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.45acp or 10mm as only caliber for range and CCW?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by hartzpad, Apr 7, 2005.

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  1. hartzpad

    hartzpad Member

    May 12, 2004
    I'm a wondernine guy but I really want to get into a bigger caliber for the range and possibly for carry in the future. I can't seem to decide between 10mm and .45acp. I have shot .45acp a lot and like it but I haven't shot a 10mm yet. If you could only have 1 of these 2 caliber for both range and carry, which would you pick and why?

    I'm leaning towards 10mm, just because I could load it hot like a magnum cartridge and also because most 10mm pistols have a larger capacity than .45acp. But a 10mm 1911 seems to be out of my price range so I would have to get a EAA Witness 10mm. On the other hand, .45acp is very common to find and has a million different pistols chambered in it, but has lower capacity (most use single stack mags, with a few exceptions). In .45acp I'm considering a S/A mil-spec 1911, Sig 220 trade-in, and a CZ-97B.

    BTW, I'm afraid that once I get my first 1911, it will start becoming a disease and I'll have to get a compact, hi-capacity, custom, etc.
  2. halvey

    halvey Member

    Apr 28, 2004
    I only have .45's for both.
  3. Bandit01

    Bandit01 Member

    Nov 28, 2004
    Well friend, I hand load both calibers. If you're not a reloader, I wouldn't suggest getting a 10mm. Although there are places on-line that sells the ammo, it's not readily available. My local range sells 10mm but it's so lightly loaded that it feels more like .40 (which most advertised 10mm really is). For range purposes, I use 10mm (freaking hand cannons); however for CCW, I carry a .45. My reason is this--accuracy. Due to the heavy recoil of 10mm, if I'm ever in a battle, I don't want to rely on extreme power, why because in the heat of the moment, it might affect your accuracy. At the range, I usually practice quick retrieves from the holster with my .45 and I'm pretty accurate. The .45 is a much milder load and for me, more accurate than the 10mm. Don't get me wrong, 10mm is my favorite caliber but it's to powerful for a gun battle.
  4. Sean Smith

    Sean Smith Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    As a 10mm owner whose next gun will be a .45 ACP, here is my take on it.

    10mm is a wonderful and extremely versatile cartridge. But the guns that are most suited to the caliber tend to be expensive. I've come to believe that the best bet in 10mm is a well-thought-out custom 1911, spec'ed out specifically for the cartridge... a Witness generally won't be accurate enough to take advantage of the 10mm's big virtue over .45 ACP of more striking power at greater distances with a flatter trajectory. Then again, most shooters aren't hitting things 100 yards away with a handgun, either.

    Reloading makes 10mm look ALOT better, and gives you more ways to play with its extreme versatility, not to mention taking your ammo costs per round way down. Certainly, as a hunting caliber 10mm has it all over .45 ACP... there are 10mm loads that have as much energy at 100 yards as 230gr .45 ACP +P has at the muzzle.

    I disagree that 10mm is going to give you too much recoil for self-defense. It is just a matter of load selection... you can find a very sweet spot between .40 S&W and maximum 10mm loads that will recoil like (or nicer than) 230gr .45 ACP with similar or better sectional density and .45 ACP +P energy levels. Having shot both, everything but the all-out nuke 10mm loads just aren't that different from .45 ACP.

    And in terms of inherent accuracy, 10mm is at least as accurate as .45 ACP... I've got a <1" @ 25 yard 10mm gun at home.

    Having said that, though, you might just not need that versatility. If that's the case, .45 ACP is a much simpler solution... more guns to choose from, cheaper factory ammo, and so forth.

    SHOOT1SAM Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    Boise, Idaho
    Well, I have 2 .45's and 6 10mm's, and I carry both, but lately, mostly a Government Model 10mm.

    My thoughts are that in the event of a firefight, recoil will not be noticed too much. Kinda like hunting, I've never noticed the recoil during a shot.

    That said, if you choose to go with a .45, Doubletap ammunition has some smokin' .45 ACP loads. Faster than anything else out there, at less than +P pressures. Those should greatly add to the versatility of any .45 pistol.

  6. Chut1st

    Chut1st Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    If I could have only one of them to use for every purpose, I'd have to go with the 10mm, simply because of the higher power capability and, in my experience, greater accuracy.

    That being said, although I used to carry a 1076, I no longer use a 10mm as my CCW gun. There are a lot more compact (Commander- and Officer-type) .45's on the market which for carry purposes are more practical. Even with slightly less energy, I think that the greater sectional density of the .45 ACP is an advantage. My personal favorite right now is a Kimber Pro Carry Stainless II stoked with Hornady XTP's.

    I do not handload any carry rounds. Although I have never been able to confirm the claim by some that using a handload in a defensive shooting could have the potential to be used by a prosecutor or plaintiff's attorney, I see no reason to hand them one more issue that you would have to defend. Besides, there are a lot of great defensive rounds commercially loaded for both the 10mm and the .45 ACP.

    My $.02, FWIW.
  7. michiganfan

    michiganfan Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    se michigan
    I have a glock 20 and it is an excellent handgun. I had a 29 but i felt it was a little small to be a good platform for the 10mm.
  8. Guns_and_Labs

    Guns_and_Labs Member

    Mar 4, 2004
    Hidden Away in the East Bay, CA
    Well, I carry a .45 acp in the city, and switch to a 10mm when walking the woods. If I were to pick one, it would probably have to be the .45, since the ammo is so plentiful and cheap. But ammo aside, the 10mm is extremely versatile -- load up or load down as fits the situation.

    Of course, in a revolver, the .44 offers the same versatility, but an even broader range from light .44 Special (maybe even .44 Russian) on up to the hottest .44 Mag loads. Maybe you should consider an S&W 629.
  9. Berg01

    Berg01 Member

    Mar 24, 2003
    Based on the types of guns you are considering, .45 ACP is the way to go; if you want something that you can have modified down the road, get the Mil-Spec, if you want a box-stock shooter, the Sig P220 or the CZ 97B are two really good ones (I'd probably opt for the P220, but the 97B is also very good).
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