Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

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GuitarmanNick
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Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by GuitarmanNick » April 15th, 2017, 12:29 pm

This morning I put 100 rounds of this through my P-64 with the following results.

Almost every round keyholed at 25 feet! I also had 6 rounds that did not fire the first time I squeezed the trigger. Cocking the hammer and firing again did not work either. All 6 rounds did fire after being reinserted into a magazine and cycled again. The primers had only a small imprint from the firing pin when I first ejected them, I am using Wolff recoil, hammer and firing pin springs. I had no such problems when I used PRVI Partizan ammo on my last trip to the range.

When I got home, I checked to see if there was a difference in the bullets. Not having a micrometer, I used a pair of vise grips to gauge the bullets by closing them onto the PRVI Partizan bullet first and then sliding the Red Army Elite into the jaws. The result is that the RAE bullet appears to be just a little smaller in diameter. This explains the keyholing!

The RAE also seems to pack more of a punch as I had slide bite after about 50 rounds and switched to shooting with my left hand. I have the PolishIron grip on my P-64 and had no problems with firing the PRVI Partizan.

Summary:
If you are looking for cheap ammo for plinking and decent brass for reloading, this may be for you. Your groups will not be indicative of the weapon's true capabilities, either.
If you are going to depend on your weapon for self defense, choose another type of ammo!
I would not bet my life on it!

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Curly1
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by Curly1 » April 15th, 2017, 1:02 pm

Good to know, thanx for posting.
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Ketchman
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by Ketchman » April 15th, 2017, 1:26 pm

wow, keyholing 9x18 ammo from a 9x18 pistol because the bullets are too small in diameter made by the people who INVENTED THE 9X18!!!! Aint that some strange sh#%&!!! :roll:
Thanks for the range report, like Curly said, good to know.
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Hudson29
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by Hudson29 » May 26th, 2017, 7:34 pm

I'm sure sorry to hear this as I just bought 900 rounds from SGAmmo. At least it is reloadable . . .
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GuitarmanNick
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by GuitarmanNick » May 26th, 2017, 8:50 pm

I am going to be doing some more investigation on the ammo tomorrow. Going to my dad's to use his tools and equipment to pull some bullets from the Red Army Elite and PRVI Partizan to measure them. Both rounds keyhole from my P-64 at 25 feet. I will also be firing some rounds into a water barrel to see if I can find any abnormalities in the expended rounds.

The barrel on my gun appears pristine and the leade, lands, grooves, and crown all look perfect, but only by examining spent rounds will I be able to accurately tell if the gun is the problem or if it is the ammunition. I may even try to use some lead and slug the barrel to get an accurate measurement of it, too.

I have read of many P-64's do not have a problem with this ammunition, and I understand that some Makarovs will keyhole rounds similar to the way mine is. After I get home, I will post my findings.

It is possible that I got a bad barrel on the gun, but I cannot see any defects.

I have ruled out cheap paper targets by using a cardboard backing and had the same problem. Every round showed signs of keyholing. I know that some longer rifle rounds are not stable until they are a few yards from the muzzle, but these rounds are so short, I do not expect them to stabilize with more distance.

I only thing I can say for certain is that the PVRI Partizan does not get the gun as dirty as the RAE. The RAE is some dirty ammo!

GuitarmanNick
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by GuitarmanNick » May 27th, 2017, 7:16 pm

Okay, here are my findings:

The bullets pulled from the Red Army Elite ammunition measured .3632 inches on average. They are, in fact slightly smaller than the PRVI Partizan bullets which measured .364 inches on average.

9 x 18mm Mak bullets are supposed to be .365 inches.

I am not sure if .002 inches will make much difference and cause the keyholing that I have experienced with this P-64.

I did fire one round from each into the water barrel(not the smartest thing I have ever done). Both bullets had rifling marks in them so they are being spun as the go through the barrel.

I still am not certain what is causing the keyholing.

Do not attempt this!

We had a 55 gallon plastic drum on a concrete pad filled with water and my dad told me that these rounds would be fine if fired into it. I thought I saw something come back out of the water after I fired the first round. He said it was just an ejected casing from the gun and told me to shoot the other round.
When we drained the water, neither bullet could be found in the drum because they had both hit the bottom and came back out of the top. We found both expended rounds lying on the concrete nearby! We are very lucky that neither of us was injured.

Ketchman
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by Ketchman » May 27th, 2017, 9:06 pm

:shock: Damn dude. You were almost a TV show clip. I have fired 9's, .40's and .45's into a 55 gallon water barrel that my friend had and we.never had that happen,.....that we knew of. .mmmmmmmmm :roll:
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by OG17 » June 4th, 2017, 12:14 pm

Interesting. I measured my RAE and I got .363 consistently across a random sampling of rounds, which is similar to your findings. My S&B 9x18 measured .364 consistently across a random sampling of rounds.

Now, the RAE have never been an issue in my other Mak caliber guns - P83, Bulgy, PA63. I haven't shot the new SMC-918 yet so I don't know what will happen. Yet the RAE rounds have jammed in the P64.

By keyhole do you mean that the round is tumbling as it comes out of the barrel?

GuitarmanNick
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by GuitarmanNick » June 4th, 2017, 7:16 pm

It certainly appears to be an unstable round. When I fire my other pistols at the same target, the holes are round. The P-64 holes are not even close to being round.
I am thinking that perhaps the smaller than normal bullet diameter is letting some gas escape so the rounds do not have enough force to push them to the intended velocity which may result in them becoming unstable.
I really don't know, just thinking out loud.
I just ordered a digital caliper and it should be here on Wednesday. I have slugged the barrel to rule out any problems with the gun. It looks perfect, but only measuring the slugs and my expended rounds will confirm it is within specifications.
Once I have done that, I will once again post my findings.

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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by GuitarmanNick » June 13th, 2017, 3:48 pm

Okay, so I have slugged the barrel on this P-64.

The barrel measures .356 inches across the lands and .365 across the grooves which should be well within specs.

I measured the slugs and the expended rounds and got the same measurements.

What am I missing?

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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by Ketchman » June 13th, 2017, 4:48 pm

Is there any damage to the muzzle crown that may account for the keyholing? Maybe a dumb question but the bore sounds like the right size so where else do you look?
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GuitarmanNick
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by GuitarmanNick » June 13th, 2017, 9:20 pm

The muzzle has no damage and the crown is smooth. I have looked at the barrel from both ends using a magnifying glass. Everything looks new. I have only fired about 200 rounds through it.
I still haven't determined if it will be more stable as it travels further down range. I will make another trip to the range this week, but I don't anticipate I will see any improvement shooting at longer distances.
I still have tons of Red Army Elite(bought 900 rounds) that needs to be fired.
Maybe I will learn something new!

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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by Ketchman » June 13th, 2017, 10:00 pm

I hope that you figure out what is causing this issue. I am at a loss.
Inspiration: The momentary cessation of stupidity.

"As in all life, the odds are 6 to 5 against"--- Ketchman

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GuitarmanNick
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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by GuitarmanNick » June 19th, 2017, 7:09 pm

After all of the frustration I went a different range yesterday so I could shoot my SKS and while I was waiting for a rifle lane, I shot some pistols.

This facility had backing boards made from cardboard and required you to staple a target to them. I had suspected maybe the free hanging target was the problem at the other range, but my cardboard dropped to the floor when I activated the mechanism to bring the target back to me.

Well, I dumped a mag from the P-64 into the target at about 10 yards and when I looked at it closely, all of the holes were round! I moved the target out to 25 yards and after dumping a couple of more mags, I found the same result.

I have measured all of my ammunition, examined and slugged the barrel, recovered expended rounds and examined the gun intimately to find that there never was a problem with my gun(a relief) or the suspected ammunition. Yesterday, I was using the Red Army Elite!

In trying to reason why my other pistols did not experience the keyholing issue at the other range, I can only surmise that the P-64 fires the lowest energy round and allowed it to appear to be keyholing when in fact, the paper was not being struck with enough energy to punch a clean hole in the free hanging paper target(which must have been moving on impact more than it should) and made the holes appear elongated.

I do appreciate all of the helpful suggestions, gents! Sorry I bothered you with it, and although it is embarrassing, I am relieved to find that both my P-64 and the Red Army Elite to be as they should be.

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Re: Red Army Elite 9x18 Mak - Range Report

Post by Ketchman » June 19th, 2017, 7:39 pm

Happy Days!!! I for one am very happy to hear that we were trying to fix something that was never wrong. Great news indeed. Now go forth and burn ammo my friend.
Inspiration: The momentary cessation of stupidity.

"As in all life, the odds are 6 to 5 against"--- Ketchman

"The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there."
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