HomeFirearmsZastava M88A Review


Zastava M88A Review — 20 Comments

  1. I have had a Zastava M88a for about 6 months. Mine also shoots dead on. Unlike the above review, I’ve had no problems with any of the different types of ammo I’ve run through it and found it to be very reliable. It shot great right out of the box even before a good cleaning. The trigger isn’t as nice as my CZ 9mm, but after a few rounds you don’t seem to notice it. It is a small gun, but not like those uncomfortable cracker jack box guns where you can only get two fingers around the grip. Very nice fit for a medium to large sized hand. I haven’t noticed any problem with the weight of the gun. It’s so thin and easy to conceal it isn’t a factor to me. If you like a single action auto type gun it would be hard to beat, especially for the price (paid 220 for mine).

    It was impossible to find spare magazines for my M88a, so after reading a Norinco 213 mag would work I bought one and tried it. It wasn’t perfect would not seat properly in the gun. I had to file it in two different areas to adjust it, but now it works fine. Until they start importing regular M88a magazines it looks like the only option, but expect to do some adjusting.

  2. Let me get this straight…

    You took the pistol new out of the box and gave it a “snort” of WD-40 … ***—>>> WD 40 <<<—*** … and you fault the pistol for not being 100% reliable.


    • Herbert,

      Thank you for the comments, I do appreciate all of my readers. I would ask however that you read carefully before posting anything dismissive or argumentative. If you would like to look the article over again you will notice that my friend, who I stated knows very little about guns, put WD-40 into the Zastava before ever joining me at the range.

      Again, thank you for your comments but please try to be a little more objective next time.

      Plan and Prep

      • To be perfectly honest Herbert was correct, the review you posted didn’t state that the firearms was properly cleaned, knowing it had only been sprayed with wd-40. You then bashed the firearm for FTF and FTE issues when the proper maintenance for the weapon was not done. Even “battlefield maintenance” is greater than a spray of wd-40. Therefore your ranking for reliability is flawed, and as such the remainder of this review is heavily suspect, especially when you are attempting to persuade people to not purchase this particular firearm. I respect your opinion and had a follow up review been posted, after proper cleaning had been performed, I would be on your side. Without that it’s like taking a mosin nagant to the range full of cosmoline, useless.

        • Chuck,

          I agree that the review could use a follow-up but my friend traded the Zastava shortly after our range day. In regards to the condition of the weapon before firing and the results being “flawed” I disagree. The Zastava was not packed in grease for shipping. It was presented in a cardboard box with absolutely no lubrication on it according to my friend and also according to a few dealers I have spoken to about the pistol. Apparently this is commonplace.

          While we were on the range and experienced the issues we asked one of the shop armorers to look at the pistol. When he asked about lubrication my friend told him about the WD40 and he said “that should be fine for just a trip here, it isn’t causing these issues”. Now this is an armorer at a very well respected shop and range, not Joe Schmoe who can research things on Google. Would I or anyone else with any gun knowledge use WD40 to lubricate my guns, no, but it was on the pistol and the armorer said it was NOT causing the issues.

          According to the armorer the issues were mechanical. He suggested allowing them to disassemble the gun and grind down any burs (which are apparently common to the Zastava) and make sure the weapon is properly fitting together. I based my review off of the performance of the weapon, the information gathered from the armorer and my own personal opinions.

          Thank you,

          • Alex,

            Thank you for the reply and further information. I do understand where your rating is based now and as such would have loved to hear in the review that burrs are common place on these firearms, causing the malfunctions you experienced. I hope you understand that at the time I placed the comment, with the information I had, the review did seem flawed. Again with this further information, I would no longer regard this review as flawed. I appreciate all the work that you do to provide us with honest reviews about firearms.

      • I have a Walther P22 that is awesome. Small, legthwiight, very very reliable and doesnt feel? cheap or flimsy like some other .22 pistols I have used. Highly reccommend the P22. I got mine for about $300 and it was worth every penny. They are pretty easy to find use for about 200-250 if the price is a problem.

    • I have? had a m9 since 1988 and have shoot tonusahds and tonusahds of round through it has never Fail in any way shape or form I love this gun and there not to pricey where I live they are about $480 to $500 compared to sigs that are $900 to $1000

  3. Your review and comments sounds like your friendbknows zip about guns, Wd-40 is one of the worst things to put into guns no matter what the Armorer said he must not know much as well!

    You sound like you know a lot more then both your friend and armorer! No need to listen to them!

    When ever I get a gun I clean the $h!t out of them Rem Oil and hoppes lube, If the internals look iffy take it apart and polish problem areas, Feeding ramp polish,parts polish (always unless it’s from a top gun maker)
    The problems you stated sound like a dirty gun and dirty mag could be the break in period also(some guns run 500rnds-1000rnds to break in the spring, if he would of left the gun slide open for like a week or 2, then went shooting you would of had way less problems, Tokarev’s are known for there heavy springs so u got get it to soften up, to bad your friend sold it you could of had a nice gun!

    thing about wd40 it holds material and turns thick, for a AK that’s perfectly fine for any other gun I don’t trust doing that maybe a MAC because they need to be highly lube as well Mac= sub gun AK! But besides that there’s a reason everyone and there mom say don’t use WD40 on your guns!

    • Yes, I am a Marine. Boot camp is not too bad as long as you actually have your head in the game to fisnih. It was a little tougher when I went through than it is now, so I am a firm believer that anyone can do it. As long as you are generally in shape (sporty? kind of kid at least) and can take being yelled at non stop for 13 weeks than you can do it no problem. PM me if you have any specific Marine Corps questions

  4. Interesting evaluation. I picked up an M88 from Sportsman’s Guide about two months ago for under $200 and have fired it twice since for a total of about 150 rnds. It came exactly as you described, a factory box with no padding, two mags, a brush and the pistol. It was however quite clean but, as I always do, I broke it down and lubricated it. The first time out, it shot with no malfunctions of any kind using my own reloads with 120 gn cast bullets over 5.2 gns of some rather old 452AA (which I have several pounds of and love for my pistols). It shot great but just a bit low left. May have been result of a 7.5lb trigger that caused just a slight dip in my old hands. Second time out was almost exactly the same but with one FTE…but again, lets be fair, they are reloads after all and not what I would carry. I had a local gunsmith look at the trigger but he said it would cost more to fix it than the gun is worth. I am not sure of that. It is small but stoutly built. I like it enough that I plan to do the trigger job myself and use it alternately as a carry to my Polish P64 9Mak.

    • Ladies might pack a pink pistol, but not an AK-47.Ah so the many-many women I seevrd with in the Marines aren’t ladies?I’m inclined to agree, in some cases. But never to their faces.

  5. I got the m88a two days ago. Went out to shoot it but had malfunction like the magazine would come out after firing one round. So I had to hold the mag in place with my pinkie….
    Any recommendations on what to do?

    • Idahunter,

      First I would verify the magazine are the proper mags for that specific model. If this was an aftermarket purchase the magazines could be generic 9mm mags that “fit” the weapon but don’t catch.

      If the mags are correct for that model I would have an armorer check the mag well and the mag catch to ensure they are working properly. I would advise against firing the weapon in its current status simply for safety reasons.


    • Same problem here. take out the mag release and file the back end so it sits further in. HINT its not a flat tip to get it out. Its a pinch and push.

  6. Glock 17 is 22 ounces. I asurse you, if you were carrying a 2.15 pound? weight on your hip every day you wouldn’t say it is light. This hunk of metal is just that and hunk of metal. Fairly reliable and accurate, but there are better full size 9mm options by far. Thanks for watching!

  7. Dad gum, I just bought one sight unseen, sounds like it may not be the value I was looking for. Anyone want a new one for 200.00?
    Thanks to all for the comments.

  8. Pingback: Best Ammo For Zastava M88

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twelve − eight =