10mm vs 45 ACP

It’s no secret that plenty of people spend time debating the finer points of the 9mm cartridge vs the 45 ACP. But there’s actually one debate in the gun world that’s even more relevant to this topic. I’m talking, of course, about 10mm vs 45 ACP. For one, both of these cartridges feature a similar size. And if you’re wondering what caliber a 1911 is meant to be, 10mm gives 45 ACP a run for its money. In this post, we’ll take a look at the 10mm vs 45 ACP debate and the pros and cons of each, along with the best leather holsters for a 1911 in either caliber.

Shark Leather Holster

10mm vs 45 ACP: Differences and Similarities

Before we go into details about the similarities and differences between these two calibers, let’s take a look at some of the specs of each.

45 ACP Specs:

  • Chamber Pressure: 21,000 PSI
  • Grains: 26.7
  • Bullet Diameter: 0.451 in
  • Case Diameter: 0.473 in

10mm Specs:

  • Chamber Pressure: 37,000 PSI
  • Grains: 24.1
  • Bullet Diameter: 0.4 in
  • Case Diameter: 0.425 in

We can discern from this info that both of these cartridges are exceptionally similar in a lot of ways. That’s actually one of the main reasons that they get compared to one another. In addition, it also means a 10mm is one common caliber for the 1911. However, there’s still plenty that separates these two cartridges.

Custom Alligator Holster

45 ACP: Classic 1911 Caliber

From the data above, we can see that the 45 ACP features a bigger bullet and cartridge. Therefore, it follows logically that the 45 ACP bullet is bigger. We can see that’s true as well, with the 45 ACP clocking in at more than 2.5 grains more than the 10mm.

One thing to note, however, is that the 45 ACP has a lower chamber pressure than the 10mm does. This, in turn, means that the 45 ACP will have a lower velocity than its cousin. There’s a trade-off, though. A 45 ACP round will also have significantly less recoil than a 10mm cartridge will. That, in turn, means follow-up shots are much easier.

45 ACP Bullets

10mm 1911: High Power

Okay, so based on the numbers, we can tell that the 10mm round is slightly smaller than the 45 ACP. However, that also correlates to higher chamber pressure. And a higher chamber pressure means higher muzzle velocity and more penetrating power. That’s no surprise, considering the 10mm has a reputation as a “bear-stopper” round.

However, if you’ve ever shot a 10mm, you’ll know its inherent downside. It may be able to drop a bear, but it kicks like a mule. In fact, the 10mm has so much kick that the FBI and law enforcement agencies around the country stopped using it in favor of the much gentler 40 S&W cartridge. That’s definitely something to consider.

10mm Bullets

You Need Leather Holsters for Your 1911 Regardless of Caliber

Ultimately, the only person who can decide whether to use a 10mm vs 45 ACP caliber 1911 is you. But regardless of which you pick, you’re going to need a leather holster for that trusty 1911. We can help with that. To learn more, check out our entire inventory of heritage-grade leather holsters. 

OWB Black Leather Holster

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