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Makarov vs. S&W snubbie?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by firestar, Sep 13, 2003.

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  1. firestar

    firestar member

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    I am considering getting a medium sized gun for the glove box. It should be totaly reliable, small enough to fit inside my tiny glove box (a full sized gun won't fit), have decent power (at least .380), be cheap (under $200 is what I'm thinking) and easy to shoot and stick in a pocket if needed.

    I have seen several S&W 36s snubbies for about $200 so I am thinking this might be a better deal than the Makarov. I have been trying to buy a Mak for several weeks from a local dealer but he is dragging his feet for some reason and Maks are hard to find in my area for some unexplained reason.

    The Mak will cost me about $175 OTD and the S&W will cost right around 200 for a blued 2" in excellent condition.

    How you you rate either of these guns for me purpose? The Mak has higher capacity but ammo is harder to find. The S&W will probably have a better DA trigger but it is DA all the time. The Mak and S&W will probably close in real world accuracy (I mean shooting at an attacker not target shooting).

    What do you think, for the small price difference it seems that the S&W may be the better deal?
     
  2. Groupguy

    Groupguy Member

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    I've got both the Mak and the Smith. I find that I like the Mak better, carry one in each of the cars. With the Mak, I've got 9 rounds total with 8 more in a very concealable magizine. Plus, the Mak is so thin that it's more concealable than the wheelgun. Though the Smith has a shorter overall length, the Mak's length is fine and the thinness of the gun makes up for any length issue. At the range that I'd justified at shooting someone in defense, less than 15 yards, the Mak is more than accurate enough. With a little practice, I can now hit 6 inch targets without fail at 15 yards. Sure can shoot those little bullets fast. Further, loaded with Glaser or CorBon, the little bullet packs enough pop to get the bad guy's attention. Head shots with a 20 grain .22 will kill any man, so a 95 grain hollowpoint zipping along a 1,200 fps+ should do the job if I do my part. FWIW, I have several Bulgarian Maks and bought them all from Southern Ohio Guns (SOG) through my gunsmith. I bucked up the $10 extra, per my smithies' recommendation, for hand select and they looked unfired when I got them. The double action trigger is smooth on all, though a little heavier than my Smith's, and the single action trigger is very light. Great guns for the money. Couldn't be happier with the value of these little pistols.
     
  3. jar

    jar Member

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    I have both the Mak and snubby, a Colt DS instead of the Smith J frame. I tend to carry the Colt in a Lou Alessi pocket holster more often than the Mak. But I feel comfortable with either.
     
  4. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    Me, I like the j-frame. It can sit indefinitely w/ no problems and will be ready to go if called upon. Plus I like the bigger bullet :)
     
  5. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

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    Nuther fan of the 36.

    Sam
     
  6. sm

    sm member

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    older ones...

    I like the 36s
    I like the model 10 also if one of these pops up.

    Everyone deserves a proven classic --can always get a Mak later to fill another niche...classics-- get 'em while you can. All these folks getting CCW like MO will be buying these up...just a thought.
     
  7. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    5 rounds of 158 grain +p lead hollowpoints are more better than 8 rounds of .380, imho.
     
  8. RWK

    RWK Member

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    To begin, both are clearly excellent handguns: very reliable, durable, and accurate. However, I have always been apprehensive that the 9x18 is somewhat anemic, even with truly top-tier defensive ammunition such as CorBons. On the other hand, the wide variety of excellent +P .38 Specials seems to me to tip this decision in favor of the Smith.
     
  9. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    I mostly agree with Groupguy. But I'm not so sure that his 9X18s are going 1200 FPS. Hottest loads I've seen only got 1100 FPS...

    There are alot of things the Mak has going for it. It is durable, reliable, cheap, thin, and in my opinion, it looks cool.

    Also, 8+1 rounds is better than 5.

    And, in terms of foot pounds of energy, 9mm Makarov/9X18 is superior to .38 specail when fired from a 2 inch barrel.

    I dout that the bad guy would notice the differance, but the Makarov shoots a fatter bullet. The Mak bullet is .365 caliber vs the S&Ws .357 caliber bullet.

    Both are good pistols, but I think in this case the Makarov has the advantage. Now if the revolver were a .357 mag, that would be a different story...
     
  10. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Another vote for the S&W 36.

    Jeff
     
  11. Spieler

    Spieler Member

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    Perhaps you might consider the STAR BM? A compact 8 rd 9mmP 1911-style for $150. I've heard good things about them for years and now SOG has some. Not quite sure of the dimensions though so I don't know if it would fit your limited space. Check it out.
    http://www.southernohiogun.com/index.html
     
  12. Zip06

    Zip06 Member

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    I also have both a 442 and a Mak. Generally I agree with GroupGuy. For a car gun the Mak would be preferable for me. I shoot the Mak better, its absolutely reliable. So is the 442. In low light, the sights are poor on both pistols. I think 9 rounds are better than 5.
     
  13. Groupguy

    Groupguy Member

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    David 4516

    Since you wish to take the literal translation of my general statement, I'll back it up. Please visit www.safetyslug.com to review the specks of the Glaser Safety Slug, rated at 1,300fps in the 9mm Mak. I'm sure there are bullets that will reach, if not exceed 1,200fps. I have a buddy who's loaded XTP's to over 1,200 through his chrony, though I tend to want to stay with commercially manufactured rounds for concealed carry.

    I still think that the importance of reload availability cannot be overstated. It's much easier to carry a fully loaded spare Mak magazine in my pocket than a speed strip or loader for my revolver. The speed of the reload is also important, as those speed strips are very speedy. I can put 9 rounds in a target, reload for 8 more in the same target with a Mak before the average shooter can put 10 rounds downrange with a revolver.

    The guys who kill people in the line of duty, of which I am not one, never complain about having too much capacity.:banghead:
     
  14. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    Groupguy,

    I know there are faster rounds out there for the Mak, but I don't think that they are 95 gr loads. I could be wrong, but I haven't seen anything that will push a 95 gr bullet much past 1100 FPS from a Makarov. If you find something like that let me know casue I want them for carry ;)
     
  15. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    I disagree with the view that the mak is more concealable than the snub. My 442 airweight drops into a pocket that a mak can not. The mak shoots a weak round. The 38 is no powerhouse but its better than the 380 level mak round.

    Reload speed is important but if you can carry a gun as large as a mak you could buy a real gun like a sig 239 or a GLock 26.

    Pat
     
  16. David4516

    David4516 Member

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    "The 38 is no powerhouse but its better than the 380 level mak round. "

    I don't know about .380, but I'd say that the hotter 9mm Mak rounds are equal to if not better than .38, assuming we are talking about a .38 fired from a 2 inch barrel...

    Here is the info to back up my cliam:

    9mm Makarov (from standard bulgie Makarov) = 95 gr Hornady bullet, 1026 FPS = 222 foot pounds of energy

    .38 (from 2 inch barrel) = 129 gr federal bullet, 855 FPS = 209 energy
     
  17. 355sigfan

    355sigfan member

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    Actually there is more to power than pure muzzle energy. I like energy but you also have to consider momentium which helps with penetration. ALso consider that the 38 load I like is the old FBI 158+p lead hollowpoint.
    Pat
     
  18. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Member

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    I still don't believe a Makarov in 9X18 is any kind of serious defensive gun. Lots of people have been killed with them, but most were kneeling with their hands tied behind their backs, and took the little slug behind the left ear.
     
  19. SkunkApe

    SkunkApe Member

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  20. AUTIGER04

    AUTIGER04 member

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    MAK. Ill take 8rds + a spare mag over 5rds anyday.;)
     
  21. Missouri Mule

    Missouri Mule Member

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    I happen to like the 9x18 Makarov.

    I shoot if pretty well and have never really been too fond of any small revolvers I have tried.


    I am still mulling over the options since I live in Missouri.........YeeHah!
     
  22. snubby

    snubby Member

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    Firestar, since you mentioned wanting a medium sized gun for the glove box, why not consider a large bore snub revolver? Somethings holding 5 rounds of 44 or 45 caliber should be more than adequate for most car-gun situations, and would provide better penetration (since you might need to shoot through your car's window into an adjacent car) than any of the 38 Spl or 9x17/9x18 options discussed above.
     
  23. RON in PA

    RON in PA Member

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    Too bad your glove box is small as I'd recommend a used Smith model 10 or 64 with a 4" barrel loaded with 158gr LHPSWC+P ammo.

    How about a 3" Ruger SP101 with the same ammo.
     
  24. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    I would go for the 36 in a heartbeat. I wouldn't leave an auto in a car for extended periods (months), hoping it will function properly when needed. I've left my 36 loaded, on the nightstand for over a year at a time without shooting it or even moving it except to dust the nightstand. It still went "bang" 5 times when I took it to the range.

    The mak is a fine firearm, especially for the price, but I prefer revolvers for applications where the gun might be stored loaded for long periods of time.

    Chris
     
  25. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    SW36 is cuter but Mak is a better fighting weapon (more accurate, faster to reload, higher rate of fire due to less muzzle flip). That sauid, I second the suggestion of a Star BM -- all advantages of the Mak plus more power, faster reloading, les kick.
     
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