I'm sure we've all
heard the Internet horror stories about people being ripped off, scam artists
peddling their vapor-wares, and so forth. Actually, few days go by without us
receiving some offers to get rich quick by just sending $5 to 5 different people.
We want to make sure that Makarov.com is viewed as a
fun, informative place to visit and a quality place to do business. We've taken
a bit of time to put this page together to give you a feel for how Makarov.com got started, what it's all about, what
others have said, and a chance to view feedback references before you send a
check to some faceless address or submit a credit card form over the net.
The Fall of the Wall
In 1992, I visited a friend in Germany, and I wanted to see the newly opened
East Germany and East Berlin. I became interested in East Germany and picked up
a few military surplus things at the Brandenburg gate. Upon my return, I saw an
ad for a local gun shop that had East German Makarovs. Since it was only $179, I
bought it. I was hooked.
No Available Information
I found a drought of information on the gun, particularly reloading the then-odd
9x18 caliber, so I started experimenting. An article came out in American
Rifleman (Rocky Raab), so I was off and running trimming my 9mm Parabellum brass
and using my new dies from Hornady.
Soon I had collected enough information to write up a manual and with access
to a scanner, I could even illustrate. When I was nearly finished, I realized
that there was probably a very limited market for such an item. Also, I was
doing it for fun and as a record of my own loads and experiences. Therefore, I
wrote a short blurb about reloading the 9x18M on a
Dillon 550 reloading press for the
rec.guns FAQ. Pretty soon, I outgrew that and wanted to stop pestering Dave
Putzolu to keep updating my text.
The World Wide Web
The next stop then was to add Makarov reloading information on my personal
homepage. After a while I managed to get this listed with search engines and
people starting asking questions not only about 9x18M reloading, but the pistols
themselves. I was gobbling up all the information I could find and plastering it
on my web page.
Where Do I Get... ?
The next step came after people kept asking me where to get grips, magazines, and other accessories. After a while I learned where to send people and found that there was enough interest for me to buy some items in bulk and sell them directly at good prices. Soon manufacturers and distributors started contacting me whether I would be interested in carrying their products. As this grew, I realized that my ISP would eventually catch on that I'm selling stuff and kick me off. Also, I was beginning to outgrow my 5MB limit on homepages. With the combination of the domain name, Makarov.com and the Makarovpistol.com mirror site, web hosting, a toll-free voice/fax number, and addition of a shopping cart, the result soon grew into a full time business.
Karl Bloss is owner of Makarov.com, which, until 2001, was a Pennsylvania-based corporation. We have since reincorporated in West Virginia as Makarov.com, LLC. Karl has a full-time position as a chemical engineer and the occasional light-hearted reference to "Dr. Karl" stems from his Ph.D. in engineering that was completed during the first few years of running Makarov.com
Starting in 2002, Makarov.com had a class 01 federal firearms license (FFL), a retail shop in St. Albans, WV and thus sold firearms for a few years. When the Retail store was closed in late 2006 due to overwhelming time demands from the Mail Order business, we could no longer sell complete firearms.
Around the same time as our move to West Virginia, long-time customer and vendor George Fisher joined the Makarov.com team. George is the creator of the 9x18M semi-wadcutter bullet, the grip enhancers, and many other accessories. He has since been experimenting with Makarov laser pointers, scope mounts, and a number of other projects. George became the operations manager of Makarov.com and oversaw the day to day operation of the retail store as well as the on-line business.
Makarov.com is a fun project for us and we enjoy corresponding with likeminded people. The business is self-sustaining enough to pay the bills (including salaries) and finance a few Makarov-related projects that we report about, but this isn't quite up to maintaining a full-time salary for Karl. We just try to get good deals for people and recover the shipping costs and have a few bucks left over, which we usually roll into other projects.
In May 2008 the demands of the business again began to out pace the time available to one person, and since Makarov Pistols were no longer being imported, the decision was made to sell off the business Inventory and close the Retail sales portion of Makarov.com. It took several months to do this, and the E-commerce portion of the website finally closed on September 30th, 2008. The Left over inventory is sometimes offered on www.gunbroker.com as time allows. When the Retail sales portion of the website closed, we also took the down the Tech Support and contact information off the website. We hope to leave the informational portion of the website up for a long time to come, however we no longer offer any Tech Support, answer questions or respond to "Where do I get......" requests. If you are looking for Makarov Parts, grips, etc May we suggest www.gunbroker.com or try clicking here.
Customers often write us after they've received orders. We're not mentioning
names, except where appropriate so as not to put these people on the spot.
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