9x18 compared to 380 ACP

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by BulletArc47, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. BulletArc47

    BulletArc47 New Member

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    To the very knowledgeable people here, I'm wondering differences between the 9x18 and the 380 ACP; the pros and cons of both.

    Is one better than the other, or is it just preference?

    Thanks!
  2. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    From what I can find online, they are similar ballistically, but as far as finding ammo goes, there's more offerings for defensive ammo in the .380.

    You're far better off getting a 9mm. Much more common and is CHEAPER in many cases. Just looked up ammo costs at Lucky Gunner and a box of .380 (Fiocchi) was $15.50. In 9mm it was only $13. Your local shop may be even better in price.
  3. RAJBCPA

    RAJBCPA Member

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    the size of the guns is a major difference. ...lots of 380 ACP guns are true pocket guns. ...only some 9mm guns can make this claim.
  4. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    The 9x18 is a Russian military round. It is available in many surplus handguns, but I don't know of any commercial manufacturer who still makes firearms chambered for that round.

    The .380 ACP (9x17) is marginally less powerful, but it is available in new and used firearms from many manufacturers.

    Preference for the guns that are in 9x18 is about the only practical reason for choosing the 9x18 over the .380 ACP. The 9x18 is marginally cheaper per round (see here and here), but it's not enough to make up your mind for you.
  5. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    He's asking about 9x18. That's 9mm Makarov. Not 9x19 - 9mm Luger. I'm not sure, from his answer, if graehaven was aware of that, but RAJBCPA's answer tells me that he isn't.

    9x18 shoots a slightly heavier bullet, with slightly more power. SLIGHTLY. Ammo used to be cheaper, but the Mak surplus and Russian stuff seems to have dried up, so the price difference might not be there anymore.

    380 has more available "self defense"-type bullets and more self-defense loads than the Mak does.

    Gun size - the smallest I'm aware of, in Mak, is a Polish pistol that is about the size of a Walther PP. In 380 they make quite little guns, these days.

    I believe its popularity came more from the cheap guns and cheap surplus ammo, than any advantage it might have over the 380. Nowadays I think it is more personal preference than anything else.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012
  6. jbrescue

    jbrescue New Member

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    Like already stated, the Makarov ammo is getting harder and harder to find. The guns are there, but no the ammo. Also, you can walk into any shop to get 380 easily, not so much for the Makarov. 380 is a very popular defense round and has plenty of stopping power at the close ranges that it would be used at.
  7. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I was answering about the 9x18, and that it is not a wise choice between IT and .380. And then I made the recommendation to bypass BOTH and go with a 9mm gun.
  8. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    If I am not mistaken, Hornady now makes a self defense load for the 9X18 but like most of Hornady ammo, it is a little expensive. I came across some reloadable brass a few weeks ago and bought some 95 grain XTP bullets so I am now loading my own.
  9. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, the 9x18 is fairly popular due to the cheap import ammo available for it plus the scads of eastern european pistols that were imported here in the past couple decades.
    .380 has more defense type ammo available for it...plus it's usually easier to find .380 on the shelf as opposed to 9x18.
    The big rush of 9x18 imports is over with so it's not quite as hot of an item as it was in the 90s. Still a good cartridge though.

    Ballistically speaking, the 9x18 is a little bit hotter than the .380 but still well under 9x19 power levels.

    If you've got a choice between the same pistol in either caliber, I would chose .380. Matter of fact, I've got two Baikal IJ-70s in .380. I use em for small-game/fishing pistols. 95gr or 100gr lead bullet handloads most of the time. Hornady XTP HPs if I'm not hunting for meat.
    I've also got an IJ-70 in 9x18 but I seldom shoot it since I don't keep much 9x18 ammo on hand and steel-case hardball ammo is pretty much worthless to me as rabbit medicine anyways.
  10. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

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    what's the possibility of making 9x18 cases out of something else?
  11. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

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    A google search on "making 9x18 brass" turned up some results that may be helpful.
  12. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    You can make 'em out of 9x19, but it's a pain in the butt. Much easier to buy 'em from Starline.
  13. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I know that you can load a 95 grain "Makarov" bullet into the 9X19 case. I was loading a bunch of 9X18 cases last week and one 9X19 case was in with the brass and I loaded it up without any problems at all. I was not really paying attention to the brass size because I had already separated the brass and missed this one. I was measuring each completed cartridge as I finished seating them.

    This particular one came up a longer than the others I had measured. I was seating them at .963 and this one came up about .974 so I put it back into the press and down stroked the handle again, thinking I must have short stroked it. Still measured the same so I finally looked at the head stamp to find that it had 9mm Luger stamped on it. I pulled the bullet immediately but, as an after thought, I wish I had tried to see if it chambered in the Makarov.

    As a side note, I would think that if you had your die set at a particular depth, no matter what you were seating it would or should seat it at that depth. I guess not!
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