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JQP
November 21, 2010, 12:29 PM
Makarov 9x18mm: Effective cartridge for concealed carry, yes or no?

What is the FiringLine consensus on the 9x18mm cartridge for self-defense in a concealed carry application?

How do the better 'Makarov' cartridges stack up to 9mm Luger, .38 special, and .380 auto?

Would you deem it an acceptable performer in the role of a concealed carry self-defense firearm?

Please share your thoughts, data and experiences.

Scout
November 21, 2010, 12:37 PM
It's no .44 magnum, but I trust it for my purposes. The Mak is light, durable, concealable, and reliable.

WVsig
November 21, 2010, 12:49 PM
It will serve you well if you can put the rounds where they are supposed to go. IMHO its all about shootability of any given caliber by the shooter in question which determines a rounds effectiveness. There is a broad range of acceptable calibers but in the end it comes down to what you shoot best. Its a lot more subjective than people think.

If you cannot hit the broad side of a barn with a .45 ACP but are lights out with 9mm which one is a effective concealed carry cartridge for you?

If you shoot the Mak well and score positive hits with it then it is an effective round for you. It is not my personal choice but YMMV.

t45
November 21, 2010, 12:56 PM
The Makarov is considered in between a 380 and 9mm and far as performance so I would say yes to a defensive weapon.

wnycollector
November 21, 2010, 01:19 PM
A few years ago I carried a russian mak loaded with wolf 100gr FMJ and never felt under gunned.

Cheapshooter
November 21, 2010, 01:35 PM
A little hard to find, but Hornady makes a 9X18 with a 95 gr. XTP JHP @ 1000fps. As good as any 380. I have carried my CZ 82 with that round without reservation.

Hairbag
November 21, 2010, 02:16 PM
Good topic I was going to post the same question. WVsig said it the best. I picked up a BG mak and a Polish Radom P64. I have not shot the mak yet but I have put 200rds through the P64. I have to say my accuracy was better than what I can do with my PM9. I hope the Mak is just as good. If i can shoot that Mak as good as my P64 I'm going to re-think my carry weapon. I'm curious about 9x18 vs the 38. If the 9x18 is similar to the 38spl than I think that would answer alot of questions. I'm sure there are some re-loaders and some folks that can offer up some stats for us?

NWPilgrim
November 21, 2010, 02:19 PM
One thing the Makarov has in its favor over most .380ACP pistols is great accuracy. The fixed barrel helps. It is a little bulky for a .380/9x18, but the great accuracy goes a long way to make it effective.

dreamweaver
November 21, 2010, 02:46 PM
i say yes. i carry .380 +p in a sig 328 and i like the ballistics. 9x18 is very similar, just not as many ammo options. both are sending a 90gr (+/_) bullet downfield with the 9x18 having slightly higher velocities than standard .380.
penetration is also similar with a slight edge expansion for the 9x18 (the bullets are slightly larger to start with).
wolf fmj ammo for the mak is still relatively cheap, while cordon, blazer and hornady sd rounds cost about the same as .380 sd.
38spl has slightly lower velocity, but is throwing a bigger bullet, 126-158gr, so more energy.
big attraction for the mak is price. you'd be hard pressed to find a better gun anywhere near that price.
jmho

DG45
November 21, 2010, 03:05 PM
The 9x18mm Makarov cartridge is said to be the most powerful that can be chambered in a straight blow-back pistol. This cartridge is considerably more powerful than a standard velocity 380 auto cartridge, but not as powerful as a standard 9mm Luger (9x19mm). However, the bullet diameter is slightly larger than a 9x19mm (9mm Luger) bullet, and the 9x18mm Makarov ball round appears to my naked eye to be slightly blunter than a standard 9mm ball round, too. In a pistol thats weighty enough (such as the Makarov pistol that the cartridge was originally designed for, and some of that pistols imitators) recoil is mild enough to allow for accurate rapid-fire follow-up shots.

I once (a long time ago, now) astonished a couple of police officers who were firing newly aquired 9mm semi-auto's right next to me at the Ft. Lee , Va. firing range, by emptying my surplus East German Makarov's magazine, rapid fire, into the head outline of a life-sized head and torso target at ten yards distance. Every round except the first hit at least two inches inside the head outline. (The first round, which was actually my best-aimed shot, was fired double-action and the trigger pull was longer than on my single action follow-up shots, which cost me some acuracy, but I still hit the chin area of the target with it, about 1" inside the outline.)

The police officers shooting next to me were just as accurate as I was with deliberate fire, but neither one was nearly as accurate or as fast as I was with rapid fire. (For one thing, neither of them was real familiar yet with their new guns, and for another thing, their guns both jammed several times, but my EG Mak, manufactured in 1964, never missed a beat.)

To me, it is that rock solid reliability of the Makarov pistol and the ability it gives the shooter to hold it on target for single-action follow-up shots that makes the Makarov pistol and the 9 x18mm Makarov cartridge a great marriage.

I'm not sure though whether any of the numerous other pistols that been chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge since it was first developed are nearly as accurate or as reliable with that cartridge as the pistol that the cartridge was designed to be shot in is (which is the pistol that N.F. Makarov designed for the Soviet Union, that we today refer to as "the Makarov pistol", which were manufactured in Russia, in East Germany, in China, and Bulgaria, and nowhere else).

Interestingly, so far as I know, no manufacturer has yet attempted to use a 9x18mm Makarov cartridge in a small last ditch defense gun like a Kel-Tec P3AT or a Ruger LCP. I would think that the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge might be a great round for that type of gun too, if such a lightweight pistol could stand up to that rounds power, which it might not.

NWPilgrim
November 21, 2010, 04:09 PM
If you get a Makarov, many of them are roughly finished and have very sharp edges, like on the underneath of the slide. These can slice the we of your hand into mincemeat. And the trigger can feel like gravel.

All it takes is some emery cloth and a Dremel polishing bit to do a "fluff 'n buff" and that trigger will be silky smooth and no sharp edges.

That was a good point about the Mak taking very affordable Wolf steel case ammo for practice.

Jim Downey
November 21, 2010, 04:30 PM
I was intrigued by how good the numbers looked for the Mak when we tested that cartridge (http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9mmmak.html) this summer. Yeah, I'd carry one without too much concern.

Jim D.

fsmitka
November 21, 2010, 04:41 PM
I carry a Polish p-64 in 9x18. I can carry this weapon due to to accuracy ( which is amazing) and the compactness. As far as the round's effectiveness, who knows. It's faster than a .380. At close range, a few rounds to center of mass would most likely get you out of trouble. I carry mine in a flap holster during the cold months under my winter coat. During the summer, you can hide the thing anywhere, although it is all steel and rather heavy.

raftman
November 21, 2010, 08:06 PM
I'd answer yes. Sure it's far from the most effective handgun cartridge out there, but it's also far from the worst. Especially if you're to accept that effectiveness is more than merely ballistics. If you do your part, the round will get the job done.

JQP
November 21, 2010, 08:55 PM
I appreciate all the feedback, everyone.

Jim Downey, that is a fantastic data chart that I have now bookmarked. Thank you.

I tend to lean towards the position that the 9x18mm is a an acceptable cartridge for close range defensive use, in a carry application.

Here are some additional questions:

Is there a best of breed Makarov or pseudo-Makarov, like the CZ 82/83, aside from the near impossible to find E. German ones?

Is there one that has a first DA trigger pull that is somewhat acceptable?

Are replacement parts hard/easy to find, as well as magazines?

Is there a custom form holster, designed for IWB/OWB carry, that's more modern than the milsurp one?

Finally, why would a 9x18mm cartridge be significantly less effective than a slightly longer 9x19mm one?

jhenry
November 21, 2010, 09:19 PM
I would feel fine with one. I did have an East German Mak which I foolishly traded away on one gun or another. The East German Makarov was as nicely finished as any Walther PPK I have ever seen. The trigger was heavy in DA but smooth, and crisp in SA. Very good accuracy. I have no recollection of the gun I traded it away for, but I miss the Mak I traded away.

raftman
November 21, 2010, 09:44 PM
Is there a best of breed Makarov or pseudo-Makarov, like the CZ 82/83, aside from the near impossible to find E. German ones?


First, with the nitpicking... pseudo-Makarov isn't quite accurate, but I suppose that's beside the point. It's hard to say what's best because that may depend on what your preferences are. For example, if you want the most concealable one (the smallest/lightest) it would be the Polish-made P-64. Of course there's the drawback of having the smallest ammo capacity of all of your choices (6+1), and also has nasty recoil and a heavy double action trigger. The recoil and trigger pull can be tamed somewhat using affordable, easy-to-install aftermarket springs, but the magazine capacity is something you're stuck with. The CZ-82 has the advantage of ammo capacity (12+1), although some Russian-made commercial Makarovs also have 12-round mags. It has a decent double action trigger, but it's the bulkiest and heaviest of the 9x18's. The actual Makarovs (regardless of what version) fall somewhere in between. There's some variation in fit and finish, but all of these are going to durable, accurate, and reliable. The only 9x18 I wouldn't whole-heartedly recommend is the Hungarian Pa-63. They're not bad guns all around but the aluminum alloy frame reportedly has durability problems.


Is there one that has a first DA trigger pull that is somewhat acceptable?


The CZ-82 and the actual Makarovs (Russian, E. German, Bulgarian, etc) all have an alright DA trigger pull, it's the P-64 and Hungarian Pa-63 that will give you trouble.



Are replacement parts hard/easy to find, as well as magazines?


Somewhat. The mags for any of them aren't as cheap as they should be. The nice thing about the actual Makarov pistols is they're composed of extremely few parts and there's really nothing in them that's particularly prone to failing.



Is there a custom form holster, designed for IWB/OWB carry, that's more modern than the milsurp one?


Yes, for example there's Fobus holsters for the Makarov pistol.


Finally, why would a 9x18mm cartridge be significantly less effective than a slightly longer 9x19mm one?


It's a question of chamber pressure. The Makarov was originally designed for extreme simplicity and reliability. Made it cheaper and easier to produce, and also to easier to maintain by those to whom the gun was issued. In trying to achieve that simplicity and reliability, they figured it would be best to make the gun blowback operated, and the 9x18 was considered the most powerful round a blowback operated firearm could handle while making the firearm of a size and weight that could easily be carried.

Hi-Point has shown that you can make even a 9x19, .40S&W, or .45acp blowback operated, but basically these guns look, feel, and weigh more like power drills than pistols.

JQP
November 21, 2010, 10:22 PM
raftman, thank you quite a bit for writing such a detailed and helpful response for a 9x18mm noob like me.

Since you obviously know your subject matter, and since I can't seem to find a satisfactory answer after doing quite a bit of research, if you were buying your first and maybe only 9x18mm right now, which species would you purchase?

Catfishman
November 21, 2010, 10:30 PM
I had a 9x18 for a few years and I never found any HP ammo. Never saw it in a store and it was always out-of-stock online.

With HPs it's probably ok but with FMJs the 9x18 is lacking.

147 Grain
November 21, 2010, 10:36 PM
One of the better HP rounds in 9X18 Makarov is Buffalo Bore's 115-gr. Hard Cast Flat Nose Wadcutter (Item #34B). Next, I suggest FMJ is your have feeding problems.

A hardcast wadcutter load is preferred because it permanently cuts through flesh and bone, rather than temporarily just pushing it aside as FMJ does. Be sure to test any and all loads in your weapon for reliable functionality.

Hairbag
November 21, 2010, 10:43 PM
There are some EG maks around. There is a guy on gunbroker that has a few Russian military maks and they look mint from the pics but there are not cheap $750. I would assume the Russian military Maks are the most desired Followed by the EG?

Cheapshooter
November 21, 2010, 10:45 PM
I had a 9x18 for a few years and I never found any HP ammo. Never saw it in a store and it was always out-of-stock online.

I think the Russian steel cased stuff like wolf and Silver Bear is easy to find in HP. Hopefully when Hornady gets caught up with everything else they will make a bunch more of their XTP Hollow Point 9mm Mak ammo.

HEAVYDUTY77
November 22, 2010, 07:28 AM
I have two P-64's. The P-64 is a very well made and reliable pistol. Unfortunately, other than magazines and aftermarket grips, there are virtually no spare parts available for these pistols. (I purchased a second pistol just in case I might need any parts in the future.)

I still have 13 Hornady XTP cartidges remaining that I use for summer carry (6+1 and an extra magazine). Winter carry is FMJ for more penetration (due to the extra clothing and heavy coats worn here in New England).

Hoss Fly
November 22, 2010, 07:38 AM
A simple yes-
My Russian Mak is with me every day---

Jehzsa
November 22, 2010, 10:37 AM
http://mashburnssafarimilitarygoods.com/handgunammunition575mmto10mm.aspx
9mmx18 Makarov
Silver Bear 115gr FMJ
Box of 50 Item Number: A918RFMJN

A 21# recoil spring on a Makarov is prudent with that. It should sting.

Klingon00
November 22, 2010, 10:58 AM
From what I can tell, depending upon the ammo manufacturer, it's equal to .380 at worst and a little less powerful than 9mm Luger at best. I would say that qualifies for close range defensive shooting where shooting through barriers like auto glass and such isn't a big concern.

The only issues for concealed carry might be the guns themselves. They generally have a good reputation for being reliable, but they tend to be older, larger and heavier (for caliber) designs that may not carry as comfortably as some of the more modern polymer pistols on the market today. Also, some incorporate a european style magazine release which may not be the best ergonomics wise, but may not be a concern if you don't carry extra magazines anyway.

The guns and the caliber have proven themselves to many non-nato countries of the world, so I wouldn't worry too much other than as others have stated, be sure to get training and practice because shot placement tends to matter more than caliber.

GONIF
November 22, 2010, 12:31 PM
There are many better choices. If you are useing to defend yourself it will work with proper shot placement and luck . That said , you would be far better served by a more powerfull better stopping round .IMHO a 9mm or a 38 is the bare minimum . Some of the bad guys are very large and on drugs (Meth) and you want to stop them dead in thier tracks . A 45acp,or .357 Sig,or 40cal are fine choices in a semi auto . A Ruger SP101 in .357 mag is an excellant choice in a revolver. It is your life ,protect it with a weapon and round that is up to the job . There are a lot of places you can save money ,self defence is not one of them . IMHO the 45acp is the way to go .:D
In this situation you want to take every edge you can get .

Jehzsa
November 22, 2010, 02:00 PM
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:D-ecHLlLBYAuMM:http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af223/Wolfborne/handgun_gel_comparison.jpg&t=1

http://www.brassfetcher.com/var9x18mm.html

CJO
November 22, 2010, 02:28 PM
Another bonus...Macs fit quiet well into 1911 slide holsters.....

DG45
November 22, 2010, 04:47 PM
For some people no bullet will ever be big enough or powerful enough. As long as theres another bullet out there thats bigger or more powerful than what they've got, thats the one they'll want. They are not particularly concerned about having a good marriage between gun and cartridge. They just want bigger and more powerful. I call em cartridge nymphos.

In my opinion, guns and cartridges must be mated. They are either good combinations or they're not. If you want a really big, powerful bullet, thats ok, but you'll need a really big, heavy gun to shoot it in, if you want to keep the recoil managable. That probably means a gun you're going to have to wear out in the open, which may not be what you want to do. But if you opt instead to go with a lightweight concealable pistol that shoots a great big powerful cartridge, what you get is muzzle blast and recoil that is probably going to make you flinch badly - meaning you may miss on your first shot - and the recoil may be so bad that it slows you down to a crawl trying to getting the gun back in position for follow up shots. I don't like that scenario.

What I want is a bullet that can power its way through to the vitals, through flesh and bone and clothing and some minor obstacles, and I want a handgun that can deliver that bullet on target and be ready to deliver another one on target as fast as I can pull the trigger. A genuine military surplus Makarov pistol firing 9x18 mm Makarov cartridges can do that to my satisfaction. I imagine any of the Brand X guns that have been chambered for the 9x18 mm Makarov cartridge can do it too; however, I'm not sure that all of the Brand X pistols that have appropriated the 9x18 mm Makarov cartridge are as reliable or as accurate as the genuine Makarov pistol is; or are as esthetically pleasing either, for that matter. But I wish them all success because the more handguns that are out there that fire that 9x18mm Makarov cartridge, the more ammo makers will start making cartridges for the caliber, and the more they will experiment to develop a variety of bullet types for that caliber.

GONIF
November 22, 2010, 06:44 PM
If the 9x18 was so good the Army,FBI,Swat,Police depts and others would adopt it . As it stands it is a substandard preforming round . It has one thing going for it ,it is cheap to buy a gun chambered in 9x18 . It is like cheap bargin brand toilet paper ,it works but leaves you wishing you bought charmin.:p

schnarrgj
November 22, 2010, 07:46 PM
The 9mmMak is used by a number of east European countries, Russia and a number of other asian countries by both army and police. It is effective. Yes I have carried it a number of times. No handgun bullet is a manstopper. Location,location,location is what is the determining factor.

bdb benzino
November 22, 2010, 07:58 PM
If the 9x18 was so good the Army,FBI,Swat,Police depts and others would adopt it .

How about Russia for 50 years, China, Bulgaria, and E. Germany. Oh wait, someone forgot to tell them that their military was using a substandard round!:rolleyes:

Hoss Fly
November 22, 2010, 08:01 PM
If the 9x18 was so good the Army,FBI,Swat,Police depts and others would adopt it .

What bdb said + there are many good defence rounds that the military ect did'nt adopt :confused:

Catfishman
November 22, 2010, 08:43 PM
From what I can tell, depending upon the ammo manufacturer, it's equal to .380 at worst and a little less powerful than 9mm Luger at best

That's what you would expect. But, the facts don't back that up. Buffalo Bore numbers are:
.380 acp 294 ft. lbs.
9mm luger 500 ft. lbs.
9x18 267 ft. lbs.


BTW - I see 9x18 hp everywhere now. :)

vladan
November 22, 2010, 08:49 PM
If the 9x18 was so good the Army,FBI,Swat,Police depts and others would adopt it . As it stands it is a substandard preforming round . It has one thing going for it ,it is cheap to buy a gun chambered in 9x18 . It is like cheap bargin brand toilet paper ,it works but leaves you wishing you bought charmin.

LOL, you kidding, right?

How about Russia for 50 years, China, Bulgaria, and E. Germany.
and Poland, Hungary, former Czechoslovakia ,... whole eastern block for that matter.
On the side note, in former Czechoslovakia for the CZ82 ( more precisely vz82 which is Czech military designation for this pistol) was developed new load that shot 69grain ( 4.5gram) sintered metal bullet at about 35% higher velocity. This was only shot from CZ82 polygonal barrel, not for other 9x18 guns with conventional rifling.

raftman
November 22, 2010, 09:21 PM
If the 9x18 was so good the Army,FBI,Swat,Police depts and others would adopt it . As it stands it is a substandard preforming round . It has one thing going for it ,it is cheap to buy a gun chambered in 9x18 . It is like cheap bargin brand toilet paper ,it works but leaves you wishing you bought charmin.

As it stands, that is a substandard performing opinion. A competent shooter that does his or her part can get the job done far better with a 9x18 (or smaller caliber, for that matter) than a yahoo that thinks that they're safe just because they carry a gun chambered for a round that starts with .4

Cheapshooter
November 22, 2010, 09:31 PM
If the 9x18 was so good the Army,FBI,Swat,Police depts and others would adopt it . As it stands it is a substandard preforming round . It has one thing going for it ,it is cheap to buy a gun chambered in 9x18 . It is like cheap bargin brand toilet paper ,it works but leaves you wishing you bought charmin.
__________________

That proves it. You can't fix stupid!!!
The question was not is it "so good". The question was is it adequate!

Chesster
November 22, 2010, 10:30 PM
I still carry one in the caliber from time to time, especially the SMC918. An old Corbon from a closely guarded hoard and five 95gr FMJ Norinco or S&B military ball. Great pocket gun with more punch than the .380.

Wishoot
November 22, 2010, 10:49 PM
A competent shooter that does his or her part can get the job done far better with a 9x18

Well stated. Personally, I shoot my CZ82 better than any other gun I own right now (I have a Glock 22 on the way so we'll see). If I can place 12 rounds of 9x18 FMJ where I want it to go, I'm pretty darn certain that any bad guy will have most, if not all of the fight taken out of them.

DG45
November 22, 2010, 11:44 PM
Gonif is entitled to his opinion and many people share it, but my guess is that before the bad old Soviet Union ever committed its military and secret police forces to the Makarov pistol and to the cartridge that was developed for it, they tested the combination extensively for effectiveness, and likely in ways that would leave today's western bleeding heart liberal types aghast.

PS: Chester I just looked that FEG SMC918 up, and that truly is an interesting looking gun. I hadn't known about that one. Is it small enough to be really concealable like a P3AT or LCP? That's what I'd really like to have. From the photos I saw, it looks like its a steel gun, so its probably heavier, but I'd love to be able to exchange my P3AT (380) for a 9x18mm. It has to really be concealable though.

What's the weight. How much do they cost?

torpeau
November 23, 2010, 08:27 AM
PS: Chester I just looked that FEG SMC918 up, and that truly is an interesting looking gun. I hadn't known about that one. Is it small enough to be really concealable like a P3AT or LCP? That's what I'd really like to have.

It's 1mm shorter than a P-64. With a steel frame, I think it's 15g heavier.

Chesster
November 23, 2010, 08:34 AM
DG45: They are no longer imported so you have to watch the used marked or auctions. I paid around 175-200 ea. for the pair I have. I also have an RK59 and the R61 which were the original state versions like the stock photo below. The original KBI inports of the SMC were alloy framed like the PA63s while they did import some all steel later. These guns are about the size of the Walther PPK but the grip frame is a bit like a shortened PPK/S or PP grip frame as it is not a wrap around grip on a skeleton frame. The weight is slightly less than the PPK I believe. Also, imports were brought in in .380 also and most had thumbrest grips that begged to be changed for handling and concealment purposes. I found old flat military grips for all of mine. It is a handful to shoot because of the alloy frame. They fit my PPK holster well. Wonderful little guns.

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m60/Chesster_photos/FegR61.jpg

MikeNice81
November 23, 2010, 10:05 AM
I was eyeing a P-64 at a recent gun show. How does the P-83 compare in length and width?

I have heard that the P-83 has a much better trigger. Did they change the mag release? I wouldn't be to thrilled with having to use that release if I needed a fast reload.

GONIF
November 23, 2010, 12:08 PM
I knew I would stat a firestorm with that statement . Ask yourself if you would prefer a 9x18 to a 9mm para as your only pistol ? Ask yourself if you want to settle for less power if push came to shove ? The bottom line is the 9x18 is just not the best self defence round . Life is short ,why rush it with bad choices . Useing eastern europe and the soviets as an example of what is good is a joke . I'm not saying you can't defend yourself with a 9x18 MAK ,I'm saying you can do much better . :p

Chesster
November 23, 2010, 01:10 PM
I was eyeing a P-64 at a recent gun show. How does the P-83 compare in length and width?

I have heard that the P-83 has a much better trigger. Did they change the mag release? I wouldn't be to thrilled with having to use that release if I needed a fast reload.


The P-83 is about the same size and wt as the Makarov PM, only a little more blocky since it is made of sheet metal stampings. Trigger is nothing to write home about, about like most of these surplus "toys" for the old Eastern Bloc. Same type mag relase as the PM put a bit more difficult to handle than the PM release. Seems the Poles went about to make a Mak PM cheaper and cut the quality in the process of its redesign.

http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m60/Chesster_photos/p83.jpg

torpeau
November 23, 2010, 01:40 PM
I was eyeing a P-64 at a recent gun show.

I'm a big fan of the P-64 -- small, accurate and reliable. I've got 4 P-64s.

Bad DA trigger pull, but I think of it as a safety. SA is fine.

MikeNice81
November 23, 2010, 01:40 PM
I think Icould live with it, if I could find the 100+gr HPs. In every test I have seen the 95gr HPs penetrate less than 9 inches. The 115gr Brown Bear HP made 12 inches easily.

Is this stuff available any where? I checked and all I see is 95gr or 94gr HPs.

Torpeau, you can get the springs switched out in the P-64 and correct some of the trigger issues, right?

torpeau
November 23, 2010, 02:03 PM
I think Icould live with it, if I could find the 100+gr HPs. In every test I have seen the 95gr HPs penetrate less than 9 inches. The 115gr Brown Bear HP made 12 inches easily.

Torpeau, you can get the springs switched out in the P-64 and correct some of the trigger issues, right?

Those in the know do not recommend 100+gr ammo. I have never used it in mine.

Many people choose to replace the springs to make the DA trigger pull better. Many don't mess with it. I don't.

gc70
November 23, 2010, 02:48 PM
Ask yourself if you want to settle for less power if push came to shove ?

Why carry an anemic .45 when you could have a .500 S&W Magnum?

Folks carry what they think they need to get the job done. YMMV

Hairbag
November 23, 2010, 02:51 PM
I have the P64 as well. I have to say I was not expecting much. I swapped out the recoil spring for a heavier one and installed a lighter main spring and took her to the range. I was pretty impressed with the accuracy. The recoil was no where near as bad as some made it out to be. I know the heavy recoil spring must have helped with that. The D/A is still alittle heavy but I prefer it that way. I think of it as a walther ppk with spunk.

raftman
November 23, 2010, 10:49 PM
I knew I would stat a firestorm with that statement . Ask yourself if you would prefer a 9x18 to a 9mm para as your only pistol ? Ask yourself if you want to settle for less power if push came to shove ? The bottom line is the 9x18 is just not the best self defence round .

No one ever alleged that it is the best, and the OP didn't ask whether or not it was the best. Just whether or not it could get the job done, if need ever arose. 9x19 isn't the most effective round either, neither is .45acp. Can you come up with any actual evidence-based arguments that 9x18 is inadequate?



Life is short ,why rush it with bad choices .

How did you get the job of deciding what is good and what is bad?


Useing eastern europe and the soviets as an example of what is good is a joke .

Yeah... what do they know about making guns? you know... aside from designing some of the most successful firearms in the history of modern warfare and all. Sure, the former Eastern Bloc had some seriously bad consumer goods, but that's largely because their command economies made it so they didn't have to compete with foreign manufacturers. The Ladas, Trabants, etc didn't have to be better than BMW's because their consumers didn't have the option of getting a BMW. Their firearms, on the other hand, did have to compete with the rest of the world, and thus did result in effective designs. There's really no denying that the 9x18's do tend to be pretty darn reliable and accurate, for example.

Furthemore, non-Eastern Bloc militaries and police have used (and odds are still do use) "weaker" pistols than the 9x18, such the .380 or even .32acp.


I'm not saying you can't defend yourself with a 9x18 MAK ,I'm saying you can do much better .
You can also do much worse.

Catfishman
November 28, 2010, 08:36 PM
Furthemore, non-Eastern Bloc militaries and police have used (and odds are still do use) "weaker" pistols than the 9x18, such the .380 or even .32acp.
Is a 9x18 really "stronger" than a .380. I know it should be, but is it.

raftman
November 28, 2010, 08:52 PM
Is a 9x18 really "stronger" than a .380. I know it should be, but is it.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by that strange and mis-punctuated question, but given that the 9x18 is generally a little faster, a little heavier, and a makes a slightly bigger hole too, it is indeed "stronger."

Different sources have varying data, but some suggest even the hottest .380 loads don't match any 9x18 loads.

DG45
November 29, 2010, 02:07 AM
I don't think there's a great difference, but there is a difference and it's generally in the 9x18mm Makarov cartridges favor.

If you've ever noticed, its hard to find head-to-head comparisons of these cartridges on a true apples-to-apples basis; ie., a comparison of the same bullet weight in each cartridge; when fired from the same barrel length, with all else being equal. What you generally see instead is a persimmons - to - kumquats type comparison, ie., exotic ammo made by different manufacturers being fired from different barrel lengths, and often with new commercial 380 barrels being used in the comparison vs. 40 year old miltary surplus Makarov (or Brand X) barrels

The closest thing to a real apples-to-apples camparison I've seen are the stats provided by Sellier & Belliot for their 95 grain FMJ 9x18mm Makarov cartridges and their 92 grain FMJ 380 auto cartridges. They report the muzzle velocity of their slightly heavier Mak FMJ bullet as 1017 fps, vs. a 990 fps muzzle velocity for their slighty lighter 380 FMJ bullet. We know the Mak has a slightly (actually miniscule) larger diameter bullet too; and maybe its an optical illusion, but to my naked eye, the Mak bullet looks blunter, which would be another advantage if true. So, heavier, faster, and maybe blunter equals clear advantage to the 9mm Makarov. The S&B 380 ammo from one on- line supplier sells regularly for $22.12 for a box of 50. Their 9x18 MM Mak ammo goes regularly for $17. 83. Another advantage to the Mak (although right now both calibers are being advertised by this seller for $14.99).

NOTE: You can buy 380 auto +P ammo if you choose to although a lot of the featherweight guns made to shoot 380 will probably not stand up to +P, even if the shooters of those guns can stand shooting it (which is questionable). But you might call that an advantage for 380, because as far as I know, nobody is yet making +P ammo for the 9x18mm Mak, but how long can it be before they do?

denfoote
November 29, 2010, 03:40 AM
I carried This (http://usera.imagecave.com/denfoote/1962Makarov002.bmp.jpg) East German Makarov for years.
I had no personal worries about whether the round would get the job done or not.

In fact, the solitary time I had to draw a weapon in defense of my house, that Makarov was in my hand!!!

The only reason I don't carry it regularly is that I became a Mak collector.

gb_in_ga
November 29, 2010, 02:00 PM
IIRC, the 9x18 Mak was intended to be an upsized, "improved" 9x17, the point was to make a round that pushed the envelope of what could be chambered in lower cost, Walther PP style blowback design handguns. And it does that pretty well. And that's how I think of it: An improved .380. If you feed it with modern design SD ammo and do your part, it'll do its part.

That said, no, it isn't a 9x19. It wasn't intended to be the commie counterpart of the 9x19. Higher pressure, more intense rounds like the 9x19 require more complicated, more expensive to manufacture locking mechanisms (unless you greatly increase the slide mass, like Hi-Point does, and several SMGs have done as well). And the Commies were aiming at something cheap and easy to produce.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by that strange and mis-punctuated question, but given that the 9x18 is generally a little faster, a little heavier, and a makes a slightly bigger hole too, it is indeed "stronger."

Different sources have varying data, but some suggest even the hottest .380 loads don't match any 9x18 loads.
Yep. That's a pretty good summation of it. But the difference between a .380 and a 9x18 Mak isn't nearly as marked as the difference between a 9x18 Mak and a 9x19 Parabellum. The 9x18 Mak isn't midway between the 2, it is on the side of the .380.

Catfishman
November 29, 2010, 11:49 PM
I'm not 100% sure what you mean by that strange and mis-punctuated question, but given that the 9x18 is generally a little faster, a little heavier, and a makes a slightly bigger hole too, it is indeed "stronger."

Different sources have varying data, but some suggest even the hottest .380 loads don't match any 9x18 loads.


I'm 100% sure that you know exactly what I meant. Sorry about the poor punctuation.

Thanks DG45. I asked the question because I didn't know the answer. Now I know.

Looks like the 9x18 is slightly more powerful, with the possible exception of .380 +P ammo.

JQP
November 30, 2010, 01:48 AM
The poll results are pretty amazing.

I am beginning to understand why my FFL guy bought his Makarov on a whim, and now carries it as his EDC.

This is a guy who can afford to carry and can access and procure any handgun he wishes.

Dr_2_B
November 30, 2010, 03:08 AM
I voted 'yes' but I don't choose to carry it because I prefer something more powerful. On the other hand, I love love love my Makarov.

Rifleman 173
November 30, 2010, 03:36 AM
If you hit a bad guy in the heart or between the running lights (eyes) with a 9 X 18 round, that bad guy has had a real bad day. Shot placement with any round, even a 9 by 18, is the key to effectiveness.

DG45
November 30, 2010, 03:51 AM
Yeah, the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge should be compared to 380 auto; not to 9mm Parabellum (aka 9mm Luger ammo). The Parabellum or Luger cartridge uses a longer cased 9x19mm cartridge which can be loaded quite a bit hotter than the 9x18mm Mak can, because the pistols that shoot the 9x19mm cartridge aren't straight blowback designs like the Makarov pistol is and most of the older 380's are. (Some modern 380's are also of locked breech design).

I have a Kel-Tec P3AT in 380 ACP, and a 9x18mm E. German Makarov pistol too, so I've got one gun of each caliber in this fight. I think there's a place for both.

I think that the 380 auto cartridge is the ideal marriage of cartridge to gun in a P3AT or LCP or such gun that's intended as a BUG or police undercover gun, or for a situation where truly concealed carry is a must for civilians, or for any situation where the desire for a big hitter bullet must be counter-balanced by the need for absolute concealment of the gun. I think the use of any bigger caliber than 380 for this purpose would require a bigger, heavier, bulkier, an ultimately less concealable gun to shoot it in.

I see my 9x18 mm EG Makarov pistol and some of the brand x pistols that shoot the same 9x18 mm Makarov cartridge as being reasonably concealable for shoulder holster use under a sports jacket or suit coat when its not absolutely neccesary that NOONE realize you're carrying a weapon. This means it's ok for detective type police work or for taking my wife out to dinner in nice restaurants which for some reason nowadays all seem to like to locate in "edgy" neighborhoods, and to other places where I don't care if someone sees a little bulge under my jacket.

The big advantage of a Mak is it's legendary reliability. You know when you pull the trigger it's going to go BANG! every time. Except for the grips, its an steel gun and it's pretty heavy for a gun of its caliber. That may be a problem if you carry a lot and want a lighter weight gun, but it's a real blessing when you really need a gun because it can be held dead on a target when firing in single action. True, it doesn't hit as hard as a 9x19mm but it is more powerful than a 380, and if you can halfway shoot and handle a gun, it'll hit what you're shooting at just about as fast as you can pull the trigger without forcing you to reaquire your target after every shot.

IMHO, my all-steel EG Makarov is just too big and too heavy for front pocket concealment though. I tried it once and my wife hit me with that great old Mae West line: "Do you think I'm attractive, or is that a gun in your pocket?"

My EG Mak was originally used by the Stasi (E. German Secret Police) for undercover/detective/other secret police type work. It came complete with its shoulder holster when I purchased it. The gun was in absolutely beautiful condition but its holster was the cheapest-looking POS I ever saw. I dumped the holster immediately and bought new. But shoulder holster carry was and is this guns special niche, in my opinion.

torpeau
November 30, 2010, 07:59 AM
Is a 9x18 really "stronger" than a .380. I know it should be, but is it.

Depending on what common brands you compare, the 9x18 could be roughly 15-25% more powerful based on manufacturers' specs.

pythagorean
November 30, 2010, 10:02 AM
I voted yes. I think there is a difference in "concealed" versus "open carry" by far.

A concealed situation means it is ALWAYS with you--no worries about size, clothing, weather, ease of carry.

Go light. Go small. Go reliable.

The bullets (no matter how small or large) in a handgun rely on placement more than anything else.

obxned
November 30, 2010, 02:57 PM
I first bought a pistol in 9x18 when .380 was impossible to find. I got a CZ-82. With the high magazine capacity, reasonable recoil, great accuracy, good trigger and compact size, it is often my carry pistol. After playing around with various ammo brands/types, I now shoot only Silver Bear JHPs. They aren't expensive so I practice with the pistol regularly.

Having shot a lot of 9x18 and 9mm rounds into various media, I have found that the 9x18 is not far off of 9mm performance. With the Silver Bear JHP, I get a little less expansion but nearly the same penetration as with a 9mm JHP. With +P 9mm ammo, the difference is a good bit greater. The 9mmMak is definitely stouter than .380, although the '+P' loadings I have tried come fairly close.

So, while I carry a P-3AT or PF-9 quite often, when capacity is more important than ultra-light weight, I take the CZ-82. It has become my ‘go to’ HD pistol also, since I have such confidence in both the pistol and the cartridge.

Some folks may think they need a bigger gun; I think they need more practice.

bdb benzino
November 30, 2010, 04:13 PM
I now shoot only Silver Bear JHPs. They aren't expensive so I practice with the pistol regularly.

This^^^, me too. There are outstanding deals to be had on line for this ammo, and I also like being able to afford practicing with the same ammo I carry!;)