Written by Greg Ellifritz
A reader recently wrote to me asking the following question:
“I am considering changing from a Glock .45 to a 10mm and am wondering if the 10mm with 200 grain hard cast would have better stopping power than my 230 grain hardball?”
I get asked about the 10mm cartridge quite often. I didn’t include it in my stopping power study because I was only able to find a couple shootings in that caliber. The data I have isn’t complete enough to make reliable conclusions.
It’s also a little harder to make recommendations when the manufacturers don’t report gelatin testing results in the load. Gelatin testing is both expensive and time consuming. Most manufacturers only report gelatin data for the cartridges they intend for the law enforcement market…and that doesn’t include the 10mm.
There have been a few private individuals and organizations that have published test results. Check out the links below:
Hornady 10mm Ballistic Gel tests
10mm Auto ballistic test, updated.
Neither of these tests involve the 200 grain hard cast bullet that you ask about, but they are still useful. Take a look at their data for the 200 grain JHP bullets. In those cases the hollowpoints didn’t fully expand and acted more like ball ammo. Take a look at the penetration data. The 200 grain loads penetrated between 16″ and 24″ in the gel.
Realize that your 200 grain hard cast bullets would likely penetrate MORE that either of the loads reported there.
The FBI recommends that defensive cartridges penetrate from 12″-18″ in gelatin and expand to at least 1.5x their original diameter. Your cast bullets simply don’t meet either criteria. They would not be a good defensive load if fighting humans is what you are preparing for.
That doesn’t mean that the rounds are useless. Penetration is important in some instances. If I was looking for a self defense round to use against bears or large game, this load would be at the top of the list. I would also consider the loads if I was in a situation where I had to shoot someone in a car or behind another intermediate barrier. Other than that, I would avoid the 200 grain hard cast bullets for self defense.
To your original question comparing the hard cast 10mm bullets to .45 ball for stopping power, the wound channels would likely be similar. The 10mm would just penetrate even deeper than the .45 ball. With similar ballistic performances, I would stick with the .45. It recoils less and can be fired much more rapidly than the hard kicking 10mm.
The real question is “Why are you using .45 ball ammo for self defense in your Glock?”
The Glock will reliably feed just about any hollowpoint made. You are much better off using a Speer Gold Dot, Federal HST, or Winchester Ranger in the .45 acp. All will feed in your Glock and will provide better stopping power than ball ammo. If you do choose the 10mm, I would stick with the 180 grain JHP bullets for best performance against people.
Thanks for the question Don!