Every time you do that, Joel, an angel cries.

It’s Saturday, so I knew when I got up that chances were I’d be going to town. I had quite a shopping list for the dollar store, as it happened. Got dressed and decided screw this, it’s gonna be hot and I’ve only got the one walkie with LB before going to town so I’m not carrying the .44.

So I put on the holster for my little FrankenMak instead.
Ammo for this thing is basically impossible to get locally. The last time I found 9mm Mak ammo in town was in 2008, and it was from an itinerant tool salesman. And it had round nose bullets. I bought 100 rounds from him for practice, and have doled it out ever since.

But of course that’s not what I keep in the pistol, so if I have opportunity to shoot it’s not what gets shot. I could count on my fingers and toes the rounds of real shooting ammo I possess for this pistol – and I have fewer toes than you do, and not a completely full complement of fingers.

So normally I don’t casually shoot the Mak. But this morning, standing beside the Jeep just before driving to D&L’s, I drew the gun and got a sight picture with those absurd little tiny 1940’s sights. And at that very moment a cottontail hippity-hopped out from behind a bush and almost directly into my sights. Like if it had happened in a movie your suspension of disbelief would have been completely destroyed.

I’ve said it before, call me a wuss but I don’t normally use local animals for target practice. But this was so … it was as if some Greek gods were punishing this rabbit for hubris or something. I went ahead and fired.

Paced it off later at 23 yards, because I couldn’t believed I’d missed. It was a perfect shot. And maybe I didn’t miss; the rabbit jumped straight up and ran away rather slowly. Other rabbits I’ve shot were either head shots with a .22, which tend to be dramatic, or with the .44 which causes them to come apart and lay right down. So maybe the wimpy little Mak round went through and didn’t kill it right away.

Or maybe I just flat missed. There was no blood trail. But the shot sure felt like it was gonna be a hit, y’know?

Either way, my first thought upon firing was “Idiot! That’s your hollow point mag!” And of course there was a hollow point in the chamber.
That little bag contains all the 9mm Mak ammo I possess, and most of it is this crappy Chinese round nose stuff. And now I have one less hollow point for the Mak and the PA-63.

But then synchronicity struck. I met D&L, and L told me that they needed to go to the little town about 35 miles away next week, for L’s doctor appointment. That doctor happens to be right next store to one of the only two decent gun shops in the whole region. So I begged a ride-along, and I’m gonna see if I can score some Mak ammo there next week.

It’s not really essential, as long as I can fill both mags once. Ironically if I ever find myself in an actual gunfight, I’m most likely to be carrying the FrankenMak or the PA-63. So I really ought to practice with it from time to time. But I never do, because I’m so short of ammo. I practice with the .44, which is the gun I carry day-to-day, but the opponents I shoot at with that never shoot back.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Every time you do that, Joel, an angel cries.

  1. MamaLiberty says:

    I hear you, Joel. I have carried the .357M revolver for a lot of years, but have never been happy with the fact that I have only 5 rounds in the gun to work with. Reloading in an emergency seems very iffy… I’ve practiced a LOT, but the speed loaders do not actually SPEED the reload by much. The XD 9mm didn’t fit in my CC holster, so I finally bought a new, larger one. The gun fits fine, but there is no actual holster inside. Went to the range this morning and tried it with the gun loose… not good. I can only imagine how awkward it would be in an emergency… So, I’ve got to sew in a holster, and then practice with it. A lot. Before I can be comfortable carrying it that way.

    I can’t tell you how delighted I am to be free to carry openly. [grin]

  2. Tennessee Budd says:

    Joel, I have a little P64; it’s mostly a going-to-get-something pistol. If I have to go down to the basement, it’s easier to slip the P64 into a pocket than the P229 or 1011. Good for mowing, too.
    When I got the thing, I read all kinds of reviews about how horrible the recoil was; that, & the horrible sights. First time I tried it out, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only is the recoil entirely manageable, I found that I could hit pretty damned well with it!
    I, too, keep a bunch of Chink ball for just dickin’ around: I have some Hornady 95-gr XTP that does a better job than you might think at destroying things, & that’s the always-in-it ammo.

  3. Joel says:

    I’m not personally familiar with the P64 but it’s clearly the same action – basically a Walther PP ripoff – as a Mak or a PA-63. With that fixed barrel it’s an inherently accurate pistol. Surprisingly so for being a stubby little Soviet prole-killer.

  4. MJR says:

    I do sympathize with you Joel, ammo is a little pricey these days. I’m surprised that you don’t reload for the Mak. As for me, my “go to town gun” isn’t. Being up here in the Great White North I simply have a Zero Tolerance ZT-350 that has come in handy a couple of times over the years to scare some folks off in the big city.

    ML good luck with the holster, I wish I had the skill set to work with leather. Practice is good but in the end we tend to rise to the occasion, as you probably know from experience.

  5. Joel says:

    I’m surprised that you don’t reload for the Mak.

    If I ever found a supply of Boxer-primed brass for it, I might invest in the dies. Also, now that I think on it, I believe I read that the bullets are a slightly different diameter than everybody else’s take on a 9mm. So it might be more expensive than it’s worth.

  6. Kentucky says:

    From chuckhawks.com . . .

    “It was chambered for a Russian version of the .380 ACP (9x17mm or 9mm Kurz) cartridge, since that was the most powerful round that the basic Walther PP design could accommodate. The new Russian cartridge used an odd diameter .364″ (approximately 9.2mm) bullet in a case 1mm longer than the .380’s, and became known as the 9mm Makarov or 9×18. Ballistically it remained a near twin of the .380 ACP.”


  7. anonymous says:

    I believe that “P64” mentioned above is the Polish 9mm Mak chambered pistol. Neat little thing, nothing fancy, works pretty well.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is fairly easy to convert 9×19 to 9×18. Trim the length, expand the mouth, and the first time you fire it will form the case the rest of the way. I used to do it for my CZ-82, back when I was working on my Gun Hipster merit badge.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Edit to add to the above: be damn sure to mark any converted brass. Also, probably shouldn’t do this if you also reload 9mm, or shoot around people who do.

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