The Polish P-64 is a unique pistol in that it probably draws more inspiration from the Walther PPK than other Eastern Bloc designs but the influence of the Makarov remains obvious — it even uses the Russian 9x18mm round for the military variant. Developed in the late 1950s at Poland‘s Institute for Artillery Research, the P-64 was designed by a team of engineers: W. Czepukajtis, H. Adamczyk, R. Zimny, S. Kaczmarski, M. Adamczyk, and J. Pyzel. The acronym CZAK was bestowed on the gun in honor of its creators.
The P-64 weighs in at around 22 ounces and with a 3.3 inch barrel the gun is small in stature. Its fixed sights are small and difficult to acquire but lend themselves to surprisingly good accuracy. Recoil is snappy via the pistol’s direct blowback design, though reliable. It suffers from a painfully small capacity in that it uses a 6-round magazine and in my honest opinion is a real challenge to reload quickly due to its recessed magazine release found on the underside of the grip, behind the magwell. Magazines will drop free depending on how tight the grips are. Its other shortcoming is an insanely heavy double action as the trigger pull weight in the configuration is nearly 25 pounds, the single action pull is light and crisp though. All around an excellent defensive weapon that conceals very easily with the correct combination of holster and clothing.
The P-64 can be purchased in the U.S. as an imported firearm and is a relatively affordable collectors piece at around $200. The P-64 disassembles the same as a Makarov in that the trigger guard is pulled down and the slide is then pulled back and lifted, allowing the slide to be removed from the barrel. The P-64 is an excellent low-profile service pistol but does not make the cut when held up to the modern standard due to its limited ammo capacity and fixed barrel; this does not mean it is ineffective though, just outdated.