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Thread: .380 Makarov what diameter bullets .356 or .357?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub

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    .380 Makarov what diameter bullets .356 or .357?

    Hello,

    I recently acquired a Russian nickel plated .380 Imez Makarov. Accuracy has been respectable with PMC 90gr. Ball. Defense ammo will likely be the Hornady 90gr. XTP or FTX bullets. I am looking to develop a cast boolit understudy for the commercial fodder. I like the idea of a 90gr. RN for starters.

    Has any other forum member used cast boolits for the .380 Maks? If so what diameter worked for you ?

    Thanks,
    Divil

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    .362 jacketed, bigger for cast.

    Sorry you posted .380. That would be .356 or whatever your barrel slugs at +.010".
    Last edited by jdfoxinc; 09-14-2019 at 03:25 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    0.365" if it is the 9x18

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy poppy42's Avatar
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    Has it been re-barrel to 380 or is it chambered in 9 x 18 Makarov ? Big difference I shoot a lot of Makarov in in a Bulgarian Mak and a Polish P 64 but itís chamber 9 x 18? If itís 9 x 18 send me a PM I can help
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdfoxinc View Post
    .362 jacketed, bigger for cast.

    Sorry you posted .380. That would be .356 or whatever your barrel slugs at +.010".
    I think you meant to write .001 not .010

    To the OP .357 would be a good starting point see what you barrel slugs out at .
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  6. #6
    Boolit Bub

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    I don’t have a micrometer so slugging is out, for now. Maybe I’ll get one for Christmas.

    My Nickel Makarov is in .380 acp and was factory built as a .380 acp. The pistol in this discussion is my .380 Makarov. Thanks guys.

    FYI, I do have a 9x18 Makarov High Cap, but it seems to like Meister .365 RN bullets. No leading and acceptable accuarcy. Finding good brass 9x18 cases is my headache in that caliber.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    380 ACP
    104 gr. (49/49/2 - Pb/WW/Sn - my alloy)
    Ranch Dog TL358-100-RF (or similar 0.358" dia. boolit)
    6 cavity AL

    Mold makes a "ton" of boolits very fast. Boolit is easy to size and lube, loads well over IMR 700X powder, no misfeeds in a pair of Walther PPK, shoot very well and is accurate. Very satisfied...

    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    My .380 Makarov surprisingly shot very well with .356" bullets, but you may have to experiment.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You have a Makarov pistol chambered in 380 ACP, and not a pistol chambered in 9mm Makarov?
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I have never heard of the 380 Makarov cartridge. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I have heard of Makarov PISTOLS in the 380ACP CARTIDGE and 9mm Makarov CARTRIDGE. What exactly is it that you have here, friend? I think more than a few of us are confused.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Some were imported with .380 barrels or with an aftermarket. 380 barrel available iirc.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdi View Post
    You have a Makarov pistol chambered in 380 ACP, and not a pistol chambered in 9mm Makarov?
    Yes, .380. Bought it new about twenty-five or so years ago.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    It seems some here doubt the existence of a Makarov in .380. There is a photo of the very pistol I had in either a GUN DIGEST or HANDLOADERS DIGEST from several years ago in an article on .380 ACP cast bullet loads. I'll look up the edition if necessary.
    Last edited by lotech; 09-16-2019 at 10:36 AM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Lotech, I don't doubt your Makarov pistol in 380ACP at all. It was unclear to me in Divil's description of the pistol what caliber it was. To me, it read as a description of a "380 Makarov cartridge" instead of "a Makarov pistol in 380 ACP". Different people read things in different ways and I just needed a clarification.

  15. #15
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    We are used to Makarovs being 9x18 just like we are used to Luger being 9x19 in fact they were made in several different calibers, these are just the most common.

    "FYI, I do have a 9x18 Makarov High Cap, but it seems to like Meister .365 RN bullets. No leading and acceptable accuracy. Finding good brass 9x18 cases is my headache in that caliber."

    Just take a 9x19 Luger brass, trim it to the 9x18 length, size it with the 9x18 die. **I used all nickel-brass so they were easier to tell apart from my 9x19 luger brass**
    Last edited by Conditor22; 09-17-2019 at 05:39 PM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    OK clear now. I was looking at them a few years ago (20?) and they seemed to have good reviews. Many sold via surplus arms vendors and inexpensive. Never got around to buying one though, but it's on my "shouldda done it" list...
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Based on a sample of one, my Makarov in .380 was reasonably accurate as well as my (sometimes faulty) memory recalls, but I don't remember whether it shot better or worse than my PPK/Ss or an ancient Colt. I may have some of that information in my old notes. While I enjoyed working with the .380 and cast bullets, I eventually lost interest in the cartridge and pistols and got rid of them all. I probably should do the same with the 9mm guns.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub

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    Hello,

    I own 2 Makarov pistols, 1 in 9x18 and 1 in .380 acp. Yes .380 acp Makarovs variants do exist, mostly Russian 90’s vintage commercial models, which is what I have. The subject of this thread was which is the best bullet diameter is for .380 acp chambered Makarovs. Lotech’s reading of my posts was correct.

    Digging through my supplies I found 1 box of 100 .356 lead RN 95gr. bullets and 100 new starline .380 cases. I will load those when my dies arrive and if there is no resultant leading when I shoot them I will stay with that diameter. It seems other .380 chambered Makarov shooters have had success with that diameter. If I get leading I will up the diameter to .357.

    I now have a good starting off point. Thanks.

  19. #19
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    My Makarov Pistol has an aftermarket barrel in it that is longer and threaded and it has a compensator screwed on the end. I could have bought that same barrel in .380 ACP (9x17 or 9MM Lutz.)

    A funny thing happened the day that the FBI walked into my shop and asked to see the gun. They wanted to take it and have it shot and collect the bullets to see if it was the gun used in a High Profile Murder.

    I refused as I wasn't about to get blamed for a crime I didn't do.

    Short version: Some City Official in WA State was shot by someone who used a Makarov Pistol, with an aftermarket barrel in 9x18 but firing a .380 round and they had the case and the bullet to prove it..

    My retort was "that can't happen due to headspace."

    This held up until I got home with a few .380's in hand and first loaded one in the chamber and aimed at the ground,,, NO bang. Then aimed at the sky,,, Bang! Then I loaded 3 more in the magazine which fired and fed flawlessly. This was because the cartridges were being held against the bolt face by the extractor as they fed off the magazine. Cases were bulged quite a bit, but still functioned the slide and cycled the action.

    I allowed them to test shoot my gun under the condition that they returned several of the fired cases and bullets to me for my Safe Keeping. I still have those bullets and cases somewhere.

    Historical Note: Many know that the Russians designed this bastard caliber with the intention that the gun could use the German Ammo in a pinch, but the Makarov ammo wouldn't work in a PPK.

    My best friend had gotten one of the same barrels from FAC for his Makarov, and a year and a half later the FBI came to his door looking for his gun as well. They spent alot of time on this and tracked down all the barrels sold by the now defunct FAC.

    To my knowledge they have never found the gun that fired the fatal bullet, and this all happened 20+ years ago.

    Incidentally,,, I have 2 CZ 82's which are made in 9X18, The CZ 83 pistol is identical except that it is chambered in .380 ACP.

    Randy
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    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 09-17-2019 at 05:26 PM.
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  20. #20
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    The Makarovs are great pistols. My favorite is the East German ones, very smooth. I have an East German in 9x18 and a Russian in 380. Before brass and bullets were availible, I used to load 9mm 115jhps in trimmed 9x19 brass. It shot fairly well, but I was much happier when they made an XTP for the Mak. For the converted brass, you could put a 1/4" bolt in a vise, slip the case over the bolt and use a number punch to mark an 8 on the case head.

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