Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by CJP32, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    OK. This is just a thought I've had and I understand it would likely never happen but it might be a fun discussion.

    How hard would it be to convert a P3at to shoot 9mm Mak (9x18). I am by no means a gun designer but it would seem pretty simple to me, a new barrel and recoil springs. Also it would need some work to the magazine, the 9mak will fit in a P3at mag but it's tight and I don't think it would feed properly. So what am I missing?

    There are several reasons I think it might be an interesting idea; the ammo is cheaper and generally more powerful. However I think the recoil would be pretty strong and would lead to the same problems the P40 had. Also there is much less choice in self defense ammo in the 9mak, I can only find one style of JHP the "Silver Bear".

    What do you think guys?
  2. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    I think you hit on the big issues.  A new barrel should be pretty easy.  The mag might be the biggest stumbling block, and like you said, ammo availability is very weak and mostly steel-cased stuff.  The ballistic advantage  would be relatively marginal and there would likely be an increase in power to weight ratio related problems, recoil, muzzle flip, limpwirsting, etc.  Of course the guns would take a little more beating too.  In short, I don't think it is a very likely future KT product. Going the other way is easier. I have a Makarov in 9mm Mak. Although I've never installed it, the gun came with a 380 barrel which is all that is needed for the conversion.

  3. joje

    joje New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    hate to be a negative nancy but i dont think its a very good idea.

    the theoretical ballistic advantage is very small. add to that the abdundance of quality self defence loads in 380 and the complete lack of the same for the 9Mak and the 380 actually comes out ahead by quite a bit. even if you handload you are still stuck with a crappy selection of SD bullets.

    your aftermarket barrel would also not share the external geometry of the 380 barrel so the slide would have to change, and i also bet it would be a complete PITA to modify a mag to feed it properly.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    The .380 case head, or rim measures .374".
    The 9mm MAK measures .392".

    The .380 uses .355" bullets.
    The 9mm MAK uses .366" bullets.

    The slide breach face won't fit a 9mm MAK rim.
    Not to mention drilling out the already thin bore & chamber that much and then using a higher pressure cartridge in it.
    The .380 runs a MAX pressure of 21,500 PSI.
    The 9mm MAK runs 24,100 PSI.

    That brings up the matter of the 9mm MAK being slightly more powerful.
    Stronger recoil springs would be needed, and it is doubtful there is enough room in the gun for them. It also might very well require a change in barrel cam geometry to delay unlocking slightly more.

    I also know the 9mm MAK would not fit or feed in a .380 magazine, and the additional 1/10" of a stack of six of them would probably decrease magazine capacity by one round to five.

    In all, the 9mm MAK needs to be chambered in a slightly larger stronger gun.
    Something more like the Makarov/PA63/CZ82 pistols for instance.

  5. JAB

    JAB Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2010
    East Tennessee
    Actually, Silver Bear, Brown Bear, Hornady and Fiocchi (using the Hornady bullet) all apparently have JHP loads in 9mm Mak. I say 'apparently' because, although they are available online, I have never seen any of them in any gun store, sporting goods store, etc. I've only ever seen FMJ at retail stores - and beleive me, I've looked at or called several in, around and near this area. I hate the idea of ordering such things online - the whole idea of paying shipping, handling, hazmat fees, etc. sticks in my craw - but I guess if I want any JHP in that load, I'll have to give in and do so.

    As far as the conversion, I honestly believe that .380 is pretty well pushing the envelope for the P3 series. Now, get KelTec to offer a PF9 in 9mm Mak and if it is as accurate as well as fun and pleasant to shoot as my recently acquired CZ82 then you just might be on to something.
  6. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009

    I think if you meant a PF-9 in 9MM Makarov its doable with a barrel and recoil spring switchout.  A P3At would require a completely new slide, barrel, and magazine.  You would essentially have a new pistol, and it would not be worth the effort for a cartridge that's slightly better than the 380 Auto cartridge.

    Best Regards:
  7. nashvillemike

    nashvillemike New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    I have a bulgy mak that I carry often. I load it with Silver Bear JHP's that I got at a friend's shop, bought five boxes of them. Yes, the JHPs in a 9mak won't penetrate as well, but I carry it when I'm going to be in crowded areas. The bulgy mak is a real tack driver.

    No, I wouldn't try putting a 9x18 into a P-3AT. But I agree with JAB, a PF-9mak would be something I would buy.
  8. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    We're venturing off topic now, but apparently, KT has already made a couple 380 barrels for the PF9. IIRC, it ran with just the outer recoil spring and no other mods were needed. I think that would be a great option for KT to offer, especially for some lady shooters. Heck, excepting all the Johnny-come-lately pocket 380s and the P3AT, the PF9 is smaller and lighter than most old school 380s. I bet a lot of folks would pay $100 for a 380 barrel for their PF9. I like the idea to dual caliber guns. :cool:
  9. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Thanks for the responses guys. Pretty much confirms what I thought, it would be way to much trouble for to little gain. Just an idea that I had in my head and I thought I would ask what everyone's opinion. The recoil would probably be to much even if you could get one to work. I really don't think a PF9x18 would be worth the trouble either.

    I actually don't even own a 9x18 pistol but I've shot a friends CZ82(?) and I was amazed how accurate it was. I may have to keep an eye out for one of my own.

  10. lklawson

    lklawson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 13, 2009
    Huber Heights, OH
    Good defensive ammo is easily available in 9x18 Makarov.
    Hornady XTP 9x18 Makarov
    Glaser Pow'rBall 9x18 Makarov

    Some people think that a heavy, "+P," in non-expanding is best for these rounds:
    Buffalo Bore 9x18 Makarov 115 gr. "+P"

    If you like the Glaser Safety Slugs:
    Glaser Silver Safety Slug Ammunition 9x18mm Makarov
    Glaser Blue Safety Slug Ammunition 9x18mm Makarov

    I haven't found Hornady Critical Defense yet, but I keep hearing rumblings.

    Anyway, there's plenty of good, quality SD ammo in Mak, even if you don't like the semi-generic JHP's coming from over seas (which some tests show to be pretty good).

    Peace favor your sword,
  11. lklawson

    lklawson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 13, 2009
    Huber Heights, OH
    Yeah, .380 and Mak conversions for the PF9/P11 would be very cool.

    I wonder if an after-market house might be interested in doing this?

    Peace favor your sword,
  12. JAB

    JAB Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2010
    East Tennessee
    A few months back, my mom bought a CZ82. I fired it a few times, liked it a lot and was impressed by its accuracy, so ended up buying one, myself. The CZ82s were made for the Czech goverment and were issued to military and law enforcement personnel when the Soviets ordered the Czechs to standardize to 9X18 (the Czechs refused the Russian Mak pistol design and came up with their own design which isn't a 'true' Mak - and is believed by some to be superior to true Maks.) They were replaced, eventually, with pistols chambered in 9X19. CZ82s don't have traditional rifling. Instead, they use something called polygonal rifling. The CZ83 is pretty much the same but was made for the civilian market and, along with being available in 9X18, there are also CZ83 models chambered in .380 and .32acp.

    My CZ82 is every bit as accurate as the one mom bought and Academy's Monarch brand of steel cased 9mm Makarov FMJ ammo is just as inexpensive as Federal 9mm Luger at Walmart (although Wolf, Fiocchi, etc. FMJ can run up to $22 a box or so at the area gun stores.) If Monarch would offer a JHP, I'd be all over it. If I ever manage to get ahold of some JHPs for it, I will carry it as primary sometimes because I shoot it so darned accurately and I also like the option of having a DA/SA trigger (it can also be carried in Condition One but I like DA/SA with the safety off better.)