9mm Makarov as a Police round.
My friend Ed came across a posting on the merits of the .380 ACP aka the 9x17mm or 9mm Short/Kurtz as a police SMG round.
Only a few guns have been chambered in this round but these include the Ingram MAC 11 and the Czech Skorpion. Grendel also offered a .380 SMG and there may have been some others. Other sources have comments such as:-
"….relatively short effective range, thus make the MACs the good choice for building sweeps and inside-the-vehicle operations (Israeli commandos used the MAC-11s in their Aircraft Hijack Rescue missions, thanks to its to great firepower and low probability of over-penetration and ricochets "
Ingrams were certainly carried on the Entebbe raid but whether these were .380 or just carried because they were more compact that Uzis I don't know.
The .380 SMGs are all compact machine pistols. I believe that Grendel are now out of business, Cobray may still produce the MAC 11/.380 and the Skorpion is mainly found in Eastern Europe.
A wider choice of weapons can be found in 9x18mm Makarov. The Makarov round uses a 95gr bullet rather than the 90gr of the .380, and usually has a 150fps advantage in velocity. Many of these designs have been developed since the fall of the iron curtain, and are available for export to the west.
In 9x18mm we have several MP5K/Mini-Uzi class weapons (Kiparis, Kashtan) including a Sten-simple weapons (Kedr/ Klin), a Calico type weapon (Bizon), a folding SMG (PP-90) and a couple of machine pistols (Skorpion and PM63). There is also the selective-fire Stechkin pistol.
....Well you know that I never had to use it in anger so to speak. But I can tell you with absolute certainty, because I've done it, that thing will knock down silhouette targets at 200-250 meters with the stock attached. On full auto it was absolutely controllable with not much kick and it was possible to even get single shots with some practice with it set on full auto. I deployed it a few times when we went into houses or to inspect some bombed out ruins. When I did I just pulled it out and carried it like a pistol without the stock attached.
The standard Russian round is the 57-N-181S which uses a 95gr bullet at around 1,033fps. A more recent development use in SMGs and later model pistols is the high-penetration 57-N-181SM round which uses a 84-90gr bullet at 1,344 to 1,426fps. The Czechs used a 70gr load at 1,312fps in the Skorpion. Hungarian police use a plastic 26gr bullet at 1,378fps for reduced ricochet and shoot-through risk.
The 9mm Makarov round is a Russian development of the wartime German Ultra cartridges. The objective of Ultra was to create the highest powered round that could still be used in a lightweight blowback action handgun. The Ultra rounds also spawned the West German 9mm Police cartridge, which was not a commercial success and was only offered in a few weapons. Interesting is that originally the standard load for the 9mm Police was a conical flat nosed bullet. Both Police and Makarov rounds use a 18mm long case, so are both nominally 9x18mm. While the 9mm Police used the same 0.355 bullet common to other western 9mm automatics the Russian round uses a bullet that is in fact 0.363.
You may see the claim that the .380 and 9mm Makarov are ballistically the same. If this were the case there would have been little point in creating it. In terms of both velocity and muzzle energy the Makarov is ahead of the .380. Muzzle energy doesn't tell us as much as momentum, however. Momentum for .380 loads seems to average around 0.39 ftlbs/sec, and may be as high as 0.41 or as low as 0.34. The Makarov ranges from 0.44-0.50 ftlbs/sec, with 0.47 being about average. Since the rounds are in fact different in actual calibre, we'll compare TKO values. TKO for.380 ACPs range from 4-4.8 while the Makarov range from 5-5.7. This suggests that the 9mm Makarov actually has around a fifth more striking power than the .380. For comparison, a 9x19mm 124gr at 1200fps has a TKO of 7.55 and 0.66 ftlbs of momentum.
Over penetration is an important consideration in the selection of rounds for police use. Firefights will often occur at close range, in built-up areas and/or indoors. Rounds that pass out the other side of targets or punch through walls may endanger the innocent. In The Police Marksman July/August 1998 the claim was made that the 5.56x45mm round was safer for police applications than pistol calibre SMGs. In fact, all of the rounds tested for this paper penetrated the simulated interior walls and ONLY TWO loads tested showed reduced wounding after this -the M885 and the Win 69gr JHP. Six of the nine rounds tested showed no change in terminal effects after passing through walls, while the M193 displayed deeper flesh/gelatin penetration but about a third less fragmentation.
Claiming that the 5.56mm is safer is misleading and somewhat irresponsible. One must also factor in that the 5.56mm round has five to eight times the range of a pistol bullet, increasing the chances of an innocent being hit by a stray round. It is also worth remarking that the pistol rounds to which the 5.56 was compared to were the 147gr 9mm Luger at 1043fps, 180gr .40 S&W at 985fps and 230gr .45ACP at 850fps. 147gr 9mm rounds in particular are noted for their high penetration.
Compared to the 147gr 9x19mm a 9mm Makarov round has two thirds of the momentum and 63% of the energy, so penetration of building materials can be expected to be less.
Terminal effects are another important consideration. Compared to 9x19mm rounds the Makarov round is 64% of the weight of a 147gr, 76% of the weight of a 124gr and 82% the weight of the 115gr. At the ranges that a police SMG is likely to be used the lighter weight of round is not likely to be a disadvantage, and may reduce the chances of overpenetration.
If using a pistol for self defence the sensible choice is to opt for a calibre of at least .43, preferably using a bullet of 200gr or more. With a SMG these criteria can be relaxed, since there is a higher probability of multiple hits. A 9x18mm round is the same calibre as a ball of OOO buck, but about 24gr heavier, so a tight burst from a 9x18mm SMG may be considered comparable to a hit from a 12 or 10 gauge shotshell. Something like a six-round burst counter may be a useful addition.
Most .380 hollowpoints penetrate 8-10 if they expand. This is sufficient for a torso hit, but may be a little shallow if the target's arm got in the way. .380 Hollow points that fail to expand penetrate a useful 14-15, and the same performance can be expected from FMJ rounds if of similar shape. This website has done some gelatin testing on FMJ and JHP 9x18mm rounds, Penetration for hollowpoints is similar to that of .380s, while military ball ammo penetrates c21-24. This indicates that torso overpenetration may not be a major worry with JHP makarov ammo. The .380 and 9x18mm could probably benefit from a slower expanding hollowpoint. The Winchester .25 XP round achieves this by crimping a steel shot pellet into the nose cavity.
Calculation of Minimum Wound Area Ratios is interesting. A 9x18mm FMJ that penetrates 15 or more creates the same wound area as a 9x19mm FMJ, which is not that surprising. The CCI 90gr load penetrates 11.1 and expands to .605, giving a MWAR of 2.06, equivalent to a .45 FMJ in wound surface area. The Master 95gr load does 10.9 and .671 for a MWAR of 2.25, equivalent to that expected from a 12 penetration from a 125gr 357 magnum round expanded to 0.6.
The above data was gathered from .380 and 9x18mm rounds fired from short barreled pocket pistols. In a 9x18mm SMG performance may be better. A good load for a makarov SMG may be an even mix of hollowpoint and FMJ ammo.
Velocity of the standard Makarov round is around 1,033fps, which is subsonic so weapons of this calibre are easily suppressed. This is another useful property for a police round, since it allows the application of force with the minimum of public disturbance. Suppressed weapons are also useful in indoor operations since they prevent officers being deafened and disorientated by the blast of his own weapon.
Of the weapons in production, the Bizon (right) is probably most attractive for police applications. Its shape means that it can be concealed most places that a shotgun can, while its large capacity is very welcome in counter-terror operations where command detonated bombs may be in use. In such situations a large number of rounds are fired into the centreline of a terrorist to throw the arms away from the body and prevent a trigger device being reached.
Since the Hollywood Terminators incident police have been very concerned about capability against body-armoured criminals. While criminals using armour may be encountered the majority of criminals that an officer encounters are likely to be unarmoured and this is likely to remain true for many years to come.
There are Armour piercing loads for the 9x18. Many of these are in the more powerful "High Impulse" loading that has been developed for the newer SMGs and Pistols. A magazine of such rounds could be carried as part of the standard combat load and loaded into the weapon should the need arise. However, the main thing that recommends the 9x18mm as a police round is its limited penetration, so if a need for capability against body armour is foreseen then other weapons should be used. The fact that police armour is probably proof against 9x18mm rounds may have several advantages, not least of which is that it reduces the danger from stray shots and friendly fire.
This article on British Police has the comment:-
Weapons fielded by MOD Police officers (Ministry Of Defence Police, provide security for much of the UK's military industrial complex) have included the SA80 assault rifle, MP5 sub machine gun and browning 9mm pistol. These weapons have been gradually phased out in favour of the HK MP 7 PDW, a 4.7mm gun. The rationale behind this replacement is that it will be cheaper to train for and maintain a single weapon system rather than the more tradional rifle/carbine with sidearm arrangement.
While there may be some merit to this approach the MP 7 is the wrong weapon. Although light in weight it is surprisingly large and bulky and it fires a round of very questionable effectiveness, risking the lives of officers and the public they are supposed to protect.
A weapon along the lines of the Kiparis or 9x18mm Skorpion vz82 may be more suitable.