Can a 9mm revolver shoot .380 and 9x18?


August 13, 2004, 01:44 AM
This might be a stupid question, but can a 9mm Luger revolver shoot 9x17 and 9x18 like a .357 can shoot .38 special? Is the only difference between these rounds the length of the case or is the diameter of the bullet different? I was thinking about getting one of those new 5 shot 9mm Taurus instant backup revolvers for summer carry and thought it would be cool if it could shoot other calibers. Does anyone have one of these guns? If so, what do you think about them?


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Jim March
August 13, 2004, 02:55 AM
9x18, impossible. The bore is actually a good deal fatter, they flat out won't fit. They're like 9.2mm or something funky :). They're commie-derived, waddya expect? :D

9x17, bad idea but if the gun uses moon clips, possible in a pinch.

But here's the problem: MOST 9mm revolvers that use moon clips also have the cylinder bores cut internally so that there's a "lip" at the case depth, similar to what's down the barrel of a semi-auto. That way, you can load and fire rounds without a moon clip, you just can't quickly extract: you have to open the cylinder and push each round clear with a pencil, cleaning rod or similar.

Well when shooting 9x17 (aka: 380ACP/9mmKurtz), two millimeters into it's travel the round will hit that "ledge", potentially warping the bullet, putting stress on the cylinder, God knows what else.

THAT SAID: if I had a 9mm wheelgun, some moon clips, some 380 ammo and I needed to defend myself, I'd stuff 'em in there so fast it'd make somebody's head spin :).

But it's NOT safe. OK?

Last point: if you MUST have a 9mm gun that shoots both, any machinist can shave that "ledge" to an "internal forcing cone" rendering the gun safe for both calibers. It would then be a moonclip-only proposition in 9mm.

If he was really clever and the gun was known to be tough enough, he could bore that "internal forcing cone" deep enough so that it could shoot 9x23, 9x21, 9x19 and 9x17 all in the same gun, all with the same moonclips. As one example, any 9mm DA revolver that's known to be tough enough for 357 could do this safely, such as the SP101/9mm and the old Security/Service Six series done in 9mm.

With Taurus' 5-shot 9mm snubbies, I would compare the dimensions to a similar Taurus 357, make sure the star/ratchet is the same, then Rockwell test critical areas, make sure they're the same. They *probably* are but don't trust a KB to "probably".

NOTE: if doing this, accuracy will get worse the longer you "freebore" (float a bullet down a cylinder bore that's too fat). So 9x17 in a 9x23 chamber with no "ledge" will be safe, but accuracy may be poor. Ditto 9x19. So if you want peak accuracy in 9x19, leave the chamber that length. Removing the lip for safety with 9x17 won't be an accuracy problem for the 9x19, or at least not much of one.

August 13, 2004, 04:18 AM
The effect should be no different than shooting .38sp from .357mag chambers or .44sp from .44mag chambers. At the end of the chamber is a distinct ledge where the throat begins.

Jim March
August 13, 2004, 12:10 PM
It's different all right, if the chambers are cut so that moonclips aren't 100% necessary (still headspaces on the rim).

August 13, 2004, 04:45 PM
very useful information Jim

Jim March
August 13, 2004, 05:19 PM
Maybe this will help Magik:

August 14, 2004, 01:18 AM
I think 9x18 is something like .36".


Jim March
August 14, 2004, 02:31 AM
Heh. Whatever. It's too big :).

Silly commies. Considering they stole the design from captured German facilities (not to mention captured Germans <snork>) at the end of WW2, you'd think they could have at least semi-cloned German *ammo*.

But nooooooooo. They had to be diiiiiiiiiferent.



Chris Pinkleton
August 18, 2004, 12:46 AM
I was under the impression that 9x19 was a slightly tapered case while the 9x17 was a true straightwall. Is this no real problem?

Hey, I just checked my Lee manual: 9x19 case head=.394" mouth=.381"

9x17 entire case=.374" no taper

I wouldn't do it. Unless the crackhead zombies were coming and I had no choice.

Jim Watson
August 18, 2004, 07:58 AM
An honest report on the Medusa multi-calibre revolver said that .380s would bulge or split in the chambers cut for tapered 9mms up to Largo.

August 18, 2004, 10:33 AM
Well when shooting 9x17 (aka: 380ACP/9mmKurtz), two millimeters into it's travel the round will hit that "ledge", potentially warping the bullet, putting stress on the cylinder, God knows what else.

Every IDPA and ICORE and IPSC revolver weekend, a blue zillion .40 S&W rounds get shot through Model 610's to no real ill effect.

August 18, 2004, 05:27 PM
I have shot .38 super and .380 out of my Taurus 66 .357

I had just read an article in SOF that described what calibers you could use with certain guns in a pinch.

Other than split cases and crappy accuracy they worked ok.

Now that I know better I don't abuse my guns that way.

August 23, 2004, 04:12 PM
Having accidentally fired a .380 in a 9x19, the case bulged and stuck halfway out the chamber, requiring a cleaning rod to unjam, I would say not the greatest expedient. As noted .380 is a straight wall while the 9x19 is tapered, although both have the same bullet diameter. Have fired .380's out of a Makarov (long military related story). Mostly worked, I reckon the recoil spring for the 9x18 is a tad too strong and would cause a lot of horizontal ejection port jams unless I rapid fired the piece, then it would work for the entire magazine. 9x18 being actually a 9.2mm bullet, I would not try it in anything else even if it does chamber.

about comparing 9x17 in a 9x19 to .38 in a .357 or .40 in a 10mm, the straighwall cases of the latter pairs allow the shorter round to line up concentric-like with the chamber shoulders, forcing cone, whatever. There is enough play in the straightwall .380 in the tapered 9mm chamber that I think you could have some damage to your chamber headspacing mechanism when the .380 discharged offcenter.


August 23, 2004, 11:20 PM
Shoot 9x18? No problem - just get a 9x18 revolver! Importing could be a problem though:

Jim March
August 24, 2004, 05:15 PM

Go to either of the pages Alamo just linked to. Look at the graphic of the revolver shooting across the top - it's the same pic.

Now explain why a revolver is ejecting cases forward which are still fully loaded

Silly drunk Roosky web-dude :).

August 24, 2004, 06:20 PM
maybe someone reamed out the chamber shoulders then forgot to use their moon clips. some old lady tried to complain about our range once by saying she found this bullet that was fired at her house and showed everyone a complete live 30.06 round.


August 24, 2004, 11:49 PM
I think you're being a bit harsh on them Jim. Just a few teething problems. They're still working out the bugs. I'm sure they're quite reliable for one shot. Besides, the first one, the R-92, makes up for it with it's stylish good looks.

They are versatile as well - this one is a combination revolver / wrench / bottle opener:

Rugged design was inspired by Ruger.

Jim March
August 25, 2004, 05:27 AM
Oh, I'm sure they're decent guns. It's just a funky as hell picture, that's all :).

One real design flaw however:

On that last link, note how the triggerguard has that "concave on the forward face" look popularized on various semi-autos to allow the off-hand forefinger to curl round it and improve control?

Ya, well if you actually did that with these guns, you'd find your off-hand fingers sitting out there AHEAD of the cylinder gap ready to get BBQed :eek:.


They copied a certain "look" from the slidegun world without thinking of the ergonomic implications. Perhaps because the Rooskies haven't really transitioned to two-handed handgun work as a regular thing? (Read: Cooper, Weaver, Jordan and company's transformation of US handgun shooting around the late '50s into the '60s didn't catch hold on the other side of the Iron Curtain.)

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