If you’re looking for a powerful cartridge for your semi-auto handguns. Then it boils down to a couple of choices. The 10mm and the .45 ACP. Both of these are widely popular so many will have a difficult decision to choose. Some folks that have the money will get both. However, for this scenario we need to choose one. Even if you do own both a 10mm Auto and a .45 ACP handgun, how do you know which one is best for certain task? Both of their capabilities overlap each other but their characteristics and traits differ. Each has distinct strengths and weaknesses. Anyways, we’ll keep this un-biased and help you decide which one is best for you.
Brief History .45 ACP: John Browning’s Masterpiece John Browning .45 ACP is the iconic cartridge for over 100 years. His thinking was on designing a cartridge to shoot a big full metal jacket, slow bullet that has knock down power, alias “man-stopper”.
It was a highly popular among gun enthusiasts. Typically a .45 ACP load is a 230-grain bullet that fires at 830 fps for 355 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. This was the gold standard for short range with knock down power in a handgun, this ruled for many decades. As mentioned earlier using FMJ ammunition is highly effective in a .45 ACP. The military adopted the legendary 1911 pistol that drove the .45 ACP in all of our military wars from World War I to Vietnam and other small conflicts throughout the globe. This cartridge even found its way into the law enforcement world, gun hobbyist and hunters in the U.S. Many manufactures make this popular 1911 pistol, these includes: Colt, Dan Wesson, Kimber, Remington, Rock River, Sig Sauer and Springfield. Obviously, not the complete list.
Popular Glocks also makes it in .45 ACP as well for those that don’t prefer the 1911 model. Glock offers: the Glock 21 (full-size), 30 (compact), 36 (sub-compact) and 41 (competition). The same goes for the H&K45, the Ruger American, SR45 and the Springfield XD.
One of the big thing about the .45 ACP is its big recoil, but most hard-core gunners don’t find this a problem. Competitive shooters love the .45 ACP because its very accurate. The round itself is very affordable and available everywhere, online or in-store.
10mm Auto: Jeff Cooper’s Conception During the 1970s and 80s shooter only had 2 choices for the semi-automatic handgun cartridges, it was the 9mm Luger and the .45 ACP. The .45 ACP went with the “slower heavier bullet” route while the 9mm went the opposite direction with a lighter high velocity bullets. Legendary gun trainer Jeff Cooper wasn’t satisfied with the two cartridges. So, he teams up with the Swedish ammunition company Norma A.B. to build what he considered the ideal combat handgun cartridge.
The result was the 10mm auto: its a medium-bore cartridge that really has a “kick ass” punch. First introduced in 1983, the original load was a .40-caliber, 200-grain bullet at 1,200 fps for a 759 foot-pounds of muzzle energy.
Dornaus & Dixon Enterprises came out with the first production of the Bren Ten which was very popular. However, the company suffered many production issues which forced the company to go into bankrupt.
With the demise of the Bren Ten and there wasn’t any other 10mm pistols in mass production at the time. Other big manufactures like Colt and Glock decides to fill this gap. Colt produced the “Delta Elite”, a modified 1911 that propels the 10mm. Glock followed suit few years later with its Glock 20.
For those that wanted more variety of 10mm pistols to choose from, there just wasn’t that many available compared to the .45 ACPs. Glock also had the G40 with the long-slide released in 2015 which was popular among hunters and shooters. Few others have started showing up on the market radar such as: Kimber Sig P220 Dan Wesson Razorback Wilson Combat Hunter (Ted Nugent)
The FBI even looked at adopting it, but had its 10mm design in lite mode back in the 80s. The cause for the reduced-power 10mm was due to their agents not being able to handle its stout recoil. Smith&Wesson eventually came out with a .40 S&W, which was a shortened cartridge that had the same capabilities as the 10mm. Hunters like its the 10mm because of its hard-hitting, flat-shooting characteristics, which is great for deer hunting. It also passes as a bear-defense cartridge. -One of the big complaint for 10mm’s is the power, this creates huge recoil. But is it that bad of a recoil? Many experienced shooters have attest that 10mm recoils only a little more with than the .45 ACP. So, well-trained shooters using good quality handguns can handle it without much trouble. So maybe, not for the newbie. -10mm ammunition isn’t as common as the .45 ACP’s. Here are some of the major ammo manufactures that make 10mm.
-Another downside to 10mm cartridge is the cost, it does cost more than the .45 ACPs.
Which Cartridge is Best for You? So which one should you buy? Just like with everything, it’s really a matter of what you intend to use your handgun for. On the 10mm side of the fence they like to point out that it has more energy at 100 yards vs the .45 ACP does at the muzzle. But, the .45 ACP counters that it is bigger at 100 yards than the 10mm at the muzzle.
The 10mm Auto devotees point out that the 10mm has more energy remaining at 100 yards than the .45 ACP does at the muzzle. Fans of the .45 ACP counter that the .45 is bigger at 100 yards than the 10mm is at the muzzle.
As you can see the table below, both of these statements are true.
However, those statements also points to the strengths, weaknesses and ideal uses of respective cartridge.
The .45 ACP when combined with high-quality ammor for short range is an awesome choice for self-defense. The recoil is much easier to handle in compact and/or sub-compact handgun than 10mm. For the concealed carrier its ideal because of the smaller frame. Taking follow-up shots rapidly is way lots easier. This cartridge won’t break the bank if you’re using it for plinking.
For the 10mm Auto folks that use this baby in their hunt, this is the way to go. It shoots a lighter bullet at a much faster muzzle velocity than the .45. In physics this means it has more kinetic energy and the cartridge has a flatter trajectory than the .45 ACP. Which means reaching out and touching an animal from a distance is easy. When the 10mm hit its target it hits it harder than the .45 and makes larger wound holes. That also translate to putting down your game than a .45 ACP. Even if the .45 user was packing Buffalo Bore with P+, 10mm Hornady XTP loads is in a league of its own.
For these same reasons, it’s a better cartridge to use than the .45 ACP for personal defense against large four-legged predators.
That’s not to say that the 10mm won’t work against a human assailant, but just keep the costs of the cartridge in mind before you decide to use it in that role.
If you’re looking to use a 10mm in a smaller framed handguns for CCW. Its going to be harder to handle when shooting. We may be beating this over a dead horse here but 10mm has more recoil than the .45. Over-penetration is another concern with the 10mm. These issues are less of a problem in a home-defense situation, though, particularly when using high-quality defense rounds for the .45s.
Regardless of which cartridge you pick, test out a couple of different handguns and choose the one that fits your needs. Use high-quality ammunition and spend plenty of time out at the range so that you get comfortable with the loads. As long as you practice neither the 10mm Auto nor the .45 ACP is likely to let you down.
[su_heading size=”30″]Does it really matter?[/su_heading]
The debate over the 9mm and .45 ACP is one of the most talked about in the firearms community.
Both handguns/calibers have a huge following thanks to their popularity and success in the field.
So which one is better you ask?
9mm vs .45 ACP Match Ups
One of the biggest mistake that most people make is taking a black-and-white stance (only looking at ballistics stats) on the .45 ACP and 9mm.
Many will say that the .45 is better because it shoots a bigger caliber bullet, or that the 9mm is better because of its higher magazine capacity.
Both points are spot on and provide good reasons to prefer one over the other.
Even if you think more bullets is better, you have to admit having bigger bullets with more bullets on tap are both worthy considerations when choosing one gun over the other.
If you look at the bigger picture is that neither gun has a total advantage over the other one, and your own preferences will play a lot in determining which handgun is for you.
Let’s take a look at the major points of each caliber to help you decide.
Manufactured will pitch it as being compact and easier to handle than its .45 ACP counterpart which may be the many reason why the 9mm has become one of the most popular rounds in the gun world.
Just like the .45ACP, the 9mm have served the U.S. military gloriously for more than 30 years.
Yes, even the FBI dropped their .40 S&W pistol in favor of the 9mm.
Here are some of the advantages that the 9mm has over the .45 ACP:
9mm Luger outperforms most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI
9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons)
The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (similar sized weapons)
A question to consider for the pro .45ACP carrier, is carrying bigger necessarily better?
The 9mm also has a higher muzzle velocity than the .45 ACP because it uses lighter bullets. Which has caused further debates within the firearms groups over which is better, a fast/light cartridge or a heavy/slow one?
The .45 ACP
If you like the idea of shooting a gun with a lot of stopping power – you’re not alone.
With its heritage engraved in history the trusted Colt M1911 to the modern .45 Glocks, it has always been a most reliable caliber for the gun owners.
Many of us handgun lovers believe that bigger is better and love everything that the .45 ACP has to offer. Here are some of .45ACP’s best features:
.45s stopping power makes it a great home defense gun
Over-penetration isn’t as much of a problem
Battle tested for over 100 years which have produced some very powerful .45 ACP bullets
On a irrelevant side note, the .45 ACP is a very cool handgun.
Looking at the Two
The advancement of technology has improved the 9mm cartridge, it didn’t get better than the .45s. But, that the 9mm capability caught up to the .45 ACP.
What the experts are saying is that the modern 9mm is just as powerful.
Take a look at these pics highlighting rounds that opens up to create possible nasty wound channels that can stop an attacker:
147gr Federal HST Expansion
That is some serious expansion from the 9mm rounds.
But don’t forget developments for the .45 is also available with FMJ.
Winchester 230 gr Ranger T-Series 45 ACP
While the 147gr Federal HST expanded from 9mm (roughly .35cal) to an average 15mm or .61″, the .45 ACP expanded from (again, roughly) 11.5mm to 25mm (.45″ to 1″)
They both doubled in size…and since .45 ACP is bigger to start with, it became humongous in the end.
Not Breaking the Bank
Affordablity, is something that the 9mm is in favor for the average shooters.
Boxes of 9mm Luger are cheaper than the .45s ammo.
When you’re spending some long range time, the 9mm isn’t going to break the bank.
Velocity – Suppressed
We have to mention this because there are folks that love shooting their .45s suppressed. The .45 is a subsonic bullet, because it fires slow and its a heavy bullet, the muzzle velocity is lower than the 9mm which makes it damn near-whisper level.
This is mainly for military and LEO’s but you could be faced with similar situation, if needed.
Most of these folks have gone with the 9mm because they wanted the deeper bullet penetration.
For home defense only, go with the .45 ACP for less penetration, you won’t have to worry about hitting innocent bystanders.
What you choose to go with depends on your budget and life style.
Each caliber has it good points, sometimes it depends on the owner.
Are you a good shooter that can work that gun well? Or, are you just one that only wants to have a gun and never think of practicing with it.
Maybe you’re the tactile person thats into the feel of a handgun.
Some like the heavier weight with a decent kick.
While others prefer the lighter recoil for rapid shots.
Will you be carrying for open or concealed? For CCW, most will go with the 9mm because of the smaller profile. Again, its up to you.
The good news is that which ever you choose, manufacturers has them for you to choose from. You’ll find the 9mm and .45 ACP for home defense, EDC, SHTF or just plinking papers.
Which caliber do you prefer?, Let us know below.
[su_heading size=”30″]Which Caliber would you Use in a SHTF Scenario?[/su_heading]
There are always debates on which is the better carry handgun and we get down to the ballistics, which is better?, a .357 Magnum or a 45ACP?
Most of us gun enthusiasts understand the differences between the two ammo and how powerful it is. But sometimes its good to see the visual effects of the ballistics. The following is a penetration comparison of the two ammo and it is the un-scientific approach. Basically shoot at different type of objects and observe the effects.
The other consideration that we’ll talk about is which one fits the SHTF scenario.
Ok lets watch Youtuber TheFireArmGuy unleashes mayhems on some objects with his .357 and .45 ACP.
It’s always a great match up that clearly defines the legendary stopping power of .45 ACP at shorter ranges, with .357 performing better for penetration at longer distances.
Historically, the .45 ACP was specifically designed for the US Army to be a knock down round at short distances; intended to put a man down with just a couple of shots and the impact on the masonry that you see in the video clearly shows this.
The .357 is more rifle-like and longer casing keeps a higher velocity at farther distances so this round out performed on the hardwood at longer ranges. Currently, it is a popular caliber, even hunters use it in carbines for that very good performance over longer ranges when compared to other pistol calibers. Is it good enough for SHTF?
This question has come up many times, but when trying to figure out the logic of using one of these two calibers. (this isn’t a scientific answer)
One factor will be your location and preferences.
For example someone that lives in Alaska will probably go with a .44 Magnum, but someone in Michigan would use a Ruger GP100 .357. Also, this caliber is better for longer range than a .45ACP.
.45 ACP users are mostly EDC personal defense carriers and those that love the big bores.
For the availability of these rounds unfortunately, not as likely as a 9mm.
How about you all, which do you prefer or maybe you’re packing one of these, let us know in the comment below.