9mm Makarov (9x18) Ammo

The 9mm Makarov (9x18mm) ammunition category is designed for shooters and collectors who appreciate the unique blend of history and performance offered by this Eastern European cartridge. Introduced in the late 1940s for use in the Soviet Union’s Makarov PM pistol, the 9mm Makarov has a loyal following among military surplus enthusiasts, concealed carriers, and those seeking a reliable, moderate-recoil pistol cartridge. This selection features high-quality ammunition from leading brands, ideal for training, self-defense, and recreational shooting.

Intended Use: The 9mm Makarov is primarily used for self-defense, target shooting, and as a service cartridge in former Eastern Bloc countries. Its effective stopping power, combined with lower recoil compared to larger calibers, makes it suitable for shooters looking for a balance between performance and ease of handling.

Caliber/Size: The 9mm Makarov, or 9x18mm, is slightly larger in diameter and shorter than the more widely known 9x19mm Parabellum. This distinction is crucial for ensuring the safe and proper use of the ammunition in firearms specifically chambered for the 9mm Makarov.

Performance Characteristics: Characterized by its moderate velocity and stopping power, the 9mm Makarov provides reliable performance in compact and subcompact handguns. It offers a good compromise between the less powerful .380 ACP and the more robust 9mm Parabellum, making it effective for close-range self-defense and police use.

Material and Construction: 9mm Makarov rounds are typically constructed with steel or brass casings and feature a range of bullet types, including full metal jacket (FMJ) for practice and target shooting, and hollow point (HP) designs for self-defense. Modern manufacturing techniques ensure consistent performance and reliability across various shooting conditions.

Brands and Manufacturers: This category includes ammunition from established manufacturers known for their quality and reliability, such as PPU, Norma, and Sellier & Bellot. These brands provide shooters with access to a variety of 9mm Makarov options that meet the needs of today’s firearms enthusiasts and professionals.

A Brief History: The 9mm Makarov was developed as a direct result of the Soviet Union’s search for a more effective pistol cartridge following World War II. It was adopted in 1948, alongside the Makarov PM pistol, becoming the standard military and police sidearm cartridge throughout the Eastern Bloc and remaining in use for several decades.


  1. What firearms are chambered for the 9mm Makarov? Besides the iconic Makarov PM, other firearms chambered for this cartridge include the Polish P-64, the Hungarian PA-63, and the East German Makarov, among others.
  2. Can the 9mm Makarov be used for concealed carry? Yes, its compact size and moderate recoil make the 9mm Makarov an excellent choice for concealed carry, offering a balance of power and manageability in suitable handguns.
  3. How does the 9mm Makarov compare to the 9mm Luger? The 9mm Makarov (9x18mm) is not as powerful as the 9mm Luger (9x19mm) and has a slightly larger bullet diameter, resulting in different ballistic performance and magazine capacity considerations. However, it provides adequate stopping power for self-defense within its effective range.

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