.45 Autos were authorized for agents almost immediately after the 4/11/86 shootout, and at least one .45 has been on the approved list since. I've carried a personally owned, Bureau approved Sig P220 for over 16 years. Ammo was originally the 185 grain Silvertip, then the 230 grain Hydra-Shok, and now its the 230 Golden Saber.
Field agents can carry the Glock 21, and Sig 220s like mine are grandfathered in, though no longer on the approved list. SWAT agents are issued a Springfield 1911, and the HRT guys carry the hi-cap .45 ACP.
There is a lot of internet ******** out there about 4/11/86 in general and the 10mm in particular. The Bu did extensive ammunition tests based on what the Bureau wanted a handgun round to do. To their immense credit, they opened the testing up to all commercially available rounds, including the nearly dead 10mm. The testers found the 180/980 round did everything they wanted it to do. The fact that the full power 10 was also available was considered a bonus, much in the way .38 Specials were standard, but .357 Magnum rounds were available as needed for specific requirements.
Full power 10mm was never issued, so the idea that agents couldn't handle the recoil is internet hooey. The 1076 was a very well liked pistol and very few agents who had one wanted to give it up. As recently as three years ago I was qualifying an agent who hung onto his despite repeated efforts to recall it to the gun vault. They finally threatened to dock his availability pay and he returned it.
The testers looked at our shootings and decided they wanted a deeper penetrating 9mm, hence the 147 grain - first the HS, now a Gold Dot. Since we don't issue ammo to other departments, nobody out there was required to follow suit. The 147s have performed as expected, though not that many agents carry 9mms anymore. I know a guy who has killed two bad guys with two rounds of 147 grain 9mm Hydra-Shok. He has no complaints.
The 10mm 180/980 led directly to the development of the .40 S&W, which is the current bureau issue in a 165 grain Gold Dot.
The 10mm is still in service with the FBI, in a 190 grain loading. We use it in these: [MP5-10mm]
As you know the FBI's ultimate decision to return all its 1076s to S&W under warranty had everything to do with turf battles, egos and politics and very little to do with the pistol's or ammunition's performance. Further, over the two to three year period that the FBI and S&W haggled over the 1076 the .40 S&W had been developed. The FBI saw a way to extricate itself from the S&W entanglement and go with the .40 which had similar ballistics. Ironically, it so happened that the FBI selected Glock to provide the .40s. It also happened that Glock (and firearms manufacturers) had sued the FBI when the original contract had been awarded to S&W.
The FBI contract with S&W was never actually voided, rescinded or canceled, both sides simply "agreed to disagree" and left it at that. That is the only reason the FBI 1076 pistols made it to the commercial market rather than be destroyed as required by law. They were "warranty returns," not trade-ins (which the Feds are prohibited from doing.) It would be very difficult to find a street Agent in the FBI that was issued a 1076 that did not like it. most did not want to give them up. And some took extreme measures to hold onto theirs. Many Agents bought multiple 1076s from S&W as used guns when the FBI returned them to S&W.
Contrary to old myths and legends concerning the demise of the 1076 in the FBI it had little to do with too powerful ammunition, they couldn't handle the recoil (down-loaded FBI 10 mm round or "FBI Lite" was equal to or less than a .357), it was too heavy (only 6 oz more than Model 13 it replaced), too hard to conceal (easier to conceal, it was not as wide), too large for small frame male and female Agents (remedied with addition of resized grips), it suffered from metal failure, cracks in the frame, etc. (one, possibly two documented cases), jams and stovepipes (yes, if you limp-wrist or pull your arm/shoulder back when you shoot - like new shooters do - the pistols jam and stovepipe - Duh - it's a pistol).
I could go on but my point is that the S&W 3rd generation 10 mm pistols are not the dismal failures that history has made them them out to be. Had not the FBI rejected the 1076 the S&W 10 mm pistols might well have developed into an all around well thought of handgun. What strikes me is how little it takes to derail a new firearm or cartridge. Whether true or untrue, fact or innuendo, documented or rumors, information reaching the shooting population does in fact have a huge effect on what is available to us.
I respect everyone's opinion on the forum and I wanted to add mine to this discussion. I think the 1076 is a fine pistol that has been maligned based more on inaccurate information from the outset in the early 90's. And I would like to see the entire truth, whatever it may be, about the 1076 come to light.
The Firearms Training Unit at Quantico did not make the decision to go with the 10 mm over the .45. Actually, the Director did. The communication sent to him pointed out the merits of both the 10 mm and the .45. It was close to a dead heat. The 10 mm did have a slight edge over the .45 in some respects. One of which was that the 10 mm was a new cartridge that had not been developed to nearly its full potential while the .45 had been around for quite some time and had probably reached the peak of its evolution as a law enforcement cartridge. Regardless of which round the Director selected I think that FTU would have been satisfied with the result. What it did NOT expect, at least the extent, e.g., was the backlash from other firearms manufacturers, certain FBI personnel, and the media. The fact that S&W may have low-bid the contract and did have issues with a few of the pistols it first delivered to the FBI only complicated the situation and enhanced the position of the dissenters. The resulting agonizing long drawn out negotiations served neither the FBI nor S&W well. In the end they both lost.
The bitter divorce of the FBI from Smith and Wesson is a fascinating and painful subject. I remember the POW list when I came on in '91 was like a Smith and Wesson catalog - every steel frame .38 or .357 with a four inch barrel or less, as well as all the 9mm and .45 autos made at the time were approved. You could be in a bull pen with guys carrying Model 13s, the ever present 2 1/2 inch Model 66, an occasional Model 15, ankles weighted down with Model 36s ("five shots" in Bu-speak), 4516s, 6906s, and the crusty old guy in the corner with a blue worn 3 1/2 inch Model 27. Smiths were so dominant that the few guys with grandfathered Pythons and Dick Specials were looked at with awe.
Now - no Smiths anywhere. None on the approved list, and none of the older ones are grandfathered in.
And the issue pistol is, of all things, a Glock. The one gun the FTU swore for years would never be authorized.
The 10mm is a superior pistol in combat, period.
Opinion & conclusion. Reasoning upon which it's based?
It can, and does, outperform the .45 ACP in every aspect, every time.
Well, if that were the case, and if whatever factors and circumstances were involved in making that determination were the primary reason to select a service cartridge ... then you'd think we'd be seeing more of it in LE & military, usage, wouldn't you?
There's no reason for 10mm enthusiasts to find it unpleasant or insulting that seemingly a number of folks who shoot semiauto pistols seem to find the felt recoil, muzzle blast and overall controllability of a 'full-power' 10mm load to be a bit on the undesired end of things.
I'll grant that the 10mm is seemingly enjoying some apparent renewed interest among the firearms makers, and not just in a revolver platforms which was primarily intended for hunting enthusiasts. It's the major ammunition makers who need to come back into the fold and offer some upgraded defensive ammunition for the new (and old) platforms. I wouldn't be surprised to find some of the smaller ammunition makers enjoying this resurgence.
I've qualified a handful of CCW folks who carried 10mm pistols, including G20's, a couple of Colt models and S&W 1006 pistols. Virtually without exception these folks all exhibited somewhat slower recoil recovery and recoil management when observed alongside everyone else at the same time, shooting all manner of other cartridges. If that reflects the 'average' lawful CCW person, then wouldn't it be prudent to consider that maybe some folks might ... just might ... be better served with a cartridge which allowed them something of an advantage in these potentially critical issues.
When you consider that CCW folks have generally gone to the trouble to buy their own firearms, equipment and ammunition ... compared to most LE who have it issued to them ... then I'd offer that it might be a valid concern to adopt a defensive service caliber, or a selection of calibers, which might prove better suited to the wide range of folks who enter LE work.
Not everyone wants a 'heavy caliber' sidearm, nor is everyone likely to be able to be qualified with one.
While felt recoil may not be a problem when it comes to target shooting or performing a controlled pair or 'triple' shot string on a static range ... or during a pleasant afternoon at the local outdoor shooting venue ... sometimes controllability, recovery and even safe handling issues may arise when someone is forced to complete a dynamic, timed course of fire which can involve conditions including, movement, shooting while moving, shooting weak-handed, engaging multiple targets in reduced light conditions which require judgment for Shoot/No-Shoot decisions, etc., etc..
How many folks do you know who find shooting 10mm pistols to offer them an advantage when competing in IDPA or other competitive venues? If the felt recoil and controllability wasn't an issue, what else would mitigate against it being used with some frequency in events where speed, controllability & accuracy were useful, even if only in winning against time & paper?
Hey, I have nothing against the caliber. I may pick up one of the new Colts at some point. I've always thought that if Colt improved their platform compared to their previous offering, or S&W or Ruger would introduce a robust defensive-type pistol model chambered in the 10mm, that I'd want to get one.
It wouldn't necessarily replace my many other defensive weapons, though. I just happen to think the 10mm was an interesting cartridge to have been developed in American handgun history.
I also liked the .41 Magnum, for that matter.
That didn't remain considered a viable LE/defensive cartridge for very many years,however, either. Still a good cartridge, though.
Back to the 10 mm. I agree with Hot Toddy. When the 1076 was tested at Quantico with the original Norma ammunition even I joined the chorus that opined that the round was absolutely not suitable as a general issue service round. “Hand cannon” was the thought that raced through my mind the first time I fired a 1076 and Norma ammunition. If that is what you mean by a "full power" 10 mm round I would agree. But the point FTU (i.e., John Hall) was making in the recommendation that the 10 mm was in its infancy and had dramatic possibilities for improvement. Instead the entire effort to advance the goal of increased protection of law enforcement officers (and the public) through better firepower was still born for no justifiable reason.
If, for example, the FBI had not unilaterally destroyed the S&W Model 1076 in the eyes of the shooting public stigmatizing the 10 mm for all time where do you suppose the 10 mm round might be at present after 25 years of development?
I submit that in all likelihood the 10 mm would have continued to develop into the standard that the .45 now occupies. I also believe that the .40 would have sprung from the development of the 10 mm and become the standard to replace the 9 mm (as it has now).
As for combat shooting the Model 1076 I have fired 6,500 rounds during qualifying and training runs on law enforcement ranges (’91; ’93-’98). This included CQB, moving targets, night shooting, etc. etc. Prior to the 1076 I fired a revolver and was a certified firearm’s instructor. I never fired better scores or had more confidence in my abilities than when I carried and fired my 1076 (s). And I don’t believe you will any LE officer that carried a 1076 on duty that will say otherwise. There was nothing wrong with the 1076 that could not be fixed through minor engineering changes, training and gun maintenance.
Zounds! Shades of the AR-15/M-16!
After my 1076 was forcibly taken from me by evildoers I was issued a Glock. Although I carried, practiced and qualified for 6 years with both a 22 and a 23 I never achieved the success I had with the 1076 and I absolutely never felt comfortable with carrying the pistol on the street.
Having taken a CCW class post retirement I see your point about the students. Most of the students in the class I took couldn’t hit the silhouette in a target at the 7 yard line with a 9 mm. But we are talking law enforcement and military use here, not civilian. (By the way, bless you for teaching the CCW classes – patience of a Saint)
As for using less powerful handguns for competition – sure, why not go with the leastest you can get away with. They would shoot .22s if you let them. Just look at the loads in cowboy action shooting.
It is my hope that the 10 mm gains more than nominal interest from a devoted but small core of enthusiasts. It has great potential if given the chance.
But I will never, ever forget John Hall’s warnings on handguns in law enforcement. To paraphrase, if you are going to carry a 9mm on the job it’s a good thing you can load it up with 15 or 16 rounds because you are going to need every one of them to stop the bad guy even if you hit him. [My apologies to John if I have butchered his eloquent admonition]
Hey, I really DO like the 10mm as a cartridge. I just lost some interest Ruger decided to change calibers on their pending P90 platform from 10mm to .45 ACP, and only released a P91 in .40 S&W, and then the S&W 10XX platform was dropped.
I knew a number of guys who used to carry .41 & .44 Magnum revolvers as service revolvers, FWIW.
I handled and fired a G20 when they were just being imported into the US, in the late summer of '90, I think it was. Interesting gun. Decently controllable even with the Norma ammunition. Offered one by the Glock rep for $315 w/3 magazines. I was just too wrapped up in my .45's (and still grudgingly accepting the 9mm) at that time. Besides, the Glock still gave me that 'Crosman pellet gun' feeling back then.
I enjoy teaching the CCW classes, for the most part. Teaching cops can have its rewards, but a significant number of them are only at the range because they're required to be there. We give them the guns, the ammunition, the targets, access to a range and the instructors to help them develop their skills ... and yet a disappointing number of them only come when they're required to be there. Even then, there's always that small number that fail to show up until threatened with disciplinary action, too. I try to interest folks in coming down on their own time for some extra practice ... all they have to spend is their time ... but not with a lot of success.
The CCW folks, on the hand, have to spend hard-earned money to get there, have taken time out of their own schedules and have bought their own guns, holsters and cleaning equipment. They generally seem to appreciate someone showing up and helping them complete their classroom training & range qualification.
I could wish more of them showed up having familiarized themselves with their chosen weapons and carry methods before the class, though.
Then, there's the folks who show up with a pistol and ONE magazine. Slows things down for everyone.
Or, the folks who show up with "mystery" ammunition and magazines, sometimes neither of which will complete a string of fire without problems, let alone the whole course of fire. I no longer let them see me shake my head when I ask about the ammunition & magazines and hear some variation of, "But I didn't want to bring my GOOD magazines and ammunition down to the range." There's a reason we've had to start imposing more rules and conditions for CCW ranges over the years.
All in all, though, I do enjoy my time with the folks in the CCW classes. If nothing else, it's refreshing to discuss firearms safety and the laws governing the use of deadly force with folks who aren't impressed with themselves because of the fact they carry a badge. I'll be one of them, soon enough.
I'm really looking forward to retirement dmc8163. All my retired friends keep reminding me to do it as soon as possible, but I still have some things to arrange ... for myself and my family ... in order to feel relaxed and comfortable about it. I could leave tomorrow if someone really annoyed me (which is great feeling by itself), and do fairly well enough, but I'd rather leave on my own terms after lining up everything the way I'd like it to be before walking out.
It is my hope that the 10 mm gains more than nominal interest from a devoted but small core of enthusiasts. It has great potential if given the chance.
We can only hope. I wouldn't hold my breath about it ever becoming a mainstream LE cartridge ... (consider all of the 'non-gun enthusiasts' and folks of diminutive stature that are entering the LE field in increasing numbers) ... but I could see it enjoy a reawakening among non-LE users if the ammunition & firearms folks decide there's an increasing interest in the commercial market.
BTW Old Navy, the only reason I made the comment about the ammunition manufacturers needing to devote some attention to the 10mm is that I've repeatedly heard from at least 3 of the major gun companies, during phone conversations and in some armorer classes, that they monitor the production and sales of commercial ammunition when deciding how to manage their firearms production ... and they've all kept saying that commercial sales of ammunition was always lacking when it came to the interest displayed by the commercial market in the 10mm. In other words, they really only seemed to consider the sale of loaded ammunition, and not components (reloading), or, apparently, the success of smaller makers of ammunition for some of the 'niche' shooters.
If both the ammunition and firearms companies prescribed to the 'If you build it, they will come' philosophy regarding the 10mm, things might get really interesting in the near future.