MUSINGS ON TEN MILLIMETER January 30, 2012
I first became interested in the 10mm pistol cartridge when it didn’t exist. All of my ballistics calculations told me that that was “where the lines crossed” in terms of optimal ballistic performance with current metallurgy and propellants. I even “invented” the 10mm with a friend, making up dummies from .30 Remington cases and cast .38/40 bullets. When the factory cartridge came out, it was identical to mine, but 1/16″ shorter.
Naturally, I signed up to be the first kid on the block to have a Bren Ten — two of ‘em, in fact — but had to wait five years for magazines from the outfit someone actually called “Doorknob and Dickhead” in gun magazine print. I eventually sold my pair to the National Firearms Museum.
On the recommendation of a fellow gunwriter, the boss at European American Armory gave me a Witness in 10mm to use in _Forge of the Elders_. At the time, it had to be issued with ten-round magazines, which annoyed me to bits. From Brownell’s, I ordered a .45 ACP slide and barrel, and five magazines (whose natural capacity was ten rounds) and can switch back and forth in a minute. Once the ban was off, I bought 15-round 10mm magazines, plus a talented friend welded up the old ones so they went to full capacity, too.
Meanwhile, another friend of mine was having money trouble and offered to sell me a second generation Glock M20 at a very decent price. The original magazines won’t always drop free, but the new magazines will, and how likely am I to be concerned with that, given that this piece, too, is a 15+1 affair?
I’ve only had a few hundred rounds through each gun, but the idea I’ve heard expressed, that either one would be damaged or worn out by the cartridge, as intense as it is, doesn’t seem likely. I have seen what it does to mangle the Colt Delta Elite (very sad), so I know what to look for. The Witness is pretty heavy, while the Glock has that ability to flex which seems to nullify recoil to some extent. Neither is any worse to shoot, recoil-wise, than a 1911 in .45 ACP.
Disclaimer: I adore .44 Magnum (considering it “adequate”) and long to add “just one more” — the fully-underlugged 5″ M629 “Classic” — to my collection, so I may be more recoil-tolerant than some others.
I’m frequently asked about the fact that I regard 10mm as significantly more powerful than .45 ACP. My assessment of 10mm (indeed the power of any handgun cartridge) is made by multiplying the energy of the cartridge in foot/pounds times the cross-sectional area of the bullet in square inches. I’ve explained my reasoning elewhere, several times. .45 ACP (milspec) is a 59. Ten millimeter (Winchester Silvertip) is an 81. The “twice as powerful” I’m often asked about is from their energy, 369 ft./lbs. and 647 ft./lbs. respectively.
I guess I should add that I have S&W M610 revolvers in 10mm, both 5″ and 6 1/2″. I have used them extensively in competition (so has my wife Cathy) and can tell you that they are magic wands, bringing more accuracy and power to long-range handgun shooting than any other repeating handgun I know of.
I like all of my 10mms very much, although I wouldn’t mind adding an AMT Javelina longslide to my collection, as well as the 10mm conversion kit for my Grizzly. I also wish to hell that someone would build something like the M1 Carbine in 10mm.
So many guns, so little money …
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- Author :Administrator