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Old August 12, 2013, 07:17 PM   #1
magnum777
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Firing a 9mm in a .380 pistol

A friend of mine claims he shot a 9mm round in a .380 pistol. I have not seen him do this, I know they are about the same diameter, but the 9mm is longer. Is this possible, is it safe?
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Old August 12, 2013, 07:40 PM   #2
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It isn't possible. The 9mm case is 2mm longer, plus slightly larger in diameter. I'm about 99.936 percent certain that it's not in any way possible to get a 9mm cartridge to chamber and fire in a .380 pistol.
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Old August 12, 2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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I'd also doubt it. The opposite MAY be true, many 9mm pistols will allow you to physically chamber a .380, but that's a highly unrecommended action. The shorter .380 may even fire, but operation may be problematic.
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:14 PM   #4
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He may be referring to a 9mm short, or kurz... Which is a 380.
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:39 PM   #5
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seems like it would require a really really really strong recoil spring.....
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
A friend of mine claims he shot a 9mm round in a .380 pistol. I have not seen him do this, I know they are about the same diameter, but the 9mm is longer. Is this possible, is it safe?
Unpossible. Grossly unsafe if it could be done.

Unless, distant possibility, he was using one of those antique Astras that headspaced on the rim and were chambered for 9mm Largo. I'd still say "unsafe".
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Old August 12, 2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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I'm also going to say not possible. I just tried to stuff a 9mm in the chamber of two .380 pistols and it fit in neither. Did he happen to mention what pistol it was that he supposedly fired the 9mm round in?
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Old August 12, 2013, 09:26 PM   #8
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I agree that he may have been mistaken on the various calibers that are different variations.

Either that or extremely loose tolerances of the gun, which I doubt.

I have not done it with any tools, but just looking at them closely one can see that the 9mm is indeed SLIGHTLY larger in diameter than the .380ACP.
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Old August 12, 2013, 10:23 PM   #9
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Not possible. The gun would have been out of battery, and would not have fired.
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Old August 12, 2013, 11:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
He may be referring to a 9mm short, or kurz... Which is a 380.
If it did happen, this is the most likely scenario. By just saying a 9MM a common belief is that it is a 9X19, 9MM Luger, 9MM Parabellum (all the same round). But it is very likely that he had ammo marked 9MM Kurz, and didn't know it is the same as 380 ACP.
Points out how very important it is to know your ammunition. From buying something that just doesn't work to using something potentially dangerous.
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Old August 13, 2013, 12:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axelwik
He may be referring to a 9mm short, or kurz... Which is a 380.
I think this is the explanation. Some brands of .380 are labeled on the box "9x17mm" or "9mm Kurz" or "9mm Browning" or "9mm Corto", etc.; any of which could have confused the OP's friend into thinking he fired 9mm out of his .380, when he was just firing .380 out of his .380.

Edit: Looks like Cheapshooter can type faster than I can!
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Old August 13, 2013, 12:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
I think this is the explanation. Some brands of .380 are labeled on the box "9x17mm" or "9mm Kurz" or "9mm Browning" or "9mm Corto", etc.; any of which could have confused the OP's friend into thinking he fired 9mm out of his .380, when he was just firing .380 out of his .380.
This is probably the case. To go even further My Sig 232 doesn't even say .380 anywhere on the gun at all, only 9mm Kurz since it is a German gun and was imported from there. Alot of people I hand the gun too think it's a 9mm because of the markings.
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Old August 13, 2013, 12:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Quote:
Edit: Looks like Cheapshooter can type faster than I can!
LOL, but I cheated! Didn't list all the variants of 380ACP.
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Old August 14, 2013, 10:24 AM   #14
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I forget which 9 I was playing with, but I was on the range with both a 9 and 380 ...BTW, not a good idea, I have since learned.

Anyway, my 9 suddenly stopped firing. Extracted round, tapped mag, rechambered, click, no bang. Swapped mags, same click, no bang.

On the verge of deciding something was seriously broken when I looked at the exjected, unfired round, and....yup.....

At least in one instance I can verify .380 does not fire in a 9mm...
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Old August 14, 2013, 07:39 PM   #15
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Yes, it can be done in some .380 pistols { and I assume 9MM Mak }. There is or was a You Tube video of an individual doing so. I forgot which pistol he used, I remember it was one of the Milsurps , perhaps it was a Russian Mak. The 9MM ( 9X19 ) didn't chamber completely and you could see the slide was back about a quarter of an inch. But, it fired and the gun stayed in one piece. Prior to that , I would have also stated it was not possible to do so.
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Old August 14, 2013, 07:56 PM   #16
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I don't know of any mil-surps chambered in .380 ACP. 9mm Makarov is a different animal. First, the case is only 1mm shorter than a 9mm Parabellum, and second the case (and bullet/barrel) diameter is larger than the diameter of a .380 or 9mm Parabellum case, bullet and barrel. So you could probably shove a 9mm cartridge into a Makrov (or CZ-82) chamber without too much of it sticking out. If you could make it fire, the bullet would sort of rattle down the barrel, and the case would almost certainly split because there wouldn't be any support by the chamber.

But ... if the pistol fired with the case rim not in battery, I would think the pistol was defective.

You can't physically fit a 9mm case into a .380 chamber. The maximum SAAMI diameter for a .380 chamber is .3809+.004 at the breech end, and .3770+.004 at the forward end. A 9mm Parabellum case is .3800 at the case mouth, and .3910 at the shoulder just forward of the extractor groove. As you can see, the case would be an interference fit in the .380 chamber.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; August 14, 2013 at 08:02 PM.
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:36 AM   #17
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I find it somewhat disturbing that for whatever reason on many of the gun forums I visit there seems to be a fascination with trying to shoot the wrong caliber for which the gun is chambered. .380 in 9MM Luger, or .380 in 9MM Luger, .380 in 9MM Makarov, etc.

Shoot the caliber for which the gun is chambered. End of story.
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:38 AM   #18
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.380 is also 9x17 (9mm Kurz 'short') so yes, it IS a 9 mm... just not 9x19 (9mm Parabellum or 9mm NATO).

There are LOTS of 9mm rounds.

9x17 (.380)
9x18 (9mm Makarov)
9x19 (the 'classic' 9mm...)
9x21 (9 'Largo' if memory serves...)
9x23 (9mm Win Mag, again, if memory serves...)
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:49 AM   #19
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Memory did not serve.
9x21 is the Italian cartridge made for use in that repressive country where private ownership of "military weapons" is not allowed. It has a longer case than 9mm P but the OAL is the same, so only the barrel is different in things like Berettas for the home market.

9mm Largo is Spanish made 9mm Bergman Bayard and is 9x23.
It must not be confused with 9x23 Winchester, which looks similar but runs at nearly double the chamber pressure.

9mm Winchester Magnum is 9x29, meant for the Wildey. I don't think Wildey ever bothered, the round showed up in an Automag for a short while.


Agree with Pilot, the Internet Fascination with ammo substitutions can cause trouble.
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Old August 15, 2013, 10:08 AM   #20
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It's not possible because 9mm is a hair fatter as well as being longer; however you can (not recommended) fire a .380 out of a revolver that's set up to shoot 9mm. I've been told that this is not a good idea, but I personally don't know the reason. I'm sure someone on here knows the deal with that.
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Old August 15, 2013, 06:55 PM   #21
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Firing a 9mm in a .380 pistol

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum777 View Post
A friend of mine claims he shot a 9mm round in a .380 pistol. I have not seen him do this, I know they are about the same diameter, but the 9mm is longer. Is this possible, is it safe?
Somebody's probably lying. You or him.
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Old August 16, 2013, 08:47 AM   #22
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Thanks Mr. Watson for setting me straight. I am NOT a 9mm guy, so it had gotten fuzzy.
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:15 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Watson
9x21 is the Italian cartridge made for use in that repressive country where private ownership of "military weapons" is not allowed.
Actually, it's an Israeli cartridge designed by IMI for the Italian market. It's full name is the 9x21mm IMI. However, your post is otherwise accurate. It purposefully duplicates the ballistics and OAL of 9x19mm so it will function properly in a 9x19mm pistol with no changes other than a barrel swap.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rifleguy
It's not possible because 9mm is a hair fatter as well as being longer; however you can (not recommended) fire a .380 out of a revolver that's set up to shoot 9mm. I've been told that this is not a good idea, but I personally don't know the reason.
"Fatter" is not quite accurate; since they are both 9mm (0.355") caliber, they are the same diameter at the case mouth. However, a 9x19mm case is tapered, whereas a 9x17mm case is straight-walled. This is readily apparent if you place the cartridges side-by-side.

9x19mm revolver moon clips will not engage a 9x17mm case properly due to its smaller diameter at the extractor groove. Some 9x19mm swing-out cylinder revolvers use special retracting extractor tabs rather than moon clips, but these tabs generally won't engage a 9x17mm case either. Additionally, 9x17mm cartridges will not headspace properly in 9x19mm revolver, and the firing pin will usually push the shorter cases into the chambers rather than firing the rounds.* Finally, even if the headspace problem is somehow overcome and the shooter gets the rounds to fire, the 9x17mm cases may rupture around the case head due to the absence of proper chamber support.

*FOOTNOTE: Contrary to what many semi-auto shooters believe, most modern revolvers chambered for auto-pistol cartridges have shoulders cut in the chambers for correct headspace, just like an autoloader does; this allows them to be fired without moon clips. The reason for the clips is to allow a conventional cylinder ejector star to eject the fired cases.
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:25 AM   #24
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It didn't happen.

First, your friend would have had to load a 9mm into a .380 magazine - not possible (or load it into the chamber by hand - also not possible).

Second, your friend would have had to jam the bent (from jamming a 9mm round in it) into the mag well - also didn't happen.

Third..... well, nothing much is going to happen even if he did manage to jam a 9mm into a magazine and jam the magazine into the gun.
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Old August 16, 2013, 10:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Actually, it's an Israeli cartridge designed by IMI for the Italian market. It's full name is the 9x21mm IMI.
Now you mention it, I recall accounts of its development.
At first IMI said they would make a lengthened 9mm P. The Italian version of BATF said that was insufficiently non-military.
So IMI said, How about we neck up 7.65 Luger to 9mm (and trim a bit.)
Italians say OK. Even though the end result was the same cartridge.
That worked in the Beretta and other 9mm platforms.
And good luck finding any of IMI manufacture, Fiocchi seems the only source.

Colt went the other way. You will occasionally see a Commander in 9mm Steyr; which is a straight cased 9x23; pretty much a rimless .38 Super.
I guess the Italians had forgotten the Steyr Hahn of WW I Austrian issue.
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