P-64 "CZAK"
P-64 CZAK having official designation "9mm Pistol Model 64" (9mm pistolet wz. 64), is a Polish semiautomatic pistol designed by Romuald Zimny, Witold Czepukajtis, Mieczysław Adamczyk, Henryk Adamczyk, Kazimierz Kowalewski, Stanisław Kaczmarski and Jerzy Pyzel (designers from Centralny Badawczy Poligon Artyleryjski, Central Artillery Proving Grounds in Zielonka, today Wojskowy Instytut Techniczny Uzbrojenia, Military Intitute of Armament Technology). CZAK is the acronym created from first letters of its designers surnames. Gun was designed to replace Soviet TT pistol in Polish Armed Forces and Citizen's Militia (Police in Polish People's Republic). Contest for new pistol started in 1958. For trials were submitted: WiR Model 57, designed by Piotr Wilniewczyc and Stanisław Rojek, Pistol Model 58, designed by Ryszard Białostocki and Ryszard Chełmicki, and CZAK pistol designed by construction team from Zielonka. New pistol had to be chambered for Soviet 9x18mm 57-N-181S cartridge (popularly known as 9x18mm Makarov) and had to be equipped with Double Action trigger mechanism, cartridge indicator, and safety which wouldn't lock the slide. Guidelines for new pistol called also for a small and lightweight construction suitable for undercover carry by Citizen Militia officers. Construction team from Zielonka designed two versions of the pistol: CZAK Milicyjny (for Militia), and heavier and bigger CZAK Wojskowy (for Armed Forces). First prototype was a CZAK Milicyjny chambered for 9x17SR mm (.380 ACP). Prototype fired 9x17SR mm ammunition because construction team didn't have access to supply of Soviet 9x18mm cartridges. Second prototype was a CZAK Wojskowy chambered for Soviet 9x18mm cartridge. In 1961 construction team from Zielonka won contest, but Polish Ministry of Defence abandoned the new pistol program. After Ministry of Defense withdrawal, new pistol program came under the management of Ministry of Interior. Designers abandoned CZAK Wojskowy, and continued work on CZAK Milicyjny. Test production lot of CZAK Milicyjny was manufactured in Weapon Factory in Radom. After the initial test production series units were submitted for field trials, the Ministry of Defence was again interested in acquiring CZAK pistol. In 1965 CZAK Milicyjny was entered in service in Polish Armed Forces and Citizen's Militia. Mass production started in Radom Factory in 1966. Prototype pistols and pistols from test series have external slide catch lever and magazine safety. External slide catch lever and magazine safety does not exist in mass production pistols. In the West the P-64 is commonly known as a "Polish Makarov", but CZAK is not a copy of the Makarov pistol.
P-64 "CZAK" design
P-64 CZAK is a blowback operated pistol which fires from a closed bolt. There is a frame mounted slide catch, but gun not have external slide catch lever. Extractor is mounted on right side of the slide, and ejector is located on slide catch. The cartridge indicator is mounted above the firing pin. Recoil spring is located around the barrel. Slide stop is mounted on trigger guard. Machined slide and frame are made from steel. On right and left sides of the grip, there are mounted flat plastic panels. Pistol has double action trigger mechanism with external hammer, and firing pin with spring. Guns produced after 1972 have modified external hammer. The hammer spring is located inside rear strap of a grip. On left side of slide is located manual safety and decocker lever. Gun with lever in upper position is ready to fire. Lever in its down position decocks hammer, locks and shields firing pin, and separates trigger bar from a sear. Weapon with safety engaged can be reloaded, but shooter can not carry the pistol safely with hammer cocked. Pistol fires Soviet 9x18mm 57-N-181S cartridge. Gun is fed from a single column magazine having capacity of 6 rounds. On both sides of a magazine box there are vertical inspection windows, and the floorplate is made out of plastic. Magazine latch is located on the bottom of the grip, engaging the rear edge of the magazine floorplate. Hammer spring serves also as a magazine catch spring. On the top of the slide there are open sights calibrated for 25 meters. Replaceable rear sight exists in several sizes, allowing fine tuning of point of impact.
P-64 dissasembly
Before disasembly shooter must unload weapon and check the chamber. Field stripping is accomplished by pulling down trigger guard, moving slide to the rear position, and lifting up rear end of the slide. After lifting up rear end of the slide, shooter can move slide forward and separate slide from the frame. Recoil spring could be then removed from the barrel. Gun should be assembled in reverse order.
Underwater P-64
Even though not specifically designed for underwater use, P-64 can fire and is being capable of operating correctly in such environment. Underwater, at the distance of 0.5 meter from the muzzle, the bullet still could be dangerous to a person. This information comes from an article titled "Strzaly Pod Wodą" (Underwater Shots) by Andrzej Kowalczyk, published in Polish "Colt" small arms magazine (number 5-6 1995)
P-64 summary
P-64 CZAK is small, lightweight, and is manufactured to high quality standards. Unfortunately trigger pull of 110N (24,7 Lb.) in double action mode is very hard. Above all, pistol suffers from low reliability and small magazine capacity. Generally, Polish soldiers didn't like P-64, and at the time of its introduction into service they still prefered to use TT rather than P-64 pistols. P-64 production ended in 1977 and 190,000 pistols were produced. In 1984 a Polish P-83 Wanad pistol was accepted to use in Polish Armed Forces, but small number of P-64 guns still remain in service in Polish Armed Forces and Polish Police.
Other P-64 version
P-64 B9mm was designed in 70-ties as an export version chambered for 9x17SR mm cartridge. Pistol was fed from 7-round magazine, but gun could be also fed from standard P-64 magazine designed for 6 Soviet 9x18mm rounds. Magazine from standard P-64 version can be loaded with 9x17SR mm. On the other hand, standard P-64 version can not be fed from P-64 B9mm magazine, and magazine from P-64 B9mm would not fit in the gun. P-64 B9mm was produced only as test series. Few pistols for 9x17SR mm were modified for training purposes. (Version which could not be fired)


In 70ties, under Safloryt program, there was designed a suppressed P-64 version with removable suppressor. Bullet from standard 9x18mm 57-N-181S cartridge can not break the speed of sound barrier, and P-64 with suppressor fires standard ammunition. Suppressed pistol was not accepted for service use, and never entered production


P-64G was designed in 90ties as a gas version for 9mm PA cartridge. Pistol had breech end of the barrel blocked with a pin which prevented use of standard ammunition. Barrel muzzle had provisions to mount a device for firing signal rockets. P-64G had not entered mass production
cartridge
9x18mm 57-N-181S
muzzle velocity
305m/s
barrel lenght
84,6mm
lenght
160mm
weight
620g without magazine
magazine
6 rounds single column magazine
Frame of P-64 (courtesy of Fiodotow)
Frame of P-64 (courtesy of Fiodotow)
Slide of P-64 (Fiodotow)
Slide of P-64 (Fiodotow)
Slide of P-64 (Fiodotow)
P-64 with slide on slide catch (Fiodotow)
P-64 (Fiodotow)
P-64 with decocked hammer (Fiodotow)
P-64 with cocked hammer (Fiodotow)
P-64 trigger (Fiodotow)
P-64 safety lever in "fire" position (Fiodotow)
P-64 magazine latch (Fiodotow)
P-64 with non-standard grip panels and importation marks required by US law
P-64 magazine
P-64 holster
P-64 holster