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Today’s Ask Josh comes to us from Dave R., a regular at my local Cabela’s, where I run into him a lot. I somehow always run into him at Five Guys, the range, and more. The other day, Dave came at me with this . . .

”I don’t understand why they even make the 1911 in .45 (ACP) caliber anymore. I mean, the 10mm Auto does it all better. Even then, why do they make the 1911 in 9mm? That seems pretty stupid to do considering that it is lightweight and a 1911 is heavy. I just think it’s dumb.”

Well, Dave is a great guy, but unfortunately he will read this and know that I’m happy telling everyone just how wrong he is. In my opinion, the 10mm is the one that makes little sense and I’ll be looking forward to your replies in the comments.

This post was originally entitled something like, “Is the 10mm Auto REALLY that good?”, but I felt that limited the scope since Dave brought up the 9mm as well. The casualties will likely mount as I continue, so I’m just going to go straight for the throat.

I’ve written about this topic a lot over the years. I tend to be hard to impress and even harder to convince when it comes to fads and trends. The 10mm doesn’t impress me at all. I just don’t see what it offers except for perhaps a specialized few.

The 45 ACP is, and will remain, a premier choice for a shooter wanting the greatest flexibility in their pistol.

I’m a real world guy who actually puts the testing out front. I’ve run dozens of ammo tests here over the years; my first big article back eight or nine years ago was about cutting down a 308 barrel from 26” down to 13”. I take pride in putting real results out there for you, dear reader, and I am often skeptical about what the industry is selling. When it comes to the 10mm, I really can’t see the appeal despite the ‘sectional density’ and ‘best millimeter’ meme arguments.

In all my real world testing in gel, game, and through other materials, the 10mm has done nothing better than .45 ACP. Feel free to debate this, but after thousands of rounds fired in materials testing, the data on my end just doesn’t support the marketing surrounding it.

That’s the thing: any good scientist will tell you that you can’t defy the laws of physics. If you find something that somehow does, the physics itself must be rewritten to encompass that new understanding. The evidence doesn’t support the superiority of the 10mm, but the marketing does. Go figure.

The 1911 in 45ACP is perfect for deer hunting

As far as things like penetration go, and I’ve heard the arguments, I don’t believe the facts support them. Comparing similar ammo types, the Buffalo Bore 255gr+P Hardcast .45 ACP at 900fps penetrates bare gel just as deeply as comparable ‘bear load’ 10mm Auto rounds. The sectional density argument is also moot in that I have 9mm rounds presently available on the shelf that are also extremely good at deep dives.

The entire penetration concept is not how well a bullet goes into gel, but how easily that bullet can reach a vital area with retained energy. In the case of handguns, 50 yards is far and energy bleeds rapidly regardless of the caliber used. There is no perceivable difference I can detect on target.

Rounds like the Buffalo Bore hardcast 45 ACP is a powerful, deep-penetrating load.

Remember, the goal of hunting, which is what the 10mm is now heavily marketed towards, is also done at the exact same ranges as the .45 ACP, wherein 50 yards is a long shot for any handgun. I’ve shot deer with the .45 ACP at that distance and had clean pass-throughs with Hornady 220gr+P Critical Duty. The idea that the 10mm somehow owns the penetration game is false.

The sectional density argument only comes into play in extreme cases, many of which come down to bullet choice given the caliber at hand. A .45 ACP hardcast, and even FMJ, will out-penetrate a 10mm JHP in virtually all cases, but all are capable of reaching the vitals of a large deer easily.

After all, to get an exit from the chest cavity, all you need is about a foot, maybe 14” of penetration in general when the vitals are only five to six inches deep for a fatal hit.

I just don’t see the utility and I’ve really tried. I’ve owned and shot many 10mm pistols over the years, but I’ve never been convinced that it has any serious real-world advantage in the 1911 over the .45 ACP.

I’m a hardcore .45 guy because I’ve found it to work in just about every circumstance without any real issues. This has to do with the fact that the .45 doesn’t ever really lose much due to the fact that it is inherently subsonic and has bullets designed to work extremely well at those slower speeds.

Why Does Dave Believe The 10mm Is Better?

The point Dave made comes from the idea that the 10mm is somehow inherently better than .45 ACP. Why? Simple answer: idol worship. The round was originally meant as a do-all round and was the brainchild of Col. Jeff Cooper. The man was, of course, a big-thinker and did more for handgunning than almost anyone else.

The problem is many of his ideas, like the 10mm, were prisoners of their time. Concepts like the Scout Rifle have flourished to an extent, but today there are only a few options out there that are worth it. The lever action market benefitted the most from this idea, where the handgun and carbine markets have always struggled to adapt to his ideas.

Cooper lived in an era where there .45 ACP was king and the 9mm was considered to be generally weak sauce. His 10mm concept was great as it did some (emphasis on some) things better than .45 ACP at the same ranges. However, it fell dramatically from favor shortly after being introduced, despite enjoying a brief window of success and a stint with the FBI.

The 10mm’s true legacy — the .40 S&W — is far less popular today and has been regularly dropped from some manufacturers’ catalogues as fewer and fewer companies make guns chambered for it.

The TKC Field Buddy series is at home in tough conditions, right next to a rugged 1911.

The thing that makes America great is that we have the ability to choose what we do and buy what we like. I will never tell a person not to buy a 10mm pistol, and Dave owns several. I will tell them, if asked, that they are likely buying a gun that will not serve them as well as they imagine in the few circumstances where the 10mm round may be an advantage.

The 9mm 1911

I think that the 1911 in 9mm is actually very practical. I’d love to get my hands on a Staccato 4” in Parabellum. The ergonomics of the 1911, its great triggers, and low recoil all make the gun in 9mm a joy to shoot, especially if you want to shoot accurately.

Down the road I may invest in such a thing, but would it replace the .45 ACP in my hard-use lifestyle? Not at all, but I think that it would be a great addition for general use and carry. I carry a G19 or P365 most of the time, and I doubt that I’d fully replace either of them in my rotation. The .45 ACP for hunting is just about perfect and I have yet to have a bad experience with it.

Overall, I think that most people would be completely fine with a .45 ACP and 9mm 1911 set, as those two guns would accomplish virtually everything you would need from two working pistol calibers.

So what do you think? Is the 10mm all that or have you not seen an advantage over .45 ACP when you actually used it in the field?


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  1. Stop with the rationalizations. 10mm has more energy at 100 yards than 45acp does at the muzzle. Hunting Guides Alaska aren’t using 45acp for bear defense. They are using 10mm.

    • Muzzle energy is not relevant in hunting or defense against bears at 100 yards, as you cannot get an accurate hit out of a handgun at that range, nor should you even attempt to do so against a grizzly; you will most likely just make it mad.

      • As someone who lived in Sterling, Alaska for 21 years on the Kenai Peninsula throughout the 80’s and 90’s and working as a guide in Brown Bear country. I had a .44mag on my chest and rifle, minimum of a 30-30, preferably a .308/7mm on my back. Oddly enough, the best deterrent is bear spray, not a gun, but you can’t seem to convince people of that. The advice when we would fly someone into the interior was; if you ere only taking a pistol, save the last bullet for yourself because that bear is going to be pissed if that pistol doesn’t end the fight. As far as 10mm at 100 yards….. you should not be taking that shot and if you do, see the above advice about saving one for yourself. The folks I still know up there are not using 10mm in Alaska, they are using big bore revolvers. Most bears, save maybe coming in between a sow and her babies really just want to be left alone. Black bears now, they are sneaky sons of…..

        • Never been to AK but I will take your word for it. But even if bears were the only consideration you still want a gun in addition to bear spray. Right? And bears are not the only nasty critters up there. You got mountain lions and probably other things that will get ya too . . . then there is always the two-legged variety.

        • DW, Yes, you absolutely still want a gun in addition to bear spray. You just don’t want to resort to shooting as your first option as a general rule. Best bet is to back away slowly and not elevate anyones heart rate, keep your food away from your campsite. We honestly had more issues with the grumpy moose charging you during the rut than bears causing problems any day. Small fast critters with rabies were a possibility also. The biggest problem to a guide are generally the people you are guiding, they cause more problems than the animals. We had one woman who would actively try to sneak aorund and pet every damn animal she saw including bears. Sorry for taking this off point of a perfectly good caliber debate. My bad. Oh, and there is no way I would want my sidearm to be a .45 ACP (even though my favorite sidearm is a 1911) in that situation unless it was all I had.

    • TommyGNR,

      I think you are on the right track — although energy isn’t anywhere near as important as people think when we are talking about handguns.

      Here is the simple explanation:

      1) The deeper AND BIGGER the hole you punch into/through an animal, the faster that you will incapacitate that animal. That is simple physics (physiology technically speaking).

      2) Industry officially refers to white-tailed deer as “thin-skinned animals” which is code-speak for “delicate” (relatively speaking). It does not take anywhere near as much destructive potential in a bullet to incapacitate a “delicate” animal as it does a “robust” animal. As it turns out, proper bullet selection in .45 ACP is adequate to incapacitate a white-tailed deer on the smaller end of the spectrum on a nice broadside shot. Will proper bullet selection in .45 ACP promptly incapacitate a large white-tailed buck on a quartering shot? I have my doubts. Will that promptly stop a 500 pound angry bear? I have serious doubts.

      3) The only guaranteed way to make the deepest and largest possible wound channels is with hardcast lead bullets with wide, flat meplats. And the diameter of the wound channel (from hardcast lead bullets) is a function of, wait for it, IMPACT VELOCITY. Now for the simple physics: a hardcast bullet with an impact velocity of 1100 fps (10mm Auto) will make a significantly larger permanent wound channel that a hardcast bullet with an impact velocity of 800 fps (.45 ACP). Furthermore, the higher velocity of the 10mm Auto bullet means that it will penetrated deeper than .45 ACP if they have the same sectional density. That is simple physics.

      If you are defending yourself against human attackers or hunting “delicate” animals at distances less than 30 yards or so, I have no doubt that .45 ACP is every bit as effective as 10mm Auto. If you are defending yourself against or hunting “robust” animals (such as large feral hogs and bears), I am pretty confident that 10mm Auto shooting full-power, heavy-for-caliber, hardcast lead bullets will be significantly more effective than .45 ACP.

      Of course we have to take all of this with a grain of salt since we are talking about handguns and not long guns. All handguns (with the possible exception of the .41 caliber and higher Magnums) tend to be “weak sauce” and quite often fail to quickly incapacitate their intended target. Thus, the ultimate “effectiveness” of any handgun caliber/platform is far more closely linked to shot placement than caliber, velocity, or energy.

      Full disclosure: it is precisely because of the limited potential of both .45 ACP and even 10mm Auto that I carry a large revolver chambered in .44 Magnum — with heavy bullets and muzzle velocities in excess of 1,400 fps — for woods defense and hunting.

      • Amen.
        I will have to preempt this post – I hunt in a shot gun state in which shot gun slugs are not as lethal and humane as the DNR claims. Since they have allowed us to use straight wall centerfires I do not even carry that 1911 as I dont need more than one shot anymore. I truly do not believe 45acp should be used for hunting any game after my experience.
        I have killed 3 deer with a 45ACP 1911 using the same Hornaday bullets the author claims will go straight thru – NO they dont, not one of them did broad side at 30 feet. I shot that deer 4 times in the ribs and had to put 2 more in point blank to finish it off. Both of those shots were straight down while it was laying on the ground and one did not even pass thru the loin. The other 2 deer I killed were finishing shots to the head. I still feel bad about that deer needing shot 6 times to put it out of misery.
        I carried that 45 as I read somewhere it was enough and that was the largest hand gun I had at the time.

        • Rick James,

          I may or may not live in the same state as you.

          For the last four years I believe, my child and I have been hunting with rifles chambered in .44 Magnum shooting 240 grain semi-jacketed softpoint bullets with muzzle velocities in excess of 1,500 fps (coming out of that long barrel). We have harvested at least eight white-tailed deer (all of our shots between 60 and 90 yards) with our two rifles. Shot presentation ranged from broadside to quartering and shot placement ranged from fair to excellent on all eight deer. All of them dropped dead within 5 to 10 seconds of our shot. Some only went a few yards. Most ran about 50 yards before keeling over. And one (a large buck) somehow ran about 120 yards. I see no reason to go back to shotgun slugs.

          Back to the point of this article — I cannot for the life of me see how a handgun shooting .45 ACP can come anywhere remotely close to that level of dependability in quickly dispatching white-tailed deer — especially on quartering shots.

    • Does any one actually have any evidence of what the majority hunting guides in Alaska are carrying? I read this here all the time but never see any proof. And Just because a couple hunting’s guides may have carried a 10mm doesn’t mean it’s now the preferred bear gun.

      I’ve never been to Alaska, but Everything I’ve ever read about up there says people recommend a shotgun or rifle for real defense against bears.

      Also, most of us don’t live in grizzly country anyway, so it’s kind of a pointless argument for us lower 48 folks who will more then likely face a two legged predator rather then a four legged beast.

      • did any of you catch that brief glimpse of a sawed-off 12ga. in “The Edge”?…unfortunately it went down with the plane..leaving them to survive on their wits…a shotgun with slugs or a large caliber rifle [expensive] seem to be the only sure thing in big bear country…but most of us don’t have to worry about black “bears”…and the 45 ACP is combat proven….

  2. i have one question, Is the difference worth your life? 45acp Proven since 1911, it will stop a doped-up crazy with one well placed shot .that is what browning designed it for .the other calibers is a MAYBE.

    • I pretty much agree, but have the Rock Island version of the double stack. I also have the Rock’s 22TCM/9mm double stack. Either way makes for a good thumper to have with you.

  3. I know of one person who had to use a 10mm Delta Elite on a bad guy almost 30 years ago. Starting the next day he switched back to carrying a 1911 in .45 ACP.

    • plenty of other guns chambered for that caliber…my personal choice is a Glock 30…or a Star PD…lot of punch in a much smaller package….

  4. .40 S&W, ‘till the cows come home, for me – and I don’t hear any moo-ing. Just personal preference. There are very few ‘maybes’ with my experience and the power of the “fo-tay”. I’m sticking with it.

    • Back during the Obama years I considered getting something in .40, since it was the only handgun ammo always on the shelves. Never got around to it. Now, nothing is on the shelves, so the question is moot.

      • I’ve seen some 10mm and 44 magnum in the past year when there isn’t anything else on the shelves. I’m guessing 10mm is over-represented online, and few people use it in the real world, although I have a friend that recently got a 1911 in 10mm. He likes it. He used to carry a .45 (not in a 1911).

      • I love my .40, though my preference is 9mm. Still take my .40 every time I go to the range, which is every few weeks.

      • sounds like someone I knew who bought a .41 magnum…stick to the military ammo if you can…it will always be around….

  5. One could argue that a Colt 1911 MK IV Series 80 LTWT Commander in .45 ACP and a Taurus 1911 Full Size in 9mm would be an excellent combination. The Commander is a superior concealed carry weapon, and a full size, steel frame 1911 in 9mm is an imminently soft-shooting, intrinsically accurate handgun for any purpose- range use and more. And if pressed into defensive service- the Taurus will excel both from its innate accuracy, and from the ballistics generated by the 5″ barrel.

    One might never have even had any interest in a 10mm, either.

    .40 S&W?… absolutely! 10mm… not so much.

    • large calibers are meant to be used up close…I once hit a target dead-center at 100 yds with a .44 magnum…but flinched on the next 5 rds…I guess the gun was better than the shooter…blasting away with that thing was not a pleasant experience….

  6. One needs to understand a little physics and history to understand the .45ACP vs 10mm controversy. Penetration in soft tissue is generally proportional to momentum density. Pentration in bone or metal (car bodies) is proportional to energy density. Momentum is proportional to mass multiplied by velocity. Energy is proportional to mass multiplied by velocity squared.

    The larger caliber .45 ACP inflicts massive injury on soft tissue. Shooting pumpkins with .45 ACP then 10mm really illustrates this point. However; if you wish to inflict injury on soft tissue that is hiding behind a car, the 10mm is by far the better choice. Then again, 5.56mm is even better, 308 is far superior and .50BMG is king.

    All of this being said, the 10mm craze was initiated by the FBI shootout in Miami. The FBI chose to obsess on the failure of a single 9mm round that failed to penetrate to the aorta of one of the bad guys. This enabled the FBI to distract attention from the fact that their agents got their asses kicked because they were stupid.

    For normal situations I’ll carry 9mm because it is compact, light and comfortable. For more worrisome situations I’ll carry a .45. For even more worrisome situations such as ANTIFA and BLM riots where carrying a long gun is discouraged by law enforcement, I’ll carry either a Smith and Wesson 1006 in 10mm (once belonged to an FBI agent who had to trade it in for a .45 because he was to limp wristed to control the recoil) or a Desert Eagle in .50 AE (I have a nice shoulder holster rig that includes punches for two spare magazines.)

    • I’ve shot stuff with both 7.62X25 and .45 acp. The 7.62 is just like a nine, it’s two shot killer if not head shot.
      Over the years I’ve found muzzle energy presumptions do not relate with real world results.

  7. I would try a 10mm.
    Then compare it to the .45ACP and which I preferred.
    Was cleaning my hobby room the other day and came across a old gun rag with a Wilson Combat 1911 in .38 Super on the cover.
    I would take one of those.

    Side note: Anyone know what the recipe is for the Buffalo Bore 255gr+P Hardcast mentioned in the article? My current .45ACP hand loads are 200grn semi-wadcutters at about 900fps. I like it better than 230grn FMJs. But the idea of a 255grn+P hardcast is interesting. Now, if I could just get my hands on molds.

    • EpsteinDidNOTKillHimself,

      “Now, if I could just get my hands on molds.”

      Um, so you are able to get primers then?

      Fun thought: I’ll bet you could make your own bullet mold without much more than a few hours of work if you are handy.

      • “Um, so you are able to get primers then?”

        Well, yes.
        I learned from the Obama shortages and keep a supply on hand.

        The 255grn mold, “Out of stock, no backorder” via Midway.

  8. Full size 1911 in 9mm??? Even now the discontinued STAR BM is a better (downsized) 1911 in 9mm than the full size Colts. IF an alternate cartridge is to be considered, the the .38 Super should be the choice. .38 Super’s only issue is that folks forgot it is the equal to a 9mm +P+. Wish Browning or Rock Island would either upgrade their .380 1911 to 9mm, or recreate the STAR BM. P.S. – Won’t have the feeding/magazine issues of the 9mm in a full size 1911.

    • >>> Won’t have the feeding/magazine issues of the 9mm in a full size 1911.

      Sorry for my ignorance but is this an issue from many years gone by? I ask because the Rock Island Armory Ultra FS 9mm 1911 I have has never had such issues over the years. Probably 2,000 rounds through it with ~200 being defensive ammo. Never had a problem with either the Mec-Gar and Metalform magazines I use with it. The only issue I’ve had with the gun was using some old, crappy, weak-sauced, steel-cased Maxxtech ammo in it (which isn’t sold anymore as far as I know). They either wouldn’t eject or just stovepipe. That’s an ammo problem not a gun problem. Outside of that, the gun has been perfect. Yes, the gun is a range toy for me.

  9. Ok, I like the 10 mm, just not in a1911, even though I have owned a couple of them. I do like them in a hi-cap d.a., like an EAA witness or a Glock 40 because they have a much higher capacity. For 1911s, I think that a 45 super conversion with max p 185 or 200 grain loads are effective against just about anything, and will still shoot just about any factory load. I’ve run about 400 rounds through a stainless Ruger 1911 without any ill
    effects, and all it required was a new mainspring, recoil spring , and a fitted firing pin stop plate. For Brown bears?…. 44 Mag would be my minimum – just sayin’. Sure wish loading components were easier to come by, kinda got caught with my pants down on the uncommon stuff. By the way, 45 Super is loaded to a
    lower pressure than either 10mm or 9mmP.

    • PB_fan59,

      “For Brown bears?…. 44 Mag would be my minimum …”

      I agree.

      A lot of people say that a full-size semi-auto pistol chambered in 10mm Auto (and loaded with max-pressure cartridges with heavy hardcast lead bullets) is superior to .44 Magnum for stopping brown bears because they claim to be able to shoot it rapidly and put several rounds into an attacking brown bear. While I agree that several such bullets would almost certainly incapacitate an attacking brown bear faster than a single good hit from a .44 Magnum with full-pressure cartridges and hardcast bullets, I disagree that they would manage to shoot several times and score several hits.

      Here is the typical brown bear attack report that I see/hear. Person is in the wilds. Suddenly, a hidden brown bear bursts out of the woods/brush and is upon that person in about three seconds or less. Given that it will likely take that person at least two seconds to realize what is happening and draw their handgun, that only leaves them one second to shoot before that brown bear crashing into him/her like a freight train. How many hits is someone likely to score on that brown bear in one second? Answer: about one.

      Thus, if you are only likely to score one hit on that angry attacking brown bear, I want that one hit to be a huge and heavy bullet with the maximum possible velocity. Thus, I prefer a .43 caliber, 300 grain bullet striking that attacking bear at 1,300 fps over a .40 caliber, 220 grain bullet striking that bear at 1,100 fps. (That .44 Magnum bullet is 7% larger, 23% heavier, and 9% faster. And now that I just listed these numbers, I am doubting that .44 Magnum is significantly better than 10mm Auto. Doh!!!)

      • “That .44 Magnum bullet is 7% larger…”

        Make that 14% larger. You should think in terms of cross-sectional area, not just diameter. So, you do not need to doubt the .44 Mag at all, unless you compare it to one of the newer super bore behemoths. And even then, there is no cosmic law that causes the .44 Mag to suddenly become less powerful whenever a new super boomer is introduced.

        • Nero,

          Ooooh! Good catch. (Seriously, no snark.)

          Now we have to consider whether a bullet that is 14% larger, 23% heavier, and 9% faster is a significant difference for stopping a charging beast.

          A good chunk of that “23% heavier and 9% faster” is required to push that .44 Magnum bullet (which is 14% larger than a 10mm Auto bullet) to the same penetration depth as that 10mm Auto bullet. Thus, I’ll bet it is almost a wash as to which bullet penetrates deeper — and both bullets would shed velocity at a similar rate along the wound channel since they have similar sectional densities.

          Thus, whether or not .44 Magnum is all that much more effective than 10mm Auto seems to lie in the fact that the .44 Magnum bullet is 14% larger — which creates a slightly larger wound channel and increases the odds of partially or completely severing a major artery. Going strictly on intuition, I don’t think that is a significant difference.

          Hah, I just negated my own argument that .44 Magnum is vastly superior to 10mm Auto at stopping a charging robust animal.

      • Flatlander here with no large bear experience but I do regularly shoot 9 mm. .40 S&W, 10 mm, 45 ACP and .45 Win Mag. I’ve shot a number of white tails with handguns and my choice has always been one of my S&W 29s. All one-shot kills and pretty much dropped where shot.

        If I’m ever fortunate enough to hunt/fish Alaska I’m either packing my FA .454 C or Marlin Guide in .45-70 for defense against bears. I wouldn’t even consider anything smaller.

        We can postulate all sorts of situations where in all probability we won’t actually need the tool. How many here have actually drawn in their own defense? I carried an old Detonics .45 EDC until I became sold on the kind of science behind much-improved 9mm specifically designed to stop humans, now I’m comfortable with a Sig 365 and a Glock 43.

        There’s a hell of a difference, however, between self defense between another human and a grizzly. With the human, even of room temperature IQ, there’s a likelihood having a gun pointed at him/her/it might change the situation entirely without dropping the hammer. I don’t believe the the same would likely matter one bit to an enraged, defensive or hungry bear. I think here as always, the 7 Ps Principle is best followed. All the best.

  10. A .45, properly loaded, will do anything a 10mm will do, in practical terms. In most cases, you don’t even have to boost pressure beyond standard. But if you really need the extra juice, a modest boost of 6k psi from 17k to 23k, will take the .45 up to the level of the 10mm and do it with heavier bullets. Hornady’s Critical Duty load of a 220 gr. JHP is hitting nearly 1000 fps, and does devastating things to flesh and bone. In a modern, well made 1911, it can do anything the 10mm is capable of doing. Most people have a problem with the recoil of the 10mm as well as the muzzle blast. The 9mm even in its most potent loads, still requires more than one shot in too many cases. The FBI tried the 10mm, and found that it was too much gun for most agents, and those folks get more training than the average civilian. They had the same problems, though to a lesser extent, with the .45. So, they went 9mm, and even then their performance is nothing to write home about. I’ve shot in competition against them and was never very impressed with their marksmanship. In my opinion, the .45 ACP is enough power and flexible enough to take on any job you need a handgun for, without being hard to handle, and even standard loads are more effective than the 9mm for a one shot stop.

  11. I’ve got a sig stx 1911 in .45 that I shoot at least 2-4 boxes a month. The local range is less than ten minutes away, indoor (nice for when winters last six months and temps before windchill can get under -40). It’s 20 meters and I’m not too bad at that range than means 10 is not a problem. I like the .45, for me.

  12. Can’t be adding another caliber and the 1911 I own is .45ACP. For which I have a considerable store of ammo and ain’t about go out and spend my limited gun budget on that other wonder caliber.

    So, that’s it, proof positive of what works for me.

    And it certainly is not the 0.3937007874015748″ Smith & Wesson

  13. “I’ve shot deer with the .45 ACP at that distance and had clean pass-throughs…”

    I enjoy hearing these real world examples over the forum hypothetical bro science theories. Thanks. Still want a 10mm though.

    • It is terribly unsafe to hunt deer with the 10mm S&W. Where the .45ACP would merely go completely thru the deer and fall out the other side, where it would politely and quietly await pick-up for lead recycling, the 10mm S&W will go thru the deer, a large oak tree, the Keebler’s Elves hiding in that tree (if it’s hollow) at least one farmer’s cow and very likely poke a hole in the ground revealing a previously unknown crude oil deposit that would come oozing out of the ground and catch fire, burning down the entire forest and leaving any surviving Keebler Elves homeless as well as suffering awful depression over the loss of that hollow tree (OH NO! OUR HOUSE!).

      Seriously, stick to the .45ACP, it’s all any self respecting cookie muncher could ever hope for!

  14. I sort of agree with the poster. I’m NOT a hardcore .45 guy, but I carry a railed Springfield 1911 with a TLR-1, loaded with ten .45 super (with upgraded spring) and a snake shot in the chamber when I’m at camp (north Georgia) because I’ve got just as much chance of running into a bear, a cotton mouth, a pack of wild dogs or coyotes as a I do a deer or turkey. I know coyotes aren’t a threat to me, but I’ve seen them doing the math on whether they could get to my five year old son before I could get to them, and that was enough for me. I REALLY wanted a 10mm in the same platform, but I’ve never ever not had my .45 fail to do the job. It might happen down the road, but probably more because it’s a “I don’t have that” as opposed it, “I need that.” Also have an EMP 4” in 9mm and I friggin love that thing, and it’s my go to winter EDC, so, yeah, that’s a pair I don’t see breaking up any time soon.

  15. The 45 acp is low flash, low pressure, and subsonic with many loads.

    Proven loads expand well at these lower velocities and penetrate adequately.

    10mm is more powerful but exacts that performance with higher pressure and noise Also increased wear on a 1911. (Don’t know how much it matters with a Glock)

    I would prefer 45 for personal defense and a real magnum for large animal defense. And those would not be autos but something with a wheel that can push real power.

    And no … the 10mm is not a 41 magnum. Not even close if you actually put powder and a real bullet in a 41.

    I realize guides carry the 10 mm Glock. I imagine that based on weight. I will stick with real power in a handgun. That will normally be a 44mag or heavy loaded 45 Long colt.

    • Specialist38,

      “That will normally be a 44mag or heavy loaded 45 Long colt.”

      I absolutely shudder at the thought of a beast that would keep coming after taking a solid hit with a .45 caliber, 255 grain hardcast lead semi-wadcutter impacting at something like 1,200 fps.

      If that isn’t capable of stopping a charging beast, I don’t know what else would fair much better in anything remotely close to resembling a practical handgun platform.

      (Sure, some giant revolver chambered in .475 or .500 caliber which weighs six pounds and shoots .400 grain bullets at 1,400 fps would be superior — and basically impossible to draw and shoot off-hand, especially with one hand.)

      • I’m too wimpy to carry a 460 or 500 Smith.

        Just too much weight for me.

        My old Flattop 44 with 39oz with its 6.5 inch barrel.

        My Bisley Blackhawk 45 is in the upper 40s.

        They carry well and tight.

        • Guys- my 7 1/2” Freedom Arms .454 Casull weighs a bit more than an SAA but has plenty of power and penetration for the dangerous stuff. Carry mine in a hip holster.

  16. I wish there was a little (more) in there about PCC performance with said calibers. I’m thinking that out of a longer barrel the more rifle like calibers shine more. And suppressed. The little I know about science tells me the big heavy bullet that “naturally” travels beneath the sound barrier does better.


  18. “[A]ny good scientist will tell you that you can’t defy the laws of physics.” Which is why a slightly larger caliber at just over half the pressure is like a carbureted, low-compression prewar V8 trying to keep up with a modern GDI V6. Oh, and the more powerful cartridge gets an extra round or two per magazine. Physics are on Dave’s side. “Idol worship” is the argument of the “hardcore .45 guy”.

    “[P]risoners of their time”? Sounds like something that could be applied to the .45 AARP, but age is no excuse. 9mm was loaded to the same pressure as today’s 10mm before .45ACP even existed.

  19. This seems like making a case to fit the caliber one likes. I’d make the point that the .357 magnum 180 hard cast round from Buffalo Bore has 50% more muzzle energy than that .45 round does. Their 10mm offering has 15% or so more ME. They even make a 40 S&W round that exceeds the ME of that .45 ACP round. You do probably lose 1-2 rounds going to a revolver compared to the .357 but if you have an N frame or similar it’s likely a wash. You may even gain a round or two for the 10mm 1911. If you’re really going to go for the gusto and up the pressure why not a 460 Rowland variant?

    I’ll probably be the odd man out here and say the best 1911 round is likely a rimless .38 Super variant. Better capacity and you can still get similar or better energy than a .45.

  20. .357 magnum 158 gr in a 6″ or longer barrel will take a dear clean.
    .357 magnum 125 gr hollow point in 4″ or longer will take any doped-up attacker clean.

    .357 magnum. Still the best.

    • Jimmy Beam,

      “.357 magnum 158 gr in a 6″ or longer barrel will take a dear clean.”

      Serious question:
      Assuming hot loads and either a nice hollowpoint or softpoint expanding bullet, how far on average do you think a white-tailed buck (let’s say a decent size, something like 180 pounds field dressed) would run after taking that shot accurately to the heart/lung area? What would be unusually far for that buck to run in that hypothetical scenario?

      I am an avid deer hunter, I am really curious, and have no idea. I am seriously interested in handgun hunting for white-tailed deer and I have often wondered how well that particular .357 Magnum arrangement would work.

      • I have killed two whitetail deer with a 357.

        Granted, these were south Mississippi “goats”. 120 to 140 pounds.

        One with a 125 JHP and one with 158 grain JHP. One at 15 and one at 25 yards.

        Both dropped where they were shot.

        Moving to 44 mag hard cast at around 1250 fps resulted in less meat damage and more options for shooting angles.

        • Specialist38,

          Thank you for the feedback — good to know.

          I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to white-tailed deer hunting. I have seen those critters take text-book perfect shots from .270 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, 50 caliber muzzleloader, 20 gauge shotgun slugs, and 12 gauge shotgun slugs. In almost every case those deer ran at least 35 yards and sometimes well past 80 yards after those shots. It boggles the mind. And then there are examples such as yours where those deer drop right on the spot from cartridges with far less “oomph”. Go figure.

        • Seems to corroborate the sentiment that “stopping power” is a “relative” theory.

    • One of the main limitations of 10mm has been people viewing it as a “skinny .45” when it does much better in loads that duplicate a fatter, more compact, lighter-recoiling, high-capacity .357. The Magnum’s powder capacity prevails out of a rifle, but 10mm is at least equal in a handgun.

  21. I’ll go with the bigger the better, regardless if that is the truth or not. Kind of like a 6 liter engine is better than a 5 liter, or . . or nothing (I was kidding). No desire for a 10mm, never have never will. 1911 in 45acp is great, and subcompact 1911 in 9mm is as well. Bear gun: I’ll agree with the 45LC, 44 Mag, 454 Casull, 460 Mag in that order. Might shoot the 45LC in the 460 one handed, but that’s about the end of one handed shooting with those choices. Bear Spray does sound like a safer alternative for all parties involved. 10mm club for many, is a macho man thing. Unnecessary in my opinion and apparently with many others as well.

  22. 45 edc. 460 Rowland for fun. S&W500 for the big country, possibly soiling my shorts and praying that I live scenario.

  23. Again the calibre wars. The .9mm round reigns supreme in every category, especially for concealed carry. You can carry the firearm in the watch pocket of your jeans.

    But if you want to blow holes in the space-time continum, only the 6.5mm Creedmoor, or Grendel will do.

  24. .45 < 10mm < .450 SMC
    .450 SMC beats 10mm for basically everything except shooting at long distance (which isn't really either round's forte to begin with.)

  25. 9mm 1911s (and 2011s) are so easy to shoot quickly and accurately.
    Only hits count.

    Arguments about “energy” or “stopping power” are made by people who haven’t ever actually shot someone.

  26. Most factory JHP 10 mm ammo is not loaded to it’s potential, these factory rounds are almost identical to 40 S&W (short and weak) ballistics wise. 10 mm loaded to its potential is a different animal that neither 45 or 40 can touch. Secondly, the bullet loaded in your cartridge makes a big difference in its terminal performance. Anyone who voluntarily chooses +P loaded 45 over +P loaded 10 mm hard cast bullet for animal defense is either ignorant, stubborn or outright stupid. There are better choices in bear country than the 10 mm but to say a 45 ACP is in the same class is just ridiculous. Numbers do not lie.

  27. “All kidding aside, that 6.5 Grendel is a fascinating round.”

    Wonder how it would perform in a zip gun with a ten penny nail for a firing pin? All I can afford.

  28. “The zip gun will perform well, but just once.”

    Well, that’s just poopy.

    And I’m stuck with a useless box of ten penny finishing nails.

    Next, you’re probably gonna tell me that 6.5 Grendel, fired from a zip gun, won’t actually blow a hole in the space-time continuum. I don’t never git sump’n I want.

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