9mm Luger (Parabellum) vs .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) Ammo Comparison - Ba – Foundry Outdoors

9mm Luger (Parabellum) vs .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info & Chart

The following ammunition cartridge ballistics information and chart can be used to approximately compare 9mm Luger (Parabellum) vs .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) ammo rounds. Please note, the following information reflects the estimated average ballistics for each caliber and does not pertain to a particular manufacturer, bullet weight, or jacketing type. As such, the following is for comparative information purposes only and should not be used to make precise predictions of the trajectory, performance, or true ballistics of any particular 9mm Luger (Parabellum) or .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) rounds for hunting, target shooting, plinking, or any other usage. The decision for which round is better for a given application should be made with complete information, and this article simply serves as a comparative guide, not the final say.

For more detailed ballistics information please refer to the exact round in question or contact the manufacturer for the pertinent information. True 9mm Luger (Parabellum) and .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) ballistics information can vary widely from the displayed information, and it is important to understand that the particular characteristics of a given round can make a substantive difference in its true performance.

Caliber Type Velocity
9mm Luger (Parabellum) Handgun 1140 360
.45 Colt (LC Long Colt) Handgun 1050 500


As illustrated in the chart, 9mm Luger (Parabellum) rounds - on average - achieve a velocity of about 1140 feet per second (fps) while .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) rounds travel at a velocity of 1050 fps. To put this into perspective, a Boeing 737 commercial airliner travels at a cruising speed of 600 mph, or 880 fps. That is to say, 9mm Luger (Parabellum) bullets travel 1.3 times the speed of a 737 airplane at cruising speed, while .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) bullets travel 1.2 times that same speed.

Various calibers


Furthermore, the muzzle energy of a 9mm Luger (Parabellum) round averages out to 360 ft-lb, while a .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) round averages out to about 500 ft-lb. One way to think about this is as such: a foot-pound is a unit of energy equal to the amount of energy required to raise a weight of one pound a distance of one foot. So a 9mm Luger (Parabellum) round exits the barrel with kinetic energy equal to the energy required for linear vertical displacement of 360 pounds through a one foot distance, while a .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) round exiting the barrel has energy equal to the amount required to displace 500 pounds over the same one foot distance. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to hunting, muzzle energy is what many hunters look at when deciding on what caliber of firearm / ammunition to select. Generally speaking, the higher the muzzle energy, the higher the stopping power.

Again, the above is for comparative information purposes only, and you should consult the exact ballistics for the particular 9mm Luger (Parabellum) or .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) cartridge you're looking at purchasing.

Please click the above links to take a look at all of the 9mm Luger (Parabellum) and .45 Colt (LC Long Colt) ammo we have in stock and ready to ship, and let us know any parting thoughts in the comment section below.

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Steve Henderson - Nov 16, 2022

Although I am a HUGE fan of .45 colt (much more than 9mm), I think this comparison is a little optimistic for the .45 colt. Most standard pressure rounds in this caliber are far below 1000 fps. I personally wouldn’t shoot anything that powerful in my single-action revolvers…I’m sure they could handle it, but I like to be extra careful. I think the 9mm is quite a bit faster than your average .45 colt round.

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