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I posted this topic on another thread, but I thought it would bear a seperate thread for easy access and information purposes. As is annotated at the bottom of the original post, I may have more info on this post at a later date. Check back for more information!

Original Post:

Ok, here's a few notes:

The .380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) cartridge is also designated by its dimensions as the 9X17mm. This makes it one millimeter shorter than the 9X18 Makarov cartridge in the case length. In addition, the 9X18mm Makarov fires a .363" diameter bullet, while the .380 ACP fires a .355" diameter bullet (the same diameter as the 9X19mm--9mm Luger--cartridge). A quick calculation on my computer's calculator indicates a .008" (eight one-thousandths of an inch) difference in the diameter of the bullets (the 9X18 Makarov bullet being the larger--.363"--one). I know these specs by heart, since I reload both cartridges for my .380 Hi-Point and Lorcin L-380 pistols and my PA-63 and P-64 9X18 Mak pistols.

Due to the difference in both the case length and the bullet diameter, I would NOT officially reccomend shooting the .380 ACP cartridge out of a Makarov pistol.


While it would not be a wise idea to shoot the .380 Auto ammo out of the Mak pistols with any kind of regularity, I would like to go out on a limb here and propose something. After I clarify what I am talking about, I will add a couple of links to this post showing some evidence that points to the fact that .355" bullets will fire safely out of a Mak-style/caliber pistol. DO NOT GET THE WRONG IDEA: I AM NOT RECCOMENDING THAT YOU SHOULD EVER FIRE A .380 ACP OR A 9mm LUGER CARTRIDGE OUT OF A MAK PISTOL WITH ANY REGULARITY OR WITHOUT EXERCISING EXTREME CAUTION; DUE TO THE AVAILABILITY OF DEDICATED 9X18mm AMMO, IT WOULD BE PRUDENT TO USE THIS AMMO IN YOUR MAK PISTOL AND FORGET ABOUT SHOOTING ANY OTHER 9mm AMMO IN YOUR GUN! Nevertheless, I do believe something should be admitted about these cartridges and the guns that fire them.

The .380 Auto and the 9mm Luger rounds could, in theory, be fired out of a Mak pistol, even with the aforementioned cartridge differences. With the .380 ACP in a Mak pistol, you would probably end up with some feed issues and/or split cases, primer blowout, etc., as you would also probably find with 9mm Luger ammo. The 9mm Luger is one millimeter LONGER than the 9X18 Mak, and this will probably cause a Mak pistol to have a failure-to-feed and properly seat the cartridge in the firing chamber, so each round would have to be hand-cycled/hand-seated into the weapon. The weapon, in theory, with a .380 ACP or 9mm Luger round chambered should be able to fire. A key point here: while the .355" bullets might be alright, again, in theory, to shoot in a Mak pistol, 9X18mm Mak ammo should NEVER be fired in a gun chambered for the smaller-diameter 9mm bullets!!! Due to the 9X18mm bullet being LARGER in diameter, firing such a round in a gun chambered for one of the smaller-diameter 9mm bullets while cause the larger-diameter Mak bullet to do one of three things. Either the Mak bullet will lodge in the barrel, the round will exit the barrel and create excess wear on the rifling and the rest of the gun, or the increased friction and seal between the larger-diameter Mak bullet and the smaller-diameter 9mm barrel will create such high pressures that the gun could "ka-boom" or blow apart.

Alright, here's the links I was talking about that show some cases of this scenario (firing smaller-diameter 9mm ammo in a Mak-style pistol) actually being quasi-safe:

(read some of the comments for people pointing out problems with doing this)


(another gun forum where they discuss this video)

Here's a link on how to transform a 9X19mm brass cartridge into a case that will fire in a Mak pistol:

On this smattering of links (and there is not a lot of material on the 'net about this topic), I believe we can safely say that it would be a bad idea to try to shoot 9mm cartridges out of a Mak pistol ASIDE from the 9X18mm cartridge. If you choose to do so, you assume all the risk involved yourself, and I certainly WOULD NOT reccomend trying this. However, there may come a dire time where you might consider such an action; for example, if you had a Mak in a defensive situation, ran out of 9X18mm ammo, found a loose 9X19mm cartridge in your pocket, and were forced to shoot it out of your Mak to save your life, then I think that this might be a reasonable trade-off in risks (i.e., you either risk a possible cartridge/gun failure by shooting the 9X19mm out of the Mak and hurt yourself in the process OR possibly die from a bad guy shooting you). Outside of such extreme cases, PLEASE DON'T ATTEMPT THIS!!!

I may have more to add to this post at a later date. Check back for an update (I'm posting this in the Other Calibers board too since it has some good info for everyone to review). Thanks for reading!


Jag 8)
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