The effect of Nb microalloying on structure and physical properties of quenched and tempered 13%Cr martensitic stainless steel was investigated. Excellent strength and adequate toughness properties were obtained by 0.10 wt% Nb addition to low interstitial (N 0.01wt%, C < 0.02wt%) steel. The effect of Nb in 13%Cr steels with high N content was also studied in a commercial martensitic stainless steel sample containing higher levels of N and also alloyed with V. The microstructure, precipitate morphology and dispersion and volume fraction of reverse austenite were characterized. The strength properties obtained in the steel with 0.10%Nb are significantly higher than those of the V-containing steel. The study shows that whereas amount, size and dispersion of precipitates of microalloying elements contribute to enhanced strength, the optimum volume fraction of reverse austenite formed contributes to enhanced ductility and toughness properties. More importantly, high Nb additions to low N -13%Cr-1%Mo steel are found to improve significantly resistance against pitting corrosion significantly.