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9x18 Makarov Questions

JuggernautJuggernaut Member Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
edited October 2008 in Ask the Experts
Isnt the 9x18 Makarov the most powerful 9mm cartridge under the 9x19 Para and of the prevalent 9mm cartridges aside from any of the odd 9mm variations out there?
I was considering getting a Russian or possibly other 9x18 Makarov High Capacity Pistol and was wondering if it is considered adequate carry being that it is such a small round since the smallest I would normally carry would be a .38 or 9x19 and are the special high capacity magazines difficult to find?
Also considered the Walther PP and PPK, but their rounds were even smaller so I came up with the Makarov instead; unless there are any other suggestions, as I prefer 9x19 in an auto for a carry pistol, but 9x18 Makarov will hopefully be adequate enough.
Thank you.


  • AnonymouseAnonymouse Member Posts: 4,050
    edited November -1
    The Mak round isn't really a 9mm (which is .355). The Mak round is .363 and is somewhere between the .380 and the 38 Special in effectiveness when good hollow points are used. As for the hi-cap 10 round mag versions, they do not have a good reputation for feed reliability. Although the problem seems to be the mags themselves, as the regular 8 round mags will fit and function just fine in a hicap gun, although they tend to wiggle a bit at the bottom. That all being said, the 9mm Mak round will serve just fine as a self defense piece, just as the .380 and 38 Special do, as long as you use good hollow point ammo.
  • Wehrmacht_45Wehrmacht_45 Member Posts: 3,377
    edited November -1
    They will stop a bad guy if you do your part. Its more about aim than caliber with any handgun.

    Get the single stack model. You still get more rounds than a 38 snubbie.
  • n/an/a Member Posts: 168,427
    edited November -1
    I would not recommend the Makarov hi-cap, as they were commerical guns, with adj. sights (totally unnecessary), and IMHO not as reliable as the Bulgarian or East German single stack military issue guns.

    If you want a good hi-cao 9x18, look at a Cz-82. Great bargian, reliable, good DA/SA trigger, and totally ambidextrious.

    I love my Cz-82
  • RocklobsterRocklobster Member Posts: 7,060
    edited November -1
    The 9x18mm Makarov and 9mm Kurz(.380) cartridges are almost identical in terms of ballistics.
  • jthoresenjthoresen Member Posts: 443 ✭✭
    edited November -1

    If it were me, I would go with a 9X19. The ammo is available everywhere with a wide assortment and you just can't beat the price. Even the Russians have moved over the 9X19.

  • beantownshootahbeantownshootah Member Posts: 12,776 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    To be clear, the 9x18 Makarov cartridge is slightly more powerful than, but for practical purposes equivalent to the 9x17, (also known as the 9mm short, 9mm kurz, and .380 ACP).

    Both of these rounds are LESS powerful than the common .38+P and also take lighter bullets.

    Are they "enough"? They certainly can be, so long as you place the shots properly, and they are far better than any .32, .25, or .22.

    The 9x19 cartridge (aka 9mm luger, 9mm parabellum, or usually just "9mm") is a FAR more powerful cartridge, which is why it (and not the others) is the standard military and police pistol round for 90% of the planet.

    The difference can be explained by the fact that the 9x17 and 9x18 were both designed for simple "blowback" type pocket pistols. The high pressure of the 9mm luger cartridge is too much for that design, and requires a locked breech type action.

    The "most powerful" common 9mm cartridge (if you don't include revolver cartridges like .357 magnum which could be considered 9mm) is the 9x23mm Winchester.

    This one is a newer update on the older .38 super and 9mm largo, and can achieve 1450fps with a 125 grain bullet, making it fully equivalent to .357 magnum.

    The 357 SIG also uses 9mm bullets and is slightly less powerful, though again roughly comparable, and for practical purposes similar.

    So here are the numbers. These are ballpark, the exact ballistics will depend on load and pistol used:

    9x17 (.380 ACP) 90 grain bullet @ 1000 fps
    9x18 (makarov) 95 grain bullet @ 975 fps
    .38 special +P 125 grain bullet @ 950 fps
    9x19 +P (parabellum) 124 grain bullet @ 1200 fps
    357 SIG 124 grain bullet @ 1350 fps
    9x23 124 grain bullet @ 1450 fps
    .357 magnum 125 grain bullet @ 1450 fps

    As you can see, there is no real difference between the 9x17 and 9x18, and you take a huge step up when you get to 9x19. Remember, the energy of a round is proportionate to the SQUARE of its velocity, meaning with identical bullets, a round that goes 20% faster is actually over 40% more powerful.

    Personally speaking, compared to most of the steel pocket-380 type guns I'd rather have the 30% extra power of the .38 special +P combined with the 100% reliability of the wheelgun platform, even if I have to give up 2 or 3 rounds to get there.

    But that's subjective. The slimmer package and higher capacity of the small autos do have their appeal, and some of the newer polymer .380s (eg the Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec 3AT) are so small and light, that the convenience of them might be worth it.
  • JuggernautJuggernaut Member Posts: 719 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by jthoresen
    JDraco, If it were me, I would go with a 9X19. The ammo is available everywhere with a wide assortment and you just can't beat the price. Even the Russians have moved over the 9X19. Jesse

    Yeah, I believe that you are correct as I am very familiar with the 9x19mm from service in the Marine Corps, it is a much more powerful round and I just was not that familiar with the 9x18 Makarov however and even though it has its use I am sure that I would feel more comfortable using a 9x19mm for a smaller carry round. I have come across the Walther P5 in 9x19mm and feel that would really work and its a lot like a Walther P38K or Makarov and like you said since its 9x19mm the assortment of ammunition variations and the price is excellent.
  • gotstolefromgotstolefrom Member Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The fixed barrel of the blow-back action can be very accurate for a short barrel gun.

    If you want the smaller package of the 9x18 auto, PBJloaf's suggestion of the CZ82 is very good. My german mak is beautiful piece that is smooth as silk....BUT, I like having the'controls' in the 1911 style positions. The CZ has this for both left and right hand shooters, and is only wider in the grip for the hi-cap mag.
    A great shooter for the buck, but the prices are going everything.
  • rusty1rusty1 Member Posts: 292 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I hear a lot of talk about the makarov and i have two of them,a i was surprised of how well they work. but i was ever more surprised about the CZ 52 its a bit ugly but its a has a powerful round and you can replace the barrel with a 9x19, and i agree a 9x18 is a good carry weapon. both are good guns for the money.
  • Wehrmacht_45Wehrmacht_45 Member Posts: 3,377
    edited November -1
    Get one of the cheap Sig 225 guns coming in.
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