What makes a 9mm stronger than a.38 spc?

What makes a 9mm stronger than a.38 spc? Topic: Shell case sizes
July 20, 2019 / By Stan
Question: I know that ballistically the 9mm is a more effective round than the .38 spc, but... how is that possible? The .38 shell is much larger than the 9mm, so wouldn't it hold more powder?
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Best Answers: What makes a 9mm stronger than a.38 spc?

Otniel Otniel | 2 days ago
John pretty much got it, 9mm is built to take more pressure than the .38, the case size difference is the .38 was developed as a black powder cartridge which is much bulkier than smokeless and requires a larger volume to generate similar powers. To add to his answer more pressure in the 9mm means it fires at a higher velocity, which is what makes the difference. Bullet diameter is essentially the same (0.002" difference), bullets can be found in comparable weights such as 110 and 125 for .38 115 and 124 for 9mm It's not fair comparing 148 gr (wadcutter) vs 147 gr, or mentioning the 158 which has no real close 9mm counterpart. Take everything similar and you will get somewhere around a 200 fps advantage give or take for the 9mm; .38 +p evens this out a lot Actually if you look through a reloading manual powder charges are quite similar between the two when using the same powder and similar weight bullet. more case room = less pressure and vice-versa
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Lester Lester
Remember, it was filling the cases with powders of the day. The .38 Special is slightly older than the 9mm. Right in that time period, powders were being improved like crazy. So the 9mm could get more power out of less powder. Once they developed the specs for each cartridge, you couldn't just go and increase their power. It would damage the guns or be dangerous.
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Jamin Jamin
Actually the .38 sp bullet is .357" and the 9mm bullet is .355". It is all chamber pressure. The .357 case is .1" longer than the .38 sp case to prevent the .357 from being fired in a .38 sp that was designed for lower chamber pressure. Everything else but the chamber pressure is the same. The .357 is rated for a higher chamber pressure than the 9mm.
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Frank Frank
9 mm Parabellum is loaded to about twice the pressure of 38 Special, about 32,000 CUP vs. about 16,000 CUP. There's something to be said for having a case full of propellant, but there are also advantages to keeping pressures low.
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Dayton Dayton
It's slower and has more energy. It was loaded to be what a handgun caliber is supposed to be: heavy and slow. The 9mm is to damn fast to be an effective defensive handgun caliber. And it is easy to overpenetrate.
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