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1/17/2018 9:56 AM
 

This originally started as a response to Chriscscs's thread on "Why I gave up on Glock 20" but since it turned into a Russian novel, I thought I'd give it a seperate thread.

I'm a big fan of the 10mm cartridge, and have to reluctantly agree with your conclusions.

The biggest enemy here is the idea of "Norma Spec" ammo. The original spec called for a 200 grain FMJ-FP going 1200 fps, and a 170 grain JHP going 1300 fps. That was out of a 5" pressure test barrel.

Everyone is stuck on the idea that if their ammo doesn't go that fast out of a 4.6" Glock barrel, "it's just as weak as .40 S&W." I'll get to that idea in a second, but the reality is, those velocities are pretty hard to come by with the Glock 20, particularly with the 200 grain bullet. There is no load data in a reputable loading manual that will get you going that fast out of a 4.6" Glock barrel

I've been a 10mm shooter and hand loader for over 15 years, and have launched many thousands of rounds out of three different generations of Glock 20's. They will run with 200 grain bullets in the 1000 to 1150 fps range quite well, with a two handed grip, one handed grip, firm grip, weak grip etc. Once you start pushing past that, the wheels  fall off. It's a very nonlinear response in that you can work up a load that is 100% reliable at 1150 or so, but once you push past it the gun starts having frequent problems.

Many folks respond by adding a heavier recoil spring. This often causes more problems than it solves. It doesn't do as much as they think to retard rearward slide velocity, but does increase forward slide velocity, giving the magazine even less time to push a heavy column of bullets upwards to present the next round to be fed into the chamber.

This is one area where hammer fired guns have an advantage. Hammer guns can be tweaked by changing the mainspring rate, which does affect rearward slide velocity (but not forward) and by altering the geometry of the firing pin stop.

The Glock 20's problems are exacerbated by trying to feed it heavy, wide meplat lead projectiles. The gun was never designed to feed these projectiles. Most loads are going for nuclear speeds, so they are loaded long to keep the pressures down. Depending on the bullet profile, this results in the edges of the bullet rubbing against the sides of the magazine where it tapers in towards the front.

I have always been able to get my glocks to run reliably with 200 grain bullets in the 1100 fps range, and 180 grain bullets in the 1200 fps range.

As an aside, there is some goofy ammo out there for the 10mm. I feel there is very little reason to carry 10mm solely as a CCW cartridge, but people insist on doing it anyway. I would strongly reccomend avoiding loads that use jacketed hollow points designed for the .40 S&W pushed to 10mm velocity. For example the 180 grain Speer Gold Dot is an excellent bullet, particularly with intermediate barriers, when used within its design parameters, but pushed to 1300 fps it will fail.

Why bother with 10mm? First, the 200 grain bullet is truly "heavy for caliber" in that it has a sectional density equivalent to a 255 grain .45 ACP load. I've been well pleased with the 200 grain Hornady XTP at this velocity as a "trail gun" for the lower 48. Is it a death ray? No, but I do think it offers some advantage. The XTP is getting long in the tooth, and I'm excited about Speers new 200 grain Gold Dot, as we will finally have a modern, bonded bullet that is designed specifically for the 10mm.

Second, I've tended to treat my 10mm as a modern day equivalent to a .357 revolver. Many people carried .38's or .38 +P ammo in their .357 revolvers, and loaded up with Rhino Rollers when they headed into the back country. While my primary "town gun" is a 9mm, I often find myself with the 10mm as we travel back and forth on our back country outings, passing through small towns, highway rest stops, and gas stations and such. I'm perfectly fine with .40 Smith and Wesson power level ammo in these settings, and in fact prefer it.

So my current practice is to carry the 200 grain XTP handload in the back country. This likely will get replaced with the new Gold Dot load. I've tested the 175 grain Hornady Critical Duty load, which is a sort of hot .40, and like it for "town-ish" carry. I feel that either load is sufficient for black bear, cats, and my biggest threat in the back country: crew cab pickups full of tweakers.


I'd encourage the original poster to consider the new 10mm Gold Dot load. The ballistics aren't as sexy as some of the nuclear loads out. High velocity numbers sell ammo, but I really question whether it gets us anywhere. Early reports from people with chrongraphs shows the round is running in the high 1000's to low 1100's, which is the sweet spot for reliability that I've found. I received an email from Speer saying it runs towards the long end of penetration at 15".

The open question for me is can I get the G20 to run reliably with 200 grain wide meplat, hard cast lead loads? I suspect I can, but they won't be running at 1200 fps. I'd be happy if I could get bullets like that to run anywhere over 1000 fps.


I think once you get a 200 grain bullet going in the 1000 to 1100 range, there is very little to be gained by pushing it up above 1200. At 1100, you're still measuring penetration in feet, not inches at that velocity, and it should be sufficient to bust a thick heavy animal skull.

So my quiver for the 10mm will look like this:

* A "townish" load, at .40 or hot .40 levels. Currently this is the 175 grain Hornady Critical Duty. 

* A "backcountry" load that is currently a handloaded 200 grain XTP going 1140fps. This will likely soon be replaced by the 200 grain Gold dot.

* A yet to be devleoped 200 grain hard cast load.

With the advent of the factory 200 grain Gold Dot, the "Townish" load becomes optional. I'd some concerns about carrying handloads in an area where a self defense against people situation is more likely than animals, but the factory Gold Dot neatly solves that.

The hard cast load will likely be a handload. I've poor experience with the factory offerings.

Prior to learning of Mr. Sundies poisoning proclivities, I tried some Buffalo Bore hardcast. They ran, with a hard two handed grip, but were a train wreck with a weak grip.  I shot a small amount of Underwood, but terminated the test after examining some fired brass, as I value having ten functioning digits and two working eyes.

It think the key with the 10mm is to be happy with an increased bullet weight and velocity out of a service sized pistol, but not try to turn it into a magnum revolver. A 200 grain bullet at 1100 is a step up over a standard service cartridge.

The optimal solution to the "Field Pistol" may be the HK USP in .45 Super. I'm heavily invested in the Glock platform, so I'll likely stick with it. BUt if I were presume to give advice to someone who 1) Didn't mind that particular platform and 2) wasn't a handloader, I'd probably steer them in that direction for a back country pistol.

 
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1/17/2018 10:53 AM
 
Wose,

Very nice post! I know what you mean about the “Novel”. Lol! I agree with your findings as well. I have handloaded the 10 a good bit, too, and my experience matches yours.

In the 40 s&w I like the Doubletap 200 grain WFNGC. It chronographs out of my Glock 23 at 1050 fps! Not too shabby.
 
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1/18/2018 2:11 PM
 

This feels like some very real world perspective! Or maybe I just think so because it mirror's my own thinking ;-)  Regarding this:

The open question for me is can I get the G20 to run reliably with 200 grain wide meplat, hard cast lead loads? I suspect I can, but they won't be running at 1200 fps. I'd be happy if I could get bullets like that to run anywhere over 1000 fps. I think once you get a 200 grain bullet going in the 1000 to 1100 range, there is very little to be gained by pushing it up above 1200. At 1100, you're still measuring penetration in feet, not inches at that velocity, and it should be sufficient to bust a thick heavy animal skull.

Why even mess with 10mm then, when you can get the same performance out of a 4.5" or 5" .40 which runs in a 9mm frame size?:

http://www.doubletapammo.net/index.ph...;product_id=607


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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1/18/2018 3:40 PM
 
evanhill wrote:

 

 

Why even mess with 10mm then, when you can get the same performance out of a 4.5" or 5" .40 which runs in a 9mm frame size?:

http://www.doubletapammo.net/index.ph...;product_id=607

Because I have a deep and long standing prejudice against the .40 S&W.

 My duty weapon for several years was S&W 4006 in .40, and later 3rd Gen Glocks. Both because of my work position and on a hobby basis, I did a bunch of shooting through the 'oughties. I could shoot a thousand rounds through a 9mm or .45 ACP and be fine, but felt pretty beat up shooting .40.

Also, at the time, all the .40's were just 9mm's with bigger holes, and I saw a much higher frequency of broken guns.

On the ammo front, I saw several blown up .40's. The 180 grain bullet doesn't leave much case capacity, and thus senstive to seating depth. The 200 really gives me the heebie jeebies.

However...

Since then, we've seen many guns built specifically for the .40, and I feel like there are some better powders out there too. 

It's just that I developed a system that worked really well for me and haven't changed it since 2007 or so. I don't carry a gun professionally any more, and once I stopped doing that, it became less of a hobby thing for me too.

Once I get something that works, I stick with it.* I'm the guy that wears my clothes to the point my wife throws them away while I'm not looking.

The 10mm is the beast I know, and I'm a big dude so the frame fits my hands ok.

If I were starting from scratch today, I'd probably look at a USP in .45ACP/SUPER or one of the platforms specifically built for .40.

 

*As an aside it was a REALLY BIG DEAL for me to set aside a couple backpacks that were working mostly ok and spend money on a Tarahumara and a Umlindi.

 

 
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1/18/2018 7:18 PM
 

Once I get something that works, I stick with it.* I'm the guy that wears my clothes to the point my wife throws them away while I'm not looking.

Yep, I get that. Unless you're re-evaluating and changing everything, stay with what has proven itself to you.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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5/23/2019 9:58 AM
 

WOW SIR !!! An amazing response. Certainly the best treatise on 10mm ammunition and malfuctions on the internet. WELL DONE and thanks !!!

P.S. A lot of people don't realize that LW is a huge issue, which you mention. You have to wonder how that happens...

 
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5/26/2019 9:33 PM
 
Thanks for useful information. My 10mm experience comes from a Sig 220 with a 5 inch barrel, sorry no Glock 20 experience. My goal with the Sig was a heavy bullet with high sectional density. The 220 grain cast Rimrock bullet has worked well for my needs. I have a load of longshot that gives 1150 fps in my gun. No pressure signs but all I am comfortable with. With suggestions from some very experienced people with this bullet I tried a Bullseye load that gives an amazingly consistent 1005 fps, recoil is light, the brass ends up in one neat little pile and the gun just likes it. I carry the longshot load some in the field, I shoot the bullseye load a lot and am truly comfortable with it. I have shot both loads through my sons Glock 29, the bullseye load worked fine but was never choreographed, the longshot load functioned but I was uncomfortable with it.
take care
 
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5/27/2019 12:48 PM
 

It's interesting to hear about your experience with the SIG 10mm. As I outlined above, I suspect that properly set up, single stack guns with a hammer have an advantage over the Glock 20 when it comes to reliability with really heavy, wide meplat loads.

That 220-grain load sounds like the bee's knees at either velocity. How many round have you put through your SIG?

 
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5/27/2019 7:33 PM
 

2-300 of the 220 grain bullets, most of them with the bullseye load. Another 2-300 of mixed 180-200 grain factory and handloads. The gun has functioned well, more accurate than I am and carries nicely in a kit bag. It is still a work in progress but happy with it so far. I have a reasonable amount of time on Sigs, going back to the first Browning imported BDA so the gun is comfortable to me. 

 
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7/31/2019 7:11 PM
 

This is a really excellent thread, and thanks for sharing your experience and info, Wose. As someone who actually is a fan of .40 S&W (probably because I shoot it exclusively out of all-metal, hammer guns that are designed for it) I've often been tempted to pick up a 10mm at some point, most likely a Sig P220 as my primary backcountry gun. I find that there is no shortage of contradictory and confusing info on 10mm out there, but as with most calibers, it's all about specific ammo selection.

I continue to alternate between a .357 and a .40 (both loaded with Buffalo Bore LFNs) for now, but a 10mm is likely in my future at some point. 

 
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7/31/2019 8:23 PM
 
Smithhammer - If you want to drink the Kool-aid, go ahead! My advice is to stick with the 40 and get a good quality penetrating bullet like an Underwood extreme penetrator or Buffalo bore (assuming it’s for woods defense) and practice a lot. The few hundred foot pounds of energy you get from the 10 is very insignificant. For a big bear, unless it’s a CNS hit, it will take multiple shots from any of the semi calibers - yes Rowland included.

I’m sure we all have seen this article on 37 different instances where a handgun was used against a bear.

https://www.ammoland.com/2018/02/defense-against-bears-with-pistols-97-success-rate-37-incidents-by-caliber/#axzz5vJKXfYoT
 
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8/1/2019 12:07 PM
 
So here's another chapter of the Russian novel...

Last fall I picked up a GP100 for a great price and have been vetting it. I've found I really enjoy shooting magnum revolvers, especially at longer ranges.

Meanwhile, my latest Glock 20 Gen 4, which had 1700 rounds through it, started having malfunctions with previously reliable ammo. I dug into things like ammo overall length, and etc with no glaring problems, and started formulating a plan to change recoil springs, magazine springs, buy new mags, etc.

Instead, I said f-it and traded the gun in on a Marlin 1894c to match my GP100. I've been messing around with the 10mm for close to 20 years and it's always been a special snowflake to feed. I took a hard look at where I wanted to spend my time and it wasn't on the 10mm.

Now the GP100 is my woods gun.
 
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8/1/2019 1:37 PM
 
Wose wrote:
So here's another chapter of the Russian novel...

.....Now the GP100 is my woods gun.

 

Ha! Well, I didn't see that coming - just when I thought you were finally moving me in the direction of getting serious about a 10mm, you instead confirmed what my approach has already been for years (right down to the GP100 and matching lever)! For a variety of reasons, sometimes simpler is better. 

 
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8/1/2019 4:17 PM
 

Yeah, the book kinda has a twist ending, doesn't?

I just stopped enjoying mucking around with the darn thing.

Plus, I'm simplifying the number of calibers I support. I sold the Glock 20 and Marlin 336, and thus got rid of two calibers to load. Between dumping those two guns and all the support gear, I got into an 1894c, an optic, and various other .357 support gear.

It's nice to own less stuff and have fewer projects.

 

 
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8/1/2019 7:07 PM
 
Nothing wrong with projects. A 10mil gun needs to be built as a 10mil gun from the ground up. Glock took a .45 and converted it to 10. Problematic.

Sig took a .45 gun, gave it a new frame and new slide built to handle the 10.

Stay away from 1911s disguised as 10s.

Never understood the fascination of the .357 lever guns. If I just had to have a PCC carbine in a lever, I'd go .44 or .45.

Better yet, I'd stay with a real rifle round a la .30-30.

This ain't the old west. Nothing wrong with two different calibers to do two different things.

Don't over think stuff really.
 
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8/1/2019 7:21 PM
 
El Mac wrote:

Never understood the fascination of the .357 lever guns. If I just had to have a PCC carbine in a lever, I'd go .44 or .45.

Better yet, I'd stay with a real rifle round a la .30-30.

This ain't the old west. Nothing wrong with two different calibers to do two different things.

 

Depends on what I'm doing. I live in the rural West, and if I'm hunting, I want more range than a .357 lever will effectively offer. But for defense inside 100 yards, with ammo optimized for the .357 in a longer barrel (like Hornady LeverEvolution), I have no qualms about it. 

 
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8/1/2019 8:24 PM
 
Ok
 
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8/1/2019 8:40 PM
 
ELmac- I believe Glock actually designed then G20 around the 10 then modified it for a 45.
 
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8/1/2019 8:41 PM
 

Regarding the .357 lever gun, the only thing I have to add that hasn't been covered by the 800 internet threads on this topic are that 1) I live in a place where 80 yards is a long shot and 2) I shoot it ALOT, so loading a straight wall .357 for .15 a round as opposed to bottle neck .30-30 for considerably more is attractive. I'm super happy with it.

Smithhammer, if you go the 10mm route and you go Glock, I'd suggest not planning on shooting hard cast, wide meplat 200 grain loads without lots of tuning. The good news is that the new-ish 200 grain Gold Dot and the new HST loads bring the 10mm into the 21st century, and would make fine woods loads for most applications. Whether the juice is worth the squeeze over what you already have is something I'd suggest considering.

FWIW Bill Wilson can make a 10mm run most of the time in the 1911. Unlike the Glock, which only allows tuning via the recoil springs, you can alter a 1911 mainspring rate and firing pin stop geometry. Wilson still advocates for the .45 Super instead of the 10mm if you want "more" out of the 1911.

If you go over to www.pistol-forum.com, you'll find some threads by a guy named GJM who has wrung out the semi-auto field pistol problem extensively. He advocates for an HK USP, which will run .45 Super out of the box, and I think he's got an excellent point.

Or, if you don't want a project, you can keep running the GP100....

My day gig wants 50 hours a week, I want to be a good husband and dad, and my latest novel is behind schedule so any project I can get rid of is good.

 

 
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8/3/2019 10:06 AM
 

Whose:  First of all, thanks for the well supported and written commentary!  Secondly, I have a question: when you are referring to the “new” Speer round is that the 54000GD?  I can find two offerings in that purpose and grain weight. The other is a 54000. Since that version is half the price I’m assuming the newer is the 54000GD? Thanks!

 
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