Cartridge 9x21: photo, description, characteristics

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Cartridge 9x21: photo, description, characteristics
Cartridge 9x21: photo, description, characteristics

Probably, every person who is interested in the topic of weapons has heard about the 9x21 pistol cartridge. This is a really successful example of ammunition - one of the few developed in recent decades. Some experts do not even doubt that this cartridge is the future and in the coming years it will be able to displace the obsolete 9x18, developed more than half a century ago.

History of Creation

In the eighties, bulletproof vests began to be widely used in many large armies of the world. They have demonstrated their effectiveness and therefore entered the mandatory equipment of military personnel. Conventional 9x18 mm cartridges used by pistols and submachine guns were not effective enough against them.

Armor-piercing cartridge

Therefore, the Ministry of Defense decided to create a new ammunition capable of effectively penetrating at a long distance at least bulletproof vests of the first or second protection classes. As a result, in 1992, the 9x21 cartridge was developed. He quickly gained popularity, demonstrating excellent penetration of light body armor. Together withhigh energy and a significant muzzle velocity, this ensured his recognition - in subsequent years, several types of weapons were quickly developed for a completely new ammunition.

Cartridge features

As already mentioned, the new ammunition was created specifically to hit targets protected by bulletproof vests. However, as tests have shown, it was also effective in firing at vehicles and enemies hiding behind light shelters.

The dimensions of the 9x21 cartridge were very different from the usual 9x18, which was used as the basis for the development of a new ammunition. Let's start with a real bullet caliber - it was reduced from 9.27 millimeters to 9.05. In addition, the cartridge became much longer - from 24.8 millimeters to 32.7. Thanks to this, it became possible to dramatically increase the energy of the bullet. The proven 9x18 ammunition at best showed an energy of 500 joules, while the new one reached 638. This turned out to be quite enough to break through second-class body armor at a distance of up to 100 meters! But even the powerful American cartridge.44 Magnum cannot do this.

Pack of ammo

In addition, a special bullet was used - it received a heat-strengthened steel core, characterized by increased penetration. This is how the SP-10 cartridge appeared. It was distinguished not only by excellent penetrating ability, but also by the low weight of the bullet - only 6.7 grams. This provided excellent flatness and the ability to take small corrections over a long distance whensubmachine gun shooting.

Fighting ricochets

However, the increased power of the cartridge has led to a new problem. When firing indoors, the probability of ricochets sharply increased. But pistols and submachine guns are most often used indoors. How to shoot if a bullet, hitting an obstacle, can hit the shooter himself or a third party?

Specially for this case, a new ammunition was created - SP-11. In fact, this is the same 9x21 mm cartridge, but it had a softer bullet. The lead tip was deformed when it hit solid objects, which made it possible to almost completely eliminate the possibility of ricochets. Such a cartridge could no longer penetrate bulletproof vests of the second class of protection, but it did an excellent job with the first class. The use of lead resulted in the bullet being heavier at 8 grams.

Expansive Bullet

After the checks, it turned out that the SP-11 cartridge, although it had very good performance, lost its main initial plus. Therefore, it was decided to continue the work. It was not possible to return the penetration ability, while simultaneously reducing the likelihood of ricochets. But the expansive cartridge SP-12 was created. It was also quite effective against armor of the first class of protection, but when it hit the body of the enemy, it also opened up. Thanks to this, two goals were achieved at once. On the one hand, the enemy received a really terrible wound that could lead to death even if it hit the arm or leg. On the other hand, the possibility of piercing his body with subsequentinjury to third parties.

Cartridge, cartridge case, bullet

True, this cartridge had to work decently. At first, it was decided to use just a semi-shelled bullet. It was later decided that the expansive cavity greatly increased the effect of the hit. But this brought another problem - the ballistics of the bullet changed dramatically. Despite the fact that the mass of the bullet returned to 6.7 grams, the change in shape led to the fact that the shooter had to take unique corrections each time when using different types of ammunition. Of course, this is unacceptable. As a result, the problem was solved - the bullet received a special plastic tip. This did not affect the weight, but due to the fact that the blunt cut was closed, the streamlining of the bullet improved dramatically, so that the goal was achieved.

Weapon designed for ammunition

Of course, immediately after the appearance of a new cartridge, programs were launched to develop appropriate weapons for it.

The legendary "Gyurza"

The first successful model was the legendary SR-1 "Gyurza", adopted by special forces soldiers. It was developed in the period from 1993 to 1996 and immediately put into service, put into production. Along with a number of other advantages, he had a huge capacity store - as many as 18 rounds.

A few years later, the SR-2 "Veresk" appeared - a very successful submachine gun, distinguished by its compactness and low weight, but at the same time confidently hitting targets at a distance of up to 200 meters.

Finally, the last successfulThe development adopted was the Udav pistol, developed in 2016. Its light weight, long effective range and 18-round magazine make it an outstanding weapon.

Terrible "Veresk"

It is important that this weapon can perfectly use any 9x21 cartridge - SP-10, SP-11, SP-12 and others.

Israeli IMI

Often talking about the unusual caliber 9x21 mm, some experts claim that it was developed in Israel in the mid-eighties. However, they confuse the Russian development with the Israeli 9x21 IMI cartridge. Yes, such ammunition does exist.

Israeli patrons

However, the length of the cartridge is much smaller - only 29, 75. And it cannot boast of outstanding armor-piercing abilities. In addition, the energy of a bullet ranges from 520 to 570 joules - depending on the weapon used. Recall that in the Russian 9x21 this figure reaches 635 joules. Israeli ammunition is produced mainly for export to Italy, where the 9x19 military cartridge is prohibited for use by civilian shooters.


This concludes our article. Now you know all the main characteristics of the 9x21 mm cartridge. We also learned its history and main varieties.

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