• A 9mm would be the width of the bullet. The standard length of a 9mm handgun is 19 mm. So, if you purchase a box of ammunition, it would show 9x19mm on the end of the box. The 9mm also comes in a 17mm length and a 23 mm length. But a 9mm is most commonly a 9x19 and is 9mm wide and 19mm long. Also, I noticed a comment from CannedHam regarding another variant of the 9 mm. CannedHam is correct. I had forgotten the cartridge, mainly because I haven't come across one for a couple of years, but I have a friend that has a Marakov. I stand corrected.
    • ReiSan
      You mean the 9mm Luger cartridge case is 19mm in length. There are also 9X18 mm and 9X17 mm rounds that are also called 9 mm Ultra and .380ACP or 9 mm Kurz.
  • Most cartridges are described or named for the diameter (width) of the bullet. Bullets are measured in inches and milimeters. In the USA, our cartridges are almost all measured in decimals of inches. For example, a .22 is 22 hundreths of an inch in diameter...or just under a quarter of an inch. A .30 caliber is 3 tenths of an inch in diameter. There are some American calibers that are measured in milimeters, the 7mm Remington Magnum comes to mind. Pistol calibers are a mixture and sometimes confusing. 9mm is a common pistol cartridge and roughly equivalent to a .36 caliber (multiply the millimeter by 4 and you get a rough equivalent of caliber in inches. A 9mm is approximately .36 diameter, roughly equal to the 38 Special--which, to add to the confusion, is really .357 diameter). European cartridges frequently list the length of the cartridge case in their name. American's haven't adopted that designation, certainly no in calibers measured by inches.
  • A bullet is circular in cross section, and 9mm is he diameter of that circle. The 9mm. Luger cartridge case is 19 mm in length, so the 9mm Luger is also called the 9X19mm. There are also 9X18 mm or 9 mm Ultra and 9X17 mm or .380ACP cartridges. I think a 9mm round is 0.355 inches in diameter, so it is close to the .357 Magnum bullet in diameter.

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