9mm Luger (Parabellum) vs .500 S&W Magnum Ammo Comparison - Ballistics – Foundry Outdoors
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9mm Luger (Parabellum) vs .500 S&W Magnum Ammo Comparison - Ballistics Info & Chart

The following ammunition cartridge ballistics information and chart can be used to approximately compare 9mm Luger (Parabellum) vs .500 S&W Magnum 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 .500 S&W Magnum 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 .500 S&W Magnum 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
(fps)
Energy
(ft-lb)
9mm Luger (Parabellum) Handgun 1140 360
.500 S&W Magnum Handgun 1700 2300






Velocity


As illustrated in the chart, 9mm Luger (Parabellum) rounds - on average - achieve a velocity of about 1140 feet per second (fps) while .500 S&W Magnum rounds travel at a velocity of 1700 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 .500 S&W Magnum bullets travel 1.9 times that same speed.

Various calibers



Energy



Furthermore, the muzzle energy of a 9mm Luger (Parabellum) round averages out to 360 ft-lb, while a .500 S&W Magnum round averages out to about 2300 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 .500 S&W Magnum round exiting the barrel has energy equal to the amount required to displace 2300 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 .500 S&W Magnum cartridge you're looking at purchasing.








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