History of 10mm Ammunition
What do FBI agents, Miami Vice character; Sonny Crockett and real life Guitar Hero; Ted Nugent all have in common? They all have used a firearm chambered in 10mm Auto! Designed in 1983 by Colonel Jeff Cooper, the 10mm Auto was intended to be an improved version of the .45 ACP. Two key improvements were that the trajectory was flatter and that the bullet would impart more energy into the target. The cartridge would also be short enough and have a rimless case to make it useable in a semi-auto pistol.
After the tragic results of the 1986 Miami Shootout, the FBI Firearms Training Unit began to re-evaluate the firearms its agents used as the 9mm and .38 Special cartridges were not perfoming as needed. The FBI field tested the 10mm in a 1911 style platform before issuing the Smith & Wesson 1076 pistol to its agents in 1988. The FBI also determined during field trials that the recoil was too much for the average person to be able to be trained to use the 10mm competently, considering time and budgetary restraints. This lead the FBI to develop a lighter load that while delivering less recoil, was known for having functioning issues in the S&W pistol. Soon after, the .40 S&W was introduced and the 10mm was rapidly abandoned for the newer and more easily controlled .40 caliber round.
Although it is easy to write off the 10mm as being trumped by the .40 S&W, it really shouldn’t be done. The 10mm is a cartridge that performs exactly as its inventor wished. It has a muzzle velocity that is normally between 1300 and 1600 feet per second. This will yield velocities that can reach over 750 foot pounds of energy!
The downrange performance is equally impressive, the 10mm will retain more energy at 100 yards than most .45 ACP rounds have at the muzzle! Today the 10mm still has, and will likely always have a devoted group of followers. If a person can manage the recoil (which has been described as only a bit more than a .45 ACP) it is an excellent choice for self protection. Hunters in North America will be able to take most game with the 10mm. In Denmark it has been issued to elite troops who use it as a defense against polar bears!
The 10mm is still in production by all the major American ammo companies. The bullet weights range from 135-200 grains with hollow point bullets being the most prolific. There are also smaller companies such as Cor-Bon, Double Tap and Triton that make semi-custom, high performance ammo as well. Although not common in the shooting world, a 10mm pistol will most likely be a prized addition to any gun safe.
Discuss 10mm ammunition by adding your comment to the 3 comments below or by asking a new question
- Loop said: "This ammo is absolutely excellent, it ran flawlessly through my Glock 20 with no malfunctions. All of the rounds looked phenomenal no dinged casings, bad primers, or tarnishing on the casing or led bullet. This ammo is what I personally have loaded for my home defense round. Would I recommend this ammo to others? Yes, in fact I believe in it so much I trust my life to it."
- Loop said: "If you’re looking for something to shoot into paper targets then look no further. This ammo ran flawlessly through my glock 20. I put 300 rounds through it in one day, with absolutely no malfunctions. All of the rounds looked phenomenal no dinged casings, bad primers, or tarnished led on the bullets. This is excellent practice ammo for the price. If you are looking to use this as a self defense load you could if you wanted, but keep in mind it’s a FMJ and your almost guaranteed to have a pass through. I would recommend a JHP of some sort if that is your prerogative for your ammunition purchase."