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Mike "Duke" Venturino Photos: Yvonne Venturino

Modern 9mm pistols I could give a flip about. But, in the last 18 months I've bought six guns chambered for 9mm Luger. All are historical ones. A great many people think of the 9mm Luger as being a modern phenomenon. It is not. The cartridge is over 100-years old. We Americans love to laud one of our cartridges and firearms so chambered when it becomes a historical icon. That's not criticism. I'm the same way. There was a big fuss when the .45 Colt, .44-40 and .45-70 turned 100 in 1973. There were some things written when the .44 Special hit 100 in 2008, and I personally was chomping at the bit to write about the .30-06 back in 2006.

Nobody noticed when the 9x19mm German soldiers seldom call the pistol a aka 9mm Luger aka 9mm Parabellum hit the century mark. It was first introduced as far back as 1902 as a chambering for the Luger pistol, which was never actually made in a "Luger factory." It was a pistol design from the brain of Georg Luger and was made in many different factories. Writings left by

Luger. They refer to it as their P08 — a short way of saying Pistole Model 1908. That's when their army adopted it. Their navy actually latched onto the longer barreled version of the Luger a couple years sooner.

Because so many of those P08 pistols were brought home by "doughboys"

after World War I, our ammunition companies started producing factory loads for them. So there wouldn't be confusion they were labeled 9mm Luger because that was the most prevalent type of handgun around in which such loads were shot. The Germans and most likely other European nations as well, actually called it the 9mm Parabellum, a Latin word meaning "for war."

Being 9mm means the Parabellum cartridge takes a nominal .355" bullet and being 9x19mm means its case is nominally .754" long. There have been shorter 9mm cartridges. The .380 Auto aka 9mm Kurz has a case only .68" long. There have also been many longer 9mm cartridges. The 9mm Winchester Magnum, a totally off the wall idea such as ammo companies are prone to come up with at times, uses a case 1.16" long, the same length as .38 and .44 Specials.

The 9mm Parabellum is a rimless case as are most 9mms meant for autoloading pistols but there have also been semi-rimmed 9mms (.38 Colt Auto and .38 Colt Super) and fully rimmed ones such as the 9mm Federal meant for revolvers. Just because most 9mms are nominally meant for .355" bullets also doesn't mean all 9mms use such. The Soviet's 9mm Makarov takes .364" bullets. And when handloading lead alloy bullets I personally stay completely away from that .355" size much preferring .356" or even .357" as my sizing diameter. We'll

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