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The Real History of the 10MM and .40 S&W

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Cal4D4, Dec 26, 2002.

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  1. Cal4D4

    Cal4D4 Well-Known Member

    Help me! I thought both the 10MM and the .40 S&W were developed from suggestions from Jeff Cooper by the crew at Guns & Ammo. They develoed the 10, then cut it down to fit into a Browning HiPower platform. It was called the .40 G & A. Time frame was the early '70s if memory serves (hah!). All the FBI stuff was at least a decade later. S&W only adopted an existing wildcat, no R & D involved.

    Is this revisionist history?

  2. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    The DEVELOPMENT of a cartridge often involves a wildcatter but the ADOPTION of a cartridge is a whole nother thing.

    I would submit a whole bunch of wildcats have been made that only were chambered in one gun but the 10mm was first chambered in Dornhaus & Dixon's Bren Ten. It may have been at JC's (no, not that one) behest or with his approval, however, I cannot believe he would have knowingly give the nod to a crunchenticker as he invariably refers to the breed over his beloved Colt automatic.

    The 40 S&W may have been a wildcat at first but the real ADOPTION took place at S&W. The rest is history.
  3. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    'Scuse me, but doesn't the 10mm use large primers and .40S&W small primers?
  4. Slotback

    Slotback Well-Known Member

    I believe that Peter Alan Kasler talks about this in his book on Glocks. Perhaps someone else can provide more information on this.
  5. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

    This is a subject I want to check out with InfoCaesar.
  6. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

    Chuck Hawks claims:

    And he claims:
  7. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member

    The 10mm has been with us for a LONG time...

    John Browning, in the first decade or two of the 20th century, came out with a 9.8mm round for a possible Roumanian military contract.

    Dimensionally and performance wise, it was very similar to what we see in the 10mm today.
  8. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    It goes back even further than that... If you check out the ballistics of the blackpowder .38-40 round from the 1870's, it's ballistically virtually identical to the original specification .40 S&W round - 180gr. bullet at approx. 950 fps. Uncanny! No-one ever said that the .38-40 was a poor manstopper, either...
  9. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Well-Known Member


    Yep. I thought about mentioning that, but decided not to, as Mom was calling me for dinner. Leg of lamb. Can't miss that. :D
  10. Cal4D4

    Cal4D4 Well-Known Member

    This is pretty well how I remember it - it was the early 70's.


    In the early 1970's an individual by the name of Whit Collins started looking at the feasibility of rechambering the 9mm Browning Hi-Power to a more powerful cartridge. Originally he was considering the .38 Super, but Col. Cooper's idea of a 200gn bullet of .400" diameter traveling at 1,000fps changed his thinking. Whit Collins did a lot of work just looking into the feeding geometry to see if a .40 caliber bullet could be made to function. When he was satisfied that it could he began looking for existing rifle cases that had the proper casehead dimensions and could be trimmed down to proper length for the Hi-Power magazine. With his drawings and some "dummy" loads made up he approached Jeff Cooper about his idea. Col. Cooper lent his support to Mr. Collin's idea and with investigative and research help from Guns & Ammo the project moved ahead. Next came assistance from Irv Stone of Bar-Sto and master gunsmith John French and by 1972 a Browning Hi-Power chambered in .40 G&A was being test fired. The loads being fired consisted of a 180gn bullet at 1,050fps out of the 5" barrel. In 1973 Col. Cooper and Mr. Collins started talking about a longer cased .40 caliber round that would be developed with the various .45 Auto platforms in mind. At this point Whit Collins went on to continue working on his .40 G&A and Jeff Cooper began his work on what was being called the .40 Super. A number of years went by until 1978 when Col. Cooper teamed with Thomas Dornaus and Michael Dixon. Via the Bren Ten semiautomatic pistol the .40 Super evolved into what we now call the 10mm Auto and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Cooper did carry the ball for the 10MM.
  11. BigG

    BigG Well-Known Member

    And? 40 G&A is not 10mm or 40 S&W but a one-off wildcat.

    I guess you could argue the idea sparked the 10mm. Cooper was and is a harbinger of sorts. he beat the drum for the Colt Automatic when they were about as popular as halitosis. Finally it was accepted. Similarly, the Scout Rifle drum was beat by Cooper until it became an item. I guess I will say it here and now so someday I will be famous, too, when somebody searches this old archive:

    "What the world needs is a good 39 caliber auto pistol round with a 190 grain bullet at 1,200 FPS." :D
  12. ball3006

    ball3006 Well-Known Member

    The 40 S&W was developed....

    for the FBI because the 10mm was too strong for the limp wristed wussies and sweetie pie agents. I gotta admit I like the round and have two Glocks in that calibre. I would have them in .45 but my short fingered fat hands won't properly grip a 45 Glock....chris3
  13. eap

    eap Well-Known Member

    Re: The 40 S&W was developed....

    huh? the 10/45 is the same size in G29/30 20/21
  14. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Well-Known Member

    Well regardless of the origin, the 40sw is a lame idea.
    The 45acp and 10mm are all you need in autoloaders.
    The 40sw is a compromise cartridge, you compromise stopping power, personal safety, etc. :p
    The sad news, I am forced to carry one at work, my off-duty and back up guns are 10mm, but I have to carry a 40 in my holster. :mad:
  15. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Well-Known Member

    the .40 performs a very necessary function, it allows people who would otherwise have to carry a 9mm to carry something somewhat more useful.

    i'm a .45 guy myself.
  16. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Member In Memoriam

    You mean that it's NOT just to be a spoiler in the 9x19 v .45 ACP arguments...?!!!! :D
  17. rock jock

    rock jock Well-Known Member

    The .40 was adopted because of the perceived failure of the 9mm, but also because it could accomodate a wide range of users, including the wussies and sweetie pies. You are right, the 10mm is preferable for someone who shoots and is unaffected by recoil, but for the average LE type who is not a firearms enthusiast, it is a good compromise round.
  18. DeltaElite

    DeltaElite Well-Known Member

    Wussies and sweetie pies? So you have met my candy ass co-workers. ;)
    The 40 was indeed created to accomodate the wimps of society, regardless of gender.
    My best friend is a 5'2" lady and shoots a full sized Kimber in 45acp.
    She is not a wimp, yet I know 6'+ guys that can't handle the 45 or 10mm.
    They are wimps. :D

    On a side note, I have suffered with a recent arm injury and I see that maybe someday, I will want a gun that recoils less, but for now, I will stick with the good calibers. :D
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2002
  19. 17poundr

    17poundr Well-Known Member

    The BrenTen to be reborn...

    I guess you guys already know this but an outfit known as Fortis is now doing a rebirth operation on the Bren Ten.

    Here is the link to their site, and if what they say is true, it might be a bit better than the original (as now they can make parts that used to be from cast metal, from machined steel)...

    Check it out: http://vltor.wordpress.com/

    If I lived in the states, I would be very seriously considering buying one of these Fortis guns when they come out...

    I dont belive we shall see them in Finland though...

    Yours truly,
    Mr Poundr. :)

    ps, what does anybody arround this site consider to be some of the best 10mm guns anyway? (just curious)...

    I fired an late 80s Colt 5 inch 1911 .apc, and I thought it was great. No big recoil (I mean it was manageble, nothing as unpleasant as a Glock in .40s&w for example, but more substancial than my army 9mm FN, I liked it though, and it was very accurate at 25m)!

    Now, if I got along with a regurlar 1911 in .45apc, would I get along with a regurlar load 10mm?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
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