Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between 9mm and 380

9mm vs 380

The 9mm and 380 are two popular ammunitions that are used for different gun types. But because they have the same diameter bullets, many are confused whether they are the same or interchangeable. The most recognizable difference between the 9mm and the 380 is the length of their shells. The 380 is considerably shorter than 9mm and you can easily tell them apart at first glance. That is why the 380 is also commonly known as the “9mm short”.

The single advantage of having a longer shell is that you can pack more powder into the shell. When the gun is fired, it is the powder that explodes and expands providing the pressure that expels the bullet out of the barrel. Having more powder means that you can put more force into the bullet. This may mean that the bullet can be fired at much higher velocities. But commonly, the 9mm also comes with a heavier bullet, which needs more energy to launch. The 9mm and 380 bullets may fly at the same velocity but the higher mass of the 9mm bullet means that it delivers more energy to the target. This directly correlates to stopping power and the ability to deal more damage. The only advantage to using 380 rounds is that the actual weapon can be made smaller and more concealable, a significant consideration for close-in bodyguards.

It is important to know what type of ammunition your firearm takes and make sure to use only that type. The 9mm and 380, although they have the same diameter bullet, could not be used interchangeably. The 9mm shell would be too long to fit into the 380 clip and the 380 shell would also not fit properly in the 9mm clip because it is too short. And even if you manage to fit a 9mm shell into a 380, it is still not advisable to do so. A firearm is designed to handle the stresses that are expected from the round to be used. If you used a 9mm round with more power in it, the forces exerted on the firearm may exceed its limits and damage it.


  1. The 9mm has a longer shell than the 380
  2. The 9mm has more powder than the 380
  3. The 9mm can have heavier bullets than the 380
  4. The 9mm and 380 bullets are not interchangeable

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  1. I notice you did not mention that the 9mm will not fit in the chamber because the 9mm brass is about 10 thousands of an inch larger than the 380.

  2. Amazing that a ‘difference between’ website doesn’t know the difference between a clip and a magazine. 9mm and .380 clips are fully interchangeable, considering they are the same size.

  3. Just for the record, the 9mm won’t fit in the 380 “magazine”.
    A clip is the term used for the retainer used in automatic weapon “belts” of ammunition.

  4. I thought a magazine was something to read.

  5. 9mm does not fit in a 380 mag, but 380 fits nicely in a 9 mm clip. interchange is not a good idea , unless in desperation, things might hit the fan.

  6. In a hard situation you could manually put a .380 in a 9mm chamber and it would work fine , albeit as a single fire weapon

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