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Posted: 12/29/2005 10:00:14 AM EDT
The 9 X 18 Makarov is a fairly "new" round in the USA. But it has been a staple of firearms in Europe for a long time and is one of the most common police and military rounds in some countries.

It is usually classified in power as between the .380 ACP and the 9 MM Parabellum. I believe that it is a little closer to the 9 MM in its hottest loadings.

I have a couple of pistols that shoot this round. Here they are:



They are a Hungarian PA-63 (bottom) and a Russian Baikal IJ-70. Both are fine little pistols and a pleasure to shoot.

The PA-63 is a little lighter in weight, but a little more punishing in recoil. More on this later.

If there is a main problem with this round, it is that no one makes a really "quality" defense round for it. I wish I could buy Winchester Ranger SXT rounds for it, but I can't.

I load several rounds for the pistols. Here they are:



From left to right, they are a lead target load, a lead cast bullet, a JHP load, a round of Wolf Ball, and a round of 9mm to compare to size. I load a 100 grain Round Nose Lead bullet in a light target load. I use 3.3 grains of WW-231 for a nice shooting and accurate target load.

This brings us to an important fact about this round and the pistols. They are amazingly accurate. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is the sturdy way in which the barrel is fixed to the frame. Let's look at the disassembly.

First, after making sure the pistol is empty, you pull down on the trigger guard and pull it slightly to one side.



Next, you pull the slide completely to the rear and lift it. Then allow it to go forward, off of the frame.



Here you can see the way in which the barrel is positively attached to the frame.



It does not pivot or move in any way.

Another plus in the accuracy department is the sights. On the Russian Makarov, the sights are very fine. The rear notch is less than an eighth of an inch wide. This makes fine sighting easier.



We have determined that this pistol may shoot as accurately as my Colt Gold Cup .45 ACP. That is no joke. The accuracy is simply amazing.

With hotter loads, these little pistols can produce recoil that stings. Especially with the PA-63, due to its lighter weight. But the target loads are nice and easy to shoot.

Here I am at the range giving the PA-63 a workout.



Here it is in action. Notice the piece of brass in the air.



Here I am shooting the Russian Mak.



A neat pic with the action opening.



Ejection on these pistols is "positive", to say the least. We measured an average and found that the brass was thrown approximately 20 feet to the right rear. If you want to reload the brass, you need a "brass" man to watch where it goes.

These pistols can be found at very reasonable prices at gun shows and are an enjoyable pistol to shoot and own. If you haven't got one, give them a good look.

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:01:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 10:02:26 AM EDT by livefreeordieNH]
PA-63 is NOT a Makarov

ETA: But otherwise GREAT thread

I love my 3 mak's (2 bulg, 1 russian)
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:03:25 AM EDT
You have way to much fun.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:04:41 AM EDT
But can the 9x18 JHP shoot through a loaf of bread?
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:05:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Triumph955i:
But can the 9x18 JHP shoot through a loaf of bread?



I bet it can.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:06:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 10:11:01 AM EDT by 8mm]
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:07:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By livefreeordieNH:
PA-63 is NOT a Makarov

ETA: But otherwise GREAT thread

I love my 3 mak's (2 bulg, 1 russian)



He is talking about caliber.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:09:07 AM EDT
O_P, are you buying new brass & reloading them or turning down 9x19 ??
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:11:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:
O_P, are you buying new brass & reloading them or turning down 9x19 ??



9mm Makarov isn't 9mm, it's closer to 9.5mm.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:11:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 10:28:09 AM EDT by Old_Painless]

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:
O_P, are you buying new brass & reloading them or turning down 9x19 ??



When we first got the pistols, Makarov brass was not available to reload, so we trimmed 9mm down and used it.

Later, Starline Brass started offering 9 X 18 Makarov brass and I bought some of their brass and that is what I use now.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:11:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ironoxbows:
O_P, are you buying new brass & reloading them or turning down 9x19 ??



9X18 is a larger diameter round. You can do it but it is far cheaper to just buy Starline.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:56:40 AM EDT
No Mak lovers here?
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 10:59:37 AM EDT
aren't there a shitload of mak rounds? i thought winchester made silver tips in 9mm mak.

i have an east german mak. strictly a safe queen though...
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:01:56 AM EDT

Mak lover here! A sweet East German Mak, 1962 build I think.

I don't get to shoot it very often at all...in fact, it's probably been, um, several years. But I have two types of cartridges for it, the aluminum body Blazer hollowpoint, and the brass body Cor-Bon.

Do they still make the Cor-Bon? Is it at all a decent defense cartridge (as far as 9x18 Mak goes)?

Jim
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:04:01 AM EDT
The sights could use some work (too darned narrow for my tastes), but other than that, best $150.00 I have ever spent on a firearm.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:04:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
No Mak lovers here?



Here is my daily carry piece..



Cor-bon make some sweet Hp's for it.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:06:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
No Mak lovers here?



I love the things. Stone Reliable and very accurate. I gave mine away to my stepdad and everytime I go over to see him I end up messing around with that Bulgarian Makarov. I need to get another one in the future.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:18:42 AM EDT
I bought a PA-63 for around $120. It was very accurate, but the frame is built so that the recoil goes DIRECTLY back into your thumb bone. Not much fun after 50 rds or so.


Also, I found that when it gets REALLY dirty, it goes full auto.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:19:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 11:24:23 AM EDT by BeetleBailey]




My Mak is a great, reliable little piece that I never feel unsafe with. And it's all metal!

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:25:59 AM EDT
I plan on getting a Bulgy Mak some time soon.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:28:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:
homepage.uab.edu/beetle/makarov ankle.JPG

homepage.uab.edu/beetle/packing.JPG

My Mak is a great, reliable little piece that I never feel unsafe with. And it's all metal!




do you need to wear bell bottoms with that?
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:29:14 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
No Mak lovers here?



I am in love with the Makarov and my user name pays homage. My Bulgie is more beloved than my HK or Sig.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:29:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sigarkar:

Originally Posted By BeetleBailey:
homepage.uab.edu/beetle/makarov ankle.JPG

homepage.uab.edu/beetle/packing.JPG

My Mak is a great, reliable little piece that I never feel unsafe with. And it's all metal!




do you need to wear bell bottoms with that?



lol, no. Bad pic ankle, I have really small legs (in diameter) also, so that throws it off. I actually usually carry it lately IWB
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:34:04 AM EDT
OP:

I hear Corbon will soon be releasing its "powerball" load (the one with the poly rubber ball to ensure feeding) very soon.

That's a NICE round and will probably do very well in the 9x18 field.

Also, there's a site somewhere where the Barnaul HP round were shown to be very nice performers from both a penetration and expansion standpoint, easiliy besting the most expensive .380ACP personal defense rounds.

I have a PA-63, by the way, and its a very nice pistol. I will point out for the benefit of those on the thread that, as a Walther PP inspired design, there is a possiblity for "slide bite" if you hold too high or if your hands are big. I'll also point out that the D.A. trigger on PA-63s, like older Walther PPs, will leave something to be desired, but its a great gun overall. Interestingly, unlike the Walther, the FEG PA-63 pistol has a firing pin safety that (a) gets locked in placed solid when the safety is on; and (b) does not pivot up to where it can be hit by the hammer, until the trigger is pulled, activating a plunger that lines it up.

My PA-63 (a .380 model, by the way), can shoot very good groups. Because of the light aluminum frame, one does well to consider adding a heavier Wolf recoil spring if you're going to be shooting harder loads, as there are reports of Corbons cracking the frames. There'a guy on makarov.com that sells very nifty "slimline" black plastic grips for the PA-63, which are a HUGE improvement over the thumbrest grips they had to add to the pistols to be allowed to import them.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:37:06 AM EDT
OP - I look forward to these posts.
Kind of nice seeing some helpful GUN RELATED posts in the GD section.
I especially liked the shotgun/tampon thread - that is a method I use on my shotgun, and all of my friends use it now as well (though not without much chuckling)
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:38:03 AM EDT
Question for you.

I used to own an HK P7 PSP, which had the barrel attached to the frame just like the Makarovs do. When ever I would shoot the P7 it would heat up like an electric hot plate. After 50 rounds it would be burning my hands. Do the Makarovs have this problem?

I'd like to get a Russian Makarov and a Polish P-64 at the next gun show.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:41:20 AM EDT
My E. German (1964) Makarov is the most accurate handgun I have ever fired! I will never trade or sell it!

9x18 is a good round.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:41:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
No Mak lovers here?



... Had two, recently sold both.

... the Makarov just didn't appeal to me, there are far too many ergonomically superior handguns for me to chose from. A good read nevertheless.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:45:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Question for you.

I used to own an HK P7 PSP, which had the barrel attached to the frame just like the Makarovs do. When ever I would shoot the P7 it would heat up like an electric hot plate. After 50 rounds it would be burning my hands. Do the Makarovs have this problem?

I'd like to get a Russian Makarov and a Polish P-64 at the next gun show.



I hear the P-64 isn't all that favorable; additionally, it isn't a Makarov. The small size and weight mean you feel every bit of recoil, the double-action trigger pull is very heavy, and six rounds in a magazine just don't impress me.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:45:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
No Mak lovers here?



Have three. Two Bulgarians and a Russian. Surprisingly accurate little guns. I like them!
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:48:51 AM EDT
Makarov_Mami must be busy today!
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:49:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Question for you.

I used to own an HK P7 PSP, which had the barrel attached to the frame just like the Makarovs do. When ever I would shoot the P7 it would heat up like an electric hot plate. After 50 rounds it would be burning my hands. Do the Makarovs have this problem?

I'd like to get a Russian Makarov and a Polish P-64 at the next gun show.



I hear the P-64 isn't all that favorable; additionally, it isn't a Makarov. The small size and weight mean you feel every bit of recoil, the double-action trigger pull is very heavy, and six rounds in a magazine just don't impress me.



I want one anyways. Mainly just to have (I'm Polish)
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:50:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KS_Physicist:
Mak lover here! A sweet East German Mak, 1962 build I think.

I don't get to shoot it very often at all...in fact, it's probably been, um, several years. But I have two types of cartridges for it, the aluminum body Blazer hollowpoint, and the brass body Cor-Bon.

Do they still make the Cor-Bon? Is it at all a decent defense cartridge (as far as 9x18 Mak goes)?

Jim



I haven't seen the Corbons.

I am going to the gun show in Houston this Saturday and will look for them again.

Since I haven't shot them yet, I can't speak to their effectiveness as a defense cartridge. If I find some, I'll compare them to some other rounds in the BOT.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:50:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 11:51:09 AM EDT by Green_Canoe]

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Question for you.

I used to own an HK P7 PSP, which had the barrel attached to the frame just like the Makarovs do. When ever I would shoot the P7 it would heat up like an electric hot plate. After 50 rounds it would be burning my hands. Do the Makarovs have this problem?
I'd like to get a Russian Makarov and a Polish P-64 at the next gun show.



As I understand it the P7 heats up due to the gas cylinder that retards the slide is located right above the trigger. The Mak is a pure blowback, Shouldn't get any hotter that any other standard pistol.

Kent
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:51:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 12:01:50 PM EDT by Old_Painless]

Originally Posted By Tomislav:
The sights could use some work (too darned narrow for my tastes), but other than that, best $150.00 I have ever spent on a firearm.



Funny that you should make that observation.

I like them for exactly that reason. I find that the narrow sights allow "fine" sighting.

All a matter of personal taste.

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:54:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Beltfedleadhead:
I bought a PA-63 for around $120. It was very accurate, but the frame is built so that the recoil goes DIRECTLY back into your thumb bone. Not much fun after 50 rds or so.




As noted in the first post, I find that with hot loads it is indeed painful after a few rounds.

But with the down-loaded lead RN bullets I shoot for most target shooting, it is very pleasent to shoot.

If you handload, try some milder loads for target shooting.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:56:03 AM EDT
I'd like to try one. So many rave reviews about them and I am a poor bastard so they seem like a good deal to me.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:57:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 11:00:35 PM EDT by Rangerone]
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Question for you.

I used to own an HK P7 PSP, which had the barrel attached to the frame just like the Makarovs do. When ever I would shoot the P7 it would heat up like an electric hot plate. After 50 rounds it would be burning my hands. Do the Makarovs have this problem?

As a former P7 owner, I can tell you why your P7 heated up...

That particular piece was referred to as a "Gas Retarded Blowback" The concept is simple... The barrel is attached to the frame, much like the Makarov is. If you look into the chamber of the P7, you will see a small hole at six o'clock... this vents into a small gas chamber, which is located directly above where your index finger would be as you are pressing the trigger. On the muzzle end of the slide, there is a type of gas piston which fits into this small "gas chamber". Upon firing, some of the expanding gases vent downward into this gas chamber and act against the piston, essentially freezing the piston in place, not allowing it to move rearward (since the cartridge case is now acting against the breech face). Once the chamber pressure drops, the piston is then free to move deeper into the gas chamber and the fired case is extracted and then ejected from the pistol and the cycle starts again. the reason you feel heat in that area, especially during rapid fire, is because of the hot, expanding gases.

The Makarov is a true blowback design, much like a .22, and only the recoil spring offers resistance to the rearward extraction of the cartridge case upon firing. it is not a locked breech design as is the M1911 or the wonderful Browning High Power. Essentially, the web of your hand is absorbing the bulk of the recoil of the weapon and the rearward inertia of the slide.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 11:58:48 AM EDT


Originally Posted By Tomislav:

The sights could use some work (too darned narrow for my tastes), but other than that, best $150.00 I have ever spent on a firearm.





Dremel.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:01:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Grivo_Mak:

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:
No Mak lovers here?



I am in love with the Makarov and my user name pays homage. My Bulgie is more beloved than my HK or Sig.



Yep.

Amazingly accurate pistols for such an affordable firearm.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:04:47 PM EDT
Love my Bulgy, if I come across another deal on one I'll get a second one.

Would like a Russian or East German model one day.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:07:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GonzoAR15-1:
OP:

I hear Corbon will soon be releasing its "powerball" load (the one with the poly rubber ball to ensure feeding) very soon.

That's a NICE round and will probably do very well in the 9x18 field.

Also, there's a site somewhere where the Barnaul HP round were shown to be very nice performers from both a penetration and expansion standpoint, easiliy besting the most expensive .380ACP personal defense rounds.

I have a PA-63, by the way, and its a very nice pistol. I will point out for the benefit of those on the thread that, as a Walther PP inspired design, there is a possiblity for "slide bite" if you hold too high or if your hands are big. I'll also point out that the D.A. trigger on PA-63s, like older Walther PPs, will leave something to be desired, but its a great gun overall. Interestingly, unlike the Walther, the FEG PA-63 pistol has a firing pin safety that (a) gets locked in placed solid when the safety is on; and (b) does not pivot up to where it can be hit by the hammer, until the trigger is pulled, activating a plunger that lines it up.

My PA-63 (a .380 model, by the way), can shoot very good groups. Because of the light aluminum frame, one does well to consider adding a heavier Wolf recoil spring if you're going to be shooting harder loads, as there are reports of Corbons cracking the frames. There'a guy on makarov.com that sells very nifty "slimline" black plastic grips for the PA-63, which are a HUGE improvement over the thumbrest grips they had to add to the pistols to be allowed to import them.



Thanks for the info, Gonzo. I'll be on the lookout for some of that ammo.

And thanks for the good explaination of the safety system. I especially like to be able to keep it with a round in the chamber and the hammer down. The first double-action trigger pull might be long and rough, but you sure don't have to worry about accidental discharges.

I'll also look into those grip panels.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:12:28 PM EDT
Mighty interesting, especially the reported accuracy. I wonder how it compares to a 38 revolver? About the same power level (I think?), both have fixed barrels, 6 round cylinder vs 6 (?) round magazine.

I'm also curious how it compares to my Kel-Tec P11. The P11 holds more rounds (12+1) of a more powerful caliber (9mm), but it's probably less accurate, and I doubt the trigger is any better. I'm not sure about the size differences either.

Either way, I might have to get one sometime. Thanks for the pics and editorial.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:12:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/29/2005 12:19:49 PM EDT by Noname]
Hmmm...

I'm not seeing HP 9mm Mak on CorBons website. Wonder if they discontinued it? They do show the Pow'R Ball load tho-------#- PB09MAK70/20


PB09MAK70/20--- 9 MM MAK--- 70 GR. PB--- 1150 FPS--- 206 FTLBS


www.corbon.com/

Also note---

I've seen a few PA63's break firing pins from dry firing.

Dealer Warehouse has mags and firing pins for PA63's.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:14:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
Question for you.

I used to own an HK P7 PSP, which had the barrel attached to the frame just like the Makarovs do. When ever I would shoot the P7 it would heat up like an electric hot plate. After 50 rounds it would be burning my hands. Do the Makarovs have this problem?

I'd like to get a Russian Makarov and a Polish P-64 at the next gun show.



I have not yet owned a P-7.

But, it looks like some folks have given you some good feedback, especially Rangerone.

I can tell you that I have never heated up either of these pistols to where they were uncomfortable to hold, so that doesn't seem to be an issue with this design.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:15:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Noname:
Hmmm...

I'm not seeing HP 9mm Mak on CorBons website. Wonder if they discontinued it? They do show the PowerBall load tho-------#-PB09MAK70/20]PB09MAK70/20

www.corbon.com/

Also note---

I've seen a few PA63's break firing pins from dry firing.

Dealer Warehouse has mags and firing pins for PA63's.



YUP.

The PA-63 is a mandatory "snap cap" gun, when it comes to dry firing.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:17:30 PM EDT
I love my Mak. OP you should try Hornady's HP's in your Mak. They make a pretty good self Denfense round.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:22:18 PM EDT
My girlfriend and I each bought a unissued bulgarian makarov. They both work flawlessly. It is a fun a cheap gun to shoot.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:22:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mace:
Mighty interesting, especially the reported accuracy. I wonder how it compares to a 38 revolver? About the same power level (I think?), both have fixed barrels, 6 round cylinder vs 6 (?) round magazine.

I'm also curious how it compares to my Kel-Tec P11. The P11 holds more rounds (12+1) of a more powerful caliber (9mm), but it's probably less accurate, and I doubt the trigger is any better. I'm not sure about the size differences either.

Either way, I might have to get one sometime. Thanks for the pics and editorial.



These pistols have a 7 round magazine and 1 in the chamber, for a total of 8 rounds.

They don't shoot as heavy bullets as a .38 Special. Also, better quality modern JHP rounds are available for the .38.

I also have a Keltec P-11. I like it. But it is bigger than these pistols and its trigger.....well, if you have one, I don't have to tell you about the Keltec trigger.

But, no doubt about it, modern 9mm rounds like the Winchester Ranger SXT or the Remington Gold Dots, etc, are much better performers than any 9 X 18 Makarov round that I have been able to find.

If the question is: Which is the better defensive round?, I believe the answer is 9mm.

But if the question is: What's a nice shooting round and an inexpensive, nice shooting pistol?, then I would offer the Maks.
Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:24:17 PM EDT
Mak lover here!

I like to feed mine Barnhaul JHPs and carry the same for CCW.

Here's my Bulgarian with Makawrap grip:

Link Posted: 12/29/2005 12:26:14 PM EDT
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