9 X 21 IMI

Owning military caliber handguns is prohibited in many countries, like Italy. In the early 80’s, the 9mm Ultra gained a limited following there for competitive shooters, but the cartridge was far from ideal for IPSC matches, being underpowered even for minor power factor. Competitive shooter Erasmo Giordano came up with the idea of a case that is longer than the 9mm Parabellum case, the problem was that no company was willing to supply the brass, so he experimented with necking up 7,65 Luger cases that had a length of 21mm. Barrels were manufactured by Armando Piscetta, then owner of Jager Arms Factory. The cartridge was originally named the 9x21GP. Giordano and Piscetta submitted their design in a modified Colt Combat Commander early in 1982, but it was rejected by the Italian Authorities, as the gun could still fire standard 9mm Parabellum cases. At the same time Fiocchi also refused to load ammunition for them. Giordano at that stage replaced the cases with 9mm Steyr cases, shortened from 23mm to 21mm, with a more cylindrical case. The design was finally approved by the Italian Authorities, but at that stage handloading was the only option, as factory ammo was not available and the cartridge almost did not survive, until Israeli Military Industries adopted it in their UZI Defender Pistol. Tanfoglio Italy currently manufactures the 9×21 for IPSC match shooting. (Adapted from italianshooters.com) (Erlmeier, Brandt Ref. 140B).