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10mm Auto vs .45 ACP

10mm vs 45 acp blog feature

Hey all, we here at True Shot Academy want to go over two very popular handgun cartridges which have been enjoyed by shooters of various generations, the 10mm Auto and the .45 ACP. The rounds have persisted in public use since their inception in the 20th century and have been a chambering for a variety of firearms ever since.

Today, we are wanting to provide a brief overview of these two cartridges while also exploring some of their use cases and other traits. Without further ado, let’s get into it.


10mm Auto

The 10mm Auto, often just referred to as 10mm, was introduced in 1983 and is ultimately the product of a collaboration between Jeff Cooper and Norma. A variety of service pistols and submachine guns such as the Smith & Wesson 1076 and Heckler & Koch MP5/10 have utilized the cartridge.

The cartridge has been known to yield a higher recoil as a result of its relatively high velocity and larger projectile. This stout recoil impulse is also accompanied by potent ballistic capabilities that make the 10mm an incredibly effective defensive caliber.

The 10mm round also paved the way for the .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge, which was developed to essentially provide a 10mm load with lower recoil and in a smaller package. While the .40 Smith & Wesson tends to be a more common and more supported cartridge in today’s market, the 10mm has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years.


.45 ACP

The .45 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) cartridge is the brainchild of John Moses Browning and was first produced in 1905. From the 20th century onwards, the round has been utilized in a variety of firearms such as handguns and submachine guns such 1911 style pistols and Thompson submachine guns.

The round has developed a reputation for being easy to suppress as most of the loadings are going to be subsonic. The large, heavy projectiles found in .45 ACP loadings are conducive to yielding a low muzzle velocity and thus produce a tame recoil impulse.

The cartridge has endured for over a century and has been enjoyed by generations of shooters. When it comes to ammunition and firearms, one can see that the .45 ACP is well-supported and commonplace.

Magtech 10mm
Magtech 10mm

Availability of Firearms

One can often find more firearms chambered in the .45 ACP than 10mm in today’s market. In the last decade or so, the 10mm cartridge has seen a significant increase in popularity. As a result, more and more firearms have become available in the chambering.

But once again, this number is dwarfed by the number of firearms chambered in .45 ACP. Many firearms in either caliber often have similar dimensions, such as the Glock 20 and Glock 21 pistols in 10mm and .45 ACP respectively. A variety of 1911 style pistols can also be found in the chambering as well, such as the Colt Delta Elite.

Handguns chambered in either cartridge can be found in a variety of sizes and setups to accommodate roles such as self-defense or competition use. Pistol caliber carbines are also available in these chamberings if one wanted to utilize either caliber in a larger platform. At the end of the day, one will not be found wanting by the options available as far as firearms go for either caliber.


Availability of Ammunition

When it comes to available ammunition options, one will find that there is more .45 ACP on the market than 10mm. While there has definitely been an increased interest and support for the 10mm cartridge in recent years, one will still find fewer options than they would if they were looking for .45 ACP. When it comes to 10mm, common grain weights will usually range from 165 to 180 grains. 

One will typically encounter .45 ACP loadings that range from 185 to 230 grains. Both cartridges can commonly be found in full metal jacket or hollow point form, providing end users with multiple options for defensive use. As far as self-defense loads go, options are available which exceed both in the field and for daily carry. Companies such as Barnes, Hornady, Federal, and Speer are among some of those who offer ammunition optimized for personal protection.

PMC Bronze 45 ACP 230 Grain FMJ (1)
PMC Bronze 45 ACP 230 Grain FMJ

Usage of 10mm Auto

The 10mm cartridge has acquired a reputation as a potent and reliable round that is well-suited to self-defense and duty use. The round boasts superior fight-stopping capability and has been utilized by many end users for defense both in the field and in their daily lives. Semi-automatic pistols in this chambering have become very popular as sidearms for hunters, often replacing magnum revolvers for a number of users.

End users will often cite the potency of the round and magazines with a higher capacity than revolvers. The cartridge is also well-suited for general plinking and target shooting as there are many loadings and firearms optimized for this use. The 10mm has also become a popular handgun hunting cartridge due to its potency, particularly when it comes to medium-sized game.


Usage of .45 ACP

Due to the subsonic nature of most common loadings, the round has become a go-to round for suppression. Because of this, many popular handguns are offered in .45 ACP and are marketed for suppressor use such as the Heckler & Koch HK45 CT and FN’s FNX-45 Tactical. While not as popular as other common loads such as 9mm, the .45 ACP still sees use in a defensive capacity.

Of course, there are a variety of target loads available that make firearms in the cartridge good choices for target shooting or general plinking. While not as effective as the 10mm, the .45 ACP has also been utilized for handgun hunting. The round is more suitable for humanely dispatching smaller game.



All in all, these two popular loadings have a great deal of support in the market when it comes to ammunition and firearms available in the chamberings. Whether you shoot 10mm, .45 ACP, or both, we here at True Shot have you covered.

We offer everything from standard target loads to specialized loads and would love to get you setup with some ammunition for your next shooting endeavor. Happy shooting.



Need bulk ammo? At True Shot Ammo, we have a wide variety of handgun ammo and rifle ammo available to purchase. Please visit our website trueshotammo.com, call us at (888) 736-6587, or you can email us at [email protected] for more ammo options.

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