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Old September 14, 2010, 03:51 PM   #1
Steven_Seagal
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9x19 luger vs 9x18 makarov

will these two calibers work in each other's guns? in other words, are they interchangeable?

I own absolutely ZERO 9mm pistols and i am looking into buying one for target/plinking/ general fun purposes and I see so many different 9mm variations it makes my head spin. any light anyone wants to shed on ANY of the 9mm variations would be appreciated. thanks
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Old September 14, 2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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Nope. not interchangeable at all. They don't even really compare in ballistics.
A 9x19 behaves like a...well, like a 9x19
The 9x18 is more like a peppy .380.

However, I DO like 9x18 even if it is a little harder to come by on shelves...because it's a little harder to come by on the shelves

During the ammo drought of Ought-Nine, my little P-64 got all kinds of range time because 9x18 was cheap and available online. 9x19 was nowhere to be found.

edit to add:
If you are looking for a "standard" 9mm, stick with 9x19. It's the same thing as 9mm Luger/Parrabellum and is what people are talking about when they say "9mm".

The 9x18 guns will generally be in old Com Bloc pistols that work really well, but feeding them isn't as easy as stopping by wally world and grabbing some white box ammo.
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Old September 14, 2010, 04:06 PM   #3
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Nope. not interchangeable at all. They don't even really compare in ballistics.
A 9x19 behaves like a...well, like a 9x19
The 9x18 is more like a peppy .380.
This pretty much nails it.
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Old September 14, 2010, 04:08 PM   #4
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Nobody ever takes my advice because it sounds "wussy", but why not a .22? It would be good for target, plinking and fun and would not cost two arms and a leg everytime you buy ammo.

There are a bunch of good .22's, ranging from pure target, to full size pistols (Ruger, Buckmark) to pocket size guns (S&W, Walther). It is too bad that folks keep promoting the idea that nothing less than 9mm (some say nothing less than .500 S&W) is any good, so the beginner ends up deafened, shell shocked, and sometimes with a lifelong fear of guns.

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Old September 14, 2010, 04:11 PM   #5
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I think the .380 comparison is a bit unfair. 200fps difference is fairly significant.

The rounds are not interchangeable. 9mm/9x19mm//9mm Luger/9mm Parabellum are the same thing. 9mm NATO is the same package, but someone with an actual, current SAAMI spec can tell you if there is a pressure difference. AFIK, any decent current production 9mm is safe with NATO also.

9x18 Makarov is its own thing, as is the 9x23mm Largo and all of the other odd 9xWhatevers out there.
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Old September 14, 2010, 04:12 PM   #6
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9x19 luger vs 9x18 makarov ?

9x19 wins, hands down.
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Old September 14, 2010, 04:58 PM   #7
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Nobody ever takes my advice because it sounds "wussy", but why not a .22? It would be good for target, plinking and fun and would not cost two arms and a leg everytime you buy ammo.

There are a bunch of good .22's, ranging from pure target, to full size pistols (Ruger, Buckmark) to pocket size guns (S&W, Walther). It is too bad that folks keep promoting the idea that nothing less than 9mm (some say nothing less than .500 S&W) is any good, so the beginner ends up deafened, shell shocked, and sometimes with a lifelong fear of guns.
I'm certainly not a beginner, just never had an interest or desire to shoot a 9mm until now. I own a Browning Buckmark and grew up shooting it. I then moved on to the 1911's and love to shoot anything in .45 ACP

For whatever reason, I have pretty much ignored 9mm until recently deciding that I wanted to get one for the range and maybe concealed carry when i get my license.

It is hard to beat a .22 for plinking purposes but a 9mm seems like it is a fair mix of plinking and SD utility.
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Old September 14, 2010, 05:19 PM   #8
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I think the .380 comparison is a bit unfair. 200fps difference is fairly significant.
Just what 9X18 loads are 200 fps faster than 380?
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Old September 14, 2010, 05:21 PM   #9
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"9mm" Makarov is really a 9.2mm with a .364" bullet instead of the true 9mm's .355". Nowhere near the same.

It is best to assume NO ammunition interchangeability, especially in autos. Although as Acrid says, the terminology can vary.
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Old September 14, 2010, 05:44 PM   #10
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I have both a .380 and the 9X18mm...

I think the 9X18 is a little more snappy, but is definitely comparable to the .380. (Remember, at the beginning of that sentence, I wrote "I think" as in, in my opinion. )
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Old September 14, 2010, 07:48 PM   #11
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9x19 wins, hands down.
Not necessarily. The OP said he wants a gun for plinking and fun. 9x18 is generally more affordable and a quality 9x18 pistol is gonna be (far) more affordable than just about any 9x19 of comparable quality.
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Old September 14, 2010, 07:51 PM   #12
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I wrote I think also

I was going by memory at the office, the 380 being in the 800's and Mak being in the 1000's. It seems that the 380s are able to get into 1000fps territory also. I was in the wrong on this one.
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Old September 14, 2010, 08:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
I own absolutely ZERO 9mm pistols and i am looking into buying one for target/plinking/ general fun purposes and I see so many different 9mm variations it makes my head spin. any light anyone wants to shed on ANY of the 9mm variations would be appreciated. thanks
Everything you need to know may be found in this thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=418712

However, here's the short answer regarding commonplace modern automatic pistol calibers referred to as "9mm":

.380ACP, 9x17mm, 9mm Browning Short, 9mm Short, 9mm Corto, & 9mm Kurz refer to the same cartridge. The word "short" is "corto" in Spanish and "kurz", pronounced "curts", in German; same word. It is slightly less powerful than...

9x18mm and 9mm Makarov refer to the same cartridge. It is slightly less powerful than...

9x19mm, 9mm Luger, and 9mm Parabellum refer to the same cartridge. It is available in hotter +P and +P+ loadings, although many manufacturers do not recommend using this ammo in their guns.

Do NOT attempt to use the incorrect cartridge an automatic pistol; a violent kB! and personal injury are likely. If you want to use super-hot Magnum ammo for business and lightweight powder-puff loads for practice, buy a revolver, or buy a smaller-caliber version or a .22LR conversion kit for your automatic.

Most of the other 9mm-caliber cartridges either aren't commonly referred to as 9mm in the USA (.38 Special, .357Sig, etc.) or were only used in obscure, long-discontinued guns (9mm Largo, 9mm Ultra, 9x20mm Browning Long, 9x23mm Winchester, etc.)
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Old September 14, 2010, 08:36 PM   #14
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will these two calibers work in each other's guns? in other words, are they interchangeable?
No.

9x18 is slightly shorter, and slightly fatter, than 9x19. 9x19 is a fair bit more powerful.

Read the Makarov FAQ.
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Old September 14, 2010, 08:44 PM   #15
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Makarov still a buy

I have a Bulgarian Makarov that is a lot of gun for the money. sadly the days of $150 Makarov is gone. JG Sales has them at $230, many other sources. Have not seen/shot Russian or East German, but I am sure they are quality built, the Bulgarian is all steel. There are 9x18 pistols that are not Makarovs, don't know much about them.
Some ammo is corrosive, be aware.
All the ComBloc stuff is usually good value, tough, sometimes rough. Usually simple to maintain. Makarov is a great "truck" pistol.

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Old September 14, 2010, 09:24 PM   #16
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Developed by the Soviets...

Specifically NOT TO FIT in 9mm "western" guns.

The 9x18mm Makarov case is shorter, and the bullet larger diameter than the 9mm Luger (9x19mm, 9mm Parabellum, etc).

I believe that it was entirely intentional, so that their satellite nations would be further forced to rely on Soviet system products.

Its tough for younger folks to appreciate, but for many decades, anything Soviet/Warsaw Pact (including Chicom) designed was available in the west only in small amounts, as bootleg, smuggled products. They just refused to sell to us (that would be supporting capitalists), and there were severe penalties for those under communist rule who broke that law.

I remember a time when captured SKSs rifles were only wall hangers, because there was no source of ammo for them available to us.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the situation has reversed. And, drastically. They will sell us anything they have, at rock bottom prices. The Makarov is one example.

Quote:
9x18 is generally more affordable and a quality 9x18 pistol is gonna be (far) more affordable than just about any 9x19 of comparable quality.
This is true, for now. And will be for a while yet, but eventually the situation will change. The reason they are cheaper now is, besides large stockpiles of guns and ammo built under communist rule (when the workers didn't get paid), those factories and workers are still there, and while they are working to get paid today, their standard of living, cost of living, and expectations are still lower that comparable workers in the west.

Notice how the prices of eastern European goods have been creeping up in the last few years? Eventually they will reach a market parity with western goods, price wise, at least.
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Old September 15, 2010, 10:19 AM   #17
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Sorry, Steven, for making a wrong assumption.

Now, just to add to the confusion, there is another 9x18, the 9mm Police or 9mm Ultra that was made in Germany for police use. Guns were developed for it (notably the Walther PP Super), but the police ended up going to 9x19 instead and the 9mm Ultra became a dead end.

The 9x18 Police is NOT the same as 9x18 Makarov and the cartridges are NOT interchangeable.

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Old September 15, 2010, 11:04 AM   #18
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The 9x18 Police/Ultra round actually had its origins in Nazi Germany and very likely influenced the development of the Makarov.

The Luftwaffe asked Walther to develop the most powerful pistol round that could be used in the blowback PP for arming aircrew.

With the advent of WW II, the project was shelved.

After the war, the Walther factory was in the Soviet zone of occupation, and the entire project, research, guns, cartridges, drawings, everything, went to the Soviet Union.
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Old September 15, 2010, 11:57 AM   #19
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Not the whole story, Mike. I am not sure whether the 9x18 Ultra "inspired' the 9mm Makarov or not (the Russians never said, and the whole thing was "in the air" at the time) but it did not completely disappear. In the late 1960's, the (then) West German police were looking for a cartridge more powerful than either the common 7.65mm (.32 ACP) they were using or the 9mm Kurz (.380 ACP) but wanted it in a blowback pistol.

So Walther and Genschow, the companies that had developed the original guns and ammunition in 1940, revived the cartridge and the guns to use it. Hirtenberger (Austria) also worked on a heavily loaded 9mm Kurz, called the "9mm Kurz Super", but it was considered of insufficient power and there was concern about problems if it was used in existing 9mm Kurz guns.

In 1973, Walther developed prototypes of pistols having improvements over the PP, but the major effort went into what became the 9mm Super (the gun was the "Super"; the cartridge was the "Ultra"), a beefed up and heavier version of the standard PP. Improvements over the PP include an external slide stop release, and a relocated magazine release button.

Production began in 1974. 1300 guns in 9mm Kurz were made, numbered 100001-101300; those are quite rare. The 9mm Ultra chambering was standard and a total of 11101 pistols were made in that caliber; since numbering started at 10000, the last serial number was 21101 (mine is 1121x).

The PP Super was adopted by a few German states, but did not prove satisfactory and was replaced by either the P5 or the P1/P.38 around 1975. Most of the police guns were returned to the factory and those, along with unsold guns, went to the American market via Interarms. The last gun sold left the factory in 1979.

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Old September 15, 2010, 12:00 PM   #20
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Jawohl.

The 9mm Ultra was developed in the 1930s for the Luftwaffe.
I have only seen drawings of the gun, it looked rather like a PP with protruding barrel.

The 9mm Police was developed in the 1970s so European cops could have a better chance against the Baader-Meinhoff Gang than with their traditional .32s. But they went straight to the 9mm Para so the Walther PP Supers and the few Sig-Sauer P230s in the calibre were surplused. There are enough of them in circulation that Fiocchi makes the ammunition.

The old Makarov site had a drawing that showed differences but they were small and the rounds would likely be interchangeable within tolerance limits. Not that anybody is going to come up with a warehouse full of 9mm Ultra ammo or need to shoot Fiocchi Police in a prototype Ultra gun.
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Old September 15, 2010, 12:10 PM   #21
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Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Soviet State Archives records supposedly exist that support the origins of the 9mm Makarov pistol round and the fact that Makarov drew heavily on the Walther PP pistol, modifying and simplifying it, to arrive at the Makarov PM.

The only thing that isn't apparent is why the Soviet design team that developed the cartridge (it's unclear whether Makarov was part of that team or not) chose to use a straight walled case.


Oh, for the record, I wasn't attempting to do a Paul Harvey.
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Old September 15, 2010, 12:53 PM   #22
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I have no data to show otherwise, but I can't accept that Makarov "drew heavily" on the PP. True there is some superficial resemblance. But in spite of hundreds of comments in dozens of books, gunzines and web sites that the Makarov "is just like" or "is a copy of" or "is identical to" or "was stolen from" the Walther pistol, anyone who has ever had the two guns apart knows they are totally different. Only the takedown system (hinged trigger guard) is the same. It is sort of like saying that John Garand "drew heavily" on the Model 1903 Springfield because they are about the same length, are the same caliber and have triggers.

It was pretty much the same with the claim that Kalashnikov "copied" the German MP.43/StG.44. In the Cold War era, it was common to assume that the Russians were not smart enough to design even a pistol, so any new Russian design had to have been copied or stolen from the U.S. or Germany.

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Old September 15, 2010, 01:31 PM   #23
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Take down system is similar.

Mode of action is similar (and was apparently the first blowback operation pistol designed in the Soviet Union).

Decocker mechanism operates in the same manner. Also a first in Soviet design.

That the designer took the basic concepts and modified them heavily to meet Soviet production methods and standards is not surprising. That was a hallmark of many Soviet weapons designs.

The Soviets were never shy about incorporating good concepts or designs into their national arms programs, altering them to make them more suitable for mass production while adding new and innovative touches to the final product.

The Tokarev TT series of handguns is a perfect example of that.

After fighting against the Nazi for close to 5 years the Soviets had intimate knowledge of the Walther PP series of handguns. That the Walther factory was in their zone of occupation, and was stripped by the Soviets and shipped East (as were many factories), all with all available records and archives....

Well, draw your own conclusions. The Soviets knew a good concept when they saw it, and adapted it to their own purposes.
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Old September 15, 2010, 09:06 PM   #24
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The case head diameters of the 9x19 and 9x18 are the same but the bullets are 9mm .vs. 9.2mm. and the case walls of the 9x18 are not anywere as thick as the 9x18.

In short, even if you can stuff a Mak round in a 9mm pistol I bet the case blows out from overpressure.

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Old September 15, 2010, 09:10 PM   #25
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the case walls of the 9x18 are not anywere as thick as the 9x18.
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