View Full Version : .380 ACP or 9x18 Makarov?

Big Tom
September 11, 2011, 02:47 PM
Ok so I posted yesterday about the new .32 I am getting to carry at work. I am kinda new to cc and the only bigger caliber handguns I own are not really suited for cc. My Ruger P95 is my bed stand gun and probably my fav. I find that the 9mm guns in sizes I like are too big (I do not like the Kel tec 9mm's) and glocks are too expensive. Sure would love the Khar CW9.... I am not able to afford more than something around $300. I have seen several Makarovs to my liking and to be honest I think they are totally cool. I went on Goldenloki and saw that somehow or another the .380 HP's did more damage than 9X18's? I know the 9x18's were made to use FMJ's since they were military but even still since the caliber is supposedly stronger I thought it would be better on the whole. I was hoping for a bit more umph than .380 for a main carry weapon. Are the Hornady FTX's good in the 9X18? Or should I just get a Bersa like my dad? Dunno, I need help from those who know more about these kinds of guns.

September 11, 2011, 02:59 PM
I noticed that you said you liked the Kahr CW9. www.jetguns.com has them for $382. I know you said your budget was only $300. But if you could save another month or two and get what you want, it's better than settling for something else just because its cheaper. Trust me, I've been down that road and in less than 3 months you'll be kicking yourself in the rear.

Big Tom
September 11, 2011, 03:05 PM
Thanks Mercenary, I am gonna take a look at it. My think is that the Polish P64 is appealing even with the cons. At less than $200 it is very attractive. Of course I would have to add new springs to the gun.....then again the Khar has a lifetime warranty I presume? And 2 extra more powerful and easy to find rounds. Hmmmmm this is a hard one. But 9mm I would say is my fav handgun caliber overall.

September 11, 2011, 03:36 PM
Three pistols you might want to check out are the double stack CZ-82, CZ-83 and Beretta 84. All three can be found for under $300 if you go the gunbroker/ffl transfer route.

Both CZ pistols will be the cheapest to pick up. CDNN usually has CZ-82's in 9x18 for ~$170. 9x18 is a great round. I carried a russian mak for years and never felt undergunned. My preferred carry round was wolf black box 100gr FMJ. The CZ83 is just a .380 version of the CZ82. Here is a smoking deal on a CZ83 for ~$170 http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=250023687

My personal choice for a .380 is the Beretta 84 (I have a 1982 84B version). The 84 is thought by many to be among the very best .380 pistols in the world. With its lightweight (23oz) and 13+1 capacity it is a pleasure to carry IWB and is accurate and reliable. Here is a Beretta 84 for ~$240 http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=250236919

If you really want a 9mm and need to stick to your $300 budget here is a link to a S&W 469 w/ a 'buy now" price of $259.95 http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=250494126 The 469 is the older 2nd generation brother of the S&W 6904. It is ~the same size and weight as the CZ82/83's w/ the same 12 round capacity but in the more powerful 9mm round.

Big Tom
September 11, 2011, 04:00 PM
I would jump on those deals in a heartbeat if it wasnt for two things. I probably wont have the cash for another 3 weeks, and two my FFL transfer has got to take the cake for the most unreliable business man in the gun world. I have to assume when he gets the gun in and call him several times and email him to get a hold of him. I have to schedule around him which is why I cant buy offline any more. I have to go through my locals to get the guns and haggle my way to a good price. They all like me since I give em good business and they know I dont just come in to BS. I walk the floor, grab supplies and a buy a gun 1/3 of my visits in gun.

September 11, 2011, 04:06 PM
Even if you go local for your new CCW it sounds like it's time for a new transfer dealer for your other purchases! Follow this link and pop in your Zip code http://www.gunbroker.com/FFL/DealerNetwork.aspx

Big Tom
September 11, 2011, 04:35 PM
thanks for that, I will have a go and check out the others. How ironic my current popped up first on the list. :rolleyes:

Shadi Khalil
September 11, 2011, 04:55 PM
I think your better off with the .380 but best off with a 9mm. It's readily available, fairly cheap and a caliber you already have experience with. If I were you I'd save the extra $100 and pick up one of the Kahr's from the link Merc posted.

Aguila Blanca
September 11, 2011, 10:28 PM
To stay under $300 and get a good gun, get a CZ-82 or CZ-83. The 82s are a few bucks cheaper, but they are in 9x18 Makarov. The CZ-83 is chambered in .380 ACP. Despite the .380 being a smaller and slightly less powerful round, there are more ammo choices available for it and more American ammo companies are developing good self-defense loads in that chambering. I have a CZ-82 and I like it, but it's hard to find ammo for and if I could have found a decent CZ-83 at the time I bought it, I would have chosen the 83 hands down.

Big Tom
September 12, 2011, 07:42 AM
thanks for letting me know. I buy my ammo online sometimes too. CTD and Midway USA have good prices and I like to donate once in a while to the NRA so it works out for me to get either. I just want to know of the effectiveness of the Hornady FTX rounds. If I get reliable expansion and penetration I'll choose a more affordable/powerful Makarov caliber. Problem is I can only find the XTP's ballistics and from what I understand they are so well bonded they dont expand at all unless hitting metal.

September 12, 2011, 04:11 PM
My think is that the Polish P64 is appealing even with the cons.

I'm a big fan of P64s. I also like Maks, but the small and inexpensive P64 is a good choice. More than 100 rounds at the range and you'll learn that the P64 is not a delight to shoot because of its small size and the 9x18 round. The 9x18 round is 10-20% more powerful than a .380 -- depending on which brands you compare.

Deaf Smith
September 12, 2011, 08:56 PM
.380 ACP or 9x18 Makarov?

A Mak like a Bulgarian Makarov are great little packing guns and I'd recommend them, despite their cartridge.

Now the Bersa is an excellent .380. Inexpensive and very reliable, but then the Mak is also.

Neither .380 nor 9x18 are powerhouses, got that? Mak is a mite more powerful than the .380, but not a heck of alot.

Either one will do within the limitations of the round they fire.

Get one and shoot it alot till you are very good with either hand.


Big Tom
September 13, 2011, 12:03 AM
Well I have shot about 200 rounds through my dads gun and in these size guns I think .380 is enough recoil now that I look at it more I think the Bersa may be the route I go. Just not enough HP's tested yet for the 9x18. Until they do make more commercial loads (which I am sure in another 5 or 6 years when the caliber really starts to take off) I may look at a makarov. But by then I should be making better money and up it to a nice Glock 19 or something along those lines. The only thing I ever disliked about the Bersa was the MIM trigger, it just feels not very trigger like or how do I put this....solid like my Ruger. And it is rough around the edges just a tad, but nothing one cant over come.

I also noticed that depending on where you are since fall of 2010 the prices have raised between $20-$30. I know that they have really hit home with these guns as many Americans are starting to realize the importance on cc. Unfortunately the wake up call came after the fact that the economy is down bad. But it is what it is and life goes on. I am leaning towards the Bersa for now but in the next month or two I will give an update to what I decide. Thanks for all the help guys, I learned a lot from you all.

michael t
September 13, 2011, 07:43 PM
Get the Bersa CC You have fired a Bersa so you are familiar with one.

The KelTec PF-9 is a great carry pistol . Early ones had trouble but I bought one while back reliable as all get out.

September 14, 2011, 07:19 AM
I'd go with the bersa of the 2. 9mak is pretty hard to come by and it's all ball ammo unless someone make makarov hollow points that I dont know about.
also another gun you could try would be a springfield XD9 sub compact. it's a small little gun and a gently used one would be right at $300

September 14, 2011, 10:41 AM
Silver Bear 9x18 ammo is easy to get and available in both HP and SP. I shoot it my CZ82 all the time.

September 14, 2011, 10:56 AM
I have had great performance with Federal Hydra Shock .380 bullets through my Bersa Thunder and CZ-83 Pistols.

I really like the .380 caliber for it's overall specs and capability.