When you walk into any sizable gun store the options can be a bit overwhelming (or absolutely thrilling, depending on your viewpoint). Firearms in a number of calibers with countless features and options are displayed on the walls, within glass counters, and on the hips of employees. And when you try to engage said employees in conversation, whether with questions or simply to take a look at a specific gun, you’re frequently hit with opinions as varied as the guns on display. If you ask what the best handgun caliber is – “best” being used somewhat loosely – you’re going to get a different answer depending on a few factors. Are you male? Female? Tall? Short? Do you have that tough, capable look or do you appear a little stand-offish, maybe even timid? Sure, appearances can be deceiving, but a lot of assumptions are made based on them. So when the suggested handgun calibers start rolling out, they vary depending on different factors and, of course, opinions. But when those suggestions are made, how often is the 10mm among them? Is the 10mm underappreciated – and underused?
The 10mm hasn’t been around long, not by ammo standards. It has about 33 years behind it, and unlike some calibers it didn’t enjoy near-immediate widespread use. As many of you know the late Col. Jeff Cooper was behind its creation; Cooper wanted a round with greater ballistics than the .45 ACP provides and a significantly more powerful punch than the 9mm. Six years after the 10mm was designed the FBI selected it for use by agents, but it didn’t take long for them to change their minds. The round may have met the requirements for overall power but it came with recoil in excess of what most agents could easily master which, of course, played a role in the creation of the .40 S&W.
Of course, as with any gun it is possible to master the 10mm. Many gun owners love it, and not only for use on the range. Many use them for both home defense and self-defense – yes, it makes a good EDC. Then there’s its hunting applications which are varied and, quite frankly, awesome.
What do you think? Is the 10mm underappreciated or is it right where it should be (which is definitely not with the popular kids of the handgun world, not when it comes to self-defense, anyway)?
Sidenote: Yes, it is possible to talk about the 10mm without getting into a debate about the Bren Ten. Just saying.