Article Image 9mm vs 10mm: Do You Really Need a 10mm?


9mm vs 10mm: Do You Really Need a 10mm?

Written by Sam Jacobs Subject: United States

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When it comes to self-defense, many shooters hold to the belief that you should shoot the caliber that has the best ballistics and the most stopping power that you can handle. These shooters like to favor a larger caliber bullet, such as the 10mm Auto. 
Other shooters believe that the ideal defense round should be lightweight and low recoil, allowing for accurate and quick follow-up shots as modern jacketed hollow points (JHP) have made the caliber debate moot. These are typically your 9mm Luger concealed carry permit holders. 
The 9mm vs 10mm caliber debate is an interesting one as these two handgun rounds are extremely different from each other, despite their bullet diameter only being separated by 1mm. And it begs the question, is bigger actually better when it comes to self-defense? 
The 10mm is the brainchild of Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, a legendary American shooter and veteran. The 10mm was designed primarily as a hunting round, but was shortly adopted by the FBI in response to the Miami Shootout that claimed multiple agents' lives. It was determined that the 38 Special and 9mm ammo used by the agents was ineffective so the FBI switched to a heavier round. 
Although the 10mm gave the FBI the stopping power they wanted, the recoil was simply too much for smaller agents and the FBI eventually switched to the 40 S&W, which is essentially a shorter version of the 10mm with less powder. 
However, multiple agencies are now switching back to the 9mm Luger, the question is why? The truth is that the 9mm has come a long way since the 80's and jacketed hollow point ammo has advanced significantly. As such, law enforcement is coming to the understanding that shot placement is more important than raw kinetic energy.  
Although the 10mm is potent bear medicine, most shooters do not need the power the 10mm offers for most CCW purposes. Therefore our recommendation is to stick with the 9mm as you can carry more rounds and shoot more accurately due to lower recoil.