Makarov vs Ultra


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Cactus Jack Arizona
April 19, 2010, 01:48 AM
What is the difference between 9x18 Makarov and 9x18 Ultra?

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WardenWolf
April 19, 2010, 02:16 AM
According to Wikipedia. the 9x18 Makarov was based on the 9x18 Ultra that the Germans developed to replace the 9x17 (.380 ACP) round they used in their Walther PP pistols. However, Russia made 1 critical design change: to ensure NATO nations could not use captured ammunition, they made their bullets have a larger diameter than a typical 9mm bullet. Effectively, 9x18 Makarov is 9x18 Super with a larger bullet. The 9x18 Super is essentially a Makarov casing loaded with a .380 bullet.

MCgunner
April 19, 2010, 07:51 AM
It's actually a 9.2x18mm.... Mak shoots a .364" bullet 9/1000ths inch bigger than the .380 at .355". The explanation as to why makes sense. Sure ain't to make it more effective. However, I'd think the major difference is that you can actually walk into a store with 10 bucks and BUY a box of 9x18 Mak. I've never seen an ultra round, let alone bought any. I'm not sure about Ultra ballistics, but as I understand it, it has more pop than the .380. So does the Mak, at least in European loadings. Energy can run 50 ft lbs higher than .380. The Ultra/Mak design is the most power of the choices designed specifically for a small blow back handgun. The Mak is amazingly accurate, too, in these small guns.

I just got into the Mak. One thing I like about it, just trim 9x19 brass to 18mm and load with .365" cast bullets, works fantastic. Same case head as the 9x19 (.380 is smaller). The 9x19 is a tapered case, but it fire forms fine to 9x18. I get plenty of free 9x19 off the ground at the range...:D But, as ball ammo is friggin' dirt cheap and far less hassle, I've been shooting a lot of that. Heck, even Silver Bear hollow point is under 12 bucks a box of 50. That's what I've been carrying.

I guess, though, this was a theoretical question rather than a practical one. Sorry for the slight drift.

schnarrgj
April 19, 2010, 09:23 AM
It was originally designed in 1936 for the German Air Force. They did not use it. In the early 70's it was chambered for the Walther PP mainly for the German Police to give more power than the usual 32 or 380 the European Police normally carried while keeping the pistol small. It did not catch on with the civilian market and the German police are now carrying the 9mm Luger. The ammo is hard to find and not cheap. The 9mm Mak was pretty well covered by the previous posters.

Storm
April 20, 2010, 10:20 AM
9x18 Ultra was brought back in the 70's for the Walther PP Super (mine shown below) which is basically a Walther PP on steroids(and a sweet shooter). It served as an intermediate sound between 9mm Kurz and 9mm Luger. 9mm Ultra was also a caliber utilized by the Benelli B82, Mauser HSc Super, and possibly a few Steyr GB, as well as a few others. There is also a question as to whether the 9x18 Ultra is identical to the 9x18 Police, and at one point there seems to have been a slight difference in case size/taper, but I have heard that the two are now virtually identical. Fiocchi sells it as "9x18 Police" and runs the ammo right around once a year. How difficult it is to find depends on your timing. I have found it to be less expensive than many other uncommon rounds, especially these days.

http://img714.imageshack.us/img714/3076/ppsuper.jpg

Jim K
April 20, 2010, 02:35 PM
AFAIK, the 9x18 Ultra and 9x18 Police are the same. The 9x18 Makarov is a different round, larger in both case and bullet diameter than the 9x18 Ultra. The Makarov round will not chamber in a gun chambered for the 9x18 Ultra, and the latter is too small for the Makarov chamber though it will fit and fire.

Note that the 9x18 Ultra has a rebated rim, possibly so some tooling for the 9x17 (.380 ACP) could be used, since the rim diameter is the same. 9mm Makarov cases can be made from 9x19 (9mm Parabellum) cases by trimming, but some swaging would likely be needed to make 9mm Ultra cases from 9x19, plus the rim diameter has to be reduced.

As noted, one big difference is that 9x18 Makarov is readily available, while 9x18 Ultra is just about obsolete and is on the verge of collector status.

Jim

Storm
April 20, 2010, 02:48 PM
AFAIK, the 9x18 Ultra and 9x18 Police are the same.

For all intensive purposes, today that is true. There once was a minor difference between the cases.

As noted, one big difference is that 9x18 Makarov is readily available, while 9x18 Ultra is just about obsolete and is on the verge of collector status.

The 9x18 Ultra was pretty much obsolete from day one. Had it not been for the PP Super and some other European manufacturers looking for a non-military round with a bit more kick than the 9mm Luger it would have died long ago. But, Fiocchi continues to make it on a regular but limited basis, so I hope to see it for quite a bit longer. While I have a good amount of it stockpiled I would like to get more just to be safe. A set of dies is also a good idea.

As to any choice between the Ultra and Makarov, go with the Makarov. But, the PP Super is one sweet shooting gun!

I would also add that a number of PP Super owners have reported shooting .380 ACP out of their 9x18 Ultra calibered guns with no ill effects. That is less than desirable to me for a number of reasons.

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