10mm vs. .40: Was the FBI Wrong (or Right) About This?

I was a field firearms instructor for the FBI. I was among the first FBI Agents issued the 1076 when I went to Quantico to train and familiarize with it so I would be able to train and transition field agents to use the new handgun.

The original 10mm load was quite a handful, but manageable to an experienced shooter. However, the 1076 was big and heavy; not the ideal gun for concealed carry.

One has to understand that in all agencies, we have to adapt to the "average" user. In introducing the 10mm, the FBI found its recoil too much for most Agents, thus went to the tamed-down load for the 10mm.

As an aside, I went from the .38 revolver to the .40 Glock 27 about 1994. I carried the G27 for the rest of my career and into retirement and had no problems with the recoil, even in the "baby" Glock size. However, now being in my 70's, I've had to recognize my decreasing physical abilities. Last year, I found that, despite regular moderate strength training, due to arthritis of my hands and wrists, I was experiencing malfunctions shooting weak hand only. "A man's got to know his limitations," so I went with the G26 and haven't had any malfuntions.

Bottom line in my humble opinion is that the 10mm is a good manstopper, but the shooter has to be able to hit the man in order to stop him.
I like my Walther PPQ M2 in .40 S&W. I don't find it too "snappy" in that pistol (full size), but I've not shot but 1 or 2 other mfgs. 40's, so I make no claim of expertise.
Almost 2 years back, I looked very seriously at a 1911 platform in 10mm. When I started checking for Ammo availability, and couldn't find any ammo anywhere (except at ridiculously high prices like $75 for a box of 50 Target loads). No new or once fired brass either. I backed away from buying that gun. Now that McSniffy's economy is thoroughly in the crapper, buying any new gun is outside my retiree's budget.
One of these days if we get that Demented Despot out of office, maybe I can try again.
I do agree that the FBI's problem was one of their own making, and no doubt they didn't spend a lot of time learning how to handle the 10mm. I've fired a few 10's buddies own, and frankly didn't find it that much of a handful.


A “40mm” what? Exactly….?
Noob tube, a.k.a. M203 launcher.


I heard that story too. Somehow it just dosn't seem to jive.
Over the years I’ve taken a number of women out to the range an introduced them to pistols.
Nearly to a woman their comments followed this general format…
”Well the .22 was fun, and I liked the 9mm, the .40 was ok, BUT, I think I REALLY want to get a .45 or even better that 10mm!! They were AWSOME!”
So unless the FBI was hiring very Tiny women, with very small hands, little strength, a very whiney attitude, and a pea under the mattress disposition … my guess is that this idea/story that “the 10mm is to much gun for our little women agents” is just a BS Urban Ledgend!

I have met Female FBI field agents on two occasions and was never given the impression that they were in any way shape or form a princess wallflower!
I would hope so! And to hear them talk about The Great Caliber Debate, it is apparent that SIZE DOES MATTER! 😜