9 Corto (380 ACP) M90

Hi everyone, I’m looking for informations about the 9 Corto FMJFN M90 72gr (as it is called in official papers) used by italian Guardia di Finanza from… 1990 i guess.



what information are you looking for?

Headstamp image would also be helpful!


I found this images on munizioni.eu, there they say that it was designed to increase the stopping power of the 380 ACP, I’m interested to know why it should be more powerful than normal 95gr ammo with a lighter bullet, why the GdF felt the need to adopt it and if it is the standard ball round (if it is still in service).


DSC_0242 DSC_0243

The first round is ordinari ball FMJ
The second is the first version for GDF truncated
The thirt is the second version for GDF whit cave nose

Guardia di Finanza is Italian financial police,and needs bullets for police use.
The last two cartridges allow a greater energy dispersion not being FMJ and having the flat or cave nose and bounces are reduced.
GDF is still using the beretta 84 now replacing whit the 92FS


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And these are the 2 version for training

-soft jacked plastic round nose


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Grucchak - I am assuming from the ogive of the bullet and the date of the headstamp that the projectile in the cartridge you show has a fairly large dimple in the nose of the cartridge.

I have two specimens of this round, dated 93 and 95 respectively, in the same headstamp format as you picture. On the later of my rounds, the meplat, a term describing the blunt tip of a bullet, has been slightly enlarged from that of the 93-dated cartridge, with a slightly larger and perhaps deeper dimple in the nose.

Overall cartridge weights of my two are 125 grains for the 93 date and 126.1 grains for the 95 date. A normal ball round with nominal bullet weight of 95 grains was weighed for comparison and weighed 144.9 grains. Therefore, the overall cartridge weights of the two dimple-nosed rounds are quite compatible with a bullet weight of approximately 72 grains, the weight you noted for the M90.

Regarding why “it should be more powerful than the normal 95gr ammo with a lighter bullet,” this is not a forum dedicated to the study of wound ballistics, but it certainly wont hurt to give a brief answer on this. There are two basic theories on so-called “stopping power.” Lightweight fast-moving bullets are more effective and heavy slow moving bullets are more effective. Remember, we are speaking here in the parameters of a relatively small pistol cartridge, not an assault rifle cartridge with bullet velocities hovering around 3,000 fps! In small-pistol parameters, it is my opinion (note the word opinion) that reducing the weight of a .380 cartridge to achieve higher velocity is, in real-world effectiveness, a step backwards. The dimpled nose may be of some help in that regard, but that would require knowing how it performs in human tissue thru experimentation and examination using proper “flesh substitutes” like properly-calibrated 10% Ballistic Gelatin. We do not have that information. Regardless, in the opinion of many, the deeper penetration of a heavier bullet, disrupting more tissue and causing more internal bleeding, do the job better that lightweight projectiles, again in pistol parameters, that do not penetrate as deeply and likely, in the case of a 72 grain 9 mm Corto bullet, do not expand reliably and well.

I don’t wish to start an argument here over which theory is correct. I am simply trying to answer your question of why such a round as the M90 9 mm Corto was manufactured.

I hope this is the information you were looking for. The only way to know why the Guardia di Finanza felt the need to adopt it would be to ask them, I think.

John Moss

Thanks a lot, they are the informations I was looking for and the images are very interesting.