I’m predicting this year will become, among other things, the year of the 10mm. Why? To fill the gap left by the .40 S&W, which has basically been abandoned. Springfield introduced a 10mm version of the XDm in 2018. Last year, S&W came out with a 10mm version of its ever-popular M&P full-size pistol. Now, Taurus has joined the ranks with a 10mm version of its TH hammer-fired line. I can’t wait to see who else joins the ranks of 10mm producers.
Performance between the 10mm and the .40 S&W is not that different. I compared three popular brands just to see. Here’s what I found.
The .40 S&W Federal Punch 165-grain JHP boasts a muzzle velocity of 1,130 feet per second resulting in a muzzle energy of 468 foot pounds. The 10mm version of Federal Punch is heavier at 200 grains, but performance is similar. Federal claims 1,100 feet per second, and because the bullet is a little heavier, it produces muzzle energy of 537 foot pounds.
The other two brands I chose to compare were of the same bullet weight, so similar performance is advertised by the manufacturer (Defender vs. White Box). The Winchester Defender 180-grain JHP shows 1,025 feet per second with 420 foot pounds of muzzle energy for its .40 S&W cartridge. The 10mm 180-grain JHP cartridge advertises 1,240 feet per second with 614 pounds of muzzle energy.
Winchester White Box 180 offers 1,010 feet per second with 408 foot pounds muzzle energy for the .40 S&W, and 1,080 feet per second with 466 foot pounds of muzzle energy for 10mm. Yes, the 10mm is slightly more powerful than the .40 S&W, but not there’s not so much difference that it doesn’t make a good gap filler between the 9mm and the .45 ACP.
But what about recoil? Wasn’t recoil the big reason for abandoning the .40 S&W for the 9mm? Obviously, the 10mm has a little more punch than the 9mm, but if you are man or woman enough to handle a .45 ACP, you might find the 10mm just a little less jolting in the recoil department. I’ll tell you that at 76 years old with advanced arthritis, I’m recoil sensitive. However, I don’t cringe whenever it comes time to shoot one of my 10mm handguns.
Taurus TH10 Features
I’m glad Taurus chose to introduce the 10mm to the TH line of pistols. Its hammer-fired double/single action line of pistols doesn’t get much publicity. However, they exist in all the major calibers with some color offerings and in sizes that compare with the corresponding striker-fired pistols. There is something to be said for a personal defense gun that has a double-action pull for the first shot with single-action follow-up shots.
The 10mm pistol I tested had a first-shot trigger pull that exceeded the 12-pound limit of my trigger pull gauge; yet, it was not uncomfortable. The single-action pull was nice at just over five pounds. Let’s look at the overall pistol design.
The size and weight of this pistol is almost the same as the TS9 I recently reviewed. The same is true of the ‘older’ 24/7 DS that I began my concealed carry journey with. The overall length is 7.8 inches, height is 5.8 inches, and width is 1.43 inches. The barrel length is 4.25 inches and weight is 28.5 ounces (empty).
Magazine capacity is 15 rounds. So, it’s a full-size gun, which is helpful when it comes to mitigating the recoil effects from such a powerful cartridge. I’ve successfully carried guns of this size in an IWB holster worn at the three o’clock position on my waist, and with the right holster and belt combination, it is not uncomfortable.
One thing that many shooters will like about this gun is that it is fully ambidextrous. All vital controls exist on both sides of the gun. One control many may not be familiar with is the decocker, which shares duties with the thumb safety. Press it up and the safety is on, press it down and the hammer drops without firing a round. This occurs because the firing pin is blocked from going forward when the decocker is activated.
The slide lock is further back on the TH series than on a lot of guns, and I like that because it makes it easy to reach. It is relatively small but has an interesting design that makes it easy to operate. There is a ridge in the middle that provides your thumb with enough leverage to push the slide lock up or down. Down actually has a little advantage because the top side of the lever is ridged.
I’d loved to have had a chance to sit down with the designers. To me, pushing up needs the extra assist. I could care less about pushing it down because I sling shot my slide forward, rather than pushing the slide lock down. The safety/decocker has the same design. Both are easy to manipulate.
The mag release isn’t as easy to operate, however, it’s just a button that I find it hard to press to drop a magazine. Maybe it will loosen up some with time, but as of this writing — even after a couple hundred rounds through the gun — I have to grab something hard to push the button and release the mag. I am concerned that it wouldn’t work well if I had to reload during a gunfight. However, I’m confident that real gunfighters who would be using this gun most likely have stronger thumbs than mine. As for me, if 16 rounds isn’t enough to settle any confrontation I might have, well it might be my time to go.
Sights on the gun consist of a bright, white dot in front with a black rear sight. Both are drift adjustable. Racking serrations on the slide are only on the back but are deep enough that I found slide operation to not be a problem at all. On a hammer-fired gun, I cock the hammer to take tension off the slide before manipulating it.
The trigger guard is large enough to operate the pistol with gloves. The trigger guard is elevated in back to allow a high grip. The grip surface is textured all around, and there are small finger grooves on the front strap. As we’ve come to expect, the TH10 ships with three different backstrap inserts that allow you to fit the grip to your hand size. The trigger is curved with a wide, flat front surface.
Taurus’ signature grooves for the thumb, and a resting place for the tip of the index finger, exist on both sides of the frame. The TH10 features a two-slot Picatinny rail on the dust cover for accessories. The hammer is almost bobbed to help with concealment but still has enough surface area showing for you to cock the gun, should you desire. That helps during dry fire practice (you don’t have to rack the slide each time to cock the gun.)
Prior to writing this, I’ve had the gun on two range trips, personally shooting maybe 50 rounds each trip. I shared the experience with a shooting buddy who shot approximately the same number of rounds. On the first trip, I had two failures to feed, both with Winchester Silver Tip. I found this interesting. For years, I’ve used Silver Tip as a break-in ammo because the iron oxide, silver coating on the bullet works as a lubricant. No issues existed with several other brands we shot, and the other shooter didn’t experience any issues.
We did most of our shooting at five and seven yards and were rewarded with the ability to put all our rounds within the five-inch circle representing our targets — most of the time. Sure, there was the occasional flyer, but we blamed that on the shooter, not the gun.
The overall assessment was that this is a gun that would do you well for personal or home defense. The MSRP is currently $530, so we’ll likely be seeing it for under $500.