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Types of 9mm Ammunition

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Pistols that fire 9mm ammunition are common in military and law enforcement applications, as well as among collectors. For nearly a century, a variety of pistols have used 9mm ammo, beginning with the European Luger. A variety of styles and brands of ammunition are available for 9mm pistols, depending on the specific use of the gun.


Many 9mm pistols are capable of firing 9mm hollow-point bullets. This type of bullet’s tip is hollowed out instead of pointed. Instead of being so sharp that it simply punctures and passes through its target, a hollow-point bullet will expand once it hits the target. The goal of this expansion is to produce as much damage to the target as possible, avoiding a simple in-and-out wound.

Full Metal Jacket

Full metal jacket bullets are common in assault rifles, but can also be used in 9mm pistols. These bullets are encased in a hard metal such as a copper alloy that is wrapped around the bullet’s softer lead core. The result is a tougher bullet that can be fired at higher velocities without breaking down and leaving lead residue inside the firearm, causing it to require regular cleaning and maintenance. Many full metal jacket bullets are used for applications such as piercing armor plating.

Soft Point

Soft point bullets are common in many calibers of handgun. They can be pointed or dull on the tip, as well as jacketed. The discerning characteristic of a soft point bullet is that its lead is visible on the tip. In other words, the point of the bullet is softer than the rest of the projectile.


Other less-common types of 9mm ammunition include match bullets for use in competitions, frangible projectile ammo for fragmenting on impact, lead free bullets for concerns about the environment and metal case ammunition for reliability.


Several companies across the world produce 9mm ammunition. These companies include Black Hills, CCI-Speer, Cor-Bon, Fiocchi, Federal, Lapua, MagTech, Norma, PMC-Eldorado, Remington, Sellier & Bellot, UltraMax and Winchester.


Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.