At the very beginning of the 1930’s M.V. Margolin, while working as an instructor at the Moscow Osoviakhim, created a self-loading small-bore rifle with the capability of selective fire. In this there was really nothing unusual, except that the designer was blind! In the 1920’s the eighteen-year old soldier suffered a head injury and forever lost his sight.
In 1936 the Margolin began work on the design of a sport 5.6 mm rim fire pistol, which took him 5 years to complete. On June 21, 1941 permission was received for testing of the design of the new pistol designed by Margolin, who was at that time the chief of the experimental-design shop in the experimental workshops of the Osoviakhim. Permission to test meant development that could lead to a test batch of five hundred pistols. But, the following morning the war began, and all thought of a sporting weapon was immediately forgotten.
Margolin left Moscow in the evacuation to Siberia. After returning to Moscow once the war was over, Margolin was assigned to the design bureau for the repair of weapons systems. In 1948 he created the pistol, which for half a century has been known as “the Margolin pistol”. Like the majority of sport pistols for the 5.6 mm rim fire cartridge (.22 LR) the Margolin has a blowback bolt and a safety that works on an open hammer.
There were at least 6 models of basic Margolin pistol made before 1980.
The first model is from the “first years of production”. It is called this because that is the way it always referred to in the Russian documentation. Shown below is a drawing from an early manual of a cased version of the long barreled early production Margolin.