.38 special vs 9X18 makarov


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Dr_2_B
February 20, 2006, 01:31 PM
Never heard any good info on which of these has better ballistics. I guess they're pretty equal. Any thoughts?

thanks,

Matt

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1911austin
February 20, 2006, 01:36 PM
Never heard any good info on which of these has better ballistics. I guess they're pretty equal. Any thoughts?

thanks,

Matt

The 9x18 is closer to the .380acp than the .38 special.

MossbergManiac
February 20, 2006, 01:41 PM
9x18 Makarov 265 Muzzle energy 1100 FPS 95 MC Fiocchi
9x18 Makarov 216 Muzzle energy 1017 FPS 95 MC S&B

.38 Special 220 Muzzle energy 950 FPS 110 SJHP
.38 Special +P 264 Muzzle energy 975 FPS 125 BJHP+P


.380 190 Muzzle energy 955 FPS 95 MC

ArmedBear
February 20, 2006, 01:47 PM
For some reason, people tend to overestimate the power of the .38 Special.

.38 Special can shoot a heavier bullet, but at a lower velocity. A defensive load 9x18 shoots a lighter bullet at a higher velocity.

Note: I'm not talking about out-of-spec .38 Special loaded to .357 Magnum velocity and only usable in a .357 Magnum revolver. So handloaders don't bother extolling the virtues of what can be stuffed in a .38 case. That's not the point.

.38 Sp +P is more powerful than either one. It's up there with 9x19 in energy, but with a heavier bullet than most 9mm as well. 9mm+P packs a bigger wallop than .38 Sp +P, but with a lighter bullet.

The 9x18 is a bit more powerful than a 9x17 (aka .380 ACP, 9mm Browning, 9mm Kurz ), but less than a standard 9x19 (AKA 9mm Luger, 9mm Parabellum, or commonly just 9mm).

Bottom line? 9x18 isn't going to bounce off an assailant. It's not a deer hunting round, though. .45ACP, .357 Magnum, and a good defensive load of 9mm are FAR more powerful. But compared to a standard .38 Special, it's faster but lighter, with a tad more energy.

I wouldn't want to be hit by a 9x18 round.

Dr.Rob
February 20, 2006, 02:33 PM
The thing is no one EVER says the 158 .38 is an underpenetrator.

In small calibers penetration is your friend over expansion and velocity.Mathematically .38/.380 and 9mm Mak are all similar.

However MOST ballistics data assumes the .38 has a 4 inch barrel... great article on side by side snubby comparison here:

http://www.handgunsmag.com/ammunition/pocket_dynomite/

Hornady's 125 gr xtp looks like a giant slayer compared to most .380/9mm Mak ammo.

(14 inches penetration and expanding to .45 caliber. in a NON +p) As always placement, placement.

The other thing to point out, is while there are sorts of new lightwieght .38s and .380s on the market, the Mak is limited to overbuilt Eastern Block "belt" guns, until you get into FEG's SMC model.

Bottom line is you have MORE choices in .380 or .38 than in Mak, from bullets to platforms to fire them.

ArmedBear
February 20, 2006, 04:00 PM
To be sure, a high-end defensive 9x19 +P 147 gr. will outpenetrate, outstop, and out-anything all of the above, and can be shot from a nice small gun these days, so it's a far better choice if you have the option!

But if a Mak is all you've got and you don't have a few hundred dollars lying around, it beats a pea-shooter.:)

grimjaw
February 20, 2006, 05:09 PM
With Fiocchi's 9x18 I'm averaging 212 ft/lbs out of a Makarov PM. With a shorter barrel, the .38 is producing somewhat greater average energy numbers. .38 also has the advantage of versatility (not nearly as many 9x18 chambered weapons out there) and bullet design (e.g. hollowpoints are harder to find in 9x18). However, I'm a better shot with my Makarov than my Ruger SP101 (location, location, location). Also have 2-4 more shots available from a topped off Makarov PM than most .38's.

.38 Sp +P is more powerful than either one. It's up there with 9x19 in energy

I don't agree completely with that statement. Perhaps .38 +P has the potential to equal 9x19 in energy. The factory loads I've tested (http://grimjaw.net/ballistics.htm) show that out of a short barrel (3 1/2"|9x19|115gr, 3 1/16"|.38 +P|158gr) the best that the .38 could muster was ~246 ft/lbs, average 223 ft/lbs; 9x19 averaged 297 ft/lbs. The .38 +P load averaged worse than the standard pressure .38 load. I'm sure handloading could improve on that, but I don't do that. I don't intend to pack up my .38's and sell them off, just like to keep in mind what I have in the cylinder.

My main carry gun is a Kahr 9x19, so this is all interestingly academic for me. ;)

jmm

Stephen A. Camp
February 20, 2006, 05:12 PM
Hello. Here is a comparison:

http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Comparisonof9x18mmMakarovetc.htm




Best.

MCgunner
February 20, 2006, 05:30 PM
It makes about .38 special +P energy and in no way is a .38 special +P the 9x19's equal. The 9x19 can make 350 ft lbs, .45 ACP energy, in a standard SAAMI load. That's about a hundred ft lbs up on the .38 +P stuff. Of course, 9mm+P and +P+ from a 3-5" gun is basically up with a .357 magnum out of a 2"-2.5" gun and with a lot less flash/bang. +P stuff out of the nine can push 400 ft lbs out of a 3" compact gun. That's pretty impressive.

But, I carry a .38 loaded with +P often. I think it's plenty of gun. Heck, when I have to pocket carry, I carry a .380. It's the smallest caliber I'm happy with. The Mak's main problem is load availability. But, loaded with a good hollowpoint bullet, it should be a fine defensive round in the 250 ft lb range. I ain't in the market for one, but if I didn't already have a compact nine and a snubby .38 and I did have a reliable/accurate Mak, I'd not lose any sleep worrying if I had enough gun.

georgeduz
February 20, 2006, 05:34 PM
its not about how fast,its all about the size of the hole.

wbond
February 20, 2006, 05:35 PM
Good, stronger 9x18 JHP ammo like Barnaul RAM 95 gr JHP is decent stuff on a par with weaker .38 special, in my opinion. Weaker 9x18 is way below the .38 Spl and closer to .380 +P.

There used to be excellent 9x18 choices from Barnaul and others.

The bad news for 9x18 users right now, in my miserable experience, is that good JHP ammo is currently not available, unless you consider Silver Bear 115 JHP good.

I think a 115 gr bullet is way too heavy for 9x18. I think 9x18 should be shooting 95 gr or ideally 100 to 105 grain JHPs at 1050 fps.

I can't find any 9x18 JHP ammo I'd call good right now. The stuff currently available is weak and more like .380, except for Brown Bear and Silver Bear 115 gr JHPs, which I consider too heavy bullets. The Brown Bear also has a rep for being very dirty.

However, Makarov.com told me that there should be plenty of good 9x18 JHP ammo choices available starting in late spring 2006. Let's hope so.

9x18 and .38 Special are borderline for stopping potential. So the ammo makes all the difference. The advantage that .38 Special has is that there are a few good, and many decent ammo choices for it. There are also some anemic .38 choices too.

I think the .38 Special is at its best with fast 110 gr and 115 gr JHPs going 1210 fps muzzle or faster. Of these I prefer the 110 grain. With this small a bullet diameter, I think fast velocity is needed for some shock power. Corbon makes a +P .38 Spl that offers 110 gr JHP with 1250 fps muzzle. Wow. That seems more like 9mm Para performance. There is nothing weak or borderline about that Corbon load.

Note: I don't normally like or recommend +P ammo for most cartridges, but .38 Spl is an exception because all modern .38s can eat +P all day all the time. I would not use +P+ in a .38 however.

Note: I would not recommend +P in a 9x18, if any where made, which none is right now. What erks me is I don't think they're even making it to full normal pressure right now. The stuff out there right now is weak, except for Silver Bear, which I don't like because bullet is too heavy for the gun.

When the .38 Special uses a fast 110 gr JHP like the Corbon, it blows away the 9x18. I love my two 9x18s, but they can't compete with the .38 Spl +P Corbon 110 gr JHP. It's not even a contest.

Both 9x18 and .38 Spl vary from poor to good for stopping potential depending on your ammo choice. The problem with the 9x18 is no good choices are made right now, in my opinion.

For 9x18 and .38 Spl 2" barrel, I'd recommend the heaviest JHP that will go approx 1050 fps from muzzle. Why? See http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=181798

For .38 Spl with 4" barrel, I'd recommend the heaviest JHP that will go 1210 fps or faster from muzzle. That's usually a 110 gr like Corbon (1250 fps), or a 115 gr bullet. Why faster than 1210 fps muzzle? See http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=181798

For .38 Spl with 3" barrel, the Corbon 110 gr would be good if it can get at least 1210 fps muzzle. Otherwise use the heaviest bullet that has 1050 fps muzzle. Why? See http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=181798

MCgunner
February 20, 2006, 05:37 PM
its not about how fast,its all about the size of the hole.

It's about energy on target. Energy is equal to one half mass times velocity squared. .45" is only 0.10" bigger than .35" (numbers rounded to 1/100th inch.) :rolleyes: If all that mattered were the hole, I'd shoot a cross bow.

wbond
February 20, 2006, 05:47 PM
It's about energy on target. Energy is equal to one half mass times velocity squared. .45" is only 0.10" bigger than .35" (numbers rounded to 1/100th inch.) :rolleyes: If all that mattered were the hole, I'd shoot a cross bow.
To GeorgeDuz and McGunner:

I think you're both correct.

I think 4 things matter: Accuracy, size of hole, energy dumped in target, and momentum. i.e. - your both correct.

The .45 ACP relies on accuracy, size of hole, and momentum. Works well.

The .357M relies on accuracy and energy dump. Works well. Same with 9mm, but the 9mm has less to work with, but is still adequate.

The .40 relies on a combination of all in equal proportions and is my preference for stopping potential combined with small enough diameter for lots of ammo.

All these cartridges above get it done very effectively with the right ammo choice.

The problem with both the 9x18 and .38 Spl is that they lack diameter so must rely on as much velocity as they can get. The 9x18 is also hobbled by the fact that it can't go very fast. i.e. - the 9x18 isn't all that powerful. I think the best you can do with 9x18 is whatever heaviest JHP that goes 1050 fps from muzzle. Then shoot accurate. With .38 regular pressure, I'd say the same.

However, with +P Corbon 110 gr JHP 1250 fps muzzle the .38 Spl with 4" barrel then kicks butt, in my opinion. A 3" barrel is also respectable with this ammo. Same with other supersonic 110 and 115 gr JHPs, which are probably +P. This is almost 9mm Para performance.

For 9x18, I'd recommend the heaviest JHP that will go approx 1050 fps from muzzle. Why? See http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=181798

For both .38 Spl, I'd recommend the heaviest JHP that will go 1210 fps or faster from muzzle. That's going to be a +P 110 or 115 gr bullet. Why 1210 fps or faster? See http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=181798

Note your energy equation is correct. Nothing to add there.

Momentum is mass x velocity.

A .45 ACP doesn't have much energy, but it has loads of momentum combined with a big diameter. There's more than one way to get it done and velocity and energy are one of several options. The large momentum option seems to work well only with large diameter bullets.

By the way, a crossbow is VERY deadly and I think has plenty of stopping power. The problem is you can't conceal a crossbow.

Regarding momentum as a stopper: If a person hit you with a brick, it would have large diameter and lots of momentum, but not much energy. You'd be "stopped" cold. On the other hand, a tiny piece of supersonic shrapnel can "stop" you in your tracks too. Either approach has proven stopping power, as long as you have enough of it. You just have to have enough of either or a good combination of both (like .40 cal has both).

i.e. - subsonic bullets only have a good stopping power record when combined with large diameter heavy JHP or Semi-Wadcutter bullets.
If your bullet is small (like 9mm), then you NEED high velocity to get it done. This is why heavy subsonic 9mm JHP bullets have a poor stopping power record, but lighter supersonic (above 1210 fps muzzle) 9mm JHP bullets have a good stopping record. The 9mm lacks diameter, but with a light, fast, supersonic bullet makes up for small diameter with high velocity and energy.

Stopping power statistics based on real shootings support the above.

Dr_2_B
February 20, 2006, 07:30 PM
My reason for asking is that I have a friend who needs to buy a gun for self / home defense, but she's not looking to spend a fortune. She LOVED shooting my makarov and she was very accurate with it. She's thinking about a 38 revolver, but she knows she likes the mak. I told her she might consider the bersa .380, but we keep coming back to the fact that she loved that mak. It's hard not to recommend that if we feel like it can do the job.

MCgunner
February 20, 2006, 07:44 PM
My reason for asking is that I have a friend who needs to buy a gun for self / home defense, but she's not looking to spend a fortune. She LOVED shooting my makarov and she was very accurate with it. She's thinking about a 38 revolver, but she knows she likes the mak. I told her she might consider the bersa .380, but we keep coming back to the fact that she loved that mak. It's hard not to recommend that if we feel like it can do the job.

The caliber, if she can get good defensive ammo with good bullets, is superior to the .380. The one caliber advantage I see in .380 is that here, in Podunk small town USA, I can buy .380 defensive ammo. With the Mak, I'd have to order it. But, if she likes the Mak and can get good ammo, it's really a better choice of caliber IMHO than .380. Just make sure it functions 100%. I haven't heard of any real function problems with the Maks. They seem to be decent guns. I shoulda got one of those Stazi East German ones when they were on the market, never did. That would have had some dark history. :D

Soybomb
February 20, 2006, 07:47 PM
Personally I wouldn't want to use a jhp in either of them, but I'd take the .38 over mak. If she likes the mak, will it, and practice with it, thats way better than a jframe she throws in a drawer. Remember to let girls pick their own guns :D

MCgunner
February 20, 2006, 07:52 PM
To GeorgeDuz and McGunner:

I think you're both correct.

I think 4 things matter: Accuracy, size of hole, energy dumped in target, and momentum. i.e. - your both correct.

The .45 ACP relies on accuracy, size of hole, and momentum. Works well.

....


I fail to see how bullet momentum does anything, but knock over steel targets or bowling pins. In terminal ballistics, how would it have any effect? Penetration maybe? If the gun is excessive in penetration anyway, what good is more? Actually, it's a hazard in the civilian environment. But, we can agree to disagree on the nit picky stuff.

The .45ACP is a good round to me because it makes good energy and there's a bazillion good rounds out for it that serve the purpose. The +P stuff in .45 makes over 400 ft lbs, afterall. I have a handload recipe that makes 500 ft lbs, but it's pushing the envelope IMHO. Still petty impressive, though. My carry load is pushing a 200 grain JHP to 400 ft lbs, plenty of "stopping power". I own a .45, but I carry a nine 'cause it's easy to carry and has superior firepower in a smaller package. I'm not stuck on caliber. There's more'n one way to skin a cat and there are advantages in having a lot of horsepower in a smaller package when it comes to CCW. I won't carry around 40 ounces of steel just because I don't think there's anything on the market that works except .45ACP. The nine is just as effective.

grimjaw
February 20, 2006, 07:58 PM
Remember to let girls pick their own guns

A big fat +1. If she likes to shoot it that means she'll be more willing to become proficient with it. If she becomes proficient with it, she might pick another caliber later on.

jmm

Dr_2_B
February 20, 2006, 08:22 PM
Remember to let girls pick their own guns

Oh I disagree. All girls are just the same. There are over three billion of them in the world, but we all know they all should get .38 revolvers because it fits their hand and their hand strength. Plus it looks pretty.

MCgunner
February 20, 2006, 08:38 PM
Oh, don't show her the S%W 3913 Lady Smith. Sexy ain't the word for it! And, the blasted thing is the better part of a G note. Now, if you ain't footin' the bill, fine....:D That is one fine shootin' chunk of metal, though.;) I'd love to have one for myself and I'm not even metrosexual. :D

cookekdjr
February 20, 2006, 08:48 PM
Muzzle velocity and muzzle energy, considered by themselves, are nearly meaningless. They do not adequetly factor in the weight of the projectile, the size of the hole, and most importantly, penetration.
Penetration is by far the most important factor.
The typical 158gr self-defense load will out-penetrate any 9x18 load, and to a large degree. My estimate would be by about 80-100% more.
That's why I carry a five-shot j-frame instead of an 8/9-shot Makarov or .380 p232 (regardless of the weight of the weapon factor).

Dr_2_B
February 20, 2006, 09:25 PM
mcgunner you're behind the times. the new thing is uber-sexual. look it up:)

Trebor
February 21, 2006, 02:41 AM
If she knows she likes the Makarov, get her a Makarov. A gun she likes and can shoot well is better than a gun in a marginally better caliber that she doens't like as much as can't shoot as well.

Now, has she ever actually shot a .38 revolver? If not, have her try one before buying a gun. If she finds that she likes the .38 as much as the Mak, I'd go with the .38. But, if she does have a preference for the Mak, get her the Mak.

wbond
February 21, 2006, 04:16 AM
A 4" barrel .38 will blow away a Mak.

However, a Mak is much easier to carry concealed.

For concealed carry, I think the Mak is better.

For home defense, I think a 4" .38 Spl with Corbon +P 110 gr JHP is the bomb. It gives performance in the 9mm Para ball park, in my opinion.

Another good option is a 3" barrel .38 Spl.

I love Ruger revolvers. They make a medium size revolver called an SP101. I own one in .32 Mag and love it. They also make this in .38 Spl. I'd highly recommend one in 3" or 4" barrel.

4" for home defense (though a shotgun would be better), or a 3" for carry.

A 3" SP101 is still more difficult to carry than a Makarov. I own both so I'm in a good position to compare. However, I'd feel much better armed with an SP101 3" using the +P Corbon 110 gr .38 Spl loads.

Taurus makes a really nice small frame .38 with a 3" barrel. There you can get both concealability and reasonable power due to the 3" barrel. It's much smaller and easier to conceal than the Ruger, but the Ruger is easier to shoot. That is it's easier for me because it fits my hand and the heavier Ruger deadens recoil more. However, the Taurus might shoot as well or better for her. I think the Taurus would be slightly easier to conceal than a Makarov.

Ruger also makes an SP100 full size .38 Spl revolver with 4" barrel. Excellent for home defense, but I wouldn't want to carry one (to big and heavy for carry).

Taurus are good guns for low prices. Rugers are very good guns for medium prices.

Can you go to a gun range and rent a gun to try it before buying? I'd do that if you can. I joined my local pistol club and now can usually try guns for free.

My reason for asking is that I have a friend who needs to buy a gun for self / home defense, but she's not looking to spend a fortune. She LOVED shooting my makarov and she was very accurate with it. She's thinking about a 38 revolver, but she knows she likes the mak. I told her she might consider the bersa .380, but we keep coming back to the fact that she loved that mak. It's hard not to recommend that if we feel like it can do the job.

Cosmoline
February 21, 2006, 04:30 AM
Of course, 9mm+P and +P+ from a 3-5" gun is basically up with a .357 magnum out of a 2"-2.5" gun and with a lot less flash/bang.

Ha! Now you're smoking something. I'll eat my socks the day I see a 9x19 that can launch a 180 or 200 grain hardcast. Or one that can hit with 750 to 800 ft. lbs. The cartridge is simply too small. Even in the hottest potential loading (which BTW generates a heck of a lot of flash, snap and bang even with low-flash powder) the 9x19 is still maxed out at 500 ft. lbs. with bullets far inferior to the rounds that a .357 wheelgun can fire.

wbond
February 21, 2006, 04:44 AM
To McGunner regarding your earlier disagreement with GeorgeDuz and myself:

What you said about 9mm and .45 both being good is pretty much in agreement with what I said.

As for weight and momentum: I specifically said it only helps with large diameter bullets. i.e. - it helps your fat .45 keep penetrating. I also specifically said momentum is NOT helpful with small diameter bullets and I gave the subsonic 9mm as an example. You're right that lots of momentum causes over penetration with smaller calibers. I already said I don't favor high momentum for smaller calibers. However, with big calibers, high momentum pushes the fat bullet in far enough.

The heavier, slower .45s do work. I'm not saying they're better than your .45 load, but I do say they work well enough. Look at the .44 Special. That's really slow, heavy, and fat diameter and still gets it done quite well. I've only heard good things about the .44 Special.

However, I favor lighter and faster JHP bullets so long as it's not taken to riduculous extremes. I like fast JHP 9mm bullets of 110 or 115 grains or for .38 Spl I like the Corbon JHP 110 gr that gives 1250 fps muzzle. Those are my preferred cup of tea.

I also like the .40 cal because it combines both approaches, especially when using 155 gr bullets. However, the 135 gr bullets are possibly better yet. Maybe a 140 gr would be dandy?

So like you, I'm NOT a great fan of very slow, very heavy, high momentum bullets. However, I do acknowledge that they work, if the caliber is big enough (.44 or larger).

To those who like slow, heavy, large caliber bullets, I acknowlege that this combination works well, but I prefer smaller and faster bullets because that also works well and allows the gun to be smaller, lighter, and hold more ammo. However, the smaller, faster, lighter approach should not be taken to extremes because inadequate penetration results.

Regardless of approach, you need a reasonable balance of speed and mass for the caliber and bullet type.

To McGunner: That's why your .45 ACP load is a good one. You've got a good balance of speed-energy for shock and expansion and enough momentum for penetration all in good proportions for that caliber. However, don't kid yourself, even a faster .45 is still slow and heavy compared to other calibers.

To McGunner: I never said slower and heavier (more momentum) was better, I only said that it works, if the caliber is big enough. So with regard to your original argument with GeorgeDuz, you were both correct, in my opinion. There's more than one right way. There's also more than one wrong way.

The whole point of the invention of the .40 caliber S&W was to combine the two schools of thought into one compromise approach to cover all bases and have enough energy and momentum combined with a midsize diameter bullet. The .40 cal works very well, but I still prefer the 9mm because it offers less recoil and more ammo in a smaller gun with adequate stopping potential.

However, despite my preference for 9mm, it is a proven fact that the .40 cal has the most effective one shot stopping record, followed closely by the .45, followed by the 9mm. I can't remember where the .357M fits in. I think .357M is between the .45 and 9mm. In any case, the compromise approach of the .40 seems to rule, followed closely by the slower, heavier, larger diameter approach of the .45. The smaller, faster approach of .357M and 9mm is apparently third best for one shot stops, but I still prefer it because it gives more ammo in a smaller gun with less recoil. These are hard facts. Go look up the one shot stop statistics based on actual shooting if you doubt the accuracy of what I've just said in this paragraph.

Unlike yourself, I never said the 9mm is equal to a .45 ACP for stopping power. It isn't. Both are outclassed by the .40 cal. I only claim the 9mm is adequate with the right ammo and it holds a lot of ammo in a small gun with little recoil.

The only real point I wanted to make is there is more than one right way that works. I think that you and GeorgeDuz were both speaking of different methods that can both work.

wbond
February 21, 2006, 05:37 AM
Woops. Duplicated post. Moderator please delete.

wbond
February 21, 2006, 07:53 AM
Corbon 38 SPEC +P 110 GR. JHP 1050 FPS 269 FT/LBS from a 2.5 barrel

Corbon 38 SPEC +P 110 GR. JHP 1250 FPS 382 FT/LBS from barrel length not stated by Corbon

I think from a 4" barrel the .38 Spl load above would be pretty darn perky, especially from a Ruger. Probably also decently perky from a 3" Taurus or Ruger.

wbond
February 21, 2006, 08:08 AM
I think all these things matter and it's the combination that gets it done.

Muzzle velocity and muzzle energy, considered by themselves, are nearly meaningless. They do not adequetly factor in the weight of the projectile, the size of the hole, and most importantly, penetration.
Penetration is by far the most important factor.
The typical 158gr self-defense load will out-penetrate any 9x18 load, and to a large degree. My estimate would be by about 80-100% more.
That's why I carry a five-shot j-frame instead of an 8/9-shot Makarov or .380 p232 (regardless of the weight of the weapon factor).

MCgunner
February 21, 2006, 09:23 AM
I think all these things matter and it's the combination that gets it done.

I worry about penetration only in marginal loads like .380 ACP or .32ACP. 9mm, .38, .45, .40 any serious service caliber has the potential for over-penetration. Stick with the 115 grainer in 9, the 125 or 140 grainers in .38, anything in .45 or .40 (not sure about the really light .40 cal stuff) and you will have adequate penetration. I just don't want a bullet going to far after it exits the bad guy. I worry about the what ifs. You are liable for anyone you hit besides the bad guy and if he's shooting at me, I'm gonna shoot back regardless of the background so long as I have a good, clear shot.

The Marshall stats I remember had the 9 and the .45 both in the mid to high 80s for stopping power. That's standard loads, not +P. But, whatever, either is plenty of gun for self defense and I choose the nine for the convenient little platforms it comes in for CCW. As said, the .40 is superior to both and offered in small platforms. I didn't get mine in .40, though, 'cause I was a little worried the battering the round would do to a small gun. I'm not sure that was warranted 'cause I haven't heard a lot of complaints about the guns wearing out, guns like the G27. But, I have a 9 and I have confidence in it. If nothing else, its recoil is less than .40 in the same size gun. I ain't beating down the door of the local gun shop after a .40 for the greater "stopping power" when I think 9 is plenty. A few points in the M/S stats are moot to me. I think people make too much of "stopping power", whatever the heck the definition to that term is.

BTW, what WAS the subject of this? Oh, yeah, .380, vs 9mm Mak. :D You're getting down in the power with the .380 and that IS one I want adequate penetration for. I really have seen no numbers concerning the Mak's penetration since I've never really looked. But, I suspect it's adequate if load dependent. I'd check out the various loads for the thing, do a little research on that if it was ME choosing between the two. Since the gun, itself, it preferred, though, I wouldn't worry too much about going with the Mak over the .380. Neither caliber is a 9x19 or .45 or whatever service caliber and the Mak does make a little more more energy which is a good thing.

cookekdjr
February 21, 2006, 09:32 AM
Ha! Now you're smoking something. I'll eat my socks the day I see a 9x19 that can launch a 180 or 200 grain hardcast. Or one that can hit with 750 to 800 ft. lbs. The cartridge is simply too small. Even in the hottest potential loading (which BTW generates a heck of a lot of flash, snap and bang even with low-flash powder) the 9x19 is still maxed out at 500 ft. lbs. with bullets far inferior to the rounds that a .357 wheelgun can fire.
You're both right, although Cosmo's statement is more accurate. 9x19 can mimic the 124/125gr .357 SIG load (Hirtenberger, anyone? :) ), but I've never heard of 9x19 matching the .357 revolver's performance when it comes to heavy bullets.
-David

MCgunner
February 21, 2006, 11:17 AM
You're both right, although Cosmo's statement is more accurate. 9x19 can mimic the 124/125gr .357 SIG load (Hirtenberger, anyone? :) ), but I've never heard of 9x19 matching the .357 revolver's performance when it comes to heavy bullets.
-David

The 9x19 out of at 3-5" in +P+ comes pretty close to a 110- 125 grain JHP .357 out of a 2" J frame. You're talking around 400+ ft lbs for the 9mm +P+ in a 3", 14 ounce Kel Tec and it's quite shootable. The .357 might have 50 ft lbs on it from a 2" snubby. The 357 needs longer barrels to perform well. That, and the recoil and muzzle blast of a .357 from such a short barrel is why I ain't interested in one. Now, it perks up with just an inch more barrel and the Ruger SP101 is a lot easier to shoot than some of the tiny J frames, especially those useless alloy/scandium/titanium 9 ounce things. Wow, that'd hurt with +P 38 stuff, forget the .357! No, the 9 can't chunk a 200 grain bullet, who said it could? If I did, I was wrong. Guess I should go back and re-read this thread because I'm gettin' a little confused on who said what. I don't hunt with 9mm, but have killed deer with the .357 using 158 grain hand cast SWCs. The round is more versatile and I like it as an outdoor caliber. I don't carry one concealed, though. I feel the compact 9 is a better platform for that, much as I love revolvers and the .357 caliber. My carry revolver is a 15 ounce Taurus M85 loaded with .38 +P.

Malodorousroadkill
February 24, 2006, 06:10 PM
I have a nice bulgarian Makarov, and I don't think twice about keeping silverbear 115 grain HPs in it. Makarovs have no problems with running dirty and still being plenty accurate. I'd like to keep pow r balls in it but I think the current mak pow r ball velocity is rather poor considering the low weight of the round. Especially when my 115grain SBs are going at about 1025fps. The 70gr power ball is only going at 1150, seems slow for the low weight in comparison. 9x18mak works. Just gotta practice with it, and its easy for me to buy piles of the silver bear and practice with it AND carry it, vs practicing with some cheapo wadcutters and then carrying 158grain +P. However, I did put a heavier recoil spring on the Makarov, and its extremely hard for my wife to rack. But it is downright comfy to shoot now.

355sigfan
February 24, 2006, 08:25 PM
The 38 with +p ammo has far more momentium and with the right loads will expand and penetrate 12 inches. Thats not true with the puny 9x18.
Pat

wbond
February 26, 2006, 01:38 AM
I thought about this some more.

In my opinion:

The 9x18 Makarov is approx equal in power to a 2" barrel .38 Spl if using std press .38 Spl ammo. With .38 +P it has the edge over the Mak, but +P is very unpleasant in a light 2" barrel revolver. I'd rather shoot the Mak any day than a 2" .38 with +P. As for carry, they're both fine, but the 2" .38 will be lighter, smaller, and easier to carry (13 to 21 oz depending on brand). Overall, I'd rather carry a Mak (25 oz) than a 2" .38 because the Mak is easier to shoot.

However, if the .38 has a 2.5" barrel, I'd give it the edge over the Mak for power (even with standard pressure) and they'd weigh about the same and be about the same size to carry. They'd be about equally easy to shoot. So I'd say this is a toss up.

If the .38 has a 3" barrel, it defineately has a clear power advantage over a Mak 9x18. They should be about equal for ease of carry and shooting. Both Ruger and Taurus make one. The I've tried both. The Taurus is much smaller, lighter, and fairly easy to carry (23 oz). The Ruger is mid-size-weight which makes it larger and heavier, but easy to shoot (28 oz).

If the .38 has a 4" barrel, it's a canon compared to the Mak. However, it would be very difficult to carry and conceal a 4" .38 Spl. Most weigh 36 to 37 oz (S&W, Taurus, Ruger). However, Rossi makes one that weighs 32 oz (they claim). Taurus bought out Rossi, so it's really a Rossi design and brand made by Taurus and guaranteed by Taurus.

Those are my opinions based on facts from research and my personal experiences.

mndfusion
February 26, 2006, 02:52 AM
my 9mm mak has more bite-recoil than my J-frame.

MCgunner
February 26, 2006, 09:56 AM
I don't know, I don't find +P too hard to shoot in my 15 ounce Taurus snubbie. Well, it's not like .357 in an alloy snubbie, anyway. :eek: I shoot it petty well and the rubber grip on the Taurus soaks up a lot of the sting. I don't have a Makarov, never bought one. I won't put 'em down, though. They are a good defensive system if you can get good loads for 'em. The .38 is more proven and has many times more loads available for it, though. I like revolvers as a platform anyway, even though I do have a .380 and a 9mm compact.

Nothing wrong with the Makarov that I can see, just that I prefer the known and the popular. I can drive down the street and buy .38 where I'd have to order Mak. However, I do reload. I have pet reloads for the .38 and don't really see the need in ordering Mak dies.

Tomac
February 26, 2006, 10:01 AM
It's not about "how big a hole", it's not about "energy in target" and it's not about "stopping power" (silly term, that... it's non-quantifiable and cannot be determined scientifically). It's about shot placement and sufficient penetration, period. Everything else is a minor consideration. The only guaranteed "one-shot stop" against a determined and aggressive attacker is a hit to the CNS. Even a solid hit to the heart (you pick the caliber/load) can leave 10+ seconds of oxygen in the brain, plenty of time for the BG to return the favor. If you can place the bullet where it needs to go and the bullet can penetrated deeply enough then it's adequate, other than that all handguns (regardless of caliber/load) are poor "stoppers". That being said I have no problems using an EG Mak loaded w/the SB 115gr JHP's as my bedside/CCW piece. IMHO the lighter-weight 9x18 JHP's don't penetrate deeply enough. Just my $02. worth...
Tomac

MCgunner
February 26, 2006, 11:23 AM
Well, if all you believe is important is penetration, the 158 grain SWCs (non-hollowpoint) +P in .38 special has PLENTY of penetration, more than a Makarov round I'm sure.

I do use the stats as a guide for loads, but only loosely. It's a good reference if you don't take 'em too literally. It is the stats that keep me from having too much interest in .32 ACP. Well, stats and energy and pure logic. Anything above .32 ACP is negotiable, though. That's why .380 has been my bottom line caliber, however, I wonder how the .32 mag stacks up in statistics 'cause I'm really thinking about one when that little NAA comes out. Hoping they offer it in at least a 2" barrel, though. A 1" barrel certainly won't do the cartridge justice I don't think. I'll wait and see what the gun rags say. I'm considering it for .380 replacement in pocket category, but if it's small enough it could replace my current "always gun" (always in my pocket) which is a .22 NAA mini revolver in a "holster grip".

Tomac
February 26, 2006, 11:33 AM
MCgunner, no flames intended. IMHO *any* bullet (regardless of caliber, weight, style or design) that penetrates deeply enough is "adequate" so I'm not arguing that the 9x18 is better or worse than .38 special per'se, just better for my particular needs. After all, a pefectly placed bullet does no good if it doesn't penetrate deeply enough to reach the vitals and the most powerful bullet does no good if it doesn't hit the target. If a particular .38 special load is placed properly and has sufficient penetration then there's nothing wrong with it in my book. Heck, .380 is also my personal low limit that I feel comfortable with but I do carry a .32 Tomcat w/FMJ when I can't carry the Mak (better a .32 w/me when I need it than a Mak or anything else at home). I don't remember where I read it but IIRC then .32 FMJ supposedly penetrates deeper than .380 FMJ (interesting, if true...)
Tomac

saboteur
February 26, 2006, 11:42 AM
You guys are doing this all wrong. Forget about gelatin tests, real world results, and ballistic equations. To find out which is superior do what I did...

I set up a .38 special round on a target and I shot it with my Makarov. I can tell you that without a doubt the 9x18 Mak round won.

This test can be used to determine the top round given any combination you wish to compare.

wbond
March 23, 2006, 01:56 AM
Your original post is to vague because you did not specify barrel length of the .38 Spl.

What barrel length .38 Spl are you talking about?

Also, what 9x18 ammo? Silver Bear 115 gr JHP gives 1010 to 1040 fps depending on gun (Makarov or CZ-83).

I've looked into this subject more since my last post.

A 4 inch barrel .38 Spl can shoot +P without much recoil and it has good ballistics, IMO. The 4" .38 Spl beats the 9x18 easily, IMO.

However, the 2" .38 Spl is wimpy. Its one shot stop stats are not as good as the .380 ACP. Therefore, I feel confident saying that a 9x18 is better than a .38 Spl from a 2" barrel. In addition, +P ammo kicks pretty hard in a small frame 2" barrel .38, IMO. Therefore, you're likely to shoot standard pressure .38s in a 2" barrel gun, which means the 9x18 wins by an even wider margin.

However, a 3" barrel .38 Spl is an even match for a typical Makarov or CZ-83 9x18, IMO. Although they are all close, I'd say the Makarov has the least poop of the three guns, followed by the .38 Spl 3" barrel and CZ-83 9x18 in a tie for better.

The 3" barrel small frame .38 Spl is about the same size as a Makarov, but the 3" barrel .38 is a bit lighter (23 oz) than a Makarov (25 oz).

355sigfan
March 23, 2006, 02:19 AM
The 2 inch 38 snub with +p ammo stomps the 9x18. With Speer 135 grain +p short barrel Gold dots you have a load that expands well and penetrates 12 inches. No 9x18 round does that. Also one shot stop stats are pretty useless.
Pat

grimjaw
March 23, 2006, 02:41 AM
The 2 inch 38 snub with +p ammo stomps the 9x18.

I wouldn't say "stomps", although I agree in most cases it outperforms 9x18, especially if you fire them from the same bbl. Highly dependent on the ammunition used.

These tests (http://www.brassfetcher.com/38%20Special.html) show that Speer's short barrel penetrates ~10" regularly. Remington's 158gr +P load was the best performer. Goldenloki's (http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/9x18/gel9x18.htm) 9x18 tests show several different types regularly penetrate 10" with expansion. I don't know that I'd say 1-2" is stomping the competition.

I don't carry my Makarov often, but I think it will do almost as well as my .38 snub, which is already marginal according to some.

Got to love those facts and sources! :p

jmm

355sigfan
March 23, 2006, 02:55 AM
Good info I am a bit surprised by the 9x18 performance on the site. I will have to point out that bare gelatin was used. The main reason the Speer Short barrel loads is touted as being superior to the 158 grain lead hollow point is that the 158 grain FBI loads seldom expands after going through clothing. I would like to see these tests with the Mak in clothed gelatin.
Pat

grimjaw
March 23, 2006, 11:36 AM
I would like to see these tests with the Mak in clothed gelatin.

Me too, Pat, but shooting Rosie O' Donnell would be wrong

jmm

Borachon
May 23, 2006, 08:07 PM
Just out of curiousity, have any of you that own Makarovs ever done balistic tests with the extended barrels..ie compensated, ported, or threaded barrels? And how long does this make a Makarov barrel? I know standard Makarov barrel length is 3.5 inches. Does an extended barrel make it 4 inches? And finally, how would a 4in Makarov measure up velocity and penetration wise to 38 Special?

And while you're at it...go fetch me the Moon too. :D

Marhaben
May 23, 2006, 09:34 PM
Hornady makes +p JHP 9x18 rounds that work wonderfully in my Bulgarian. Once I get my license I would feel confident carrying my Mak with such ammo. It doesn't seem like many varieties of 9x18 are in stock online, though, but all of my local gunstores have some.

bigger jon
May 23, 2006, 10:15 PM
when i was a hunting guide i shot more hogs with my 38 than anything else,abought 50+ big ones too boot, i have a mac and have had to put down anumber of sick or visoius dogs with it,even thou it worked very well on the dogs i would only consider the 38 with 158sp for anything else

JohnKSa
May 23, 2006, 11:09 PM
9mm beats 38 special.*
9mm+P beats 38 special +P.*
9mm+P+ equals .357Sig and the low end light bullet loads in .357Mag

.380ACP equals 38 special.*
.380ACP loses to .38 special +P*

9mmMakarov is about halfway between .380ACP and 9mm.**

*The larger case capacity of the revolver means that it has a significant advantage over virtually any autopistol of similar caliber when shooting heavy for caliber bullets. Generally speaking this gives a revolver some penetration advantage while the auto of roughly similar performance usually offers better expansion.

**This statement does not apply to 9mmMak ammo made in the U.S. 9mmMak in the U.S. is invariably loaded identically to the .380ACP loadings available from that ammunition company. In reality, it is capable of quite a bit more performance than the .380ACP as evidenced by some of the imported ammunition which moves a 115gr bullet around 1000fps.

AND the final caveat. The above comparisons are based on the general performance of a given caliber. Some of small specialty ammo companies have practically redefined some calibers by loading them to performance levels still not equalled by larger companies with long histories of providing safe and reliable ammunition.

If she likes the gun and shoots it well, that is the biggest hurdle. A person who likes a gun, likes to shoot it, and who shoots it well is quite well equipped for most self-defense situations. That's even true when the gun/caliber may not be the absolute best choice for the task.

LoneCoon
May 24, 2006, 04:34 AM
I found out that you can shoot .380 ammo in the PA-63 in a pinch, so ammo in a hurry is something to think about less.

Personally, I'd rather just have a .38+P and be done with it.

Borachon
May 24, 2006, 02:51 PM
So in other words, none of you can answer my question. :D

I'm not disappointed. It's what I figured would happen.

gunhappy
May 27, 2006, 12:25 PM
if you are really concerned, a swap barrel is made for the mak that is chambered in 380 acp.

Dirty Bob
May 27, 2006, 02:36 PM
Borachon:

I don't know anyone who's chrono'd the extended barrels vs. stock barrels, but the length difference is not that great (~ 14% increase). I would not expect enough increase in velocity to matter. Where the short .38s have it over the Maks is in bullet weight, so they can potentially have some expansion along with adequate penetration. With the .380 and 9x18mm Mak, it's either very difficult or impossible to have both expansion and adequate penetration.

I like the Mak a lot, and carry one on occasion. I carry with FMJ "ball" ammo for penetration. What the Mak has going for it is more shots than the .38, in a package that I shoot better than a snubby.

I think either pistol will do, if you will do.

Best wishes,
Dirty Bob

CajunBass
May 27, 2006, 07:14 PM
Just tell her to get a gun she likes. Learn to shoot it safely. Learn to shoot it accuratly. Learn when to shoot it. Learn when NOT to shoot it. Learn to enjoy shooting it.

Borachon
May 28, 2006, 09:37 PM
Dirty Bob,
I guess my question about .38 Special vs. 9x18 centers around the issue of bullet weight and velocity. I've been hearing how 9x18 fails totally when compared to .38 Special in a 4in barrel. Most of the .38 Special velocities I've seen are from "average" bullets. Not Plus P. Or Plus Plus P or anything like that. So the velocity figures that I see are far less. HOWEVER...I decided to search and I did find a +P test.
In this test
http://www.thegunzone.com/speer135jhp38sp.html it shows that the average velocity from a SIX INCH BARREL for a 135grain .38 ends up being nearly equal to the velocity recorded for a 115gr Silver Bear fired from a 3.5 inch Makarov barrel (http://www.gunboards.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=110185).

So I began to wonder if anyone has actually TESTED the 4 inch model of .38 versus a 4 inch model of Makarov. I can theorize as well as the next person that the additional .5 inches on a Makarov will increase velocity. Using bad math I can further speculate that if we divide a makarov barrel into .5 inch units we get 7 units. (7 times .5 gives us the 3.5 inch barrel.) So if I divide the average speed of a 115 grain bullet (1011 feet per second), then I get an average excelleration of 144 fps every 1/2 of an inch. So...using bad math...if I add 144 fps to 1011, I get an estimate of 1155 fps of 115 gr bullet. That is nearly 300 fps faster than the Speer 125gr PLUS POWDER bullet fired from a 6 inch barrel. (862 fps) and nearly 400 fps faster than the .38 125gr fired from a two inch barrel. (793 fps) In fact, the theoretical velocity that I've hypothesized comes very close to 9x19mm rounds. On this test http://www.ballisticreview.com/9mm.html you can see that the theoretical 1155fps actually EXCEEDS some of the 9x19mm. (And the Makarov's barrel diameter is actually .363 caliber versus the .38's .355 caliber...but that's another discussion. :D)

So I am wondering though why the claim that the .38 is VASTLY superior has come about. A lot of the reported tests don't seem to support that. Also, one problem that was mentioned was failure to expand. With older 120gr Silver Bear Makarov ammunition, I've never noticed a failure to expand. And to expand quite well actually. If one of these bullets is being fired from a 4 in barrel and achieving even HIGHER velocities than the ones I can fire from my 3.5 inch standard Makarov barrel, then I don't see how they would become less expansive. I will grant that the .38 can fire larger bullets. But apparently they also fire these bullets at lower speeds. Not surprisingly, a larger bullet actually moves slower than a lighter bullet when fired from the same gun and using the same powder charge.

I am however totally aware that my estimate may be COMPLETELY wrong. Which is why I was asking (no...make that CHALLENGING) someone with both a 4 inch Makarov, a 4 inch barrel .38 Special and a chronometer could go out and get some real life figures. :D

Borachon
May 29, 2006, 01:50 PM
Apparently someone had this same question about .38 and 9mmMak before about two years ago. :D

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=19236

alwilliam
May 29, 2006, 02:37 PM
I have a pal that uses these in his 9x18:uhoh:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=40546&d=1148927788

kmrcstintn
May 29, 2006, 04:36 PM
I just love how these comparison of "X" caliber to "Y" caliber seem to always attract statements of comparing calibers X to Y by way of other calibers like W and Z which were not asked to be compared in the first place...I don't get it!!! :scrutiny: :what: :neener:

Borachon
May 30, 2006, 05:36 PM
I just love how these comparison of "X" caliber to "Y" caliber seem to always attract statements of comparing calibers X to Y by way of other calibers like W and Z which were not asked to be compared in the first place...I don't get it!!!

Since your post came two posts after mine on the same day, I assume you mean that I quoted data from a site about 9x19mm velocity data and that you find it odd that I would have brought this third caliber into a comparison between .38 Special and 9mm Makarov. Although you didn't quote me directly.

My purpose in bringing in the "third caliber" is easily explained. For one, the comparison was made before I posted my first comment. If you read the first page of this thread you can see that Armed Bear made the statement that said:
.38 Sp +P is more powerful than either one. It's up there with 9x19 in energy, but with a heavier bullet than most 9mm as well. 9mm+P packs a bigger wallop than .38 Sp +P, but with a lighter bullet.

The introduction of 9x19 into the conversation was already there before I posted my first comment and seemed to be another standard against which .38 and 9x18 was being compared. And I think Armed Bear was correct in bringing this comparison into the discussion. 9x18 Makarov data is relatively spotty at best. There are some websites with velocity and penetration data taken from fans of the Makarov, but little or no hard data from the more recognized authorities on bullet performance. Few professional organizations have compared them. Comparing the performance of a 9x18 to a 9x19 (or Makarov to a .380) is a simple and easy way for people who are more familiar with the 9x19 or .380 to get an idea of the performance characteristics of a 9x18. Getting some idea of what a 115gr Makarov bullet can do from a 4 inch barrel should theorectically be very close to what a 115gr 9x19 bullet should do if they are both moving at the same velocity.

Getting real data is something that I have given up on attaining though. I don't have all the material needed and won't be able to afford them for awhile. And no one that I have spoken with has yet had all the qualifications necessary to perform chronograph tests. They lack either the 4 inch Makarov barrel, the chronograph, or :) the Makarov. But until someone can put a 4 inch .38 Special next to a 4 inch Makarov and shoot some comparable sized ammunition, then the performance comparison between these two is up in the air as far as I'm concerned.

For the moment I'm going to content myself with the fact that my Makarov shoots more bullets than a .38, shoots them at either the same speed or faster (sometime hundreds of fps faster), makes a 9.2mm hole (larger than a .38 Special) and shoots a 120 gr bullet that is within 5 to 10 grains in size of the majority of .38 Special ammo out there. How did I ever end up questioning the superiority of the .38 Special revolver after seeing all of these Makarov "failings"? *rolls eyes*

Dr_2_B
June 1, 2006, 08:56 PM
But if you can ever find a .38 that's as fun to shoot as a mak, get me one too.

jon_in_wv
August 31, 2006, 10:47 AM
I think our friend was speaking about the more common 125 grain .357 loads. Corbon 125gr 9mm leaves the barrel at about 1300fps. Thats right on what the 125 .357 loads will produce in a snub. The .357 does have the potential to be loaded to a much more powerful level though.

Even if a Mak produces ballistics simlar to the .38 there is no comparison in the MAKs ability to put rounds on target accurately and quickly. I can hit the target with multiple shots much quicker with the MAK than I can with most other guns I've shot. Given a choice between the two I would carry the MAK. I often carry my snub .38 in the warmer months though.

I think the Russians wouldn't have kept the MAK around for so many years if it didn't work.

Seismic Sam
August 31, 2006, 12:09 PM
compared to the real issue here, which is the provenance of the caliber itself. The 38 Special predates the 1911 itself, and there will ALWAYS be guns of almost ANY brand chambered in 38 Special, which will mean that the ammunition supply will be:
1. Cheap
2. Plentiful
3. Have a huge amount of variety to choose from

The 9x18 is an Eastern Bloc caliber born out of isolationism and the need for dirt cheap ammo and guns, and with the demise of the Soviet Union and free market demand the 9x18 will eventually go the way of other military relic cartridges. Let's face it, you will NEVER see a 9x18 Glock, Colt, Smith, Taurus, Ruger, or any other mainstream brand because that market niche has been filled by the 38, .380 or the 9mm caliber nearly a century ago.

The comment about Silver Bear ammo pretty much being the cream of the 9x18 crop :barf: pretty much tells you where this caliber is headed.

foob
August 31, 2006, 01:11 PM
Silver bear ammo cream of the crop?? It is the cheapest of the crop, cheaper than 9x19.

jon_in_wv
August 31, 2006, 03:33 PM
The Makarov has been used by the former Soviet Union (since 1951) and China and several other countries for over 40 years now. It is still in service in many countries around the world. I don't think it's in danger of disappearing anytime soon. In fact if we used that reasoning we should avoid ALL surplus firearms that aren't chambered for popular US cartridges. (7.62x39, 7.62x54R, 7.5 Swiss, etc..)

Go ahead, More for me. :)

weregunner
September 2, 2006, 01:54 AM
The Soviet Union choices on sidearms and ammo is suspect when they decided on the 9 by 18. Since pistols were more a badge of office rather than the main weapon I would want something with better ballistics.In the latest military journals the rank and file Russians are glad to be replacing the Maks with 2 newer pistol designs in 9mm.Luger.One of the Russkie probs was the lack of decent JHPs.Now that we have them efficency in terminal ballistics is much improved.We have the advantage of having a nice concealable low recoil pistol with decent combat loads. The new designed rifles Russia has are much improved over the AK series.This included the safety.No Klack noise when using it.The Russkies do have interesting and useful special purpose cartridges in rifles and handguns.

jon_in_wv
September 6, 2006, 06:32 PM
Points taken but the point I was trying to make is that the Makarov, and AK for that matter, have been in service since the mid 1940s. Thats and EXTREMELY long time. Yes there are better choices now. I would hope in 60 years we could make improvements but the fact remains that for whatever reason they chose it, they also chose to keep it for a LONG LONG time. The USSR has been in numerous conflicts and has used both of those weapons during all of them. My point was that I don't believe the MAK, or AK, would have had that longevity without some degree of effectiveness. That effectiveness and history will ensure that there will be plenty of MAK and AKs around for a long, long time.

gezzer
September 7, 2006, 12:21 AM
I still like a 148 grain Hornady hollow base wadcutter over 3 grns Bullseye, loaded hollow base up.

Shoot a watermellon with it and try any 380 or 9x18 load and see the difference.

Dirty Bob
September 7, 2006, 09:43 AM
I still like a 148 grain Hornady hollow base wadcutter over 3 grns Bullseye, loaded hollow base up.Yep, that's a classic, with perhaps the best expansion of any pistol round, but I suspect it has inadequate penetration. You may want to try it in a Fackler box, against a more conventional round, and see if that's really what you want to carry. If I were to handload .38 for carry, it would be hard-cast bevel-base wadcutters -- or plated wadcutters -- driven to about 700-750 fps.

I still like the Mak's capacity, quick follow-up shots, and higher degree of accuracy in my hands. I find the Makarov to be an easy pistol to shoot well, and I believe that placement is more important than caliber.

Best regards,
Dirty Bob

jon_in_wv
September 7, 2006, 04:04 PM
The MAK and the 38 special have different strengths. The MAK is usually easier to shoot quickly and accurately. It carries more rounds and reloads much easier. The 38 can be loaded with heavier rounds like our friend Dirty Bob here stated or it can be loaded with lighter rounds that are more powerful that what is capable with the MAK (example: Corbons Powr'ball and DPX, and Speers 135gr Gold Dot) I own and carry both guns depending on the weather.

weregunner
September 8, 2006, 02:33 AM
Let's not forget the heel clip to release the magazine on the Makarov.That takes lots of practice.Revolvers take speed loaders or Bianchi speed strips.There is very good info in the gun magazines on using the strips or reloaders.The Makarov magazine change takes a little doing with having to pull the mag out and operate the release at the same time.It can be done.Practice. Practice. Thought I saw a gunsmithing article somewhere about installing a mag release by the trigger guard, but I could be wrong.I own Makarovs and 2 snubbies.Gotta go keep up to par.Adios.

Dirty Bob
September 8, 2006, 10:03 AM
Good point by weregunner:The Makarov magazine change takes a little doing with having to pull the mag out and operate the release at the same time.That's absolutely right. On the other hand, I see the Makarov mag change to still be easier than loading a small revolver from a SpeedStrip.

When I wrote the Makarov article for Modern Survival, I pointed out the heel-mounted mag release as an advantage, because it's almost impossible to release accidentally. I've heard of several cases of mags dropping out after the button was depressed by a seat belt, etc. (especially likely for lefties). I don't know of any cases of civilians having to perform a mag change during a fight. I carry a spare mag or SpeedStrip primarily for reloading after a fight, while waiting for the police, in case some friends of the BGs show up.

This is exactly what happened to an acquaintance, after "winning" a fist fight in Santa Rosa, CA. The assailant fled, but showed up again right away with two carloads of his closest friends, and the winner took a beer bottle to the side of the face. He nearly died from blood loss before reaching the hospital.

Either the Mak or the .38 will do, but for the recoil-shy, the Mak is a whole lot easier to shoot. I've also found that less experienced shooters get much quicker and more accurate hits with the Makarov. I would consider an experienced shooter to be well-armed with either system.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

Borachon
September 8, 2006, 02:21 PM
I have a split-s ring and grip system on my Makarov that makes reloads very fast. Reloading can get down to very small time increments with a good S-ring arrangement.

Borachon
September 8, 2006, 02:35 PM
This arrangement is on a Hi Cap Makarov but it works just as well with a single-stack Makarov that has a thumbrest, Hi-Cap style grip.

This type of arrangement also makes it impossible for the S-ring to move into the magazine well and catch on your mag while you are reloading.

All you have to do is pull on the S-ring until the mag drops free (which happens very quickly) and reinsert your backup mag into the well.

When I ran a little IPSC course the police had set up around here, I came in third on time and fifth on accuracy out of about 12 people. Since I'd never run an IPSC course before, I considered that pretty good.

foob
September 8, 2006, 04:09 PM
I don't really get the s-ring. The pictures show a ring connected at 2 points. I can imagine 1 point is the mag release, what is the other point? The magazine?

FireBreather01
September 8, 2006, 05:36 PM
Looks like one is on the lanyard ring, the other on the release.

Borachon
September 8, 2006, 08:24 PM
Firebreather: Looks like one is on the lanyard ring, the other on the release.

Exactly.

The mag release gets the smallest split ring I can find that will fit thru. Then run the larger split ring thru the lanyard loop on the grip and thru the smaller split ring that is looped thru the mag release. The larger ring keeps the smaller ring from falling forward into the mag well. When you want to release the mag, you pull on the larger ring and the mag drops free. Still takes two hands, but you don't have to worry about the mag getting caught in the split ring (as has happened to me when I've carried other grips and had a split ring thru the mag release).

If you've got a mag in your left hand, you can pull the ring with your left hand until the mag drops free, and be loading the new one into the mag well before the first one hits the ground. Probably not as fast as one hand thumb release, but pretty fast.

It's not for everyone though. That style grip tends to be thicker, which works for me cause I've got large hands, but isn't a favorite grip for most people.

foob
September 8, 2006, 10:32 PM
Ah ok thanks. Sounds like a good idea.

joneb
September 8, 2006, 11:37 PM
Sorry I have'nt read through all the posts , but I would like to throw my 2 cents in the hat. I have a Taurus 85 ss 2" pre- lock , a S&W 36 2" and a E.G. Makarov. My wife has the Taurus now , She liked it better than the Smith :confused:
I carrie both the M-36 and the Mak. I tend to carrie the M-36 more in the warmer months and the Mak in the colder. With the .38 snub I load it with +p hp's for warm weather and 158 grn +p fmj's for cooler , for the Mak my defence loads are always fmj's.
What I like about the mak is, it's more accurate, 9rnds vs 5 , and faster to reload than the .38 snub despite the mag. release .
What I like about the .38 snub is it is more concealable for me and my methode of carrie. It is reliable and easier to opperate , just point and shoot.

mustangcompact
December 25, 2010, 10:53 AM
Makarov 9x18 Accuracy & reliability is not mentioned much in these posts. I have 3 makarovs which I purchased because of the low price. I placed them in work vehicles and desk drawer as "back-up" with the idea that if I lost them I wouldn't be losing much.

At the range (50 foot) I was absolutely amazed at the accuracy of all three of these. Comparable with .22 rimfire, and with the recoil apparently eased by the slide recoil second and third rapid-fire shots within 6" group were effortless.

On the single stack magazines (PA63) easy and fast reloading with a total of 15 rounds vs the 5 or 6 shot .38 magazine capacity cannot be ignored for defensive purposes.

My favorite, however, is the CZ-83, 2 magazines = a total of 27 rounds, all in a pocket manageable size.

I have more .38 specials than I can count, but firing double-action with anything other than with wadcutters, I cannot duplicate the accuracy of the little Makarovs.

Granted, I have only shot 500-600 rounds so far, but have yet to have any malfunctions at all.


CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP but not that bad of a little pistol!

Wishoot
December 25, 2010, 11:14 AM
Holy Cow! Resurrecting a 4 year old thread.

I do agree with your comment on accuracy. I shoot my CZ82 better than almost any other gun I've ever shot.

harmon rabb
December 25, 2010, 11:49 AM
cz-82/83 a pocket gun? you must have some pretty big pockets :D

Al LaVodka
December 25, 2010, 12:51 PM
And, for the weight, a Makarov will stretch those pockets to the ground eventually. Totally not worth the payload even though the cartridge (also basically a Soviet stolen German design) is better than the heavy gun. The point is that the Mak is (or was) a great gun for the money if you didn't have to carry it concealed -- basically disposeable. And it was obsolete as a military arm from day one. As for this being a 4-yr. old thread, that's OK because so many even better (small, light, reliable, powerful, accurate and relatively inexpensive) carry handguns have come out in JUST that time that the Makarov is COMPLETELY ridiculous as a CCW for what it is...

It has its devotees but they are not objective. Write "Makarov" on belly-button lint and they'd swear it was the best ever...

Al

Shadow 7D
December 25, 2010, 08:47 PM
Gee Al, trolling for some fun

I happen to find it a capable round, right there with .380 and .38 special, I don't like spinny tings and can't afford a S&W 52, so no reason for one, and I prefer .32 or 9mak for personal work... I either want the lower compromise or a better shooting platform, and in both I get it. I may not be cool, but I can shoot it well. And I don't write my Makarov in belly button lint, I prefer pocket lint, best freshly brushed out of my pistol with just a hint of that refreshing smell of burnt powder.

EmGeeGeorge
December 25, 2010, 09:10 PM
I started out carrying a gp100 IWB 'cause I didnt know anything else... bought a mak and carried it IWB fro a yeat before I started carrying a colt agent... it wasnt comfortable per se but my pants always stayed on... its accurate, reliable... so...

The_Shootist
December 25, 2010, 10:03 PM
My Bulgy Mak has more punch than a .32 or .380ACP, probably close for practical purposes to a .38spl and reloads faster than the .38spl. Where it somes into its own is its absolute rock-solid reliability and supurb accuracy. I've carried it in a shorts or coat pocket so its concealability isn't an issue (but yeah - its not in the same weight class as a 642).

With a spare mag as backup, I've never felt underarmed and probably could do alot worse in the CCW dept.

CornCod
December 25, 2010, 10:10 PM
The love the .38 Special round, but 9X18 ammo is still a lot cheaper. If I had only one handgun and had to choose between handguns shooting the two cartridges in question, I would go for the 9X18 weapon. .38 is just too pricey nowadays.

zxcvbob
December 25, 2010, 10:17 PM
I have a CZ82 and a S&W Model 15. I keep both of them loaded at home for HD. The .38 Special with 158 grain lead HP's, and the CZ with either Silver Bear JHP's or my own handloaded 93 grain LRN's.

The .38 hits harder (k.e. alone is not a good measurement) and one well placed shot should take the fight out of a goblin -- and I've got 6. The CZ holds twice as many rounds, and that gives me 6 double-taps.

I don't think there's a bad choice here.

Deaf Smith
December 26, 2010, 03:50 PM
Actually gang, if we take the TOP Mak rounds and TOP .38 rounds the .38 Spl. wins hands down.

Mak:
115 gr JHP at 1000 fps (Silver Bear.)

.38 snub.
158gr LSWHP at 1000 fps (Buffalo bore.) And that's from a 2 inch snub.

The Makarov guns are easier to shoot and hold more rounds.
And the snub .38s, like 642s, are easier to carry and can be fired from the pocket.

The question is not which is better but what are your needs!

Deaf

jeepguy
December 26, 2010, 04:53 PM
the one thing i will ad is my cz 82 has been 100% reliable. although i bought it as a backup carry gun, i would have no problem trusting my life on it and the 9x18 round. i don't know about other maks but the cz 82 is built like a tank and accurate.

Brass Rain
December 26, 2010, 09:48 PM
My reason for asking is that I have a friend who needs to buy a gun for self / home defense, but she's not looking to spend a fortune. She LOVED shooting my makarov and she was very accurate with it. She's thinking about a 38 revolver, but she knows she likes the mak. I told her she might consider the bersa .380, but we keep coming back to the fact that she loved that mak. It's hard not to recommend that if we feel like it can do the job.
I think if she was really comfortable with the Makarov, she should get one. Caliber and bullet energy is great to debate on, but one should use the gun they shoot well with, even if it's a lowly .25 ACP. 9x18 might not be a very hot round, but .380 gets plenty of attention these days, and its energy isn't generally up to 9mm Mak levels, though I'm sure there's a lot bigger load diversity for .380. I wouldn't at all feel under-gunned with a Makarov, in fact... I think I need to put one of those on the list.

gearhead
December 27, 2010, 10:34 AM
When the pistol firing the Makarov round is a P-64 it's still very pocketable. I bought a Taurus 709 Slim last week, it's exactly (with about .1 inches in every dimension) the same size as the P-64 and when loaded weighs the same as the all-steel P-64. Both have been 100% reliable for me, so far, but I'm still much more accurate with the P-64. The only advantages to the 709 are one extra round, somewhat more effective rounds (9X19 vs. 9X18) and better accessory and repair support. I don't feel undergunned with the P-64 and I'll still carry it in rotation with the 709.

GLOOB
December 27, 2010, 01:41 PM
More than a few people seem to think the best comparison is between a Makarov and a .38 with a 4" barrel.

Just to clarify, a Makarov has a 3.83" semiauto barrel, which has roughly the same breech-to-muzzle dimension as a 2 1/2" .38 speical revolver barrel. I think perhaps a 3" revolver would be the maximum appropriate length for comparison, for purpose of having a comparable OAL and true barrel length of the gun.

PabloJ
December 27, 2010, 02:05 PM
From ballistic perspective the 9x18 (or 9x17+P) can't match .38 Special 158gr+P LSWC load (@ avg Pmax 20,000cup or 18,500psi). The Makarov pistol is about the only thing making 9x18 worthwhile to own. The P-83 might be even better choice.

Acera
December 27, 2010, 11:50 PM
For less than $200 total outlay from CDNN, and with more than twice the capacity of a revolver. The MAK auto is hard to beat right now. The comfort level shooting the auto will probably surpass that of a lightweight revolver in many peoples experience. The CZ-82s that are being sold as surplus right now are solid guns, at a bargain price (just not real pretty). Put some Krylon on it, oil it up and drop in the glove box or console. No worries. Buying 9x18 is a lot cheaper than .380, and just about as easy to get.


Got this pair last week, had to wait 2 whole days after I ordered them to get in, middle grade.

http://i494.photobucket.com/albums/rr301/300Acera/Guns/PC240254.jpg?t=1293512124




Brass Rain, you do realize you answered a 4 (almost 5) year old question right?? I hope the lady has had her gun for a long time now. LOL







:)

rondog
December 28, 2010, 12:48 AM
How are the triggers on those? I'm used to 1911's.....

Shadow 7D
December 28, 2010, 01:48 AM
Um, typical CZ
kinda spongy with a clean consistent break, though long DA
absolutely beautiful SA

edit,
Try the polish PA-64, the DA is for Heman, I mean you have to be pumped on adrenalin to even pull the damn thing in DA
but the SA is match, and would run almost any 1911 out of the box at least even, like scary target lite.

Acera
December 28, 2010, 10:06 AM
How are the triggers on those? I'm used to 1911's.....

You should be able to adapt. Their function is like any other DA/SA automatic. The DA is not bad at all, about the same as my 92F, or a tad lighter. The SA is better than I expected.

What surprised me was the condition of the barrels. Chrome lined, and very bright. If you are not expecting Polygonal rifling, you may think they are shot out, but they are good to go.

rondog
December 28, 2010, 10:14 AM
Thanks! I have a PA-63, but I might need one of those CZ-82's.....

PabloJ
December 28, 2010, 01:27 PM
At current surplus prices it's hard to go wrong with CZ82. While revolver is inherently more reliable platform one will never match capacity or speed of reloading with one. The price of .380 ammo is shocking. A 50 box of Remington MC ball is only $2 less then 50 box of .45ACP.

IMTHDUKE
December 28, 2010, 08:52 PM
I would like to see these tests with the Mak in clothed gelatin.

Me too, Pat, but shooting Rosie O' Donnell would be wrong

Now, that's funny, don't care who you are.:D

Shadow 7D
December 29, 2010, 04:46 AM
eewww, yuck
cause then you have to go in and find them

harmon rabb
December 29, 2010, 08:40 AM
Thanks! I have a PA-63, but I might need one of those CZ-82's.....

The PA-63 has a pretty crappy trigger (before respringing), whereas the CZ-82 has a trigger so nice it's ridiculously out of place on a milsurp gun. In DA, it's the best DA trigger I've ever fired, and in SA, it's on par with a higher end 1911. Yeah, it's that good (at least mine is).

God knows why CZ didn't stick with the CZ-82's trigger for their other designs.

Dirty Bob
December 29, 2010, 11:33 AM
God knows why CZ didn't stick with the CZ-82's trigger for their other designs.
IIRC, the CZ-82 has a lot of parts, which would make manufacture expensive. The Makarov, OTOH, is in the running for the autopistol with the fewest parts. Its DA trigger isn't anywhere near as good as the descriptions I've read of CZ-82 triggers, however.

BTW, if you want a revolver to compare to, the .38 Special version of the Ruger SP101 with a 3-inch barrel is similar in weight to a Makarov. I like both, but I find a .357 SP101 to be one of the all-time great carry revolvers. If all I had was a Mak, I would not feel unprotected, though.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

Shadow 7D
December 29, 2010, 05:31 PM
what if you don't do the spinny things, I mean revolvers just don't do it for me.

OldSchooler
January 30, 2011, 12:41 AM
"I mean revolvers just don't do it for me."

Then you will like the pistols that shoot the 9x18 Makarov.

Remember, though, that generally these smaller sub-calibers are notorious for a lack of expansion. If you are depending on that as your sole "ace on the hole"... well, they are often found wanting.

Nonetheless, we keep trying. There has been a lot of development in the Makarov round, and many choices are out there.

The one that as been considered the best is no longer being made, unfortunately. Im referring to the Cor-Bon 95 gr load. However, they have now come out with a 70gr "Pow'R Ball" load that sounds good. ,It is really the Glaser Safety bullet, since the two companies seem to have merged. This is the popular Glaser frangible bullet, the open end of which is plugged with a large plastic ball. The stuff feeds like ball ammo but is highly regarded in actual shootings. Cor-Bon/Glaser knows their business, so it is appealing.

There are others, to be sure. Hornady has a hollow point that is well reputed, their XTP 95 gr HP. The Russian Barnaul is also thought of highly - if you can find some. Various concerns have loaded Speer's excellent Gold Dot bullets in small, "custom" quantities, but they are the devil to find. And there is, as always, the ubiquitous Silver Bear HP, from Russia. It gets the black eye from most people for being too smelly, too dirty and occasionally too Russian
But it is plentiful and has performed as well as might be expected in testing. More on that in a moment.

Actual shooting data with 9 Mak is pretty scarce, however. Not much real world help is to be found as far as hollow points are concerned. But the mind of man is inventive and he'll test anything. So, the caliber has been put through rigorous testing. All this means that if you expect to be attacked by water filled milk jugs or unflavored gelatin blocks, well... some of these HP's appear to deliver a comforting level of performance in simulated tests. Case in point is the Russian Silver Bear HP. It does feed well and it expands a good part of the time during these tests.

But lets look at this logically. In it's usual form, JHP or FMJ, we have a small bullet, 95 gr or so, traveling at a moderate velocity, around 1000-1050 fps. That is around 200-230 ft/lbs of energy. Not inconsequential, and not earth shaking. Certainly nowhere near accepted, reliable stopping energy levels... whichever school of thought you subscribe to.
'Probably why you wont see this caliber and it's close cousin, the .380ACP, in the Big Hole Manstopper Handgun Effectiveness charts we all love so much.

For these reasons I'd call the 9 Mak good-to-marginal and accept that.


It is usually the rugged, compact guns chambered for the round we are most interested in, anyway. These firearms can be had for little money and the ammo is not expensive. Ergo, we want them. Only after that is settled do we consider to performance of the round.

As for the bullets themselves, we are led to believe that only hollow point ammo can save you. But the list of things that reduce the HP bullets effectiveness in this (and any) caliber is long:

Marginal power of the round itself,
Bulky clothing to get through,
Adrenaline,
Chemically induced numbness,
Darkness,
Poor training
Stress
Not hitting your target where it counts
A combination of any of these... and more.

So, we can agree that hollow points might not be the end all we hope for when the SHTF. That said, we should look at the traditional wisdom. Here we'll find that most people consider "small" calibers, like the .363 Makarov under discussion, are best considered as "penetrators."

This is simple, really - there is little of the science or development we find with hollow points. Frankly it isn't needed.
What it says is that, if by choice or necessity, you must shoot humans in self-defense with one of these weapons, then go for the deepest punch you can get. This is where the non-HP or FMJ bullet comes into play. "Ball ammo," in other words.

There are plenty of choices here, too.
The original Russian and former ComBloc military surplus ammo can be had, although it seems to have dried up recently. In it's place are the commercial offerings of the same thing like Wolf and TulAmmo. These are essentially mil-ammo in civilian packaging. They are usually steel cased and Berdan primed, laquered and round. Pretty basic.
There is plenty of non-mil ammo out there, too. Many makers offer a variation on the Makarov round, from the Federals American Eagle to CCI's Blazer line. Many regard the Fiocchi FMJ ammo as a top choice here, as it is pretty hot and may give a bit more velocity in your gun.

The CCI Blazer TMJ flat point also intrigues me. It has a 95 grain bullet at the same velocities as all the others, but they use a large flat nose on the bullet. However, it too, seems hard to find.

Regardless, in FMJ ammo, I recommend you go with the Russian Bear, Wolf or Tulammo stuff for general shooting. It is pretty cheap and plentiful, and you can't argue with that. Russian ammo for a Russian caliber - that seems to make sense.

On the defense end of the spectrum, I'd go with the Buffalo Bore, 115gr +P, LFP. They claim the highest pressure, maximum SAAMI loading, giving 1,000 fps from a hard-cast lead, flat point bullet. Sounds good to me!

If you're not a fan of wheel guns, you'll also like that these guns invariably hold 8-10 rounds. So you'd be wise to shoot multiple times. Doing so from cover whenever possible and carrying an extra mag for good measure seems prudent, too.

You may also wish to eliminate all of this discussion and just follow the OldSchooler Doctrine of Small Handgun Engagement, which states, "Keep Your @SS Out of Situations That Lead To Gunfights."

In the end, I always reckon it this way:

1. If all I have with me is my little PA-63, well... that beats a sharp stick.
2. If it satisfied the Russians, it is probably better than a sharp stick.

woad_yurt
January 30, 2011, 11:30 AM
The Makarov pistol is about the only thing making 9x18 worthwhile to own.

I disagree. I have a PA-63 as well as a Makarov PM. The PA-63, with the addition of a stouter recoil spring and a softer mainspring from Wolff, is one fantastic shooter. The springs, if I remember correctly, cost me less than $20 altogether. It's never jammed on me and is reasonably lightweight, too. One thing, though, I did get rid of that horrible thumb bump on the left grip so it fit my hand. It's also much flatter for carry now.

OldSchooler
January 30, 2011, 11:50 AM
You're right.

"The Makarov pistol is about the only thing making 9x18 worthwhile to own."

People love to say that sort of thing. It makes them feel important, like they have revealed some universal Truth heretofore hidden from the little people.

May people will poo on the 9 Makarov, saying it isnt powerful enough, it isnt big enough, it isnt American enough - and so on. You cant please all the people, all the time.
And they DO make a good point. It isn't hugely powerful - there ARE more powerful cartridges.

But it may be there when you need it, if you aren't the sort who wants to carry 4-5 pounds of metal around. And that IS the point. Guns like your PA-63 (and PA-64), are easy to live with. They are robust enough, simple and both lightweight and slim. I don't find the trigger pull, or the recoil to be bad either. Nothing but what I would expect from a military/police pistol, anyway. You can get used to anything. It probably won't rob your family of groceries to own one, either.

In this day and age, we should all be more concerned with our rights to own firearms than promoting our pet concepts. You'd think more people would welcome the Makarov round based on that alone.

I know I like my PA-63 for no other reason than I can get one.

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