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9X21 and 9X19 cartridges.jpg
9×21mm (left) and parent 9×19mm Parabellum (right) cartridges
Type Pistol
Place of origin Israel
Production history
Designer Israel Military Industries
Parent case 9×19mm Parabellum
Case type Rimless, straight
Bullet diameter 9.03 mm (0.356 in)
Neck diameter 9.63 mm (0.379 in)
Base diameter 9.93 mm (0.391 in)
Rim diameter 9.96 mm (0.392 in)
Rim thickness 1.27 mm (0.050 in)
Case length 21.15 mm (0.833 in)
Overall length 29.75 mm (1.171 in)
Case capacity 1.01 cm3 (15.6 gr H2O)
Rifling twist 254 mm (1 in 10 in)
Primer type Small pistol
Maximum pressure 235.00 MPa (34,084 psi)
Ballistic performance
Bullet mass/type Velocity Energy
7.45 g (115 gr) FMJ 390 m/s (1,300 ft/s) 570 J (420 ft⋅lbf)
8.00 g (123 gr) FMJ 360 m/s (1,200 ft/s) 518 J (382 ft⋅lbf)
Source(s): C.I.P.[1]

The 9×21mm pistol cartridge (also known as the 9×21mm IMI or 9 mm IMI) was designed by Israel Military Industries for those markets where military service cartridges, like the 9×19mm Parabellum, are banned by law for civilian use.


Based on the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge, the case was lengthened from 19.05 to 21.15 mm (0.750 to 0.833 in). The bullet sits slightly deeper in the case, which results in almost the same overall length as the 9×19mm Parabellum cartridge (29.69 to 29.75 mm (1.169 to 1.171 in)).


As it is a rimless round, the 9×21mm is used in USPSA/IPSC competition in Open class firearms. A rimless case is preferred because, unlike rimmed cartridges, it will not tend to lock together with other rounds in a double-column magazine, resulting in a malfunction. As other .38 Super–based rimless cartridges became available, the 9×21mm decreased in popularity in the United States for competition use, but it is still widely used in the rest of the world.


  • 9×21mm IMI
  • 9 mm IMI
  • Winchester 9×21mm WIN [124-gr. Bullet]

Cartridge dimensions[edit]

The 9×21mm has 1.01 ml (15.5 grains H2O) cartridge case capacity.


9×21mm maximum C.I.P. cartridge dimensions.[1] All sizes in millimeters (mm).

The common rifling twist rate for this cartridge is 254 mm (1 in 10 in), 4 grooves, Ø lands = 8.79 mm, Ø grooves = 9.03 mm, land width = 3.80 mm and the primer type is small pistol.

According to the official C.I.P. (Commission Internationale Permanente pour l'épreuve des armes à feu portatives) guidelines, the 9×21mm case can handle up to 235 MPa (34,100 psi) piezo pressure. In C.I.P. regulated countries every pistol cartridge combo has to be proofed at 130% of this maximum C.I.P. pressure to certify for sale to consumers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "C.I.P. decisions, texts and tables - free current C.I.P. CD-ROM version download (ZIP and RAR format)". Archived from the original on June 6, 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-17.