The Makarov is a remarkably simple, reliable, and accurate handgun with many years of military and police service. With regular cleaning, it should provide years of service with little to no maintenance required.

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What kinds of ammunition can I use in this gun?

I can not find the 9MM 18 bullets for this gun but the instructions tell me it is also chambered for the .380 Auto. Can I use this ammunition safely in this gun or will it jam or have some other complication?

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As someone previously stated, quite correctly, it is safe to fire .380 ACP ammo in a pistol chambered for 9x18mm Makarov. He was also correct that doing the reverse, i.e. firing 9x18mm Makarov ammo in a weapon chambered for .380 ACP (also known as 9mm Kurz), would be extremely dangerous and should be attempted under no circumstances. As stated, you should not expect much in the way of accuracy when firing .380 ACP ammo, due to the difference in bullet diameters as detailed below.

The reasons for this are twofold: The .380 ACP is not loaded to pressures as high as some 9x18mm Makarov ammo, and therefore .380 ACP chambered firearms may not be able to withstand the higher pressures. Additionally, .380 ACP uses the U.S. "standard" .38 / .357 / 9mm bullet diameter of .355" for jacketed projectiles and .356-.357" for cast-lead bullets, whereas the 9x18mm Makarov uses .364-.367" diameter bullets. If you managed to get a 9x18mm Makarov round chambered in a .380 ACP firearm, the larger diameter bullet would become stuck in the chamber / throat / barrel and create massively increased pressure from even the normally hotter 9x18mm Makarov cartridge. This would, almost certainly, result in catastrophic failure of the weapon and very likely could injure or kill the firer and / or bystanders.

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If this is the IJ-70A, it is chambered for the .380 ACP cartridge. It feeds modern JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) bullets without a problem.

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The correct caliber should be stamped on the side. While you might be able to use .380 in a 9x18, it will be inaccurate, and you would certainly NOT want to try 9x18 in a .380.

Update (12/10/2016)

If it is 9mm Mak, you can usually find it at gun shows or online at

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My Russian is stamped 9MM. Does this mean 9x18, 9x19 or is it 9MM? What is the proper ammo?


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Joe, this is an older post, correct ammunition seem's to be ready available for your firearm, so just use the correct ammunition and no problems. Good luck.

I hope this helped you out, if so let me know by pressing the helpful button.

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