Why the 9mm?
The 9mm is the single most popular handgun cartridge in the world. There are many reasons to love the 9mm round, but the most common are price, availability, accuracy, useability, capacity, and concealability. It's a workhorse caliber that fits any budget or taste — it's quite literally the caliber for anyone. From first-time shooters to the FBI, from U.S. military special operations to soccer moms who conceal carry, it’s as utilitarian of a round and caliber as any could possibly be.
Originally created in 1901 by George Luger and introduced to the public in 1902, it grew in popularity based on its performance. One of the main attributes that contributed to the success of 9mm ammo, other than accuracy, is that it can hold tremendous capacity in magazines. Other guns and rounds of the time, such as the 1911 and .38 Special, were hampered by capacity and lack of performance. The 9mm cartridge allows a large magazine to fit into a small gun while still supporting performance that outshines competitors. As time went on and the round was forced to compete with other calibers, it became the standard-bearer. The popularity of models such as the Glock 19 created a boom in both striker-fired polymer pistols and the use of the 9mm round.
Being the most popular handgun caliber in the world has its advantages, particularly when it comes to price. In most cases, the price per round is either comparable to or cheaper than competing rounds, especially when you buy in bulk.
Being the most popular round in the world, 9mm is the easiest to find (panic-buying and other kinds of uncontrollable events notwithstanding). At gun stores, gun shows and online, the 9mm is likely to be the first item you see where ammo is for sale. Even on our website, it's the first caliber offered when you search for bulk ammo and regular pistol ammo.
When it comes to hitting the target, the 9mm round has proven to be consistent. 9mm has a flat trajectory, which helps it stay on target better, and while it's rated to 50 yards, anecdotal evidence demonstrates that you can hit targets considerably farther out (some targets located at 100 yards or more away. While you might never have the need to attempt such a feat, knowing that the round can travel that distance and hit what you were aiming at is a huge mark in the plus column. This also makes it easier to increase your own performance in target shooting at close ranges and makes for better efficiency in a self-defense situation.
The 9mm round is one of the most user-friendly cartridges on the market. We've discussed how that’s true with respect to the round’s accuracy, but it also has low recoil, which makes it easy to control when shooting. The 9mm round also supports the lowest recoil out of the standard self-defense calibers, which are 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. If you want it for self-defense or target shooting, it's usually considered the easiest round to use while you get used to firing.
This is usually the feature that tips the scales in favor of 9mm for the average person. If you're looking to purchase a gun, you want to be able to fit as many bullets in it as possible. Why? Because reloading sucks. You didn't buy a gun to reload it; you bought it to shoot it. And that’s not to mention the self-defense aspect: If you bought the gun to defend yourself, you want to give yourself as much chance of survival as humanly possible. If you find yourself in a particularly dire situation, there’s a great likelihood that you won’t be given the chance to reload. Plus, nervousness brought on by a stressful situation or a lack of practice can lead to missed shots, at which point the extra capacity may be an actual lifesaver.
While this works in tandem with capacity, concealability is still a factor unto itself. The thing about 9mm guns is that, even when they're small and concealable, they can still hold a lot of rounds. The Sig Sauer P365, for example, is considered a micro-compact pistol. As that name implies, it's an extremely small handgun — one of the smallest on the market, actually. It's small enough to fit inside your pocket without being obvious. Despite its small stature, that firearm still holds 10 rounds, and that’s without any sort of grip extension. While that speaks to Sig Sauer engineering, it also is simply not possible in a caliber other than 9mm.
What Guns Shoot 9mm?
|Heckler & Koch||VP9||P30SK||P30||P2000||USP||USP Tactical|
|Smith & Wesson||M&P 9||M&P Shield||M&P 9 2.0||M&P 9 Shield EZ|
The 9mm round is one of the most celebrated, popular, and user-friendly calibers on the market. If you're looking to add one to your collection, considering it for a first purchase, or just want to reaffirm that you made a good decision in your last purchase, you can rest assured that 9mm is a solid, practical ammo choice