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9mm Nato vs. 9mm Luger: What Is The Difference

9mm ammo is one of the most famous handgun calibers, you may be aware of different names 9mm ammo is known with. 9mm ammo is known as 9x19mm ammunition, 9mm Luger, 9mm Parabellum, 9mm NATO, 9 millimeters, or just plain 9mm.

Know the question: "why do 9mm ammo have so many names & what is the difference between them?

Various Names of 9mm Ammo

9mm9x19mm ammunition: 9mm, also known as 9x19mm, that specify its dimension. In the term 9x19mm, "9" notes the diameter of the bullet. That is 9.01 millimeters. And the 19mm refers to the length of the case, which is 19.15mm. So it is called 9x19mm ammo.

9mm Luger9mm Luger: One of the most famous names used for 9mm is 9mm Luger. Most of the manufacturers and ammunition stores used this one. Georg Luger was the designer of this ammo. In 1902 it was introduced by the German weapons manufacturer Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM) for its Luger semi-automatic pistol. That's why it is known as 9mm Luger.

9mm Parabellum9mm Parabellum: Parabellum is a Latin term that means to prepare for war. DWM, the company that created the cartridge drive name from the Latin motto of DWM, Si vis Pacem, Para Bellum, means "If you seek peace, prepare for war". In short, the DWM company that was the creator gives this name "9mm Parabellum".

9mm NATO9mm NATO: NATO spec. Means standard military ammo. The 9mm is called NATO because it has become a standard pistol caliber for NATO and other military forces worldwide. This cartridge has been manufactured for more than 70 different countries. After getting famous for military forces, this is known as 9mm NATO ammo.

These are some familiar names for 9mm ammo & reasons why 9mm have these names.

9mm NATO vs. 9mm Luger

9mmAbove, we discussed the common names of 9mm ammo. But as per comparison, there are slight bit differences between 9mm NATO & 9mm Luger.

Bullet Pressure Rate

9mm NATO & 9mm Luger both have different bullet pressure rates. The SAAMI pressure for 9mm Luger ammo is around 35,000 PSI. The 9mm NATO rounds are pressured at 36,500 PSI. So 9mm NATO rounds have higher pressures than standard 9mm Luger rounds.

Bullet Weight

Another main difference between both bullets is about weight. The average bullet weights for 9mm Luger range from 115 to 147 grains. The 9mm NATO has a 124-grain bullet weight.


From both bullet types of 9mm, 9mm NATO is more accurate & reliable than 9mm Luger. 9mm NATO ammo is specially designed to hit 1250+ feet per second with a standard pistol. While other 9mm ammo, including 9mm Luger, can hit around 1100 feet per second with 115 bullet grains.


Another difference between 9mm Luger & 9mm NATO is the use of handguns. Different handguns are used for both ammo types. Handguns for 9mm Luger are: Glock G19, Sig P226, Heckler & Koch VP9, Smith & Wesson M&P, Springfield XD etc. Handguns for 9mm NATO are Beretta, Glock, H&K, SIG, CZ, Steyr, FN, and a host of others.

Final Words

9mm ammo is favored by all the names it has. There are no significant differences between these. There are only slight differences between 9mm NATO & 9mm Luger bullet types of 9mm. Otherwise, all are the same as 9mm ammo.

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