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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After the positive response to the .45acp several readers asked questions publicly and privately for 10mm information.

I also like the 10mm and felt it was worth the time to post some of my 10mm info.
Below are the most common/popular 10mm loadings and their penetration information.

I should note that I generally do not measure the expanded bullet diameter as I do not consider that to be a reliable indicator of bullet performance.

I know that this will seem controversial and several "experts" will begrudge me for seeming to ignore the most popular aspect of bullet performance.

I look for moderate to good expansion properties and as long as the bullet is expanding, it is transfering energy.
The differences between expanded bullets of various manufacturers is often less than 2/10 of an inch and quite often is grossly overstated.
Certainly a bullet that shows expansion in testing is probably going to expand in tissue but this is only one of a number of important factors in a bullet design.
Some designs that offer moderate performance such as the Golden Saber can be measured by the expanded jacket while an "older" but equally good design like the silvertip is measured by the expanded bullet as a whole.

Below is the first photo showing the 10mm bullets as a group:

I will post additional descriptions and photos as replies.


Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In this photo from left:

Winchester 175gr Silvertip- penetrated 14"
Georgia Arms 180gr +P Gold Dot- penetrated 14.5"
Winchester 200gr "Black Talon"- penetrated 16"
Federal 180gr Hydra Shock "low power" load- penetrated 12.5"
It should be noted that the hydra shock 180gr loading is a very mild load and the only "reduced power" loading included. It holds it's own against full power loadings and exceeds almost all sub-45 handgun bullets in overall performance.

All loadings were fired from a 10mm Colt with a 5" Barsto barrel.

One layer of Denim shirt was used to cover the blocks.


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663 Posts
Interesting tests, David. Let me describe the setup I used to have for this sort of thing. It was the end of an old 275-gallon (?) oil tank, the oblong style, cut off so that it was about 18" deep. With this set on sawhorses or what have you as a big tub, the old valve fitting was facing you and about 6 or 8" from the bottom. I painted the bottom of the tub and then painted hashmarks every inch. Small paper cups worked perfectly to seal the hole for the fitting when the tub was filled with water-- and then I would just shoot throught them into the tub. The next step of course was to immediately put another cup in place. It worked well for comparing expansion and penetration. Only one caliber/load ever made it to the far end of the tub and actually dented it-- a 10mm FMJ truncated cone. Even the mighty .454 Casull didn't come close (boy did I get drenched that day!).

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In this photo are the above mentioned Black Talon and Hydrashock loads.
At the bottom are the Corbon 150 and 135gr loadings.

Bottom left:

Corbon 150gr+P - core penetrated 11", the jacket seperated and penetrated to 5.5"

Corbon 135gr+P- seperated into three pieces, the large fragment penetrated to 3.0", the jacket penetrated to 4.5", and the core penetrated to 9".

Again, all loads were fired through a denim shirt into 10% gelatin from a 5" barrel.

Think, Plan, Train, Be Safe.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-06-19 10:34 ]</font>

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38 Posts
I was hot and heavy into 10mm a few years ago, and am having a new custom built to hunt with now. Your results with the Silvertip and the BLack Talon support[or my finding support yours :wink: ] what I saw when using those rounds on hogs and deer. I used Hornaday XTP's a little, but never recovered any bullets. To tell you the truth, most of the shots I made with XTP's were less than optimal for measuring bullet performance, ie. head shots, etc. I am very interested in this round for my future 10mm uses.

Have you done any testing with the Full power 180 and 200 XTP?

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169 Posts
I just want to say thanks, Mr DiFabio. These tests are quite nice of you; I hope you do write that book so that I can buy one from you. :smile:

I too am interested in XTP results, as they are excellent bullets by most thought. I do wonder if their small cavity may clog in dense clothing.

By the way, I have heard reports of the 180gr GD 10mm from Georgia Arms being set back dangerously into the case by heavy recoil springs. Have any of you experienced this?

Mr Higginbotham, how much pentration would you consider to be enough? The 13-14.5" exhibitated by the 230gr .45s and 180gr 10mms (not surprising that they are similar) is not as much as I expected.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: telackey on 2001-06-19 21:06 ]</font>

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To answer,
Yes, I do have a series of XTP tests in 10mm.
I am in the process of debating on what to do with all of this stuff.

I can tell you from personal experience that the XTP is a very good round.

I am not Jim but good penetration should be from 12.5" on the light side to 18" in the far end and I often look for 14-16" as ideal for most situations.

The Silvertip penetration numbers have continued to decrease through design changes and velocity increases over the last five years and I am getting very good velicities from this Barsto barrel which also reduces the penetration distance slightly.

In 1997 I ran the same tests with a S&W 1076 issue gun and from my notes the silvertip penetrated 14.9", the Black Talon penetrated 14.3".

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2,000 Posts
Hi David,
Want to try an interesting load? Try pulling
the Black Talon bullet from a 180gr .40 S&W,
and load it up in a 10mm. Great penetration
and expansion with good energy dump. I don't
have any tests to support this load, but it's
a pretty damn good load for javelina and

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169 Posts
Mr DiFabio, do not trouble to put up pictures or the like, but I wondered, if you were to choose simply amongst the 180gr Gold Dot (Proload/GA), 180gr XTP, and 200gr XTP, which would be your pick for all-around carry? Let's call the 180grs all in the 1200fps range, and the 200gr can be anywhere from 1000-1200fps as you would think best. Temperature would be cool, 40-65deg F.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: telackey on 2001-06-20 00:08 ]</font>

Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This is a tough choice and you have picked two very good rounds for comparison and they are very close to each other in the realm of performance.

I need to break my answer down as follows:

Gun choice/Environment, were it to be the 1911 platform carried in a rural to semi rural area I will choose the 200gr XTP as it approximates the "native" 1911 cartridge very closely in both performance and impulse with good accuracy and penetration.
I would spec a velocity loading of 1,150fps to ease the pressures involved and insure reliability in a wide number of guns.
This load will give a very good result under a wide variety of conditions, game, and predators both two legged and four.

I would not recommend this load for predators over 200-300lbs and if I forced to rely on a 10mm as my "backup" in that situation it would be loaded with a FMJ round at 1,200 fps.

For general use and carry in 1911s and Glocks I would pick the Georgia Arms 180gr+P loading, this bullet design is very well balanced and this round gives very consistent performance.
Defeating most obstacles equally well while delivering very good performance in unobstructed "soft" targets.

Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That would be a very effective round and one that co uld easily become the 10mm "king".

It truly is a shame to see the number of companies that have slowly been "dropping" the 10mm product lines, the 10mm is really too good to die and I hope that in the furture companies like Winchester may see the value in a renewed "Talon" line in many calibers including 9x23 and 10mm.
I would like to see a 147gr 9x23 Winchester Talon bullet @ 1400fps.

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169 Posts
Thanks for the quick reply, Mr DiFabio!

As to the rural/semi-rural question, that setting was my thought. I do ask, however, short of bear, for which the 10mm is inadequate, for what beast would one need the heavier bullet? I have heard it mentioned quite a bit that one is best with an heavier bullet in the rural areas.

The heavier bullet (and, I think the highest sectional density of common defensive handguns since the 250gr XTP .45 was canceled) fits my temperament, I think, a bit better, and though I am a rural person; and would like a bullet to work well in many settings, I imagine if I were to need to shoot something in defence it would be during one of my urban excursions.

I am going to guess an XTP 200gr ~1150fps would penetrate 18-20", perhaps a tad more through heavy clothing (unlike some designs which penetrate less). Is that considered an over-penetrating load when transferred to an urban setting?

I think, as related to your caliber jumping post, one is best done when they pick a load they know to be good and then stick with it, not hopping around for 'the best'--a subjective concept--and not regretting or questioning their decision unduly once made.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: telackey on 2001-06-20 21:03 ]</font>

Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good questions,
One point to keep in mind that these results are from calibrated 10% gelatin and real world numbers in living creatures will average 40% less penetration on the average.
18" in gelatin will often result in 11" of real world penetration.

Discussion Starter · #16 ·
10mm GD 180gr+P diameter - .70" in denim covered bare 10% gelatin.
.45ACP GD 230gr+P diameter- .70" through auto sheet metal.
.73" in denim covered bare gelatin.

· Registered
1,445 Posts
Wow, alot of great info here. Since I don't have to do any of the work :grin: I'd like to suggest the following:

Pro Load 180gr & 155gr (Gold Dots) and 135gr (Nosler)

Federal Hi-Shok 155gr

Hornady 155gr, 180gr & 200gr XTPs

That venerable Silvertip seems to be darn near ideal... 14" of penetration, lots of expansion and holds together.

Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sure please add to the already enormous list of requests......
In all seriousness I have about three months worth of testing lined up and will return to the 10mm shortly.

This type of feedback is good, but I don't see a good reason for testing the 135gr Pro Load as I have previously tested this bullet as one of the very first Corbon loadings over 7 years ago and I do not believe performance will improve as the velocities are very close (at the listed velocity I suspect the bullet will completely fail again unless they seriously redesign the Nosler).

Here are my notes:

Test gun- Glock G20
Ammo- Corbon 135gr Nosler JHP.
muzzle velocity- 1,415fps
Test material 10% K&K gelatin
Cover material- 100% cotton v neck crew, 2 layers
Penetration- core 10.1"
Jacket- large piece (center)5.3"
Expansion- core .68" w/1 .09" fragment
Jacket- fragmentation

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5 Posts
David - I find your work on 10 mm very interesting and wonder if I might indulge you with regard to your opinion regarding the 1976. I recently bought one and, with it, the previous owner's ammunition supply.

I have been burning the 180 HSs for range practice. Other than a few odds & ends (among them 7 rds of Norma ??), I picked up 5 white boxes of WS 175 gr. STs and 1 box of 200 gr. Black Talons.

I immediately started using these as carry ammo, with the STs loaded and a mag of BTs in reserve. My question is, would you make any other suggestion as to the load out I am now using? Would you mix the mag loads? Would you suggest other ammo?

There has been a lot of information about the STs being "downloaded" - is this true in your opinion?

Just for your information, I carry my Sig 239 (.40) as my primary CCW gun and move it to backup in favor of my 1076 when going to Defcon 3 areas. In SE FL, there are numerous areas which qualify from Miami to Riviera Beach to name two of the most dangerous municipalities - oddly enough, located at the vertical borders. I take my CCW role very seriously. My home defense primary gun is the 1076, with the 239 as a backup.

Also, if I could further impose on you, would you pass on your 1076 findings? If it were a tad lighter, I think I would carry it all of the time - as it is, I am thinking of buying a 1006 if I can find a match to my FBI version 1076. Then I would probably give my wife the 239!


Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Despite all that you have read,
You WILL find a 10mm riding in the holsters of almost every "Top Gun" (good) Gun Writer/Expert/Top Cop and 2%er you find.

Jim Cirillo "master gunfighter" is also known to favor the 1006 and S&W 10mm pistols.
Jim has shot more people than I have and survived more tough scrapes, so I tend to listen to him respect his opinions, and take his advice.

FWIW, IMO You are very well armed with that 1076 and you have a very capable and good production pistol.

If you are looking for a lighter weight full sized pistol can I recommend the STI frame with a quality top end as built by Dane Burns, George Smith, and others?

This combo in SS is very rust resistant extremely accurate and every bit as safe as the S&W.
The additional plus is that with pre-ban mags you can carry 20rds of 10mm in the gun and with two mags you will have 60 rounds of full power 10mm Silvertips on hand.
If you cannot resolve the issue or shoot your way to safety with this combo you definitely should not have gone where you are.

The Silvertips are really good rounds and will provide you with the top 1% of performance available from a standard size handgun, carry them with confidence and buy a case to shoot and practice with.

The only caliber that is a true competitor to the 10mm is the .40 Super and the Super still needs quite a bit of refinement and the development of a bonded hollow point or Silvertip loading for it to become a true "all around loading".

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: David DiFabio on 2001-07-07 20:14 ]</font>
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