A Resurgence in 10mm? Sig Sauer and Glock’s New 10mm Pistols

Did the Glock 40 MOS and Sig P220 make the 10mm Auto cool again?

10mm 357

10mm Auto & .357 magnum

With new choices from Glock and Sig Sauer, has the 10mm Auto round become cool again? The Glock 40 MOS sports a 6-inch barrel with their Modular Optic System.  Sig Sauer’s four offerings will be based off the P220 platform, all with 5-inch barrels.

Developed in the early 80’s, the 10mm was an autoloader round that fell somewhere between the venerable .357 magnum and the .41 magnum; with greater capacity and more power than the .45 ACP. In 1989, the FBI hastily adopted the round and the Smith & Wesson 1076, but dropped the platform soon afterwards due to the recoil and its effects on their agent’s ability to qualify with the pistol. A cut down version of the 10mm was developed and this became the birth of the .40 S&W.


Smith & Wesson 1076

Today, the .40 S&W is seen to many as a solution to a problem that didn’t exist. This is the same crowd of 9mm fanboys that believed the FBI should’ve just went with the 9mm round in the early 90’s. Well, now the FBI has come full circle and they’re going back to 9mm, happy fanboys? In all fairness to the .40 S&W, it was the superior round in the early 90’s; prior to advancements in the metallurgy of bullets and the propellant powders used. Thus the .40 S&W spread like a wildfire in the 1990’s and not only was the .40 S&W popular with law enforcement, but civilians alike.  With the .40 S&W’s meteoric rise to success, what happened to the 10mm in its wake?  After all, the 10mm was the chicken that laid the .40 S&W egg.

The 10mm has lived on, with a small cult following.  I joined the 10mm party in the late 90’s myself and I’ve owned a S&W 1076 for over 16 years now.  Ammunition choices for the 10mm from major ammunition manufacturers are limited, but smaller premium ammunition manufactures like Buffalo Bore, Double Tap and CorBon produce ammunition in a wide variety of grain weights and charges, albeit at premium prices.

The 10mm Auto round has always had excellent ballistics.  Your average 230-grain .45 ACP round nose is moving at a 800-850 fps, while a 220-grain hard cast lead bullet from a 10mm moves at over 1200 fps, which is about double the muzzle energy at 703 lb-ft.  With that kind of energy, the 10mm has always been a popular round with handgun hunters.

What about the availability of 10mm chambered handguns?  Well, Sonny Crockett used a Bren Ten. There is also the EAA Witness, Colt Delta Elite, and Smith had the 1066/1076 and a few revolvers chambered in 10mm, but the Smiths have since been discontinued and Colt suspended production the Delta Elite for a 12 year period starting in 1996. As of late, Kimber offers the 10mm as a caliber choice for some of their full-sized Custom II family of pistols.

Glock has been the major player in the 10mm game since the early 90’s.  If you take credence to the advertising from Glock, the G20 was the Perfect 10. Bigger and heavier than the G17, the G20 also packed more of a punch. The Glock 29 is definitely smaller, but both the G29 and G30 are similarly sized to their higher capacity compact siblings like the G19 and G23. Despite this, nothing else on the market is as small as the Glock 29, chambered in 10mm.

With the introduction of the G40, Glock is has reintroduced something that it hasn’t had in its lineup in a while: a long slide like the days of the G17L and G24. No, I didn’t mean to say the G34, G35 or G41, because Glock categorizes those as “competition” length pistols; I mean a 6.02-inch barreled, long slide.

Sig Sauer’s 10mm will be based off their current P220 model. Currently there are only four variations to choose from, all of them with a 5-inch barrel. Sig is known for their asinine myriad of variations of the same pistol; for instance, there is 20+ variations of the P226 pistol.  Good luck sorting out the options and finishes you want, and then finding a stocking dealer.

With Sig and Glock’s latest products, maybe we will see a resurgence of the 10mm Auto and more of the major ammunition players will see fit to start giving us some additional options in ammunition.  In the meantime, I’ll have to go take a Glock 40 out for a test drive.


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