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There are some things that the Israeli Uzi SMG did right, but there are a ton of things it did wrong — especially for a gun designed to work in sandy desert environments. When the Polish military was looking for a new SMG in the 1980’s, they started with the basic Uzi design and then improved on it. Like, a lot. The result was the PM-84, and the latest and greatest incarnation of that firearm is the PM-06 . . .

Let’s start with where the Uzi went wrong, and high on that list is the open bolt design. Especially given the dusty environment that it was designed to operate in, having everything open to the elements can be a problem. Add to that the awkward safety and the odd sighting system and you’ve got a gun that only a mother could love.

Enter the PM-84, and today’s firearm the PM-06.

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The differences start with the operating mechanism. The gun is still a direct blowback action like the Uzi, but it fires from a closed bolt instead of an open one. The design is such that the bolt actually extends past the chamber and wraps around the barrel, adding more protection for if the barrel should rupture and allowing for a shorter overall package with the same bolt weight.

That closed bolt design also allows for another convenient feature: last round hold-open. When the last round of a magazine is fired, the gun locks open to enable quicker loading of a fresh magazine. The release catch is conveniently located under the thumb of a right-handed shooter, and works much like a conventional slide release on a handgun. It’s simple, intuitive, and allows the gun to be reloaded much faster than its Israeli counterpart.

Also unlike the Israeli gun, the charging handle is on the side of the PM-06 instead of in the middle. The Uzi uses an Ingram-esque cocking handle with a cutout to aim down the sights. The PM-06 line uses a side-mounted integrated charging handle. It loses some points from me though because it’s fixed to the bolt and reciprocates with the action, but it tends to stay out of the way.

The disassembly process is similar to the Uzi design, with the top dust cover being held in place by a spring at the rear of the gun. Also familiar is the magazine placement and the general shape of the grip. However, there is a noticeable lack of a grip safety — something I appreciate.

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While the general features of this line of firearms are nice, there are some significant improvements in the latest revision. One of those nice features is the extending skeleton stock. Not only does it extend out to a comfortable distance, but it tilts down to suit the ergonomics of the shooter.

Another feature is the palm swell on the foregrip. Older versions featured a vertical foregrip on the guns, but the circular palm grip not only allows for an easy-to-grip surface, but also allows for things to be placed inside that rather large circular space. Things like lights and lasers, and combinations thereof.

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Out on the range, the gun is an absolute dream to shoot. The trigger is smooth and easy to pull, and the sights are quick to align and use. Which brings me to another improvement in this version of the gun: an integrated Picatinny rail on the dust cover. It’s not exactly the most accurate way to mount an optic. Then again, we’re not using this for long distance precision shooting. The PM-06’s iron sights are great, but a red dot would really work wonders on this gun.

The most surprising thing about this gun is how accurate it is. Even in full auto, keeping the rounds in the space of a human head is dead-simple. The rate of fire on the gun is pleasant, and recoil is negligible.

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As a replacement for the Uzi, this pistol really shines. It’s a much more polished (and Polish!) product, with some great features. But compared to the rest of the field, it’s still a somewhat blocky and awkward design. There’s no doubt that this gun is bare bones — you can’t strip any more metal or space out of this thing without serious consequences — but it’s a decidedly last century design. Stamped sheet metal only gets you so far. Nevertheless, it’s still a hoot to shoot.

Polish PM-06 SMG

Specifications:

Caliber: 9mm
Barrel: 185mm
Size: 615mm extended, 319mm compact
Weight: 2.5 kg
Capacity: 25 round magazine
MSRP: $????

 

Ratings (Out of Five Stars):
(All ratings are relative compared to the other weapons in the gun’s category.)

Accuracy: * * * * *
Easy to control and easy to keep on target.

Ergonomics: * * * *
The safety selector is a bit awkward, but everything else falls neatly to hand.

Ergonomics Firing: * * * *
It’s great. Just don’t run it without the stock extended, at least not in full auto. The height over bore issue sucks.

Customization: *
There are apparently replacement parts for that forward grip, but you’ll never see them on the civilian market.

Overall: * * * 1/2
It’s fun and easy to shoot, but the package just isn’t as appealing as some of the other designs available on the market.

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51 Responses to Gun Review: Polish PM-06 SMG

  1. I like the odd review of stuff there’s no way in hell I’ll ever get to shoot, but it seems like that’s been most of the firearm reviews lately….can you do things I might actually be able to buy?

    • Personally I thoroughly enjoy these forays into the last century. Forgotten Weapons is one of my “daily must visit” sites.

      It’s a nice respite from the Glock better-than/worse-than XDm better-than/worse-than M&P better-than/worse-than SIG reviews. Only so many ways to write about Baskin-Robbins 31 Original Flavors.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing more in this vein. Perhaps as a suggestion: a solid (run ’em hard) look at some of the second tier brands in the marketplace… considering the current economic climate, and the tightness of wallets all around.

    • Honestly, firearms technology is pretty much at it’s peak. Right now, we’re just quibbling over colors and which of the popular calibers to use.

      • Ain’t that the sad truth.

        I know this might not sound so cool but what about reviewing some .22 LR rifles? Especially some of the more inexpensive ones like the Marlin 60/795 or the Savage 64.

        • I like this suggestion. Sounds like a good candidate for some KJW input. GSG’s ‘gewehr (and also, other) clones could be fodder for review subject matter as well.

          Toss some rimfire pistols into the mix for good measure.

        • Maybe review the MCM pistol? Inexpensive, not hard to find and is unique enough to catch your attention.

          I tried one, liked it, was surprised that a blind guy designed it.

        • @Lolinski re: Margolin MCM – unequivocal yes! That is _exactly_ my kind of obscure.

        • I personally like them, since they are inexpensive (not cheap), accurate/reliable pistols while being unique.

          I believe you still can get them for little money in the US (maybe 250-400), I also believe you can import them since they are target pistols (intended for bullseye competitions and the like).

  2. Sooo…is it just me or does the recent spate of reviews on firearms falling into the unobtainium category seem a bit pointless and bourgeois?

    I like the lesson and all, but perhaps these belong in a different bucket besides “Gun Reviews”?

    • TTAG’s Japanese readers could say that about the most of the reviews on this site. I love the suppressor and FA reviews even though non-dealers can’t legally own either in this state. Please keep them coming.

      • I do like Top Gear, but Top Gear doesn’t do reviews. Auto Week does reviews. There is a difference.

        I like these posts, but again I think they should fall into a category other than review. I mean taking some pictures of an SMG on the worlds most hideously upholstered couch and running a mag or 2 through it hardly constitutes a review. Its more show and tell.

        Honestly something like a “Unobtainium” category with a different format would be great for these kinds of posts. You give some history, a mini brief on how it shoots, maybe what they go for on the market and how many are eligible for transfer or even if it they are eligible for transfer.

  3. All you ignorant people complaining about how this gun is unobtainable need to go and put your heads back in the hole it was prior to commenting here. Just because you cant own something doesn’t mean you cant appreciate it and doesn’t mean you cant learn and hear about something new. How about writing and article to TTAG about what gun you think needs to be tested? How about going out and testing a gun and writing a review so that the rest of us can learn something from you?

    I swear these comment sections bring out the worst of us…

    • Oh, FFS. They’ve been doing more unobtanium reviews than reviews of things we can obtain lately and it’s getting a bit old. I don’t mind the occasional one but I think all the gun reviews the last couple of weeks have been in that category.

      • We had an opportunity to review a whole bunch of otherwise impossible to shoot guns thanks to a generous offer from someone in the industry. This is the last one in the queue, I’ll be returning to “normal” reviews next week.

        • that’s kind of a relief.

          I mean, I do like these sorts of reviews….but if it was a permanent direction, it’d drop this site down on my list a lot because I want reviews on things I’m actually looking at buying more. Or hell, even reviews on less well known but still obtainable guns .

        • Yeah, because we need yet ANOTHER review of a Glock or XD.

          Keep on keepin on Leghorn.

      • no, they’ve reviewed those.

        But Tikka T3s? The current Ruger 77s? CZ 557s? Lots of guns out there to review….

      • You could probably get one from your Local Smuggler (LS), though that would be highly illegal and I can’t condone that.

        • They even made a film about it? Of course I was talking about the film, like there a real smugglers or corrupt logistics officers? Right?

          Also, how do I use my Gravatar account on TTAG?

      • According to every liberal media outlet, most of the pols an the left and even some ignorant ones on the right, plus Moms Demand Porn Action, Bloomie, and every ignorant commentator on the web, we can buy fully automatic Weapons Of War TM right hereon the interwebs without a background check. I believe we even get one free with either our NRA membership or our Tea Party membership. They also give them out at voting booths in TX and AZ. Most of us spend our free time masturbating on them when we aren’t shooting kittens and unicorns that are grazing under rainbows. But only us racist white guys.

        Did I leave anything out?

        • You forgot that we only use our firearms to shoot our children or at each other during parking incidents.

      • Maybe not, but there are a lot of places you can rent post-86 full autos. I rented a Glock 18 at a range in South Dakota a few years ago.

  4. I don’t care if I ever own one. It’s still cool to see and know about. BTW I don’t read TTAG for gun or gear reviews. Mostly political & entertainment reasons.

  5. The Poles make some interesting stuff.

    I once heard, but it’s completely unverified, that they used to have a surprisingly good intelligence service. Something about being surrounded by enemies and having the Soviet Union on their doorstep. Not sure if it is still true today, or if it was ever true.

    This was about the last review I expected. I like this little SMG and see it in the occasional movie but it’s fairly obscure. Pretty neat. Not sure it’s at the top of my list should I ever have the means to start shooting stuff like this but definitely of interest.

  6. I think the reason we’re getting a bunch of machine gun reviews is because Nick got to play around with a bunch that a friend of his owns. The reviews are trickling out one at a time instead of doing one massive article. So, he got a cool opportunity, and we get to read about it over time.

  7. Nick, did you just compare a gun that was designed in 2006 to a gun that was designed in 1950? Why would you compare the newest model of the PM line, to the oldest model of the Uzi line? The Uzi pro literally fixed all the problems you complained about! It has rails, side charging handle, polymer lower and fires from a closed bolt.

    This seems to me to be an unfair comparison.

    • While I like a side mounted charging handle, the top mounted one is easier to use with either hand. Which should make it more ambidextrous….when I can stop bumping into the mag release when shooting left handed.

    • Actually it was designed in early 80-s as a cheaper replacement of milled PM-63 RAK for vehicle crews, RPG operators and police – the codename of R&D program was “Glauberyt” (its our afterwar tradition to have “chemical” names for small arms: Wanad, Onyks, Tantal, Beryl, Tor, Bor, Radon etc.) hence in Poland all versions of this smg are commonly known as Glauberyt – grunts nicknamed them as “wiertarka” – “handheld driller”. Originally it was issued as PM-84 in 9X18 as it was military and police cartdridge of the day but 9×19 experimental version already existed, wchich after country switched to NATO standards was issued as PM-84P (as Parabellum, 9×19) and then updated due to demands of Police with this funky grip with flashlight socket, cover rail, new magazine release and slightly reinforced stock. There are quite many of variations, including longer barreled, semiauto etc. It is now being replaced in the military by 5,56 mini-beryl, but still remains commonly issued to the SRT police teams outside the bigger cities, bank and postal guards, railway police, private security companies also buy them because its cheaper than foreign smgs – it costs equivalent of 500-700 $, depending of version – the semiauto BRS-99 being the most expensive. Among civillian shooters its not that popular – for that money we can buy nice semiauto AK or CZ-858 Tactical. Finish on PM-84 and police PM-98 was rather lousy – they tend to rust pretty quickly, there were also durability issues with trigger parts and the folding stock, aside from that its quite dependable and very accurate.

  8. What are you guys whining about? I love these exotic/unobtanium reviews. Variety of content keeps this place interesting

    • I also like them, hope they can review the Dragunov one day. One in a good condition with some good ammo, not a war bringback that has been dragged through hell and back.

  9. Unobtanium? Horsepuckey.

    I hear Leland Yee can get you several dozen for a decent price… FOB Malaysia.

  10. Where’s the shooting experience paragraph? And where’s the accuracy observations? This review, and the past four or five by Foghorn, have been lacking somewhat. I’m sorry to complain so much but I really wish that he could go back to the older review style, where he spent less time harping on about the features and more about the practical features. And I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Please, stuff you can buy without a Class 3.

  11. Thanks for the review! I’ve always appreciated TTAG’s perspective into things such as the major shortcomings of the UZI. This Polish gun definitely looks like a much more refined design. For the relative size, I would prefer an SBR – particularly the 300 BLK Sig Honey Badger concept or a IWI Tavor with a trigger upgrade.

  12. So it’s an Uzi, but with enough changes to be an Un-Uzi, but it’s still a 9mm SMG W/O a threaded barrel and so-so ergos which puts it with many other WW2ish SMGs, only smaller.
    Next!

  13. The UZI is not perfect but to compare it to a Polock gun is laughable puff piece at best. Where is the shooting report??? Without a shooting report a gun review is just keyboard hand job for somebody who has no productive task to perform.

  14. As an amateur firearms historian, I love the idea of more content of this nature. IMO you could spend a month or more just doing similar reviews of the unbelievable plethora of masterpieces put forth by one John Moses Browning.

  15. Waste of bandwidth reviewing something that will NEVER be imported and NEVER offered for sale to anyone but the “anointed” ones in law enforcement.

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