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  • Post category:Ammunition / Handgun Ammunition
  • Post last modified:August 28, 2023
  • Post published:February 19, 2021

Best 9mm Makarov Ammo - Editor's Choice

What is 9mm Makarov Ammo?🧐

It is a popular ammunition choice designed for self-defence purposes. Named after its designer, Nikolay Makarov, this ammunition is primarily used in the Makarov PM and other Eastern European and Russian firearms. Known for its reliability and effectiveness at close range, the 9mm Makarov is a preferred choice for concealed carry and personal defence. Its bullets typically weigh between 93 and 100 grains and exhibit a slower velocity compared to other 9mm cartridges, which can result in less over-penetration, a desirable attribute for defensive use.

Best Best 9mm Makarov Ammo


  • Efficiency: ➡️It is efficient in close-range encounters, thanks to its reliable stopping power.
  • Less Over-penetration:➡️  The round travels at a slower velocity, reducing the risk of over-penetration and ensuring the safety of bystanders.
  • Compact Size: ➡️ The compact size makes it an excellent choice for small, concealed-carry firearms.
  • Wide Usage: ➡️ It’s commonly used in many Eastern European and Russian firearms, affirming its reliability and efficiency.
  • Weight: ➡️ Bullets typically weigh between 93 and 100 grains, providing a balanced blend of power and control.


Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) The FMJ is the most common type of 9mm Makarov ammo. It is characterized by a soft lead bullet encased in a shell of harder metal. FMJ ammo is primarily used for target shooting and practice.
Hollow Point (HP)  It is designed for self-defence and law enforcement purposes. The bullet expands upon impact, decreasing the risk of over-penetration and maximizing the stopping power.
Soft Point (SP) Soft Point bullets are a hybrid between FMJ and HP bullets. They are designed to expand slower than HP, providing deeper penetration. SP ammo is often used in hunting.
Our Top Pick
CCI Ammunition Blazer Aluminum 9x18mm Makarov
For shooters in search of a cost-effective choice that doesn't sacrifice performance, the CCI Ammunition Blazer Aluminum Ammunition is a noteworthy option. This ammunition is intelligently crafted, featuring heat-treated, aircraft-grade aluminium cases that keep costs affordable without compromising reliable and precise performance during shooting sessions. Tailored for practice shooting and training exercises, this ammunition boasts high-quality bullets and trustworthy primers, guaranteeing reliable and consistent firing.
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✴️ This ammo is renowned for its reliable stopping power, especially in close-range encounters. This attribute makes it a perfect choice for self-defence, as the primary goal in such situations is to halt the threat as quickly as possible.

✴️ The slower velocity of this round significantly reduces the risk of over-penetration. This is an extremely desirable feature for defensive ammo, as it minimizes the chance of injuring innocent bystanders and causing unintentional property damage.

✴️ The compact size of the round makes it an ideal option for smaller, concealed-carry firearms. This allows for a discreet means of protection, which can be crucial in many self-defence scenarios.

✴️ With bullet weights typically ranging between 93 and 100 grains, this ammo offers a balanced blend of power and control. This can contribute to better accuracy and consistency when shooting, which are vital elements in any defensive situation.

✴️ In comparison to other self-defence rounds, this ammo is relatively affordable. This cost-effectiveness allows users to practice more regularly with the actual ammo they would use in a defensive scenario, leading to better familiarity and performance under stress.

✴️ Despite its Eastern European origins, this ammo is readily available in many regions around the world. This ensures that users can reliably procure this ammunition when needed.

9mm Makarov Defense Ammo | Best Best 9mm Makarov Ammo

#1 Winchester USA HANDGUN METRIC CALIBERS 9x18mm Makarov

Winchester USA HANDGUN METRIC CALIBERS 9x18mm Makarov

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If you’re searching for reliable ammunition for recreational shooting and target practice, look no further than this Winchester USA Metric Calibers 9x18mm Makarov Full Metal Jacket Centerfire Pistol Ammunition. Designed with consistent accuracy in mind, this ammo has earned the trust of many shooters for its excellent performance on the range. The bullet ensures positive functioning without any expansion, making it ideal for target shooting. Plus, it boasts reduced barrel fouling, allowing for more time spent on the range and fewer cleaning sessions.

  • Consistent Accuracy: Shooters can count on this ammunition to deliver consistent and reliable performance, ensuring their shots hit the mark with precision.
  • Full Metal Jacket Bullet: The bullet design guarantees smooth functioning and eliminates the risk of expansion, making it a practical choice for target practice.
  • Reduced Barrel Fouling: With fewer instances of barrel fouling, shooters can spend more time honing their skills on the range and less time cleaning their firearms.
  • Brass Cartridge Case: The use of brass cartridge cases ensures durability and facilitates smooth chambering, contributing to a hassle-free shooting experience.
  • Limited Lead-Free Options: For environmentally-conscious shooters, the lack of lead-free alternatives might be a downside.
  • Not for All Handguns: It’s important to ensure this ammunition is compatible with your specific handgun, as not all pistols are chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov round.

#2 CCI Ammunition Blazer Aluminum 9x18mm Makarov

CCI Ammunition Blazer Aluminum 9x18mm Makarov

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For shooters seeking an economical option without compromising on performance, the CCI Ammunition Blazer Aluminum Ammunition is worth considering. The ammunition is thoughtfully designed with heat-treated, aircraft-grade aluminium cases to maintain a budget-friendly price point while still delivering reliable and accurate performance on the range. Ideal for training sessions and practice shooting, this ammo is equipped with quality bullets and dependable primers to ensure consistent firing.

  • Economical Choice: The aluminium cases significantly reduce the cost of the ammunition, making it an affordable option for regular practice and training.
  • Reliable Performance: Despite the economical design, this ammunition doesn’t compromise on performance, providing reliable and consistent firing at the range.
  • Heat-Treated Aluminum Cases: The use of heat-treated, aircraft-grade aluminium cases ensures durability and keeps the price to a minimum, offering shooters excellent value for their money.
  • Accurate Shooting: The combination of quality bullets and reliable primers contributes to accurate performance, allowing shooters to improve their marksmanship skills effectively.
  • Ideal for Practice Shooting: With its affordable price and dependable performance, this ammunition is perfect for extended practice sessions and honing shooting techniques.
  • Potential Case Wear: The use of aluminium cases may lead to more case wear compared to brass cases, affecting reloadability.

#3 Red Army Standard AM2017B Elite 9×18 Makarov

Red Army Standard AM2017B Elite 9x18 Makarov

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The Red Army Standard Makarov ammunition offers shooters a reliable option for self-defence and close-range engagements. With a 93-grain Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) bullet, this cartridge is designed to provide low impulse performance, making it ideal for self-defence scenarios within a range of zero to 50 meters. The brass case and non-corrosive properties enhance its durability and ensure smooth chambering and ejection. The 9x18mm Makarov calibre is well-regarded for its effectiveness and is favoured by those seeking a capable self-defence round for their handguns.

  • Brass Case: The use of a brass case adds to the cartridge’s reliability, facilitating smooth feeding and extraction in various firearms.
  • Non-Corrosive: The non-corrosive properties of the ammunition prevent damage to the firearm and reduce the need for immediate cleaning after use.
  • Versatile Range: With an effective range of zero to 50 meters, this ammunition is well-suited for close-quarters engagements and defensive situations.
  • Not Suitable for All Handguns: Shooters should ensure their handguns are chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov caliber before purchasing this ammunition.

#4 Hornady Critical Defense Handgun Ammo – 9mmx18mm Makarov

Hornady Critical Defense Handgun Ammo - 9mmx18mm Makarov

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Hornady Critical Defense Ammo represents the pinnacle of self-defence ammunition, combining cutting-edge design with top-notch propellants. This ammunition is engineered for consistent and reliable performance, ensuring effective self-defence in critical situations. The patented FTX bullet with Flex Tip design allows for controlled expansion, flat trajectories, and deep wound cavities across a wide range of velocities. Moreover, these rounds are unaffected by thick clothing, providing consistent performance even in adverse conditions. Hornady’s commitment to quality is evident in the clean burning and stable propellants, reducing recoil and maintaining consistent performance regardless of temperature. The high-visibility, shiny silver nickel plating serves a dual purpose by preventing corrosion and ensuring reliable feeding in all pistols.

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  • Clean-Burning Propellants: The use of clean-burning propellants not only reduces recoil but also ensures consistent performance across various temperatures, guaranteeing optimal functionality in diverse environments.
  • Night Vision Protection: Minimal muzzle flash preserves night vision, crucial for maintaining situational awareness in low-light conditions.
  • Corrosion Prevention: The high-visibility, shiny silver nickel plating not only adds a touch of appeal but also serves as an effective corrosion-resistant barrier, prolonging the ammunition’s shelf life.
  • Price Point: As a premium self-defence ammunition, it might be relatively more expensive than standard target rounds, potentially impacting budget-conscious shooters.


Storage 💼

Storing ammunition properly is crucial to maintaining its longevity and reliability. Here’s a detailed guide on how to do it:

  1. ⚪ Environment Control: The environment in which you store your ammunition is crucial. Ammo should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from high heat sources and direct sunlight. Extreme temperature fluctuations can degrade the ammunition over time.
  2. ⚪ Humidity Management: Humidity is the enemy of ammunition. It can cause corrosion and degradation of the ammo, which can lead to misfires. A dehumidifier in your storage area or silica gel packs can help manage moisture levels.
  3. ⚪ Proper Containers: Ammunition should be stored in airtight and waterproof containers. Ammo cans with rubber gaskets are commonly used for this purpose. They protect against moisture and dust while keeping the ammunition organized.
  4. ⚪ Elevate Your Storage: Store your ammunition off the ground to protect it from potential water damage in case of flooding. Shelves or pallets can be used to keep the ammunition elevated.
  5. ⚪ Avoid Mixing Different Types of Ammo: Ammunition should be stored separately based on their types to avoid confusion. Using separate containers or dividers within a container can help organize different types of ammo.
  6. ⚪ Safety Measures: The storage area should be out of children’s reach and secure from unauthorized access. Lockable ammo cans or a lockable storage cabinet can provide additional safety.
  7. ⚪ Monitoring: Regularly inspect your ammunition for signs of corrosion or degradation. Discard any ammunition that appears damaged or damp.
  8. ⚪ Labelling: Clearly label your ammunition boxes with the type of ammo and the date of purchase. This helps in rotating your ammo stocks and using older ammo first.
  9. ⚪ Legal Compliance: Always comply with local laws and regulations regarding ammunition storage.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your ammo remains in optimal condition when you need it.

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What is better - 9mm Makarov or 9mm Luger?

 Both rounds have their strengths, and the choice largely depends on the specific needs and preferences of the shooter.

🔰 The 9mm Luger, also known as the 9x19mm Parabellum, is one of the most popular rounds globally due to its high velocity, wide availability, and compatibility with many firearms. It offers more stopping power than the 9mm Makarov and is favoured by law enforcement and military users worldwide.

On the other hand, the 9mm Makarov, or 9x18mm, is renowned for its lower recoil, making it easier to control and more comfortable for sustained use. This makes it an excellent choice for concealed carry firearms, where control and quick follow-up shots can be critical.

🔰 In terms of ammunition availability, while the 9mm Luger is more widespread in Western countries, the 9mm Makarov is also readily available, particularly in Eastern Europe.

🔰 As for cost, the 9mm Makarov rounds are generally more affordable than the 9mm Luger rounds, making them a cost-effective choice for regular practice and training.

Neither round is objectively better than the other, and the choice between 9mm Makarov and 9mm Luger should be guided by the shooter’s specific requirements, preferences, and the firearm they intend to use.

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What factors should I consider when choosing 9mm Makarov defence ammo?

When choosing this ammo, there are several factors you should consider:

  • ✔️ Purpose: Are you using it for self-defence, target practice, competition, or hunting? The intended use will significantly influence the best type of ammunition for your needs.
  • ✔️ Bullet Type: As mentioned earlier, bullet types, such as Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Hollow Points (HP), and Soft Points (SP), all have their unique benefits and applications. You should choose the one that aligns with your purpose and personal preference.
  • ✔️ Penetration and Expansion: For self-defence, a balance between penetration and expansion is key. You need ammo that can penetrate deep enough to incapacitate an attacker but not over-penetrate to cause unnecessary harm.
  • ✔️ Reliability: The ammunition should be reliable, having a consistent performance without frequent jams or misfires.
  • ✔️ Recoil: Consider your ability to handle recoil. Lower recoil rounds allow for faster follow-up shots, which could be crucial in a defensive situation
  • ✔️ Price: Determine your budget. While it’s not advisable to compromise on quality for cost, there are economical options available that don’t sacrifice performance.
  • ✔️ Availability: Choose a round that you can readily find and replace. It’s no use having the perfect self-defence ammo if you can’t buy it when you need it.

Remember, the best defence ammo is the one that works best for you and your specific firearm. It’s advisable to test different types of ammo to find the one that suits your requirements the most.

Is it possible to reload 9mm Makarov ammo?

Yes, it is possible to reload this ammunition. Reloading involves the process of assembling your own ammunition by reusing spent cartridge cases, and replacing the primer, powder, and bullet. However, reloading ammunition requires specialized equipment, knowledge of the reloading process, and adherence to safety guidelines.

If you’re considering reloading 9mm Makarov, make sure to:

  1. 📎 Have the Necessary Equipment: You’ll need a reloading press, dies, shell holder, priming tool, powder measure, and other related equipment specific to reloading 9mm Makarov.
  2. 📎 Gather Components: Collect brass cases, primers, powder, and bullets suitable for 9mm Makarov. Ensure you’re using appropriate components to maintain safety and performance.
  3. 📎 Follow Safety Guidelines: Reloading involves working with potentially hazardous materials. Adhere to safety protocols and guidelines provided by reputable reloading manuals or guides.
  4. 📎 Understand the Process: Familiarize yourself with the reloading process, including case cleaning, resizing, priming, powder charging, bullet seating, and crimping.
  5. 📎 Start with a Reliable Recipe: Consult reputable reloading manuals or trusted online resources for recommended load data. Start with established recipes and work your way up gradually, paying attention to the recommended powder charges.
  6. 📎 Inspect Cases: Thoroughly inspect and measure each case to ensure it meets specifications and is safe to reload.
  7. 📎 Monitor Powder Charges: Properly measure and monitor powder charges to avoid overloading, which could result in dangerous pressures.
  8. 📎 Check Primers and Overall Length: Verify proper primer seating and overall cartridge length to ensure reliable ignition and fit within your firearm’s chamber.
  9. 📎 Perform Quality Control: Regularly check your reloaded cartridges for defects and consistency to maintain reliable performance.
  10. 📎 Stay Informed: Keep yourself updated on reloading techniques, safety practices, and any changes in recommended load data.

Remember, reloading requires precision and attention to detail. If you’re new to reloading, consider seeking guidance from experienced reloaders or taking reloading courses to ensure safe and effective practices. Always prioritize safety and follow established reloading guidelines.

Watch this video to find more information💻

Is 9x18 Makarov the same as 9mm Makarov?

No, 9×18 Makarov and 9mm Makarov are not the same. 9×18 Makarov is the correct designation for the cartridge, while 9mm Makarov is a common misnomer. The 9×18 Makarov cartridge has a bullet diameter of 9.27 mm, while the 9mm Luger cartridge has a bullet diameter of 9.017 mm. This means that 9×18 Makarov cartridges will not chamber in firearms designed for 9mm Luger cartridges, and vice versa.

The 9mm Makarov cartridge was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1940s as a replacement for the 7.62x25mm Tokarev cartridge. It is a relatively low-powered cartridge, but it is still effective at short range. This cartridge is used in a variety of firearms, including the Makarov PM pistol, the Walther PPK/S pistol, and the CZ-82 pistol.

How effective is 9mm Makarov ammo?
The effectiveness of 9mm Makarov ammunition is widely recognized. Its compact size and lower recoil make it easy to handle, allowing for quick and accurate follow-up shots. Though it operates at a slower velocity compared to other 9mm rounds, this ammunition boasts an impressive stopping power, making it a reliable choice for self-defence.

Additionally, the variety of bullet types available, such as Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Hollow Points (HP), and Frangible, offer flexibility for different shooting situations and needs. Moreover, its affordability and widespread availability contribute to its effectiveness by ensuring it is accessible to a broad range of users.


In summary, the 9mm Makarov Defense Ammo stands out as a reliable, efficient, and versatile ammunition choice for self-defence. Its slower velocity and reduced risk of over-penetration, combined with its compact size and optimal stopping power, make it a preferred choice for concealed-carry firearms. Moreover, its versatility and compatibility with a wide range of firearms, along with its affordable price and ready availability, further bolster its appeal. The ammunition comes in diverse types, each designed for specific shooting purposes, thus providing options for various scenarios. Whether for law enforcement, self-defence, or target practice, the 9mm Makarov Defense Ammo proves to be a solid and reliable choice.

Tags: #Makarov #Ammo #9mm #9×18 #Winchester #CCI #Hornady #Red Army #Sale #Review #Best #Target #Short Range #Self #Homme #Defense

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2 months ago

Hi! Can I use 9mm Makarov defense ammo in any 9mm handgun?

    2 months ago
    Reply to  Repitor

    No, 9mm Makarov defense ammo is specifically designed for firearms chambered in 9mm Makarov (9x18mm). It is not interchangeable with other 9mm cartridges like 9mm Luger (9x19mm). Always use the correct ammunition for your firearm to ensure safety and proper functioning.

      2 months ago

      Great post! Especially I liked the comparison with Luger ammo. In the debate of Eastern versus Western pistol ammunition, the comparison between the 9x19mm Luger and the 9x18mm Makarov is inevitable. These two cartridges were favored by opposing sides during the Cold War’s latter half, with NATO champions the Luger and the Soviet Union utilizing the Makarov.
      Despite their similarities in appearance when examined side by side, the 9mm Luger outperforms the 9mm Makarov in every ballistic aspect.

        2 months ago

        I have recently procured a set of 93 GR LRN bullets from Missouri Bullet Co., meant for 9mm Mak reloading. However, I’m facing difficulties finding specific reloading data for this combination, be it online or in my collection of reloading manuals. Currently, I have HP38 and Bullseye powder in my possession, but I’m open to exploring other powders if necessary. I am keen to hear if anyone has any suggestions or advice you could share

          2 months ago
          Reply to  Fisman

          My preferred load for my PA-63 utilises a 93 or 95 gr. cast bullet with 3.5 to 3.6 grs. of HP-38/W231 powder. This combination yields an accuracy of approximately 2 inches at a distance of 25 ft. The recoil is manageable, making it a pleasant load to shoot. To prepare the casings, I recycle once-fired 9mm brass, trimmed down to 0.700″.

            2 months ago
            Reply to  Fisman

            Before the availability of brass cases, I used to fashion my own 9X18 brass by trimming down 9 Luger cases. However, once Starline initiated their production, I procured a significant quantity, as multiple family members use their Maks. I’ve found the quality of Starline cases to be superior.
            It was not until the 1990s that the 9X18 cartridge was officially classified by SAAMI. I had an enlightening conversation with an engineer involved in determining the safe pressures for this cartridge. They based their calculations on the weakest known pistol, which appeared to be the FEG. He mentioned that Russian and East German weapons could withstand significantly higher pressures, but I’ve never pushed the limits to verify this.

              2 months ago

              Hello. Does 9mm Makarov defense ammo expand upon impact?

                2 months ago
                Reply to  Kentavr34

                🟢 Yes, most 9mm Makarov defense ammo is designed to expand upon impact with a target. This expansion increases the diameter of the bullet, creating a larger wound channel and enhancing the bullet’s stopping power.