9mm NATO vs. 9mm Luger

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Caleb wrote an interesting blog post last month about the the different in pressure between the SAAMI spec’ed 9mm loads (9mm Luger / Parabellum) and the NATO load (9x19mm NATO). I had forgotten to mention it here until I was browsing his blog today.

The ammo industry uses something called SAAMI Standards to establish the pressures that ammo should be loaded to. The SAAMI pressure for 9mm Luger ammo is around 35,000 PSI, and C.I.P (think European SAAMI) rates 9mm Luger ammo at 34,080 PSI. According to documentation, the 9mm NATO rounds are pressured at 36,500 PSI (again according to CIP). That means that when compared to standard 9mm ammo, the 9mm NATO ammo is running a higher pressure, analogous to a 9mm +P load, which SAAMI rates around 36,000 PSI.

Read the full post here.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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2 of 8 comments
  • Jester65 Jester65 on Feb 04, 2013

    is there a diffrence between 9mm auto ammo and standard 9mm

  • Spotter1 Spotter1 on Mar 06, 2014

    I believe that the Walther p38 9 mm Luger will not handle the 9 mm or +p ammunition as I had used +p and the pressure was to great for the slide to handle and damaged my weapon . My gunsmith was able to repair it and he explained to me that the older weapons like mine cannot handle the 9mm or + p ammo Luger is around 34kto35k+pis around 35kto36k and 9mm is 36k standard .this is all dependent on true specs on ammunition suppliers suggest when in doubt research and reload your own to be safe.