Is The 10mm A Reliable Caliber For Self Defense?

The 10mm Auto first appeared in 1983 and has since dominated the gun market as the ballistics parallel to Zeus’ thunderbolt, at least that is what the advocates of the 10mm ammo would have you believe. Now, we have decided to add some transparency to the topic. See for yourself how 10mm ammo compares against other calibers of handgun for self-defense.

10mm Ammo Gel-Test Performance

A gel test acts as an analog to soft tissue which allows us to study penetration and expansion of a bullet when hitting flesh. 12–18 inches of penetration is the standard set by the FBI, as well as a 1.5x expansion, although penetration is a more important criterion than expansion.

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Of the ten 10mm ammo loads that we tested, 5 met both criteria of penetration and expansion, and if we allow for over-penetration, then 2 more loads pass the criteria, which amounts to 7 out of 10 passing the test. So, good terminal ballistic 10mm ammo should be easy to find.

Disadvantages Of 10mm Ammo

One of the major disadvantages of 10mm ammo is that there is a limited number of corresponding pistols to choose from. Excluding a few exceptions, options are limited to full-size pistols normally chambered for .45 automatic colt pistols. That is a kind of drawback if you have small hands or if you plan on conceal-carrying the gun. Practice ammo for the 10mm is more expensive than for the 9mm, although prices have dropped significantly in recent years.

Any other drawbacks of the 10mm could also be applied to the .40 or .45.

Other than that, ammunition capacity is typically 1 or 2 rounds greater than a comparable gun chambered for the .45. Recoil can be kind of snappy, but not so much in a full-size gun. Basically, aside from the extremely high velocity loads, it feels essentially like shooting a pocket size 9mm or a .45.

About LAX Ammo

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