Hunters eager to hunt big game with a handgun, but wary of .44 Rem. Mag. recoil, should consider the little-known, but deadly 10mm Automatic in a 1911-style autoloader.
The beloved 1911 is best known as the platform for the “man-stopper” .45 Automatic, often mislabeled the .45 ACP, which really references the pistol, Automatic Colt Pistol. Throwing a 230-grain flat-nose or round-nose bullet 900 fps, the. 45 Auto generates 414 foot pounds (f.p.) muzzle energy. In contrast, the 10mm Automatic kicks out a 180-grain bullet 1,200 fps to churn up 575 f.p. energy.
Neither is what anyone would consider a heavy hitter compared to 1,726 f.p. muzzle energy kicked up by a .44 Rem. Mag., spitting a 240-grain bullet 1,800 fps, but then neither of the autos recoils like a .44 Rem. Mag., either.
But can the 10mm take down deer? Oh yeah.
I “discovered” this remarkable round during a hunt at Rock Hill Ranch near Cross Plains, Texas. My gun was a sleek-looking, finely balanced, silky functioning Republic Forge 1911 that kicked so little that I doubted it would terminate a bunny. Zeroed with 180-grain Cor-Bon Bonded Core Hunter bullets at 75 yards, the pistol punched paper 2 inches high at 50 yards and just 4.5 inches low at 100 yards, a trajectory that surprised me. I didn’t think it would be that flat. Or inflict the damage it did.
The first hog stood quartering toward me at around 40 yards. It absorbed a solid hit to the chest and fled. I found it expiring in an erosion cut about 100 yards away and added a finishing shot. Both bullets passed through the chest cavity. Estimated pig weight: 230 pounds.
I jumped the second hog, about a 125-pounder, while still-hunting and took it on the trot from about 45 yards. Heart shot, it dashed about 30 yards and gave up the spirit. I looked at that Republic Forge 1911 in my hands with no small wonder. How was it doing this?
My third hog came trotting toward me as I sat against a mesquite tree, hoping just such an event would befall me. From about 50 yards a single 180-grain pill punched through the big boar’s ear and into its neck, dropping it instantly.
Finally, while still-hunting through thickets, hunting partner Thomas Rucker spooked a pair of aoudad rams that raced past me. Again I swung the little autoloader and punched the “go” button. The ram faltered and fell.
Well, that was enough proof for me. If you use the right bullets and put them in the right places, the 10mm is “enough gun” for hogs. By the way, 10mm is the same as .40-caliber. This case is essentially a slightly longer version of a .40 S&W and generates about 200 fps more velocity with the same bullets. The Republic Forge 1911 with its 6-inch barrel is the right launch pad, too. At just 2-pounds, 14-ounces, it is flat-sided, smooth, precisely built and much easier to carry through the woods than a rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, crossbow, or even a compound bow.
Learn to shoot a handgun like this and you’re set for deer, hogs and coyotes inside of 100 yards. That covers a lot of whitetail habitat.
Shop Sportsman’s Guide for a great selection of 10mm Auto Ammo!