Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner

9x21, 9x23, .38 Super?

7552 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Guest
Hello all,

I am wondering what the histories behind these cartridges are.

I just assumed for a bit that the 9x23 was the .38 Super but was recently told I was wrong. Ok... no experience here.

My practical 9mm experience stops at the .357 Sig and is most abundant with the 9x19.

Looking to add


Thank you,

Josh <><
See less See more
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
The 9x23 was made for the competition crowd, as a solution to feeding problems sometimes encountered with the semi-rim of the .38 super, especially in doublestack magazines. Also it's thicker, and better able to handle the pressures associated with "Major" power factor loads in USPSA matches.

The trouble was, by the time Winchester developed the cartridge, most shooters/pistolsmiths had figured out how to make the .38 super pistols run reliably. So, it never really took off. Typical to their nature, Colt came out with a 1911 chambered in 9x23 just as the cartridge started to tank.

On a personal note, I bought up a decent supply of factory 9x23 when a local store was going out of business. Occasionally I shoot some through one of my .38 super pistols (NOT the Ltwt. Commander btw), and it seems to work safely/reliably. However this practice is frowned on by some folks, who may well have a point. But that's a different topic.

The 9x21 was developed in Europe for shooters who aren't allowed to own handguns chambered in "military/LE only" calibers. (Nobody told these civilians that they couldn't have something chambered LONGER as opposed to shorter than a 9x19 gun.) I'm told the ballistics of the 9x21 are about identical to 9mm Parabellum.
See less See more
Yipes, I'd forgotten about the 9mm Win Mag for quite a spell..

AMT chambered one of their "Automag" pistol models in this caliber. (Long after the original Automag pistols there were a series of guns ranging from the "Automag II" up through "Automag VII" as memory serves.) The 9mm Magnum was about "III" or "IV" wasn't it Jim? Sorry to be vague but they obviously didn't make much of an impression with me when they came out, and I didn't bone up before posting this.

Could be that the LAR "Grizzly" guns were once made in 9mm Win Mag too, but now I'm stretching w-a-y past the capacity of my cranialputer.

At any rate the above guns weren't made in great quantities and would doubtless be tough to turn up now.

Turning back to the much more recent 9x23 Winchester, both factory loads (124 and 125 gr.) chrono at about 1500 fps out of my 5" Gov't model. Hot stuff, doubt that any .38 super load could be safely made to match it--in my gun anyhow!

Josh, have we at least started to scratch the surface of your questions yet? You do tend to like, um, thorough discussions, don't you? ;)
See less See more
9mm Win Mag was designed for the Wildey. I don't know if they actually made any guns for it. The AMTs are just crude.
It is not enough more powerful than a 9x23 (if any) to be worth putting up with one of those monsters instead of a nice 1911.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.