9mm Mak from 9mm Luger


February 23, 2013, 10:59 PM
I have scads of 9mm Luger cases but need 9mm Makarov cases. Has anyone shortened 9mm Luger into 9mm Mak? The slight case diameter difference is what worries me.

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February 23, 2013, 11:08 PM
Done it with a bunch, it'll work and work well.

Bell your case mouth after shortening.

February 23, 2013, 11:14 PM
Yes, it's very easy. You just need a case trimmer, I use the Lyman Universal lathe-type trimmer and cut 'em down to Mak length. Then run 'em through Mak dies and fill 'em up.

The first time you do it, they'll look a little odd....as in fatter around the top and skinnier towards the bottom (below the bullet), but when you fire them they'll fireform to the chamber and be normal after that.

Works great, but they'll still have 9mm Luger headstamps, of course. So you'll have to be careful about getting them mixed up. If I had access to a small lathe, I'd put them in the chuck and give each one just a very slight ring on the case head, like this, just to ID them. Just touch them with a pointed cutting tool, but that's just my idea of marking them.


February 23, 2013, 11:34 PM
SO, you are going to be one of those people who trim 9x19 9mm Luger cases to make 9x18 cases and leave them littering the range.

Just so you can make all the rest of us pull more hair out of our poor bleeding heads, and beat our breasts, agonizing over trying to sift them out of perfectly good 9mm brass before clogging up our case feeders.

Or seating a 9mm Luger bullet and having it fall out on the ground in front of the range safety officer looking at our otherwise perfect 9mm Luger reloads!!

Shame on you sir!!

No, just joking!

But only Sort of!


February 24, 2013, 04:46 AM
The only problem I've run into is the thickness and taper. A lot of your cutdown cases will have thick case mouths. And some 9mm cases start to taper where the 9mm mak bullets will seat. You'll get a wicked cokebottle effect. This could lead to chambering issues. And with cast bullets, this could cause accuracy and leading problems due to undersizing/squishing of the bullets, unless you get a nicely fitting expander plug.

So try to identify a thin-walled headstamp. And test a few before you go and run off a bunch.

I've actually tried the Rondog marking method. I think it's more effective to mark the side of the case. That's easier to see when picking up brass. And it's easier to see when you have a case in the press. I've messed around and marked a few cases by putting them in a Zip Trim and drill, then "scribing" a line near the case mouth with a rotary tool. Then color over with red Sharpie. These were my "marked for death" rifle cases that had loose primer pockets. Next time I do up some mak cases, I will play with that idea some more. I trim them with the Zip Trim chuck, anyway. Might as well mark them at the same time.

February 24, 2013, 05:27 AM
I do this a lot. I use the Lee trimmer (I have the Lyman too, but the lee works better for me). I color the head of the case with red sharpie to indicate to myself and to any other unsuspecting soul that there is something unusual about this brass.

February 24, 2013, 08:31 AM
Most of the sizing issues go away after they are fired one time.

February 24, 2013, 08:34 AM
SO, you are going to be one of those people who trim 9x19 9mm Luger cases to make 9x18 cases and leave them littering the range.

So you are complaining about picking up FREE brass, then having to sort it to make sure it is properly sized? :rolleyes:

What don't you just buy new 9MM brass instead, so you won't have to worry about the free stuff?

February 24, 2013, 11:18 AM
Oh good lord please don't do this and shoot at a range anywhere NEAR me.

I have ENOUGH problem with 9x18 getting run through my press and loaded as 9x19 as it is. If I don't catch it (and there's always ONE that slips through on a run) when I go to shoot, the thing scoots forward in the chamber when the firing pin hits it, and then I have to take the damn gun apart to knock the loaded round back out.

February 24, 2013, 11:49 AM
If he's going to go through the trouble of trimming I'm betting he'll pick them up as well.

February 24, 2013, 12:09 PM
I trim and use nickel 9x19mm brass exclusively for the 9x18. That helps me sort them, since I only have to sort the nickel plated brass.

I trim them with the Lee trimmer.

It beats buying separate brass when luger brass is free and abundant.

February 24, 2013, 12:54 PM
All my 9x18's tend to throw brass into next week. Too much trouble to find, hence it is my only pistol caliber that I do not reload for.

I thought about going thru the effort to convert 9mm, but too much effort for me for a 1 time or maybe 2 time use before it is lost in the piles of brass on the range floor.

February 24, 2013, 01:14 PM
If you do this, at the VERY least, please at least take a red sharpie and write a big red "X" across the whole of the headstamp.

At least that'll make sorting them from real 9mm easier, and clue in anyone who finds some that you miss in to "HEY TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THIS".

February 24, 2013, 01:20 PM
My heart bleeds.

February 24, 2013, 01:23 PM
OH GREAT! Something else I have to worry about when I pick up 9mm range brass. :)

February 24, 2013, 03:12 PM
Although they do get that extreme coke bottle appearance, I sure can't complain about the neck tension it produces. But who cares about how funny they look, right?


February 24, 2013, 03:57 PM
Well, since I shoot at a private club range and there's never anyone using the same range as me, and I pick up every piece of reloadable brass I see whether it's mine or someone left it, it's not an issue to me. I won't leave any of my modified cases unless one hides under a rock or something.

And when I sort my picked-up brass, when I get to the 9mm size I stand them all up on a tabletop in one big mass, like a crowd of pilgrims waiting to see the Pope, and then it's very easy to see any .380's or 9mm Maks that are in the herd. I just use a pair of tweezers to pluck out the non-Lugers and move on. I actually do that with all auto pistol cases, makes it very easy to find the .45acp's, .40 S&W's, and any wierdos like .45GAP or 10mm.

I have a set of those sorting tray things, but when the cases just nest together those things are useless.

Besides, my PA-63 has a broken ejector at the moment, and finding one had has been a fruitless search. Seems they're made from unobtainium.

February 24, 2013, 04:38 PM
When I sort 9mm, I always stand them up side by side until I get a good bunch of them. It's a really easy way to sort the .380, 9mm Makarov, 38 Super, and any other odd ball stuff that might get mixed in.

February 24, 2013, 05:56 PM
I have tried it and they work fine for me. My only problem is it labor intensive and to me is not worth the trouble.Maybe when my supply of Starline brass is exausted I will try to perfect the process.

February 24, 2013, 09:21 PM
I used to be a Makarov fanatic, I've had a dozen of them at one time including five East German ones. My tastes slowly changed and then I got into reloading and into 1911's. I soon discovered that Maks and reloading didn't go together as they threw their brass into the next county and that one trait soured me on them and I sold every one I had.
I sorely with I had a couple of them back.....fine, fine handguns.

February 24, 2013, 10:55 PM
Thanks for the info. Sorry Trent, but these are for my sister to practice with. Folks are right, the first 500 cases went into the weeds thanks to her Mak's energetic ejection. Since Starline has a waiting list for Mak brass I guess your angst is just another sign of the times!

February 24, 2013, 11:30 PM
By all means if you have no ammo and no brass, make brass.

But do mark them. SOMEONE will pick up the ones you miss, at some point. ;)

Marlin 45 carbine
February 24, 2013, 11:57 PM
I load both and .380acp, it's not worth the time and effort

February 25, 2013, 05:48 AM
Both my M11's are .380, one a true Ingram and the other an overstamp. True pleasures to shoot. Especially the open bolt Ingram with supressor. It's like having a small easy to handle long range chain saw. And the 380 cases don't masquerade as something they are not. The little cases are hard for my fat fingers to mess with though.

February 25, 2013, 06:12 AM
Hey Huey where in the blue ridge.... I've not yet shot a full auto! =p

February 25, 2013, 07:59 AM
Walk south on the Appalachian Trail, when it ends at Amicalola Falls, walk down the hill, turn right, walk ten minutes, turn left, walk another 20 minutes and listen for gunfire.

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