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The 10mm Auto (10×25mm, Official C.I.P. Nomenclature: 10mm Auto) is a semi-automatic pistol cartridge developed by Jeff Cooper and introduced in 1983 for the Bren Ten pistol. It was initially produced by ammunitions manufacturer FFV Norma AB of Åmotfors, Sweden.
Although it was selected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for use in the field following the 1986 F.B.I. Miami shootout, their Firearms Training Unit "concluded that its recoil was excessive in terms of training for average agent/police officer competency of use and qualification", and the pistols that chambered it were too large for some small-handed individuals. These issues led to the creation and eventual adoption of a shortened version of the 10mm that would evolve into what is today the .40 S&W.
The 10mm never attained the mainstream success of its downgraded variant, the .40 Smith & Wesson, but there is still an enthusiastic group of supporters who often refer to the .40 S&W as the ".40 Short & Weak".
The 10mm Auto cartridge was championed by famous firearms expert Colonel Jeff Cooper. It was designed to be a medium-velocity pistol cartridge with better external ballistics (i.e., flatter trajectory, greater range) than the .45 ACP and greater stopping power than the 9×19mm Parabellum. When Norma designed the cartridge at the behest of Dornaus & Dixon for their Bren Ten pistol (a newly developed gun borrowing base design from the CZ 75), they decided to increase the power over Cooper's original concept. The resulting cartridge - which was introduced in 1983 - is very powerful, packing the flat trajectory and high energy of a magnum revolver cartridge into a relatively short, rimless cartridge for a semi-automatic pistol.
The cartridge has failed to attain the same level of popularity as the 9×19mm Parabellum, .45 ACP, and the .40 S&W cartridges. This may be explained by the fact that full-powered 10mm Auto loads generate significantly more recoil and muzzle blast compared to most other common handgun cartridges. Additionally, the ballistics of milder 10mm Auto loads can be duplicated in smaller guns using the less expensive .40 S&W cartridge.
The 10mm Auto earned a reputation for battering guns early on, largely because manufacturers attempted to simply rechamber a .45 ACP design for the 10mm Auto. The .45 ACP works at a much lower pressure and velocity, and the frame and slide designed to handle the .45 ACP cannot handle the greatly increased forces of a 10mm Auto without substantial strengthening. Later guns, such as the Glock 20, Glock 29, and the Smith & Wesson Model 1006, were built around the cartridge to help increase durability and reliability.
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