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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

The 9mm Luger (9mm Parabellum and 9x19) (using Sierra bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing
Date: Jul 08 2020

The 9mm Luger (aka 9mm Parabellum and 9x19) was first offered around 1902 along with the famous Luger pistol. It has become widely popular around the world for military, law enforcement, personal defense and sporting applications.  It is often loaded to different pressure levels in military arms, but in the U.S. SAAMI has established maximum average operating pressures at 35,000 psi. None of the accompanying data exceeds that limit.

Considerable variances in 9mm Luger cases that are produced in different countries have been observed. Those with thicker brass have reduced powder capacity and are often not suitable for maximum loads listed in accompanying table, as pressures can increase. Starline cases were used exclusively in load development.

Lab tests with the 9mm Luger have revealed that seating bullets just .040 inch deeper (about the thickness of 10 sheets of paper) can increase the pressures of a normally reasonable load to excessive levels. In one test bullets were seated .10 inch deeper and pressures jumped from 35,000 psi to over 60,000 psi, which can be dangerous in production pistols. Therefore, is strongly suggested to seat bullets to the exact overall cartridge length listed. It also Is especially important to use a precise scale, because small changes in powder charges can impact pressure levels. Since the 9mm Luger headspaces on the case mouth, a taper crimp is required, and should be applied as a separate operation.