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9x23 Winchester

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by The_woodsman, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Well-Known Member

    This is probably the most versatile autoloader cartridge in existence. Why isn't this the most popular cartridge chambered?

    Can someone point me in the direction of a precision pistol that is chambered for this cartridge?
  2. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    Because the 10mm can use heavier bullets, and the 9x25 is faster?

    In all honesty, I don't know.
  3. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    That title is already taken. The 10mm can be loaded anywhere from weak .40 S&W levels up to mid-level .41 magnum-well above the 9x23. and it can use bullets up to 230 grains, where the 9x23 is limited to 147.

    Besides, the 9x23 basically duplicates ballistics of the much older .38 Super (9x22.5, if you will) or the modern .357 Sig, but with more expensive ammunition. All three can drive 124 grain pills at 1,400 FPS or better, but the .38 Super is more available and cheaper, and the .357 Sig can do it from a small frame pistol. That kinda makes the 9x23 the answer to a question that was never asked.
  4. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Isn't the Winchester 9x23 what was the Winchester 9mm Magnum which never caught on as it passed the peak of the "Magnum" naming craze, and has been pointed out offered little more than a .38Super rehash.

    They also had a Winchester .45 Magnum too which has pretty much disappeared -- LAR Grizzly was the only auto I'd ever actually seen chambered for it and these certainly weren't common or easy to find.

  5. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    No. The 9mm Win Mag was quite a bit longer (almost 1/4") and more powerful, and even more ill-fated than the 9x23. IIRC, the Wildey was the only autoloader ever chambered for the 9mm WM (though it seems the AMT automag might have been briefly; They did the little-known 10mm Magnum in the AM IV).

    The Automag IV and Wildey were also chambered for .45 WM. Unlike the 9mm WM, the .45 WM truly did offer a significant performance increase over all contemporary .45 caliber pistol cartridges. A 185 gr. bullet at 1850 FPS (1400 ft/lbs) or a 260 gr. pill at 1,500 FPS (1,300 ft/lbs) is pretty respectable, falling just a tad short of the mighty .50 AE.

    Oddly enough, I saw several boxes of .45 WM at Sportmans Warehouse not too long ago.
  6. skinewmexico

    skinewmexico Well-Known Member

    You left out 9mm Largo.
  7. herohog

    herohog Well-Known Member

    9mm Winchester Magnum = 9x29. I have and shoot one. It's an AMT AutoMag III Stainless Steel Long-slide. 9x23 Winchester can actually out perform the 9mm WinMag by a slight amount.
  8. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Well-Known Member

    Neither the .357 sig nor the .38 super are capable of producing 9x23 winchester energies out of the same guns. Both the .38S and the .357S are less capable energy wise than the 9x23W.

    The 9x23 Winchester is the closest thing in an auto round to the .357 magnum - which is probably the most versatile handgun round. It also holds the crown of being the best defense cartridge tested by man.

    The 10mm magnum has quite a bit more recoil if loaded as originally designed than other common auto cartridges. It also has reportedly larger muzzle blast/flash than other common auto cartridges. Loaded down, there is no advantage to the round at all.

    9x23 Winchester will have better penetration than the 10mm will - this may be undesired in a urban self defense scenario where bullets can continue to travel through the target, but sometimes penetration is a positive thing.

    9x23 Winchester is small diameter than 10mm allowing for more cartridge capacity than 10mm in the same length magazine.

    My personal interest in the cartridge is from a practical standpoint...Which gun can I hunt small game without leaving a giant hole and yet have enough energy for which to hunt larger game with as well as using it for defense purposes.

    9x23 winchester cases are solid enough to be reloaded multiple times.

    There are lots of advantages to this cartridge that hardly anyone THINKS to ask the question about...
  9. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member


    Great Cartridge! Used to shoot the round out of my 38SA Witness. Very Very amusing. 125gr at ~1500 fps. 18 rounds of that. :)

    I wouldn't call it as versatile as 10mm, but it definitely works. Recoil is much milder. Why would it have better penetration?

    Expensive? Not really. No need for special dies. My 9x19 dies work splendidly. I would much rather reload 9x23 Win than 357SIG.

    Want one, get one!

    It is a good round. Stock up on brass though. I suspect you can use the Starline 9mm Super comp brass for plinking though.
  10. M40A1

    M40A1 Well-Known Member

    If you are going to use the 9x23 for small game and don't want giant holes in your game (or just pieces parts in some cases) don't use the 9x23 Winchester Silvertips! Use a FMJ, flat point or Hornady XTP.
  11. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    I don't know why its more popular. Its got a loyal following among certain circles, though.

    I really like mine.
  12. platform

    platform Well-Known Member

    I think .45 is the only 'large frame' semi-auto cartridge that will be 'popular' in US -- just due to its history and
    the fact that it does not
    break into pieces the 1911 style semiautos :).

    10mm, .38 super,
    .22 reed express,
    7.62x25, .460 rowland

    are my interests as well,
    but I think combined
    they will be purchased
    by less than 10% of customers.
  13. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Because it's just as obscure here in the US as the 9x23. I mentioned the .38 Super and .357 Sig because they are relatively common.

    You have experience with the 10mm Magnum? You do understand that it is a very different cartridge than the 10mm Auto, and was only chambered in the AMT Automag IV and for a very short amount of time. It is considerably more potent than the 10mm auto or any 9mm cartridge ever made.

    The 10mm Mag is on the left, with a standard 10mm auto on the right. (yeah, I have the brass, just no 10mm mag pistol....yet:D)


    Source? The 200 gr. FMJ 10mm loaded to full potential is hard to beat short of a .44 mag or better with hard cast bullets WRT penetration.
  14. The_woodsman

    The_woodsman Well-Known Member

    That 10MM magnum was a typo... I meant 10mm auto.

    Physics calculations support my statement that 9x23 winchester will out penetrate 10mm auto rounds.

    It's as simple as the fpe/impact area ratio.

    If you could load up a 10mm auto cartridge in such a manner that the fpe exceeded 738 at the muzzle you would just be matching the penetration of the stock Winchester 124g 9x23 winchester load. 10mm doesn't even compare to 9x23 because there are no SAAMI specs for 9x23. You can load 9x23 safely to much higher velocities than Winchester is loading their cartridges to. The max SAAMI for 10mm auto equates to about 788 fpe, so you're at a loss when the two are compared for potential penetration.

    As for just pure energy, comparing Winchester shelf ammo lots the 124g winchester load has 587 fpe, whereas the 10mm load has 649 fpe...Not really all that much difference.

    For comparison, .38 super has 427 fpe, and .357 sig has 506 fpe. There are larger differences in the energies between .357 sig and 9x23 winchester than between 9x23 winchester and 10mm auto. Of course you can boost both of them up with handloading to great extent, but its all preference when it comes down to the method of how the energy is displaced I suppose.

    I am really looking for an ultimate versatile handgun cartridge for using as a woods gun. I personally like the smaller diameter and higher speed of the 9x23 and/or .357 mag, because on hunting animals penetration is important as anyone who has ever shot small-medium sized mammals knows. I'm not much interested in wheelguns though (so .357m is out)

    I am under the opinion that 10mm is a compromise round. I reload, but I buy store ammo quite a bit too.

    Truth is, I'm just sick of this big fat .45 gun and want to have a more efficient bullet that can be more practical for a greater variety of use.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  15. funnelcake

    funnelcake Well-Known Member

    If I was going to hunt deer, etc. with a pistol, I'd hands-down choose a 10mm over the 9x23W. I'm a big fan of both, so hopefully being objective. I'd really like to hear someone account actual performance e.g. recovered. Take a 125gr. in the 9 & 200 in the 10, both hard-cast LFN and loaded max --I can pretty much figure the bigger wallop.

  16. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

    It is?? How is that a measure of penetration?
    220gr 10mm has a higher sectional density than 124 gr 9mm.

    What makes the 9x23 Win interesting to me as compared to 10mm is the considerably reduced recoil. 10mm is a better performing round (it's bigger duh!), but definintely harder to shoot.
  17. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Well-Known Member

    If it was between a 9mm and a 10mm, I would get a 10mm platform then have a 9x25 barrel on hand. Outperforms the 9x23 easily.
  18. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Actually, it's not. Many factors, like velocity, ogive shape, sectional density, bullet design, bullet construction and even bullet RPM. And a bullet that penetrates very deeply in one medium might not go very far at all in another material.

    Terminal performance is not a simple equation; it's a very complicated, dynamic phenomenon that can only be accurately determined by real world testing.

    Just because there is no SAAMI spec doesn't mean you can safely load a cartridge however you want. But don't let that stop you :rolleyes: Just make sure you get it on video so we can all watch the guy who blew his hand off because he thought his 9x23mm pistol could be loaded like a .454 Casull on youtube.

    The Winchester cases and properly made barrels were designed to handle 50,000 CUP. That's high for a handgun round, but certainly not impossible to exceed.

    Many of us on this board thought it was all about muzzle energy when we first started to dabble in guns. As we grew older, did some reading and, most importantly, actually started buying guns, loading cartridges and testing them, we came to understand that there are many, many variables that determine a given cartridges performance under a specific set of circumstances.
  19. Mastiff

    Mastiff Well-Known Member

    Haven't you read Clark's posts?
    From Post #21 on http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1667&highlight=tokarev+9x23

    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

    I converted a Tokarev or two to 9x23mm by reaming out a 9x19mm barrel.
    The Tokarevs are designed for the 7.62x25mm Tokarev round with an OAL of 1.35".

    That is longer than the magazine design for 45acp at 1.275" or 9x19mm Luger at 1.169"

    IIRC, the 9x23mm cartridge is not SAAMI registered, but most put the OAL at 1.245"

    I have been shooting 9x23 in my Tokarev with:
    158 gr Hornady XTP JHP and 16 gr of Power Pistol, 1.36"
    In contrast, the Alliant max load for 357 magnum is:
    158 gr Hornady XTP JHP and 8 gr of Power Pistol, 1.575"

    For those who know what that means, they can see my Tokarev has gone atomic with 9x23mm

    I also have converted a Star Super B.
    That pistol frame with long enough magazine for 9mm Largo, but is chambered for 9x19.
    I converted one for 9x23mm and have been shooting it with
    158 gr LSWC, 10 gr LONGSHOT, 1.129"
    In contrast, Hodgdon in 2002 showed for maximum load for 357 magnum:
    158 gr HNDY XTP JHP, 8.4 gr LONGSHOT, 1.580" 1394 fps, 43,200 c.u.p.

    To deal with heavy recoil, I reamed out the recoil spring coweling of the Star slide from .431" to .4375", to use a spring from Wolff gunsmith pak #14 with OD = .433". More can be reamed out and a still better spring can be used, the guide rod must be reduced in diameter.

    What does it all mean?
    My conversions are much cheaper and more powerful than Dane Burns, but his look like jewelry for you ladies.

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