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Loading for 9mm Luger: A couple of 9x18 Mak cases snuck in...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ddc, Nov 12, 2014.

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  1. ddc

    ddc Member

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    I was transferring a bunch of just loaded 9mm Luger from the bulk container next to the press into 50 round cartridge boxes. This is the point where I give my reloads their last “quality assurance” check.

    I noticed two GFL marked cases with a small translucent green patch near the primer. Upon further inspection I found these were 9x18 Makarov cases. They had gone through the load process and I had not noticed.

    I have had a few 380 cases sneak in before but these are obvious when I attempt to load them on a LCT. Apparently that extra millimeter is enough so that it felt close enough to the 9x19 that I didn’t pick up on the difference.

    I’m glad I caught them. I’m going to double check the rest of this batch and pay a little more attention in the future.

    These were loaded with 5.25 grains of Silhouette with a MG 124 FMJ. I use the Lee 4 die set with FCD. I didn’t measure the OAL but visually it is very close to my desired 1.145 when compared to a just loaded 9x19.

    I’m wondering what the outcome would have been if I had not noticed.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Probably nothing.

    The OAL would be the same as the other 9mm, so internal case volume would not have changed.

    rc
     
  3. Shoot66

    Shoot66 Member

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    As rc says. If the COL is the same, there should be no problem.
    Several years ago I bought remanufactured 9x19 ammo with occasional 9x18 cases mixed in. As the COL was the same, I disposed of it in a proper manner...by shooting it.
     
  4. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    Assuming shot through a semiauto, the case would hold against the breech due to the ejector. In a revolver, likely similar headspacing as I suspect moonclips. If the cylinder is cut to headspace off mouth, might not light the primer and just bump it forward that extra millimeter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  5. wally

    wally Member

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    I've fired enough .380ACP that have slipped in during 9mm reloading that I'd not worry about a 9x18 case slipping by. If you get a failure to fire, just tap-rack-bang and move on with your shooting.

    I wouldn't recommend recommend substituting .380 or 9x18 brass for 9mm (even if it somehow ever became economical) for the same reasons you wouldn't want to shoot .22lr in a .22mag in any significant volume.

    I worry much more about the occasional Berdan primed brass 9mm, .380 or 9x18 case that gets by -- these are tough on the decapper :)

    Since I had Lasik the .380 and 9x18 cases have been much easier to cull during the brass pick up stage, as has verifying there really is a flash hole :)
     
  6. ddc

    ddc Member

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    Thanks for the feedback!
     
  7. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Member

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    One problem would be is if you would somehow chamber a true 9x18 Mak in a 9x19 and actually fire it-could lead to an unpleasant overpressure situation. 9x18s are .364 and 9x19s are .355. I have pistols in both calibers and handload both. I mark the headstamps of all of my Makarovs with a Sharpy so there is no doubt what it is. I do this before firing. Most of my factory loads in 9x18 are non-reloadable so I don't worry about that.
     
  8. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I do a visual height check when I have the cases in loading blocks for a visual neck crack check.
     
  9. wally

    wally Member

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    Since I've never heard of this actually being a problem, this made me curious so I got a 9x18 94gr JHP round and it badly failed the plunk test in my 9mm 1911, with only the bullet entering into the chamber. So "somehow" would require beating on the back of the slide. Also the case will not enter the cylinder of my 9mm Pitbull revolver. So I don't see this as any type of problem to be worrying about.

    The 9x18 lacks the case taper which combined with the larger bullet diameter means it shouldn't chamber in any 9mm that is anywhere near normal spec.

    Now firing a 9mm round in a 9x18 pistol might be an issue if you had a really short OAL 9mm round that would fit the 9x18 magazine, but the 0.009" undersized bullet should greatly reduce pressures if the extra 1mm of case length let it chamber enough to fire. A plunk test with my CZ82 and a 9mm round suggests it might fire if you singled loaded it, but none my my normal 9mm loads will fit the 9x18 magazine.
     
  10. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    How would the 9mm Mak case fit in a 9mm Luger chamber? Can re-sizing shrink down a 9mm Mak case that much?
     
  11. wally

    wally Member

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    Resizing a fired 9x18 case in a 9mm die loads up just fine, you end up with the correct OAL and a round that likely headspaces on the extractor.

    Not the best thing to do for your pistol since ~1mm of chamber will be exposed to hot gases instead of "protected" by the brass case, but unless I some how made a lot of them by mistake, I'd just shoot 'em instead of wasting time with the bullet puller.

    Loading up a .380 amongst the 9mm brass is much more common as reloadable 9x18 is not often found laying on the ground. All the same issues apply except ~2mm chamber exposed to the gases. As I said, I've shot enough of them that I don't worry about the occasional one that slips through my inspection and loading every 4-5K rounds.
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    I had one Mak case sneak in during my last batch, but I caught it because there was basically no effort in the sizing stage.

    First one I've ever found.
     
  13. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    They will shoot fine, they will probably not cycle correctly. The only difference is 1 mm in length between the Mak and a Luger. A friend bought a box of Mak by mistake, and shoots them single shot in his 9MM pistol.
     
  14. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    In the 80s one gunwriter did some testing. He was able fire 380 in a Mak and a 9 mm. He was also able to fire the Mak in the 9 mm. But he couldn't get the 9 mm to chamber in the 380 or the Mak, nor the Mak to chamber in the 380. A lot of people called him crazy. I stuck with foolish. Wish I had saved the article.
     
  15. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    ^^^^
    So it sounds like it's possible to use .380 & 9mm Mak in a gun chambered for 9mm Luger - in a pinch, that is.
     
  16. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    I think you have that backwards. You can shoot 9x19 Luger ammo (.355 dia) in the Mak chamber, but you cannot shoot 9x18 Mak (.364 dia) in the Luger chamber. The Mak being bigger, simply won't enter. The Ruskies may have wanted it this way in case of WW III. The Russians are many things, but stupid is not one of them.
     
  17. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Shooting 380 in a 9mm might be a little hard on the brass.
     

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  18. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    I've found a mak case in my press before too, but that was because it was much harder to resize.

    I took a gal to the range one time and she loaded up and her gun wouldn't fire. I went over and looked at it and the ninny's at academy had given her 9mm mak bullets instead of 9mm luger when she asked for "9mm bullets" Regardless to say, they wouldn't chamber. So yes, you can fire a 380 in a 9mm, but you cannot fire a 9mm mak.

    I've gotten to where I take all my range pickup brass and set them all mouth up on my desk and visually inspect them. it's a lot easier to see the 380's and the 9mm mak's to weed out. Also a good time to take a flashlight and peek down the mouth to see if there are any berdan primed cases. Then I carefully pick them up a handful at a time and take a quick peek at the headstamps. Anything that doens't have a pretty good bevel around the primer pocket (I use a loadmaster and it really wants a nice beveled pocket or else I can get tipped primers) gets tossed in the scrap box. Sounds more complicated than it is, and it sure saves me a lot of headache when using a progressive.
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    In my experience, if you get a brass Boxer primed Mak case mixed in with 9mm P at a progressive loader, you might never know until you see a loaded round with a lot of bullet protruding. It will still feed, fire, and function in a 9mm P pistol.
    Steel case or Berdan priming will change that of course.

    A live .364" Mak round would not come close to chambering in the 9mm P gun I checked.

    A .380 in the 9mm P case supply shows up immediately as the press handle slams to the bottom with no resistance.
     
  20. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Like already said, you probably wouldn't have noticed anything out of line if you fired the Mak cases in your 9mm Para. You did after all resize the case to 9mm Para dimensions...
     
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