1911 Pistol in 10mm Auto Caliber, Sounds Good But…

10mm, Ammunition News, Firearm News, John Farnam


10mm Round

Ft Collins, CO –-( 10mm Auto.

Last weekend, during a DTI Defensive Pistol Course on the East Coast, a student brought a 1911 pistol in 10mm Auto caliber.

10mm Auto had a brief following when it was first introduced in 1983. But, it never gained significant popularity, and there has been scant demand for the ammunition for at least the past thirty years.

Recently, it has garnered some popularity among handgun hunters. But, as a serious carry pistol, the 10mm has few adherents.

One of them was my student last weekend, but his enthusiasm for the caliber quickly withered as his $1,500.00 pistol failed to cycle time and again! Most common problem was failure to feed.

We cleaned and lubed it, but feeding issued continued.

In our, and his, frustration, we eventually put this student into a GLOCK G19, which of course, ran fine for the duration.

Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol (original image by Aaron Ragusa )
Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol (original image by Aaron Ragusa )

We’ve seen a few other pistols in this caliber at our Courses, but not many, and I’ve never seen one that ran reliably. The 10mm Auto is a long, straight-walled cartridge. It is essentially “designed to fail!”

Pistols chamberd for it usually have tight chambers (for accuracy, you know), which exacerbates the reliability issue.

As a hunting handgun, the 10mm Auto may have a place, so long as you’re not hunting anything dangerous! As a pistol carried for serious purposes, it has few followers, as noted above.

One fewer after last weekend!


Defense Training International, Inc

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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  1. Not sure I understand the comment, “…..10mm round is designed to fail….”. Please explain. Thank you.

  2. I have owned (and shot) the 10mm Auto cartridge since 1991. I have yet to suffer any failures. How have I lasted this long?

  3. I have run thousands of 10mm rounds through a Sig P220 with excellent accuracy and no failures of any kind. I have witnessed jams caused by a weak hold on some 10mm 1911 pistols. The same happens regularly with 1911s in 45 ACP. Most shooters recognize this as a training issue. What makes the 10mm designed to fail? it’s essentially a slightly longer version of the .40 S&W cartridge. Just curious. I like to understand the reasons behind blanket statements like that one. Maybe I missed something. Please advise.

  4. I run a Glock 20, 10mm. I sometimes get a FTF, which is easily fixed by a quick rearward pull and release of the slide. It is the only issue I’ve had after a couple thousand rounds. I replaced the stock barrel and recoil spring with a Lone Wolf threaded barrel and a Springer stainless steel dual spring recoil mechanism. I might go back to the stock recoil spring to see if that fixes the issue. Also, I shoot flat point range ammo. I wonder if a little hotter ammo might also fix the problem. I think the slide sometimes fails to go fuly rearwzrd to strip the round off the magazine. I run three mags, all Glock, and it occurs with all three. Maybe 3 or 4 times per 100 rounds.

    Any ideas?

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