Feature Article

Perfect 10s? We Test a Trio Of Big-Bore Semi-Automatics

Perfect 10s? We Test a Trio Of Big-Bore Semi-Automatics
The Springfield Armory XDM (center) has a slender grip and crisp trigger for a striker fire. The Glock G40 Gen4 MOS (left) has the typical Glock trigger and chunky grip, but it also has the ability to add a reflex sight. The Springfield Armory 1911 Range Officer Elite Operator (right) is an excellent adaptation of the 1911 platform to the 10mm Auto. When we factor in price, we feel the Springfield Armory XDM is a Best Buy, especially if you want to get into a 10mm Auto.

In the past few years there has been a renewed interest in the 10mm Auto. That is odd because the birth of the 40 S&W Auto cartridge nearly suffocated the 10mm Auto out of existence. Not only are there more pistols chambered in 10mm, there is ammo loaded to velocities the 10mm Auto was designed for. Ammunition manufacturers like SIG and others provide these big-bore semi-autos with cartridges that live up to the 10mm’s reputation.

Two 10mm Autos introduced in 2018 are from Springfield Armory (SA). SA chambered both the XDM and 1911 platforms in the round and, back in 2015, Glock got the hint from handgun hunters that we wanted a full-fledged 10mm for hunting, and the company obliged with the G40 Gen4 with MOS (Modular Optic System). We liked all three of these pistols because they all offered good accuracy, excellent to good triggers, and they were easy to shoot well. But we preferred one over the others.

How We Tested

No jams. No failures. All pistols ran well and met our expectations of Springfield and Glock pistols. We averaged 2-inch five-shot groups at 25 yards using open sights across all three pistols. When we attached a red dot (actually a green dot), we found that the Glock pulled ahead of the group in ease of shooting. We like the G40 for its ability to mount an optic. And if you are paying attention, you may have guessed the RO Elite Operator offered the best accuracy with open sights. There is something to be said about the 1911 platform’s single-action trigger. SA tuned this trigger nicely. Some of us were shooting cloverleaf patterns with holes overlapping each other using a rest with the Range Officer Elite Operator.

Ammo used during testing consisted of SIG Sauer V-Crown and FMJ cartridges loaded with a 180-grain JHP and FMJ bullets, respectively. We also had on hand some old Hornady Critical Defense 165-grain FTX ammo. All of these loads cranked out the muzzle doing a respectable 1200 fps on average.

For fast, unsupported shooting, we found these pistols do serve up recoil, but the pistols allowed us to manage it. Could we shoot these 10mms as fast as a 9mm or 45 ACP? Sure we could, but our accuracy decreased.

As a hunting round, the 10mm Auto can be effective on boar and deer if you know your limitations and those of the round. Maximum range with this round is 50 yards. With a muzzle energy of 550 to 600 foot-pounds with our test ammo, you could use these pistols as you would a 357 Magnum revolver. There are boutique ammunition manufacturers, such as Buffalo Bore, Grizzly, and Underwood, that we have experience with and have fired their hotter loads designed for penetration and expansion. Some of the larger ammo makers like Hornady and Federal also make rounds suitable for hunting medium-size game.

Are these three pistols perfect 10s? In our opinion they are close, but one may be more suited to your shooting style. The devil is in the details, and we had a devil of a time wringing out these 10mms.

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