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Special emphasis was placed on safety, user-friendliness, accuracy, weight, and dimensions.

After stringent handling, reliability, and other tests, Makarov's pistol, which was inspired from the German Walther PP, stood out from other designs through its sheer simplicity, excellent reliability, quick disassembly, and robustness.

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As the new standard issue sidearm of the USSR, the PM was issued to NCOs, police, special forces, and tank and air crews.

It remained in wide front-line service with Soviet military and police until and beyond the end of the USSR in 1991.

As a result, in December 1945, two separate contests for a new service pistol were created, respectively for a 7.62mm and 9mm pistol.

It was later judged that the new 9.2×18mm cartridge, designed by B. Semin, was the best round suited for the intended role.

The PM is a medium-size, straight-blowback-action, all-steel construction, frame-fixed barrel handgun.