Since I covered the .356 TSW and the 9x23mm, it seems appropriate that I should mention the brief reign of terror of the 9x25mm Dillon.

Randy Shelley on the creation of the 9x25mm Dillon:

“I have never shot competition, in my life. Yes, I shoot a lot, but not competition. I bought a Bo Clerke 38/45 conversion to go in my 1911, from a friend of mine. I was impressed with how well it performed.

Working at Dillon, and the guys trying to meet major power factor with 38 super were complaining that our dies were not good. Well the problem was they were overloading the 38 Super, and blowing the web completely out at the base of the case. Much like .40 cal Glock fired brass does today. I decided that 10mm was the perfect case to neck down, because the brass was originally designed to handle 44,000 psi.

We ordered a 38 super barrel to fit Eric Harvey’s 1911. I had Xavier Gonzales, draw my design to send to JGS for reamers to be made. I built the prototype on a WW2 1911. It actually worked using the 45 ACP magazine, and no change to the slide face, other than a new extractor. Then I proved it worked. All of this happened in 1987 to 1988.

In 1992 or 1993, Nyle Leatham came back from the world shoot in Australia, he handed me a cartridge very similar to mine. I believe it was called 9mm Super G. I reached in my desk drawer at work and pulled out my cartridge, and told him, I built my version several years ago. He told me Rob wanted to experiment with it, so I handed him the reamers, for Rob to take back to Springfield Armory. Rob Leatham is the one who took the cartridge, to the next level.”

(Note: The Australians hosted the 1990 IPSC World Shoot. The next World Shoot wasn’t until 1993 in the United Kingdom.)

Rob Leatham on the 9x25mm Dillon:

“Ok, so here is the story. Wanted to make a comp work really well so threw out the whole concept of being efficient and instead went for the most slow powder I could get in the case. Lowest flipping loads used N110, H110 and H108. They were very loud! Severe concussion and sharp recoiling. was able to minimize muzzle flip to a degree that today’s “flat shooting” guns could only dream about. Wore comp baffles out in the first port very quickly. Broke several STI style frames. Separated the plastic part from the metal part and split the plastic where it is molded over the metal insert.

The result was a setup that indeed had very little muzzle flip at the cost of recoil, muzzle blast and expense to shoot. So the last time I used 9×25 was in 1995 when I won open Nationals. had gotten so tired of the downsides that I was loading 135 grain bullets with N350. Exactly what I shot for years after in 9×23, 9×21 and 9×19 Major… I still have several of these things laying around somewhere. As to the light bullets, I did work up a 90 grain load but it separated cases and was really no better than the 115 grain loads.I also used several different case specs, but were just different length necks.

On close targets it would pepper the cardboard with hundreds of little holes from unburned powder grains… And blew out several overhead lights on a couple indoor ranges.”

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