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Pistol Makarov 9 mm - Ammunition 9x18 mm Makarov

When Nikolai Fedorowitsch Makarov invited his pistol, he ignored the commercial standard calibers 7.62 mm and 9 mm. He preferred the from Boris Semin designed cartridge 9x18 mm. Some speculated, this was an adoption of the German 9 mm cartridge which was tested by Gustav Genschow & Co. at Karlsruhe in 1936. The German project was stopped in consequence of the lack of interest from police and military. But these two cartridges had constitutive differences. The German 9 mm Ultra was only the longer version of the conical 9 mm short (.380 ACP) with a standard 9 mm bullet, whereas the 9x18 mm used a nearly cylindrical form and a 9.22 mm bullet. It resulted a cartridge with the similar power like the 9 mm Parabellum in a simple blow back system.
Pistol Makarov 9 mm - Ammunition Comparison
v.l.n.r: 9 mm Makarov, 9 mm Ultra and 9 mm Browning kurz (.380 ACP)

Technical Data

Example: Cartridge from Sellier & Bellot:
Pistol Makarov 9 mm - Cartridge from Sellier & Bellot

Bullet diameter:9.22 mm
Neck diameter:9.91 mm
Base diameter:9.95 mm
Rim diameter:9.95 mm
Rim thickness:1 mm
Case length:18.1 mm
Overall length:25 mm
Maximum pressure:160 MPa
Rifling twist:240 mm
Ballistic performance: 
Bullet weight:6.2 g (95 gr)
Muzzle Velocity:approximately 310 m/s
Muzzle Energy:approximately 300 J

By comparison, the caliber 9 mm Makarov is low powered. That is directly and exclusively dependent on the bullet's weight and air speed. Both vary according to the manufacturer, all following comparisons Are calculated with weight by 95 Grain and speed by 310 meter per second. Thus, the air speed is subsonic (less than 343 meter per second at 20 degrees Celsius, therefore the caliber is suitable for shooting with suppressor, no sonic boom is audible.

Following graph compares the 9 mm Makarov's Muzzle Energy with other calibers. The underlying figures are read out of randomly chosen manufacturer's technical data.

Muzzle energy of different pistol and revolver calibers
Muzzle energy of different pistol and revolver calibers

If the air resistance is neglected, the projectile's trajectory is dependent on the speed only. Appropriate to the 9 mm Makarov's low speed, the flight path is bended. In the context of the previous chard, the following shows impressively the influence of the bullet weight. Although the caliber .45 ​​ACP flies slower than the 9 mm Makarov, the muzzle energy is greater.

Flight path of different calibers if air resistance is neglected
Flight path of different calibers if air resistance is neglected

Another consequence of the weak 9 mm Makarov cartridge is the moderate recoil. As this depends on the weapon's weight too, there are countless combinations of weapons and ammunition. The following chart shows some randomly selected.

Recoil of various commonly used weapons and ammunition
Recoil of various commonly used weapons and ammunition



This ammunition is manufactured from (incomplete list): :