One of the least successful of Browning's pistol cartridges, it was too powerful for a blowback pistol and not powerful enough to be considered for the United States Military. However, it did see small but steady sales up until the introduction of the more powerful .38 Super. Europe would eventually favor the 9 mm Para cartridge developed from the 7.65 mm Parabellum. The Luger was ballistically similar to the .38 ACP but utilized a smaller case and higher pressures. Browning himself was not done with 9 mm cartridges and would soon introduce the 9 mm Browning Long (9x20mm) in 1903 and the .380 ACP (9x17mm Short) in 1908.
There are over a dozen autoloading pistol cartridges, both semi-rimmed and rimless, in this caliber. Often, foreign or ambiguous headstamps make identification impossible. When in doubt, it is best not to fire suspicious cartridges in any firearm.