9mm and 9mm lugger

What Is The Difference Between 9mm And 9mm Luger Ammo?

So, you have already bought your gun, and you want to find out whether these rounds are similar? Or perhaps, you have been using the two types of rounds, and you are just curious whether the two rounds have any similarities?

Well, there could be a few similarities with the appearance and the shape. The big question is, what is the difference between the 9mm and the 9mm Luger? This is not an easy question especially to people who don’t want to accept the reality.

Personally, I have to accept that it’s a lot of fun discussing such a topic- as in, is there any difference between a round that is loaded into a 9mm NATO pressure and one loaded into a 9mm Luger pressure? Of course, there is! Before we can even continue, it is important for you to acknowledge that indeed a big difference exists.

I am stressing on this because there are people who will fight arguing that the specs of the 9mm Luger are similar those of a 9mm NATO round. Trust me there are a lot of differences. Apart from the most obvious difference of the bullet, 9mm rounds are loaded to a higher pressure than the 9mm Luger.

If you are an enthusiast of armor, you already know that the ammo industry normally uses SAAMI Standards to determine the pressure ammo should be loaded into. 9mm Luger ammo should be loaded in a SAAMI pressure of about 35,000 PSA and CIP (those from Europe should be loaded under a pressure of 34, 80 PSI).

On the other hand, according to CIP, the 9mm NATO round should be loaded with a pressure of 36, 500 PSI. This implies that the 9mm Luger runs at a lower pressure when compared to the newer 9mm NATO round.

The Difference Between 9mm And 9mm Luger Ammo

So, Does This Have Any Meaning For You?
Tapered walls
Feeding Reliability
More Guns

So, Does This Have Any Meaning For You?

Well, most people will recommend treating the 9mm Luger like the 9mm NATO round which implies that you will be loading the 9mm Luger in a higher pressure than it should be. If you are a casual shooter, this could have several meanings for you.

  • First, never put a 9mm Luger into old guns;
  • secondly only use the 9mm Luger rounds in newer and stronger guns that have been stored in good conditions.
  • Finally, it will make you appreciate the 9mm NATO because it is used by like the half of the world in a very wide variety of pistols including the following:
  • Beretta M9
  • ​Glock 19 and 17
  • ​Browning Hi-Power
  • CZ-75
  • ​All manner of Sigs
  • HK

Tapered walls

Tapper does affect the angle of the cartridge when the rounds are stacked together as I have illustrated on the picture below. This results to a curvature which is not desirable in a magazine. On the other hand, the straight walled 9mm NATO rounds do not produce this kind of curvature which makes them better than the 9mm Luger rounds.

This effect can also be transferred to the way they feed into the chamber. Normally tapered cartridges will result in an over exaggerated nosedive gap which will result to feed problems as the round enters into the feed ramp. This effect is highly noticeable.

Feeding Reliability

From my tests, I did not experience any feeding malfunctions with the round nose 9mm NATO rounds. However, many shooters will bear me witness that flat nosed bullets can have feeding malfunctions in guns that rely heavily on round nosed bullets. This is another advantage of the 9mm NATO rounds over the 9MM Luger.


Though many guns shoot the 9mm Luger well, very few of guns will shoot the 9mm less accurately. If you are finding yourself with problems shooting the 9mm Luger try out the 9mm and your shots will be more accurate than before.

The 9mm will always be more accurate because it does not have tapered wall and its head is not flat but rounded. Shot placement is very important when it comes to neutralizing a threat, and the 9mm will do nothing but enhancing it. That is also one of the main differences of this round.

The 9mm Luger was invented in 1902, and very few things about it have changed. On the other hand, the 9mm is a recent invention which can also be used in automatic guns. Since 1902, guns have changed a lot, but the 9mm Luger has never changed which makes an underdog to the more modern and reliable 9mm round

More Guns

Like I said before, more than half of the worlds pistols are using the 9mm. Even police officers prefer using the 9mm as opposed to the 9mm Luger before of its efficiency and reliability. Every shooter wants a round that will hit the target with a lot of ease, and that’s all the 9mm has. Due to tapered walls and feed problems, the 9mm Luger has become an underdog when compared to the 9mm. Experienced cops will also bear me witness.


The bottom line is, there exist several differences whether we accept it or not. You cannot just a judge a round by looking at it. There are several factors that distinguish these rounds as I have discussed above. For those who don’t want to accept the facts, let them try out the functionality of the two rounds and make a conclusion for themselves.

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