battle of the Nines: 9mm Luger vs. 9×19 vs. Parabellum

even if you comprehend little or no about weapons, possibly simply what you’ve picked up from staring at tv and flicks, you’ve doubtless gathered there’s a round known as 9mm.

9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)

9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP)

As you gain knowledge of extra, you probably find it’s a pistol circular, but you’ll quickly hear different phrases like Luger and Parabellum. so you might ask yourself… what is the difference between 9mm, 9mm Luger, and 9×19 Parabellum?

in short, nothing

9mm Luger and 9x19mm Parabellum consult with the accurate identical round. When someone refers to 9mm, they almost always imply 9x19mm.

Deconstructed 9mm Round

Deconstructed 9mm round

although, there are additionally phrases catering to selected diversifications of 9x19mm and different 9mm caliber rounds altogether.

Let’s solve these terms so you comprehend exactly what americans are speakme about when discussing 9mm.


on occasion it’s Luger, every so often it’s Parabelluum, from time to time it’s plain ol’ 9mm, however’s all the equal.

First, we’ll check out why there are such a lot of names, then get into a number of normal adaptations of 9x19mm.

where Does 9mm Luger Come From?

Let’s delivery by way of checking out the place the 9mm Luger identify started. To do this, we deserve to seem to be at the circular’s historical past.

Designed in 1901 through Austrian designer Georg Luger (whoop, there it’s!), 9mm Luger was introduced right here 12 months with the aid of German company Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (German Weapons and Munitions).

georg luger

Georg Luger. I don’t find out about you, but a man with that many medals? I think i will trust his ammo.

That 9mm paired with DWM’s Luger semi-computerized pistol, for this reason earning its name, 9mm Luger, from the wearing hands and Ammunition manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI).

in a similar way, the round is designated 9 mm Luger via the fee Internationale Permanente pour l’Epreuve des Armes à Feu Portatives (CIP)–notice the addition of the area between 9 and mm.

DWM 1917 9mm and 1915 9mm

DWM ammo, a 1917 9mm design (left) and 1915 9mm design (right). (LugerForums)

adequate, however What About 9x19mm Parabellum?

while 9mm Luger acquired its name from external agencies, 9x19mm Parabellum is the normal legitimate designation from DWM. 

To take into account the place DWM got that name, you as soon as once again need to seem at the origins of the round.

German Military 9mm History graphic

a quick peek at how 9x19mm rounds developed from 1913 except the conclusion of WWII.

9x19mm Parabellum is derived from DWM’s previous 7.65x21mm Parabellum cartridge and inherited the “Parabellum” tag. now not to mention, that Luger pistol we referred to earlier is favourite as the Pistole Parabellum or Parabellum-Pistole.

1915 Luger Pistol

1915 Luger Pistol

That still doesn’t reply the question of the notice parabellum’s roots. where did it all start? The notice comes from DWM’s motto, Si vis pacem, para bellum. here’s Latin for “if you are looking for peace, prepare for conflict.”

(looking for 9mm? try the finest 9mm rounds for plinking and defense!)

check with Me About 9x19mm variants

Now that you simply take note 9mm Parabellum/9mm Luger a bit improved, let’s examine any other diversifications on the cartridge.

9mm +P

The +P label suggests the circular is a high-drive load, though nonetheless not as high pressure as a magnum round might be. +P is carried out by means of readily packing greater gun powder right into a cartridge. 

380 Hornady P and Standard Ammo

.380 Hornady +P and general Ammo. you could see the +P on the left has a smidge extra powder. (Ammunition to go)

9mm +P ammo has 10% extra force than a standard 9x19mm round. Per SAAMI standards, the regular drive for 9x19mm is 35,000 psi, while 9mm +P measures 38,500 psi.


Speer Gold Dot 9mm +P ammo in ballistic gel (Ammunition to head)

The multiplied power boosts the round’s energy and speed, creating more advantageous stopping energy and ballistic performance. This makes +P ammo well-acceptable for self-protection.

although, now not all guns are outfitted to handle the power of +P ammo, so investigate that your pistol is appropriate earlier than use. 

Rounds with even higher force than the general +P round are marked +P+. It’s value noting that SAAMI doesn’t checklist a common force for +P+.

9mm NATO

9mm NATO is 9x19mm ammo that conforms to NATO requirements. Like 9mm +P, 9mm NATO is overpressurized, but now not to the identical extent. 9mm NATO has a provider power of 36,500 psi.


SIG’s M17 9mm NATO (Firearm information)

via NATO requisites, 9mm NATO has a bullet weight between 108-grains and 128-grains. NATO standards don’t state what category of bullet 9mm NATO rounds may still use.

despite the fact, the Hague convention bans increasing bullets in conflict; so, NATO rounds have full metallic jacket ball bullets.

other 9mm Rounds

All of that said, 9mm Parabellum/9mm Luger isn’t the handiest 9mm caliber round obtainable.

Desire to Know More

a number of other rounds exist with 9mm classifications. unlike the rounds we just discussed, these are utterly separate cartridges, however occur to have 9mm bullet diameters. 

9mm Caliber Types

9mm Caliber kinds. There’s… an awful lot.

9x18mm Makarov

Let’s start with the 9x18mm Makarov, regularly known as 9x18mm PM and formally precise 9mm Makarov with the aid of the CIP.

The 9x18mm Makarov became the ordinary pistol cartridge of the Soviet Union and jap Bloc in the second half of the 20th century. It might fairly be known as the Soviet’s counterpart to 9x19mm.

despite the fact, 9x18mm Makarov isn’t any longer common. Given its ballistics, it never gained as a great deal traction because the 9x19mm within the West.

Rusian Makarov RT

Rusian Makarov RT

9x18mm extremely

however, 9x18mm ultra did see popularity within the West, however best as a fashion.

Developed in Germany in 1936, it didn’t get tons consideration except the early Seventies when Walther launched the PP tremendous in 9x18mm extremely for the West German Police. The round changed into launched to the public in 1975.

Geco 9x18mm Ultra

Geco 9x18mm ultra

different weapons chambered in 9x18mm extremely adopted, such because the Sig Sauer P230. The Walther PP super turned into discontinued in 1979, and with that, the circular’s popularity faded. that you could still discover the ammo nowadays devoid of too tons crisis, mainly if you store online

9mm Browning

9mm Browning enters the box with greater cognizance than both of the ultimate two rounds, but you likely don’t are aware of it. referred to as .380 ACP within the u.s., the legitimate CIP designation is basically 9 mm Browning court.

identical bullet, smaller casing. 9mm (left) vs. .380 Auto (correct).

Its proportions are 9x17mm, making it the shortest of the 9mm rounds we’ve mentioned right here.

Arriving on the scene 1908, the circular reached its peak during World war II when a few European militaries used it. .380 ACP is in all probability most famously associated with the Walther PPK.

Roger Moore Carrying a Walther PPK as James Bond

Roger Moore Carrying a Walther PPK as James Bond


Some nations ban civilians from the use of armed forces carrier cartridges, together with 9x19mm. 9x21mm, or 9mm IMI, turned into developed for areas like that. 


9x23mm, 9x21mm, and 9x19mm

The 9x21mm become created by Jager, an ammo manufacturer based mostly in Italy. (Italy happens to be a type of countries banning 9x19mm for civilians, FYI.) It was later adopted by using Israel armed forces Industries (IMI) for better-scale production for dissimilar international locations.

CZ 75 Sp-01 Shadow 9x21mm

CZ seventy five Sp-01 Shadow in 9x21mm

The U.S. under no circumstances basically caught the 9x21mm fever, however saw recognition in other materials of the realm, exceptionally in Italy. regardless of lacking a committed following within the U.S., the round is frequently spotted in useful shooting competitions. here is because of the rimless casing, which makes it much less prone to malfunction.

9x23mm Winchester

9x23mm Winchester is a relative newcomer, delivered in 1996. It turned into essentially intended to enchantment to competitors shooters, certainly for useful shooting and protecting pistol shooting competition. a couple of benefits over other rounds on the time, pushed it into the competition area. 

9x23mm Winchester

9x23mm Winchester

First, more rounds may fit into a journal, so fewer adjustments have been required. 2nd, it delivered better force. When used with a compensator, the gun had much less muzzle flip from recoil.

9x23 Win Headstamp

9×23 Win Headstamp

as a result of a mixture of creation delays, alterations in competitors necessities, and potent competitors, 9x23mm Winchester on no account really took off. 

much more 9mm

The rounds we’ve discussed are most effective a couple of of the numerous cartridges the usage of 9mm. There are more pistol rounds in this caliber and even a revolver circular (9mm japanese revolver). You can also locate a few rifle rounds (9×57mm Mauser and 9×39mm). 

Japanese Type 26 9mm revolver Guns and Ammo

eastern category 26 9mm revolver (weapons and Ammo)

alas, a lot of these are not any longer in production, making them rare, above all within the U.S.


So, what’s the difference between 9mm, 9mm Luger, and 9×19 Parabellum?

As we’ve realized…nothing.

despite the numerous naming schemes, 9mm most often refers to 9mm Luger or 9×19 Parabellum, which might be, truly, one and the identical.

9mm Steel Cased Ammo

9mm steel Cased Ammo

nevertheless puzzled about ammunition and calibers? try our Bullet e-book for prevalent ammo data and our Handgun Caliber ebook for handgun particular issues. that you could additionally hit us with questions within the comments under! And in case you’re available in the market for 9mm ammo, make sure to check out The choicest 9mm Ammo.