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Parabellum

Discussions on the small arms used by the Axis forces.

Parabellum

Postby KalaVelka on 23 Jan 2003 16:41

What kind of ammunition 9mm parabellum was/is? It is very common in submachine guns and some pistols but what does this parabellum mean?
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Postby Brig on 23 Jan 2003 19:26

a 9mm Parabellum used 9mm bullets. The same types used then in MP-40s, some PPKs, and used today quite commonly in Berettas and occasionally a Glock. 9mm is a very popular size ammunition in the US Government, having replaced the .45 caliber Colts that were used until about the mid-to-late 80s.

Hope this helped
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Parabellum

Postby Jack Nisley on 23 Jan 2003 23:18

Parabellum is Latin for "For War". Para = for and bellum = war. Supposedly it was the telegraph cable address of DWM, DeutschWaffen Fabrik in Berlin, the first manufactorer of the Luger pistol. This was initially manufactured for 7.65mm Luger ammunition , a bottlenecked cartridge using a 7.65mm diameter bullet. When Germany adopted the Luger in 1908, it wanted a bigger bullet and DWM opened out the neck of the case to its full diameter of 9mm and used a 9mm bullet. Also called 9mm Luger or 9mm x 19mm(?) for 9mm bullet diameter and 19mm long cartridge case. Found to be effective compromise, light enough for a soldier to carry a lot of ammo, moderate recoil, decent range and stopping power, particularly suited to submachine guns for these reasons. Used in countless firearms all over the world and manufactured just about everywhere.

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Postby Daniel L on 24 Jan 2003 00:19

Parabellum derives from the latin saying 'Si vis Pacem- para bellum'. It can be translated as 'If you want peace- prepare for war'.

Best regards/ Daniel
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Postby Mark V on 24 Jan 2003 01:46

Hi.

The 9mm Parabellum is the calibre for modern military sidearm. All others calibres are just curiosities nowdays.

And it is not Luger either, it is 9mm Parabellum, or 9x19. Luger is just American commercial name for ammo and original weapon, which by the way was accepted for German (Navy) service in 1904, 1908 model is the better known Army model P-08, and Swiss accepted Parabellum as their standard sidearm even earlier than German Navy, in 1900.

I wish our American friends would use more term Parabellum, but because the calibre is known there as Luger and changing that would just cause confusion, i won't mind that. But let one thing to be clear - People living in this side of Atlantic should never call it Luger !!, just use term 9mm Para for short...

It was not used in (Walther) PPK, you are talking about totally different calibre - 9mm Kurz (.380 Auto, 9x17). 9x19 is just too powerfull for a weapon with simple blowback action like PPK (or PP).

9mm Para is also the most widely used calibre in submachine-guns, mostly in very hot loadings, which don't give in pistols any benefits, on the contarary, just excessive muzzle-blast and higher operating pressure which stresses your pistol. Finland was the forerunner in SMG loadings for 9mm Para (like in SMG usage alltogether). Even before WW2 there was developed a hard loading using reinforced case design, very hard primers, and heavier bullet than normally (8 grams - 123 grains). Actually this load exceeded the specification for 9mm Para and if we want to be strict this loading (and many other SMG loadings) should not be called by that name at all.

BTW. The widely varied cyclic rates of fire on many SMGs in literature sources is just because of that. Using harder ammuniton increases the ROF. Just to make an example: Suomi SMGs ROF is stated in numerous sources as 700-900 rpm, and all of them are correct. There are slight differences between invidual weapons, but most significant factor is the ammunition. When firing normal pistol loading about 700 rpm might be normal, but when firing dedicated hard-ball ammo 800-900 rpm could be archieved.


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Postby KalaVelka on 24 Jan 2003 06:33

Thanks for all who posted =)
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Postby gabriel pagliarani on 24 Jan 2003 11:31

NATO 9mm PARABELLUM = 9mm x 19mm. Diam of bullet 9mm and length of cartridge 19mm. There also ammos 9mm x 21mm . These cartridges for civil use are 2mm longer than NATO PARABELLUM and cannot enter in the combustion chamber of a 9mm NATO PARABELLUM firearm. At the contrary a modern authomatic 9mm x 21 (out of NATO std) firearm could fire without any problem 9x19 NATO ammos: 2 mm accomodation in the combustion chamber are allowed and the internal powder charge is about the same exactly as barrel-out velocity.
In conclusion: if you buy a beautiful Beretta 98 9x21 (civilian purpose) you can use also NATO PARABELLUM 9x19 std. military forbidden ammos. If you are a soldier having your ordnance 9mm NATO PARABELLUM weapon, you cannot use 9x21 "civilian" ammos.
Buy a Beretta 98 9mmx21mm...the best pistol military-alike a free citizen could legally buy at today.
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Postby Mark V on 24 Jan 2003 12:04

Gabriel,

You are now talking about Italy (and maybe few countries that i have forgotten), where it is illegal for civilian to own a military calibre handgun. In most countries our Parabellums are all 9x19, civilian or military makes no difference.

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Postby Mark V on 24 Jan 2003 12:15

I also think that weapons chambered for 5.56 NATO are forbidden for civilian use in Italy.

....well, not that it matters. There are at least half dozen as good small calibre chamberings available.


Regards, Mark V


PS. IIRC Mexico is another country where is similar legislation about military calibres.
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Postby Zygmunt on 24 Jan 2003 18:00

Yeah, not all countries have laws against ownership of standard military calibres, but one thing which intrigued me; Apparently Israel has laws against the use (by anyone, for any purpose) of hand-loaded ( & reloaded) ammunition.

Anyone know of other countries with similar laws? What exactly is it suppose to prevent?

I can understand Israelis are paranoid about some civilians possessing ammunition, but why does it make a difference if they've made it or bought it?
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Postby Mark V on 24 Jan 2003 19:00

Zygmunt wrote:I can understand Israelis are paranoid about some civilians possessing ammunition, but why does it make a difference if they've made it or bought it?


Hi,

Just picture this: Gunstore near Tel Aviv, 2 men coming inside the store

- other asks: "Do you have 308 Winchester x-ammuniton available ?? OK - I'll have two boxes of them"

- other asks: "You sell reloading equipment ?? OK - I have 100 pounds of #4 size shots, nickel-plated if you have them, and 200 boxes of primers, and 20 pounds of x-mark powder, and 20 pounds x-mark powder and let's make also 20 pounds x-mark powder. Thats should cover my needs"

Which one is more dangerous ?? :D

Allowing reloading would mean that there would be huge stocks of material that could very easily be turned to suicide-bombs around in common hardware stores.


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Postby Zygmunt on 26 Jan 2003 14:23

Right, Mark, reloading powders (or at least some of the faster powders) could be described as "dual-use" because they can be utilised in bomb-making.

But just stopping an individual who is determined to make a bomb from buying the powder is a slight deterrent. So what if he has to buy 2,000 rounds (in small purchases, in different shops); He'll buy the 2,000 rounds, pull the bullets, salvage the primers, and get the powder that way.

I don't know how widespread 'in hardware stores' the powders would be; less common than normal pre-loaded factory ammunition I suspect. If the state can control the sale of ammunition, it can certainly control the sale of powder and primers.

People can cast their own bullets. They can even, if they are creative/desperate/talented, turn/draw their own cases, but making effective powder, and especially making effective primers is difficult.

Britain certainly had a terrorist problem for years, but the IRA never used smokeless propellants in its IEDs - they got Semtex from Libya, and dynamite from the US, and made their own with fertilizer and fuel.

I can see the theory of your point, but it just doesn't seem to work that way in practice.

The other answer I've had to the question is that handloaders may use bullets which would contravene the Geneva convention on projectiles, eg JHPs. Since most Israeli shooters may find themselves in combat at some point, maybe the Israelis are paranoid that some handloaded "not suitable for combat" ammunition would find its way to the front, and then complaints would be made to the UN.

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Postby Mark V on 26 Jan 2003 20:27

Hi.

Zygmunt wrote:But just stopping an individual who is determined to make a bomb from buying the powder is a slight deterrent. So what if he has to buy 2,000 rounds (in small purchases, in different shops); He'll buy the 2,000 rounds, pull the bullets, salvage the primers, and get the powder that way.



Agree, but it is much easier (less time consuming) to acquire material as reloading components.

Zygmunt wrote:Britain certainly had a terrorist problem for years, but the IRA never used smokeless propellants in its IEDs - they got Semtex from Libya, and dynamite from the US, and made their own with fertilizer and fuel.



IRA was (after the first battles of Provisional movement) in such good position on regards of equipment that it wasn't needed to settle to such primitive solutions. They had/have Semtex to be used for smaller bombs, or as burster-charges for ANFO bombs, and also proper fuzes were available. Quite sophisticated mortar-shells were made from pressure-bottles and were fired from vehicles even hundreds yards from target. Hell, they even almost got Thatcher that way.

Zygmunt wrote:The other answer I've had to the question is that handloaders may use bullets which would contravene the Geneva convention on projectiles, eg JHPs. Since most Israeli shooters may find themselves in combat at some point, maybe the Israelis are paranoid that some handloaded "not suitable for combat" ammunition would find its way to the front, and then complaints would be made to the UN.


:D If i would have to name a country that care the least to such regulations - Israel would be in my TOP10.

Maybe they first should scrap those armoured bulldozers, or tell their soldiers that busting 13 year old stone-throwers knee-caps with buttstock of assault rifle doesn't look so good on TV.

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Postby Zygmunt on 29 Jan 2003 15:24

Mark V wrote: :D If i would have to name a country that care the least to such regulations - Israel would be in my TOP10.


Agreed, but someone suggested it to me, so I thought I'd include that theory for completeness' sake.

I know there were some schemes to get Thatcher, but I think the PM you're thinking of - who was in 10 Downing street when a mortar bomb landed in the garden - was Major.

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Postby Mark V on 29 Jan 2003 20:02

Zygmunt wrote:I know there were some schemes to get Thatcher, but I think the PM you're thinking of - who was in 10 Downing street when a mortar bomb landed in the garden - was Major.
Zygmunt


You are right. Major it was.

That attack was against war cabinet and yes, Thatcher was out of the game at that time. Neverthless Thatcher narrowly escaped death in Brighton Party conference in 1984. But that was bomb, not mortar attack.

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