I just purchased my first Makarov at a gun show, and I have learned it is from East Germany, made in 1961. I have a question about one of the markings on the frame under the safety. There is a mark that looks like a backward "s" that is surrounded by dots. If anyone knows what this may be, I would REALLY appreciate some help! Thanks
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In most cases, letter was the initial of the inspector. Legend has it that the circle of dots has a meaning as well. Each dot represents a specific inspection test that was performed on that pistol. The stamp that was used to perform this imprinting has movable punches in the place of each dot. The individual dots could be either selected or deselected, depending on whether that test was performed on that pistol. The absence of dots in the circle pattern does not necessarily mean that the pistol failed those tests, but rather that the tests may not have been performed on that pistol.
When I do a google image search I see one pistol taht has a lower case 'a' that could resemble a backward 's' if the imprint strike was light, and th eback line was too faint to see.
Can't see anything definitive on what the mark means. Makarov web sites speculate that a 'y' in that spot may indicate taht it is a training pistol. So I would guess it was a designation or acceptance mark of some sort.