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I was able to pick up my first Makarov, very cool gun and enjoyed shooting it.

Mine is chambered in .380, my question is are 9x18 magazines compatible with .380? I was also considering getting a set of brown bakelite grips, I'm assuming the lower is the same dimensions 9x18 vs .380? Lastly, is it possible, advisable, to have an extra side chambered in 9x18 so that I can shoot both calibers?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
The barrel and chamber are not part of the slide. Unlike many modern handguns with drop out barrels, the Makarov barrel is fixed to the frame.

As Tennessean states above, you'd need to get a new barrel chambered in 9x18. But switching out Mak barrels in an emergency scenario would not only be impractical, it would be near impossible without a workshop with a bench vice and proper tools.

My advice: get two Makarovs (or more)! :)
 

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Because the 9x18 and .380 Makarovs use the same magazine, you'll want to be careful not to get the loaded magazines mixed up.

Another option is to get a different 9x18 caliber handgun. The CZ-82 for example is a great firearm.
Air gun Trigger Wood Line Gun barrel
 
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