Most everyone has heard the term “stopping power” when it comes to gun calibers, especially pistols. There’s some interesting research out there about the term stopping power, and also many misconceptions on what it is and what it actually means. With that said, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone that would argue that a big-bore cartridge like the .45 ACP doesn’t have stopping power.
In fact, the debate has raged for years over the 9mm versus the .45 ACP, and stopping power was at the center of this debate. In 1986, there was a well-known shootout between FBI agents and two armed assailants. The unfortunate result was two agents killed and several wounded, even with the attackers being shot several times.
As a result, the FBI made the decision to adopt a cartridge with more “stopping power” than the 9mm and .38 Spl. firearms being used by the agents, ultimately selecting the then-new 10mm round. However, the FBI soon determined that for the “average” shooter to pass competency and qualifications, the 10mm had too much recoil. The agency replaced it with the .40 (basically a shortened and less-powerful 10mm). But, there was never any debate or doubt regarding the stopping power of the 10mm.
Regardless of your thoughts on what is “best” to carry, the 10mm clearly has “stopping power” (or “punch”). I have never heard anyone debate the power of the .357 Magnum revolver round, and if you take a look at its ballistics and that of the 10mm, you will notice some notable similarities. And with the 10mm, you can have it in a semi-auto that offers more on-board rounds and faster reloads than a revolver.
A great example of this is. The Springfield Armory XD-M Elite 10mm OSP (optical sight pistol) with its 16+1 capacity. That my friend is a game changer if you are looking for a pistol with “stopping power.” So, bottom line, you can have the punch of a .357 Magnum for 16+1 rounds as fast as you can pull the trigger, and can reload in seconds with training.
With all that said, one other question arises. Can I hit anything with it, and at what distance? The quality of our answer depends on the quality of the questions, and those are quality questions. I know from personal experience that I find it very challenging to get accurate shots off, especially with any speed, with a .357 Magnum revolver, let alone a .44 Magnum. I question going to an even greater extreme with calibers like the .454 Casull or .500.
The recoil on such calibers that many talk about using in an emergency in bear country, for example, poses another good question. After the first shot, and even if it hits the target, can the shooter recover from the recoil and get a quality second shot in time, let alone a third or fourth shot?
We know from research and data collection that most in a life-or-death situation tend to miss the target in a panic more than hit it. That includes folks that have been trained in shooting, not just the average shooter that gets out a few times a year. I think you see my point. In my opinion, that’s worth considering.
This brings us to the primary question of this review: How accurate is the 10mm, and to what distances can it be effectively engaged? How many accurate shots can I get off, and in what time frame? Also, what is the maximum effective range of a 10mm pistol? There’s only one way to find out, and a video is worth a thousand words.
Federal and CCI sent me a few different types of ammo to use for this review. The Federal ammo is actually what I would choose for self-defense and even hunting or going into bear country. Federal even makes a bullet specifically for this using a solid core flat-nose bullet for deep penetration on animals like bears and hogs.
My personal choice would be any of the self-defense rounds with expanding hollow points like the Punch, HST, Swift or Federal Fusion that has the maximum ft./lbs. of energy. I would feel comfortable with any of these and their accuracy to defend my life.
Watch the video, and see what you think. Keep in mind that before this video, I had never shot a 10mm before, so basically what you see throughout the video is my shooting with it and some practice. It did not take much practice to make a huge difference, as you will see. I had the XD-M Elite 10mm topped off with a HEX Dragonfly red dot.
Over the course of some very fun shooting, I was able to get some excellent groups with the gun, and even push it out to 200 yards. I was also able to engage targets quickly at closer distances, both two- and one-handed. Check out the video.
So there you have it. With the XD-M Elite 10mm OSP, the HEX Dragonfly red dot and some good-quality ammo — as well as some good trigger discipline — I was able to really push the 10mm pistol out to some impressive distance. And during the whole test, the gun ran amazingly — not a single issue. Sounds like a winner to me!
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XD-M® Elite 4.5″ OSP™ w/ HEX Dragonfly
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