Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Metric Glocks: 10mm & 9mm

I like all Glock Handguns, but my favorite calibers are probably the "metric" 9mm & 10mm calibers. Just about anybody that has even the slightest gun knowledge is familiar with the 9mm, but the 10mm is unjustly a relatively obscure cartridge.The history of the 10mm is well documented, so I won't bore you with those details since it's easy to google it ,but I would like to give my own take on this misunderstood and unjustly neglected cartridge and specifically the Glock guns that fire it .
I feel the Glocks 9mm and 10mm are the best built and safest of all Glock models.The 9mm and .40 S&W operate at about the same pressures,but if you look at the barrels of a Glock in each caliber, you will see notice that the barrel walls in the 9's are thicker.That's because the .40 caliber Glocks are essentially just bored out 9mm's.The same is true of the .45ACP and 10mm Glocks.The guns are the same size,but the barrel walls as well as the slide are thicker on the 10mm.The 9mm & 10mm were built specifically around those caliber's where the .40 & .45 Glocks were not.
The 10mm cartridge gives magnum like performance falling somewhere between the .357 Magnum & .41 Magnum.It is the only semi-automatic handgun caliber that is allowed in most States for Whitetail Deer Hunting.Indeed it is frequently used for Hunting Deer,Wild Boars and even Black Bears.It is even used by many for defense against large predators such as Grizzly & Polar Bears although it is a bit marginal(as any handgun is)for that task. A Glock 20 stocked with full power 10mm loads complete with 15 Rounds does provide awesome firepower, but at the price of awesome recoil and it is that heavy recoil as well as the size of the guns(they are not small)that has caused the 10mm to fall out of favor in the general public.But,a normal sized Man with average sized hands should have no problems dealing with it(it's equivalent to a .45 +P out of a Glock 21). But,Law Enforcement today includes many Female Officers as well as smaller stature Males who simply can't tolerate the recoil and whose hands are simply too small to properly hold onto the gun. Glock has introduced it's 10mm 20 & 29 models in SF/"short frame",which should resolve the size problems for many.
There are a few Police Departments who do issue the 10mm although they definitely in the minority.I am aware of PD's in Minnesota,Montana.New Jersey,Oklahoma,New Mexico,Texas,Alabama,Colorado,Florida and even California who do issue the Glock 20 to it's Officers. It's a good choice wherever greater penetration is needed or there is chance of a long range encounter since the 10mm shoots far & flat for a handgun cartridge.
If large predators might be in the area, like in Alaska,it also makes sense.The Greenland/Denmark Sirius Patrol Special Forces Units use the Glock 20 on their long recon missions due to the chance that they might encounter a Polar Bear.
The United States is the only place in the World that the 9mm is considered marginal or even anemic despite it being what our Military Forces use as well as a great many Law Enforcement Agencies. Many Police Departments have switched to the .40 S&W, following the FBI's lead after they determined they needed something more powerful after the infamous " FBI Miami Shootout". No handgun round is a death ray and there are many documented accounts of suspects taking multiple rounds of .45 ACP,.40 S&W,44 Mag and even 12 Gauge Slugs and still continue to fight or advance on the Officer's.
Those accounts tell me SHOT PLACEMENT is more important than caliber and with it's flat trajectory and moderate recoil, the 9mm is a great choice. Every Countries Military(including the US) that I'm aware of use 9mm service handguns. Even the FBI issue 9mm Glocks to their agents working outside of the US since 9mm ammo is about all you'll readily find around the World.I just don't believe all the NATO Countries as well as Germany, Japan, Russia and the Israeli Military/Anti-terrorist Special Forces who use 9mm handgun would use something that is not adequate. One shot stops and defense performance between the 9mm,.40 S&W and .45 ACP are very similar.There's just not that much difference to be overly concerned about ,but with the 9mm you get easier recoil, cheaper & more readily available ammo and a greater diversity of ammo choices.With Glock 9mm's in particular,you can get the optional 33 Round magazines(pictured at top right) which were designed for the select fire Glock 18,but work just as well in any of the Glock 9mms.
Many people insist on +P ammo if they are feeding a 9mm,but I don't really feel it is necessary.Plus P ammo does deliver greater performance(and more muzzle blast & recoil),but standard ammo is not inefficient IMO. I do prefer Hollow Points(and do in ANY Caliber),but I wouldn't feel under gunned with FMJ or NATO Ball ammo.
It's true that the .40 S&W has become very prominent in Law Enforcement and I believe the #1 choice of more Departments(following FBI's lead),but I'm not sure about overall numbers of actual issued guns themselves since most of the VERY large Police departments still issue or mandate 9mm handguns. For example, just a few agencies who mandate,issue or allow 9mm's..........
Chicago PD issues/allows 9mm & requires new candidates to purchase Glock 17 or 19.
District of Columbia.
Cincinnati PD.
New York State Police.
New Jersey State Police.
Philadelphia PD.
Pittsburgh PD.
Salt Lake City, Utah PD
Las Vegas PD
Tampa Bay PD
San Diego PD
Sacramento PD
..........The big three of NYPD, LAPD and Chicago PD do mandate or issue 9mm's and I don't believe Officer's in some of the toughest streets in the World aren't using the best equipment. So,when you consider all the Police Departments who do still use 9mm combined with the fact that our military as well as EVERY OTHER MILITARY IN THE WORLD use the 9mm, I think that in itself should erase doubts that it is indeed a potent and effective choice. This is especially true of the Glocks in 9mm since they are the original Glock's and are the most widely tested & proven as well as most prolific Military & Law Enforcement Pistols Worldwide.