Makarov 9x18mm - Virtual Collection


Best wishes to this wonderful community!
This is computer graphics/3d model of Makarov 9x18mm ammunition. I want to create a comprehensive virtual collection of ammunition, starting with 9x18 makarov. First type of ammo i’m working on is 57-N-181. This model is created accurately in CAD software down to 1/100th of an inch and is based on technical drawing. As you can see on this image, i did not yet created a proper headstamp because i cant find reliable and accurate information, first i plan to create collection of original russian ammo, if somebody could share information with me about headstamps i would have been very grateful, photos would have been the best because i could see the proper size and orientation of the letters. Any and every piece of information is welcome about 57-N-181, 57-N-181S, 7N15, 7N16, 7N25, RG028, SP7, SP8… etc, the more comprehensive collection the better. I know it’s a lot of information, but i would have been so grateful i anyone could help to assemble this puzzle. The slowest part of this work is tedious hunt through incomplete and unreliable info on internet. I’m also creating cutaway of this ammo and when it’s completed i’ll be happy to show it to you. Finding accurate info and images of this old russian powder is also painful work :). I apologize to this community if this post is at wrong place due to virtual nature, and if asked i will remove it. Best wishes.


The data plate you show is very nicely done. I would argue with your date of introduction, however. “Introduction” and “Adopted” are not the same thing. The 9 x 18 mm Makarov cartridge was introduced at least as early as 1947, and headstamped rounds from that year are know. It is possible that it was actually introduced as early as 1946, but no sample cartridge proven to be from that year is known, to my knowledge. Specimens are also known from 1949, with anecdotal evidence that the same headstamp as on the 49-dated rounds exists with a “48” date. I have never been able to obtain a picture of one however, and know of no collector who has a 48-dated round. Although the Pistoley Makarova (PM) was adopted officially in 1951, no pistols manufactured after 1949 (Field Trials) and before 1953 have been reported. Serial Production of the cartridge began at Lugansk, Ukraine, USSR, in 1953.

You have a vast undertaking if you intend to do your project to include all loadings, all countries either manufacturing the round or having rounds made elsewhere but with their headstamp, and all dates. Not counting some “funny” dummy rounds made in the U.S. I have about 600 specimens of 9 x 18 mm in my own collection, and I am missing many, many rounds. An information-only collection (no specimens of the cartridge required) would, since it could include rounds from all collections, amount to over 800, I would think. Perhaps more.

Unfortunately, my current personal situation would not allow me any more than the most casual participation, but there are many out there with better collections and more knowledge than I have on the subject, for sure.





mr. Moss and mr. GWB i thank you for your replies. This dataplate is idea i had because in the future when collection grows i intend to have some kind of ammo identification and place it in some kind of environment, possibly on some shelves and/or various types of boxes and cases, artistic idea will come up, but i intend to be as accurate as possible. I will create a lot of still images and some computer animations for presentational/educational and artistic purposes, and probably do some prints. I’m aware it’s tremendous undertaking, finding accurate information on the subject, headstamps, cutaways, dimensions… and sorting all of that into database and in my head :).
mr. Moss thank you for corrections and new information, for this cartridge than i’ll take 1953 that’s made in Lugansk factory. Of course if i would try to recreate every possible known cartridge from every country 10 lifetimes would be to little :). I will be happy with a dozen or two confirmed accurate examples.
mr. GWB thank you for words of support in this endeavor!


Overlord, what do you need to make your models?
I have some Mak rounds in my collection, like AP or SP-7 JHP, or low-ricochet PSP, which I can measure with calipers and photograph…


" … there are many out there with better collections and more knowledge than I have on the subject …"

Mr Moss, have you met others with larger 9x18 collection than your own?


Bender - you put me on the spot. I don’t know if I have heard of a larger collection of Mak rounds than mine. However, as they say, “size isn’t everything.” I personally think Bill Woodin’s collection is better than mine, and perhaps a collection in Germany, as well. There are likely better Russian collections than mine, meaning better collections of Russian 9 x 18 cartridges, and others from their former sphere of influence, but I think even the best of those collections are missing quite a few of those rounds from other countries.
But, certainly, they have more of the rare ones. I had a 1949 round, but it was lost in transit to me. I have never had an opportunity to get a 1947 round. Huge holes in my collection, as they are the first!

Bill W. does not collect every single date. I do. In fact, it is the only caliber where I save every date in my auto pistol cartridge collection. In other calibers, I don’t even save high and low date, although I save every other visual difference. One exception is that recently, I suppose due to a general lack of activity, I started saving all of the “double date” U.S. .45 A.C.P. rounds from Frankford Arsenal, Maxim, Remington, Winchester and U.S.C.Co. Wish I could say Peters, also, but there is only one to my knowledge, and I have never even seen one, much less have it in my collection. I have all the Maxims except for the two earliest headstamps, which are completely different and to my knowledge, one of a kinds (Woodin Lab collection) and all of the U.S.C.Co. Probably the same for Winchester and Remington, although not sure. I am told I am missing a couple of the FA ones - harder to tell with them since it seems they did not produce these every month of the years of the double dates.


Mr. mpopenker, i thank you for your offer, in order to create accurate model, in perfect situation all i need is technical drawing/blueprint with stated dimensions and correctly drawn ogive shapes. However, sometimes such reliable drawings are hard to come by for rare types of ammunition. I have found this 3 websites that are offering various informations and dimensions…

but they have just a few photos of the headstamps, i basically need headstamp photos for every of those types of 9x18 makarov cartridge. For some types of this ammo i have headstamp information, thanks to this community and your own posts and a few other sources, but for other types a can’t find a single photo of headstamp, for example 57-N-181, Mr. Moss told us for known 1949 examples and 1953 when serial production has started at Lugansk factory.
Other example is 9x18 PT tracer round, i don’t own nor i can a find a single photo of headstamp for that type.
If somebody also have any cutaway photos that could help ass well, because i’m also modelling cutaways. Although for that most types of ammo are already covered, but new pieces of information are always welcome. I thank you all for help and support!


Overlord - if the page that opens when you open the first website address you cited is supposed to be only about the 9 x 18 mm Makarov cartridge, then there are a number of errors in it, especially regarding manufacturing countries other than the USSR/Russia.

Just for examples from memory - I looked at it early this morning - Factory 05 (VEB Spreewerk Lübben) in the DDR did not make the 9 x 18 mm. In fact, it did not make pistol ammunition at all. In Poland, the only military-coded ammunition is with code 21. While others made the 7.62 x 25 mm Tokarev, they did not make the Makarov cartridge. Of course, there are also MESKO-headstamped commercial rounds. In China, only arsenals 81, 71 and 352 are known to have made the 9 x 18 Type 59 cartridge. I say “known to have made” because there is still much secrecy involving Chinese production of war materiel. Specimens from the three arsenals I cited are all that have showed up so far that can be confirmed as Chinese manufacture. Only a few years are known from 81 and 71, each. Part of that may stem from low production of the pistols for the cartridges.

 While late production of the Type 59 pistol is difficult to assess for the quantity made - the so-called "ZZ" pistols, and those marked from Arsenal 56 - the early production of the Type 59 was limited to four years of production, 1959-1963, despite some published estimates of huge numbers made in China, possibly did not exceed 60,000 pistols, a small amount for a country so huge, and if so, not by much.  The serial numbers are sequential throughout the entire four years of production, prefaced by a single=digit date code of "1" thru "4" with that followed by the serial number (which because of the numbers made, always have at least one zero between the beginning of the production number itself and the date-code number).  The highest number tabulated in 1963 is in the 58,000 range.  I should note here that the Type 54 7.62 x 25 pistols are date-coded in the serial number as well, odd since most are plainly dated in addition to the code, but unlike the type 59's numbers, the quantitative part of the serial number begins anew every new year of production.

 There were probably other errors in there, but I only briefly glanced at the site.


Mr. Moss thank you for this wealth of information. Unfortunately, on internet there are a lot of inconsistencies, incomplete informations and intentional misinformations. Someone who is not well informed on the subject is easily lost, that’s why knowledge from this community is so valuable. As soon as i can get some free hours, i will create some drawings with dimensions and headstamps, so that we all together can confirm what is accurate and what is not. Cheers.


Thank you. I look forward to any accurate information. In my manuscript, I strive for perfection in the information I can provide, and say when I don’t know or when something is just a rumor. Of course, I can never hope to reach that goal, so I am constantly correcting and upgrading as new information is received (and NO, that is not the reason for the delays in this project of mine. There are factors of time and computer skills, or actually a lack thereof, in play. Upgrades and corrections are simple and quick to make, and I will continue to do them until the project is completed, or permanently shelved, although in the latter case, I will keep my printed copy up to date for my own use and that of anyone who comes into its possession when I am gone.