10mm vs. .45 Super


February 8, 2003, 04:40 AM
Been thinking. (Oh no...)

With a 10mm gun, you get loads from mild .40S&W level stuff to big powerful loudenboomers that are suitable for deer and small bear.

With a .45ACP suitable for use with .45 Super (such as a USP, or, as I found, my CZ-97) you get all of the wide range of .45ACP loads, .45ACP +P loads, and the .45 Super loads.

Maybe most ammo manufacturers aren't that creative with their 10mm defensive stuff. Most of it is fairly unimpressive, equal to .45ACP +P.

Look at Cor-Bon's numbers:

10MM 135gr JHP, 1400fps/588ftlbs
10MM 150gr JHP, 1325fps/585ftlbs
10MM 165gr JHP, 1250fps/573ftlbs

45ACP +P 165gr JHP, 1250fps/573ftlbs
45ACP +P 185gr JHP, 1150fps/543ftlbs
45ACP +P 200gr JHP, 1050fps/490ftlbs
45ACP +P 230gr JHP, 950fps/461ftlbs

The Cor-Bon 10mm 165gr load has the exact same muzzle velocity as their .45ACP 165gr load, with identical amounts of kinetic energy. The .45 makes a bigger hole to boot. And Cor-Bon doesn't load any of the heavier 10mm bullets in their defensive lineup.

Now, Cor-Bon doesn't load .45 Super, so I'll compare Cor-Bon's 10mm hunting loads with Buffalo Bore's .45 Super.

10MM 180gr BCSP, 1320fps/696ftlbs
10MM 200gr RNPN, 1200fps/640ftlbs


.45 SUPER 185 gr. JHP @1300 fps (694 ft. lbs.)
.45 SUPER 200 gr. JHP @ 1200 fps (639 ft. lbs.)
.45 SUPER 230 gr. JHP @1100 fps (618 ft. lbs.)
.45 SUPER 230 gr. FMJFN @ 1100 fps (618 ft. lbs.)

Buffalo Bore's 185 grain and 200 grain loads are virtually identical in performance to Cor-Bon's 10mm loads in the same bullet weight.

However, the .45 Super shooter has the advantage of the 230 grain bullets, if he should want them.

However again, the 10mm shooter has the advantage of the lighter, 135 and 150 grain bullets, if he should want THEM. Truth, 10mm has a wider range of bullet weights than .45, 135 grain through 200 grain, whereas .45 is only 165 grain through 230 grain. (Not including .45 Colt, Casull, etc. in this assertion, of course.)

So, does 10mm offer any advantage over the .45ACP/Super combination? Ammo availability, some might say. .45 Super and it's sister, .450SMC, are only loaded by three companies, to my knowledge; Texas Ammunition, Triton, and Buffalo Bore. The only .45 Super specific guns are expensive 1911 clones. However, just about any sturdy, modern full-sized .45ACP can be converted with little more than a heavier recoil spring, according to Triton. Texas Ammunition insists that this will damage the gun, and a special conversion is needed, but then, they're selling those conversions.

At least out of my CZ-97, .450SMC recoil was not bad at all, not much more than .45 +P, though the noise was considerably more. I've never shot a 10mm.

So 10mm has the advantage of ammo availability, at least over .45 Super. I think the .45 round has the advantage of gun variety, though. You have 1911s, Glocks, Sigs, and others that can fire it without trouble, and can fire a LOT of it with a heavy spring and maybe a shok buff. You have HK USPs which are tough enough to handle plenty of it right out of the box.

However, in 10mm, you have the Witness, imported by a company that hates customers, the Glock, which doesn't fit everybody's hand (mine, at least), the Smith 610 revolver, now with integral lock, and the Dan Wesson 1911, which is hard to find.

10mm can be found in both the Witness Compact and the Glock 29, though. Even triton recommends against firing .450SMC from any compact firearm. So I suppose even stout hunting 10mm loads could be used from a diminutive Glock 29, whereas you need a full sized gun for .45 Super.

Ammo prices for .45 Super are high. But then, they're also high for quality 10mm stuff; reloading is advisable for either round.

So, given the various pros and cons, which do you find preferable, and why?

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February 8, 2003, 06:09 AM
The only problem for me is that I already have a 10mm!!! Mods to my G36 to accept .45 super are not in my budget!!!

February 8, 2003, 09:52 AM
A couple of observations.

Actually, the 10mm offered by Texas Ammo is pretty impressive stuff in its "heavy & fast" manifestation, easily surpassing the .45acp+P (which I like also) and is somewhat hotter than CorBon's 10mm.

See: http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?threadid=84117

T.A. offers 4 versions of their "full-power" 10mm:

135gn Nosler HP @ 1450fps/630ft-lbs;

165gn Sierra HP @ 1350fps/668ft-lbs;

200gn Hornady XTP-HP @ 1250fps/694ft-lbs;

200gn Hornady FMJ-FP @ 1250fps/694ft-lbs.

Yes, the range of bullet-weights available in 10mm/.40cal to the reloader (or, for that matter, to any commercial ammo-maker) is certainly the largest in any handgun caliber, running from 135gns on the light end to 220gns on the heavy end.

For penetration purposes the 10mm/.40cal bullets also offer better sectional density than the .45 bullet. In the FBI's testing, the 10mm proved superior to the 9mm and .45 in reaching the target against barriers commonly encountered in LE, such as wood, metal and auto glass. Of course, barrier penetration is not necessarily an issue in civilian self-defense applications.

HTH. :)


February 8, 2003, 11:18 AM
Corbon doesn't load full power 10mm in personal defense ammo.
Their hunting ammo is full power.

180gr@1320fps, 696fpe
200gr@1200fps, 640fpe.

Look at these other commercial loads.

Winchester Silvertip, 175gr@1290fps, 649fpe.

Triton Quik Shok, 155gr@1400fps, 674fpe.

So the real deal, full power 10mm meets or exceeds 45super, which is a fine cartridge also.

February 8, 2003, 11:50 AM
If you reload, you can get .45 bullets as light as 155gr. (some use these for "softball" loads.)

Personally, I see the 10mm & the .45 Super as six & one-half dozen. They pretty much equal each other ballistically. The only difference I see is the types of bullets available to the reloader The .45 may have an edge d/t it's popularity in both autos & revolvers, but the 10's selections pretty much cover the bases. If I didn't already own a .45, I'd have to flip a coin...

Choose your fun...:D

February 8, 2003, 01:21 PM
I don't own both, but I do hae access to both. A buddy loads for 45 super and another owns 10mm. I prefer the 45 super...to me, it just feels better to shoot.

February 8, 2003, 04:47 PM
People keep referencing 10mm 220 grain bullets....are there any commercial loads with the 220s? I haven't seen them.

Given the choices, I think that the Witness 10mm makes a much better 10mm choice for me than the Glock 20. Why?

-Costs less. Glock 20s run over $600 in my area.
-Familiarity. I have a CZ-97B. The Witness is a CZ clone. Heck, my CZ-97 takes Witness .45 magazines!
-Action. I prefer a hammer fired gun;
-Fit. The CZ-97 has a big grip, but fits me well. Between the large frame Glock's hump and finger grooves, it feels like holding a 2x4.

The question is, of course, how do the Witness 10mms hold up over time? Are they tough enough for the full power stuff?\

Oh, Witnesses can have an Ambi safety, ARE YOU FRIGGIN' LISTENING CZUSA? Can you order the gun to have this or do you have to install it yourself?

(On a side note, Mike at CZ-USA, their head gunsmith, told me he could put a Witness ambi safety on my CZ97...)

I'm already a .45 Colt shooter, and now look at me, looking at 10mm. That's all I need, another oddball, expensive cartridge in my lineup. You guys watch, pretty soon I'll be shooting .41 Magnums as well. Heh. My .45 ACP is pretty run of the mill, though in a less common gun....

Dare to be different!

February 8, 2003, 05:46 PM
Let me congratulate you on your post. I found it exceptionally informative. Good job. Did you do anything special to the CZ97 to shoot 45 Super ammo? I have one and that sure is an appealing combination. Good shooting;)

February 8, 2003, 05:49 PM
Well, thank you. :)

The only things I've done to the CZ-97 are this: Full length, steel guide rod (same one as for the CZ-75, and is necessary for heavier recoil springs) and the 22lb spring (again, a CZ-75 spring works) from Wolff. Standard pressure ACP stuff doesn't always work the best with the 22lb spring, but the +P and +P+ use it well.

The CZ-97 is a 2.5lb, all steel gun. I figured it could handle it.

February 8, 2003, 05:51 PM
It's worth noting that a 200 grain 10mm bullet and a 200 grain .45 bullet are considerably different.

Assuming the bullets are otherwise identical, the 10mm will penetrate much better than the .45 since the .45 has equal weight but increased frontal area.

Could be important if you're using these calibers for hunting.

For the same reason, a 10mm bullet will shoot flatter than an equal weight .45 bullet because the 10 is more aerodynamic and won't shed velocity as rapidly.

I think it all depends on what you own already.

If you already have a 10mm or are looking to purchase a gun or you don't reload then 10mm makes more sense due to ammo and firearm availability.

If you reload and don't own a 10mm but already own a sturdy .45 then the .45 Super makes sense because you can save money by not buying a new gun.

February 8, 2003, 06:05 PM
If you reload and don't own a 10mm but already own a sturdy .45 then the .45 Super makes sense because you can save money by not buying a new gun.

Save money by not buying a new gun? :confused:

What is money for other than for buying new guns? :D

February 8, 2003, 06:25 PM
I still have my doubts about the long-term effect of 10mm or
(now) .45 Super ammo on the Bushing. The frame is quite stout, but the bushing seems a bit fragile.

The new bushing seems to be a better design. I guess time
will tell concerning the long-term wear.

My 10mm Witness is my 'beater gun' for hard use in the outdoors.
If i bang it up or hot-rod it with stout loads, i'll just buy another
in a year or so. Like the CZ75, it does quite well without a
Bushing ala the 97B.

I also don't know what the Warranty on a 97B fired with
.45 SUPER ammo would be like.

We learn thru experimentation. Sounds like the .45 SUPER is
a good one so far.

February 8, 2003, 07:09 PM
I was hoping the whole 10mm crew would chime in on this one. My personal gravy train comes to a screeching halt this summer, and I'm going to be living like a pauper (typical college student) after that, so the guns I get now are what I'm going to be stuck with for awhile.... :D

Where's Sean Smith?

February 8, 2003, 07:37 PM
The CZ 97B is a h*ll of a nice gun. I only wish they made it in 10mm Auto, as do about half a million others.

As far as the 10mm/220gn bullets, these are made by Rainier (sp?), but as far as I know they are not loaded commercially.

In terms of factory loads, the hottest "heavy & fast" load (again, AFAIK) is Texas Ammo's 200gn loads @ 1250fps.

For the cheapest 10mms out there, the Tanfaglio Witnesses are hard to beat - unless you find a great deal on a S&W 10mm, like a 1006, 1066 or 1086. Sometimes you see guys picking these up, in excellent condition, for $350-$450. These are extremely underated guns.

If you're interested, you might do a Search on GT's 10Ring for the numerous posts about the Smith 10mms.

As well, MCNETT has posted a lot of 10mm reloading data there, some of it relating to loads using the 10mm/220gn bullets.

HTH. :)

Stephen Ewing
February 8, 2003, 07:57 PM
Frohickey: Money is also for ammo and gunsmithing.

Surely I'm not the only one who keeps talking about picking up a couple cases of ammo, or getting Teddy Jacobson to do something, yet ends up buying a half-dozen guns a month? For example, I need to convert one of my CZ-97s to .45 Super, to match the Witness 10mms, but I keep getting distracted by new guns. It took me six months to cut enough out of the gun budget to get my Vaquero reamed to 10mm (among other things) so, yes, money is for more than just new guns: It's for feeding and modifying guns.


Alan Fud
February 8, 2003, 09:38 PM
As posted originally ... Cor-Bon: 10MM 135gr JHP, 1400fps/588ftlbs = 10.8
10MM 150gr JHP, 1325fps/585ftlbs = 11.35
10MM 165gr JHP, 1250fps/573ftlbs = 11.78

45ACP +P 165gr JHP, 1250fps/573ftlbs = 13.25
45ACP +P 185gr JHP, 1150fps/543ftlbs = 13.67
45ACP +P 200gr JHP, 1050fps/490ftlbs = 13.5
45ACP +P 230gr JHP, 950fps/461ftlbs = 14.04 Buffalo Bore: 10MM 180gr BCSP, 1320fps/696ftlbs = 13.57
10MM 200gr RNPN, 1200fps/640ftlbs = 13.71

.45 SUPER 185 gr. JHP @1300 fps (694 ft. lbs.) = 15.46
.45 SUPER 200 gr. JHP @ 1200 fps (639 ft. lbs.) = 15.42
.45 SUPER 230 gr. JHP @1100 fps (618 ft. lbs.) = 16.26
.45 SUPER 230 gr. FMJFN @ 1100 fps (618 ft. lbs.) = 16.26 http://fud-files.netfirms.com/image/port2-jj.jpg (http://www.FamilyFriendsFirearms.com/) » www.FamilyFriendsFirearms.com (http://www.FamilyFriendsFirearms.com) «
Alligator Al: Share What You Know & Learn What You Don't.

February 8, 2003, 10:12 PM
All of the 10mm I listed is made by Cor-Bon. Buffalo Bore doesn't load 10mm.

In any case, what are the numbers you have on there? They aren't the prices of the ammunition.

February 8, 2003, 10:28 PM
Taylor knockout figures I believe. Used for bigbore rifles and some people try to adapt it to handguns because it favors larger bullet diameters and it usually shows .45 acp to be the best.

I don't think it applies too well to lowpowered handgun cartridges. Penetration matters. Will a .45 JHP designed for 850 fps penetrate well enough when pushed to 1,100 fps? A 200 grain 10mm XTP will.

Alan Fud
February 8, 2003, 10:41 PM
Correct on the Taylor scale.

It's true that penetration matters ... and so does OVERpenetration. Full-powered 10mm's will mostlikely overpenetrate where as a .45ACP might not -- thus dumping ALL of it's energy into the target.

If it's a human foe, I'll take the .45ACP ... with a four-legged one, I'll take the 10mm.

February 8, 2003, 11:04 PM
TKO values are only useful when comparing two hard-cast or non-expanding FMJ bullets. This formula is flawed when modern JHP or JSP are used. The 10mm the most versatile autopistol cartridge, period. I can load .40SW powered-loads for cream-puff (wife-only) loads. OTOH I can insert my 6"KKM bbl into my G20 and get these types of numbers:
135Nosler- 1850fps
155GDHP- 1700fps
180XTP- 1500fps
220 Precision FP- 1350fps

Anything in between these two extremes is where the 10mm will shine. FWIW, you can also insert a $89.00 Federal Arms bbl in either .40SW or .357sig for fun and get three calibers from the same pistol! I shoot .45 Super from my HK USP .45 from time to time, but when I want to get the job done, I'll take out one of my G20's. BTW, the 10mm is an excellent hunting cartridge (as long as you do your part). I have taken both deer and black bear with the 180XTP, 200XTP, and 200WFN from Beartooth Bullets.

February 8, 2003, 11:16 PM
IMO, most people pushing a 200+ grain bullet out of the 10mm as as fast as possible are interested in as much penetration as they can get since they're probably using it for hunting. I don't know too many people who feel that 200 grains at 1200fps is necessary for antipersonnel... Just for the reasons you pointed out.

While we're at it, perhaps you could enlighten me as to the specific quantity defined by the TKO numbers you listed.

They're not energy.
They're not momentum.
They're not power.
They're not velocity.
They're not sectional density.
They're not penetration.
They're not wound channel surface area.
They're not wound channel volume.
They're not ANYTHING as far as I can tell, other than some scale dreamed up by a poacher about 100 years ago in an effort to quantify a phenomenon he encountered while headshooting elephants with large caliber rifles. It had nothing to do with pistols, nothing to do with shooting humans, nothing to do with anything related to this discussion. The fact that these arbitrary numbers support the "gut feeling" that many people have about which pistol caliber is superior is completely irrelevant. You might as well randomly assign a color scale based purely on the physical dimensions of a loaded round and the appearance of the pistol firing it and then declare that "RED" is best...

February 9, 2003, 12:03 AM
I've said it many times before. The ONLY scientific measure of cartridge power is kinetic energy. It's a mathematical formula and can be proven with empirical evidence and hard data.

Everything else I've seen, including this "Taylor Knock-Out Formula", is BUNK, pseudoscience at best.

More kinetic energy = more power. There are simply too many variables to quantify anything else.

February 9, 2003, 12:21 AM
With 10mm you might get an extra round or two, this is part of what got me a glock 20 instead of a glock 21.

Till I see what happens with others using the more powerful 45 stuff in guns made for 45acp I am simply happier using 10mm in a gun made for 10mm and labeled as such.

Yes I also upgrade the springs and have aftermarket barrels. For whatever reason I am happier with the slide saying 10mm from the factory. Guess I am just a tad weird that way.

I figure it is down to whatever someone prefers, if I already had a bunch of 45acp stuff I would have gone that way most likely. But since I was just starting I felt different.

February 9, 2003, 12:21 AM

I made the assumption that the goal was hunting since few people would use .45 super for human defense.

155 grain golddot at 1,375 fps for I think it's a touch under 700 ft/lbs of energy is an excellent selfdefense load in 10mm without excessive overpenetration.

I'm glad we agree on the 10mm for hunting. ;)

Desert Dog
February 9, 2003, 12:23 AM
Nightcrawler you are right. However, if the round overpenetrates not all of the KE will be taken by the target.

I have been loading for .45 Super ever since Starline started selling the brass. My best friend shoots 10mm out of a S&W 610, and my .45 Super gun is a Ruger Blackhawk convertible. It is pretty much a wash to us. Do you like .40 caliber ammo? 10mm is yours. Like .45 caliber stuff? .45 Super is just awesome.

There is something about a 230 gr. FMJ flying along at 1200 FPS...


February 9, 2003, 01:08 AM
That's the thing; you can't quantify stopping power. THere are too many variables.

For instance, if the bullet overpenetrates, not all energy is expended on the target. However, it gives him a second hole to bleed out of.

Other variables?

-Where the bullet enters/exits, and what it hits along the way.
-The constitution and willpower of the target.

Not many, it would seem like. But those two are a DOOZIE. Shoot two seemingly similar people in the same place with the same gun and they might react completely differently.

February 9, 2003, 03:17 AM
Interesting night at the range. Two of y buddies brought up he idea of 10mm vs. 45 super when to my surprise, buddy #1 breaks out a new 6" STI in 10mm and some home loads. WOW! :what: What fun that was...now I'm thinking....another caliber? Maybe a semi -custom 1911 w/ 2 slides, one 10mm and one 45 super ;) I think my opinion has evolved :scrutiny:

Sean Smith
February 9, 2003, 09:32 AM
People have hit most of the points already, but to recap:

1. The ballistics of 10mm vs .45 Super (in terms of bullet weight at speed) are essentially identical, once you equalize factors like barrel length. Cor-Bon 10mm ballistics are from 4.6" barrels, while factory .45 Super ballistics are from everything from 5" to 6" V-16 ported barrels.

2. Cor-Bon self-defense loads are, for 10mm, weak. So using them as a basis to say "10mm is no better than .45 ACP +P" is just plain misinformed... or cooking the numbers through unrepresentative sampling. Pro Load, Winchester, Triton, Georgia Arms, Texas Ammunition, and others sell full-power (600+ ft-lbs at the muzzle) 10mm self-defense loads that make .45 ACP +P look sissified.

A Cor-Bon rep has stated they keep their 10mm self-defense ammo power down in order to cater to their law-enforcement customers for the ammo. :D

3. A 200gr 10mm load is not comparable to a 200gr .45 ACP load. The difference is sectional density. All else being equal, at equal bullet weights 10mm will penetrate alot further than .45 ACP. The sectional density comparison runs something like this (10mm/.45):

135/165-185 (it splits the difference)

4. On to ammo availablility... on one hand, 10mm is alot more abundant than .45 Super or .450 SMC. On the other, a .45 Super gun can just shoot .45 ACP, which is easier to find than 10mm. However, since you can order bulk practice ammo in 10mm from Georgia Arms for less than most people pay for factory .45 acp at $160/1,000 ($8/50), the difference seems moot to me... unless getting stuff through the mail seems like a radical, scary concept to you.


February 9, 2003, 01:17 PM
Either will be equal to the task, in terms of stopping power.

As you know, there are a variety of amply powerful handgun cartridges. So, for the similarly capable cartridge varieties, the choice most likely will relate to characteristics of the firearms available.

I like the 10mm because it packs sufficient power, gives great expansion with properly chosen hollow points, and can run at high velocities. My favorite pistol in this caliber is the S&W 1076. Though out of production, used ones can be found. Being constructed of nearly all stainless steel components, this fairly compact pistol is a fine item to own. Very few difficulties related to this model have been reported.

"The 10mm lives!"

"Armalube (http://www.armalube.com) Hits The Mark!"

February 9, 2003, 02:18 PM
So what you guys are really saying is that I should, in fact, add a 10mm on my to-get list of pistols?

*sigh* You don't understand. You know how it goes for me? I found a .45 Colt Smith 25-5, right? So now I "need" a .45 Colt Taurus snubby to go with it. I have a .45ACP CZ-97, and now I need a Sig P245 to go with THAT. Not to mention a .45ACP revolver, which, as Tamara put it, I can never be complete without.

One 10mm would inevitably leave me wanting another, and possibly that Smith revolver to boot.

This is an expensive hobby. :o

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