of original method of operation planned.

        • Perhaps the stock was meant to be used as the grip the whole time, with the “stock” function used as a mere red herring if the weapon were to be captured. I can now imagine some idiot grabbing up the gun from a dead Pole, shouldering it without thinking with the slide against his face (very BAD idea), and then getting the moving slide in his eye when he rolls with the recoil of the very first shot.

  2. Many thanks for the excellent video!
    This thing has been carried out by my Polish Army platoon commander, back in 1990.
    He never shot it 🙂

    As for the designer’s surname, pronunciation should be something like (sorry for the ending):

    • Having some badass-looking bit of kit often does the job. Much better for your sleep as well.

  3. Rockin’ the RAK… Thanks MAG and Ian!
    Ian shoots the gun so we don’t have to… Learned a lot!

  4. The manual of arms with this weapon always confused me… As a PDW, you would think that you’d design to be able to carry it ready to go:



    Here, the design is:


    Pull back slide.


    Which is emphatically not what I want in a PDW, especially one I’d be carrying in a belt or shoulder holster for use like a pistol.

    Skorpion? Stechkin? Both of those are amenable to carriage and use as a pistol. This, however, is an SMG sort of affair, and you can’t even carry it with it in a “ready to go” state. Not a very good design, from that standpoint.

  5. I’d think 25 meters would be extreme long range for any gadget like this. With its relative stability, it looks like a pure ‘from the hip’ sprayer, at best.

  6. OFF-TOPIC so ignore if you wish.
    According to https://techlinkcenter.org/us-army-researchers-are-turning-it-up-to-11-to-make-hypervelocity-firearms/ US Army researches are developing cartridge-weapon system to provide higher muzzle-velocity than available from same size package so far.
    Regarding weapon, if I understand drawing correctly enough, bolt locks into barrel extension which mean it could harness more pressure. Additionally the something called “collet” was added, to provide proper function of cartridge of greater pressure.
    Most interestingly, taper-bore barrel is also used, also it is (correctly) mentioned that it was used in anti-tank guns that were fielded by Germany during World War II, drawing itself shows cylindrical rifled section and smooth taper section, which made it more akin to Littlejohn adapter.
    With that all combined it is said to provide muzzle velocity from 24 inch barrel in range of 4600 to 5750 feet per second.

    That sounds fast, however I am wondering about perceived recoil? If it have to remain similar bullet might be lighter, but then what with effectiveness at greater distance? Also, I am wondering what might be expected barrel life, with pressure 100,000 pounds per square inch or 100 if we assign current systems 65.

    • Burning out the rifle barrels already with tapered bores and standard rifle bullets? I’m sure someone in Army Ordnance has failed to study gun-smith history with regards to the 6mm Lee Navy round. Any further and I suspect we’ll have a gun barrel burst open like a peeled banana!

    • I just lost a detailed reply to the hypersonic rifle project.

      Enough to say here that it’s a way to spend the tax victims hard earned, on favoured contractors, with sweet FACEBOOK chance of it resulting in a successful gun

      ^^^^ auto incorrect worked so well that it was better than what I was typing

      It does look like the tax victims within the imaginary lines drawn on maps, that define that extra large Satan
      Are about to get well and truly Zucked again.

  7. Simple and rudimentary device like this cannot accomplish a lot in terms of operator’s interface (or in-the-face), not to mention inherent safety of use (front grip). It would not be my first pick either.

  8. All FW boxes Czeched, no, Poled: Never seen one outside of a book, strange, flawed and “damn I wish I had me one of those”. Full marks Ian.

  9. An excellent room for surprising a roomful of dissidents. Polish railway police and guards actually carried these into the 00s believe it or not. Semi-auto conversions are available here in the Czech Republic for about 4-5000kc, about $200-$300; a friend recently acquired one which I’ve not yet gotten to shoot though I have handled it. The wobbliness of the foregrip surprised me as well, but I actually prefer a straight front grip, so at least as a very compact PCC I don’t see it presenting a problem.

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