using lee trimmers to make 9x18 brass from 9x19 brass


April 20, 2007, 10:37 PM
hi all, to make 9x18 mak brass from 9x19, do i use a 9x18 trimmer after resizing the cases in a mak die, or do i use 9x19 trimmer, grinded down before sizing?

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April 20, 2007, 10:56 PM
Got this off the internet. Did a search on yahoo for "9mm makarov dimensions" and this is what came up at

Trimming 9mm Parabellum Brass

When the Makarov pistols first became available, those itching to load their own ammunition found it difficult to obtain brass. One solution was to trim 9mm Parabellum brass to a case length of 18 mm.

Trimming 9mm Parabellum brass is not difficult, but brass crafted in this fashion should be used carefully. The head stamp will no longer match the actual case, therefore be very careful when you examine range pick-ups. The case mouth is initially sized much smaller than the .363" bullet requires, so case belling is critical. After it is fired for the first time, the case will expand to fill the Makarov chamber. The metal near the case mouth is then spread thinner than a true 9mm Makarov case because of the larger 9.2 mm bullet. Check the case mouth for cracks and splits after firing.

9x18 Makarov case trimmers are generally not available from the reloading manufacturers. However, one can easily fashion one from 9mm Parabellum trimmers. The Lee case trimmer is a simple, inexpensive tool that uses a conventional power drill and an hand-held trimming blade. The case trimming tool consists of a shell holder with drill insert and a blade/case length gauge. Using a very hard, e.g. carbide grinder, the case length gauge can be shortened by 1 mm so that it will produce 18 mm cases from 9mm Parabellum cases. When grinding the case length gauge, err on the side of cutting off too little. Trim a few cases and measure them with a micrometer. You can always cut the case length gauge a bit shorter if the cases turn out too long.
For safety and sorting ease, mark the trimmed case heads with a permanent marker. Enough of this ink will be left on the case after it is fired and tumbled clean to see that it is different from all other cases.

Hope this helps.

Navy Vet & SWIFT Boat OIC

lee n. field
April 21, 2007, 10:39 AM
grinded down before sizing?

Size with 9x18 die, then trim, is what I do when I do this.

April 21, 2007, 11:18 AM

so you use the 9x18 trimmer?

April 21, 2007, 06:50 PM
Lee does make a 9x18 attachment for their hand trimmer. I've used it to make a few Mak cases from Luger. BE AWARE, the re-made case is different internally than a standard 9x18 case. Start low on the charge chart, as the volume is different.

I have had to expand the case mouth slightly to get the Lee trimmer inside the mouth. It doesn't take much, and that stretched brass is what gets trimmed off. Then you can expand normally, but carefully.

April 21, 2007, 07:57 PM

Peter M. Eick
April 22, 2007, 08:44 AM
I would think something like my RCBS powdered trimmer with a 3 way cutter would be best. That way you just dump the case in and let it cut until the rpm's of the motor come up. I have cut back a few cases from 308 to 44 automag that way, and while slow it does work (I was taking off about an inch per whack, so taking off a mm should be reasonably quick).

M2 Carbine
April 22, 2007, 09:29 AM
When I bought my first Makarov, 9x18 brass was almost impossible to get.
I shortened a Lee 9x19 trimmer that I cut down because there was no 9x18 trimmer at that time. I used the case holder with my electric drill which made a vast operation.

I trimmed the cases after sizing since the primer had to be punched out to use the Lee trimmer.
I trimmed over a thousand cases, which are still in use today, mixed in with the other Makarov brass.

April 22, 2007, 09:47 AM
I cram my entire Lee trimmer into my drill-press, then lift the case in the shell-holder up onto it. That's the quickest way, IMO. Plus you can feel when it bottoms out. 1mm is only a seconds worth of trimming. It takes more time to take it in and out of the shell-holder.

April 22, 2007, 02:23 PM
Until I discovered that Starline produced 9X18 brass, I used a Forster trimmer with a .355 pilot. There is a .365 pilot available, but I feared it would require over expanding the case. I still trim down a lot of nickel 9X19 once fired case, fire form them with a target load, and use them for strong 9X18 PD loads. It is easy to distinguish them from my 9X18 target loads.

I have also experimented with 7.62X25 Tokarev, which worked well as a 9X18, but a pain to cut down compared to 9X19. I also discovered that the 7.62X25 could be trimmed to 23mm, loaded with black powder, a home made OP wad, and #9 shot as weak snake load. It had to be hand chambered and extracted.

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