10 mm vs .45 ACP, Which Should I Purchase?


August 24, 2007, 11:00 PM
Well, our search button sucks, as 10 mm is not searchable as the words are too small...

Right now I have a 9 mm Kahr MK9 for concealed carry. I love it, but am looking for something with both a bigger round, for certain moments. The thing that really got me thinking was when I was in the projects in Miami at a parade with some friends from the car club, and though "Darn, if something happened, would 9 mm REALLY be enough?" I know, I'm probably reading too many of the caliber wars here on the forum...

So, what I'd like is a mid-size either .45 or 10 mm that I could conceal when need be, but use mostly as a car gun, with my Kahr for 99% of the time concealed carry.

I don't want to hear about ammo prices for either, I've got my 9 mm to waste the ammo money on, and I am fine with spending the money on either .45 or 10 mm to practice with. I can always get into reloading ;)

I also don't want to hear about over-penetration. If I'm shooting, I'm shooting. Most anything is going to over penetrate anyways, so let's call it a moot point.

So, the basic question is, 10 mm or .45 ACP for self-defense?

I'm not set on any specific guns yet, although I was eye-balling the new M&P .45. To me, the less safeties the better (don't prefer Glocks, but we'll see...), but as long as it doesn't have that grip safety crap (personal preference) and isn't a 1911 (again, personal preference), I'm down for it.

I know I know, get whichever you shoot best, but I'd like to hear other peoples opinions, and possibly recommendations.

Is there a firearm that allows me to change barrels to shoot both? That'd be the deal breaker...

I'm itching for a new gun here, help a brother out! :D

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August 24, 2007, 11:07 PM
.45ACP ammo ain't cheap but 10mm? The more you practice the better you will be with your firearm. A .45ACP is plenty for SD, but then again so is 9mm. OK 9v45 war officially restarted........

August 24, 2007, 11:22 PM
I would recommend the .45acp for the fact that ammo will be available anywhere you go, plus the vast amount of ammo choices for that caliber. If you were protecting yourself from the four legged threat the 10mm is probably a better choice.

August 25, 2007, 12:14 AM
a 10mm is more powerful than a .45acp? i thought the 10mm was just a lengthy .40s&w

although i have heard that a 10mm could stop chuck norris:neener:

August 25, 2007, 12:20 AM
10MM is more powerful than the .45 ACP but its up to you.

Do you reload? If not, you won't get the full potential out of the 10MM unless you mail order ammo.

I'm selling a G20 with reloading gear if your interested. You can also slave in a .40 cal barrel in the G20 for the hell of it.

August 25, 2007, 12:22 AM
I think you should look at the gun that fits you best, that wont be hard in 45, but there are not nearly as many different platforms for 10mm.

August 25, 2007, 12:29 AM
10MM is more powerful than the .45 ACP but its up to you.

i dont know are they? i was always under the impression that the .45 was a more powerful cartridge. :confused:

August 25, 2007, 12:35 AM
I'm a small dude, so I don't think I could conceal the G20 without a helluva Hawaiian shirt. I'm going to find a G29 locally to fondle and rent. I'll look at some .45s also. It seems like there aren't a ton of options for the 10 mm without being a Glock or a 1911 style, so it's about down to the Glock 29 if I go 10 mm route, so I'll see if I like the *gasp* Glock.

4 legged kind? I've seen some dudes that looked like they could would make any 4 legged kind shiver. ;)

August 25, 2007, 12:38 AM
Pick your platform first, then see what calibers it comes in.

August 25, 2007, 12:46 AM
I find the 10mm to be the superior choice for me in every way except 1, availability. If you don't reload, its expensive. Look at a g20, a witness in 10mm, or an older smith and wesson like the 1006

August 25, 2007, 02:04 AM
With a .45 or .40 you can get carry with a round that is able to provide a one-shot stop in the 96% to 98% range when placed in center mass. A 10mm is overkill for self defense IMO.
If you are going to go in to the woods a 10mm may be ok for small bear, so a 10mm can kind of duplicate as a self-d weapon in the city & woods.

With the price of ammo being what it is 9mm & .40 look real good right now.

If you want a 10mm - get one... But don't let anyone fool you, .40 & .45 are great rounds for self-d

August 25, 2007, 07:20 AM
a 10mm is more powerful than a .45acp? i thought the 10mm was just a lengthy .40s&w
40s&w is a shortened 10mm. the FBI originally was using 10mm, but it was too much for most of them to handle so they asked for something easier to manage and thats how the 40s&w came to be.

for a comparison of energy produced by a typical round:

10mm is the highest of any semi-easily available semiauto round in terms of energy.

Vitamin G
August 25, 2007, 07:54 AM
If there's ONE thing i dont worry about when it comes to self-defense, its having too much stopping power. (As long as its controllable)

With practice, 10mm is quite controllable.

Sure, 40s&w might have some 94% - 96% (which is debateable, as is any statistic) stop ratio, but i'm going to take every opportunity I have to reduce my chance of being the 6%-4% of unlucky people, who become statistics themselves.

August 25, 2007, 08:13 AM
after reading your post, I would say 10mm but with thos choices you can't go wrong.either way check out www.doubletapammo.com.
EAA witness is another fine platform for both and they allow you to change caliber by changing uppers.they even have a combo 22lr 45acp thats very reasonable.

August 25, 2007, 08:30 AM
I have put just about an hour of thought, reflection and review of all of my materials into this answer, and have concluded that there really is no one simple way to answer your question.

In the end, I would suggest the .45 ACP due to the tremendous availability of factory ammunition weights and configurations, and in a multitude of reload formats to boot. As you stated, cost-be-darned...you'll buy the ammo anyhow, and further as you stated, you have a 9mm for cheap shooting. However, unless you intend to always handload, you are going to see that the factories have done their best to effectively neuter the 10MM to levels nearly as-low-as a .40 S&W! In that light, I have to ask, why go 10MM if you always have to handload to get optimal performance?

Two years back, I rented a G29 and a G30 for side-by-side comparison to see which I wanted to purchase…I walked out with neither! :banghead: The sole difference between the 45 ACP and the 10MM in recoil terms was that the 10MM was slightly faster in recoil, but neither was recoil-problematic. However, given what you said of being small, that usually means small hands too. The Glock 29 & 30 were/are problematic for me to seriously and forcefully wrap my hands around. So for Glock, check the 29 and 30 check the fit…it’s a whole lot of grip!

One consideration that I have not yet seen posted is "straight-line" penetration, as in if you had to shoot through a windshield. Windshields are just about the world's worst target to defeat without destroying the projectile, and/or sending it careening literally 12" off target over the remaining 18" of distance to the driver. I have a two professionally produced videos that show how the various rounds performed on humanoids and hard targets. I do not recall them testing the 10MM, perhaps they did. What I recall was the .45 ACP was the undisputed King-of-the-Hill on penetration, energy-transfer and especially on straight-line penetration due to the 230 Gr. projectile. As the saying goes, "…an object in motion..." and so weight matters. The sole projectiles to out-strip the 230 grain .45 ACPs were the 1 ounce, 12 gauge slug and the 750 grain FMJ, .50 BMG. There's the scoop on the .45 ACP!

You have pointed out the S&W, but don't forget the SA-XD 45 ACP unless the grip safety bothers you. Personally, while I know you say no 1911s, I view that as a potential oversight error. Here is the reason for my HO. I carry my Colt 1911 with the manual safety off, and rely on the grip safety. Over the course of thousands of rounds, the pistol has never failed. But, what is more important is that, for me, is that the 1911 remains the sole pistol that I shoot absolutely consistent, day-to-day, month-to-month and year-to-year, in spite of reduced practice. I cannot say the same for any other pistol.

And so, understand that I am not saying 1911 for you, I am saying find your hand's equivalent. What single pistol do you fire absolutely consistent, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year in spite of being forced for whatever the reason to reduce your practice time? That is what you should buy...your hand's natural fit, and natural point of aim. Then, as has been stated, see which calibers are offered and make your personal selection.

God bless and be safe,


Working Man
August 25, 2007, 08:43 AM
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Rio Laxas
August 25, 2007, 08:49 AM
the short answer is both. I have many 10mms and many 45s and I think they are both great. .45 is just fine for self defense, but 10mm will do both self defense and make a fine hunting round as well. If I had to choose between them, it would be a Glock 20 or 29 in 10mm. I carry a Glock 20 every day and I consider it to be the best pistol ever made. It even beats my 10mm 1911.

Byron Quick
August 25, 2007, 08:49 AM
Buy multiple platforms in both calibers. Glock 29, Glock 20, two Dan Wesson Razorbacks (1911 10MM), four 1911's in .45 ACP

I shoot the Glocks slightly better than the 1911's but they don't carry well for me. So my carry pistol is my SA Loaded in .45 ACP. I will probably go to the Dan Wesson Razorbacks after some tweaking.

.357 magnum
August 25, 2007, 10:17 AM
First off the 10mm is a good stopper, but it does not stop better then the .45acp. The .45 has a lot more quality ammo choices over the 10mm and has the edge in stopping power.:evil: Other reasons for the .45 is that there are some very high quality guns on the market in this caliber. The best mfg. all make .45's The .45 is easier to shoot, I find it easier to place a shot and follow up shots with the.45- In my opinion its the .45 hands down. Smith-Wesson will be putting out their 14rd mag in September or October and the XD is one of the Best Polymer pistols I have ever shot [if not the best] I like the XD so much I have their .45 Tactical and Service model. I have tried the 10mm and could not get it to match up to the .45 You did say self defense and not hunting, so the .45 is the way to go. With all the ammo choices out there in .45acp you just cannot go wrong.

The Best to you and Yours!


The Lone Haranguer
August 25, 2007, 10:24 AM
I would get the .45. The downloaded version invented for and popularized by the FBI is no more powerful than the .45; the full powered version is needlessly (I'm sure I will get some arguments on this;)) powerful for personal defense against human attack; .45 practice ammo is much cheaper, enabling you to shoot more; and there are more guns available in .45.

August 25, 2007, 10:35 AM
I like and own both calibers, but the 10mm is definitely my favorite cartridge. You can buy downloaded loads (similar in power to the 40SW) and you can get full power nuke loads (IE: Double Tap) for big time work, like any 2 to 4 legged baddies.

Also, with a 10mm, you can buy 40SW and 357sig barrels and have 3 guns in one. Some platforms may require new mags for the 40/357, but my G20 handles all three loads with standard mags.

My Glock 20 in .357sig guise:

August 25, 2007, 10:46 AM
I have heard of a lot of problems in all types of firearms with the 10mm because of the pressure the cartridge creats. I am not sure how true this is but that is what I have heard. I still want a Cold Delta Elite in 10mm. always oved the looks of them.

August 25, 2007, 11:03 AM
the short answer is both. I have many 10mms and many 45s and I think they are both great.
I have the .45 for urban/suburban carry, and 10mm when walking in the woods or on the hills.

While neither is problematic in recoil, because it's also my competition round, I find I can score multiple hits faster with the .45. But that's with 250 rounds minimum per week. I may need to switch to .40, though; the cost of brass is killing me, and .40 brass is free if you get to the range after the local police practice.

But if I have to stop something dead in its tracks, I like the energy edge provided by 10mm loaded to its max (i.e. Double Tap). I know for a fact it will stop a charging wild boar, though it's marginal compared to a .44 on a bear.

August 25, 2007, 11:33 AM
My $.02 worth goes to the .45ACP but in reality, with comparable bullets, both would do the same job. (Same could be said about the 9mm in a +p loading.) The difference is you will get faster follow-up shots with the .45 over the 10mm. With multiple bad guys this could be the difference between winning and losing. Want proof, go to an IDPA or IPSC match and talk to shooters shooting both; the vast majority have shorter split times with the .45 than the 10mm.

August 25, 2007, 11:35 AM
I'd usually say to get both, but this one, get the 45.

August 25, 2007, 11:52 AM
theya re both fine SD calibers. go with the gun you like more and take a look at ammo prices. can't go wrong with either

August 25, 2007, 01:01 PM
Pick up a Witness in either 10 or 45 and buy the upper in the opposite cal. Try them both and shoot whatever you feel best with. I shoot the 10 and occasionally pop a 40 barrel in to save some money. I'm thinking of ordering the 45 upper soon. I have owned them all and can say that it is a matter of personal choice not what others will tell you. With proper placement, they all get the job done.

August 25, 2007, 01:14 PM
Me, personally, no Glocks. I'd go DA decocker. I like my Ruger P90, perfect, love it, just wish I could get one in 10mm. The 10mm is MUCH more powerful than any other reasonable, available in a reasonably sized carry gun, auto pistol cartridge. It's a .357 magnum with a bigger bullet, how could you miss with that? Ruger will likely never make the P90 in 10, but if they decide to, I'll be in front of the line waiting on mine.

If all you want is self defense with the gun, the .45 is really hard to beat. I see the 10 as an outdoor caliber for autoloaders and it's a danged fine self defense caliber loaded to +P .45 levels (light for a 10, say a 180 grain to about 1100 fps), too, sorta like a .357 mag in an autoloader or more like a 4" .41 mag, but in an autoloader because to reach 10mm levels, the .357 needs a 6" plus barrel.

JMHO, of course.

August 25, 2007, 01:17 PM
iiibdsiil-- Is thre any reason that you are not looking into 357 Sig?
I'm not saying it's better than either the .45, or 10mm.
Just that it opens up the door to more power than the 9mm, and does not limit your platforms nearly as much. Everyone makes a .357sig. Not so for the 10 and 45's which need a larger frame (although there are PLENTY of platforms for the 45)

August 25, 2007, 01:21 PM
I'd definitely go with 45ACP. I've only shot a couple of 10mm guns and there seemed to be nothing about it that would make me want one. There are just so many more choices for gun and ammo with 45 and you will be glad you went that way in the long run.

August 25, 2007, 01:27 PM
You hear all kinds of stuff on the internet but you never seem to hear the critical differences in self defense performance in a semi auto pistol. Stop and consider that the 200gr 10mm loaded to original factory specs is moving at a bit over 1200 fps and has such a high sectional density (diameter vs weight) and BC (Ballistic Coefficient) that it is absolute flat shooting out beyond one hundred yards. It has more retained energy and much better stopping power at all ranges than the venerable 45 which is by no means a slouch at stopping the bad guys. I have never understood the very high percentages of one shot stops attributed to the 40 S&W the bullets are lead and copper gilding metal same as a 45, the velocity is nothing special compared to a 45 yet the 40 seems to have gained some supernatural powers of stopping assailants better than either the fast and light 357 or slow and heavy 45. My considered opinion? Go with the fast and heavy 10mm.

August 25, 2007, 05:49 PM
:DPick the platform first as others have said. You will not be dissapointed with the 10mm. Very versatile and powerful round. 135-165gr rounds rarely have overpenetration as an issue in SD applications. The 10mm has 357mag ballistic equivalence in an autoloading platform. You can also generally get conversion barrels for .40 and 357sig which load without a mag or extractor change. I like the G-20 and G-29, but you have to find out what works for you.

August 25, 2007, 10:24 PM
Thanks for all the info guys! I'm gonna see how I like shooting the 10 mm before I make any decisions. I agree if I am not comfortable with the platform, then there is no point in buying it. I also agree .45 is plenty, and in all honesty, my 9 mm is probably plenty. I'm just one of those people that kinda feel like I want to make sure it will work, even if it's going overboard. But at the same time, I realize that 10 hits of .45 is going to be better then 4 hits of 10 mm if I can't control the thing.

.357Sig never crossed my mind. I may look into that one too.

I'm scared of the 1911s because I don't want to get addicted to the crack habit like everyone else. I don't need another money drainer! :neener:

Thanks for the search recommendation too, I didn't think to put the 10 and mm together. :banghead:

August 25, 2007, 10:46 PM
Personally, I'd say to go with a full size double-stack 9, so you can share ammo with your Kahr. That's why my primary pieces are a Glock 23 and MK40.

Personally, I prefer .40 over either .45 or 10 mm. More magazine capacity than .45, less recoil than 10mm.

August 27, 2007, 02:27 PM
Well from what you have stated the only major gunmaker to choose from is the Witness if you go with 10mm. Due to the fact you don't prefer Glocks and you don't like grip safety's and 1911's. The Witness can be had in a compact frame but it really depends on what you like. To me the compact Witness grip is a little too big, especially when considering it for concealed carry. I personally would go with the fullsize Witness if I were to go 10mm, it would be tamer and could also work as a more efficient/accurate hunting weapon. 10mm fans seem to love the Witness line.
The .45 gives you more options in the platform of your choice and more places to purchase ammo in a bind.
You may want to do some shooting before you decide, there are probably plenty of people who would be more than willing to let you shoot their weapons before you make a $500+ investment that you will be disappointed in. You may even find someone on THR that could help you out. The .45 is probably the most practical, but being practical is not for everyone and isn't always the most fun.
Good Luck and Be Safe!

August 27, 2007, 05:43 PM
Well in your original post you said ammo prices don't matter since you have a 9mm. So I'd say 10mm, How many people hunt with a .45acp?,...proof that the 10mm has plenty of stopping power. I have only shot a EAA Witness in 10mm, but was very impressed, and they are cheaper than a Glock to boot. Personally I want a Glock 29 though.

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