Played Around With a 10mm Today...


Stephen A. Camp
September 15, 2004, 05:35 PM
Hello. This is not a full-fleged range report, but as part of the stuff I'm doing for my 1911 book, I ran a friend's 10mm Colt through some limited paces today.

It's stock as a stove, but the fixed sights were on and the trigger was not bad at all. No glitches due to the Series 80 firing pin safety and no malfunctions.
There's nothing remarkable about this pistol from any other Delta. It's in its original configuration. I was exceptionally pleased at how well regulated the sights were.

Ammunition was limited, but I obtained the following average velocities based on 10 shots fired 10' from the chronograph. The exception was some old Winchester Black Talon. Its figures are based on 6 shots:

PMC 170-gr. JHP: 1194 ft/sec

Winchester 175-gr. Silvertip: 1288 ft/sec

Winchester 180-gr. Black Talon: 950 ft/sec

PMC 180-gr. Starfire: 990 ft/sec

Federal 180-gr. Hydrashok: 977 ft/sec
I used the PMC 170-gr. JHP for this 10-shot, 25-yd group. One shot is barely visible at the far left edge of the picture. I pulled it and knew it when I did it. The group was fired sitting and from a rest.

I also did some of the defensive type shooting at a humanoid target I drew. I think it looks something like "Gort" in "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
The center-mass shots are five sets of controlled pairs fired using a "flash sight picture" from 12 yards. The five shots in the head were fired one-shot each at the same distance, also as quickly as I could get a quick sight picture. Ammunition was again PMC 170-gr. JHP.
I wanted to use the Winchester STHP as it has the greatest recoil, but just didn't have enough.

The 10mm is a good round in my view. Some factory loads essentially duplicate .40 S&W loads, but the ten does it at less pressure. The more potent loads do have sharp recoil, but the weapon can easily be controlled.

Anyway, there might be some 10mm fans here so I thought I crank out a little something that might be of interest to them.


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John Forsyth
September 15, 2004, 05:44 PM
Well Stephen, it's not quite bone stock. They did not come with an ambi safety. But other than that, it sure looks right. My Delta is also well regulated and very accurate. For an out of the box gun, Delta's are very accurate and I won't be selling mine any time soon.

Good report.

Stephen A. Camp
September 15, 2004, 05:46 PM
Hello. Yes, you are right. I always forget about the ambi's. The gun's owner is a lefty.

Thanks and best.

September 15, 2004, 10:04 PM
did it hurt ?

or could you have shot a hundred rds, no prob. ?

I want a ten,
but have decided to go with a revolver ,
so I can shoot both the .40's ( with the clip) or the tens,

did it hurt ?

September 15, 2004, 10:13 PM
I've only shot the 10mm in a Glock. The gun was ok but the cartridge is one heck of a round. That is one hard hitting 40 caliber, and I wouldn't mind having one.

September 15, 2004, 11:05 PM
What else have you shot bendable? Kind of hard to put in perspective if we don't know what else you have experience with. Ever shoot at 4" 357 Magnum? That's about ballpark. If you can shoot a 2" 357, a 5" 10mm is a piece of cake.

I've shot several rounds through a 10mm 1911 as well as the G20 and G29. Some will really wake you up in the morning... I was surprised at the velocity Mr Camp was getting out of the Silvertips. They don't feel that hot. I've never been particularly recoil sensitive, but I doubt I'd be shooting as well as I normally after 250 rounds through an Elite... But I doubt my hands would be bleeding either.

Stephen A. Camp
September 15, 2004, 11:06 PM
Hello. No, it wasn't unpleasant to shoot with any of the loads listed. Several were the attenuated quasi-forty loads, but a couple were more like the old Normal load I remember from years past.

Were this my pistol, I would definitely go with a wide grip safety. The narrow one that came on the pistol did "rub" a bit, but not bad.


September 16, 2004, 12:16 AM
Why were the defense loads so slow?

Stephen A. Camp
September 16, 2004, 12:23 AM
Hello. I believe that when the FBI adopted the 10mm as its service round, the full-house load was a tad much for the non-shooters. Based on their ballistic research and requirements it was determined that a 180-gr. JHP bullet at around a thousand ft/sec or so would meet their preceived needs and be considerably easier for most to shoot as well. Thus, the attenuated 10mm loads were born. Then came the engineers and ammo makers who figured out that this level of performance could be had in a more compact cartridge and we see the birth of the .40 S&W. Same performance as the lighter 10mm loads (albeit at higher pressures) plus the physically shorter round allowed for smaller, more convenient pistols.

This may not be exactly right, but I think it's pretty close. I didn't follow those developments too closely.


September 16, 2004, 12:27 AM
Learn something new every day...


Lt. G
September 16, 2004, 12:52 AM
Mr. Camp,

Thank you for the informative post, I agree with Moparmike, you do learn something new every day. I have a Delta coming soon. I am looking forward to shooting it.

I'm sure the good folks at would enjoy your post. It's a new site and it's always looking for more folks to share their experiences

Thank You,
Lt. G

Stephen A. Camp
September 16, 2004, 12:57 AM
Hello and thanks for the kind words. Actually, I do not own any 10mm pistols. I shot this one a friend generously loaned me for a project I'm working on. I have no significant experience with this caliber to share so I'd most likely not be of much use with the true believers and fans of the 10mm. I sure might drop over and visit. Thank you.


September 16, 2004, 07:53 PM
Mr. Camp:

Thanks for your review of your friend's 99% stock Delta (and the ammo too). Very nice. :)

PMC's 170gn 10mm JHP is "box-flapped" at 1200fps/543fpe. I believe that's from a 5" factory test barrel. Glad to see your readings of 1194fps put it near that velocity. Over on GT's 10Ring, recent chronograph testing suggested that PMC might have watered it down significantly (closer to 1100fps). Probably depends on the particular lot. But a 170gn 10mm HP somewhere between 1200fps-1300fps is a great defensive load, IMO.

For years Winchester has alleged that its 175gn 10mm STHP is doing 1290fps/647fpe (as launched from, I believe, a 5.5" factory tube). Like the PMC 170gn load, there's been controversy as to whether - or how much - Winchester really throttled back from that claimed velocity.

Some 10Ring posts relating user chrono data put the actual velocity from a 4.6" Glock 20 in the 1190-to-low-1200s range. Even factoring-in the shorter barrel, that's still quite a drop off.

Again, at 1288fps from your friend's 5" DE, I'm happy to see the ol' Silver Tips steppin' out closer to their original specs. I've always found them to be VERY accurate in my 10mms, even if the ST itself represents an earlier generation of defensive bullet technology (i.e., before the Gold Dots, Golden Sabers, Noslers, Rangers, Black Talons, etc).

September 16, 2004, 09:07 PM
I shoot about fifty rds of .357, fifty rds. of .45 acp and fifty rds. of .38 spec.
with a 4" GP-100 ( ruger P 90)per range visit.

Parker Dean
September 16, 2004, 11:50 PM
did it hurt ?

or could you have shot a hundred rds, no prob. ?

I want a ten,
but have decided to go with a revolver ,
so I can shoot both the .40's ( with the clip) or the tens,

did it hurt ?

No, they don't hurt to shoot. Maybe getting shot with, but not to shoot :)

When I had my .357 I could only stand a few cylinders of 125gr Remington at a time due to the grips putting pressure on the bottom joint of my thumb. The recoil was also snappier out of a 4 inch tube. Report and flash was greater IMO.

With the RZ (1911) and Double Tap loads I could shoot a 1000 rounds in a sitting with no problem if I had the time and could afford it. Recoil is stout, more of a hard push though. Plenty of harder recoiling cartridges out there that no one complains about (/me evil-eyes gun rag writers).

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 17, 2004, 01:43 AM
Thank you for another excellent report.

Two things...

1). Klaatu barada nikto.

2). You make that look like a Defender in your hands.


Stephen A. Camp
September 17, 2004, 01:47 AM
Hello, and thanks. It's also nice to see someone else is old enough to remember that movie.


September 17, 2004, 09:18 AM
Good post; I especially like the chrono results. Yes those are all a little mild compared to real full power 10mm. How long is the barrel on that Delta Elite? Sorry if I missed it...

For those that are considering a 10mm, I will throw in some comments based on my limited experience:

Thusfar I have one 10mm firearm: A S&W model 1006. It is the FULL size, 5" barreled, all stainless steel 3rd gen 10mm auto from S&W, produced for only about 3-4 years in the early 90's. It is built like a tank and has some considerable weight to it. I would characterize the recoil as being similar to, but stronger than .45acp recoil.

My normal carry gun is an alloy frame P226 .40S&W. It definitely exhibits the .40's typical "snappiness" with full power loads. I start fatiguing (start losing accuracy) after about 200 consecutive off hand rounds with the 226. The 10mm is firing the same bullets at higher velocity, but for some reason, the "snappiness" isn't as noticable as the stout push backwards. The recoil feels like it is distributed over a greater period of time. FWIW. Personally I suspect this is simply because the 1006 weighs so much more than the Sig. So far, I've mostly fired two loads from the 1006: 180gr UMC, and 155gr Double Tap loaded Gold Dots. The Double Tap recoil is a little stouter of course, since McNett claims their velocity to be 1500+fps from a 5" barrel. The same bullet loaded in .40 by Georgia Arms is advertized at 1200 fps (there is a 1300 fps advertized load with the same bullet), but I suspect they are coming out a little under 1200 since the Sig's barrel is only a little over 4".

I wouldn't mind giving a more compact 10mm a try sometime. Specifically a S&W 1076. Shares mags with the 1006, but has a shorter barrel and slide and is a lot more practical to carry. I suspect the recoil on one of those would be quite snappy, even though it still weighs more than my Sig.

Stephen A. Camp
September 17, 2004, 09:20 AM
Hello. The Elite barrel is 5".


September 17, 2004, 11:52 AM
did it hurt ?

or could you have shot a hundred rds, no prob. ?Recoil is subjective, but in my experience the 10mm is not that bad at all. Oddly enough, I think the .40 is actually worse...but I don't have much experience with that round. I'm betting this is due to the gun/ammo combos I have tried. Also, I have never shot any really smoking 10mm loadings, and those are out there.

To put it in perspective, my wife, who thinks my BHP in 9mm is unacceptably snappy, likes to shoot my Glock 20.


Buy the 10. If you dislike the hot loads, buy some mild ones. Thats the nice thing about the is flexible.


September 18, 2004, 01:48 AM
About 1 year ago me and a friend chronoed all the loads offered for 10mm from Double Tap. The results were pretty good. I cant remember off hand but we posted the results on the 1911 forums. They all came in just above what Double Tap claims from both my Kimber and Dan Wesson 10mm's. One thing to keep in mind with the Double Tap ammo is that you will need to change out your recoil spring for a stronger one. In my kimber with the stock spring using the 135 gr D.T. my brass was flying 53 feet. I put in a 22# spring and it calmed down alot. I have had no problems with either using the 22# springs and a shok buff even using factory ammo.

September 18, 2004, 03:19 AM

I don't recall my DoubleTap brass flying any further than normal, and I would bet 99% that the recoil spring in my 1006 is stock.

September 18, 2004, 03:23 AM
Thanks, very interesting and informative report. You have once again instilled in me a desire for a Delta Elite...

September 18, 2004, 01:12 PM
I did not fire a S&W 1006, mine were both 1911's and with factory type ammo and the stock springs the brass was only landing about 20 feet. 22# springs the brass lands at about 25 feet using DT ammo. This is with the pistol mounted in a rest.

Dave Sample
September 18, 2004, 02:28 PM
Very nice report on the Delta Elite. Did it have the factory recoil system? I never cared much for the plastic stuff and always repaced them with steel parts.

September 18, 2004, 02:31 PM
Chrono results from my Colt Delta Elite stainless:

Federal 180 grain Hydrashok: 1020 fps

PMC 170 grain JHP: 1186 fps

Winchester 175 grain Silvertip: 1237 fps

The most overrated thing about the 10mm is the recoil. It just is not the wrist breaking recoil that some gun writers claimed. My experience is that feels a lot like a 6 inch barreled 357 firing full power 158 grain loads.

The most underrated thing about the 10mm is the cartridge itself. This is propogated by the FBI Lite loads. The 10mm, when loaded to its potential, falls between the 357 magnum and the 41 magnum.

Stephen A. Camp
September 18, 2004, 07:41 PM

Dave Sample: Yes, it had the factory spring/plastic guide rod set up. I, too, would replace it.


September 18, 2004, 09:26 PM
:scrutiny: I like my 10mms, but am whacko over the .41Magnum. The 10mm is as close as I can come to the .41Magnum in a semi-auto without going to a DE or trying to find a Coonan in .41Magnum. However, I'm awfully glad nobody said the 10mm was EQUAL to the .41Magnum. It comes close in a couple puny .41Magnum loadings but will NEVER throw a 250gr.WFNGC at @1400fps!

That said, I wish DW would have their 10mm tested and released in **********.:fire:

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