About a half year ago I was put on to 9x18 Makarov chambered pistols and started doing research. Last month I bought a PA-63 at a gun show for $200 out the door. The vendor had it marked $225. After picking it up I took it home and did a field strip cleaning and examination.
My daughter and I took it out a few days later and put 50rds of 95 gr. CCI Blazer FMJ through it as a test. As I had read, the DA pull was awful. SA was a little better but not great. The gun kicked pretty good and after we were done we both could feel it.
Since I knew that this was going to be the case, there was already a new set of springs on their way from Wolff springs. When they arrived I did a detailed strip and changed out the recoil, hammer, and firing pin springs. The standard recoil spring is 11lbs and was changed to 15. The hammer spring was originally a 16lb spring meant for the hard primers in Hungarian sub machine gun rounds. I chose a 11 lb spring. Trigger pull is much lighter and smoother too.
Back at the range, this time with my wife (who thinks the gun is really cute), we shot some 94gr Silver Bear FMJ. The kick was better and although I dont shoot good enough to brag, I thought it aimed naturally and I did pretty good with it. I ran 100 rds of the FMJ through it that day with no problems at all. Unfortunately, despite polishing the feed ramp lightly during cleaning, I could not get Silver Bear HP's to reliably chamber.
All and all, the gun was fun to shoot. I would carry it defensively only with FMJ at this point. The best part for me was that my wife liked it so she will be comfortable should it be needed. That's worth the $ right there. But for the cost, even with $20 springs thrown in there, this is a great gun.