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Discussion Starter #1
After reading about the standard Nato military round in several different publications over the years and on the internet, I find myself more confused than ever as to what the specifications of this round actually are. I have noted that it is a slightly hotter than standard pressure 112gr cartridge in one source and in another that it is a 124gr +P+ round that is too hot to trust in a pistol you care about. All of the Nato headstamp rounds I have bought are advertized as 124gr, and seem a little louder with a bit more backward thrust than a standard plinking round but nothing startling. Also, the military reportedly has a 115gr HP available for stateside MP's. Anybody know about that one?
--Ray
 

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I haven't heard of a military issue 115 gr JHP 9mm. Can't help you there.

I have a limited supply of WCC 94 9mm NATO on hand and have shot and chronographed this load. From what I have read, the 9mm NATO load was developed for use during the JSSAP pistol trials of the early to middle 1980's which resulted in the adoption of the Beretta 92F as the new M9 service pistol. All of our NATO allies used the 9x19 round, but there wasn't a standardized load like the 5.56 and 7.62 NATO rifle rounds. So JSSAP worked with the Winchester Ammunition Division of Olin Labs and the M882 round was the result.

Unless the spec's have been changed since the NATO round was developed, the max operating pressure is 42,000 PSI which is in the +P+ range. Since SAAMI doesn't recognize the +P+ category, it can be anything the ammo maker wants to make it. The 9mm NATO load uses a conventional jacketed/lead core round nose bullet weighting 124 grains. The muzzle velocity from the five inch barrel of the M9 is supposed to be 1220 fps on average. The muzzle energy is 409.9 foot pounds.

Here are a few chronograph numbers for the M882 load that I shot.

Browning Mark III High Power 4 5/8 inch barrel - 1196 fps/394 fpe.

Mauser Parabellum (Luger repro) six inch barrel - 1206 fps/400 fpe

Walther P38 (post war commericial) five inch barrel - 1207 fps/401 fpe.

Beretta 92 FS five inch barrel - 1182 fps/388 fpe.

I have no desire to wear out any of my handguns with extra high pressure loads. In 9x19 I shoot standard pressure factory loads or my handloads. I do have a supply of the Corbon 115 and 124 grain JHP +P+ factory loads that are used for serious social purposes only. I honestly think that when it comes to 115 and 124 grain FMJ loads for the 9x19 that there is little to be gained with the NATO pressure load over the 35,000 PSI standard pressure loads. Bullet placement is far more important than a few extra FPS or FPE. Just my opinion of course.


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US NATO M882 specs at about 1260 fps w a 124g bullet from an M9. Chamber pressure measured at the case mouth is 36,250 psi. Mid case pressures could be 8,000 - 10,000 psi higher. SAAMI measures at mid case, limit is 35,000 psi/+P 38,500 psi) so any way ya slice it M882 is a +P/+P+ load.

FWIW, over the yrs various lots of M882 from various M9s I was issued did anywhere from 1185 fps to 1275 fps.

Cartridges, 9 MM Jacketed, Hollow Point, Mk 243 Mod 0, DODIC A260

The above is a 147 JHP, usually restrited to CONUS and/or LE use (including CID/NCIS/AFOSI)

There is some variation in NATO ammo.

IMIs NATO load is a 115 FMJ that specs at 1285 fps from a 200mm (8 inches) NATO test bbl at 16m (53 ft) at around 265 MPa (38,425 psi).

Back in the late 40s the US Army did some penetration tests using the old M1 helmet. 230/45 FMJ penetrated at 30 yds, failed at 35 yds. Win commercial 115/9 FMJ at 1150 fps penetrated at 120 yds, failed at 130 yds. Canadian 115/9 FMJ M1 mil spec at 1250 fps penetrated at 130 yds, the range facility limit. A BHP was used for the tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
BarryinIN--
Thanks for this pdf which has revealed that the M882 is indeed a 112gr projectile at +P or +P+ velocities. If I read it right, there is also a subgun round not authorized for use in handguns and a proof round. I'm just wondering what happened to the 124gr? Am I missing something else? Are there, for example, multiple NATO standard rounds of varying weights? I also wonder if the weight of this M882 NATO bullet is 112grs rather than 124 whether it would be as hard on the guns as a heavier bullet would? I note that the round is identified as appropriate for use in the HP and Walther. Very interesting reading!!!
Thanks again.
--Ray
 

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What is missing is that the NATO specifications state a range for bullet mass, velocity, and Kinetic energy at a specific range. Each member nation then decides its own specification within the given range of variables. SOOOOO, the USA can have a 112gr bullet, the UK can have a 124gr bullet, and Germany can have a 123gr bullet, while Canada can have a 115gr if they so choose since the NATO Spec is, if memory serves, something like ~8grams to 9grams.
 
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