Why 10mm?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by ScottA, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    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?
     
  2. Wheelspin

    Wheelspin New Member

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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.
     

  3. Missileman

    Missileman New Member

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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...
     
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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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.
     
  5. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    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.
     
  6. freefall

    freefall New Member

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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.
     
  7. Dave T

    Dave T New Member

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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.

    Dave
     
  8. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO New Member

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    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! :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
  10. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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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.
     
  11. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    Go to Alliant, Hodgdon......

    1150..1250fps w/ 180gr is the norm.
     
  12. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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  13. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    So looking at the Hodgdon info...

    a hot 10mm 180gr load will produce 662 ft/lbs of muzzle energy
    a hot .40 180 gr load will produce 537 ft/lbs of muzzle energy

    That's an increase of 23% over the .40 round. Ok, now I'm starting to see some of its appeal.
     
  14. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    just govt efficiency in action. the govt wanted a more potent turn of the century and john browning gave em the 45ACP. fast forward over half a century the govt wanting a better gun and round got the 40sw spending millions when they coulda just issued 1911's...

    the 10mm and 40sw in my opinion are solutions in search of a problem.
     
  15. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    Check DoubleTap for some of their ballistics from a G20. These are the claimed stats on some of their hotter loads:

    135gr: 1600 fps / 767 ftlbs
    150gr: 1500 fps / 725 ftlbs
    165gr: 1425 fps / 744 ftlbs
    180gr: 1350 fps / 728 ftlbs
     
  16. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    My uncle who is very knowledged in firearms says the 10mm is the best all around handgun cartridge. He says it shoots flatter over longer distances. He has several 1911's in 10mm to prove his loyalty and ofcourse, he reloads his own.
     
  17. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    I would recommend the .357sig over the 10mm as a defensive weapon. :eek:
     
  18. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Only because you cannot get a Sigma in 10mm.:rolleyes:
     
  19. Shihan

    Shihan Active Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Touché. LOL
     
  20. masterPsmith

    masterPsmith New Member

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    I'll just stick with my 1911 in .45ACP,thankyou......

    Jim....