9x19mm 101 with Sootch00

Caliber debates aside, there is no denying the current most popular self-defense round is 9x19mm. Thanks to advances in technology, the caliber has come a long way since it was first designed by Georg Luger back in 1901 (it entered production in 1902). In this video, sootch00 goes over the basics of 9x19mm including some other rounds with a similar designation and how the round itself performs.

9x19mm variations
Examples of different rounds with a similar designation to the 9x19mm. They’re sometimes confused with one another. (Photo credit: sootch00)

9x19mm History

Sootch00 gives a brief background on the 9x19mm:

“This is…the 9mm NATO round, and it’s used by over 70 countries for their military sidearms. Now, this is called the 9mm Parabellum, and it’s actually, technically taken from the Latin term ‘si vis pacem para bellum.’ It means ‘if you seek peace, prepare for war.

“The 9mm Parabellum was designed specifically for Georg Luger’s semi-automatic pistol, the Luger 08, and of course the Luger 08 is famous for its use by the German military in World War I and World War II. It’s also been developed for every pistol along that line, since then. Which….we have the Browning HiPower — which is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol — similar to the Beretta, double-action pistol…your CZ, your Sigs, and also most of your first, second, and third-generation Smith and Wesson semi-automatic pistols.

“And then, of course, we have your new — and I say new, these have been around since [1982] — they’re striker-fired, polymer-framed pistols, just like this Glock 17. Or, you know, your XDM Springfield Armory or Smith and Wesson M&P, and others. But the 9mm itself has been designed and used in almost every type of action that’s known to man.”

Watch the video below for more information from sootch00:

What is 9 Parabellum used for?

The 9mm Parabellum has a variety of uses, including:

  • Self-defense
  • Target shooting
  • Shooting steel
  • Home defense
  • Use in AR pistols
  • Use in PCCs (Pistol Caliber Carbines)
  • Hunting varmints (think coyotes, raccoons, and other pests)
  • Military
  • Law enforcement
9x19mm group shot
A 9mm group shot by sootch00. (Photo credit: sootch00)

It’s also one of the more affordable rounds currently on the market. Guns chambered in 9mm tend to have less muzzle flip than pistols chambered in rounds such as 380 ACP and they certainly deliver a greater performance overall.

To cut down on trigger time costs, use target rounds such as FMJs (Full Metal Jacket) and TMJs (Total Metal Jacket) at the range. It is important to spend time shooting your chosen self-defense load, so don’t leave that out, but it doesn’t need to be the ammunition you rely on for training.

9x19mm self defense round
The 9mm is a popular round for self-defense. (Photo credit: sootch00)

This is a popular self-defense round and you’re going to find a number of firearms chambered in it. Just remember, not all 9mm loads perform to the same standards, so take the time to research ammunition. Also, spend time understanding the drift and drop of the ammunition you do use so you have a better idea about point of impact versus point of aim. You need to know these things about your gun and ammunition before something happens in a self-defense scenario that makes you simply guess and hope for the best.

What’s your preferred self-defense round? 9mm Parabellum or something else? Tell us in the comments below.

Kat Ainsworth Stevens is a long-time outdoor writer, official OGC (Original Gun Cognoscenti), and author of Handgun Hunting: a Comprehensive Guide to Choosing and Using the Right Firearms for Big and Small Game. Der Teufel Katze has written for a number of industry publications (print and online) and edited some of the others, so chances are you've seen or read her work before, somewhere. A woman of eclectic background and habits, Kat has been carrying concealed for over two decades, used to be a farrier, and worked for a long time in emergency veterinary medicine. She prefers big bores, enjoys K9 Search & Rescue, and has a Master's Degree in Pitiless Snarkastic Delivery.

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