Why 10mm?
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
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Default Why 10mm?

Some of the discussion about 10mm got me curious, so I checked out Federal's ballistic comparisons. I was surprised to find out much of the available .40 has superior ballistics to the 10mm, and pretty much all of the .45 does as well.

So why would you want 10mm? It costs much more and is difficult to find, but doesn't appear to give any increased performance?

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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Wasn't the 10mm created as an equivalent to the 357 magnum for use in autoloaders? Claimed to have better ballistics than a .40 for big game hunters who wanted to carry a semi-auto handgun for backup over a .44 magnum revolver.

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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I believe the 10mm came out before the .40 S&W--the .40 was a cut down 10mm case to fit in the frame of a double stack 9mm pistol yet have more energy and potential. Many of the first .40 pistol had problems because of the high pressure produced by the .40, but most of that has been corrected now. If the .40 would have come out first, there may have never been a 10mm...

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Old 06-09-2010, 02:37 PM   #4
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When the 10mm came out, it was for me a way to make Major caliber, have more rounds in my 1911a1 firearm, and keep track of my brass easier. The recoil of the original Norma loads (hot back then) was totally different that the 45, and I could get on target faster. It's easier to configure a 1911a1 platform for the 10mm, than the 40 (for me). Now they have downloaded the 10mm to match the 40, but back when, there would be no comparison.

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Old 06-09-2010, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelspin View Post
Wasn't the 10mm created as an equivalent to the 357 magnum for use in autoloaders? Claimed to have better ballistics than a .40 for big game hunters who wanted to carry a semi-auto handgun for backup over a .44 magnum revolver.
At least according to Federal's tables (there's probably other manufacturers making hotter stuff), the 10mm doesn't come anywhere close to the .357. Now the .357 Sig is right along side the .357 Magnum, that may be what you remembered. The 10mm compared to the .44 is downright anemic.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:36 PM   #6
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The 10mm was developed to be the ultimate carry handgun caliber. Original specs called for it to be nearly equal to a .41 magnum with a 200 grain bullet at 1200+ fps. Jeff Cooper got involved in a project with an outfit called Dornaus and Dixon to develop the "Bren Ten" pistol based on the CZ 75 platform. He wrote a couple of enthusiastic pieces about it, but they were never able to come up with a reliable magazine and the project foundered. Colt brought out the first reliable 10mm, the Delta Elite 1911. Irony, considering that the Bren was supposed to render the 1911 obsolete.
The FBI specified the 10mm caliber in the wake of the "Miami Shootout" in the early eighties where multiple hits with the 9mm failed to stop two criminals who carried on to kill several agents. This brought S&W into the 10mm game and for a few years the Bureau issued the 1006 or whatever they called it then.
Alas they soon discovered that the laws of physics work, even when the feds would rather they didn't, and a .41 mag level load is going to recoil like a .41 mag. So they issued new specs for 10 mm loading that equalled what is todays .40 S&W to accommodate recoil shy agents. Basically equalled .45 ACP ballistics, thus successfully re-inventing the wheel.
Anyways, since they no longer needed that long case to hold powder they weren't going to use, S&W and I forget which ammo company got together to bring out the .40 which they could stick a double handful of into a smaller grip frame. Voilas.

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Old 06-09-2010, 03:43 PM   #7
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Scott,

You are getting a false impression of the cartridge (10mm) by just looking at Federal. They loaded the FBI ammo at 40 S&W performance levels and have never changed it. As already stated the performance of the original 10mm is quite a bit over the 40 and even the much touted 357 SIG.

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Old 06-09-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Missileman
I believe the 10mm came out before the .40 S&W--the .40 was a cut down 10mm case to fit in the frame of a double stack 9mm pistol yet have more energy and potential. Many of the first .40 pistol had problems because of the high pressure produced by the .40, but most of that has been corrected now. If the .40 would have come out first, there may have never been a 10mm...
The .40S&W was developed after the FBI did an evaluation of handgun stopping power - and concluded that the 10mm was the best (even if only by a little) of all submitted for evaluation.
- - They then placed an order with Smith&Wesson for several hundred pistols.
Once the new pistols began arriving and their agents were using the guns, the agents complained about the recoil.
- - The FBI decided to reduce the powder charge to a sub-sonic level that came to be known as the "FBI load".
- - S&W, not being dummies, looked at the "FBI load" and saw that it made IPSC major power factor.
They then created a "new" round with a shorter case called - - - - - - - the .40S&W TA-DA!!

So if there was NOT a 10mm, there would likely NOT be a .40S&W!
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:22 PM   #9
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As others have pointed out (very well), you are comparing the light loaded "FBI" ammo in the 10mm to the .40 Short & Weak. The "subsonic" 10mm ammo is a joke. Candy Azz FBI agents could not handle the manly recoil of the standard 10mm ammo in their S&W 1076's. PROPERLY loaded the 10mm is superior to the .357 in every way and leaves the .40 in the dust. I carry the Double Tap or Pro Load 180 gr Gold Dots that make an honest 1300 fps out of my 1006 Smith. That leaves the others in the dust. With a steady hand and proper aim 100 yard coyotes get easily rolled.

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Old 06-09-2010, 05:14 PM   #10
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So someone point me to some ballistics on the way the rounds are supposed to be made. I'd be very interested to see what are the real possibilities of the round.

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