The Glock 20, heavy bullets and reliability?


buzz meeks
January 13, 2004, 07:29 PM
Hey there. I'm in the market for a new outdoors pistol. I'm seeking a platform that packages modest weight and manageable power. Modest weight because I do a lot of hiking and backpacking. Manageable power because there are some big nasties where I go.

One of the handguns that comes up over and over is the Glock 20. It's a lightweight pistol that is not terribly maintenance intensive. More importantly, it's chambered in the 10mm, which, while a bit lighter than I'd like, is probably adequate. But only when it's loaded properly. To me that means a bullet in the 200 to 220 grain weight range. And I must have velocity in the 1200 fps range.

Those are my requirements. My questions are simple. Is the Glock reliable with those heavy 200 and 220 grain bullets? Is it reliable when you push those bullets as fast as you safely can? What's your experience been?

I posted this same question over on Glocktalk a few weeks back and the results were predictable. I'm posing this question to THR readers to get some balance. Thanks in advance.

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January 13, 2004, 08:38 PM
Short of a 12 gauge with slugs, the G20 with DoubleTap's 200gr load will do you right.

And with SIXTEEN rounds in the gun, you will have the power to get the job done.

DoubleTap certifys and tests in their own G20s. The G20 is one very solid gun, Glock's best.

For the hunter that needs deep penetration AND expansion, with this one you can't miss!

Caliber : 10mm

Bullet : 200gr XTP/JHP

Ballistics : 1250fps/ 694ft./ lbs. - Glock 20

$23.95 box of 50 or $215.00 case of 500

January 13, 2004, 09:08 PM
If you want to wring the last bit out of those loads, you can add an aftermarket KKM 6" barrel and a heavier captured spring assembly for a couple hundred bucks more than stock. Reliability stays very high as long as you stay away from brass that has been thru the stock Glock chamber a time or two. If you do reload, there is probably a safe and reliable 100+ fps past what anyone could market to the general public of sloppy Glock chambers and unknown gun tuning, but Double Tap gets pretty close to the best possible.

January 13, 2004, 11:19 PM
I would not RE-load for the 10mm. (using shot brass.)

HAND-loading of course is fine, and the best way to get whatever you want out of this very versitile cartridge.

January 14, 2004, 12:18 AM
I quit handloading and now use a press. Sheesh. Anyhow, here in Kali we can't buy 15 round clips .:D

January 14, 2004, 01:18 AM
In over a dozen years and thousands of rounds, I've never encountered a problem in my Glock 20 with any kind of ammo: factory ammo or reloads.

Likewise, it's my favorite woods gun usually with 6" barrel.


January 14, 2004, 01:30 AM
In over a dozen years and thousands of rounds, I've never encountered a problem in my Glock 20 with any kind of ammo: factory ammo or reloads.

I have a different tale to tale. My 20 ran ok for the most part. It did have a malfunction with WW silvertip in a qualifcation course that I could not explain. The story is darker with reloads however. It hated 180 grain golden saber bullets. It chocked on them. It did ok with heavy FMJ's however. The 10mm is a great woods gun unless bear are a real threat. Then pack a large rifle or a shotgun with slugs backed up with at least a 44 mag revolver.

January 14, 2004, 12:05 PM
I've shot prolly over 10,000 reloaded rounds thru my G20. Most have been 200 gr XTPs, the rest have been 180 XTPs. Shot pins, paper and deer with it. I've had no problems that weren't generated by my reloading or my glockplumbing.

I would step up the recoil spring to 20lbs or more. If you backpack, there is no such thing as an item that is "too light." I find the G20 to be very controlable with any reasonable load.

I'd be fine with it for anything up to and including a black bear.

Don't bolt too much on (like I did) and perfect "Perfection" to the point of being unusable. I got it back to specs & now it's working flawlessly again.


January 14, 2004, 01:21 PM
10mm/200gns @ 1200+fps ...

Heavy & fast.

Here's a review of Texas Ammo's 200gn 10mm loads which use Hornady bullets - XTP-HPs & FMJ-FPs @ 1250fps/694fpe (one of the test guns was a G20):

DoubleTap's 220gn Poly FP does 1125fps/618fpe, which is chron-ed from the G20's stock 4.6" barrel. Obviously, you can increase that load's fps & fpe by using a 6" barrel, either the factory's or an aftermarket, like KKM's.

DT's 200gn 10mm loads (again, using Hornady bullets) launch, respectively, @ 1250fps with the XTP and @ 1270fps/715fpe with the FMJ. Both loads are chrono-ed from the G-20's 4.6" barrel as well. Again, velocity will be higher if you use a the 6" tube as part of your "outdoors pistol" set-up.


January 14, 2004, 03:08 PM
Note that the longer 6 inch barrel has varying effects on performance. Here's some info I've posted before. It shows the difference in bullet weights of two factory loads.

10mm Velocity and Barrel Length

Barrel Length Corbon CCI Blaser
135 JHP 200 TMJ

4.6" Glock 1449 994
6" Glock 1536 1006
10" T/C Contender 1748 1074

5 shot strings
Conditions: Temp - 93 deg F /Wind - calm /Humidity - 46 %


Sean Smith
January 14, 2004, 03:12 PM
I would not RE-load for the 10mm. (using shot brass.)

You know, actually knowing what you are talking about can be qute helpful. Give it a try sometime. ;)

The 10mm is actually a very safe and easy case to reload.

January 14, 2004, 03:30 PM
Can't beat a Glock mdl20. Just the same, I have an order in for a EAA full size 10mm. The only thing better than having one 10mm is having two!

January 14, 2004, 05:19 PM
And I have since taken it all over the place. I bought it for the same reasons that you mentioned. I wanted a light, powerful,simple to maintain handgun. On its first outing, I shot three pigs with it. The range close, but the ammo fully penatrated. I used Corbon 200 penatrators. The largest pig was about 220 ish lbs. Next I took it to Alaska on a 14 day moose hunt. I used it around camp, loading and unloading our raft, and hauling meat. It was great and although I had to clean my rifle every other day to keep the rust down, I never cleaned the glock once. On the last day I fired some rounds while waiting for the float plane and not a single jam (I did check the gun daily to ensure that dirt and dust were not going to cause a malfunction). Lately it has made numerous trips to the deserts and local mountains with me. I hardly notice it when I am hiking/fishing. I have had no problems with the 200 grn bullets, but did install a 20 lb spring and a ss guide rod. I also put in a NY +8lb trigger spring with a 3.5 lb connecter. I did this to remove the coil spring from the trigger mech. Now I have a pretty bullet proof gun. I hope to take it back out to TX in the spring to slay some more pigs. If I get the chance I will post an update. This time I will use Dbl. Tap ammo.

Hope this helps,


January 14, 2004, 08:06 PM
Welcome to The High Road from another Redondoite.

January 14, 2004, 08:43 PM
You know, actually knowing what you are talking about can be qute helpful. Give it a try sometime.

The 10mm is actually a very safe and easy case to reload.

Sean- I'm sure it is, for someone who really knows what they're doing with reloading equipment. Right now, that's not me, and I better stick to custom HANDloadings for my .30-06. (supervised by a more expierenced reloader.) Did you read the second line of my post?

10mm is awesome, I'm just not at a point where I personally would be comfortable shooting already-fired brass in a Glock 20, given the slight deformation I see around the feed ramp area of the lower part of the chamber. (or even for my G34 9mm for that matter, ok, maybe I'm being paranoid now. Or had too much expiereince in metal fatuige and stress analysis.)

January 14, 2004, 09:00 PM
glad to hear from another southbay gun owner..

Have a good one.


January 14, 2004, 09:59 PM
You know, actually knowing what you are talking about can be qute helpful. Give it a try sometime.

Come on were all adults no reason to act like children and throw around insults. :(

January 14, 2004, 10:50 PM
The 10mm is actually a very safe and easy case to reload.I agree. After I traded in a .40 for a 10mm I used the same RCBS dies, smiled, and never looked back.
given the slight deformation ... maybe I'm being paranoid ...
Don't worry, the sizing die takes care of the deformation, experience (or meds) takes care of the other. :)


January 14, 2004, 11:58 PM
A quick 2 cents worth on reloading the 10mm Glock'd brass...

I switched to a tighter than Glock supported chamber for my G29 (Barsto barrel) and a percentage of my previously Glock'd brass became a press fit even after resizing. The dies (in this case Hornady) don't work the case all the way down on the web. I'm starting fresh with a new shipment of Starline and will lose the Glock'd brass after running it thru a stock barrel. It still feeds fine in the loose Glock chamber. Loads were generally midrange but were several times thru. With a background in metal fatigue and work hardening you can make what you will of this. I think I went to tighter, more supported chambers for a reason. And for the hottest loads, I agree with artherd and use fresh brass. Conversely, I have re used .44M revolver brass a couple times in higher end loads without incident. Brass is cheap. I guess you could hit a manufacturing flaw in new stuff too. Last brass failure I had was with mid range .44M, w231 loads from a Lee dipper 25+ years ago.

January 15, 2004, 02:20 AM
Cal4d4, there may be something else at work here. I wouldn't handload to save money. I'm intrested in handloading only to make loads that are not offered by a factory. (just dosen't make sense otherwise, TO ME that is :)

I buy winchester white box 9mm to plink with, and CCI and Blazer make relatively reasonably priced 10mm plinking loads as well. I don't think I can save enough $ compared to white box/CCI/whatever for plinking by reloading. That's not to say some people find it an immensely enjoyable expierence, and do manage to save a few pennies at the same time. Just saying it ain't worth it to me.

Now, factory ammo dosen't guarentee you won't get a malfunction or whatnot, certinly not any more than handloading (and handloading, at least I've got only MYSELF to blame and I can control the whole process.)

The ability to create any load I want, with near 100% say in the quality of the result, appeals highly to me as a hand-loader. Just not ready to get into RE-loading at this time. (good brass just too cheap!)

PS: From my limited expierence, I think your chamber issues are just that, the Barsto chamber is just tighter. What does Barsto-only re-loaded brass do after resizing? (if it's still press-fit tight, you may have a problem with either your dies or chamber, or both :P .)

January 15, 2004, 02:52 AM
Nah, no problems. My G20 has a KKM with tight chamber. Ran into the same thing. I can feel the difference resizing brass from it as compared to the G29 when it had the Glock barrel. Glock makes them a few thou sloppier for reliability under all conditions. Redding dies state that carbide pistol dies are not designed to full length resize. There is a little cold flow stackup or unresized diameter right at the web/wall transition, and it may be more cold flow from working the brass than anything. Redding actually warns you of this. If I can get the reliability with the tight chamber - no problems in the G20 - I get brass that stays closer to ideal springback even with hotter loads. Still lose ~25% at the range. 1000 pcs from Starline is $101 delivered, one trip to the emergency room is a little more.

In the 10mm I can load to give the 7yd target powder burns or do double taps like I was shooting a .22. In the G20 with 20# spring, both function just fine. Hope to get the same results with the G29/Barsto combo. Shorter actions with double wound springs can be a little trickier functionwise and this setup is new. Hope you enjoy the 10mm, it sounds as if you are on the right track. 5 or 6X reloaded 180gr/1000fps using HS6, Blue Dot, Power Pistol(I like it), AA#7 and a host of others is no big deal. Watch for resizing caused burnishing at the base/web area and of course any "smilies" at the feed ramp exposure.

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