The 10mm is a beloved cartridge among its small, but fiercely loyal cult. The 10mm has many names, including my favorite, the Centimeter. If you aren’t up to speed let’s do a short history of the 10mm. Designed by Norma with input from Jeff Cooper the 10mm auto was supposed to be the cartridge of the future. The FBI decided they needed a newer, more powerful round and adopted the 10mm and a Smith and Wesson third Generation Handgun. They even got Mp5s in 10mm. The 10mm was the bell of the ball. Then the ball dropped. FBI agents complained the 10mm was too powerful for their dainty wrists. They downloaded it into a weaker overall cartridge. Smith and Wesson figured hey we can take this downloaded recipe, shorten the case, and create 40 S&W. The rest is history. Or is it? Is the 10mm auto making a comeback?
(if you want a more comprehensive history here you go.
I ask this question as a loyal fan of the 10mm. Maybe not a cultist who can tailor make a 10mm load for any animal in North America. I’m a 10mm fan because I am pragmatic and appreciate efficiency and versatility. I also like power, and the 10mm is quite powerful. What I’ve seen and what makes me happy is it seems like the 10mm auto round is making a comeback.
The science fiction future is bright.
There is two future-based science fiction video games that seem to follow my line of logic. That line being the 10mm is making a comeback. Both the Deus Ex series of video games and the Fallout series both feature 10mm pistols. Don’t forget the M41A from Aliens is in 10mm. Although, it’s 10×24 not 10×25, and caseless. I still count it as the future knowing what’s up.
Where is my evidence of 10mm making a comeback? Well in a few short years we have seen more and more companies producing 10mm handguns. Glock has produced the Glock 29 and 20 continuously. You could also always buy high-end 1911s in 10mm. You also had companies making some CZ clones in 10mm. The 1911s were often too expensive to draw many users. The CZ clones often suffered from a case of cracked frame it is. Glocks were one of the only real choices for a modern 10mm that was a quality piece and was affordable. Well, that’s changing.
The new guys
Major companies are now producing 10mm firearms in a variety of platforms.
- Sig Sauer released their P220 in 10mm to great fanfare. This has lead many to hope that the P227 would get the 10mm treatment soon. Nothing is out there yet, but one can hope.
- Glock is producing the Glock 40 MOS, a 10mm long slide Glock. Hopefully Glock will eventually make a 10mm somewhat close in size to the Glock 19.
- Kriss revealed a 10mm Vector Gen 2 at Shot Show 2016
- Eagle imports is importing the K100 Grand Power pistols with a 10mm option
- Remington announced the R1 Hunter in 10mm with a long slide.
- CZ with their Dan Wesson Bruin, a long slide 1911 with a 10mm option. Now CZ needs to get on with making the CZ 97 in 10mm please and thank you.
- The Aero Survival rifle is now getting a 10mm variant
- Rock Island Armory has released two budget based 1911s in 10mm
- Colt is reintroducing an upgraded and improved Colt Delta Elite
As a 10mm shooter I’ve also noticed a slow drop in 10mm ammunition. Once upon a time I was paying more for 10mm auto than I was for 45 ACP. these days if I can find brass cased Sig 10mm ammunition for roughly $19 to $22 dollars a box. Which is almost the exact same price I can buy 45 ACP for. Checking prices in August 2016 I can find bulk ammunition for 38 cents a round. This isn’t 9mm cheap, or even 40 S&W cheap, but it’s affordable. There was a time I gritted my teeth at $36 dollars for a box of 50 FMJ practice ammunition.
These days we have more selections for defensive ammo, training ammo, and even magazine manufacturers. 10mm 1911 magazines are becoming more and more common.
Why is 10mm auto making a comeback?
Well, first and foremost the industry is on an upswing. The last five years or so has seen a massive upswing in the firearms community. There are more new shooters than ever. There is a lot of money going into firearms these days. We can’t deny that.
Next, 10mms had a bad reputation for breaking. Even well-made guns by S&W and Colt had a tendency to wear very quickly. They didn’t explode, but they had to be retired rather quickly. So you buy an expensive gun, to shoot expensive ammo, and it wears out on you. Luckily, things change. We know more about metal strengths and weaknesses. We know a heck of a lot more about CNC work and just how to make better guns. Manufacturers know how to make guns last longer, and we can make strong guns cheaper.
New shooters flooding the market enjoy shooting 9s, I’m an old shooter and I still like shooting 9s, but sometimes recoil is fun. 10mm rides the line between being both controllable and a little stout. It’s not painful for new shooters, or overly loud, and it’s not dangerous for amateurs. The 10mm is also appealing to all shooters looking for a versatile weapon. A Glock 20 can shoot 10mm, 40 S&W, 357 Sig, 22 LR, 45 ACP, 40 Super, 45 Super, 460 Rowland, 9 x 25 Dillon, 9mm, 38 Super, and probably more wildcats. Imagine if more 1omm guns could do this? If so the 10mm making a comeback will be a welcome one. Especially to those in states that make buying gun difficult for law abiding citizens.
The 10mm can be loaded for self-defense, plinking, hunting, bear defense, and more. It’s just a versatile, fun to shoot, accurate little round.
Pretty please bring it back
Come on guys, UNATCO, the Colonial Marines, and the Brotherhood of Steel can’t all be wrong. It’s possible that 10mm is making a comeback just because of the upswing f new shooters and an industry high allows gun makers to make more risks. I think right now the 10mm is a baited hook. If the public bites, we will see a real comeback. If not, gun companies will change the lure. Maybe we’ll see the rise of 41 AE? Who knows? I don’t know what’s the chances of 10mm auto making a comeback, but I know the chances are higher today than ever before.
Plus the Glock 29 has zero entries on IMFDB, let’s fix it.
Featured image courtesy of Sig Ammunition