9mm Steyr, .38 Auto and 9x23mm

Discussion in 'Ammunition and Reloading' started by Netfotoj, May 20, 2007.

  1. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member

    Do any of my fellow Steyroids have any knowledge of just what exactly 9mm Steyr is? I've seen references to it, googled the heck out of it and all I know is it's a round which Steyr apparently developed for some of their old pre-WWI pistols and is apparently dead as a dodo, except for handloading.

    What I don't know is exactly what it is? Is it the same as 9x21mm, which Steyr currently manufactures and offers for the MA1s in Europe?

    I ran across references to 9mm Steyr while researching .38 Super pistols, most if not all of which can also reliably chamber and shoot 9x23 Winchester. I'm saving up now for a .38 Super pistol and unless I strike oil or a rich uncle dies, it's going to be an EAA Witness Steel. The only other .38 Super pistols currently being made are by Colt, Springfield and Taurus (that I could find) and besides the Colts and Sprinfields being way out of my price range, they're also 1911 designs with single-stack mags. The Taurus is cheaper, but also a 1911 single-stack.

    The EAA is double-stack with an eye-popping 18-round magazine and very reasonably priced, though not stocked by any dealers in my area. I'll have to get a dealer to order me one.

    The .38 Super round is like a super-charged 9mm, ballistically speaking, and the 9x23 Win is even hotter still. Sounds like the ideal car gun to me, plenty of power, lots of capacity and cheap enough to get stolen without ruining your decade. I traded away my FEG Browning Hi-Power to get my Kel Tec P-11 and now I'm having to use one of my three "essential" pistols for car carry and it makes me nervous. If someone ripped off my M357-A1, my G9 or my S&W 669, I'd be ticked off for ages to come.

    But like I was forced to do when I bought my M357-A1, I'm making choices based on all the knowledge I can gather without any actual gun-in-hand, how-does-she-shoot-and-feel-to-me experience. Anyone with any actual experience with .38 Super, 9X23 Win and EAA, please enlighten me. And satisfy my curiousity about 9mm Steyr, too, please. :mrgreen:
  2. bigtaco

    bigtaco Active Member

    i shot a kimber in .38 super. it was pretty hot. very snappy. it wasn't that it kicked hard. but the recoil it had all comes at once. more like a punch than a push.

    .38 super does pack quite a wallop ballistically. and with it's comeback via the ipsc shooters, i think ammo will only become more available over time.

    eaa has gotten mixed reviews. some love it, some hate it. but you took a chance on the kel-tec which is in a similar boat, and assuming that it ran fine, i'm sure you'd like it.

    not sure about 9mm steyr. maybe olli knows more and can enlighten us.

  3. West01

    West01 New Member

  4. some_finn

    some_finn Guest

    According to Cartridges of the World (10th Ed.) the 9mm Steyr's case is 1.30" long whereas the 9x21's is only 1.16". 9x23 is 1.245" so 9mm Steyr is a tiny bit longer still.

    9mm Steyr was the standard Austrian Army cartridge for the Steyr Model 1912. Only Romania and Chile used this pistol and cartridge in addition to Austria.
    According to the book it's often confused with 9mm Bergmann-Bayard, but they are in fact two different cartridges and the B-B has yet a bit longer case.
    Ballistically 9mm Steyr is the equal of .38 Colt Automatic (but not .38 Super, at least the original loading). In the range of 1200 fps for a 115gr bullet.
  5. Netfotoj

    Netfotoj Premium Member


    God help me for saying this (as a loyal Steyroid) but that is one UGLY pistol! It's a Steyr Model 1912, which so far as I've been able to determine is one of the few pistols (maybe the only) ever chambered for 9mm Steyr cartridges.

    The Guns & Ammo article on the Bergmann Bayard M1910/21 pistol, linked above by West01, refers to "the hefty 9mm Steyr rounds, which feature a 115-grain FMJ at nearly 1,100 fps" which the author says was the round for which that rare Bergmann Bayard M1910/21 pistol was chambered.

    But as some_finn notes,
    Here's the Bergmann Bayard M1910/21 pistol, which at least is prettier than the Steyr Model 1912.


    Anyway, I revived this dead thread because of what I read in the September issue of Gun World. It has an article about the comeback of the famous 1911 custom gunsmith Terry Tussey, who is somewhat recovered from paralysis after a disastrous bicycle accident.

    The article features a custom 1911 Tussey built in 9x23, a round which writer Paul Hantke notes was developed as an improvement on the semi-rimmed case of .38 Super "which can cause reliability problems in double-column magazines and provide a little more powder room so IPSC shooters could make Major Caliber with more reliability and no '.38 Super Face' from blown primers." :shock:

    Now there's a pause for thought about whether I oughta buy a .38 Super pistol. At least it will also shoot 9x23, which is what I'm really after anyway.

    Hantke also notes that Winchester provides three 9x23 loads and Cor-Bon also makes one factory load. (That's good to know. Still be harder to find than 357 Sig and 10mm, but not impossible.) And he adds that 9x23 "easily duplicates" the performance of 357 Sig. Here's the numbers on all three:

    Caliber/Grains/Type/Mfg./FPS Muzzle/Ft.Lbs. Muzzle
    357 Sig/125 /JHP /Gold Dot DoubleTap/1450/584
    .38 Super/125/JHP/Winchester /1240/427

    So as the man said, 9x23 is indeed a bit hotter than 357 Sig and a lot hotter than .38 Super.

    Then Gun World editor Jan Libourel tossed in some more info about 9x23 on his commentary page.

    He notes that 9x19 has a tapered case, starting at the base at .392 and tapering to .380 at case mouth. The 9x21 has the same taper, but of course, 2mm longer; .754 vs. .830 comparing 9x19 to 9x21.

    In 1996 Winchester introduced the 9x23, same tapered case lengthened to .900, Libourel writes. He adds the 97-year-old 9mm Bergmann-Bayard is almost identical in length at .901. (His figures are case length and I believe the numbers some_finn quotes are overall length, case and projectile.)

    Libourel writes that .38 Super is straight-walled and its rimless counterpart is the 9mm Steyr of 1912.

    The Gun & Ammo writer, Dennis Adler, notes there is a difference between "original 9mm Steyr ammunition and new Fiocchi 9mm Steyr rounds, which are slightly shorter than the original 9mm Bergmann Bayard and will not function as reliably in the M910/21."

    I'm not sure what I know about this topic now, but at least it's more than I knew before. :mrgreen:
  6. MrApathy

    MrApathy Active Member

    Rock Island Armory makes a 1911 in 38 super with reasonable price.

    few pistols in 9mm steyr around obscure and fiochici still produces some.