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9×17 Browning Short, 9mm Kurz, .380ACP

9x17 Browning / 9mm Browning Short


The 9x17mm Browning Short cartridge is generally known in Europe as 9mm Browning Short. This is to distinguish it from the earlier and now obsolete 9mm Browning Long, which had a 20mm long case.

It was developed by John Browning in the USA, in order to improve the effectiveness of the Colt M1903 pistol. Names like Kurz and Corto just mean “short” in their respective languages, in this case. In the USA this cartridge was first introduced in 1908 alongside the Colt M1908 pistol, as .380 ACP. In Europe this cartridge was introduced around 1912, alongside another Browning creation, the FN Model 1910 pistol.

It must be noted that in the USA this cartridge never gained popularity as a service round; it was usually referred to as a “pocket gun” round, and the minimum adequate chambering for self-defence. On the other hand, in Europe this round quickly found favor among many military and police organizations, and between the wars it was adopted as a standard military pistol loading in countries like Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), Italy and former Yugoslavia (now various countries including Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Montenegro). The military role for this cartridge mostly ended during the fifties with the establishing of NATO and the adoption of the more powerful 9×19 round as the NATO standard.

However, it served as a police round in many countries (such as Germany, Italy and Switzerland) up until the seventies, and is still used to a limited extent by law enforcement services like the Italian Guardia di Finanza.

This cartridge is available in a wide spectrum of loadings, either with military-type jacketed bullets or the more popular self-defence and police loads with hollowpoint bullets. The case is straight, usually made of brass, but this ammunition may also be found with aluminum (made in the USA) or steel cases (made in Russia).



Bullet weight, g

Muzzle velocity, m/s

Muzzle energy, J



Fiocci, Italy




Special service load issued by Guardia di Finanza (Italy)

SilverTip JHP

Winchester, USA




Modern commercial load


FN, Belgium




Original load


Remington, USA




Modern commercial load