Category name:10mm

Stories of the Death of 40S&W are Greatly Exaggerated

40 ounces – wait – what?

To be honest, when the 40S&W came out in in 1990 I was under-whelmed. I felt that the flexibility of the 10mm was close to ideal and that the 40S&W would never catch on. I actually was a fan of Evan Whildin’s of Action Arms Limited (think Uzi) 41 Action Express. Ironically, the 41AE was designed to replicate the 41 Magnum which itself was designed as the “ideal” law enforcement cartridge (according to Bill Jordan et al)

But I was sure wrong about the 40S&W! At the time it seemed to fill in the middle-ground and resolve the great caliber debate: 9mm vs 45ACP, fast vs slow, single-stack vs double-stack mags, light vs heavy. It caught on quickly and like a wild fire among law enforcement and quickly became the dominant round. I can’t help but think that the fact that we were under the 1994 high capacity magazine ban limiting capacity helped fuel its popularity – at least in the civilian market.

Despite this, it would take me about a decade of a proven track record to warm up to it. Let’s face it – the older I got, the heavier that full size 45 felt.


What was once old is new again!

Enter 2014 and the FBI has re-adopted the 9mm (more on that in a minute) and it seems that the internet is a buzz with stories of how the 40 is either dead or dying. More recently I have even seen a trend of where very well-known firearms experts seem to go out of their way to discredit the 40S&W. Not that I necessarily disagree with their reasons or evaluations (there is a pro and con to everything), but I find the sudden upswing of anti-endorsements odd.

Just yesterday I saw a thread where a prominent competition shooter said that he (still) preferred the 40 to the shock of many on the internet. There was a bit of criticism and I was surprised to see him defending his choice and even qualifying it. Gosh folks—he can shoot whatever he likes. I will never understand why anyone cares what someone else uses.

Speaking of what is old is new – consider the possibility of another assault weapons ban. It is a common mantra of anti-gunners’ “common sense” legislation. If we were limited to 10 rounds in new pistols again worse (all firearms) would your opinion change? Think that it couldn’t happen? Tell me how it couldn’t happen for the decade that it did. It is only because of the NRA that there was a 10 year sunset. If not for that clause we would STILL be under its limit (end political rant).


Internet declares the 40 S&W in its last days

But I digress, why do I think that the stories of the 40’s death are exaggerated?

The biggest reason is that it still holds about 60% of the U.S. Law enforcement market.

That is huge – it means that there are more 40 S&W pistols in service than ALL other calibers COMBINED!

Incidentally, the most popular law enforcement pistol is the Glock 22. Glock civilian sales are completely different and the best seller in the U.S. is the model 19.


But the FBI just switched to 9mm so the 40 will die out!

Will it? I was wrong about the switch-over to 40 S&W but this time I am not seeing the massive shift to follow the FBI like we have in the past. Yes, I know that there are some, but not like before.

Seems like the FBI switches standard issue very frequently. From memory I can think of four changes: revolver to 9mm, to 10mm, to 40S&W and now back to the 9mm. I think that most departments would have a hard time justifying the cost of changing calibers so frequently, let alone BACK to one previously used. Today’s political environment is also, unfortunately, much more hostile to law enforcement. I feel that there may be a public backlash to “buying the police new guns.” There would definitely be accusations of funding waste.


Abandoned FBI rounds just don’t die

I also question the belief that a round will die out because the FBI no longer uses it. Historically this simply is not true. None of the rounds that the FBI used formerly have died out! The 38, 357 Magnum, 9mm, 10mm, 40S&W are definitely still popular. For literally YEARS people have been saying that the 10mm was dead. At worst, it is a boutique round even though there were new pistols from Glock this year (who already has a pretty good line of 10’s), one from SIG (who has never made one previously) and an expanded line from RIA. Not too bad if you ask me. The 40S&W is even more established than the 10mm ever was.


Going down the same road as 41AE and 41Mag?

In fact, of all the rounds discussed I think that the only one that I would say is dead is the 41AE. It was never adopted by any agency and only available from a few providers – in a conversion kit, Tanfoglios and the IMI Jericho. I think ammo only came from UZI/Samson. If you think that the 40 S&W has a bit of kick or is hard on guns the 41AE was worse. I sold my Browning HiPower conversion kit long before it disappeared.

The 41 Magnum has fared a little better – It was adopted limitedly and revolvers are still made. Ammo is still available but far from common place. This is truthfully probably what a lot of people think of (hope?) for the future of the 40 S&W. But, the fact that a very powerful REVOLVER round (significantly more powerful than the 10mm) intended for law enforcement but only adopted by a few agencies (2 or 3?) still exists today is pretty remarkable. Besides Rick (Walking Dead) how many agencies even issue any revolver as a duty sidearm? Maybe some Corrections and Reserves? I think the 40 and 41 Mag comparison is not 1-to-1, but it is noteworthy.


Which is better: 9, 40, 45, 50AE? Google!

The 9mm vs 40S&W vs 45ACP vs whatever debates have been hashed to death on the internet. Way too much time and bandwidth is wasted on justifying what the “best” round is. I am not going to engage in each caliber’s pros/cons – and every cartridge has BOTH. Google’g will result in a ridiculous amount of material.


Some arguments are just not worth participating/Google first!

I do feel that I have to point out a weird caliber argument that I saw yesterday. Someone called the 40S&W “Short & Weak” when compared to the 9mm. Now, when the 40S&W was introduced there were people who called it “Short & Weak” in comparison to its big brother 10mm but using the phrase in a justification of the 9mm over 40S&W is just wacky – check your cartridge dimensions first! I wish I had kept the link to that particular thread. On second thought, I am glad I didn’t.


My conclusion? Somebody buy me a Wilson (in any caliber)

Carry what you want. They all work…mostly (well, they are all still just pistol rounds). As for the experts – they are not wrong and I respect their opinions (heck, I just bought a Glock 43 as a backup/deep conceal!). I am unsure of the seeming animosity towards the 40 S&W and why there feels like an anti-40 campaign. They are people too and are entitled to their opinion and to buy what they like.

But, like most police departments, I am heavily invested in 40 equipment and ammo. So, my main carry will continue to be 40S&W. Not that I don’t think that there are plenty of other reasons to stick with the 40 (it works and I like the boom), but economics alone are a big reason that the 40 S&W won’t be going away any time soon.

Some reading material if your bored/interested:

History of FBI hand guns –

The Forgotten M&P (41Magnum) –

Wikipedia entry for 41AE –
(I wish I had kept some of the AAL promo material on it)

FBI Handgun Wounding Factor Effectiveness –
(I know it is a bit dated now, but it is worth reading)

Army opens up possibility of adopting non-9mm –
(Not likely, but wouldn’t that be funny?)


Two new 10’s and Sig Elite 10mm ammo? Oh my!

I know by now everyone has heard about the new Sig P220 and the new Glock hunting/competition optics ready pistol, both chambered in (one of my favorites) 10mm.

I hadn’t chimed off yet but I wanted to say kudos to a round that has been declared “dead” for years by some. Clearly not! I am hoping that the new P220 is part of the instructor/LEO program.

One thing I also saw that was exciting for 10mm fans is that Sig’s Elite Ammo line will be including a 10mm load. A modern defense loading!!

Exciting times for 10mm fans. Now if we could just get that big American Revolver company (either one) to chamber a 10mm :)

10mm chrony results

In my continuing saga of compiling data on (not necessarily currently available) factory loads, the 10mm. Some are pretty meager/embarassing but I want to document these 40 loads just the same.

Norma 170gr JPH … Colt Delta Elite 5″ … 1358
Federal 180gr HydraShok … S&W 1076 4.25″ … 1094
Speer 180gr GoldDot … S&W 1076 4.25″ … 967
Win 180gr JHP … S&W 1076 4.25 … 927
Rem 180gr Golden Saber … S&W 1076 … 977
Fed 180gr HiShok … S&W 1076 … 950
Win 200gr Ranger SXT … S&W 1076 … 945
Hornady 200gr XTP … S&W 1076 … 1056
Hornady 180gr XTP … Witness Stock 4.5″ … 1142
CorBon 135gr JHP … Witness Stock … 1378
CorBon 135gr JHP … Glock 20 4.6″ … 1445
Corbon 150gr JHP … Witness Stock … 1220
CorBon 150gr JHP … Glock 20 4.6″ … 1198
Corbon 155gr DPX … Witness Stock … 1147
Corbon 155gr DPX … Glock 20 4.6″ … 1129
CorBon 165gr JHP … Witness Stock … 1270
CorBon 165gr JHP … Glock 20 4.6″ … 1247
DoubleTap 165gr GDHP … Glock 20 …. 1463
Win 175gr SilverTip …. Glock 20 …. 1383
Buffalo Bore 180 gr GDHP … Witness Stock … 1311
Buffalo Bore 180 gr GDHP … Glock 20….. … 1324
DoubleTap 180gr XTP …. Glock 20 … 1309
DoubleTap 200gr BearTooth WFNGC … 1290
DoubleTap 200gr XTP … Glock 20 … 1308
DoubleTap 230gr Equalizer … Glock 20 … 1024

Colt Delta Elite

Corbon 180gr JHP … 1268
Hornady 155gr XTP … 1335
CorBon 150gr JHP … 1351
Hornady 180gr XTP … 1230
Win 175 SilverTip … 1239
CorBon 180gr JSP … 1206
Norma 200gr FMJ … 1140
Corbon 165gr JHP … 1236
Corbon 135gr JHP … 1357
Hornady 200gr XTP … 1099
Federal 180gr JHP … 1014
Fed HydraSHok 180gr … 968

Glock 29

CorBon 180gr JHP … 1344
Norma 200gr FMJ … 1096
Hornady 155gr XTP … 1231
Hornady 180gr XTP … 1130
CorBon 150gr JHP … 1226
Win 175gr SilverTip … 1129
Hornady 200gr XTP … 1044
CorBon 165gr JHP … 1131
CorBon 135gr JHP … 1240
Fed 180gr JHP … 978

Speer answers “Can I shoot 40 in a 10mm”

People argue this continuously. Yes, I know that people claim to do it all the time. They put a lot of trust on their 10mm’s extractor to hold the 40 casing. It may work. Until it doesn’t. It only takes one not to work to ruin your day.

Anyway, I was surprised to find this from Speer’s FAQ:

Q. Can I shoot 40 S&W ammo in my 10mm pistol? The case is identical except for length.
A. No. Both headspace on the case mouth. The shorter 40 S&W will not be supported in the 10mm chamber, so headspace control is lost. You’ll get misfires, blown primers, deformed cases and, potentially, gas jetting from the action. Always use the correct ammunition for your firearm. Don’t cut corners!

Ariz. self-defense figure Harold Fish, 65, dies

Mr Fish’s case is often cited as being the example of the possible aftermath in a self-defense shooting. In the end he was cleared and state law was changed but not before he spent time in jail and at a huge legal expense.

The prosecutor with a vendetta threw everything at Mr Fish and the jury believed it. They bought that hollow points showed intent to kill (vs the non-existent non-kethal bullets he apparently should have used) and that his 10mm Kimber was more powerful than even what law enforcement use — forget that 10mm is a former FBI standard and law enforcement issued round and was, in fact, designed for law enforcement.

ID Channel had an episode on this case and the interviews with the former jurors were shockingly revealing. Several attempts on my part to get the show to update that Mr Fish was cleared and the law changed were unacknowledged.

I have made requests on their other stories for corrections updates and they did respond. Seems perhaps they have made up their mind and continue to run it showing Mr Fish guilty. So much inaccuracy and bias. I wont watch the channel now. But he was finally cleared legally even if ID won’t acknowledge it.

May Mr Harold Fish rest in peace.

10mm and Sirius Patrol – the elite of the elite

I get asked about this occasionally and the primary source link seems to disappear/move:


There it is, in writing, proof that the world’s most elite cold weather warriors carry Glock 20 10mm’s.

The choice of a Sirius Patrol pistol was also determined  by concerns about encounters with aggressive polar bears. Most Danish units use 9mm automatics like the CF but the Sirius Patrol  learned  through hard experience that 9mms had insufficient ‘stopping power’ to deal with angry adult polar bears. As a result, Sirius Patrol members carry a more powerful 10mm pistols for self-defence, employing the 10mm Glock 20 automatic.[3]

and the footnote:

[3] The CF’s 9mm Browning has begun to show its great age. The Danish approach to automatic pistols is well worth emulating. Perhaps DND should consider issuing a modern 9mm automatic to southern units and 10mm Glocks to northern Canadian Rangers as well as any ‘southern’ troops who are preparing to deploy to the north.


Here is another description too:

Slaedepatruljen Sirius – The Sledgepatrol Sirius (Arctic LRRP; Navy)

This very special unit maintains a permanent military presence in the arctic regions of North/Northeast Greenland. It’s origins can be traced back to the WWII experience with “Operation Resolute”, where a guerilla-force of hunters tracked and eliminated German meteorological stations. These stations would have provided vital weather forecasts to the German air force and navy.
In its present form, Sirius is based on small two man patrols with a dog sledge and 11 dogs. The service time is 25 months without any leave and the only outside contact, besides by radio, is the annual supply ship. The main patrolling activity is carried out in the 4 month winter period, where wind speeds of 100 knots or temperatures below -40 can occur. Under these conditions, the patrols must cover several thousand kilometers to complete their designated routes. This objective can only be achieved by using dogsleds, as snowmobiles would be noisy, require vast amounts of fuel, break down and be unable to warn against polar bears.  Ultimately: You can’t eat a snowmobile in a survival situation!
The weapons carried also reflect the harsh conditions. Only bolt-action rifles (M17/M53) performs reliably. The standard SIG210 Neuhausen sidearm was recently replaced by the 10mm Glock 20, as the stopping power of multiple 9mm rounds proved to be insufficient against a polar bear. The members are recruited from the regular services and must be sergeants at least. They may not be married or otherwise engaged and the selection procedure stresses the psychological evaluation of their personality. Of course, they must also achieve top marks at the NATO Arctic Warfare School in Norway.

Glock 20 (10mm) FMJ downs 2 moose on Alaska State Troopers

Alaska State Troopers episode: Alaskan Standoff

This was an interesting episode that I saw this week (2/26) as a resident shot and killed two moose with a Glock 20 10mm to save his dog from continuing to be trampled.

We know it was FMJ ammo as the AST asked the resident to confirm that it was not hollow point ammo. Why that makes a difference (from a LEO standpoint) I am not sure, but more penetration from a hardcast or FMJ would be better in this case any way.

When asked how many rounds were used the resident said it was about 4. hmm..appears that the 10mm is indeed a good defense for the woods and pretty good for hunting too.

10mm enthusiasts knew that, but there are always some that seem to want more proof.



With SwampFox Ammo gone what are the full power 10mm options?

I was actually going to write an article about DoubleTap and Buffalo Bore ammo but I was pleased to see that Jeff Quinn of has just (Jan 2012) written an article on the same topic complete with his on chrono #’s from a variety of platforms! This is awesome since it is the rainy season here and because of the overcast can never seem to get my Chrony to work.

The 10mm PISTOL by Jeff Quinn via

Anyway it is a great article with up to date ammo info for fans of full power 10mm ammo.


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