9x18 old article

Tarkov Ballistics Test 9x18

Welcome to Tarkov Ballistics, a series of articles testing the capabilities of the weapons in Escape from Tarkov. All weapons have been tested under live multiplayer conditions, and the path to results was paved with the corpses of many curious players that should have left us alone while testing.

All data was sourced directly from the game, gathered by me and my stunt crew, there was no data mining or other sources involved.

stunt crew:
Black_Baron, Swettsor, El_Presidente, Joe

Only 2 lethal accidents so far, caused by manufacturing faults in the OKP sight and faulty 7.62x39 ammo. The next of kin have been compensated with free M4 rifles and the gear of the dead stuntmen was tossed into the grass to prepare the ritual to appease the insurance gods.

If you are a youtube content creator and want to reference this data, then I ask for the courtesy of linking back to this site and mentioning it in the video. I do not wish this data to be copy-pasted to the tarkov gamepedia wiki or any other wiki site. It took us weeks to gather this data, so please respect our request.

Overview of the 9x18

In this first article I would like to present the findings about the 9x18 cartridge. It is used by The Makarov pistol and the KEDR submachine gun. It is a very common cartridge among players because of the cheap price and availability and is carried by most scavs.

Currently the game features fourteen different variants to choose from. More than any other weapon in the game. All variants are available at Prapor.

The velocity for most variants is 330 meters per second or very close to it. The PBM and SP8 rounds respectively mark the highest and lowest muzzle velocity, with the PBM being more than twice as fast.

The price range bracket ranges from extremely affordable for the 9 BZT to the SP7, which is more than fifteen times more expensive.


First let's take a look at muzzle velocity. For that I have set up a shot at 120 meters.

The targeted plate is assumed to be 1 meter tall. As you can see the bullet drop for the 9x18 is notable. Approximately 30 centimeters for the PBM, the fastest round, and 55 centimeters for the slowest round, the SP8. We can conclude from this that muzzle velocity is an important consideration when aiming at distant targets.

So, how to remember the muzzle velocity in the chaos of battle? The nomenclature of russian cartridges can be very confusing to inexperienced players. Here is a simple way to find it out:

The game displays the muzzle velocity in realtime, depending on the cartridge in the chamber. This works in the stash and in a raid. This way you can quickly find out and adjust your next shot if you forgot what you loaded it with.

Terminal Ballistics

Let's take a look at damage.

The average performance on 10 meters is 51 points for 9x18, the average for 70 meters is 46 points. This is indicated by the pricing for high performance cartridges. The SP8 and SP7 are the most expensive rounds.
Damage falloff describes the loss of kinetic energy over distance and with it the damage applied target.
The average for the falloff across all cartridges is 12%. Notable exceptions are PPO rounds, they almost lose half their damage potential. The PMM and PSO however do more damage on longer distances. This could be because of a slower bullet having better performance on target or because of a bug.

The most expensive rounds appear to be worth their price for the damage, but if we measure the ammo type by damage per rouble, then the pricing is not as expected. The most cost effective round is the 9 BZT. It is also one of the weakest, but it is 10 times more cost effective as the SP8 while carrying only 2.5 times less damage.

Armor Penetration

Now for the most interesting part of the ballistics test. Body armor. We tested both the PACA light armor and the Kiver helmet. The ballistic protection for both is the same, and it is also indicated in the item description. Both have the armor level 'class 2'.

The way penetration works is as follows:

A bullet that hits but does not penetrate, will take out 1-3 armor points of the protective item. This number decreases with distance. The SP7 round is able to penetrate armor on 10 meters, but on 70 meters it fails to do it.

A penetrating hit takes out 15-25 armor points and does 9-15 health points damage after it. Perhaps this is to simulate blunt force damage from the bullet smashing into a weakened vest. This means any bullet that manages to penetrate, will ruin a vest in a total of two hits.

For the target this means that 9x18 rounds not penetrate for at least 20-30 rounds, depending on item condition and distance. Except for the PBM, PMM, SP7. Scavs do not spawn with expensive ammunition, so a vest and a helmet will keep a PMC safe from a complete 30 round magazine of KEDR fire.

This is where mixing ammunition can give PMCs a significant advantage. Putting 1-2 armor piercing rounds on the top of the magazine can destroy the targets protective gear and the following shots can bypass armor.

Additional notes

We have not tested heavy armor yet, because finding it will take more time. Once we acquire them from willing players or otherwise, this chart will be updated. We also tested the KEDR-B, however the damage output was exactly the same, longer barrel did not appear to have an effect on damage.

If you liked this report, let me know in the comments and tell me what weapon or caliber you would like to see tested next.



  1. I think you need to retest the SP7 ammo. My friend fired 9 rounds form a Makarov into my PACA and each time my armor lost 1-2 points of durability but none of the rounds penetrated. That was at point blank range, probably less than 1 meter.

  2. Hey there, I can hook you up with a fort or two for the tests.

    1. Add me in EFT. name is straycat, then we can setup a test.

  3. i could give away some forts too

    1. Add me in EFT. name is straycat, then we can setup a test.

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