Police and Defense History

When the FBI talks, cops listen: The FBI Academy is to law enforcement as Harvard Business School is to business. The state troopers of Virginia and Kentucky adopted the S&W 10mm as did a number of smaller LE agencies. However, the FBI load for the 10mm was a 180-grain JHP around 1,000 feet per second and in 1990 S&W and Winchester jointly introduced the .40 S&W with the same ballistics in a shorter cartridge, allowing both smaller pistols and greater cartridge capacity. The .40 S&W became a national police standard faster than any preceding cartridge and pushed the 10mm off-stage. The same was also true in the armed citizen sector. The popularity of the 10mm quickly faded in both arenas.

The original JHP load for the 10mm was a 170-grain at 1,300 foot-seconds from Norma. It tended to shoot through and through the perpetrator without fully expanding and distributing its inherent power. By the time we had loads like the Cor-Bon 135-grain at 1,400 feet per second and what became the most street-proven load, the Winchester Silvertip with a 175-grain bullet at 1,290 feet per second — actually exceeding the .41 Magnum version of the Silvertip by 40 fps — the tide of the .40 S&W had swept the 10mm largely out of the picture and out of the “street performance data pool.”