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I"m building a gun up and am waffling between these 2 calibers. I shoot IDPA and IPSC. From the looks of my reloading data, 38 super can make major by pushing the high end of the loads (160 gr. @ 1032 fps). 10mm easily makes major with room to spare.

My real question is about controllability/accuracy. Supposedly, the whole idea of a major power factor is to level the playing field so everyone is shooting the same thing. In reality, this isn't so. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these 2 calibers. Disregard avalablility or price, I will reload.


TIA

Goog
 

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I would go with .38 Super. The .38 dominates IPSC for good reason: Controlability, fast follow-up shots and magazine capacity. If you handload, making major shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Depends on what you want.

The 10mm is a more powerful round. If you reload, you can load it up to potential or down to 'making major' as you wish. As a gamegun, the Super is a proven worker. It will probably show less recoil than the heavier bulleted 10.

I've never tried a comparison - a 155 grain 10mm bullet will make major at the same velocity as a Super .38 - but I'm not sure if the recoil pulses are the same. I think a 135 grain bullet from a 10mm can be shot fast enough to make major. I don't think the recoil would be excessive, but the blast might be nasty.
 

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I dont own a 10mm....yet. I will one of these days. Between those two choices thoiugh I would go with the 38super. I love my super and I am thinking of biulding another one. Like you say with hand loading you will be fine.
 

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Caution: You may only shoot .38 Super Major in USPSA(IPSC) Open Division. You know, where the raceguns with scopes and muzzle brake compensators play. Other Divisions have a .40 caliber floor. If you want to shoot a service pistol that you can also use in IDPA AND score Major in IPSC Limited or L10, it would have to be a 10mm, of those two. Then you land in IPSC ESP where the power factor is only 125, same as Minor, and a full power 10 will have more kick than you need to put up with. How about a nice .45?
 

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Decisions, decisions...

I have shot many .38 Super over the years, and it is a wonderful cartridge. One of these days I will own one of my own. Having said that, I DO own a 10mm already (see sig below), and it is very controllable even with the hunting level loads I use. I have run a few brands of factory over the chronograph, all in the 180 gr. bullet weight, and the lowest load level was the PMC StarFire, followed upwardly by Remington UMC, then Winchester Silvertip (170 gr) at the top end. I also reload, and have loads that vary from "target" level (PF 178) to hunting level (PF 210), and none of them are difficult to shoot plenty of in a day comfortably. My own subjective personal opinion is that the 10mm is really more versatile, and the .38 Super is a lot of fun if you don't mind running the cartidge near its upper limits all the time...I'd rather have a little room to work with.
 

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Jim Watson said:
Caution: You may only shoot .38 Super Major in USPSA(IPSC) Open Division. You know, where the raceguns with scopes and muzzle brake compensators play. Other Divisions have a .40 caliber floor. If you want to shoot a service pistol that you can also use in IDPA AND score Major in IPSC Limited or L10, it would have to be a 10mm, of those two. Then you land in IPSC ESP where the power factor is only 125, same as Minor, and a full power 10 will have more kick than you need to put up with. How about a nice .45?

What Jim Said - 38 Super can not score major in Limited or Limited 10 or the new Single Stack division. I like the idea of the 10mm - but I'm a super guy at heart. Either way you are ahead with a day at the range.....
 

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What Jim and Clyde said. Unless you're shooting in Open Division, .38 super will be scored minor power factor. If you are in Open, you'll want to go with the .38 super because you can get more rounds in the gun 28 or 29+1 with the right wide body frame and magazine setup. You can't come close to that with 10mm, plus the 10mm won't work the compensator as well.

If you're shooting Limited or Limited10, then the 10mm has more merit.
 

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I have a 10mm and every once in a while bring it to an IDPA match - it is purely for giggles b/c of the way the classification system a 10mm shooter (shooting full power loads) has no chance against an equal field of shooters.

Don't kid yourself about that. A 10mm is great for carry and great for pins - but that is it.

Good luck
 
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