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Lowest Recoil Full Power 10mm?

Discussion in 'The 10 Ring' started by TomAiello, May 2, 2012.

  1. TomAiello


    Jan 8, 2012
    Twin Falls, ID
    I'm trying to decide if the 10mm is a suitable caliber for me for SD use. I like the ballistics, and don't mind the size. I'm mostly concerned about the recoil slowing down my follow up shots.

    With that in mind, I am looking for suggestions for the lowest recoil full power 10mm loads for self defense. My intention is to buy a couple boxes of different ammo to run through my G20, looking for the lowest recoil, and then try to see how it changes my follow up times.

    I have some Underwood 165 gold dots. Can anyone point me at a good load that would have less recoil? Should I try the Underwood 135 grain load? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. glock20fanboy


    Jan 29, 2012
    I think you need to look at it completely differently. How many follow up shots are needed with a good shot to start with. Like I've said on here before, I am not quick with my 20SF or 29SF, but I don't need to be. I am accurate, that's all that matters. And I use Underwood exclusively.

  3. wlkjr


    Apr 9, 2012
  4. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    I am full-blown-whopper-gonzo-confused. "full power/ low recoil"? this isn't "less filling/tastes great" here. what bullet weight have you decided on? are you a "heavy bullet" kinda guy, or are you in to light and fast?. At "Full Power" there ain't a lot of difference, hence the name "Full Power".
  5. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

    Jul 28, 2008
    Up a tree.
    I find that the loads with heavy bullets of 165 and upward actually have lower recoil than the ones with 135 grain projectiles. With almost anyone's 10MM ammo, if you look at the published velocity info and calculate the muzzle energy from that, the 135's usually always have higher energy because they have faster velocities and recoil harder because of it.

    I consider 165 grain to be a good choice for 10MM SD because you'll get into the possibility of over penetration issues at about 180 grains and up, which IMO are for the woods - not for SD in town with bystanders all around.
  6. Meathead9


    Aug 23, 2009
    The PRK
    Keep on drinking that Kool-Aid, and you're likely to end up in Jonestown...

    At the very least, you need a good balance of power & follow up shot speed. We aren't talking about the firing line at the range. We're talking about a SD situation. You probably won't get set in a perfect stance, and you probably won't get a perfect grip. You may have to shoot Strong Hand Only or Weak hand Only. You probably won't be standing still, atleast you shouldn't be anyway. You will probably have more than one person to deal with. Can you guarantee that your first shot will hit COM, under the extreme stress of a SD situation that you've never been in, on the move, with a crappy grip or even one hand? Do you think follow up shot speed will count if/when there is more than one threat?

    All that aside, I'd go with Winchester 175gr Silver Tips or Underwood's 1200fps 180gr Gold Dot. I am a huge fan of FULL POWER 10mm (you should shoot some of my handloads), I just really don't think nuclear loads are necessary for Carry/SD.
  7. _The_Shadow

    _The_Shadow Ret. Fireman

    Jul 23, 2007
    Southeast, LoUiSiAna
    With all that said, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, builds profeciency! You will react like you train!
  8. BillPed


    Jun 11, 2011
    OP, understand that you're posting in a 10mm forum so most posts will say "10mm is awesome for any and all application".

    I have 9mm for SD because I can put 10 or more rounds on targets (plural) very quickly (~5 seconds) with reasonable groupings (six inches or less) even if I have Meathead9's imperfect scenario (assuming realistic distances, 5-7 yards).

    That said, I don't have my 10mm yet (waiting for Gen4). Once I do and if/when I have the same confidence with that gun, I'll move up. I also shoot a .357 magnum revolver and I doubt if I'll get there with 10mm ... but I'm hoping!

  9. TomAiello


    Jan 8, 2012
    Twin Falls, ID
    Thanks for the replies.

    I don't really subscribe to the "one shot is all you need" school.

    For me the issue is balancing power, accuracy and follow up speed. In a SD situation, I want to be able to put as many rounds as I can on target as quickly as possible. If I can do that acceptably, then I'm willing to look at a more powerful round. For me, my skill with .357 is sufficient that I am comfortable relying on it. At this point, I cannot say the same for my skill with 10mm (165 grain Underwood)--my follow up shots are too slow for me to count on my ability in a critical situation.

    What I am trying to decide is if there is a 10mm loading available that will help me with this. I know that practice is key--but at this point I don't believe that any reasonable amount of practice (meaning an amount that I can do given the time and cost constraints of my life) is going to allow me to rely on my current 10mm (165 grain Underwood) choice. If I can find something with less recoil, I'm willing to put in some time with that and try to re-evaluate that decision. If not, I should probably use the practice time with my .357.
  10. glock20fanboy


    Jan 29, 2012
    There's a good article on a study of self-defense shootings:

    99.5% of defensive shooters NEVER have to reload, and most only fire 2 shots. And most gunfights are at arms length. I want those two to be accurate and powerful.
  11. Jitterbug


    Aug 27, 2002
    I think placing one accurate round with a "more" powerful gun has some merit, it's the reason I carried a .357 over a .38 Special many, many years ago. But I would agree we don't live in a perfect world, where things seldom go the way we hope and imagine they will.

    I also wouldn't argue the effectiveness of today's high performance 9mm ammo, I think it might be a very good choice.

    Even though I wouldn't hesitate to confidently engage with my wife's properly loaded S&W 9c, when going to the average gunfight I prefer my compact .45acp, with only 7 & 1 rounds.

    In the 10mm (for the above average gunfight) I've carried Georgia Arms 180 grain Gold Dot which clocks at 1175 fps from my 4.25" barrel. Because the load seems to offer the best in weight, bullet design, accuracy and recoil manageability, I'm also biased because I bought a ton of them years ago.

    Now that my supply is dwindling, my current hand load is the 180 gr. Gold dot and I have it running 1125 fps, I can't tell much difference in recoil, but my load is more accurate and given the performance LE appears to have with the 950 fps .40 Ss&W, with the same bullet, I doubt any bad guy is going to notice the difference. I might add a bit more powder just because 1150 fps sounds better on paper. At 1200 fps I doubt if the difference in recoil will be all that much more so either the Underwood or Georgia Arms (if they still offer the GD) I think would be a good choice.

    In my opinion the fast 135's recoil less, but that's just my opinion, they're also very accurate in my pistol.

    I don't go for the most flash and bang in choosing a personal defense load. I think any good 10mm bullet properly applied is going to give you the best of all possible worlds for personal self defense with a pistol.

    Try a few known quality bullets/loads and try to become proficient with a 500+ rounds...cost may be a factor, so having an inexpensive FMJ/Cast load duplicate is a requirement for me.
  12. Meathead9


    Aug 23, 2009
    The PRK
    You really need to be careful about which studies you're buying into. The study you linked in your post, was done using only 482 incidents over 5 years. Those 5 years were between 1997-2001. That was over 10 years ago, and the world has certainly changed since then. There just isn't enough data, so it's not the kind of study I'd hang my hat on. I also wouldn't go around repeating data from this study as if it was 100% fact nationwide & that you can bet your life on it. Good luck.

    Maybe you should carry this, exactly 2 rounds of 45:

    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  13. wlkjr


    Apr 9, 2012
  14. I agree with the shooters who advocate the Underwood Delta Elite load (180 GD at 1200) for the Op's purposes. It is a close to full power load, and should be relatively easy to handle in a Glock 20.

    Since we are shooting at humans and not hogs, this load is plenty powerful enough for self defence.
  15. alwaysshootin


    Nov 14, 2005
    My view is, it is spectacular, to have the option, of choosing, nuclear loads for the 10, yet not always necessary. Will a 40 do the job? Will a 45? I think the answer is yes to both. Because of that, think, taking a 180 grain, well constructed bullet, and shoving it 100fps faster than a 40 throws it, makes for a more than adequate stopper. Even though I can choose a 300 Winchester Magnum to hunt whitetail, I go with something a little smaller in power.

    My point is, when choosing other calibers for carry, the decision on what round, is not as critical, as is with the 10. The heaviest, most powerful, deepest penetrating round, may not be the best choice, one can make.
  16. Ethereal Killer

    Ethereal Killer

    Aug 24, 2011
    ignore that one shot silliness. what you seek is a standard factory power level loading in a 180gr size bullet. anything between 1075-1200 (actual velocity not claimed) will be just fine and give you the performance you seek.

    to be frank if you can handle stiff 40 loads, then 10mm loads in the larger frame with a proper grip will feel about the same maybe a bit more. An important upgrade might be to a lighter than factory trigger pull in the 4# range with some smoothing.

    too many people get enamoured with an extra 200fps in a handload that they ignore the fact that they gain almost nothing terminally until after about 150 yards. Just choose your bullet wisely. a 180gr Gold dot would be a great choice at 1100-1150fps.

    good luck
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  17. pikepole20


    Feb 9, 2006
    North Carolina
    It has been my experience that considering all things, that lighter bullet will recoil less than a heavier bullet. So my opinion is that if lower recoil is what you are after, then I would look for a loading in a 135 grain bullet or the lightest you can find. If you are looking for full power loads as you stated, then Underwood or something along those lines will be it. None of the loads such as Remington, Winchester, or Hornaday are full power 10mm loads.
  18. Taterhead

    Taterhead Counting Beans

    Dec 13, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    Tom, there is some good information in this thread. A lot I agree with, some not as much. I do agree with Meathead and Ethereal that you do not need max velocity 10mm loads for SD.

    Selecting a good S/D load is a personal choice that should be made after trying several different rounds. It sounds like having a load with a certain recoil profile is important to you - as it should be.

    I would suggest investing some time and, unfortunately, some cash to try several different loads to find what works for you, and works in your rig. You might also want to shoot the load at various things to see if you like what you are seeing from a terminal ballistics standpoint.

    The Underwood 180 DE load would be worth trying, Silvertips too. Even some of Double Tap's loads might work even at their less-than-advertised velocities.

    My advice is to shoot a few different types of ammo. Run it through all of your mags. Get it on paper. Strong hand, weak hand, behind cover, moving, etc. etc. What works best for you?

    Virtually any 10mm load with a SD bullet is going to be sufficient for SD. There are a number of suitable bullets and velocities. Both of which are of secondary importance, in my opinion, to handling and precision in your gun.

    Plus doing all the above is pretty darned fun!
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  19. dooga

    dooga 5 year in with Glocks

    Mar 30, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    20 or 29, that is the question for me. Thanks, I really enjoyed this thread. I keep on deciding between a G36 or a 10mm (29 or 20).