Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More Range Fun With the Kimber 10mm

Yes, that's right, friends, I went to the range yet again last week with my Kimber Stainless Target II. I didn't get to throw too many downrange because of time constraints -- maybe tomorrow or the next day, if it doesn't rain -- but I took 100 rounds of 180-grain Federal American Eagle...and 20 rounds of Winchester Silvertip 175-grain hollowpoint ammunition, one of the few even semi-widely available close-to-full-power 10mm loads. According to the Winchester website, this particular cartridge is rated at 1295 fps out of a 5.5" barrel. The Kimber is a 5-inch gun, of course, so they go out just a little slower than that, but still, I was a bit apprehensive. So after about 50 rounds of the weak Federal AE, I gingerly opened up that grey box of Winchester Silvertips and loaded a magazine with them. Slammed the mag into the gun, charged it, took aim at the target. BOOM! Okay, that wasn't so bad, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Okay, still not the rocket ride I was expecting. I finished off the rest of the magazine and thought, is that all there is?
Mind you, this was not a bad thing. I had just heard so much about how the 10mm was such a hard-recoiling cartridge (although, granted, in the original Norma loadings I am sure it does kick pretty hard), but still I was very pleasantly surprised. This is, of course, a completely unscientific wild-assed guess, but I'd guess with that shorter barrel I was driving those Winchesters out at about 1250 fps, at least...it might well have been more than that, I don't know. I wish I'd had a chronograph so I could have seen for myself...but back to the point, a 175-grain bullet at 1250 feet per second -- a bullet with about the same sectional density as the .45ACP, in a cartridge with about the same recoil as the .45ACP+P and at 400 feet per second faster than standard .45ACP, would be quite a potent self-defense cartridge indeed. I am itching to try the Double Taps in that gun...I know they have quite a following among the 10mm enthusiasts, and looking at the ballistics on those suckers, it's not hard to see why...
UPDATE! AlanDP says in comments:

Maybe you need to step up to a .50AE. (ha ha)

Come to think of it, one of these would make an absolutely hellacious truck gun...
Back to the range today, 50 rounds of Blazers, about the same of Federal AE, and the last of the box of Silvertips. Went head-to-head with the last three mags I shot...one mag of Blazer, one mag of Federal AE, and one of Winchester Silvertip. I felt the extra kick with that last one. 1250 fps? I'd believe it...

UPDATE, 5-22-07:
Seems like this post gets a lot of hits from Google from folks looking for info on the Kimber 10mm 1911s, specifically the Stainless Target II. More observations on my experiences with this fine weapon may be found here, here, here, here, and here.